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#41 Powder Puff

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:10 PM

yeah, so by trying to increase her protein level i need to give meat right?? Hey if i were to stay on kibble and purina isnt that great like i thought it was what would i swap too? I have no idea what im looking for when i buy kibble. Yeah i might buy some knuckle bones on the way home from work but this wont break their teeth?

#42 3crazybcs

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:21 PM

There are a lot of brands of kibble that are better than Purina...Wellness, Timberwolf Organics, Chicken Soup, Innova, Calif Natural...to name a few. The protien levels in foods varies, so you don't need to feed raw meat to get more protien into your dog. However, I have a friend who just moved back to Oz from the US and I know that the dog food market there is different than the US and that most food is outrageously expensive and you don't have a lot of the brands we have here in the US. Maybe you can post a new message directed to the board members from Australia and find out what your options are? I know my friend loves being back home but the dog food here in the US is one thing that she really misses!

#43 INU

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 06:58 PM

Just to clearify...For my dog, brushing teeth and giving her bones didn't work. I tried different things and almost made an appointment with my vet for teeth cleaning. Once the built up is removed, it will be easier to maintain. But after consulting with this board, I decided not to put her through anesthesia. That's when I started hearing more about raw diet.

She has a tendency to chew knuckle bones with her front teeth and her canine teeth. They are flat (could be from tennis balls) so I didn't want to give her bones that way. With raw chicken (and other meat/bones in the future) I have been able to shift the meat to the side so that she'd learn to use her back teeth. I don't know why she prefered to use her front teeth... Now she is learning that it is much easier to use back teeth and I am hoping this will help remove the tartar.

So, again it is really up to individual dog.

#44 tumblehome

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 07:39 PM

Originally posted by Debbie Crowder-BaaramuLuke:
What research do you do? I'm serious.
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What research did *I* do?
Well I have to tell you, from the first time anyone seriously described eaw feeding to me, I got the joke. It made perfect sense that dogs, as wolves (however then I did not realize just how precisely dogs are wolves--research answered this for me), should eat as naturally as possible what the species eats not only for individual health, but also the reproductive health of the species as a whole.

I understood the bones and the raw and the bioavailability...I got all that. I was a little hazy on the veggie thing, and the meat patties threw me completely. I figured there must be more to these veggie/meat patties than I was aware of (fact is, there is nothing to these meat/veggie patties at all except hype and mis-representation; but it took research to learn this).

What I didn't do was switch my dogs to raw food. Because it was too hard, too complicated, too messy, no expensive, too much of a PITA. That was the part nobody set me right on, because I did the wrong sort of research. [Dummy me]


a) thriftiness (how they look and perform)
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A legit concern and mine too. All the rawfed dogs I checked out looked and acted great. Hadn't turned into raging bloodthirsty demons; hadn't gotten worms or rickets or keeled over from bone ingestion. They were no different than they were before, just better. Finer-tuned. Honed. The athletes were muscled and trim. The couch potatoes were muscled and trim.

My dogs continue to prove this out. What I saw happening to other dogs has happend to mine as well.


b)cost (very real to me)
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I compared the price of a reasonably-purchased raw menu to a super premium kibble with supplemented Nupro or Missing Link or Dermcaps and easily found the raw menu to be cheaper.

If one compares the priciest grassfed, organic beef and lamb to Walmart's finest-- unsupplemented, then Walmart's finest will win the price contest. It won't come close to the raw diet for nutrition of course, but dollars to dollars, Walmart will win. No argument.

You can make all sort of price comparisons, and depending on your choices, you can pretty much prove anything you want. But a sensible raw menu (buying on sale, buying in bulk, relying on a variety of meat proteins in order to buy what's inexpensive seasonally or by store, not buying redundant supplements) can easily be more economical than a kibble that makes some attempt at quality (top ingredients are specifically identified meat proteins, not chicken "meal" or "meat meal" but real chicken "meat" for example; no cereal grains; few chemical additives).

I think in kibble purchases, you really do get what you pay for.


c) convenience (ease and continuity of preparation and aquisition, also considering this for travelling).
**********
A species-appropriate diet is as close as the next grocery store. Of course, buying this way--by meal, without regard to quantity savings or sales--is certainly not the overall cheapest way to buy food (or anything!). But on a trip where you've run out or planned wrong, buying a chicken, or a package of leg quarters, or a pound of hamburger or pork hock solves the problem.

I switched my first dog to raw (finally!) in the parking lot of a Motel 6 while at a weekend competition far from home. My boy wasn't eating, wasn't thinking about eating, didn't want to look at it, nothing was working. So a good friend said "Safeway" and I went to the local Safeway and bought a package of chicken wings (remember please, I was introduced to raw via the Billinghurst method...it was my research that got me refocused on prey model, thank goodness). My dog ate happily and healthily from that day on.

When I travel I feed very simply, prefreeze as much as I can, pack a cooler with frozen meat and RMBs, and open the cooler only to remove what needs to be thawed for the next day's meal. Depending on the length of the trip, the size of the dog and how many are traveling, one large cooler can be adequate.

Preparation is what one chooses it to be. When I started, prep was a VERY big deal. Meats to chop, veggies to buy and process (oh my goodness the mess!), chicken backs to buy in bulk and divvy up into individual feeding bags, supplements to measure, food to weigh...it was very time consuming. As I learned more from other sources, I realized this was ALL my doing. My dogs did not need a whit of this prep nonsense.

So I jettisoned the veggies, quit buying utterly pointless chicken backs, dumped the supplements, put my blender in the cupboard and learned to feed by my dogs' appearance, not the weight of their food. The prep time was reduced to buying, stashing, thawing. Whatever fancy-schmancy stuff I wanted to add was MY choice, not the mandate of the recipe.

These are things one learns by reading, by following the examples of others, by doing. I won't try to argue that feeding half a chicken is less work than scooping up a cup of kibble. But I will argue that the end result of a bit more involvement is a far more healthy dog.

I think personal testimonials are a great way to get a sense of the experience. For better or worse.
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#45 SoloRiver

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 08:57 PM

Denise,

I trust your opinion, and you mentioned that you feed according to the whole prey model, and feed mostly cull ewes. How do you process them, or do you? Do you have them ground?

If I had my druthers, and I were going to feed primarily raw food, I'd want to feed mostly ungulates and I'd want to feed mostly ground, because large bone shards scare me and ungulate bones break teeth. Chicken bones are softer and poultry is easier to get, but wolves (if we're going to assume that dogs should eat what wolves eat in the wild) don't eat a diet that is mostly birds and the nutrient profile of whole chicken is quite a bit different than that of whole cow or whole mutton.

I'm sure it'll be poo-pooed, but it's worth pointing out that dogs are wolves but they aren't wolves. They have been evolving along their own trajectory/trajectories for between 10,000 and 100,000 years, which can be a significant amount of time in terms of biological change, and under conditions (i.e., artificial selection) that tend to hasten said change. The diet that dogs (not wolves) evolved eating is most likely human garbage. Does this mean that trash is an optimal diet for dogs? No, but it does demonstrate that the "what they eat in the wild" argument isn't always necessarily a good one. Wild (feral) dogs, not wolves, which are rather rare these days, generally still eat trash.

I think any diet upon which a dog truly thrives is a good diet, because it means the dog is getting what he needs and processing it in an efficient manner. A raw diet that covers all the bases is probably a good diet, as long as your dog isn't immune compromised and his system can handle the kinds of bones you're feeding. I'm not convinced that many or even most raw feeders are really covering all the bases when they feed their dogs, since the most common diet plan (now that Lonsdale and his ilk are in and "BARF" has become passe) seems to be to feed "whatever" and hope that variety will cover the bases. It might, and it might not. Unless you crunch some numbers, which isn't all that hard to do, you won't know.

I've seen some raw fed dogs who looked fabulous. (Most people rave about how shiny their dogs' coats are. This is an unsurprising result of feeding a raw diet, because raw diets are very very high in fat. Even if the diet is actually not very good, the dog's coat will likely be nice and shiny.) I've seen some that looked awful. The litany of dog health problems experienced by people on raw feeding lists does seem to be a bit overwhelming. The reason for this may be that people with sick pets are more drawn to raw feeding than others, but it may also be that a lot of careless raw feeders are making their dogs sick. It would be easy enough to do.

I think if you are responsible and conscientious and want to feed your dog raw food, more power to you. Where I'm moving, there is a very good raw feeding co-op and I plan to take advantage of it once I get there, so it isn't like I'm anti-raw. (I just don't think it's the Second Coming.) But it's important to remember that just because it's fresh doesn't mean it's an improvement. If you're not gonna be thoughtful and at least somewhat analytical about what you're feeding your dog, he is better off eating a decent kibble than randomly chosen raw body parts.
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#46 Tassie

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 09:31 PM

(Keeping head down below parapet because I feed primarily kibble - Melanie said a lot of what my gut feeling is - sorry about the unintended pun.)

Hey Powder Puff - you need to check the labels on the kibble packs - for contents (should be primarily meat) and protein/fat ratios. I currently feed Supercoat Energy (26% protein, 12% fat) as the basis of my dogs' diet - though they and I supplement it with fruit, vegetables, roo tails, occasional eggs, fish etc. - and of course the cheese and other stuff they get as training treats for obedience, agility etc.)

A lot of working dog people I know of use Bonnie Working Dog formula, but fat content is a bit high for my guys, I think, and it only comes in very big bags. The Supercoat Energy works out about A$2.00 per kilo - and I don't use anything like the amount they sya on the packet - that's another thing you just have to work out for yourself - what works for your dogs.
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#47 Miztiki

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 09:57 PM

Originally posted by Tassie:
(Keeping head down below parapet because I feed primarily kibble...

There is nothing wrong with feeding kibble and no one should be afraid that they feed their dogs kibble.

I've read some comments in this thread and hope they are not directed at me.

I'd like to make it clear, again, that I feed raw because I have to. I'm also happy to answer questions people ask me. However, that doesn't mean that I'm on some sort of evangelical mission to convert people to raw. I had several people starting new threads asking me this or that about raw, so started a Q&A about the raw diet I feed.

All kibbles in the US meet the minimum requirements for what a dog needs, so if you (not you personally) feed your dog Ol' Roy for it's entire life, fine. That's the kind of stuff I fed Mickey.

Back then I didn't know about ingredients and what they meant though, or I would have fed a better quality kibble. Lots of people reading this thread have no idea what they are feeding their dog. It wasn't that long ago that I was in the same boat.

I'm much better at talking about BC's, their behaviors, how to train them... But if someone has a question about food then I'll help best I can to answer. If that leads to someone feeding their dog a better quality kibble, great! If it leads to them feeding their dog a raw diet, whether BARF or prey model, great! The dog's diet just improved either way.

It's no secret that I like what I'm seeing with raw based on the whole prey model and that this diet is my preference. But I'm not and have no desire to be a preacher about it. I didn't know I was going to be bombarded with so many questions about it to be honest, but if someone asks me a question, I should answer it. I almost regret having done so though because others feel the need to defend what they feed their dog and that's dumb. All kibble in the US offers 100% complete nutrition. Not all are the same quality, but all will keep your dog alive and in relatively good health.

But anyway...

#48 Tassie

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:27 PM

Hey Miztiki - my 'guilt' is largely my own. :rolleyes: I'm like Melanie - I'm interested in the raw feeding idea, and if I had a need, like you do with Boy, I'd certainly get off my butt and do the homework I need to do to work out a way of doing it. (Have I mentioned lately what a fantastic job I think you're doing with Boy and Fynne? Talk about going the extra mile ...! I love hearing about them doing the mad chasing thing around your beautiful yard. Isn't it fun when they do that.)

I certainly like my guys to have a variety of food - and luckily, they are pretty happy to try most stuff, and actively love fruit and vegetables. I still have some Granny Smith apples hanging on my tree (it's winter here now), and Fergus can still reach them, so he goes and gets his own apple from the tree, then brings it in to crunch it up. I do stop him after the second one in a row!
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#49 2 Devils

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:25 AM

Discussion is good especially when there is no bashing.

We all have our favorite way of feeding. Like others said, if whatever anyone is feeding works for their dog, they should be happy.

In the past (not this thread) we have had some holier than thou folks speaking about Raw and basically said that those of feeding kibble are not doing right by our dogs. I think this why some folks get a little touchy. I know I do.

My dogs do well on Canidae and I am currently trying out Solid Gold MMillenia. So I do feed a high quality kibble for $30-40 a month. My dogs just are not overfed.
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#50 Rave

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:51 AM

Powder Puff, if the bone (whether knuckle or raw) is hard enough to scrape off the tartar, then yes, it's hard enough to break a weakened tooth.

INU, I too had a dog who would only chew with her front teeth, so I experimented with a number of different style hard bones until I found one she would chew with her side teeth. It sure was frustrating at first watching this pup chew - LOL! So I understand where you're coming from.

Scraping teeth yourself is also an option, I've also done that. However, I recently mentioned this to my vet friend and she told me I better take something and polish the tooth where I'd scraped, or else it may cause trouble in the long run. I honestly forgot exactly what she said, but I can ask again if anyone's interested.

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#51 Carson Crazies

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:20 AM

Powder Puff, and anyone lurking, I think it comes down to several things.

1. What your dog does well on
2. What you feel comfortable with
3. What you can afford
4. What works out best with your schedule

I personally would prefer to feed my dogs an all raw prey-model diet. Right now they get Wellness kibble though, and are thriving on it. Why are they on kibble rather than raw? My schedule, they are doing lovely on it, and I was not ready to devote what I needed to devote to raw. I need more time to study and understand, and I wanted to make sure that when I do it, I do it right. I started them out on raw for a couple of months, and they were doing great. I sorta got a case of the nerves, though, so for now we're back on kibble. I hope I'll work my nerve back out.

Folks, you just do the best you can for them in the situation you're in. Are kibble feeders pond scum, NO. Are raw feeders pond scum, NO. You're asking yourself some hard questions here, so good for you. Hang in there.

Good luck.
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#52 Annette Carter & the Borderbratz

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:23 AM

Hi Laura,

I too had this discussion with my vet. They use tooth polish to close the porousness of the tooth that occurs with scaling the tooth. I too used to scale my dogs teeth but they were never as bright as using a RMB so that's what I still use.

I have a spreadsheet that was developed by a couple of friends (an OBGYN and an RN team)a while back that if you plug in the info will return what your dog's daily nutrition is over time. I haven't used it since the days of feeding barf but it would apply to any food or food mix, cooked, or raw. These people had a golden with serious autoimmune problems so they did tons of nutrition research. The food values are pulled of the USDA site. I just thought I'd offer it to whoever was curious- and Melanie since you are a researcher at heart and by employ I figure data collecting on your own dogs might be fun if nothing else for you. Let me know and I'll e-mail it out. I think it was done in MS Works.

So far my only problem with whole prey is how terribly messy it is. After my dogs eat, they need a bath! The reason I switched is because the only food I can get easily here is Science Diet and I'm not real happy with the ingredients, although, I have heard lots of people say that their dogs do very well on it. Anyone here feeding it or has fed it before, any opinions? I figured that the grocery store was closer and out here driving to anyplace will quickly increase the cost of the item you go to buy. So far, I like the way the dogs are responding to the raw and they seem to do even better, the more red meat I feed them (they get, neck, legs, body meat, liver when I can find it) - so chicken is fed but just cause it's cheap and no more than twice a week.

I was surprised that some of you guys got on the defensive - everbody here is just doing what they feel is best for their kids and for the sake of freezer space alone if I could find I good quality, low/no grain packaged food in my area, I'd probably buy it, and still feed beef ribs like once a week to keep the tartar off the teeth.

#53 Christine

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:57 AM

I've been going back and forth with raw. don't think it will work with a toddler who throws any food she has to the dog. Even has tried to bottle feed him.


I can't find the book Give your dog a bone by Ian B(something). Probably used at Amazon.

But question: I have heard that a dog can choke on bones. Is this chance the same as getting hit by lightning?

#54 Denise Wall

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 05:14 AM

Melanie wrote:

I trust your opinion, and you mentioned that you feed according to the whole prey model, and feed mostly cull ewes. How do you process them, or do you? Do you have them ground?

I have them cut up in as small pieces as the processor will cut them. These are normally between one to three pounds. They don't do standard cuts, they just saw up whatever part of the carcass presents itself next. I sometimes cut them up into smaller pieces.

My dogs have been eating raw long enough that they know when the bones are too large or hard for them. If I give them something I suspect they can't chew up, I take the bone out of their kennel as soon as they come to the same conclusion. I don't leave the bone in there for them to reconsider later when they're more hungry or bored. I hang around while they eat to monitor things. The only bones so far I?ve been scared to give them at all are deer leg bones. They really do seem quite hard and splintery. Perhaps Chris O could comment on this subject. I?m sure she knows more about it than I do.

Your comment about the wild ungulates is a good one. I was not as happy with the how my dogs did when I fed primarily chicken. Most people note their dogs do better when fed red meat or meat (and organs) closer to a wolf?s natural diet* Mutton, as it happens, has five times more carnitine than any other meat. Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative. Three crucial areas of carnitine involvement in the body are heart muscle, central nervous system and skeletal muscle. Because of studies showing increased cardiovascular fitness with carnitine intake, carnitine supplements are now being made for athletes. However, as a biochemist, I believe most naturally occurring substances are more effective when ingested in their natural form.

Mutton is or should be much cheaper than lamb. If people want to use the whole prey model and have a freezer, they could buy a healthy cull ewe (or goat or cow for that matter) and have it processed. Feed the organs such that when you run out of the raw meaty bones, you?ve also finished the organs. Perfect natural balance for that animal. My only caution for this serial one whole animal at a time plan would be to switch sources frequently as whatever mineral deficiencies present on the land the animal was raised on will be present in the dog over time if they?re always fed from the same source.

My comment about seeing more pronounced health improvements in my older dogs is a big reason I?m feeding raw. My older retired dogs need strikingly fewer vet visits than before. Even my vet who?s not wild about me feeding raw admitted they were ?extra healthy.?

For my working dogs, I see this as a way to get more working years out of them. This benefits both me and them since working is what they want more than anything. I figure if they?re doing an optimal amount of work, physically and mentally, then an optimal diet will give them an edge both in quality and longevity of work.

Again, just my views and experience. Not intended to make anyone feel bad or mad.

* when I say a wolf's natural diet I mean in times when prey is optimal, not when food is scarce and they?re forced to eat whatever they can find that?s eatable just to survive.
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#55 Rave

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 05:18 AM

Christine,
I'd liken the chances of a dog choking on a bone, or swallowing too large a piece to be digested, more equivalent to being in a car crash. No matter how safe you are, it'll still happen on occassion.

#56 Woodenlion

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:02 AM

I have been feeding raw for about two months. The dogs seemed calmer to me. I liked it. They seemed to like it. However, they started first with refusing to eat the chicken, then the fish, then the beautiful country pork ribs I bought them. I had increased the meat content as suggested. But last week they just walked away from anything raw offered to them. Not even hand feeding worked. I know I was not overfeeding them. I became concerned after 3 days and I put them back on kibble. They went readily back to kibble. Maybe it is the heat, I just don't know. I intend to try again later in the year when the weather cools.

Toni

#57 tumblehome

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:18 AM

Originally posted by SoloRiver:
If I had my druthers, and I were going to feed primarily raw food, I'd want to feed mostly ungulates
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I agree, ungulates do comprise the majority of a wolf diet, at least the gray wolf. If I had my druthers, I'd be feeding goat and lamb and venison, plus whole rabbit and fish, with little emphasis at all placed on chicken. From a suitability perspective, pork is a better meat protein than chicken.


and I'd want to feed mostly ground, because large bone shards scare me and ungulate bones break teeth.
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You would not be providing a fully involving raw diet if you were to grind the bones. You would only be adding calcium. The rest of the bone benefits you would be ignoring. Large bone shards are considerably more rare than you migh think and depending on the animal, bone shards are edible as anything else. Lamb shanks, known to generate bone shards, are completely edible, bone shards or no bone shards. Ungulate bones do not break teeth if one feeds adequate meat on the bone, and if one feeds young animals. When given a whole carcass or sections of one, the bones voted most likely to break teeth are covered with meat. The meat gets ripped off, the bone may or may not be chewed at the joints or the ends.

It is irresponsible, IMO, to feed bare ungulate bones at all. It is sensible to monitor dogs when eating--and to take up dense bones when they no longer serve the purpose of delivering meat.


the nutrient profile of whole chicken is quite a bit different than that of whole cow or whole mutton.
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I think that people who endeavor to feed a species-appropriate diet recognize the significant limitations of chicken. However, since variety is essential when not feeding whole carcasses, chicken fed wisely will provide plenty of nutrition in its own right.


I'm sure it'll be poo-pooed, but it's worth pointing out that dogs are wolves but they aren't wolves.
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There is reason to poo-poo this, because the facts aren't there. They are wolves. They are the same species. They can and do interbreed and, most tellingly, they produce fertile offspring. What has changed over time is the phenotype (those characteristics we can see); the genotype is virtually the same--.02 mitochondrial DNA difference.


They have been evolving along their own trajectory/trajectories for between 10,000 and 100,000 years, which can be a significant amount of time in terms of biological change,
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The point at which dogs split from wolves has not been sufficient to produce substantive genetic changes. Again, phenotypical changes are essentially immaterial when comparing dogs and wolves, and other than the shape modification of the jaw (though not the purpose of it of its dentition), physical changes can be undone as easily as they have been done. And they are.


and under conditions (i.e., artificial selection) that tend to hasten said change.
*********
Please don't confuse the genotype with the phenotype. What humans have done to dogs to produce "breeds", and what humans have done to breeds to satisfy their own egos at the expense of dog health is not genetic change. Just cosmetic.


The diet that dogs (not wolves) evolved eating is most likely human garbage.
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This sounds awfully much like Coppinger. His science doesn't hold up at all. If you want more information on dogs as wolves as dogs, please let me know.


No, but it does demonstrate that the "what they eat in the wild" argument isn't always necessarily a good one.
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Domestic trash is a recent occurance. It was not the norm. It isn't even the norm today, with wolves. There is no question that wolves are opportunists. Any other approach to species survival would have rendered the wolf extinct...a specialist dies when its ecological niche dies; a generalist can move on, get by, survive. This adaptive ability hasn't changed the wolf's anatomy, but it has allowed it to eat what it needs to, to survive. Not necessarily thrive, but certainly live.


Wild (feral) dogs, not wolves, which are rather rare these days, generally still eat trash.
**********
Feral dogs are feral dogs. Since trash dumps exist, feral dogs survive. Unless/until killed by more savvy predators, feral dogs can and do also hunt in the wild, and eat what they catch. Wild dogs probably don't exist, except for less genetically related African dogs. But that has nothing at all to do with the existence of wolves. Don't let Coppinger get your head all spun around with his hypotheses.


A raw diet that covers all the bases is probably a good diet, as long as your dog isn't immune compromised and his system can handle the kinds of bones you're feeding.
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No immune system is worse off for having been nourished with a species-appropriate diet. Your suggestion that only healthy dogs warrant species appropriate raw food is unfortunate; sick dogs with sick immune systems deserve high quality easily digestive food as well. And since bones as edible elements of the diet comprise less than 15%, there are indeed many bony meats suitable for dentally challenged dogs. There is a species appropriate diet for every single critter on this earth. It's our job as caretakers (of ourselves, of others) to find, adjust and feed that diet.


I'm not convinced that many or even most raw feeders are really covering all the bases
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I'm not certain I understand the basis for this conclusion. Are you basing your assumption on experience or hearsay? Have you researched the nutrients in raw food as fed, or are you assuming that "pieces of this plus parts" cannot total optimal nutrition? I totally agree that some people feed unwisely. This is almost always due to bad data, or mistaken assumptions. These are easily enough remedied when knowledge is broadened.

Since virtually ALL the foods available to raw feeders have been studied, measured, weighed, sorted and documented, it's remarkably easy for to determine nutrition in whatever detail one needs for reassurance. I would never recommend one fly blind when feeding a raw diet.


(now that Lonsdale and his ilk are in and "BARF" has become passe) seems to be to feed "whatever" and hope that variety will cover the bases.
**********
Tom Lonsdale has done no more than document the physical, social and political ills attendant to commercial dogfood. His lack of "sufficient" attention to raw diets has drawn criticism, but the intention of his book was never to be a how-to book. He has never acted as a guru, witten as one, or lectured as one. He is no more "in" today than he was before he was published.

What has "outed" BARF is its own internal inconsistencies, its own mistaken premise. When one erroneously presents the dog as an omnivore, the subsequent dietary recommendations will be correspondingly erroneous.

"Covering all the bases" is not based on feeding whatever. It's based on feeding whole raw meats, meaty bones and organs. It's based on species-appropriate meat protein, it's based on percentages that occur naturally. It reduces artifice as much as possible and it requires common sense. Whole ungulate carcass is the gold standard; as one moves from this, variety becomes increasingly imperative. It's not about "feeding whatever" it's about feeding "whatever" as whatever relates to a species appropriate diet.


It might, and it might not. Unless you crunch some numbers, which isn't all that hard to do, you won't know.
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The lack of numbers crunching hasn't prevented mothers from time immemorial from feeding healthy diets to their children. The lack of crunched numbers hasn't prevented wolves from eating healthy and reproductively healthy diets. This concern has little evidence to support it. It is most often used to scare inexperienced feeders, since--let's face it--numbers crunching is rarely a favorite leisure activity.

All one needs do is look to what makes the grade in the wild, for wolves, and feed relative to that. There is long and successful history to feeding dogs from the human kitchen...contrary to what dogfood manufacturers need us to believe, going by the seat of one's pants, a good gut-feeling and a dose of good old common sense works.


This is an unsurprising result of feeding a raw diet, because raw diets are very very high in fat.
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Yes, fat is one the essential dietary elements. Dogs require fat for nutrition, for energy. There are only three "food groups"--protein, fat, carbohydrates. Since it is clear from a number of perspectives that dogs are carnivores-- meaning they have neither the dentition nor thedigestive apparatus to derive substantive nutrition from plant material (the source of significant dietary carbs)--that leaves protein and fat to carry the entire nutritional burden. And since, again, our dogs are designed to derive their nutrients from protein and fat, there's EVERY reason to feed appropriate amounts of fat.


Even if the diet is actually not very good, the dog's coat will likely be nice and shiny.)
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Alas, this same criticism can be levied at kibble diets...the diet is actually not very good, but the dog's coat will be nice and shiny. Most people who endorse kibble include great coat as one of the reasons to assume the diet is healthy. We all do it in defense of whatever iffy practice we choose to continue.


But fat won't fix a crummy coat. If the diet's wrong, eventually there will be physical manisfestation of the problem. And raw food isn't miraculous, though some positive results are so quickly forthcoming that it might appear that way. If a dog has a bad coat/breath/stools/skin on a raw diet, and if the diet has been scrutinized for optimum nutrition, then health issues of some deeper sort are not being addressed. Plain and simple


The litany of dog health problems experienced by people on raw feeding lists does seem to be a bit overwhelming.
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Did people foist these problems via raw diet on previously healthy dogs, or did the people start feeding raw/join raw feeding lists in order to fix these health problems?

I think the single most common reason for learning about raw diets is to deal with hithertofore unresolvable health problems. "People feed raw because their dogs are ill" is such a common assmption now that "my dog isn't sick" is a common reason people give for NOT feeding raw.

Properly fed raw diets are not likely to produce a litany of health problems. There are any number of ways a person can screw up temporarily, but few of them result in significant or permanent health issues.

Additionally, people who feed raw obsess on portion size, eating styles, flatulence, stools--you name it. There may be nothing at all noteworthy about any of the areas of attention, but for most people all the aspects of raw food are noteworthy. When things are noteworthy, they get talked about. This behavior tends to diminish as experience is gained.

Paying attention to every belch and fart doesn't mean more dogs HAVE belches and farts, or loose stools, or eat grass; it just means people are paying attention to these body functions, often for the first time. Whatever else one can say about kibble, it does not engender a close feeding relationship with one's dogs.


(I just don't think it's the Second Coming.)
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Neither do I, for one. It's been around a long long time. People used to feed this way, without the dogma of course, because there was no kibble. Kibble has made it easy to technically provide total nutrition (much like--well EXACTLY like--Total cereal) but it hasn't been the only solution to dog nutrition, ever. I think what some people see in raw diets is one way of returning in some fashion to a less processed life, to more natural approaches to health. It's particularly nice to be able to do something about health before the lack of health drives one's decisions.

Those who ascribe religious value to raw diet are probably likely to be over the top in other comittment situations as well. The ardor of these people is to be admired, since ardor is in short supply these skeptical days; but again, common sense is what enables a good raw diet to endure.


But it's important to remember that just because it's fresh doesn't mean it's an improvement.
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Mostly it is an improvement, at least over the same food interpreted by commercial dogfood. But fresh and inappropriate is no winner, that's for sure! Again, the closer one feeds to a species appropriate diet, the less screwed up the diet is ikely to get. Which to a great extent eliminates concern for the diet not being an improvement.


If you're not gonna be thoughtful and at least somewhat analytical about what you're feeding your dog, he is better off eating a decent kibble than randomly chosen raw body parts.
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Well sure. But gosh golly, I haven't seen any posts on these boards that endorse random access feeding! I haven't seen any random access feeding choices being supported on other lists either.

What I HAVE seen though are people gently (and sometimes no so gently) turning random access feeders towards more appropriate/nutritious feeding methods.

I would be overjoyed if all dogs--all cats, all every one of us--could be fed according to evolutionary needs. I've stopped trying to change the world over this though. People make their own decisions. That's the way it is. How one feeds one's dog is just another choice in a lifetime of choices. But I do think it's important to get the facts right when using them as discussion points.
Chris O

#58 INU

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:26 AM

INU, I too had a dog who would only chew with her front teeth, so I experimented with a number of different style hard bones until I found one she would chew with her side teeth. It sure was frustrating at first watching this pup chew - LOL! So I understand where you're coming from.

It's nice to hear that I am not alone in this!

#59 Overlook

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:28 AM

Just to share my experience regarding nutrition--i agree we can find positive and negative experiences on both (if not more) sides. I've fed Purina Lamb and Rice for about a dozen years now. Have had truly healthy dogs in tremendous condition especially as they've aged. Compared it to other (across the counter) brands and found it offers a good balanced diet. My dogs also have some of the cleanest teeth I've seen (ask Christine!). Some dogs seem prone to dirty teeth? (like people and hips??--ooh that's me) but anyway---I spoke at length with a vet nutritionist from Auburn several years ago. Found out a number of things. Adjusting diet as needs change was probably the most important. Meaning if this is working and meets the needs of a fit athlete that go with it. If dog overweight--add bulk -- which I do through canned (rinsed) vegetables. Drops the weight in a jiffy. No energy, etc. adjust diet. Also feed the big beef bones on occassion. So I guess we all bring something to the table! (no pun intended :rolleyes: :D
Debbie

#60 donna frankland (uk)

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 08:38 AM

i thought i would chime in here!
with regards to the teeth cleaning aspect of raw, i have found that items like breast of lamb are what tikki can get right to the back of his mouth to chew, thereby scrubbing the back teeth. for the canines and incisors, things like a leg of mutton are held down by the front paws whilst he tears at the meat, sinking the incisors right into it. strangely the big marrow bones i used to give on occasion, didnt do a thing for his teeth. i have come to the conclusion that it is the act of removing the meat from the bone is what really cleans the teeth, not so much the bone itself. the eating of the bone however does send tikki into a state of bliss. i once read somewhere that the massive pressure required of the jaw when consuming a large item releases something in the dogs brain, that sends the dog into this state.
chris o, does this make sense to you?
love
donna
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