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Alicia Mertz said:
I saw this article posted on another board. What do you all think of it? :-k

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060409/COL56/604090301/1183/LIV

Thought it would elicit some interesting opinions.
Yeah, I've read that guy. His two big points are that "stomach acid" doesn't kill e.Coli and salmonella, which I never thought was true (Did anyone? It's the short system = greatly-reduced contact that makes dogs (and wolves, etc.) so much less susceptible than humans, with our looooooong intestines), and that we can get sick if we don't keep our raw ingredients off our hands and out of our mouths. No argument here!

His ideas about what makes a better commercial food -- well, yeah, those same ideas are pretty wide-spread as the public learns what they've been paying Purina and Hills top-dollar for, like by-products and grains.

I wonder if the U. of Nevada' vet college gets as much funding from the large commercial manufacturers as some other vet schools? (No, I'm not implying; I'm just saying that commercial food companies spend a ton of money educating vets.)

A couple of points are absolutely correct, IMO: No, on their own, mammals in general and wolves in particular probably have not reached the state in their evolution where they naturally eat perfect diets. (Look at the human sweet tooth.)

The long-term effects of the raw explosion are only just beginning to be researched. There couldn't be long-term research until there was a long term.

But the idea of one packaged, dried, processed, food, with never a fresh item in sight, day after day, being the best diet for ANY mammal....... just doesn't convince me.

I do think there are excellent alternatives these days, and that means we all finally have real choices. For a long time it was either raw or junk (I mean except for boutique, hard-to-find foods.) No longer true.

But I'm staying with raw, with THK as backup.

Good post!
 

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I read the article, but didn't find anything particularly persuasive in his anti-raw arguments or comments, especially any supporting studies or evidence.

I did, however, bounce around a few other links and came up with a site that discussed a book called "Raw Meat Diets for Cats and Dogs? An assessment. . ." by someone named James O'Heare. Looks like his previous books have been about canine psychology and related topics. A self-published 2005 book, it's supposed to be "written from an objective, scientific and critical reasoning perspective" to show the fallacy of a raw diet being beneficial. But there's no specifics about the book and not much about the author.

Anyone familiar with the book or author? I'll do some more research and may get the book if it appears to be worthwhile reading.
 

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Connie,

Somehow I expected there'd be a post from you! As always, I appreciate your opinion and your insight.

I agree with you completely that his two main arguments don't hold a great deal of water in terms of legitimate reasons not to feed raw. While yes, we could get sick handling the raw food we feed to our dogs (as you said), we could just as easily get sick handling the food we eat before it's cooked, IMO.

I'd be interested in reading more research on the long term effects of feeding raw once there actually IS solid research on the subject, as I try to keep an open mind, but until then, I'm with you... Sticking with raw.

Thank you again for your comments. :)

And Mike,

I've never heard of the book, but I certainly will look around for it now. Thanks for the tip!
 
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Hello

I am new here and am very interested in hearing pro's and cons about feeding raw.

I have been feeding raw for close to a year now and it seems to work fine, but I have a few concerns.

First I should say that I get all my chicken,beef,offal,tripe from local farms.
I supplement with grizzly salmon oil, ester-c in small amounts, vit e and nupro w/o the glucosimine. I feed veggies on occasion.

Does anyone think you will get the same results with a good quality kibble like HK or Evo(even though it seems excessive in fat) and adding some supplements ?

It's not a cost thing, although for one dog I spend approx. 3 bucks a day everything in, more than a kibble based diet but I spend that on my morning cup o joe at the local 4bucks.

But, has any member had their dog or dogs(healthy dogs to begin with) on a good kibble diet (if there is one) for a number of years and switched to raw and then seen a substantial improvement in health and vitality ?

I ask this question because there is alot of hype about feeding raw and not so much on the factual side, except for individuals with experience on both sides of the fence.

Thanks, Gerry.
 

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Gerry,

Before addressing your question about switching, first let me say that your current diet sounds pretty complete and well balanced to me. I initially thought your cost was a little high, but that's probably in CA dollars, right? :wink:

I'm on my second GSD on a raw diet. My 2-yr-old female has been on it now about 8 mos. My male was on it for about 5+ yrs before he died due to unrelated problems (I hope!) You're right, most of the info on feeding raw is anecdotal and some raw supporters are like religious fanatics. I'm always a little skeptical about such avid support for anything that has no underlying proven factual basis. I've never been 100% convinced that it's a good diet by anything other than seeing the results in my dogs. That said, I'm stickin' to it 'til I'm shown otherwise.

I don't know of any studies out there done to prove it's a better diet, and I keep looking for them. I can't imagine who would put up the $$ to fund a study like that anyway. Certainly, there's no corporation or organized group that stands to benefit from a positive finding. I mentioned in my post above that I'm looking into a book I just heard about that purports to be a scientific, objective look at the diet that I believe comes to the conclusion that it's not a good diet. I'm a little skeptical about the supporting evidence and studies that are cited, but I really don't have all the specifics yet. Either way, I'll certainly post what I find out.

As to switching, I'll add my limited experience. My rescue male GSD was on what I thought was a good kibble since I got him at 9 mos. Due to on-going dermatitis/scratching/biting, he was on daily prednisone and antihistimine (Atarax, et al.) Allergy tests had helped me eliminate possible sources, but the problems persisted. This went on for over 2 yrs. After doing the research, I decided to switch to raw. I still remmber the amazing transformation. I began to see changes after a few days. End result was elimination of about 95% of skin problems and scratching. Every once in a while, I'd pop him a pill if there was a real flare up. After shedding his "old" coat, the new one was the best I'd ever seen. He got leaner and his energy level went up and stayed there. The rare times we went to the vet's, he always commented on what good shape he was in, and this was a vet who would not recommend the raw diet. To date, I've had no negative experiences. I have, actually, started my current dog on an occasional small "side" of Innova Evo as I may have to board her at the vet's some time in the future and don't want to go through the hassle I had before trying to supply them with a week or more of the raw diet.
 

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QUOTING MIKE: As to switching, I'll add my limited experience. My rescue male GSD was on what I thought was a good kibble since I got him at 9 mos. Due to on-going dermatitis/scratching/biting, he was on daily prednisone and antihistimine (Atarax, et al.) Allergy tests had helped me eliminate possible sources, but the problems persisted. This went on for over 2 yrs. After doing the research, I decided to switch to raw. I still remmber the amazing transformation. I began to see changes after a few days. End result was elimination of about 95% of skin problems and scratching. END QUOTE

This is my experience too, and I too have nothing but my own experiences (with not-initially-healthy dogs) to give. My first success was with an itchy, bloody, deaf (from ear infections) pile of misery on daily steroids (when she first came to me); raw was a last resort.

Raw now enables me to rescue dogs whose owners had to give up on the cost of Prednisone, ear infections, and skin pruritis...... because I now had an allergy weapon, which I find is effective in helping to control not just food allergies, but environmental as well (I believe by improving the immune response). Allergies are not cured -- but raw is the best tool I have seen.

I also agree that I don't know who will fund unbiased research -- vet colleges, many of which get so much funding from commercial food companies?

I'm open to new info. I am not a raw fanatic. I just have never seen, in my own experience, results to equal these. I can only hope that the quality of life improvement (which is readily apparent) is equaled by length of life. If it's not, though -- well, I think I may still go with using this tool I have now.

BUT, it may well be that a healthy, non-allergic dog does as well on excellent, grain-free or grain-light kibble as on raw. I certainly know people whose healthy dogs do as well on THK with additions of some RMBs as other totally raw-fed dogs do. The same may be true of excellent kibble.
 

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Gerry Grimwood said:
But, has any member had their dog or dogs(healthy dogs to begin with) on a good kibble diet (if there is one) for a number of years and switched to raw and then seen a substantial improvement in health and vitality ?

I ask this question because there is alot of hype about feeding raw and not so much on the factual side, except for individuals with experience on both sides of the fence.
.
Well, my story isnt about a dog who was on good kibble switched to raw with health changes, but I'll give it to you anyway :wink: .

I rescued by Abbie from a shelter on Ft. Campbell 5 years ago. She's a beagle/basset mix of some sort, not too sure (she's deep chested, beagle face, about 32 lbs ideal). She ate Iams from the time I brought her home. On adoption day she was an emaciated 27 lbs. I got her up to 32 lbs and that's where she stayed -- healthy -- until her spay 4 months later. Direclty after that she gained a TON of weight. That poor baby was up to 55 lbs at one point! She was shedding nonstop, was listless, teeth looked awful. SHe was that way until we got Achilles a year ago.

I decided to try raw after unsuccessful attempts at reducing the amount of food (poor thing was down to 3/4 c of Iams adult a day), and chaning to weight control food. Within 6 weeks of cold turkey raw feeding (I did 2.5% of her ideal weight; 60% of that RMB's, 30% muscle, 5% organ, 5% veggies/egg mixture) that dog was down to 36 lbs! It was amazing. She went in for her yearly vet visit and the vet nearly fell over at her appearance. Coat was shiny, teeth white again, breath didn't smell, more energy, adn of course was nearly at her ideal weight. She lost down to 33 lbs since then (and is now on a kibble diet b/c of our recent move from Germany to NC).

So I do firmly believe in raw, although the GSD had some real issues with it (his tummy never did fully adjust no matter what we tried and he had a really bad reaction to pork). I'm willing to try again just as soon as I can find a suitable source for the food (there are no butchers in the area or slaughthouses, all meat is brought here it seems).

As for the article: I prepare meat for my own family on a daily basis. Whats' the difference between that and feeding eth dogs raw? If we were gonna get sick from handling raw meat, it already would have happened during one of the 12 years I've been cooking.

Of course there isn't a good deal of research. The proof is in teh pudding as far as I'm concerned. I deal with human infant nutrition (mainly lacation education) and I find a lot of similiarities between the dog food companies' practices and those of human infant formula companies (miseducation, deliberate attempts to keep people from taking the natural route, insistance that their man-made product is "better" than nature). I just can't see how some food processed and filled with ingredients NOT found in nature can be better than pure, natural foods found in my grocery. I've gotten to the point where if I won't eat it, I'm sure not feeding it to my dogs!
 

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Stacia

I've had a dog react badly to pork, too, even though I was careful with the amount and the source. I don't feed it now.

I was wondering........did you find that the appropriate amount of food seemed to satisfy your overweight dog more when you switched to raw? That was a great boon to me when I adopted a fatty who was starting to show arthritis symptoms. She was on a vet-RX "diet" food when she came, and she begged for more constantly, until the 3 cans were gone and I switched her to fresh food.
 

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P.S. I subscribe to vet-college and vet-med e-newsletters, etc., and I'm always looking for real research on raw feeding. I keep hoping, despite the doubt about who would fund it. (Who would benefit from it -- financially -- as Mike A. pointed out.)

If it ever shows up, I'll post it!
 

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Re: Stacia

Connie Sutherland said:
I've had a dog react badly to pork, too, even though I was careful with the amount and the source. I don't feed it now.

I was wondering........did you find that the appropriate amount of food seemed to satisfy your overweight dog more when you switched to raw? That was a great boon to me when I adopted a fatty who was starting to show arthritis symptoms. She was on a vet-RX "diet" food when she came, and she begged for more constantly, until the 3 cans were gone and I switched her to fresh food.
This is exactly what I found, Connie. Once we switched to raw she was actually satisfied after eating! I also forgot to mention that she was a very "itchy" baby who was on fish oil and benadryl for "skin issues." Her shedding was WORSE than a shepherd's!!! You could get handfulls off her every hour on the hour. Tested her for metabolic disorders, thyroid problems...nothing came up. After the raw no itches, shedding's almost completely gone, her fur color actually darkened (better pigment now, her tan is much richer). Every single person who knew her as a fat, shedding, ornery beagle mix and has seen her since her transformation remarks at how much she's changed! Her change was so absolutely stunning that my aunt (who feeds her border collie Beneful) tells people that raw is the way to go for their overweight/allergic dogs!

I think teh research won't come until people start demanding a better diet for their dogs. It didnt' come in human infant nutrition until hoardes of women demanded it from their peds and the formula companies...and that still doesn't do a darn bit of good for some families...
 
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I think it's pretty difficult to acquire research on raw that isn't anecdotal to a point. There have been some (like the cat study I cited on the "are cats better bred than dogs" thread, but in relation to the number of studies on other aspects of health, there are very few. If you look at the people who are die-hard raw believers, chances are that they have a dog with whom they've "tried everything" and have switched to raw, perhaps against the advice of their vets. For me, I just have always been skeptical about feeding a dog one food for it's entire life. That's like eating one cereal for our entire lives. Don't tell me that complete nutrition is derived from this program. 6 years ago, when I got Widge, I didn't know about raw, but I wanted to feed him the best food there was. Since he weighs 6lbs, I could afford to :wink: . I found a holistic kibble, ignored the intense ribbing I got for paying for this, and he did well on it, although I did spoil, I mean, um, supplement quite a bit with people food :oops: (don't try to leave a drive thru without something for the Widge unless you want your shoes filled with pee-no joke.) :x He's also a salad junkie. Used to steal from my sulcata tortoises and my bearded dragon.

I think that the horror stories of bones being swallowed and causing blockages are blown out of proportion. Every day, stupid dogs (no offense to anyone's dog :lol: ) die from ingesting all sorts of non-food items and choking or getting intestinal blockages or the like. I've asked a vet how many dogs come in with problems b/c of bones (playing dumb-my specialty) and he replied "Oh, lots. Happens all the time." To which I responded "Where do they get them?" to which he replied "The trash." I then innocently asked "Well, aren't those *cooked* bones then?" Silence. Then stammering. :lol:

Anyhow, sorry for the rambling; this topic just gets to me big time. I'm always torn between not wanting to make enemies and help a dog. People get really hostile about this. I've had someone scream at me for what I feed my dogs (right after complimenting on how gorgeous all three of them are and asking what I feed :roll: ). I know it wasn't nice, but after a while of hearing how irresponsible I am and how she should report me, I looked at her with scrutiny (she was of the larger persuasion 8) ) and said that she didn't really look like she had much room to yell at me about diet. :twisted: :oops: Yeah, it was mean, but it just kind of popped out when she took a breath from screaming at me and insulting me.

There are people who are really willing to learn a better way to feed their dogs, and I hate to sound too negative, but it's not going to happen mainstream until people demand it, like Stacia said. People still think the vet knows best, and IMO, this can be a very dangerous mentality when it comes to your dogs' longterm health. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You know, until reading the posts just now, it never even occurred to me that the BARF diet might be a good choice for my mom's dog. He's a Pom/Chihuahua mix foster (hopefully a permanent adoption soon) that was taken from a woman in Sanford, NC last year during a HUGE puppy mill bust. The woman had almost 400 dogs, if memory serves me, all of them in deplorable condition. A large number had to be put down immediately, and the majority of the rest have been left with serious problems. Blind, no teeth, no jaw, three legs, tumors, birth defects, etc...

Anyway, back to my point. We knew about this bust (and this little guy, Toby) because we volunteered at the shelter where they were housing about 50 of the dogs, and when ALDF gave the okay to foster out the dogs until the court case went through (still hasn't happened), we took Toby. My mother fell in love with him, though, so he lives with her now.

He has been plagued with problems from day 1, and the vet has finally said definitively (as I suspected from the beginning) that he has an immune deficiency that causes his body to attack itself periodically. When I got him, he had an infection that was eating the pads of his feet, and something has eaten away at his ears to the point that he's missing chunks that will never grow back. Horrible skin problems...everything. It's a constant battle to keep him eating, let alone healthy; although I must admit, my mother has done WONDERS with him, both physically and "emotionally".

What do you all think? Do you think it would be worth trying a raw diet? He's only about 5lbs...VERY SMALL...so of course bones would have to be carefully monitored. Might help, though, eh? Right now, he's on Prednisone daily (for forever) and antibiotics just about once a month, and they help only marginally.
 
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Prednisone is bad stuff. A necessary evil sometimes, but I would do absolutely everything in my power to change that "forever" plan. Google prednisone longterm side effects. :( I would change his diet to raw yesterday.
 

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Jenni Williams: Prednisone is bad stuff. . . I would change his diet to raw yesterday.
Ditto on both counts. My last GSD was on daily prednisone and anti-histamine for about 2 yrs. I recall I stopped them after about a week of feeding raw.

If your mom is resistent to a change to raw, have her read the web sites about it that have been posted here in earlier threads. And then get her to at least agree to try it for several weeks. I think she'll become a believer when she sees the transformation. I'd suggest starting off with "sliders" - :wink: chicken wings - 'cuz you're only going to need about 1/10th of a lb. for a dog that small.

Good luck.
 

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Mike Armstrong said:
....."Raw Meat Diets for Cats and Dogs? An assessment. . ." by someone named James O'Heare. Looks like his previous books have been about canine psychology and related topics. A self-published 2005 book, it's supposed to be "written from an objective, scientific and critical reasoning perspective" to show the fallacy of a raw diet being beneficial. But there's no specifics about the book and not much about the author. .... Anyone familiar with the book or author? I'll do some more research and may get the book if it appears to be worthwhile reading.
Part of a trip I just made to the east coast was to a publishing house I do copyediting for. This guy's name (James O'Heare) came up. Anyway, I did get a link to his bio.
http://www.jamesoheare.com/index.html#bio

His formal education in small animal nutrition is no more extensive than my own. Looks like he's mainly a behaviorist who's against physical corrections (and this is just second-hand stuff; I know nothing first-hand).

Anyway, what I heard (this is all second hand, from the publishing world) is that his book is an argument against raw, based on (1) careless formulation of raw diets by eager know-zero owners, and (2) warnings about e.coli, salmonella, and parasites in raw foods.

Next time I see the actual book (which I have not yet), I'll go hide in a corner of the bookstore, read the main points, and report. :wink:
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Part of a trip I just made to the east coast was to a publishing house I do copyediting for. This guy's name (James O'Heare) came up. Anyway, I did get a link to his bio.
http://www.jamesoheare.com/index.html#bio

His formal education in small animal nutrition is no more extensive than my own. Looks like he's mainly a behaviorist who's against physical corrections (and this is just second-hand stuff; I know nothing first-hand).

Anyway, what I heard (this is all second hand, from the publishing world) is that his book is an argument against raw, based on (1) careless formulation of raw diets by eager know-zero owners, and (2) warnings about e.coli, salmonella, and parasites in raw foods.

Next time I see the actual book (which I have not yet), I'll go hide in a corner of the bookstore, read the main points, and report. :wink:
So it sounds as though he has no scientific basis for his arguments? I've found that most people don't. My vet tried to tell me during my last visit with Abbie that there is "evidence against raw feeding from an holistic standpoint." I asked her for references to these studies, and I got the stammer and a "Well, there aren't studies persay..." This came up b/c she asked me if I had Abbie's age wrong on teh paperwork (the dogs' at least 7, more like 8 -- I rescued her in October of 2000 and we estimated her at 18-24 months, but of course couldn't be sure). She told me the dog looked "too good to be a senior" and asked what we fed her. I told her flat out: well, Iams at first, then raw, and then Nutro for a while and now Canidae. I told her the dog lost a huge amount of weight on raw...that's when she told me about the "evidence."
 

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Stacia Porter said:
.......So it sounds as though he has no scientific basis for his arguments? I've found that most people don't. My vet tried to tell me during my last visit with Abbie that there is "evidence against raw feeding from an holistic standpoint." .....
Well, I don't know that he has NO basis. There's probably basis to back up almost any theory in a field like nutrition. Dogs can be affected by salmonella from raw food (and they can be ditto from commercial food); they can break a tooth on a raw bone, too. The point for me is to weigh the pros and cons of real food versus bags of stale grains (which is what the vets display in their waiting rooms; there are very good commercial foods these days, but I have never seen one at a vet's office).

I love your idea about asking point-blank for studies, articles, research.... I love the idea of forcing someone to stop and think instead of glibly repeating what the sales rep said. :D
 

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QUOTE CONNIE: "bags of stale grains (which is what the vets display in their waiting rooms; there are very good commercial foods these days, but I have never seen one at a vet's office)." END QUOTE

Frustrating, isn't it??! However, our long-time vet in Westport, CT sells California Natural, which is IMO a good commercial food. So, there is at least one vet out there who displays a good commercial food in the waiting room. Wish there were more!
 

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Konnie Hein said:
QUOTE CONNIE: "bags of stale grains (which is what the vets display in their waiting rooms; there are very good commercial foods these days, but I have never seen one at a vet's office)." END QUOTE

Frustrating, isn't it??! However, our long-time vet in Westport, CT sells California Natural, which is IMO a good commercial food. So, there is at least one vet out there who displays a good commercial food in the waiting room. Wish there were more!
And my daughter's vet in the Berkshires (Massachusetts) carries California Natural and Newman's Own Organic........ so the blanket statement was inappropriate. Let me rephrase it to say "almost never" ! :lol:
 
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