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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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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.

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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?

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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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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.

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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

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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

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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,

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.)

**********

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.

**********

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.)

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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

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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!

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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

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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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Originally posted by donna frankland (uk):

...the eating of the bone however does send tikki into a state of bliss.

Who was that who recently described their dog as having a look in it's eyes like it was "high" while eating? INU? Funny and true! :rolleyes:

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there is a lot of awesome info and links here !! I loved reading all of this!

 

PowderPuff, I agree with a lot of people here about a better diet for Roxy. Purina Pro Plan is barely a step above Ol Roy... full of corn, chemicals, fillers, and preservatives. My Brother (in-law) was feeding his English Bulldog Pro Plan for Large Breeds because his friend gave him 3 huge bags. Right after he switched him, Ben immediately started getting *horrible* flatulence, allergies, and vomiting. His energy level went from a 10 to a 2, he layed around for an entire day which is unimaginable for Benny!! I've heard a lot of these stories from people who switched their dogs to a lower quality kibble... it really does affect them. Now Benny is eating Canidae (he actually started to refuse to eat Pro Plan - again, verrry strange for a Bully)

 

I totally recommend Solid Gold, which I'm pretty sure is available in Oz. ^_~ just go to your local feed or high quality pet store (NOT the grocery store) and look at ingredients labels. Look for NO preservatives, HUMAN grade, Holistic, Natural ingredients. By-Products, Fillers (especially Corn), and Unspecified ingredients (such as 'Poultry' or 'Meat' meal) should be avoided.. *definitely* in the top 3 ingredients. The top 2 should be specific meat proteins. You might have to pay more for a good kibble, but you will be feeding MUCH less than anything made by Purina and you'll be MUCH happier with the results. Until you can switch Roxy to raw, start feeding her meat scraps and RMB's to get her used to it. good luck :rolleyes:

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Sigh. I knew I was going to regret getting involved in this.

 

You would not be providing a fully involving raw diet if you were to grind the bones. You would only be adding calcium.

 

(a) Calcium is important.

 

(:rolleyes: Ungulate bones do indeed break teeth. One of my dogs has broken two teeth, one on a large meaty knuckle bone, and I'm not interested in repeating the experience. YMMV.

 

© Large bone shards still worry me. This is my prerogative.

 

By the way, wolves break teeth too.

 

There is reason to poo-poo this, because the facts aren't there.

 

Sure they are.

 

They are wolves. They are the same species. They can and do interbreed and, most tellingly, they produce fertile offspring.

 

So do lions and tigers. So do dogs and coyotes. (Heck, there was even a fertile mule at least once. Her name was "Blue Moon.") This does not negate the obvious and significant differences between these animals. The biological species concept is only one way of delineating species, and many "good" species are interfertile.

 

I consider dogs and wolves (and coyotes) to be the same biological species, but that is not the only way to look at species, and just calling them all the same thing and leaving it at that ignores a hell of a lot of interesting variation, both biological and behavioral.

 

What has changed over time is the phenotype (those characteristics we can see); the genotype is virtually the same--.02 mitochondrial DNA difference.

 

When it comes to interactions between organism and environment, it's the phenotype that's important, not the genotype. So I'm not really sure what your point is here.

 

And quantity is not the same as quality when it comes to genetic differences. Everyone knows that we are practically identical to chimpanzees on the level of our DNA, but no one would deny that we are very different animals. Heck, the amount of phenotypic variation found within dogs alone tells you that the translation from genotype to phenotype is far from simple.

 

Coyotes are interfertile with both dogs and wolves. They also have a significantly different ecology than wolves do, relying much more on small vertebrate prey and only forming packs under certain circumstances (like when humans kill off all the wolves and they don't have to compete against them anymore). Coyotes can and do take down ungulates, at least slow, dumb, domesticated ones (ask any sheep farmer who has them in the neighborhood), but it isn't historically what they've done. Why not use the coyote as a model for feeding whole prey?

 

The point at which dogs split from wolves has not been sufficient to produce substantive genetic changes.

 

Says who? Which evolution guidebook contains the table that tells you how much time is enough? How do you define "substantive?" %-wise there may not be much difference, but whatever tiny genetic changes turned a wolf into a Pekingese are "substantive" by my definition.

 

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.

 

I'm not really sure what to say to someone who thinks the phenotypic difference between a wolf and my Papillon is not significant.

 

I also have never seen the experiment that took Papillons and "undid" the changes such that a wolf was produced at the end. What journal was this published in?

 

Please don't confuse the genotype with the phenotype.

 

Trust me, I know very well the difference between genotype and 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.

 

Dogs were differentiated from wolves long before modern breeds developed. Besides this, you can hardly effect cosmetic change through artificial selection without also effecting other phenotypic changes (drat, there's that phenotype thing again!) that are more than simply cosmetic. If this were not the case, then we would not be so worried about preserving the working ability in our Border Collies.

 

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.

 

Yes, I would love to know your sources, as well as what scenario of dog evolution you subscribe to.

 

Domestic trash is a recent occurance. It was not the norm.

 

Where's the data for this assertion? I have a passing familiarity (OK, a more than passing) familiarity with the literature on the evolution of dogs and I'm not really sure where you're coming from here.

 

It isn't even the norm today, with wolves.

 

No, but I wasn't talking about wolves. I was talking about dogs.

 

No immune system is worse off for having been nourished with a species-appropriate diet.

 

It stands to reason that an immune-compromised dog is better off being fed less bacteria, rather than more.

 

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.

 

See, this is where these discussions always go. I have somehow, apparently, asserted that sick dogs don't deserve good food. That is not what I said. But honestly, I'm not surprised that it was turned around that way.

 

I'm not certain I understand the basis for this conclusion. Are you basing your assumption on experience or hearsay?

 

The basis for this conclusion is (a) reading many raw food lists (:D subscribing to fora such as this one where many people become faddishly excited about feeding their pets raw food and © seeing people I know "go raw." The most common suggestion is "as long as you feed variety, you will feed a complete diet." This is not true. And that is the assumption/practice that I am describing.

 

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 guess you missed the part where I talked about how I used the USDA database and put together my own spreadsheet. Trust me, I'm not talking out of my ass.

 

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.

 

I agree, but far too many people let their enthusiasm get ahead of logic. And that isn't good for dogs.

 

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.

 

From what I've observed, unfortunately, a lot of people appear to do just that: fly blind. After all, their friends told them how easy it was! Just go to the supermarket, get some leg quarters, and you're on your way!

 

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.

 

Oh, please. First of all, plenty of mothers feed their kids crappy diets. What humans feed themselves and their kids is a pretty good example of how the "don't worry, be happy" approach (AKA "common sense") does not necessarily produce an optimum diet. Second of all, since wolves are presumably adapted to their diet, natural selection has already done the numbers crunching for them. You can't use the wolf model to argue both backwards and forwards here.

 

It is most often used to scare inexperienced feeders, since--let's face it--numbers crunching is rarely a favorite leisure activity.

 

I'm sorry you think I'm using scare tactics. I thought I'd made it pretty clear that I don't think there's anything wrong with feeding a raw diet in and of itself. I do think that feeding a raw diet without adequate analysis and preparation is irresponsible in the extreme. I would no sooner do that than I would feed my dog Ol' Roy (I interject since if this discussion follows the time-honored trajectory, you will next accuse me of feeding my dogs Ol' Roy).

 

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 don't know. I asked the same question in the original post that you are replying to now. Either way, the fact that there are a lot of sick dogs eating raw suggests that it is not the panacea that some people claim it is. Whether the dogs got sick because of their diet, or whether they were sick to begin with, I don't know. Either way, they're still sick.

 

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!

 

Hey, we can agree on something.

 

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.

 

Hey, we can agree on that, too.

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yeah, i havnt heard of any the of the recommended kibble brands but i might go around to all the local vets, im a bit disappointed at the moment due to the fact my vet recommended purina pro plan and i thought it was the top of the range but we all learn from our mistakes. Thanks punkrock i will check out for those in the ingredient labels. Thanks everybody for all the advice, for now ill swap kibbles and see if roxy's engergy levels improve and see if i can buy some bones for her teeth, she chews with her front teeth also!! ;P

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Vets very rarely know anything about proper nutrition in foods. Their schooling often is sponsored by the food companies like Science Diet, so they get taught that Science Diet is top-of-the-line when it's not. Many vets have never even heard of the top stuff like Chicken Soup or Wellness or Innova.

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I'd just like to add that basing your dogs diet on how pretty it makes their teeth isn't a good idea.

 

My dog's have wonderful teeth - no tarter, build up, healthy gums. But I don't feed raw. I feed kibble AND a greenie a day.

 

(The report on their teeth came from my vet and from a canine dentist.)

 

My dogs have horribly gunky teeth when I feed them Missing Link supplements and do not give them greenies for a week or so.

 

I think that we can get pretty obsessed with pretty teeth (just go back and watch a few movies from the 80's or early 90's and see how 'normal' everyone's teeth appear. See them today and they are bright white and perfect.) and not really look at the overall health.

 

I lived in Japan for a few years in the late 90's. I had just spent 5 years in LA and feel into the "whiten your teeth" trap. I was shocked and disgusted (honestly) at the condition of the majority of their teeth in Japan. They didn't seem to care if teeth were black, yellow, poking around, broken or missing. I had many adult students that would come to class will a mouth full of yellow teeth, horrible breath and build up so bad I could see it from 10' away.

 

Now, if we look at the life expectancy of your average Japanese person and compare it to that of an American with perfect teeth (cosmetically treated of course) you will find a big difference.

 

What I'm getting at is that we tend to be a bit more hung up with the cosmetic signs that something is "good" for you rather than the actually benefits in GENERAL that something gives you.

 

I am not anti-raw or anti-kibble. But I do feel that changing a dogs diet to raw JUST because thier teeth have a lot of build up or their skin is dry might not be the best reasons. But that's me.

 

All in all, this thread has been and continues to be informative.

 

Denise

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I give each dog one greenie a day and have for a few years now.

 

Not everyday because I'm not rich and I'm lazy sometimes.

 

But, in general, they get one every other day on average.

 

They have not turned green. Yet. :rolleyes:

 

We had to stop giving them for a few months a while back. (finances) And boy did I notice a HUGE difference in their teeth. Ick. Started to get brownish yellow stuff all around their gums.

 

Went back to greenies and they look great.

 

Talk about cosmetic. haha! :D But I freely admit that I paid major bucks to make my teeth perfectly white and wonderful in '95. Back then I had a lot more money and LA makes you bad. :D

 

Denise

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PowderPuff, greenies are starchy and SUPER ridiculously expensive I give Gonzo probably 1 a week, but mostly because he loves them, not for health reasons. I've given in to brushing his teeth daily or every other day, and I give him turkey and pork necks and lighter rec bones with tons of supervision. He slightly cracked his rear molar on a large knuckle bone, so I stay away from those (he chews *really* hard on his back teeth) because they'd have to pull it and stitch up his gums if he cracked it again! His teeth look awesome to me.. He's 4 and his teeth are whiter and in better condition than most 1 year-olds.

 

AND, I SOOO agree with Aussie_Dog. I took a friend's dog to Banfield last week (because they were the only decent office that could take him on short notice) which has good vets but they don't specialize in nutrition at all - just average Vets. When I told them he was being fed Canidae, they had no idea what Canidae was. They suggested he might benefit from being switched to Science Diet or Eukanuba ... I was like, NO thanks! So anyway, PowderPuff, it might not always be wise to completely take that advice from your Vets. Unless they're a certified pet nutritionist, vets are *usually* going to push whatever kibble company is sponsoring them or giving them free food... when I asked my last vet (3 years ago) about raw feeding and he had no idea what it was (he also suggested Purina food and they had a whole stock-room FULL of Purina/SD stuff) I immediately found a much more caring and educated Vets office with doctors that specialize in nutrition. To me, nutrition is a HUGE part of what keeps my dog healthy and happy, and when I know more about it than my Vet I do not feel comfortable xP

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I lived in Japan for a few years in the late 90's. I had just spent 5 years in LA and feel into the "whiten your teeth" trap. I was shocked and disgusted (honestly) at the condition of the majority of their teeth in Japan. They didn't seem to care if teeth were black, yellow, poking around, broken or missing. I had many adult students that would come to class will a mouth full of yellow teeth, horrible breath and build up so bad I could see it from 10' away.
Watch it Denise! You are hurting my feelings. I am one of those with black teeth pointing different directions :mad: :rolleyes:

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Yes and not only do you have good genes and cultural eating habits, our wonderful dentistry could have you living what? 250 years or so? Heaven forbid you don't have periodontal disease to rot all your internal organs to kill you off at a meager 100 years old. :rolleyes: I know I'm just jealous cause I'll never be asian- doomed to Spanish Irish bad genes!

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Hi Inu -

 

(sorry!!! I didn't mean to say that ALL Japanese have bad teeth!!!!) but that's my point!!! Who cares??? It's just the good old media that makes you think that (black teeth) is bad!!!

 

That's what I mean.

 

and the fact that my freaking dentist told me I should get my teeth whitened...grrrr...and I fell for it!!! ahghgh! :rolleyes:

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Hey Annette - those Irish genes are pretty damn good ya know.

 

they survive on alcohol alone...at least my grandfather could.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Denise

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I agree - nothing wrong with the Irish genes! (Except, I wouldn't mind having the ability to tan...sigh...)

 

While I don't think doing anything just to get your dog's teeth pearly white for cosmetic reasons is a good idea, the condition of the teeth is important. It can have a profound effect on their state of health (as with humans).

 

I spent a small fortune on my 3 cats this year, having their teeth scraped (and in 2 cases, having major teeth pulled) because of the poor condition of their teeth. Some of it is genetic, and some of it we can control. Unfortunately, my cats refuse to eat anything but kibble.

 

Looking at Dublin's teeth, I noticed that his back teeth were getting yellow and starting to have gunk build up on them. (I also feed him greenies on a regular basis) Since I have started giving him RMBs, his back teeth are nice an healthy looking, no build-up at all. Is this the only reason I am giving him RMBs? No, but is definitely a benefit.

 

A friendly warning about greenies (take from it what you may): I used to give Dublin a greenie a day. He loves them. Over the holidays, during the chaos, I evidently wasn't the only one giving him them. He evidently got a few extra, which caused him to become constipated (severely). The vet said it was because of the high level of protein in the greenies (52%) and it needs to be balanced with carbs to prevent this. I now only give him 1-2 a week. So resist the urge to give him extra ones or a larger size as a treat.

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Another warning on greenies - they have also been known to cause obstructions and make some dogs very sick. So they should be given with caution.

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