Correcting Some Misunderstandings about RMF

rmf

As my regular readers are aware, Kimberly Gauthier of “Keep the Tail Wagging” gave RMF a little nod recently when she decided to look into it more closely for her own dogs.  We did an interview together where we discussed the principles behind RMF, and then Kimberly set about doing some experimenting with her own dogs.  She wrote a blog article about her experiences, too, and I wanted to comment on some of the things that were said in it.  So, I’ve published the whole thing below with my comments in blue italics.  I thought it would be helpful for me to do this because many people coming into RMF for the first time will have the same questions that Kimberly had.  Sometimes these questions seem irreconcilable with RMF.  They aren’t, so it’s important that they be answered.

I want to thank Kimberly once again for being as generous and receptive as she was in her investigation of RMF.  We may never agree on everything, but we both want the same thing – informed dog owners and healthy dogs. 

Here is Kimberly’s article, broken up in the sections. I commented on the ones where I felt some clarification was needed.

Kimberly:

“So, for five weeks, I followed a new (to me) raw feeding model called “rotational monofeeding” with my dogs; I did modify portion of this diet that I disagreed with (more below).  This is a raw feeding model that, like others, attempts to replicate the feeding habits of wolves and wild dogs.  And, after reading the book, it makes a lot of sense.  But I don’t agree with all of it and I’m excited to get your thoughts.

Please note that there isn’t any science that tests the validity of this raw feeding model.  This doesn’t concern me because most of what I do with my dogs, I do based on faith (following more experienced raw feeders) and not science, which is coming in now.”

Nora: That depends on how you define “science”.  The AVMA has used their definition to roundly condemn raw feeding.  Glorified pet food industry reps like the “canine nutritionist” in this video use their definition to advocate the feeding of kibble. 

It’s true there is no team of lab scientists that has rounded up 1,000 dogs, separated them into groups, fed some of them RMF, some of them something else, and observed them for 10 years to document the results.  We have to realize that nobody’s GOING to do that. “Science” has not seen fit to study what causes dogs to stay WELL for LIFE with the billions of dollars they’ve wasted so far, so why would we think they’re ever going to do it?   

The science is not missing.  We have plenty of science. The field research that I used to develop RMF IS science.  If field observation wasn’t a valid part of science, maybe even the most important one, scientists wouldn’t do it.  What comes out of labs is secondary, and it must align itself to what is actually observed in nature.

And if NOTHING is forthcoming from labs, that’s ok.  We may not know everything, but we have more than enough information to allow us to keep our dogs disease-free.  That’s our ONLY goal.  Just keeping our dogs OUT of the vet’s office.  I’m glad Kimberly seems to agree.    

What is Rotational MonoFeeding?

RMF is a diet that believes that dogs wouldn’t naturally eat meat and vegetables on the same day.  In fact, it’s believed that dogs would gorge on meat one day, then forage on plants (available fruit and vegetables) several days a week, and then fast for a few days.

So, yes, someone can feed their dog meat one or two days a week when on this diet.

What about fat?

When I was interviewing Nora, I mentioned having a “fat day” and a looked crossed her face and, after reading her book, I understand why.  Fat isn’t a big part of this diet, something I disagree with for my dogs, which I will get into in this post.

Is Rotational MonoFeeding “Balanced?”

“Despite claims from the veterinary profession to the contrary, we don’t know what optimal nutrient levels are for dogs.  We don’t even know what optimal levels are for humans!” – page 41.

I think RMF is as balanced as a DIY Prey Model or DIY BARF Model raw diet.  While I do appreciate the need to meet a dog’s nutritional needs, I also question the belief that we know what our dogs need.  I think we have a big piece of the puzzle, just not the full puzzle.

The RMF community believes that no one knows what a dog needs nutritionally and by modeling a dog’s diet after wild dogs, we’re coming as close as we can get.

“The idea of ‘balance’ has been used to make home feeding far more complicated than it needs to be.  Canine ‘nutritionists’ and ‘holistic’ vets have been the biggest marketers of this myth, and the Prey Model Raw (PMR) and Bones and Raw Food (BARF) feeding community have adopted it as well, not realizing the effect it has on dog owners who would like to feed [raw dog food] but are too confused or intimidated to know where to begin.” page 7

Do I agree?

Yes and no.  As I said, I don’t think anyone knows exactly what a dog needs nutritionally – all of the software and formulation services available are getting there, but it’s not 100%.  

Nora: I actually don’t know what is meant here by “software and formulation services”.  I didn’t use either of those to come up with RMF.  I used mainly information about the natural model and dog digestive physiology and chemistry, my experience feeding dogs and my knowledge about the principles that produce health in all species.  “Software and formulation services” sounds like it’s something the commercial pet food industry uses to derive its products.  As we know, that’s a disastrous model to follow.

However, I don’t believe in feeding my dogs like wild dogs either because my dogs aren’t wild.  My dogs…

  • don’t get as much exercise as wild dogs

Nora: The only modification this argues for is less fuel.  Less expenditure = less fuel requirement. 

It also behooves us to focus our efforts on less waste production in the body, since dogs are biologically adapted to be much more active than they are in domestic circumstances.  Waste removal from the body is assisted by muscular movement, so our dogs are just not going to be able to eliminate as well as their wild counterparts. 

This is the kind of reasoning that has been incorporated into RMF.

  • have been exposed to vaccinations, unlike wild dogs
  • experience the stress of living with humans

Nora: How does our knowledge of these harmful influences inform, guide or alter our feeding decisions?  I don’t see how it would, unless one is under the impression that administering inert substances can somehow rectify the damage done by these previous assaults. Substances have no power to act. The body acts upon them, not the other way around. Since only the body is capable of healing, the best we can do is get out of its way. And the best way to do that is to feed ONLY those foods that do not further burden the body.

Looking at how wild dogs eat is a helpful start to better understanding how to model their diet.  However, that’s not where it ends.

According to the RMF book, “PMR and BARF feeders too often assume when their dogs don’t do well that the problems are caused by genetics, previous vaccinations, or nutrient deficiency.  Assuming incorrectly that they already doing everything correctly with the diet means that rather than seeking out the real causes of disease (which are almost always dietary in origin(m raw feeders will often blame other factors and resign themselves to disease maintenance or symptom management.” page 41

Damn, it’s like she read my mind.

I’ll address the comment about canine nutritionists and holistic veterinarians further down.

Let’s Talk About Rotational MonoFeeding

When I first learned of RMF, I was so excited.  I love learning about new things.  But is this diet right for my dogs?  I tried it long enough to get an idea of what it’s like day-to-day, but I can’t tell you if it’s a cure-all (or a cure-most).

Nora: RMF with modifications is not RMF.  A person can’t say they’re going to test something out and then test something else.  Any net positive changes to a dog’s diet will result in commensurate improvements in his/her health.   If that doesn’t happen, or doesn’t happen to the desired extent, it could easily be because the “modifications” that were made did not allow healing to proceed. 

According to RMF, a dog only has one chamber in their stomach, which those who follow RMF believe means that a dog’s digestive system is set up to consume one type of food at a time.

While this doesn’t make sense to me (when thinking of my own diet), as I kept reading, Nora shared something that kind of made sense.

“Digestion is compromised when foods are combined, because the acidic nature of the digestive chemicals required to break down proteins actually neutralize the ones that are required to break down carbs.  The cost of feeding more than one food at a time is that the percentage of food utilized is decreased and waste production is increased, which means both food and bodily resources are wasted.” page 27

The increased waste production is the leading cause of disease in dogs (pg. 27 of the book).

This is where the mono-feeding comes in.

There was a time when people believed that eating an alkaline diet was healthier and someone created alkaline water.  

This is in reference to human diets, I assume, and it’s true that the human body is essentially alkaline at 7.3 pH.  I don’t regard this to be relevant to the topic at hand.

The only information I found that promoted this diet for dogs was also promoting an alkaline (high carb) dog food.

Nora: Anyone promoting an “alkaline (high carb) dog food” would not be talking about RMF.  “High carb” is a subjective term, and RMF can be done in such a way as to contain a higher percentage of carbohydrate foods than is found in typical PMR or BARF style diets. But RMF can also be done high protein and low carb. 

Although separating acid-promoting foods from alkaline-producing foods makes sense to me based on the explanation above, there is no science, that I could find, that supports the belief that feeding meat and vegetables separately is beneficial for dogs. 

Nora: I realize that looking for the truth about food combining (and how well it works) on the internet is an exercise in futility and frustration. The same monied interests that keep the correct information about other health-related topics all but un-findable in the information stream are at work here as well. The principles of food combining are not studied in labs and they are not taught in “nutrition” school, even for humans. These principles have certainly never been studied on behalf of dogs.  There’s absolutely no industry or field of academia that has any interest in doing that. But, that’s ok, because we can’t have it both ways.  We feed our dogs raw food despite vets telling us “there’s no science!”.  We can’t at the same time demand lab studies on everything we can confidently establish on our own through simple observation of wild dog behavior. And when we do that with the idea of food combining in mind, we see that wild dogs do not mix carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal. 

  • Acid Producing Foods: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, processed foods
  • Alkaline Producing Foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes

Fats fall in the neutral camp.

I continued searching and eventually learned that some professionals believe that alkaline water doesn’t work because it’s neutralized once it hits the acid in our stomach.  This aligns with the belief that vegetables are wasted if fed with protein because the benefits the vegetables provide are neutralized.

Nora: The gimmick of “alkaline water” is promoted to the gullible masses as a way to “alkalinize” the body.  The problem that it attempts to resolve is the highly acidic condition that is produced in the bodies of people who eat the standard western diet or anything remotely similar.  Nobody who eats properly needs to be concerned about their body pH.  This is one of the things (like the ‘microbiome’) that the body handles all on its own.  Our only task (as humans) is to not eat acid-forming foods or otherwise put the body’s pH out of its natural state of balance.   That’s the goal we’re seeking with RMF as well, but with the range of foods that are suitable for dogs. 

Secondly, dogs are not vegetable eaters.  The best plant foods for dogs are fruits.  It is not accurate to use the term “vegetables” interchangeably with “plant matter” (which includes both fruits and vegetables).  RMF includes limited, select vegetables mainly because owners have the misperception that these are healthier than fruit. When these are cooked, they can be palatable, digestible and satisfying for dogs.  But the focus in RMF on plant foods is mainly on raw FRUIT.  Fruit requires very little digestive energy, no specialized dentition, minimal amylase, and can be fed raw (undamaged).  This is evinced by the fact that wild dogs eat fruit (see citations below).  

Unfortunately, people also labor under the false idea that the more variety a dog gets, the better.  That’s not true either, and it motivates a lot of vegetable feeding.  The body prefers simplicity. 

But is this true?  I don’t know.

Rotational MonoFeeding and Vegetables

So, if feeding proteins and vegetables together lead to disease and a dog’s gut is highly acidic, then why feed vegetables at all?

Nora: Plant matter in the RMF model provides a way for owners to feed their dogs every day, as almost everyone wants to, WITHOUT risking the pathogenic effects of animal fat overconsumption.  It is not necessarily because of what plants contribute to the diet, but what they do not contribute.  There is no reason to exclude plant matter altogether just because we observe that carbs and proteins are not eaten together in the wild.  The fact that a dog’s gut is highly acidic is not relevant to this question.  A dog’s physiology is set up primarily to digest meat, but the ability of canids to subsist for varying periods on secondary foods can be used to our benefit. The field research cited below supports this.

According to RMF, wild dogs eat prey one day and spend a few days hunting their next meal while snacking on local vegetation.  One of the tenors of RMF is to replicate, as much as we can, the diet of wild dogs.  

RMF is very pro-fruits and vegetables and doesn’t see an issue feeding them to our dogs as long as we separate a plant-based meal from a meat-based meal by at least 12 hours.  Some raw feeders who follow the RMF model add a fasting day (or two) between a meat day and a plant day.

The ratios recommended in the book are; the plant-based days are to replicate scavenging:

  • 1:1 – 1 plant day, 1 meat day
  • 2:1 – 2 plant days, 1 meat day
  • 1:2:1 – 1 plant day, 2 meat days, 1 fasting day
  • 3-6:1 – 3-6 plant days, 1 meat day
  • 1:4:2 – 1 plant day, 4 meat days, 2 fasting days
  • 0:7:0 – all meat days

When it comes to feeding vegetables, cooking is better than raw whole or pureed vegetables because cooking makes vegetables easier to digest.  The book also recommends sweet potatoes, yams, peas (along with other vegetables), and quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain). 

Plant-Based Days

The first week of RMF, I made a mixture of cauliflower rice, chopped broccoli, chopped sweet potatoes (limited), green beans, a little quinoa, and Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm.  My dogs weren’t impressed and responded to this new diet differently.

Nora: Cruciferous vegetables are not popular among dogs, although some dog owners choose to feed them.  They would not feature prominently in any meal I would recommend, especially for dogs that are new to all-plant meals. 

RMF meals would also not include any kind of supplement powders at all, and that means the above meal is not RMF.

  • Rodrigo ate his food as long as it was warm and not mushy.  Canned pumpkin or canned sweet potatoes are great for a snack, but he doesn’t want it to be his meal.
  • Scout ate half of his food and walked away (crazy since he’s on Prednisone and is hungry all the time).
  • Zoey and Apollo ate their food with no issues.  Zoey would have happily marched her butt to Scout’s dish to finish his vegetables if I didn’t pick up his bowl first.

Nora: This kind of response to their first undisguised plant meal is normal for dogs coming from a PMR style of feeding.  As I’ve stated many times, the conditioned expectation of getting meat everyday will cause many dogs to balk at eating plant meals.  It’s a biological message coming to the dog from his body that says, “We’ve got meat coming every day and we’ve got lots of reserve fuel right here in the tank. No need to partake of secondary foods just yet.”

And that’s particularly true of the kind of meal that includes so many foods that dogs find only marginally palatable (crucifers, specifically).  Many dogs who are initially hesitant to eat fruits and other plant foods have gone on to heal from their health issues and become enthusiastic eaters of whatever their owners put down.  In fact, this is what happens with most RMF dogs.

If we allow dogs to direct all their food choices, we’re only asking for trouble.  That would be like letting children eat candy at every meal.  We have to limit what we offer dogs to only those foods that we know provide suitable sustenance, and then allow them to choose among those.  That’s what RMF does. 

Today, the dogs eat their vegetables with no issues.

Nora: It’s typical for dogs to be less hesitant to eat plant foods on the second day, after they’ve begun to see that the pattern of daily meat feeding has been broken.  That’s one reason why I recommend randomizing meals.

According to the book, when feeding vegetables, we should feed 3-10% of our dogs’ body weight on plant days.  To me, this is far too much but, to give this diet a fair shot, I fed my dogs 3.5% of their body weight (which is approximately 2 lbs. of vegetables on plant days).

The book also advises us to listen to our dogs and not add anything to tempt our dogs to eat their vegetables.  

Nora: It may be too much plant matter if it is fed in the same meal with meat, but when an entire meal is composed of plant matter, it’s not. 

Because of the repeated emphasis on vegetables in this article, there’s a point relative to human eating habits that may be relevant.  In both humans and dogs, diets that contain excessive fat are going to be problematic if the diet also contains a great deal of sugar.  There is an awareness of this fact among people who eat (and feed) a lot of fat.  They realize they have to choose between the two, or at least eat/feed them separately, or they’re going to have big problems. Fatty foods are so addictive and the marketing of fatty products so lucrative that fat tends to be favored and sugar vilified.

Again and again, I have seen new RMF’rs make the mistake of avoiding sugar, and I think this misguided condemnation of natural sugars is to blame.   

Apart from the problem of sugar-phobia, we can’t evaluate food solely on its nutrient profile – we must stay within the limits of what the organism is capable of digesting.  In light of that criteria, fruit is obviously superior for dogs, second only to protein foods. 

In the past, I would add an air-dried organ meal topper (from Real Dog Box), bone broth, or fermented fish stock to the dish to get them to eat.  But not with RMF.  Because wild dogs can go days without eating, it’s okay for my dogs to choose not to eat their vegetables.

But what about hunger pukes?

When I mentioned RMF on my Facebook page, a few people commented about the RMF group encouraging pet parents to ignore hunger pukes and wait for their dog’s system to adjust to the new diet.

Nora: I can only account for what *I* say, not what is said on my Facebook groups.  I have never encouraged anyone to “ignore hunger pukes”.  In fact, I state in the book that bile vomiting is a legitimate reason for people to avoid fasting their dogs initially.  If people choose to ignore this advice, it is their choice.  There are arguments on both sides, because although the dog will be uncomfortable temporarily, healing will necessarily progress faster when more digestive rest is allowed.  Obviously, I leave this up to the owner, as I must ultimately do with all decisions about feeding.

My dogs will vomit to empty their stomach when they’re not feeling well.  I see this happening mostly when I feed raw meaty bones too many days in a row.  I’ve learned that their gut needs a couple of days to digest the small bone fragments.  To me, this is a natural response.  Hunger pukes are not.

Nora: When I refer to bile vomiting or hunger pukes, I’m talking about vomiting that is unproductive other than small puddles of bile.  The vomiting of small fragments of bone is a different scenario altogether and should probably signal to the owner that parts of the bone that was fed were too dense for the dog.  I agree that vomiting in this situation is a natural response.  But I do not agree that hunger pukes are not a “natural response”.  I would say they very definitely are the body’s natural (but pathological) response to a harmful ongoing influence in the diet.  To me it has become inescapable that the cause is the body compensating for the excessive presence of fat in the diet by overproducing the fluids that it uses to break down fat.  Every single dog owner I’ve shared this theory with who has lowered fat consumption in their dogs has put this symptom behind them.  100%.  Why not resolve the problem permanently rather than have to constantly manage it?  My dog experienced frequent hunger pukes after her first year during which I fed a PMR style diet (for housetraining purposes, as I explain in the book).  Within a few months of beginning to rotate plant meals in, she stopped and has not done so again in the 3.5 years since.  This is typical.  It’s permanent.  This is a problem that dogs owners needn’t have to deal with at all, UNLESS they accept all the industry-generated, laboratory-based pseudo-science that is used to support both the eating of excessive fat by humans and the feeding of it to dogs. 

I think hunger pukes are stressful for a dog and stress contributes to an unwell system.  This is why I chose to do a modified fast, feeding raw goat’s milk or kefir instead of a true fast of only water.  It took a couple of years before I became comfortable with a true fast (no food for 20 hours) and I only do this once a week.

Nora: Yes, hunger pukes are stressful for dogs.  That argues for dealing with them permanently, rather than managing them while continuing their causes.  As stated above, although an owner can legitimately avoid fasting initially, it’s not necessary to avoid it permanently because of hunger pukes.  Simply lower the dog’s fat consumption until they go away, and then fasting becomes much easier for both dogs and owners. 

Rotational MonoFeeding and Fat

There is a nutritionist in the group that feeds one plant day a week and the rest of the week she feeds meat because this makes the most sense to her.  Reading that reminded me that many raw feeders modify the model of their choice to meet an individual dog’s needs – franken-prey, franken-barf, and now, franken-RMF.

Nora: The rotation described is not a modification of RMF nor is it “franken RMF”.  It is RMF.  This is exactly the kind of customization that is perfectly in line with RMF.  A high meat or even an all-meat diet can be used as long as it keeps the dog free of any and all symptoms.  Because of the relatively high meat/fat content of the above rotation, and owner would need to watch for signs of overfeeding like bile vomiting, scooting and itchiness.  A young, active dog whose owner is aware of the importance of trimming fat could do well on such a rotation. 

So, I decided to keep fat in my dogs’ diet because I believe that this is an important part of my dogs’ diet.

The diet, then, would not be RMF.

Benefits of fat for dogs…

  • fat is a great source of energy; better than carbs and protein

Nora: Fat literally has twice the potential energy of carbohydrates and protein.  Nobody is debating that.  The salient point is that it has not historically been available to canids in their natural environment to the extent that it is present in the average domestic dog’s diet.  Dogs could not have adapted the need or the ability to consume it in greater quantities than what is available to them in the wild. 

  • fat helps the system better absorb fat-soluble vitamins

Nora: Even when trimming fat from agricultural animals, they have far in excess of what exists on wild animals.  No dog being fed RMF is in danger of not getting enough fat in order to make use of fat-soluble vitamins.

  • fat helps dogs feel fuller for longer, which is why I feed it when a dog needs to lose weight

Nora: In humans, and presumably in dogs as well, fats actually keep the digestive tract working so long that false hunger (the feelings that are experienced when the stomach is healing) is not experienced.  However, while the body is busy digesting food, it cannot heal. 

People who feed RMF do not have to worry about their dogs becoming overweight.  Appropriate fasting days or plant food days allows weight to be managed effortlessly.      

  • fat helps to fight inflammation

Nora: Inflammation isn’t something that requires “fighting”.  It’s a life-preserving mechanism of the body that is used when wastes are deposited in areas where there is healing to be done.  It is the action of the body bringing fluids to the area to suspend wastes, and heat to accelerate their elimination.  If some lab study has shown that inflammation decreased when fat was consumed, it was probably because the body was not able to perform both functions simultaneously.  This is a bit like taking an anti-inflammatory drug.  It ceases the body’s healing activities.  It certainly does not cause it to heal.  Suppressing inflammation by taking drugs, remedies or even by feeding certain difficult-to-digest foods should not be our goal.  We need only understand what causes inflammation, and then avoid causing it.  RMF does that. 

  • fat boosts the immune system

Nora: As much as everyone seems to love the idea that disease is a malevolent entity floating around that requires the bodies of our dogs to constantly be on guard, it’s not.  Disease is always a cumulative process that builds from within.  A proper diet (RMF) is the closest thing we have to a guarantee that this process won’t happen.  For those wanting to read more about the fallacy of the popular idea of “immunity” or the “immune system”, I recommend reading this blog article on the topic.

  • fat supports cognitive (brain) health

Nora: When I see wolves successfully navigating their very hazardous lives out in the wild, I can’t allow what some industry scientist says about fat to make me question whether their brains would function better if they ate more of it.  I am nature-bound to look at the evidence provided by what they actually eat. And what they eat has very little fat compared to what most domestic dogs are fed, cooked or raw.

  • fat helps to boost the metabolism, keeping dogs at a healthier weight

Nora: Here’s a blurb about what it means to have a “high metabolism” from the Harvard website:

“If your metabolism is “high” (or fast), you will burn more calories at rest and during activity. A high metabolism means you’ll need to take in more calories to maintain your weight. That’s one reason why some people can eat more than others without gaining weight.”

The reason why this is seen as a good thing is that humans like to eat, and they commonly eat far in excess of what their bodies need or can use.  So ‘burning calories’ while expending no external effort is a desired goal.  But nature actually strives for just the opposite – fuel efficiency.  Dogs have evolved to be extremely efficient when it comes to fuel usage, and it should not be our aim to reverse this. 

Of course, too much fat will lead to weight gain and other health issues, especially when combined with a high-carb diet.  And, according to RMF, feeding too much fat can lead to inflammation.

“But it is my contention that fat consumption as a whole is what is largely responsible for acute and chronic inflammation in dogs, and decreasing overall fat is what we should be looking to do, not adding different fats to the diet.” page 49

For prey and BARF models, I’ve been told to limit fat to 5% of a raw food diet (unless you have a highly active dog or you’re feeding a keto diet).  RMF, on the other hand, believes that dogs should be fed a lean diet; limiting fat as much as possible.  So, no coconut oil, no raw goat’s milk, no kefir, no eggs, and no yogurt.  In fact, RMF recommends trimming all animal fat (fat and skin) before feeding our dogs.

Nora: I must point out that there is absolutely no way to feed any kind of meat to a dog and keep consumption below 5%.  So, I assume what is meant here is that no more than 5% of the meal should consist of some kind of pure, overt fat.  This is not correct, however, because with dogs already getting so much fat in the form of agricultural meat (and I include “grass fed”, “organic” and “free range” animals in that) we hardly need to be adding more. 

Most of the pro-fat information comes from laboratory-based “science”, not from the wild model.  That clearly means we have to make a choice between the two.  If we choose the former, we will also have no choice but to feed what most vets recommend.  They call the information that they use to make their recommendations “science based”. 

I have to refer once again to the photos (below) that slow the differences between agricultural animals and wild animals.  We simply have to decide if we’re going to be guided by industry-generated “science” or our own eyes. 

There are days when my dogs’ diet is too high in animal fat; but this is offset by lean days. I only trim fat on meat when there is an excessive amount – like the excess fat on duck necks, beef roasts, and pork roasts. I don’t trim the skin from whole quail. My dogs have killed and consumed wild prey and when they do, they eat the entire animal – skin, brains, eyes, and all – and this includes the fat.

Nora: There is so much fat on agricultural animals that it takes far more than “lean days” to offset it.   That’s the main thrust of RMF. 

If domestic dogs could live entirely on wild prey, there would be no debate about fat. 

Does Fat Cause Diabetes?

No! Being overweight can lead to diabetes and eating a high fat-high carb diet will lead to weight gain, which can lead to obesity, which can lead to diabetes. But feeding healthy fats to our dogs doesn’t raise their risk of developing diabetes.

Nora: I’ve known many humans who have reversed their own diabetes via low fat diets, and many owners have done the same in their dogs.  However, I don’t think this particular topic is relevant to the question of what we should feed dogs.  Whether fat consumption causes diabetes or not, feeding high fat diets to dogs is not supported by the wild model. 

(Continued on next page)

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3 thoughts on “Correcting Some Misunderstandings about RMF”

  1. Michele Hays

    Interesting article! We are a year and a half into our RMF journey, We had never fed raw, so jumping in from kibble fed was a long jump indeed! But the common sense approach of feeding what and HOW wolves and other wild canines eat was all I needed to get started and never look back. My 3 yr old Boxer had been diagnosed with severe “allergies”. So many foods on the list there was no way to eliminate all of them, and even if I could, the list of environmental triggers was even longer. My vets solution was a life sentence of steroids, Apoquel and antihistamines. Buddy’s personality just doesn’t fit the whimpy kid with an inhaler. 18 months on RMF and Buddy is free from the itching and rashes and hives and gunky ears and I could never thank Nora enough for giving me my beautiful, naughty and healthy boxer boy!

  2. Melina Singh

    Excellent responses to Kim’s message on RMF. It’s a mini-education by itself. Thank you so much Nora. It is so important that RMFers keep reading and re-reading your book, blogs, and facebook posts (all the interaction) to understand the wisdom of the RMF way and realize it is the closest to nature a dog can get via diet. I am so happy to learn your method. Such freedom indeed and good health!
    My senior boy is enjoying the fruits as much as he does his meats. It took about 3-6 months to get him to really relish his foods and to incorporate the diet a la the RMF method, but it’s so worth it. It pays to keep reading the book, the posts, and now the blogs! It is truly un-learning the clutter of the medical and food industry (supplements et al) and it does take time – but the goal is to realize that this is the closest to health for our animals via food and to not give up!
    No more vet bills…hooray!
    You are such Godsend for us. Stay blessed.

  3. Sherri Harding

    Wow, just wow!! Nora, you are so so experienced in these matters! This conversation is a wealth of wisdom. My dogs are a great example of what RMF can do for vibrant health and longevity. I started RMF when my 5 dogs were ages: 9yrs, 10yrs-and 6yrs. They had been on a 15% plant, 85% meat bone organ mix, (basically)since birth . One or two of them had begun having morning bile vomits, and the 6 yr old Coco had anal gland issues, and cysts, and a dime sized tumor under her jaw. Two girls had several teeth that had gotten loose and smelly (too much acid/meat) and the vet pulled them. (I always brush all 5 dogs’ teeth every day, so it wasn’t neglect). There were other more subtle signs of failing health as they aged.
    We’ve been on the RMF plan of five or six fruit days and one or two random meat days a week. It’s been a year and the tumor is gone under Coco’s jaw and she rarely has anal gland issues. Her cysts have not all gone away yet. She is skinny and we are working on restoring her gut health and she has shown improvement in the way of quality of stools. She finally is consistently having smaller, more solid stools. Her father died at 9 from cancer in his bowel and surrounding areas and chronic anal gland issues. I prayed for guidance so Coco would be well and live long. I love her so much! God sent me NORA! You are making such a difference in the lives of our beloved pets, which in turn takes the burden off our shoulders as we see them heal and thrive. We need the comfort of healthy happy dogs as we go through planetary upheaval and instability. Much love and gratitude! Sherri Harding

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