After having busted two raw feeding myths so far –
- Busted Series: 5 Myths About Raw Feeding | Part 1: “Raw Fed Dogs Are Aggressive”
- Busted Series: 5 Myths About Raw Feeding | Part 2: “Your Dog’s Raw Diet Contains Bacteria That Will Make His Human Family Sick”
– I’ll have to admit that this third one had me worried a little when I began the transition from kibble to raw.
After all, whenever I had introduced a new food back in our kibble days, the pups’ stool was a bit on the softer side for the first few days of eating it, although I always gradually introduced it over the course of 5-7 days.
Wouldn’t it therefore seem logical for raw food to have a similar effect on our dogs’ digestive systems when they’re not used to eating it on a regular basis?
Raw Food Is Easier To Digest Than Kibble
Well, I suppose it would seem logical, but in this case, biology trumps human logic. After all, a dog’s digestive system is made to break down & absorb the prey he would find in the wild, and we’re talking about the prey’s entire body here – including bones, feet, organs, even eyeballs and feathers/hair (yes, gross, I have to admit).
I actually see daily proof of the fact that raw food is much better absorbed by the K9 body than highly processed kibble, or maybe I should be more specific and say that MUCH MORE of the raw food is absorbed than what can be said of kibble: Missy & Buzz’s poop volume has drastically decreased since feeding them a raw diet.
It becomes really evident whenever I feed them a dehydrated or freeze-dried meal, which I do every now & then for convenience sake and when we happen to be in-between raw shipments. Once the undigested dehydrated/freeze-dried food residue comes out, its volume is 2-3 times the size of what it’s like on a raw diet. Pretty amazing!
While dehydrated and freeze-dried food options are so much more healthy than kibble, they are not truly raw food because, well, they have been dried after all, although in a much more gentle way than kibble.
The Organ Tripe Promotes Overall Digestive Health
As mentioned before in my blog post about…
…green tripe is the stomach lining of a ruminant animal (falls in the organ category of raw feeding), and is a natural, nutritional powerhouse that dogs not only go bonkers for, but that also promotes healthy digestion.
Because it contains high amounts of digestive enzymes (essentially the good intestinal bacteria), it can treat both diarrhea as well as constipation.
So if your pup has a bad case of diarrhea, try offering him tripe instead of the boiled rice & synthetic probiotics that are so often recommended by traditional vets!
I remember Buzz’s horrible case of gastrointestinal upset several years ago (long before our raw journey – had I only known about it back then!) and the many, many cups of white rice & little bags of Fortiflora that didn’t do anything to help him get rid of his diarrhea. I ended up doing my own research and started feeding him canned pumpkin puree and an air-dried dog food (ZiwiPeak), which actually did the trick!
Had I known back then what I know about tripe today, I would have given him tripe to cure him of his diarrhea, especially since his stomach is so sensitive.
The K9 Digestive System Can Handle Bacteria Much Better Than Humans
Another important aspect to note is that the K9 digestive system is not only much shorter than our human one (bacteria “don’t hang out”, as Dr. Dee Blanco, DVM at Marty’s Meals in Santa Fe, NM, puts it!), it is also A LOT MORE acidic than ours – meaning that it will kill bacteria! So even if the raw food should contain some bacteria, it shouldn’t survive the acidic environment of a dog’s stomach.
By the way, potential bacteria get killed after raw food has been frozen for 7-10 days. And no, they don’t rise from the dead once the raw food has been thawed.
Well, 6+ months after ditching kibble and into raw feeding, Missy & Buzz have been anything but sick – au contraire! They have been thriving and sport gloriously glowing coats!
Many holistic, raw feeding veterinarians are actually drawing a parallel between the surfacing of kibble (this trend didn’t begin until the 1950s) & the extreme rise in K9 cancer cases since then. I wonder if 3+ years of eating kibble may have contributed to Missy’s thyroid cancer. Of course I can only wonder, but it doesn’t seem impossible. But more on that in a different blog post!
By the way, if your pup is bothered by skin allergies, try feeding a raw diet. You’ll see a noticeable difference within as short as 7 days.
I’ve seen so many before & after pictures posted by newbie raw feeders in raw feeding groups on Facebook that it blows my mind that traditional vets don’t get it and keep prescribing that synthetic crap. Nature truly knows best!!!
Have you thought about feeding your pup a raw diet but were scared of taking the first step? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!