I’ve been noticing in my Facebook group that many new members coming in are not already raw feeding. Most say they are open and wanting to learn, and some say they’re considering it or researching it. That led me to wonder why they aren’t feeding raw right now. So, I conducted a poll and asked people to cite the reasons they aren’t already feeding raw. Here were the options:
- Worried about “balance”
- Worried about sourcing
- Worried about cost
- Think it’s too time consuming
- Worried about pathogens
- Dogs already refused it
Of the 58 respondents, 34 said they were most worried about making sure their dog’s diet was “balanced” and they felt that proper feeding was complicated. Eight said sourcing was their #1 concern, followed by 8 for cost, 3 for pathogens, 2 the time involved and 2 said their dogs had already rejected raw food.
In the following paragraphs, I hope to explain why most of these concerns are a result of mis-perception.
Basically, a generation or two of dog and cat owners have now been fully indoctrinated with the idea that food for dogs and cats has to be “scientifically formulated” just for dogs and cats. It’s like we think that they are from a different planet or that we invented brand new species when cats and dogs were domesticated. It’s a very illogical situation. People who own snakes seem to have figured out what their pets need. Do snake owners need scientifically formulated snake kibble or canned snake slop? No. They observe that, in nature, snakes eat small rodents. So, they go out on a limb and feed their snakes small rodents. The difference is they have not been brainwashed by the snake food industry to think they must have nutrition degrees in order to feed their snakes nor do they have a sick snake industry telling them it’s very dangerous to feed snakes what they eat in nature! If snake ownership was as popular as dog ownership, snake owners would be just as propagandized as dog owners, because it would then be lucrative for industry to do so. This alone should tell you that everything that the commercial pet food industry is founded on is one BIG, FAT LIE.
In reality, it takes absolutely zero scientific know-how to properly feed a dog or cat. What makes US healthy makes THEM healthy: real, water-rich, low (animal) fat, unprocessed, species appropriate foods, and meeting all the other needs of life like fresh air, pure water, sunshine and a bit of exercise. Of all these factors, FOOD is far and away the most important and yet people abdicate the feeding of their dogs to conflicted third parties rather than take on the responsibility themselves.
The proper feeding of a dog can be described in a single paragraph, and even if a dog owner did nothing else except read it, s/he could hardly do worse than commercial food. (Btw if you haven’t already, please read my blog articles about commercial food.) It’s nice to have a good basic understanding of what you’re doing and why, but not when it carries the risk of becoming immobilized by conflicting opinions, and that’s what’s happening to most aspiring raw feeders who “research” raw feeding.
You don’t have to rely on anybody’s opinion! There is an empirical way to determine proper feeding. Any feeding method you choose must be:
1) EFFECTIVE (KEEPS DOGS WELL!)
2) USED BY OTHERS SUCCESSFULLY (TESTIMONIALS)
3) REFLECTIVE OF THE NATURAL MODEL
6) NOT PROHIBITIVELY TIME CONSUMING
7) UNCOMPLICATED, DIGESTIVELY (FOR THE DOG) AND MENTALLY (FOR YOU)
If a feeding method fails to meet even one of these criteria, it should immediately be disqualified in your mind. Where would a wild dog get CBD oil or turmeric paste? Kefir? Water in which bones have been boiled (aka ‘bone broth’)? Is it affordable for most people to spend $100 or more per month on supplements alone? Are the foods being recommended accessible in regular grocery stores? These are only some of the questions that are prudent to ask when considering a feeding method.
When you find something that meets all these criteria, jump in. After you see your dog rejuvenate, you’ll have the confirmation you were looking for.
First, though, we do have to dispense with the lesser-cited reasons why people aren’t feeding raw, some of which are legitimate in some circumstances, such as…
For a person who rescues, fosters or otherwise collects dogs or has very large dogs, it’s going to be expensive to feed them no matter what. A case can still be made for raw feeding, however, if vet bills, suffering and emotional distress are factored in, and they should be particularly if the dogs in question are already having issues. And multi-dog families can benefit most of all from truly proper feeding because fasting and plant food days help keep overall costs down. Not only do PMR and BARF methods not do that, they also aren’t as effective at keeping dogs out of the vet’s office. For evidence, I refer you to the raw feeding groups on Facebook who spend more time exchanging remedies than discussing fasting or how to tweak and optimize the diet.
Another idea that increases perceived cost for most people is the one that says dogs need supplements because they cannot get what they need from foods only. This is more profit-driven nonsense. For one thing, supplements are an industry and industry LIES to sell its products. For another, people who believe the lies don’t like to think they’re being taken advantage of so they promote the products as if they were selling them themselves. They sometimes make dietary improvements at the same time they begin supplementing and when the dog’s health improves, they immediately credit the supplement rather than the dietary improvements. Then they’re hooked for life and they tell everyone about the miracle supplement they discovered.
Contrary to the buzz lingo that is used to market supplements, they are never “whole” because if they were, they’d look like food. The body can’t use stuff it can’t recognize and if something’s had the life processed out of it, it’s only going to pollute the bloodstream and tax the organs of elimination with its disposal. If dogs really needed supplements, then I wouldn’t have been able to successfully raw feed my last dog for 19 years without them and nobody else would either.
Most people don’t have many dogs. Most people have one dog. There’s absolutely no reason related to cost why the owner of one or two dogs can’t feed properly, if s/he can afford to have a dog at all.
Sourcing is also perceived to be more difficult than it really is because veteran raw feeders, raw feeding ‘experts’, and some holistic vets like to impress outsiders and newbies with their talk about “novel” meats, hunting scrap, rotating proteins, secreting organs and feeding hard to find body parts like feet, heads, spleens, kidneys, tripe, tracheas, etc. This can be head-swimmingly intimidating for aspiring raw feeders.
I know lots of people, including myself, who’ve fed very little other than game hens, fruits and veggies for the entire life of their dogs. My current dog eats pretty much exclusively what I can find at the mainstream grocery store down the street. I live in a large metropolitan area and have no access to hunters or farm scrap. It’s nice to have that, but it’s not necessary. My last dog ate quail the last few years of his life and I could only find that in an Asian market but if I’d had no access to it, I am confident he still would have lived to be 19 with no sickness in the last 11 years of his life. Nobody needs to go to a special store to buy pet food. It’s like parents thinking they can only buy their food at the grocery store, and they must buy their kids’ food at a special kids’ food store. Does that seem ridiculous? It’s no more ridiculous than people making a special trip to a different store to buy pet food.
Grocery stores sell the foods that dogs need to eat because those are the same foods that we humans eat. In actuality, human and canine nutritional needs are very different. Thanks in large part to the misguided modern pseudo-science of “nutrition”, people generally accept the idea that humans are “omnivores” designed to eat anything that will fit in our mouths. For the purposes of feeding dogs, this means anything a dog needs can be found where human foods are sold. When we go looking for the products we need to make a dog’s diet “balanced”, however, we can’t escape the truth that humans are not omnivores or carnivores because we find lots of boneless meats but almost none of the “repulsive” body parts that all REAL omnivores and carnivores enjoy eating. To those who buy into the “balance” needs that are constantly preached by prey model and BARF advocates, this would present a problem. Fortunately, however, the idea of “balance” is greatly exaggerated. People like to think they are devoting as much “science” to home feeding as they think the commercial pet food industry does, so they tend to way over-complicate things. Aspiring home feeders need not be intimidated because no dog or cat needs to eat a whole animal at every meal, or even close to it. Meat, bones and a bit of organ meat every now and then is all dogs and cats need, and those foods are all available in any grocery store.
And since it’s mainly meat products that present procurement problems, rotating plant foods into a dog’s diet makes it much easier to source because you have to buy LESS meat. PMR feeders labor under ideas like that proteins need to be rotated and that ‘secreting’ organs need to be fed often. They also typically feed meat every day, so it’s no wonder they have to devote so much time to sourcing.
Again, if a person has large dogs or many dogs, sourcing is going to become more of an important aspect of feeding because finding cheap sources of meat is what’s going to allow them to properly feed them all. For everyone with one or two dogs, sourcing is not an issue.
Investment of time is a bit like investment of money. You generally get out of something what you put into it. If people added up the time they spend worrying about and attending to their dogs’ health issues and working to pay the vet bills, it would take less time to feed properly.
It may feel odd at first preparing your dog’s food if you’re used to dumping kibble into a bowl. But when you see the changes in your dog, feel the way you feel knowing you’re doing the best you can by him/her, see your dog going month after month and year after year with no sickness, and find the routine that works with your lifestyle and habits, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated.
Again we’re dealing with mis-perception here, because raw feeding is perceived to be so complicated and “scientific” that people aren’t just thinking that the actual preparation of food is going to be time consuming, they think they must spend weeks or months researching before they can even begin. That’s 100% false because the more people research, the more confused they become and the more likely they are to continue feeding commercial garbage to their dogs.
Dog rejects raw food
You may have tried feeding raw food to your dogs and got a veto. It doesn’t have to end there. Firstly, it may have had to do with the type of food you offered, so you may need to try different foods. The main thing to consider is that dogs get hooked on junk just like we do. Sit a kid who’s used to eating junk in front of a plate of fruits and veggies and you’re likely to get the same response. Cats get even more addicted to commercial foods and can be very difficult to transition, particularly if they are older. As a consequence, cat owners have developed strategies to get their cats onto natural foods, and these can also be used for dogs. I have used them, and they work! I have a list of these strategies that I will include for free on request for anyone ordering the booklet.
It takes at least a day of fasting for all the remnants of kibble to get out of a dog’s system before raw feeding can begin anyway, and most dogs will eat whatever appropriate food you want to start them on after a day without food. If they still balk, you can braise food slightly so that only the surface is cooked. Or you can fast another day. I hope everyone here has read my article about fasting so that you’ll know that fasting is not dangerous or harmful and is in fact very healthy and natural for dogs.
The only legitimate issue with fasting dogs who are used to eating commercial food is that they will sometimes vomit bile when the appetite is psychologically triggered but food is not forthcoming. This is a pathological condition that is caused by over-consumption of fat and will resolve in time on a proper diet. During transition, however, an owner might want to fast as long as possible, even if it’s just half a day, and begin the new diet with whatever plant foods the dog will eat. Plant foods are less likely to create a mess in the digestive tract if they encounter kibble remains, like raw meat can.
It is very rare for an owner to not be able to get a dog transitioned if s/he has the right information and guidance from someone experienced in transitioning dogs, which I offer everyone who buys my booklet, and in my Facebook group. In fact, in all the hundreds of dogs I’ve helped transition, I’ve never heard of it happening ONCE.
I was heartened to see only 3 votes for this category, but since it’s such an important part of understanding health and is the preferred way that vets frighten people away from raw feeding, I will give it its due. Nothing in our current culture makes less sense and is more self-destructive than our insane war on the microscopic entities on whom we depend for our very lives. The idea that disease is a stealth attacker lurking on every counter top and cutting board has been used to create fear, which in turn sells products and services. The germ theory of disease has always been about MONEY and CONTROL, it has never had anything to do with health or understanding nature.
Every second that you spend worrying about germs, trying to avoid them, killing them, or blaming your dog’s sicknesses on them is wasted time from your precious life. Bacteria and fungi are absolutely not the enemies of humankind. They are nature’s clean-up crew. They are unequivocally our friends. There are NO good or bad bacteria. Different bacteria consume different kinds of waste, just as there are different taxonomy categories in mammals. The kinds of bacteria that eat waste that is produced from foods that are the most harmful as they decompose (animal products, generally) are thought to be the most “pathogenic”, such as e-coli and salmonella. But the bacteria are there because the WASTE is there and it’s the WASTE that is the true underlying cause of symptoms, ALWAYS. Bacteria are innocent by-standers. In fact, they are beyond innocent. They are there doing their job.
Viruses are slightly different, but they likewise DO NOT cause disease. When viruses have been seen under a microscope “invading” a cell, it’s the cell willingly taking it in to make use of the material. In its incredible providence, the body recycles all the re-usable material that it can. This process is called “phagocytosis” and it is part of the natural and normal functioning of a healthy body. Viruses do not have life unless you redefine the word “life” as many so-called scientists are fond of doing. The definition of the word “virus” has been changed to reflect the popular belief that they are “pathogens”. Some definitions even say that the word “virus” refers to a disease itself. It used to be widely known by every biology student that a virus is nothing but a spent piece of DNA with a protein sheath. In other words, dead, cellular debris. Nowadays, if you go looking for information on whether viruses are alive or dead, you will find dozens of articles that claim there has long been a battle waged in scientific circles on this very topic. The only problem is, you will NOT find anybody arguing on the viruses-are-dead side. Actually, there is ONE brave scientist, Dr. Stephen Lanka, who is speaking the truth. Here’s an article he wrote about viruses. The lop-sidedness of the argument may seem odd until you realize there are careers, egos, fortunes, companies, industries and governments all invested in the viruses-are-alive side. It’s a virtual tidal wave of propaganda against a few intrepid individuals who choose to think for themselves. The idea that viruses can cause disease is the modern permutation of the evil spirit theory of disease.
Be assured, however, that you CAN feed your dog properly without ever questioning the germ theory! Thousands do it, maybe millions. If you want to clean up after you prepare raw food for your animals, do so. Personally, I use warm water only, never cleansers, natural or artificial, to clean up after I feed, and nobody in my household ever gets sick. If anyone ever did get sick, I’d look for the real causes. Imo, ‘germs’ are the very least valid reason for people to not feed raw. But if you still think that germs are responsible for disease and no sensible argument will persuade you otherwise, please know that dogs have eaten raw meat since they first showed up on the planet. Their bodies are set up for it in every conceivable way, including dealing with the microorganisms that inhabit it.
Here are a couple articles if you are interested in reading a truthful explanation of how the germ ‘theory’ came about and what’s wrong with it.
How to avoid “researching” raw food diets
The booklet I sell here is the quickest way I know to get up to speed on proper feeding. The methods it teaches meet all the above criteria and the best part is you can read it in an evening and be feeding your dogs properly by this time tomorrow. If spending $10 on this information presents a financial hardship, please contact me and I will send it to you for free. Your dog’s body is literally MADE from what you feed him or her. Please take the opportunity to get this information and put it to work for your dogs so they can begin getting well.
Everybody likes the idea of having a dog that is never sick and never needs a vet. But, there are no shortcuts. Whatever time, money and effort you think you’re saving by feeding commercial pet food will just be spent elsewhere, and there’s a very large, lucrative industry that’s happy to have you do that. It’s just a matter of how you want to spend your money and time.
4 thoughts on “The Top 6 Reasons Why People Are Hesitant to Feed Raw”
Thank you for this very important article!
Yes, dogs fed raw food are certainly healthier. Even when they are “old”, their furs shine with a special glow, their eyes are bright, and their hearing is still intact.
They also do not stink, or leave your hands dirty, if you pet them; because they do not have any dead food being expelled through the skin.
Their hide can also be touched without the accompanied soreness, like dogs on dead food have. Their joints are also healthier; most dogs on dead food, tend to get stiff, when they get old.
Dogs will even eat dead carcasses in nature, without any problems with their digestion, so, yes, – they are definitely made of sturdy stuff.
They bury bones or even meats themselves, and during the time spent in the ground, the meat will “mature”, and become even easier for them to digest.
In addition to feeding raw, one also needs to avoid vaccines. All of the above mentioned features, are from dogs that are also kept vaccine- free.
Kind regards from Hege. 🙂
I had decided to feed Raw food for my 11 year old Husky/Dane, who started looking more tired, coat dry and weak muscles. Took him to our Vet who had said there was signs of problems with his lungs. His name is Blue Moon nick name is Boo-Boo, he is my baby and had saved my life couple years ago. I had to do something so I research Raw Food. Well I started him about a 8 months ago and would say that after the first month I saw the changes in him, happier, playing ball and so much lovable. Best thing I’ve done. I have 4 more pups (ages 1 to 5 yrs old) that I want to start on Raw Food, but my questions is how do I teach my others pups to take time to eat their Chicken Drum stick, they eat like its their last meal. They love it but it worries me that if not chew right might cause them problems. Their meals would be Chicken Drum, Gizzards, Hearts, Kidney, liver, brown egg and coconut Oil. Please help!
There are slow down bowls you can buy that force a dog to eat more slowly. Or you can hand feed. Really the only indication that wolfing food is an issue is vomiting after eating, or regularly coughing up meat to chew again. The latter is normal occasionally, but not frequently. I recommend hand feeding. With that many dogs it’ll take some time but you’ll get peace of mind.
Thank you for your thoughts. It is natural for dogs to “wolf” down their food “in one go”. It is the way it is supposed to be. The only time it may be a problem, can be if they have just transitioned, and their bodies are still “starved” from lack of nutrients in the dead food they were on previously.
Once the transition- time is done – however – they should be allowed to eat the way they see fit.
Seems like wolfing it all in one go, allows for the digestive juices to perform better, because they will be more concentrated. This may be thwarted, if hand-fed smaller amounts over time, due to the added saliva.
Kind regards. 🙂