Myths About Raw Feeding


This is absolutely false. Unfortunately, this premise—based on nothing but phenotypic differences in canines depending on region and utility—has been used by both commercial pet food companies and raw-promoting people to create "designer diets" that can be quite unsound in regards to nutrition. This truly is a fad that is designed to take unknowing consumers' money and make a big profit. The idea that Salukis should have mostly goats milk, dates, and very little meat because there is hardly any meat in the region they come from is absolutely preposterous! These claims fail to take into account that all dogs have the same internal anatomy and physiology and the same nutritional needs despite size and breed. For example, view the different skulls of dogs on this site here (scroll one-third of the way down the page); all of them have the same kinds of teeth that dictate carnivory! A Shi Tzu has the same elemental nutritional needs as a Great Dane; the only difference is that the Shi Tzu has to eat much less to satisfy those needs. The short time that the dog has been domesticated and that specific breeds have existed in various parts of the world is not long enough for an evolutionary need for the foods of the region from which they originate to be developed.

If we look at this further from a practical, common sense point of view, we are faced with a powerful question: What about mutts? If dogs have "evolved" in that short time period to eat only the foods from the regions in which they were developed, then what do you feed a dog that has a variety of different dogs contained in its heritage? Most of the time people can only guess what breeds of dogs contributed to their loving pet, and if dogs had to be fed a designer diet, they would be at a loss for what to feed it. Thankfully, canine heritage and nature herself point to the proper answer: feed a raw prey-model diet.

The claims that dogs have different coats and shed differently, or have different bone structure, or produce more or less of coat oils are NOT sufficient to indicate each breed needs a designer food. Every part of every dog is made of the same building blocks. Bones are ALWAYS made up of osteocytes (bone cells), the hydroxyapatite matrix they secrete (contains mostly calcium and phosphorus), collagen, cartilage, blood vessels, bone marrow, periosteum. Muscles are ALWAYS made from connective tissue, myoblasts (muscle cells), myofibers, and blood vessels. The structures of every dog's body need the same building blocks: the amino acids provided by proteins, the fatty acid chains provided by fats, the glucose molecules for energy provided by gluconeogenesis that takes amino acids and turns them into glucose molecules, and a variety of vitamins and minerals—all of which are contained in the appropriate amounts and proportions in a whole prey animal. This means any dog can obtain all the nutrients they need from a prey animal, regardless of what breed they are. Their internal physiological processes are the same, even if their coat sheds differently or their bones are more dense. The physiological processes that lay down more bone matrix or that cause the coat to shed and grow in again all use the same building blocks that EVERY dog needs and can obtain in its beautiful raw form from raw carcasses. Each dog fuels its body processes using the same metabolic pathways that take amino acids and fats and turn them into glucose or glucose derivatives to provide the body with energy. Dogs utilize fuel at different rates, with means they have different metabolisms. Does this mean that they therefore need different foods to compensate for their different metabolisms? No. They just need different amounts of food to compensate for how quickly or how slowly they convert the food to energy and burn through it.

Every dog is an individual with individual tastes and reactions to food. This means you can get a Saluki that does not like chicken, or a dog of northern breeding that hates fish, or a German Shepherd that cannot have lamb because it repeats something fierce on it and gives it gas. Some Dalmations (a breed with a particular predisposition toward forming urate stones; if you wish to raw-feed a Dalmation, please research this predisposition and adjust the diet accordingly.) do fine with high purine meats, and others can only have low purine meats. This is where the raw feeding mantra of KNOW YOUR DOG comes into play. You are responsible for knowing your dog's likes and dislikes, what sits well with it and what does not. You do not need to be paying somebody to determine that for you. And most of all, you do not need to be paying them to formulate a special diet for your pet. Feed your pet according to the prey model, and adjust your sources as needed. If the dog gets sick of chicken, then cut back on the chicken and feed more of something else. If your dog does not do well with beef, then do not feed as much beef (or any, if you like). Once your dog has started and adjusted to the raw diet, start adding more and more variety in the form of whole carcasses, raw meaty bones and organ meat from a wide variety of animals. Over time you will learn the ins and outs of your dog's feeding habits, that perhaps rabbit is not your dog's favorite but that it really likes pork. Know your dog, and know that you have the full capability to feed an appropriate prey model diet that can be tailored by you to your dog's needs and tastes while providing plenty of variety.