Lorinne Anderson wrote:I have concerns about feeding raw or roadkill. Dogs are NOT wolves, although, as many described, when faced with a carcass will always go for the herbivores stomach FIRST - this clearly puts dogs in the OMNIVORE category - so should never be fed straight meat.
I am not sure where you heard that dogs will eat stomach contents first, but having personally witnessed dogs eating whole carcasses, they go for the stomach LAST. It's the leftover that only gets eaten if nothing else is available and the animal(s) is still feeling hungry.
Lorinne Anderson wrote: The second issue with roadkill or raw is parasites - to say a dog "never has issues with parasites is strictly anecdotal, unless regular bloodwork and fecal floats are done. The dog may not SHOW effects from parasites, but that does not mean they do not exist, and are not transferable to humans or other livestock for whom they COULD be troublesome.
Parasites can show up in any dog, no matter what they are fed. I used to have a thriving pet-sitting business where I saw my share of tapeworms in dogs' stools, every single one of whom was fed kibble. Parasites can show up in any animal, no matter what they are eating.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:
Medical treatment for parasites, be it the dog, the stock or the human IS expensive, and introducing nasty pharmaceuticals into the creature AND the environment. Ask anyone who has had to treat a dog for tapeworm - a large dog can easily be over $100.
Again, I am wondering where you get that information from. I used to take care of a breeder's dogs, he had 7 of them. While he was away he wanted me to give his dogs their 2nd round of SafeGuard (Fenbendazole, a broad spectrum dewormer). He had a 1000 mL bottle that he purchased for about $100. Each dog required 5mL/pound of body weight. His dogs didn't weigh 100#s, they were Airedales. But let's take a 100# dog as an example:
To kill tapeworm, for which the aforementioned dewormer is known to be very effective, the dog requires 4 doses total, given over a 3 or 4 week period (I forget which, exactly). So that would be 20mL/dose X 4 doses= 80 mL total to get rid of the tapeworm in a 100# dog. Taking the 1000mL bottle that cost $100 and dividing that into 80mL doses would make getting rid of a 100# dog's tapeworm about $8 (1000/80=12.5. $100/12.5=8). Of course, if one buys a smaller bottle of the SafeGuard, it would cost a bit more to treat the dog, probably bringing it to maybe $12 or so. Still, nowhere near $100.
My own dogs have had tapeworm as well with the treatment not being anywhere close to the $100, not for tapeworm or any other type of worm I have ever treated for.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:Lastly, the feeding of high fat or giving of fat drippings or congealed fat can be very risky, causing a condition called pancreatitis. Again, each animal is individual - what is fine for one can kill another. The high holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) are a vet's busiest time for this as folks decide to treat their pets with the turkey pan full of drippings, or a meal of leftovers, smothered in gravy.
This I agree with. Dogs are not meant to eat a diet high in fats. In nature, the wild prey canines catch all have low body fat since the vast majority of wild animals do. I do my best to mimic nature, finding it provides the best balance for everyone, and mimicking nature means providing a diet for dogs that ideally contains no more than 5% or so of fat. High fat is also bad for the liver.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:YES, many dogs, miraculously manage, likely because they had older dogs to mimic proper eating, have learned which plants are natural purgatives, and supplement their diets with wild found foods. My concern is that, not knowing the POSSIBLE risks, someone takes their pet off kibble and without slow introduction to new feeding methods, COULD potentially cause great harm or death to their beloved pet.
Due to another of my former businesses, I have had many dogs come into my home. I took pretty much every one of them straight off of kibble and put each one on raw meat and bones, chicken in my case because it is the least expensive. Not one of those dogs ever had a problem figuring out how to eat the meat and bones. Their 1000s year old instinct told them exactly what needed to be done. Just like a female animal does not need to be told how to give birth, how to remove the birth sac, or how to clean her newborns, etc., again because it is part of her instinct, I have found the same to be true for dogs eating raw meat and bones. The only thing I saw very occasionally was that the dog swallowed too big of a piece because they were so excited and eager about it. But in those rare cases they simply regurgitated the piece, chewed it into smaller pieces, and swallowed again. What was interesting to me also is that they never got diarrhea from the sudden change. This, and the fact that the stool of dogs who eat raw meat is so much smaller because they are able to digest the meat so well, and also the fact that the stool disintegrates very quickly into a crumbly powder and goes back to the earth, all without attracting all sorts of flies like the huge mounds of kibble-fed dogs stools do, also tells me that dogs are meant to eat raw meat and bones.
Another thing of interest is that the few bones that come back out in smaller pieces still undigested, keep the dogs' anal glands expressed on the way out, thereby making sure that the dog never has impacted anal gland issues. It's beautiful how nature has it all figured out which is why I try to practice biomimicry as much as possible.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:The reason I harp on this is it can become a serious health issue, not only for the dogs, but potentially for the humans; especially with parasite transfer to the very young, older, or health compromised. Although I am not employed at a vet clinic, I spend, on average, 10 hours a week there (I take in broken, high medical care animals); and I see the results of these feeding methods, literally every time I'm there - and I watch their owners wrestle with paying to treat their pets, and euthanasia, as they simply cannot afford treatment. Most of us permies are NOT flush with cash. So please, take ALL risks into consideration, before opting for these cheaper/more natural feeding methods.
All those dogs I have fed raw over the last 20+ years lived in my home along with my children, all of whom had chores that included feeding the dogs. They all fed them the raw chicken meats and bones along with the gizzards, not wearing gloves, just washing their hands afterwards with regular home-made soap. Not one of us ever got sick or had a problem because of it.
As far as the vets, my vet once told me that if all her clients' animals were as healthy as mine, she would be out of business. The only reason I basically ever bring any of my dogs (or cat before he died of old age) to the vet is for the rabies booster that is required by law or for the very rare freak injury that has come up over the last 20+ years, of which there have been three. I have never been to the vet with any of my dogs due to anything to do with the fact that they eat raw meat and bones (alternated with sweet potato meals, but never together in the same meal). In fact, I am sure that one of the reasons I hardly ever go to the vet is precisely because
of the fact that my dogs eat what they eat.
I wasn't going to reply to this post at all because I have learned over the many years that one typically does not change someone's mind about this type of thing. That is fine, and it is not what I am trying to do with my reply. I decided to post because I don't want someone who is unsure about whether to feed their dog raw or not to read your post and not read a rebuttal to the various parts of misinformation. There were just too many things written that were completely counter to all the experience I have had in the world of dogs, and the world of feeding dogs raw meat and bones. In fact, the first dog I was introduced to who was fed raw, was when I was a child. She was the dog of one of my best friend's family, so I knew her very well. She was a beautiful German Shepherd dog who lived to be 16 years old. Her whole life she was fed nothing but raw meat and bones. Not only was she fed the raw, but her owner, who was a scientist, actually let it start to turn a bit, so that it smelled rather unpleasant, explaining that the bacteria that caused that smell, also helped the dog digest the meat more efficiently. I learned a lot from that man, including what it is to have a well trained dog, how much freedom a well trained dog enjoys, and the amazing relationship good training fosters between owner and dog... but that's a whole nother subject.
May your dog live a long, healthy, and happy life.