I've been feeding my dogs a raw diet (combined with home-cooked) for about eight months. Even with what I had read about it and learned about it in my advanced canine nutrition course, I was still somewhat leery. Would my dogs really like it? I think sometimes I forget my dogs are....well....dogs! (don't tell them otherwise!) I'm sure that's because to me they are family. When I had them on a home-cooked (with a little kibble) diet, I purchased meat at the grocery store, which was intended for human consumption, but I thoroughly cooked it...so raw, that's a different story! I'm not squeamish about handling raw meat or working with it, but would they eat it? Really? And like it?
So, instead of jumping in feet first, or going cold turkey on them (ha!) I waded in...almost felt like I was being sneaky...using a mixture of cooked and raw meats, masked by some veggies....yeah....they won't notice that! They ate it, and continued to eat it even as the cooked meat became less, and the raw meat more over the weeks! Then, one day...surprise! You have successfully changed them over to a raw meat diet! Whew! That wasn't so hard.
So, fast forward all these months, and they are bonkers over it! Needless to say, in our multi-dog home, the noise at times is deafening when I'm preparing a meal. They know what's coming, and on occasion they're tripping over each other to get to their eating spot. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :-) What you feed your dog is his/her first line of defense in the nutritional battle for good health.
Some of the switch has been trial and error, and that is to be expected. Most of mine did not like the ground pork, and several of them didn't stomach the young beef, probably because it is so rich. But that's ok, I believe dogs have preferences just like people. And the supplier I use (My Pet Carnivore - www.mypetcarnivore.com) has a nice variety of meats to choose from, so I never need worry that I won't have enough selection. There will be plenty for their palate to like.
I suppose one of the most important factors to consider when 'going raw' for your dogs, is, know your supplier AND know your supplier's sources. You do not want inferior meats, and you certainly don't want your precious babies getting sick. You are making a healthy and proper choice for them. That's a big benefit of raw feeding.
Ok, so first off, you need to find a reputable supplier, hopefully close to where you live so you can pick up the food and avoid shipping charges which adds to the expense. You could surf the overwhelming Internet sources, or hopefully you know someone personally who already feeds their dog (or cat) raw. Make sure the meat your supplier sells to you has not been denatured. In short, this is meat the U.S. law states is 'not fit for human consumption'. It is a process that involves the use of charcoal, and even though this is somewhat a 'natural' product, I do not believe it is safe for use in food, not for humans or pets. Charcoal has numerous beneficial uses, but this isn't and shouldn't be one of them.
What I like about raw meat for dogs is you get not only the muscle meat, you also get the benefit of bone and organs. Also, your supplier should have tripe product available for you to purchase. This is definitely part of the diet of wild dogs and wolves. What is tripe? The stomach of ruminant animals (ox, sheep, goats, etc), and it contains very important nutrients that go beyond bones and organs. You will also notice your dog's bowel to be smaller, and less smelly (personally, there's no such thing as good smelling poop in my book!) Cleaner teeth, a healthier coat, all advantages of raw feeding that you won't get with the junk commercial dry stuff!
Raw meat is truly what dogs need, it is how they are intended to eat. In the wild, they would derive about 14% carbohydrate from their diet...not the 50% plus domesticated dogs in a home environment eat on a daily basis. This is why disease is so rampant in dogs, as an improper diet, over time, will bring on cancer, diabetes and a plethora of debilitating maladies, many which I am encountering that I have never heard of.
I hope you will consider this option for your dog. I don't believe you will be disappointed, and your pooch will be delighted! I have several raw recipes posted on this blog, be sure to check them out. If you know of a reputable source for raw, let me know so I can share it with other blog readers....and by all means, feel free to use My Pet Carnivore as a supplier for all your raw feeding needs. Isn't it time you made the switch to better canine health?