Why feed Raw ?
Raw food (also known as BARF - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is a completely natural diet for your working dogs, free from processing.
Dogs are carnivores - they have evolved and thrived on raw food for a millennium, it is what their digestive systems were designed for.
Raw feeding is commonly mistaken for a new way to feed your dogs. Raw feeding existed long before the invention of man made kibbles. Dogs have evolved for a millennium on a raw diet.
Many argue that domestication of the wolf, which in turn led to all the different breeds we have today, has caused dogs to be far removed from their raw meat eating ancestors. Externally there are many different shapes and sizes but internally all dogs have the same anatomy. From skull shape and dentition through to the shorter foregut and hindgut consistent with carnivorous animals.
Carnivores have sharp jagged teeth which are designed for grabbing, ripping and tearing meat. Carnivores do not posses the flat molars used for grinding vegetation like omnivores do. Carnivore jaws hinge open widely, allowing them to gulp large chunks of meat and bone. Their powerful jaws and teeth are designed to crush bones, Carnivores cannot chew as they have no lateral movement in their jaws. Your dog has a very short foregut (compared to its omnivore counter parts) and a short smooth hindgut. This allows food to pass through quickly,
Omnivores have a much longer intestines as vegetation takes a long time to break down.
Amylase in saliva is something else omnivorous and herbivorous animals possess, but not carnivores. (Amylase is an enzyme needed to break down plant matter)
Dogs do not produce amylase in their saliva so if vegetable matter is ingested the burden is placed entirely on the pancreas, forcing it to produce large amounts of amylase to deal with the starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates in plant matter. Feeding dogs as though they were omnivores strains the pancreas as it must work harder for the dog to digest the starchy, carbohydrate-filled food. This helps explains why plant matter comes out the same way it went in (undigested), even when it has been pre processed.
Another common misconception is that dogs eat tripe to satisfy their need for vegetation. It has been well documented and observed that wild wolves and carnivores do not eat the stomach contents of their omnivore prey. The stomach is pierced during consumption of the carcass, the contents leak out. No attempts are made to eat the digested vegetable matter from the prey.
Looking at science and ancestors we can determine that dogs are most definitely carnivores. Starches, cellulose, grain and carbohydrates have no place in a dogs natural diet.
The PH level (acid level) of a naturally fed dogs stomach is very low. When stomach juices are at full flow digesting meat and raw bones levels are lowest at PH 1 (equivalent to car battery acid). Even when not digesting PH levels range from PH1.5 to PH 2.1. This acidic stomach protects dogs from harmful bacteria's as they cannot survive the hostile environment.
All the information available confirms that dogs are not designed to eat dried man made synthetic food. Yes some cope with it, some live long lives but so many more suffer the consequences of this unsuitable diet. A grain filled, additive filled diet puts their whole system under pressure. The organs are over worked trying so hard to process the indigestible. Its no wonder that the immune system becomes severely compromised. All to often health problems are the result.
Feeding kibbles (dried biscuits) and wet food is convenient but at what cost to long term health? The main ingredient in most kibbles is grain, it is cheap, stable and available en mass but completely inappropriate to feed to dogs.
Wet and dry synthetic food must be heated to 90 degrees by law (rendering), this destroys all nutrients. This gloop is then compressed and dried into little shapes to appeal to humans. Colourants are added (we all know how they affect humans and restrictions are more relaxed for our pets). Synthetic vitamins are sprayed on ( we all know the body is designed to absorb natural sources of vitamins, this is why we are told over and over to eat our 5 per day!) Preservatives are added to maintain a shelf life of a minimum one year. If that is not enough, it is placed in pretty packages with claims that it is 100% the best thing you can feed your pet.
Why then do so many dogs with health issues improve on a raw diet? If humans are constantly being told to stay healthy we must eat healthy, why would out dogs be different?. Surely our dogs need natural healthy food to be healthy too?
It is no coincidence that in both humans and our dogs, an explosion in cancer, along with other diseases has appeared since the introduction of processed food over 80 years ago. The additives, preservatives and colourants in processed food often cause all sorts of problems. Skin complaints, ear infections, itchy feet and bodies, stomach upsets, anal gland issues, periodontal (gum) disease, pancreatitis, cancer along with other aliments and diseases. Unfortunately they are all too common and seem to be a part of pet ownership these days.
Ask yourselves this... is what you are feeding causing these symptoms? Take a look at the ingredients on your kibble packet, how many of the ingredients do you actually recognise?