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10 Myths about raw food

The oldest-known dog on record, according to Guinness, was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and five months before it was put down in November 1939.The oldest-known dog on record, according to Guinness, was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and five months before it was put down in November 1939.

Today it is widely accepted processed foods are unhealthy for humans yet according to the pet food industry  and those in bed with it, millions of dogs  and cats are "safely' eating kibble with "no ill effects" caused by these diets.  Indeed, millions of pets  eat kibble, and also millions of pets fill the waiting rooms of veterinarians, bad breath and all.

These pets suffer from skin problems of all sorts, or from cancers, joint problems, heart problems, kidney problems, digestive problems ("lack of enzymes"), liver problems, pancreas problems, coat problems, tooth problems, anal gland problems, glandular disorders, allergies, and soft doughy bodies brought on by eating a grain-based, artificial, highly-processed, additive-filled food touted as "healthy" for your pet.

In reality these animals are merely existing.  They are being maintained on an artificial, grain-based diets containing synthetic vitamins and minerals plus a myriad of chemical preservatives and additives—the collective effects of which have NEVER been researched.

Feeding species appropriate diet is easy and simple, unfortunately there a many misconception about raw feeding. Here are the  most common myths:


Myth 1:  DOGS ARE OMNIVORES

This myth was covered excessively in this article.  Dogs are facultative carnivores  which means they will sometimes forage for tubers, vegetables and fruits but essentially they need animal protein and fat in order to maintain optimum health.

Myth 2: DOGS ARE TOO FAR REMOVED FROM WOLFS OR WILD DOGS

The only truth in this statement is that we have changed dogs significantly. But we have changed only their appearance and temperament, not their anatomy and physiology.
"The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mDNA sequence..."
The domestic dog is, by all scientific standards and by evolutionary history, a domesticated wolf (Feldhamer, G.A. 1999. Mammology: Adaptation, Diversity, and Ecology. McGraw-Hill. pg 472.)

Myth 3: DOGS HAVE BEEN DOMESTICATED SO LONG THAT THEY HAVE ADAPTED TO COOKED DIETS

Indeed dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago and then selectively bred for desired sizes, shapes and characteristics. However they have not adapted to a cooked food. Kibbled foods (which are cooked and highly processed) have only been around for the last 100 years. Evolutionary adaptations require much more time than this. The evolutionary changes—from gross anatomy down to the molecular level—that would be required for the development of such different digestive capabilities would take MUCH longer than the time that wolves have been living with humans.

Myth 4 : DOGS ARE LIVING LONGER LIVES BECAUSE OF THE BETTER NUTRITION PROVIDED BY KIBBLE

Dogs' longevity has only recently been determined by 'research' performed by the pet food companies. They use these estimates to "show" that their food helps animals live longer. But longer compared to what? No one cared about canine longevity in the earlier days (except the select few concerned with breeding canines), so no one kept records or performed surveys.
If pets are living longer, then why are they being considered "old" at younger and younger ages? A dog is now a senior by the age of 7 or 8; some even say a dog is "old" at 5 or 6. Cats are considered seniors by the ripe old age of 7 (tell that to raw fed cats still going strong at the age of 20!). This premature ageing is caused in large part by processed foods (Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones.)

The oldest dog ever recorded was Bluey, an Austrailian Cattle dog. He worked sheep for 20 years and reportedly lived on a diet of kangaroos and emus. Bluey was born on June 7, 1910, lived for 29 years, five months and seven days.

Myth 5: ONLY COMMERCIAL DIETS PROVIDE PERFECTLY  BALANCED MEALS

This is propaganda perpetuated by pet food companies and it cannot be further from the truth.  No one except nature  knows exactly what is needed and in what proportions. Why? Well, a million years of evolution should be sufficient enough to show any naysayer that the diet nature provides for her creatures is precisely what they need to function, thrive, and survive. No one but nature knows exactly what the animal can actually use and absorb. We can only guess. So forget 'balance' of any kind when it comes to feeding our pet carnivores. There is no such thing as 'balance'. Think "carcass". "Carcass" is what sufficiently sustains wolves, dogs, wild cats, and ferrets, and that is what nature has perfectly provided for them. "Balance" is nothing but an insufficient human term, a vague concept that pet food companies employ to make people buy the foods for their pets. When feeding your pet carnivores, always remember the concept of "carcass".

Myth 6:  SALMONELLA IN RAW MEAT  WILL HURT MY DOG AND ME

It’s important to note that salmonella can be found in up to 36 percent of all healthy dogs and 18 percent of healthy cats regardless of the food they consume. Many pets harbour these bacteria as a part of their normal GI flora and naturally shed salmonella organisms in faeces and saliva regardless of what food they eat.

All non-typhoid salmonella species are ubiquitously present in the environment and reside in the GI tracts of many animals, including pets. The fact is the majority of human salmonellosis cases are acquired through ingestion or handling of contaminated dry pet foods and treats – not raw meat. In fact, there’s no known incidence of human beings being infected with salmonella by raw-fed cats and dogs.

Myth 7: MY DOG WILL ACQUIRE WORMS FROM THE RAW MEAT IN A RAW DIET

Yes, there can be parasites in raw meat. But if you are getting meaty bones and carcasses from places fit for human consumption, the parasite factor is negligible. In addition if  such  meat was frozen for more then 48h then this risk is practically non existent.
Even if this risk was high most parasites are not big issue and can be safely dealt with by your dog if it is healthy.

Myth 8: RAW MEAT WILL MAKE MY DOG BLOODTHIRSTY

This is my favourite old wives tale that some people still repeat. It is interesting to note that herding breeds have coexisted peacefully with the animals they herded without savaging or killing them, even while these dogs were fed raw meat and bones from the very same kinds of animals they were guarding.
The dog is, by nature, a predator, and will chase other animals because it is hard-wired to do so, not because it is bloodthirsty or has a taste for meat in the human definition of the words. Feeding raw does nothing to change this.  Excess carbohydrate however, can cause all sorts of behavioural/psychological issues  in dogs which is something to keep in mind. Many owners spend fortune on dog training when the behavioural issues can be sorted by elimination of processed carbohydrates ( kibble) from dogs diet.

Myth 9: BONES ARE DANGEROUS AND HAVE NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Indeed cooked bones can be very dangerous. Raw bones rarely splinter and are fully digestible, even the collagen proteins that some people claim are "indigestible." It is mostly the byproducts of the digested bone that form the bulk of a raw-fed animal's faeces. Dogs and cats do not need the fibre from grains and vegetables, and feeding such foods only results in the big, soft, malodorous stools everyone complains about.
Yes, problems can occur with raw bones, just as problems can occur with feeding the "safer" kibble (bloat, choking, telescoping bowel, aspirated kibble leading to pneumonia, etc.). These problems typically occur in dogs that are fed inappropriately small bones which they cannot crush or too large weight-bearing bones of herbivores, things like knuckle bones, femurs, etc. These, ironically, are the kinds of bones pet food manufacturers and some vets recommend dogs receive regularly to help keep teeth clean! These bones chip or break teeth.
As for bones not being nutritious:
"Bones from prey are required by wolves as the major source of calcium and phosphorus for the maintenance of their own skeletons. Bones, in fact, are a surprisingly well-balanced food for canids" (Mech, L.D. 2003. Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. pg125).

Myth 10: HOME-MADE, COOKED DIETS ARE A BETTER, SAFER ALTERNATIVE TO RAW

The act of cooking alters the proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals in a food. This alteration can make some nutrients more readily available and others less available. Cooking can even alter fats to the point of being toxic and carcinogenic.  
Some people compensate for these vitamin and mineral deficiencies without resorting to supplements: they simply add vegetables, grains, and dairy products to their carnivores' diets. Complex recipes are developed that create a wide range of foods for the dog (or cat) that must be cooked, steamed, blended, etc. in order for the dog to receive proper nutrition. Our carnivores once again have an omnivorous diet forced upon them in order to help them obtain all the appropriate nutrition that could simply be had by feeding a variety of raw meaty bones and organ meats. Simplicity and perfection are traded for complexity and imperfection

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