To Raw or not to Raw?
When I first had dogs I can't remember hearing about raw feeding being an option but over the years there has been an explosion of suppliers offering everything from whole animals to minced complete food that contains the recommended 80:10:10 (80% meat, 10% bone, 10% offal) ratio.
When I got Dotty, who is now three and a half, raw was becoming more mainstream and accepted, although it seemed that most vets were against it. I thought seriously about trying raw feeding but I was put off, in the main because of hygiene fears. I had young children and the thought of Dotty licking them straight after she had been chomping on offal wasn't appealing but it was something that I was still interested in.
Fast forward to now and I have finally bit the bullet and given raw a try. First off I tried the easy way to raw feed by trying a trial offer of raw food from a supplier that provides the food in individually wrapped portions. It was so easy that I didn't even need to touch the food. But that works out very expensive. Others do patties that look identical to burgers that you and I would eat, apart from the odd bit of bone sticking out. Again these are simple but expensive.
There are so many suppliers of raw and it really is overwhelming trying to decide who to go with but eventually I decided on a supplier and then had to work out how much I needed and how much freezer space I could spare and I placed the order.
A few days later the food arrived, frozen blocks of mince along with some extra treats including raw duck wings and chicken necks. Yummy.
I'm not squeamish and that's a good job as handling the mince isn't all that pleasant. The beef is strangely far more sloppy than the other meats and I hate doing that the most, shame it is the cheapest type. It is quite interesting though, sometimes I see blood vessels and valves and all sorts but I could equally not look as closely as I do.
I have been surprised by raw feeding, it feels so much more natural than giving my dog a bowl of dry, brown kibble and strangely that gives me a sense of joy and satisfaction. The wagging tail and expectant look when I appear with the bowl never ceases to make me smile, she really does love it and the food is soon woolfed down.
I had heard that one of the benefits of raw feeding was the smaller, firmer and perhaps most important, less smelly poo but I had always felt as though Dotty's poo wasn't that smelly so did it really matter? Well now I have experienced raw poo I know how wrong I was. The poo is small and firm but it literally does not smell, well not unless you bury your nose in it.
I have to say that I am not sure why vets are so against raw feeding, surely there can't be anything wrong with feeding your dog in a similar way to how dogs in the wild would eat? Having tried raw feeding now, I honestly thing that those who are sceptical are those who have not tried it. So if you are thinking of what to feed your new puppy or dog (or cat, they thrive on raw too), then I would say not to discount raw feeding. Give it a go and you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.