Myths or Facts
The internet is a wonderful thing. It has changed our lives and our ability to educate ourselves. But it also introduced the concept of fake news and other nasties one must be aware off. It can be a powerful educational and knowledge sharing tool, but at the same time, a potent mis-information platform. Case in point, dihydrogen oxide. Commonly known as H2O, or water.
Just do a Google, Bing or Yahoo search and you will find some really interesting and mis-informed articles on the topic. The same is unfortunately true when it comes to real food for our fur kids as well. And due to the nature of the business, there are some very highly debated and contentious topics that we discuss in this section called Myths.
You will find many anecdotal reasons for fooding on biological specie appropriate diets, for and against, or home-cooked for that matter, even more on the prey model. You will also find many “scientific” articles on why not to feed raw, sadly, as little research is done into real food for our fur kids.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
To paraphrase Dr Ron Hines from Texas, USA, what we have learned to date, is that there are exaggerations on both side of the pet food diet debate. Your fur kids will not live forever on natural unprocessed diets, but they won’t either die tomorrow from eating them, and the right decision for you depends on you and your pet's specific situation.
The difference is that we are documenting our learnings here for everyone to read, review, comment and contribute!
A veterinarian may be wary of raw fooding due to lack of information or a negative experience with the diet, which includes treating pets who are malnourished due to an unbalanced raw diet. However, there are many vets who feel positively about real food and seek to educate pet parents, guardians and slaves - globally, Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Cathy Alinovi, and Dr. Patrick Mahaney to name a few - locally, checkout our growing directory!
It’s true that dogs live longer, but whether it is due to kibble, is big area of debate. Conversely, it can be also be argued that this increase in lifespan is due to the improved medical care that our beloved dogs and cats receive in today’s modern world. In our minds, this concept is rather misleading, as we are of the opinion that our fur kids are living longer today because of improved social status and advances in medical care. “Back in the day" dogs were not considered the valuable family members and companions they are today. Dogs were left outside to brave the elements. They were guardians of house, possessions, and livestock. Dogs had a purpose, a job, and when they could not do that job, they were retired or disposed of. Medical care for dogs was scant and typically unimportant, as more prestige was gained from being a livestock vet than a canine vet. Very little notice was given to the dog's health if it could still do what was asked of it. Canine kids’ longevity and quality of life has been decreasing for many breeds since the advent of processed grain-based food. People who remember the “old days” when dogs were fed raw meaty bones often report their dogs living well through their late teens. Nowadays it is a "miracle" and a testament to the "excellent nutrition" the fur kid must have received, and vets and commercial pet food companies claim this "miracle" as occurring often enough to become “commonplace”. Too bad most of the vets who remember the good old days have now retired or even moved on.
In our opinion, this myth has been perpetuated by McKibble and McCan to discourage pet parents from fooding real food. The truth is that some commercial feed can cause obesity, diabetes, cancer, and allergies or allergic reactions, such as skin rash. Additionally, store bought, or veterinarian sold, kibble can include a long list of ingredients that are not so healthy for your pets. Many dry dog feed contain animal by-product (waste), otherwise known as the waste items humans won’t or shouldn’t eat, as well as grain or grain by-products (waste), such as corn meal or wheat. These by-products can contribute to health problems for your pet because they are not part of their natural diet. Unfortunately, feed manufactured in other countries, especially Asian countries, can contain other harmful ingredients, which can be very hazardous to your pet’s health. Read the Raw Feeding Veterinary Societies (RFVS) opinion on this topic, titled WSAVA Problem 3 Nutritional Deficiency and Excess (https://rfvs.info/rfvs-position-statement-2019/).
In our minds, this truly is a fad that is designed to take unknowing pet parents' money and make a big profit. The idea that Salukis should have mostly goats’ milk, dates, and only a tiny amount of meat because there is hardly any meat in the region they come from, is rather preposterous. These claims fail to consider that all dogs have the same internal anatomy and physiology and the same nutritional needs despite size and breed. For example, view the different skulls of dogs; all of them have the same kinds of teeth that dictate carnivore. If we look at this further from a practical, common sense point of view, we are faced with a powerful question: What about mutts? If dogs have “evolved" in that short time period to eat only the foods from the regions in which they were developed, then what do you feed a dog that has a variety of different dogs contained in its heritage? Most of the time people can only guess what breeds of dogs contributed to their loving pet, and if dogs had to be fed a designer diet, they would be at a loss for what to feed it. Thankfully, canine heritage and nature herself point to the proper answer: feed a raw natural diet.
In our opinion, this myth has been perpetuated by McKibble and McCan to discourage pet parents from fooding real food. It is true that few research projects involve real food. However, the “no scientific research” declaration is a standard cop-out claim that has been used to "debunk" raw diets and in the process economise the truth regarding commercial pet food and associated industry. But one must realise that there is no evidence, whatsoever, to prove that kibble or processed foods are good for your fur kids as well! So, let’s make sure you are comfortable with this concept - no long-term research has been done to determine the long-term effects of feeding kibble, nor to determine if it is actually healthy for your dog, as the norm is to just assume it is healthy because it has passed a 6 month feeding trial, after which manufacturers will advertise their product as healthy, nor to determine if raw diets is better or worse than kibble, and so the list continues. Read the Raw Feeding Veterinary Societies position statement, WSAVA Problem 1: The Lack of Documentary Evidence of the Health Benefits of RMBDs here (https://rfvs.info/rfvs-position-statement-2019/).
This myth is a corollary of “Fooding Raw places your pack at risk of salmonella (or other bugs)” myth. Within the veterinary profession there is a very vocal lobby opposing the concept of real raw food. The anti-raw-food lobby is keen to point out that raw foods are laden with bacteria and pose a risk for both the pet and the owner. Firstly, our pet parents, guardians and slaves must understand that the risk in fooding a raw diet is not as simple as being touted by the "anti-raw" movement. ALL foods have some degree of risk, so the question isn't whether risk exists. The question is whether the risk is unacceptable. The reality is that ALL foods carry some type of risk, from the meal out of a 5-star restaurant kitchen, to the hotdog from the roadside stall, to the chicken and eggs you buy from your favourite retail outlet. Secondly, canines and felines are not humans. They have a disparate digestive tract and process. For example, we can eat all the onion we want without harm, but some dogs can get anaemic from a single, small portion of them. We can eat many slabs of chocolate and merely get fat or nauseous, while dogs can die from even a lesser amount. We can get extremely sick from raw meat, while our pets thrive on it as their natural diet. Again, they are not human.
This myth has a corollary in “dogs and cats have evolved into omnivores” and “cats and dogs are obligate scavengers’” myths. This myth is another perpetuation where if the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts. Species behave in their own way, regardless of its genetic similarity to some other species. For a longer or shorter time, the species "dog" has been living in its own ecological niche and has become adapted to that niche. No matter what it started out as, and no matter when it stopped being a whatever else it was, the dog is now a dog, a facultative carnivore.
The size of your dog (or cat) does not mean they are “more or less” suited to real food, it simply means you would need to adjust the size of the foods or portions you give them. For small dogs and kittens, choose smaller cuts of meat and cut portions into smaller chunks to help them chew more easily if you make your own. For example, you might give smaller pets raw mince portions or pure meat chunks, combined with smaller chunks of vegetables. Sizing also applies to larger pets, who are at risk of choking on smaller chunks of food. In these cases, larger cuts of meat, fish or portion sizes are more suitable for them. At Raw Food for Pets, we offer Doggobone, Simply Pets, Dogmatters and Raw Love Pet pre-made meals that makes this easy, with raw food formats to suit all needs, ranging from pure meat portions and minces to complete and balanced meals. Our fooding calculator can help you understand just how much you should be fooding your pet.
In all fairness, and in our opinion, costs will depend on the outcome you want to achieve. If you are transitioning your dog (or cat) from a low cost, generic store-bought feed to real food, chances are that it won’t cost much more. If you are transitioning from high-end imported feed, then you will find it costs less or similar. It is like project management, nobody ever has the time and money to implement a project correctly the first time, yet, they always seem to have money and time to fix it the second time? Of course, we all wish that money was no object when it came to our fur kids. Many pet parents believe that spending money now will prevent the costs associated with health problems later. Based on our experience, in the long run, fooding real food will cost less than you think, as you need to factor in cost deferral or avoidance with reference to veterinary services and many other health related issues (arthritis, allergies, diabetes, bad teeth, etc).
It does not have to be! The wonderful thing about raw fooding is that you can make it work for you and your lifestyle, preparing as much or as little raw food as you see fit or need for your pack. Supplementing your home-prepared ingredients with packaged (pre-made) raw foods is an option many people take. At Raw Food for Pets, we offer Doggobone, Simply Pets, Dogmatters and Raw Love Pet pre-made meals that makes this easy, with raw food formats to suit all needs, ranging from pure meat portions and minces to complete and balanced meals. This means that, whether you want to prepare fruits and vegetables yourself to add to raw meat, or simply open a pre-prepared pack of complete raw food, you can rest assured that your pet is getting a top-quality raw food diet via us, delivered across Gauteng daily. Our raw and natural treat selection is another uncomplicated way of introducing your pet to a raw and natural diet packed with nutritional benefits.
Societies pathological fear of the unknown. Indeed, another myth, in our opinion, that has been perpetuated by McKibble and McCan to discourage pet parents from fooding real food. Firstly, our pet parents, guardians and slaves must understand that the risk in fooding a raw diet is not as simple as being touted by the "anti-raw" movement. ALL foods have some degree of risk, so the question isn't whether risk exists. The question is whether the risk is unacceptable. The reality is that ALL foods carry some type of risk, from the meal out of a 5-star restaurant kitchen, to the hotdog from the roadside stall, to the chicken and eggs you buy from your favourite retail outlet. Secondly, canines and felines are not humans. They have a disparate digestive tract and process. For example, we can eat all the onion we want without harm, but some dogs can get anaemic from a single, small portion of them. We can eat many slabs of chocolate and merely get fat or nauseous, while dogs can die from even a lesser amount. We can get extremely sick from raw meat, while our pets thrive on it as their natural diet. Again, they are not human.
In our opinion, this myth has been perpetuated by McKibble and McCan to discourage pet parents from fooding real food. It is true that just feeding a juicy steak won’t provide all the nutrients needed to thrive, but this is not what we provide and advocate. Fooding real food requires a variety of proteins and meals to provide all the vitamins and minerals needed for optimum nutrition. Meals can also be formulated using real food to meet the minimum requirements defined through the National Research Councils (NRC) nutritional profiles for canine and feline all life stages. There are no nutrients in processed food that your dog (or cat) cannot get from natural, whole foods. What’s more, the additives and fillers in commercial pet feed offer little nutritional benefit to your pet and are often used as a means of bulking feed out. This means that your dog may be filling up on feed that isn’t as nutritionally abundant as natural, raw foods.