Please note this is my own opinion and belief based on my experiences.
Why Raw Feed ? What's wrong with Dry complete meals ?
Here is why I changed over to Raw and why I believe commercial feed is killing our dogs,
In 2010, after winning a bag of dog food at a show I fed it to one of my dogs, a young, 18 month old bitch, very fit and healthy, within one week of feeding it she came down with breathing problems, 3 days later she was dead, nothing the vets gave her worked, an autopsy revealed very little apart from possible exposure to a kind of mould. I now believe it was the kind found in dry dog food that use low quality grains (see below).
At the time we made no connection at all to the dog food used
In January 2011 we decided to feed the same brand of dog food
A food that is gaining in popularity in the UK and is hailed as only using natural, quality ingredients
In febuarary 2011, again another young fit dog suddenly became very ill, she was diagnosed with Autoimmune Disease
The vets gave very little hope of survival, at one point her blood count was so low she was clinically dead.
A few thousand pounds later and after a spleen removal and 3 blood transfusions she somehow started to recover
She has now fully recovered
Still making no connection we carried on feeding this food
Over next few months 3 more dogs became acutely ill
one had a massive growth in the stomach
the next came down with Liver disease, again very little hope was given
A biopsy revealed very little, thanks to my understanding vet I was allowed to nurse him at home, it took a while but again we saved him.
By now my vets bills are running into thousands.
The final straw came when yet another young and very fit dog suddenly developed Liver and Kidney disease,
she lost half her body weight and was given no hope at all but she was a fighter and still had that look in her eyes so again we nursed her at home, on a drip for the first week but she had stopped feeding.
We then had a feeding tube fitted, not a pleasant experience at all and at this point i was very close to giving in
We also gave her Homeopathic treatment.
she was being force fed through the tube but this could not carry on.
She was currently being forced to take in the science diets but as this was not working
and with very little hope left I decided to try the raw food on her,
At first she would only drink the blood from raw hearts, then it progressed to eating the heart, it was very slow but at least she was eating,
this continued to improve and gradually the liver also began to improve but the main damage was the kidneys
When i took her in for that final blood test it was looking grim and I had prepared myself for the worst,
the vet had explained that the liver can repair it self but not the kidneys and no matter how much we nursed her, if the kidney results came back as damaged then there was nothing more that could be done.
Well i am not sure who was more surprised by the results, me or the vet but the results came back with better than normal readings, it seemed what ever we had done was working.
After that she started to improve , every day we could see just something very small that she had not done the previous day,
six months later she is 100% back to normal, her weight is back, her coat is back and she has had a season.
I believe she recovered, partially through the homeopathic treatment and my vets help but mainly through feeding raw food, nothing fancy, no veg , no vitamins added just meat and bone.
This is when we decided to change over to raw food.
It has now been over 3 years
My dogs are all now fed a simple diet of Lamb Tripe, chicken carcass, small amounts of Lamb heart
and anything our butcher does not sell, which can be anything from breast of lamb to joints of venison.
I have had no illness in any of my dogs since changing to this diet.
Coats have improved, in colour and texture
Litter size has gone up
Puppies reared on this diet have been very noticeably calmer, happier and very content
No longer do I dread going into the pups in a morning as they have been so clean
They drink and urinate less.
They grow at a better, slower rate but they are solid.
Temperaments are calmer, especially in pups, more content.
I have had no illness in my dogs at all in since changing to raw food
And if nothing else they now look forward to meal times.
As all this was going on we tried to find a connection, why would young fit dogs be struck down with different, severe illnesses within such a short time, 1 maybe 2 illness of this nature may be something you would expect when keeping livestock but not this many different things that could not be infectious as they they were all separate diseases. The only connection and explanation i could arrive at and the only thing they all had in common was the food they were eating, it crossed my mind in the early stages but like most things today you think to yourself, no don't be silly, all this food must be good, no else seems to have trouble with it, or do they...... I then started to research the effects of dry, commercial dog food, what was being used in them, what dogs had already died from there use, to me, it all made sense. In America it seems to be a common occurrence that dog food is being recalled, there are many cases over there of dogs dying from liver/kidney disease just to name a few, cases where it has been proven that commercial food was the cause.
I think the time will come in the UK as well where it will be proven that these foods are killing our pets
people will start to ask questions just like I have.
Already thousands of people here are now turning to feeding raw diets to their dogs because they also believe that commercial food is no good.
I will be adding links to this page to other sites that give more details on the effects of certain ingredients, what damage they do to our pets, what actually goes into the food, how low quality grains are used amongst other things.
Not just hearsay but proven facts
Then make your own mind up, I know I have
I believe that the fact we have more dogs than most pet owners, we were able to make a connection where as pet owners with 1 or 2 dogs would not even consider blaming the food they are feeding.
I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences with their dogs who think commercial dog food has caused it
Here are a list of Websites that may also be of interest to anyone thinking of changing to Raw Feeding.