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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I've been reading some stuffs about feeding RAW, along with some stuffs about processed food (kibbles), and I guess that maybe you guys can share some experience and knowledge about this?

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The stuffs I've learned about RAW feeding:

Pros:
- it's healthier, more natural died, with no filler products;
- dogs can live longer and healthier (less chances for complications and cancer);
- dogs can have better fur;
- provides more challenge;
- even the dog's behavior can improve due to improvement of food quality (I'm a bit skeptic about this thought);

Cons:
- it's hard to get a balanced diet (although I have some doubts about this, since it shouldn't be that hard right? We humans also don't need to go to rigorously analyze what we eat and the portions we eat to eat well);
- danger of bacterias and parasites (although freezing can help);

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The stuffs I can conclude about processed food - kibbles:

Pros:
- easy management;
- balanced diet;

Cons:
- less quality food, unless spending a lot to buy better ones, or one is lucky to have found a good one with better price;
- danger of allergies, cancer.

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Currently, my dog is a GSD mix with almost 30 kg and 10 months. I'm feeding Royal Canin Puppy for big dogs. It's around 65€ per 15kg. I also mix some cheap wet canned meat to make the meals tastier.

My dog seems fine and healthy, but he's often skipping one or two meals. He does get some well... human snacks or boiled meat sometimes, but he also seems fine with everything we give him.


But well, what I want to know is, being a noob about natural feeding and just knowing to follow feeding instructions from the processed food, should I try to give some more natural food (at least some boiled meat - I'm a bit paranoid of all the parasites part) for him? Or maybe I should stick mostly to kibbles (there are good brands that are indeed healthy and can be compared to RAW right?)? My main worries are all those listed in the cons of RAW food.

With kibbles, we might not be able to afford those that are too expensive, but maybe we can afford something up to 70€ per month (15kg). I just found that I can get some of the mentioned good brand in my country, through this website:

Alimentação Cães - racao alimentacao caes cao dieta sem cereais no grain - O

I'm wondering between Orijen (Crio mentioned about this) and Naturea (some 44% min of meat). Anyone has any experience with these brands?? Or any of the brand in the link.

(the kibbles I'm feeding my dog currently is - Royal Canin MAXI Junior Birth&Growth 15Kg - - da Royal Canin - Maxi Junior Para crescimento de )
 

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You can add less waste to clean up as a pro for feeding raw. Less filler in means less of it comes out the other end. I was cleaning up more even on the high end low filler kibble.

With regards to difficulty balancing a raw diet - human's have it easier since balancing a human diet is more common knowledge. We grow up learning what to eat to be healthy and governments often spend money to publish eating guides. We also can speak up when something's not right.

Dog nutrition on the other hand is not as well known and the dogs can't really say "Hey, I'm feeling kind of listless - something's up". If you go this way, I highly recommend either talking to a pet nutritionalist to get a recipe and learn how to balance, or getting a pre-formulated raw diet. The good news is you get to the point where balancing a dog's diet is second nature and you don't really have to think about it.

As for the danger of bacteria and parasites - I think people work themselves up over this. Get human-grade (though you can get away with lower quality cuts and freezer-burnt) meat and treat it like you would for yourself and you should be fine. For easy cleanup, I keep a spray bottle with a 10:1 mix of water to bleach. I just squirt the areas I need to clean and don't worry about it.

I used to feed origen before moving over to homemade raw and I still feed acana when I'm camping (keeping enough raw meat cold enough when tenting is not fun). It's one of the foods the nutritionalist I consulted with didn't mind.
 

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I'm at work and don't have all my links handy, but yes it can be difficult to balance a raw diet. Feeding raw is more than just giving your dog ground beef from the grocery, or chicken breasts or the like. You need to make sure there is a percentage of bone and organ meat (including liver) or the dog will not be getting enough of various vitamins and minerals.

Freezing meat solid, for at least two weeks will generally take care of any parasites and some bacteria, also a raw fed dog has stronger enzymes in their stomach that can handle alot of the bacterias too.

Personally my dogs have been raw fed from a young age so I didn't see any temperment changes, but a healthier, better fed dog is going to act different than a dog who isn't quite 100% so if you believe that raw is better for the dog (like I do) than alot of the kibble diets on the market, then it would follow that they would act different when fed better.
 

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The stuffs I've learned about RAW feeding:

Pros:
- it's healthier, more natural died, with no filler products;
- dogs can live longer and healthier (less chances for complications and cancer);
- dogs can have better fur;
- provides more challenge;
- even the dog's behavior can improve due to improvement of food quality (I'm a bit skeptic about this thought);

Cons:
- it's hard to get a balanced diet (although I have some doubts about this, since it shouldn't be that hard right? We humans also don't need to go to rigorously analyze what we eat and the portions we eat to eat well);
- danger of bacterias and parasites (although freezing can help);

------------------------------------------------------

The stuffs I can conclude about processed food - kibbles:

Pros:
- easy management;
- balanced diet;

Cons:
- less quality food, unless spending a lot to buy better ones, or one is lucky to have found a good one with better price;
- danger of allergies, cancer.
So, your list of pros/cons is going to be controversial. I'll give you my opinion of what you wrote.

1) Not sure where you're getting that dogs can live longer on raw... I've seen no studies about it and anecdotally have seen no differences either with my own animals or those seen in the clinic.

2) I think you're underestimating how hard it is to balance food... I've seen more problems with incorrectly balanced raw or home cooked foods than kibble-fed.

3) Bacteria or parasites can happen no matter what you feed (take into consideration the recalls now of the "good kibble" that may have been tainted with Salmonella...)

4) A big concern of mine with raw is people improperly feeding bones.

5) A dog can get allergies no matter what you feed it, especially since the protein source is the main cause of allergies. So, if you're constantly feeding your dog raw chicken, he can easily become allergic to the chicken. Has nothing to do with it being kibble.

6) Cancer... ? Not really sure where you're getting that connection from... Kibble does not cause cancer. Genetics and environment have a higher impact on that then anything else (unless you're feeding straight up carcinogens...)


The expensive kibble is not always the best kibble. You need to feed what is right for your dog. If that is raw, then so be it.

My dog is on kibble, what some consider on here a "lesser food":
A) That food is not involved in this food recall or the last.
b) She is healthy
c) She is the perfect weight
d) Her haircoat is gorgeous
e) She eats it well
f) Her stools are perfectly formed 99.9% of the time.
g) She's got tons of energy

Why on earth would I change it, especially given the newest recall?

Anyway, just my two cents. Do what is best for your dog, not what may look best on paper...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can add less waste to clean up as a pro for feeding raw. Less filler in means less of it comes out the other end. I was cleaning up more even on the high end low filler kibble.

With regards to difficulty balancing a raw diet - human's have it easier since balancing a human diet is more common knowledge. We grow up learning what to eat to be healthy and governments often spend money to publish eating guides. We also can speak up when something's not right.

Dog nutrition on the other hand is not as well known and the dogs can't really say "Hey, I'm feeling kind of listless - something's up". If you go this way, I highly recommend either talking to a pet nutritionalist to get a recipe and learn how to balance, or getting a pre-formulated raw diet. The good news is you get to the point where balancing a dog's diet is second nature and you don't really have to think about it.

As for the danger of bacteria and parasites - I think people work themselves up over this. Get human-grade (though you can get away with lower quality cuts and freezer-burnt) meat and treat it like you would for yourself and you should be fine. For easy cleanup, I keep a spray bottle with a 10:1 mix of water to bleach. I just squirt the areas I need to clean and don't worry about it.

I used to feed origen before moving over to homemade raw and I still feed acana when I'm camping (keeping enough raw meat cold enough when tenting is not fun). It's one of the foods the nutritionalist I consulted with didn't mind.
I'm at work and don't have all my links handy, but yes it can be difficult to balance a raw diet. Feeding raw is more than just giving your dog ground beef from the grocery, or chicken breasts or the like. You need to make sure there is a percentage of bone and organ meat (including liver) or the dog will not be getting enough of various vitamins and minerals.

Freezing meat solid, for at least two weeks will generally take care of any parasites and some bacteria, also a raw fed dog has stronger enzymes in their stomach that can handle alot of the bacterias too.

Personally my dogs have been raw fed from a young age so I didn't see any temperment changes, but a healthier, better fed dog is going to act different than a dog who isn't quite 100% so if you believe that raw is better for the dog (like I do) than alot of the kibble diets on the market, then it would follow that they would act different when fed better.

Thanks for the info guys. :) Yeah meat, organs and bones seems to be the basic list of things that are in the RAW diet. It seems that people feed fish too.

Actually, I'm thinking about cooking the food instead of just giving it raw, I often heard how people give cooked food to their dogs in the past, although I suppose this might change the nutrition?

But well, I agree that there's not much reason to worry too much about parasites - dogs gets used to eat raw and their system is better prepared for fighting parasites anyways. Maybe if there are some parasites, the dog might feel unwell at first, but then get over it and become more immune?

So, your list of pros/cons is going to be controversial. I'll give you my opinion of what you wrote.

1) Not sure where you're getting that dogs can live longer on raw... I've seen no studies about it and anecdotally have seen no differences either with my own animals or those seen in the clinic.

2) I think you're underestimating how hard it is to balance food... I've seen more problems with incorrectly balanced raw or home cooked foods than kibble-fed.

3) Bacteria or parasites can happen no matter what you feed (take into consideration the recalls now of the "good kibble" that may have been tainted with Salmonella...)

4) A big concern of mine with raw is people improperly feeding bones.

5) A dog can get allergies no matter what you feed it, especially since the protein source is the main cause of allergies. So, if you're constantly feeding your dog raw chicken, he can easily become allergic to the chicken. Has nothing to do with it being kibble.

6) Cancer... ? Not really sure where you're getting that connection from... Kibble does not cause cancer. Genetics and environment have a higher impact on that then anything else (unless you're feeding straight up carcinogens...)


The expensive kibble is not always the best kibble. You need to feed what is right for your dog. If that is raw, then so be it.

My dog is on kibble, what some consider on here a "lesser food":
A) That food is not involved in this food recall or the last.
b) She is healthy
c) She is the perfect weight
d) Her haircoat is gorgeous
e) She eats it well
f) Her stools are perfectly formed 99.9% of the time.
g) She's got tons of energy

Why on earth would I change it, especially given the newest recall?

Anyway, just my two cents. Do what is best for your dog, not what may look best on paper...
Thanks for the info. :) Actually, I'm just basing what I wrote on what I've read from other people who feeds RAW. The part of living longer might be based on the idea that the kibbles might be less healthy and contains many substances that are not good for the dog's system. There are some kibbles that contains cancerigenous products (I guess it was some cheap preservatives), so that a dog that eats that can have bigger chance of getting cancer.

But yeah, the balance of the RAW food nutrition is one of the aspects I'm worried about. I'm not experienced in this, I've always been feeding kibbles so that I would need to do an extensive research before really completely switching to RAW or at least cooked food.

With the kibbles is just what as you said - if the dog seems healthy and fine, then maybe he's just fine and no need for change. So I'm feeling a bit confused with so much info between RAW VS kibbles.
 

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Yes, cooking does affect the nutrients - also cooked bones are just an all around bad idea since they are more brittle.

Most nutritionists will give you a recipe that you simply have to follow. Alternatively, you can get pre-made pre-balanced raw bricks. I use them when I'm too run off my feet to make dog food for the week. It is a bit more money than doing it homemade but you don't have to worry about balancing and it's a lot more convinient. If I can't get my meat on sale, I usually buy the bricks.
 

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Holly I suspect the cancer thing is the belief that the preservatives and other chemicals used in the manufacture of store bought foods could cause cancer or other issues if large enough quantities build up in the system.

Personally I have mixed feelings about this, but considering the things that get included in human foods that are potentially cancer causing (caramel color anyone?) I can believe its possible. I don't go OCD about it, bit I generally try to avoid them in MY foods and so do the same in my animals' foods.

Cooked bones are bad, if you decide on homecooked meals you'll need a different source of calcium. A vet nutritionist should be able to help with that.

Fish is ok, and can be good, but would personally becarefull of an all fish diet for worries about missing something important.
 

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Yeah, lets all keep in mind that this cancer thing is probably just that... "beliefs". I wouldn't want people coming on here and going "omg, I feed kibble so I'm going to give my dog cancer!". Your dogs genetics are going to give it cancer. If you smoke around your dog or cat, that'll likely give it cancer. Your food is not where the cancer is coming from. It's more important that your dog eat a balanced diet than you worry yourself over little things like that.

Actually, I'm just basing what I wrote on what I've read from other people who feeds RAW.
That's a dangerous way to do it :p
 

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Yeah, lets all keep in mind that this cancer thing is probably just that... "beliefs". I wouldn't want people coming on here and going "omg, I feed kibble so I'm going to give my dog cancer!". Your dogs genetics are going to give it cancer. If you smoke around your dog or cat, that'll likely give it cancer. Your food is not where the cancer is coming from. It's more important that your dog eat a balanced diet than you worry yourself over little things like that.
Not that I'm all that concerned, I did find this to be an interesting opinion on the whole cancer/dog food issue.

Vet Dr. Demian Dressler, who I guess is known as "the cancer vet" for his work in canine cancer, has an interesting article on his blog about the possible contribution commercial dog food may have with certain canine cancers.

Dog Food: Is There A Cancer Risk?

I guess he co authored a book with his friend Veterinarian oncologist Susan Ettinger, DVM. Dip. ACVIM (Oncology) on canine cancer survival. He also presented his views on diet and cancer at the 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Illinois.

Where according to Dr. Dressler, "Only 5–10% of cancers are attributable to genes. Consequently, the main factors affecting the rate of cancer in both humans and their pets are diet and lifestyle. Dressler says that three dietary factors leading to an increased risk of cancer are excessive consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), inefficient consumption of omega-3 PUFAs, and excessive calories in food. Modern Western diets for humans have a 16 to 1 ratio of omega-6 PUFAs to omega-3 PUFAs; the same is true for pet food. This highly disproportionate ratio leads to inflammation, which provides an ideal environment for cancer. Tissue proliferation, blood supply, and cell movement also provide ideal conditions for cancer growth."

Healthier Pets Make for Healthier People | IFT Live 2012 | Las Vegas
 

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"Supposedly a few years ago Dr. Greg K. Ogilvie, an oncologist at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, conducted intensive research into the dietary needs of canine cancer patients. He found that that cancer cells easily metabolize simple carbohydrates (including sugar), and use them to produce energy and reproduce. However, tumor cells cannot readily use fats. So, a diet low in carbs and high in quality protein and fats will essentially help to starve the cancer cells and reduce the likelihood of cancer cachexia, or wasting as a result of depleted body fat stores."

Nutrition and diet in dogs with cancer

Canine Cancer Diet | Feeding Dogs with Cancer

If a diet like this can help to fight cancer and has an influence on it, then it seems like cancer could have a dietary connection. I wonder if feeding a diet low in carbs and high in quality protein and fat would help to prevent canine cancer as well.
 

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I find his numbers very interesting since that is not what I've been taught-- perhaps in the overall population... ? Breed-wise though, genetics plays a larger role than is being portrayed in his blog. I don't know him (though I do have a book of his), but know Ettinger so I can't blow it off.

So what does this mean? Well, we don’t want to go around saying that every dog who eats dog food in a bag (and pressed through an extruder at high temperatures) will get cancer. That would be irrational and untrue.
However, there are genetic differences and lifestyle differences and carcinogen exposure differences, all from one dog to the next.


Again, anecdotally I've seen no differences at all. Goldens still get their Lymphoma and Boxers still get their MCTs. Has anyone in the field seen a difference in life span? I'm more concerned about Holly getting Lymphoma due to her breed than the fact that she gets fed kibble...

Good links, thanks for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ruthcatrin, I feel the same way too, I'm not going to get too obsessive with what is potentially cancerigenous and what is not, although I would try to avoid some of them, specially if I can have better alternatives.

Holly, I know that you can't just trust what can be found on the internet, although we all have to start somewhere, and we all try to see what others have to say from experience before we do further research. Even so, even books or advices from certified experts can be biased or not correct sometimes. But well, maybe I should have been more explicit and mentioned that the things I've listed in the first thread was learned from what other people said in the forums as well as a few articles online.


I guess that everyone would agree that there are various factors that contribute to greater chances of having cancer. Some are genetic, some are from exposure to certain environmental conditions, and some are from what we eat. Accumulating cancerigenous components in the system due to eating food containing cancerigenous components might not necessarily lead to cancer, but it can boost the chances of getting cancer, just like genetic factors and exposure. Now how much it can boost the chances depends on each component and the quantity that stays in the system, as well as how the dog's body react to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ronny, thanks for the links, I'll check them later. :) The part about low carbs and high protein diet helps reducing cancer is interesting.
 
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