Help feed shelter dogs!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Feeding Raw, part 2

So it's been a few weeks since we started Waldo on the transition to a raw diet. I'm still mixing in some Canidae brand kibble (*gasp* a no-no if you listen to hardcore holistic folks) because I can't quite reconcile giving him just the raw medallions. It reminds me too much like the Atkins Diet for dogs. I understand the explanation that dogs descended from wolves who ate only meat, etc, etc... but I still can't fully wrap my head around it. In any organism, carbs feed muscle and brain activity, as well as provide the energy needed by fast-growing cells like stomach lining and bone marrow.

Many of the cancer parents switched their dogs onto a raw diet or to Innova EVO immediately upon diagnosis. Actually, many vets and oncos say switch to the Innova since introducing raw to a compromised immune system would be too dangerous. I feel like it is dangerous (to a lesser degree in a healthy dog) after reading the pros and cons of the raw diet. The dog food manufacturers, of course, boil down the pros and cons to small bullet points. But there can be harsh effects to the human body after a long-term, high protein diet like danger to the kidneys, calcium loss and nutritional deficiencies.

I'm also torn because I'd like to believe that a dog's nutrition can equal a long and healthy life.... then again, our friend's 12 year old Shepherd eats cheapo Beneful (at $11 for 40+ pounds of kibble) and has no health problems. Meanwhile, the raw diet can get expensive in a hurry. Let's do some quick math. A 48 medallion bag costs about $13 USD. Waldo eats about 9-10 medallions a day for a 30-ish pound dog, so that costs us about $2.70 a day/$18.90 a week. Over the course of a year, that is almost $1,000 just to feed him!

Also, handling raw meat on a daily basis is getting on my nerves. As I had posted when Watson was ill, we hardly ever have meat in the house so handling his raw food is still foreign to me. I'm not sure I like it. Overall, I haven't seen any immediate ill effects from feeding raw but I also haven't seen any obvious improvements. I may continue down this path for a few more weeks to see how he does.

No comments: