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  #21  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JacksonsMom View Post
But... they kind of are. lol. Dogs were/are opportunistic carnivores... they'll eat meat if available of course, but they can scavenge for almost anything if they really have to. It's well known that dogs, back before kibble was even invented, were basically eating corn mush and table scraps. Families were often struggling to eat themselves, highly doubtful they were tossing their best meats over to the dogs. Also, so many are against byproducts in their dog foods but aren't by-products essentially what raw feeders often feed? livers, lungs, kidneys... bully sticks, chicken feet, etc?


Yes, science isn't everything, but I don't like the idea that "natural" is always better either.

And there has been a lot of things stated as fact on the internet through the years that is simply untrue, and it took a long time for me to believe it too. Where did we come up with the idea that corn is SOO bad for dogs? I think if we see more than 1 corn ingredient in a food (i.e. corn gluten meal, corn, etc) it's possible majority of the protein is coming from corn. But IMO, corn gluten meal is no worse than all the pea protein's, and pea concentrates we see in a bunch of the supposed high quality grain-free foods of today. I guess I just don't see who determined that potatoes, peas and lentils are any better than barely, wheat and corn?
There is research that dogs have gone back 30,000 years. I'm sure that most of the food dogs were given was fresh and raw. It just makes logical sense. Dogs don't have hands and have no way to cook their own food. Dogs are predators as well... think about all of the squirrels and cats that have happened upon yards with dogs and had an unhappy ending.

Kibble only appeared around the time of World War II. It was marketed as a cheap way to feed your dogs.

I imagine people in the past fed their dogs a lot of raw meaty bones, fatty scraps, organs, veggie scraps, etc. Of course dogs can survive on mostly anything, but there's a big difference between surviving and thriving.

The issue with ingredients like "animal digest" is that who even knows WHAT that is. Could it be euthanized shelter pets? Old sick cows? And we all know that corn is pretty much all genetically modified.

Of course, corn and other fillers are fine in moderation (dogs are opportunistic carnivores), but having genetically modified corn as the entire basis of their diet? That's not how dogs are supposed to eat. Imagine how we'd feel if corn was the primary part of OUR diets, and we're designed way differently!

I don't think there's anything wrong with byproducts as long as I can control them. I don't trust Ol' Roys "poultry byproducts" are going to be nearly the same as the organ meats and bones that my dogs eat.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
The biggest difference I've seen in my personal animals is digestibility and weight control.
Same here. Chloe has never been able to gain weight no matter what. We've tried so many kibbles and even tried canned foods. Raw has really evened out her weight- she finally doesn't look like a skeleton.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Here is my beef (haha pun)

I'm pretty certain dogs of the past weren't eating raw the way raw is being fed. No they weren't eating kibble but I doubt they were all getting 100% raw meat diets. Meat is expensive and has been a bit of a luxury for human consumption. The dogs were probably getting the crap that was leftover. And a lot of hat was probably non-meat.

So although I think fresh foods are probably better the idea that raw is what dogs have been eating just doesn't ring true.
I can't speak for others, but in no way did I suggest that modern raw diets are what dogs have been eating historically. I chose the term "fresh foods" deliberately to refer a variety of relatively unprocessed scraps dogs might be fed in years past.

I feed most meats raw because I can't imagine why I would bother to cook it for a dog. Lol. Plus I do see the dental benefits pretty clearly. Grains I cook and veggies are a toss up.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:16 AM
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Just wrote a giant post and the internet ate it. Argh.

Basically for me it makes logical sense to feed the nutritional range of what is gotten from kibble in a fresher form. Be it homecooked or raw. There is a lot we still don't understand about the synergy of our nutritional intake, so if I can feed a wide range of fresh foods, and I can, I will do so. Mine are not grain-/plant-free diets, but they are primarily animal-based, and tweaked for each dog according to what they seem to need.

As long as my dogs thrive, I am happy. If their physical or mental health suffers, my practices will change. At one time I had completely cut out veggies and grains...I added them back in based on observed negative affects.

With Kim I don't really have a choice. No matter what kibble she eats, she is prone to digestive upset, hot spots, etc. On raw, no matter what proteins and vegetables I include, her allergies are mostly controlled except for the fall, which is the worst time of the year for her.

I guess to me it seems odd to ask for proof that feeding real food is better...it would make more sense to require proof that feeding a wholly manufactured prepared diet is better.

But to each their own, as long as the individual dogs do well. I don't recommend people feed one thing over another -- just share what works with my dogs and my household when the topic comes up.

Living isn't necessarily thriving, and a good manufactured diet is better than a bad homemade diet any day. But that doesn't make it the best...merely more uniform.
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Just wrote a giant post and the internet ate it. Argh.

Basically for me it makes logical sense to feed the nutritional range of what is gotten from kibble in a fresher form. Be it homecooked or raw. There is a lot we still don't understand about the synergy of our nutritional intake, so if I can feed a wide range of fresh foods, and I can, I will do so. Mine are not grain-/plant-free diets, but they are primarily animal-based, and tweaked for each dog according to what they seem to need.

As long as my dogs thrive, I am happy. If their physical or mental health suffers, my practices will change. At one time I had completely cut out veggies and grains...I added them back in based on observed negative affects.

With Kim I don't really have a choice. No matter what kibble she eats, she is prone to digestive upset, hot spots, etc. On raw, no matter what proteins and vegetables I include, her allergies are mostly controlled except for the fall, which is the worst time of the year for her.

I guess to me it seems odd to ask for proof that feeding real food is better...it would make more sense to be to ask for proof that feeding a wholly manufactured prepared diet is better.

But to each their own, as long as the individual dogs do well. I don't recommend people feed one thing over another -- just share what works with my dogs and my household when the topic comes up.

And in any case, living isn't necessarily thriving, and a good manufactured diet is better than a bad homemade diet any day. But that doesn't make it the best...merely more uniform.
Great post and I completely agree

My dogs don't only eat meats. If I'm cutting up fruits or veggies, the dogs will get a snack. They LOVE fruits and veggies. Sometimes they'll get tastes of whatever I'm eating/cooking... cooked meats, mac and cheese, etc. Their primary diet is raw meat, and I don't care about the minimal amount of extras they get.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:22 AM
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I think condition of a dog comes down to a lot of factors. Summer is in much better shape than Beau an Rose despite being older. But I've done more tooth care (even still having to have one pulled) and she is much more active than they are. I really think activity level is key. Summer is 9 but she hikes and runs agility.

Beau looked great on raw. But he was also being supplemented by his professional handler at the time. I'm much more ok with people like that with her experience level and supplements feeding dogs homemade diets than random online people.

I've seen some scary stuff on the other board- dogs whose hair is falling out, hotspots, losing weight rapidly and they get so offended when you suggest that raw might not be the best for their dog at that time. But surely it is.... So and so website says so!

Anyways I feel like with any home prepared diet you need a ton of variety available to feed. I prefer feeding a mixed bag of meals to my dogs because I feel like that reflects their heritage best. But I have no scientific proof only gut feelings. And really that is all there is to go on in regards to dog food these days. No one can definitively say what the best canine diet is.
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  #27  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:35 AM
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For me it comes down to... what exactly is a "natural" diet for a completely unnatural animal? Look at all the ways we have changed dogs and there's no reason in the world to think that while we've been selecting for all the various external physical features dogs express that we aren't also inadvertently selecting for variability in internal features (affecting digestion, immune function, cancer risks, etc) as well. There is no best for Dogs with a capital D. Pip does far better on kibble than on raw. Squash does far better on raw than kibble. Maisy could probably thrive on dirt and sawdust. And I've seen so many dogs, literally thousands of dogs over my career so far, doing well on so many different diets that I have really come to believe that genetics plays a huge role in what kind of diet a particular dog does well on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Jessie~ View Post
There is research that dogs have gone back 30,000 years. I'm sure that most of the food dogs were given was fresh and raw.
If you buy the co-evolution theory, then dogs evolved basically eating our garbage. Nobody was making sure that there was such and such a percentage of bone or whatever. And I guarantee that before kibble was invented that most dogs were getting leftovers, and most people couldn't afford to eat much meat so they certainly weren't giving anything but the dregs to the farm dog.

There was also the study last year that showed dogs have likely evolved the ability to digest grains better than their ancestors. Which obviously likely varies from individual to individual. But there is so much conformation bias from from both raw and kibble feeders that I don't think studies like that are going to change anyone's minds about anything.

I have nothing against raw feeding. I feed some raw. But the cult mentality does grate my nerves like nobody's business. Including such well-known hits as "raw solves all problems" and "well I've never seen a dog on kibble who looks good" and my favorite, "well you may think your kibble-fed dog looks healthy but inside he's definitely not." Also when people adhere more strictly to the philosophy of what they THINK a dog "should" do better on than what the dog actually does better on (eg my dog looks like crap on raw and great on kibble but DOGS SHOULD EAT RAW SO RAW IT IS.)
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:38 AM
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I've never seen a study either, and what convinced me to try raw was the fact that I knew many people who did/do feed their dogs raw and their dogs were doing really well, and it was blatantly obvious that something was amiss with Dance's digestion. She'd been getting raw off and on her whole life, but she also got a lot of kibble, and for a long period of time, only ate kibble. She was healthy, she looked good, she's always fluctuated with weight regardless of feed, but she'd vomit brownish weird sludge almost weekly and get explosive diarrhea at least every couple of months randomly, if not more. Finally a couple of years ago I'd had enough. Enough of vets, enough dealing with disgusting things, and enough wondering what was going on. So I decided just to see what would happen if I 100% eliminated kibble from her diet, not really expecting it to make a difference, because these issues were ongoing for over 4 years. Maybe it's just coincidence, but she hasn't had a single digestive issue for as long as she's been eating raw. I've recently started giving her a few kibble meals here and there too, and she seems fine eating anything now. Who knows what would happen if I left her on kibble long term or more regularly again, but I can see that she clearly does better on a raw diet than a kibble based one.

Alternatively, and it could just be because their skin seems to react to anything that isn't fish, the Dobermans' skin and coat quality deteriorated on raw. And I certainly could afford to, nor do I feel it would be healthy, for them to eat solely raw fish and red meats and no poultry. So I put them on various fish based kibbles and they're doing better than ever. I hate the yard cleanup, but it's better than dealing with greasy, flaky, stinky, horrible skin.

So, while there are no studies, I think trying different things are worth it. You never know what the results might be, and plenty of people have great success with raw that I wasn't afraid to try it. I don't really care about dog food studies all that much to be honest. I just want to see the results in front of me and choose what is best for my dogs that way.
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  #29  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post

I've seen some scary stuff on the other board- dogs whose hair is falling out, hotspots, losing weight rapidly and they get so offended when you suggest that raw might not be the best for their dog at that time. But surely it is.... So and so website says so!
.
I think we can safely disregard the rantings of zealots who ignored what is in front of their eyes when it comes to rationally discussing which type of diet works well. Both the "Dogs are wolves!" folks who seem to think kibble is mined straight from hell and all dogs should eat nothing but freshly killed whole game (or worse, boneless skinless chicken breast) and the "Raw killz!" folks who seem to think all food should be formulated in a petri dish and irradiated. There is a wide range of rational middle ground -- criticizing the extremes is valid, but it just highlights the ridiculous and doesn't really advance anyone's knowledge of beneficial solutions and practical tradeoffs.
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  #30  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post

Anyways I feel like with any home prepared diet you need a ton of variety available to feed. I prefer feeding a mixed bag of meals to my dogs because I feel like that reflects their heritage best. But I have no scientific proof only gut feelings. And really that is all there is to go on in regards to dog food these days. No one can definitively say what the best canine diet is.
That's basically me. I kind of just go with my gut and what I feel is right and what I've observed Jackson does best on. It's hard for me to say if he would do better or worse being fed, say... Eukanuba, because I've never fed it. He may as well do just as good on it as he does Acana. And then it's like why am I paying $18.99 for a 5lb bag of food? LOL, but eh... oh well.

I switch kibbles around, and 'experiment' sometimes, and like to give variety. I've fed pre-made raw in the past. I've never noticed any HUGE differences between any foods, minus small things that most normal ppl wouldn't notice (whether poop is bigger or softer, or eyes get a bit more goopy, or breath may have more of a smell to it, or body condition is lacking a bit, etc), but overall he's never done absolutely *horrible* on any food to the point where he's suffering. So I feel for people who have dogs like that and have more of a struggle. If raw is the magic cure for that dog, that's awesome. But I think sometimes dogs with these issues can do fantastic on an RX food from SD or RC too. And too many people come online and read about how AWFUL these foods are and are terrified to put their dogs on an RX food when it could actually save them from some form of suffering. And that's sad. I've seen people make posts about how their vet put their very ill dog on Science Diet prescription food and say the dog has been better and doing great, but they need to change because of what they've read on the internet. That always kind of makes me cringe.
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