So why not cook my dogs food?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHuman evolution included learning how to cook foods like meat to make them more easily digestible. So why would we not do the same for our dogs? Well for one heat destroys many of the vitamins in the food, especially many B vitamins and Vitamin C. One reason we cook our food is because enzymes begin breaking down the raw product causing it to spoil. If we cook it, the enzymes are destroyed, stopping this process and allowing us to store food more effectively. When cooking food for our dogs, the enzymes which control chemical reactions are destroyed. These enzymes are important to your dog because they help aid in digestion as well as slow the aging process. Without these enzymes, your dog’s pancreas is force to work harder thus resulting in health problems like Pancreatitis and Diabetes. Antioxidants, another anti-aging nutrient, are also destroyed when heating food. This can lead to degenerative diseases during old age such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

When you cook your dog’s food two essential amino acids are lost with the heat: Lysine and methionine.  The loss of these essential amino acids can lead to growth problems, skin problems, reduced resistance to disease and more.

IMAG1599Basically, when you cook your dog’s food all the major nutrients, the fats, the proteins, the carbs are all changed. Dogs were not designed to process a steady diet of cooked foods. So, while just like everything, it is ok in moderation, cooking food is just not the best option for your pooch. Think about this as well: when you provide homemade cooked meals for your dog they are usually deprived of the chewing, ripping and tearing that accompanies raw meat. That means that not only are they not getting the best nutrients but they are also being deprived of the exercise when eating their meal. It also means that their teeth are not being cleaned while they eat. Meaning you have to do more brushing, bleh. (Those of you who follow my blog know I HATE brushing my dog’s teeth.) So more brushing and more work cooking, that alone is reason enough for me to feed my dogs RAW!

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Why feed RAW?

“We are certainly much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are”.

– Adelle Davis

dog bowlBefore I began feeding RAW I struggled with finding a food that Nakia would happily eat. I struggled with her weight and people often thought I was starving her. The vet would give me lots of ideas to help her eat more; put water on her food, mix in wet food, sprinkle in some cheese, etc but none of it seemed to work. She just wouldn’t eat the kibble. She also suffered from allergies and a new health problem what seemed like every week.

Commercial dog foods often contain grain or some other filler which dogs have no use for. So you are often paying for parts of a product that your dog will never use…thus creating more poop for you to clean up in the process. Grains can also cause your dog a lot of health problems.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERACanines are mainly carnivores. Their jaw structure has evolved to help them process the game they bring down. Their teeth were designed for ripping, slicing and tearing, not chewing. While dogs have come a long way down the evolutionary chain from wolves, their digestive system is still 98% identical to that of the grey wolf. To me it seems only logical that they should then at least in a sense mimic the grey wolf’s diet. And in the wild, I doubt you would find a wolf eating kibble for every meal.

wolves eatingPart of the satisfaction of feeding RAW, at least for me is knowing that I am feeding my dog something she was designed to eat. I also like knowing what is in my dog’s food, quality of ingredients, etc. Also, just as I wouldn’t want to eat the same meal day in and day out my dog is fed something that excites her olfactory system. The different textures, smells, and flavors are exciting for a dog. I no longer have any problem at all getting Nakia to stay at a healthy weight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARAW basically means giving them the food just the way it is. Mainly you just need to portion out the meat, no cooking necessary. For small dogs like Rose I will chop up the meat into small pieces so she doesn’t choke. Otherwise she would woof down even the big pieces. I have seen her try to take down a whole chicken drumstick like she is a seagull eating a fish.

I know of RAW people who feed their dogs full chicken and rabbit carcasses but I have not yet reached this step…and I don’t think it would work for Rose. I’m sure Nakia would think it was the greatest day of her life if I did it for her though.

When I introduced RAW feeding into Nakia’s diet all of her allergies went away. She no longer has the gunky eyes, pimply stomach or itchy skin that plagued her life in the past. I also have absolutely no problem getting her to eat her meals.

So what are the health benefits of feeding your dog a RAW diet?

Health Benefits of RAW:

  • Cleaner, healthier teeth
  • Improved coat and skin health
  • builds strong bones and muscles
  • Less poop!
  • Increased energy
  • Reduction in allergies if not complete eradication
  • Longer life
  • Less vet bills
  • less concentrated urine i.e. no burn spots on your grass
  • reduced hot spots
  • reduction in fat, more muscle
  • reduction in body odor
Buster doing his own research

Buster doing his own research

These are only some of the benefits I have noticed in dogs who are fed a RAW diet. The key to feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet is RESEARCH! Don’t be afraid to get out there and do some of your own!