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I posted about a week ago that I just switched my dog to the prey model raw diet.

Because we are still in the very begining of the transition, her diet has consisted of chicken backs and chicken quarters. I was worried that because she used to have a sensitive stomach (on kibble) that her system would not take to raw very well at all. My worries were put to rest as she has done great!! I switched her cold turkey (no pun intended), and I don't think she has had an ounce of diarrhea! yaaaay! That made me feel like I was doing the right thing for her and her health.

During this past week, some conversation has come up with my veterinarian and also my boss (yes, I work at a vet clinic) regarding raw diets. I compeletly trust her with my dog when it comes to veterinary care, and I think she is very educated in dog nutrition. The only problem is, she is educated in modern dog nutrition (i.e. commercial dog foods). Of course she is. I belive she has VERY little education if at all on raw diets (specifically Prey Model Raw done right).

I asked her what she honestly thinks about a raw diet with the claimed health benefits aside, mainly focusing on whether it is balanced and nutritious. She said NO it is not. She said many raw fed dogs have deficiencies in essential vitamins (such as calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, etc). She said dogs start developing health issues because of these deficiencies. I thought that dogs that are fed raw get an abundance of calcium from eating the bones. But she said that they don't grind them fine enough when they are eating them to absorb enough calcium.

Her other concerns with a raw diet are: teeth breaking, obstruction/blockage from bones, bacteria from raw meat, constipation (which I thought the chewed up bones act as fiber, but she said that they do the opposite and can become impacted in the digestive tract).

I definately want to keep my dog on a raw diet as it seems the most natural and obvious diet for a dog. It may be that she is basing her information off dogs that have not been fed a BALANCED PREY MODEL RAW diet, which is what I am aiming to do.

I have also read about the raw diet known as "The Ultimate Diet", which urges followers to feed raw meaty bones, raw vegetables, and other natural supplements with each meal. How is this different from Prey Model Raw? Why do our dogs on PMR not need additional supplements/fiber etc?

I would just like some clarification and encouragement that my dog is NOT going to be lacking in her diet if she is on the PMR diet.

Please do not bash my boss. Again, she is very great at what she does, I do not question anything. She is a typical veterinarian that was taught about commercial dog diets, and she always looks at things from the medical point of view, not necessarily the natural point of view.
 

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That made me feel like I was doing the right thing for her and her health.
Your dogs appearance and energy level is all you need to see to know you are doing right.

The only problem is, she is educated in modern dog nutrition (i.e. commercial dog foods). Of course she is. I belive she has VERY little education if at all on raw diets (specifically Prey Model Raw done right).
If she is like most vets, she is educated by the dog food sales reps about what kibble to prescribe for what ailment.

I asked her what she honestly thinks about a raw diet with the claimed health benefits aside, mainly focusing on whether it is balanced and nutritious. She said NO it is not.
Again, she is educated by dog food reps and vet magazines. If you ever find a vet who has fed a prey model raw diet, they will always be for it. The vets who are against it have never fed it and don't know what it can and can't do for/to dogs.

She said many raw fed dogs have deficiencies in essential vitamins (such as calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, etc).
What she forgets is that dogs/wolves have thrived off this diet for millions of years. All the nutrients needed are in the meat, bones, and organs of the prey animals they eat. There are no deficiencies. I know people who have fed raw for 20 and 30 years with healthy dogs. I have known breeders who brag of having 5 generations of healthy dogs fed a prey model raw diet. All the nutrients in the proper amounts are in this diet. If not, dogs/wolves would gone extinct long ago.

She said dogs start developing health issues because of these deficiencies.
I have heard that from vets and when I ask for specific instances, they can not come up with examples of prey model raw fed dogs. They only read about thim in magazines but have never seen them. The honestly do believe those cases exist out there somewhere.

I thought that dogs that are fed raw get an abundance of calcium from eating the bones. But she said that they don't grind them fine enough when they are eating them to absorb enough calcium.
Thats wrong. I had a vet tell me they can't digest bones but I have been feeding my dogs bones for 7 years. THey are not coming out the anus so if they aren't digested are they still in the dogs? I don't think so. :smile:

Her other concerns with a raw diet are: teeth breaking,
As you will discover pretty quickly that one of the great benefits of a prey model raw diet is dental health. Your dog will never again need its teeth cleaned and bad breath disappears if it hasn't already. Teeth CAN be broken on weight bearing bones of large animals. These would be femur bones and knuckle bones. Few of us feed those kinds of bones.

obstruction/blockage from bones,
Thats possible but so very unlikely as to not be a concern. In 7 years of raw feeding and spending the entire 7 years on several discussion boards of raw feeders, I have known of 2 dogs that had bones get stuck. I have heard of several dogs getting blockages from ground bone or bone meal but almost never on whole raw bones. Cooked bones are another story. We don't feed cooked bones.

bacteria from raw meat,
Bacteria is NEVER a problem with dogs. Their stomach juices are acidic enough to kill any bacteria that enter the body through the stomach. I have fed my dogs some very rotten meat before with no ill effect. They have eaten week old road kill squirrels filled with maggots with no ill effects.

constipation (which I thought the chewed up bones act as fiber, but she said that they do the opposite and can become impacted in the digestive tract).
Ground bone CAN become impacted in the digestive tract but not whole raw bones. Also, since the fecal volume of raw fed dogs is so small, often it is mistaken for constipation. I have 2 Great Danes. They each poop 2 little logs about the size of my thumbs each day and that is all. Unknowledgable people would worry about that but its been going on for 7 years. They are not constipated. The fecal volume is a result of the nutrition in food or more accurately the lack of undigestable filler. You see, raw fed dogs have natural poops but most vets have only seen kibble fed dogs how poop a hugely gross over abundance of poop. Since this is all they've seen, they think thats the way it's supposed to be.

I definately want to keep my dog on a raw diet as it seems the most natural and obvious diet for a dog. It may be that she is basing her information off dogs that have not been fed a BALANCED PREY MODEL RAW diet, which is what I am aiming to do.
Balance is not as critical as most "educated" people seem to thilnk it is. Wild animals don't balance their diet. They eat what they can catch and kill and stay healthy. Here is what I advise new raw feeders. ... Feed a variety of meat, bones, and organs from a variety of animals. Feed mostly meat, some bone and some organs. Exact ratios are not important.

I advise you to stick with it. Let your dog tell you that you are doing the right thing. Don't listen to people who have never fed a prey model raw diet in their lives. What the heck can they know?

I have also read about the raw diet known as "The Ultimate Diet", which urges followers to feed raw meaty bones, raw vegetables, and other natural supplements with each meal. How is this different from Prey Model Raw? Why do our dogs on PMR not need additional supplements/fiber etc?
Dogs are carnivores. Carnivores eat meat, bones, and organs. THey don't eat veggies, fruits, nuts, etc. If they did, they would be omnivores. Their bodies are not designed to digest plant material. From their teeth, jaw structure, digestive system, they can't handle plant material. All the nutrients they need are in meat, bones, and organs. There is no need to supplement unless there is some health problem that would benefit from it. Don't supplement "just in case". That does more harm than good and usually only succeedes in creating expensive pee.

I would just like some clarification and encouragement that my dog is NOT going to be lacking in her diet if she is on the PMR diet.
I can assure they will be more healthy and live longer on this diet than any other you can feed.

Please do not bash my boss. Again, she is very great at what she does, I do not question anything. She is a typical veterinarian that was taught about commercial dog diets, and she always looks at things from the medical point of view, not necessarily the natural point of view.
Exactly. She only knows what she is taught and reads. She should try it before she makes judgements about it. If she would feed PMR for 2 months, her dogs would be fed that way for the rest of her life. :smile:
 

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If our vet were not our boss and just someone who I was talking to about food, it would be a lot easier to discuss a raw diet. Amy and I work together and both love our job and think that our vet/boss is absolutely wonderful at what she does. The fact that she is open to a raw diet, but is skeptical of it, is better than most. The fact that she thinks that it can be a balanced diet if done right is a step in the right direction.

I would say that if she doesn't want her dogs teeth to break or chip, stay far away from weight bearing bones. Any bones from cows (other than ribs), or other leg bones of other bigger animals are too tough and dense to feed to dogs. My rule of thumb is to stay away from leg bones...if it is hollow in the middle and round I don't give it.

Obstruction from bones are rare...if they are raw. Cooked bones can cause damage. Duh. Also, weird shaped bones (T-bones for example or bones that have been cut during processing) I stay away from. The main bone-in meats we feed are chicken and turkey because the bones are soft and easy for them to chew.

As far as the bacteria scare, its total bogus. There are the same bacteria present on processed dog foods, which cause recalls. They are definitely not sterile, and are full of preservatives on top of it. Dogs lick their behinds all the time and then come give you a big ol kiss...so I don't really think about the bacteria. I just keep things as clean as I can.

She may have had to remove bones from a clients dog for three days, but I remember that case (if it really is the one that I remember...she was fed chicken wings with kibble). The dog was fed kibble WITH raw...which never should be done. The mixture of bone and kibble makes "cement" poo which is why it is discouraged to feed raw and kibble at the same meal. That is why I always recommend doing different meals of raw and kibble, if not exclusively one or the other.

She is 100% right that meat and bones alone is not enough. That is why you need organ meals. But not too many organ meals because they are really rich. You also have to remember that a raw diet is balanced over time...not with every single meal. Think about how we eat...we don't eat a 100% balanced meal 3 times a day. Balance in our diets happens throughout the day, or week, etc. Same idea and concept is applied to our pet's diet. Actually a very simple concept.

Bones definitely don't function as fiber, but instead replace it by adding bulk to their poop. Which in essence is exactly and exclusively what fiber does in a dog's diet. Bones do a better job, considering they provide minerals and vitamins in the process. Yes, if you feed too much bone your dog's stool is going to be like powder (Sometimes it gets like that if you feed too many chicken backs), but that is why there is the guideline of ~80% fresh, raw meat ~10% raw bones and ~10% organ. If you feed your dog by this guideline you shouldn't ever see a problem (but also keep in mind that diarrhea is a natural thing...you don't go running to the docter every time you do...right???).

She is right that dogs don't finely grind their bones up. They just chew their food until its small enough to fit down their throats. But what does happen is that the bones are digested fully and come out like so. Sometimes you will see bigger chunks of bone if you feed them a rib meal or something but other than that, bones are broken down completely. I know this because I almost never see huge chunks of bone in any of our dogs' poo. For you on the other hand, will see bigger chunks of bone in the beginning when first switching to raw. This is because it takes time for Jemma's body to get used to digesting raw meats, bones and organs. It would be the same for you if you did a 180 degree change in your diet. But after a week or two, it shouldn't be a problem. She wont have debilitating effects from it. I will also add that calcium absobancy is regulated by the body. Only a certain amount can be absorbed, and any surplus amount in the diet is just discarded. There is WAY too much calcium in dog food, and most of it is wasted. This is why you can kill someone with injectable calcium LOL...same with potassium and sodium. I wouldn't worry about Jemma not getting enough calcium if you feed chicken backs and turkey necks on regular basis...several days out of the week.

They don't need fiber in their diet. If dog needed fiber...all 4 of our dogs would be dead by now considering they have had a fiber free diet for over a year or longer. Like I mentioned earlier...bones replace fiber because all fiber does in their diet is add bulk, and what is not absorbed from the bones adds the bulk needed to firm poo. Fiber does not do anything but add bulk.

Pureed veggies and fruit will add nutrients, vitamins and minerals to the diet. Are they needed? I don't think so... Will they hurt your dog? Probably not...maybe cause some digestive upset and gas at first but I am sure that she will get used to it after awhile. We haven't really ever added fruits and veggies to the girls' diet, and they are all fine.

As far as a multivitamin goes, I believe if you feed meat, bone and organ by the guidelines your really don't need to add supplements. If you were to add supplements, I would say an omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplement (flax seed oil is the best actually), especially if you don't have fish as a regular item on the menu, unless you feed free range or grass fed beef or game meat, which are actually higher in omegas than fish. Another supplement that we add in is glucosamine/condroitin...but I don't really even know if that is helping.

If you have any hesitations about not giving supplements, just give them. They are most likely not going to do any harm, so what's there to lose? If anything, Jemma will just poo out whatever she doesn't use. Which on raw is a LOT less than on kibble.

All of our dogs are doing perfect. No issues. The only time I got scared is when they got that dead prairie dog this summer and spiked a fever for 2 days. But that has nothing to do with their day to day diet. And comparing a complete and balanced raw diet to what someone was doing with a certain little dog is just absurd. All she was giving her was cooked ground beef and white rice. I think that you can see that is not enough and would cause her to start losing her hair and getting mites from a suppressed immune system. There is no question in my mind that the raw diet that we do with all our animals is complete and balanced.

Its not like I would be mad at you if you didn't feed raw, but it really is the best thing that you can do for her. There has to be a reason why so many of the dogs we see at work have teeth rotting out of their heads, thyroid issues, diabetes, kidney failure, skin/coat issues, etc, etc. I am not saying that raw would cure all of that. Although I have heard lots and lots of stories of dogs and cats being cured from all of these things by switching to raw on all of the dog forums that I am a member of. And the owners always post up saying that their vets are astounded by their turn around. It just seems like dogs and cats are plagued by diseases associated with poor health and nutrition. And to me diet is the main cause of poor health, followed by genetics, followed by injury/trauma. So I blame pet foods first and foremost.

Just do what seems right to you. If you feel that fruits and veggies are necessary, then feed them. Just make sure that you puree them. And add in all the supplements you think are beneficial. Just because we don't use them, doesn't mean that you shouldn't. We do what feels right and comes naturally...so you should do the same.

And there is a reason why most vets don't support a raw diet. Lack or clinical and quantifiable research. But there hasn't been research done on a prey model raw diet done CORRECTLY. The proof that it works is in their closest relative, the wolf. If a diet of raw meat, bone and organ wasn't sufficicent, wolves would have gone extinct long ago. Sure they don't live as long, but that is because they live in the wild and face the harsh weather and threats of the real world. Captive wolves live just as long as domesticated dogs...especially if they are fed a species appropriate diet.

Glad that you are posting up here...this forum really is a great resource of knowledgeable and experienced feeders. I am still learning things!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How's Jemma coming along Amy?

She is doing really great! Like I was telling Natalie, she has not ONCE had diarrhea. (she used to have diarrhea at least once a week on kibble). She has been having turkey necks this past week, and tomorrow night will be her first Pork meal.

I am loving the change and so is she! Thanks again for all the help!

:biggrin:
 

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Yay welcome to raw!

Ok, I'm not going to bash your vet, I'm just going to tell you the facts about veterinary nutritional education.

1. Veterinarians typically receive one, count it, ONE class in nutrition during their entire time at veterinary school.

2. This class is generally taught by reps from one of the major dog food companies (Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina, or Iams/Eukanuba).

3. They learn about the nutrition about every single animal they are going to come into contact with in this ONE class (which probably only lasts one semester). So that's dogs, cats, rodents, horses, cows, birds, reptiles, etc. all in one semester. You can't get too in-depth with that many subjects to learn about in that short of time.

4. She probably didn't have to pay much attention to pass.

5. Most veterinarians learn about illness, how to treat them, what different medications do, how to dose them, how to do surgeries, etc. They do not focus on nutrition. If they wish to learn more about nutrition, they have to go to school for an extra 4 years. And those veterinarians still have many classes taught/infiltrated by the big pet food companies. This is not a conspiracy theory. Check out the Science Diet website. They have an entire section dedicated to veterinarians and brag about how much money they give to vet clinics and vet schools.

Now let me tell you a fun story: when I took a veterinary medicine class a year ago, we had a different veterinarian come into class each week to talk to us about their experiences in school and practice. After class, I started talk to one of these vets about raw food diets and asking him questions because I was honestly curious. He just kind of agreed with everything I said, admitting he didn't know much about it but he'd heard good things. After about 5 minutes of conversation, he started looking uncomfortable and said, "I don't know, I only took one nutrition class in vet school and I really didn't pay that much attention," *turns to my professor who is also a veterinarian, "How about you, Mike?" To which Mike agrees with him. Got 'em both to admit that they didn't really know much about animal nutrition. True story.

Another true story: later the next semester, I saw that same professor in Petsmart, we started talking about his dogs and I asked him what he feeds them. "Oh you know, the typical Iams, Purina, Science Diet. They get us so hooked on it in vet school, I don't really know much about the other stuff. Why, what do you recommend?" I sold him hook, line, and sinker on Blue Buffalo (best food in Petsmart, IMO). True story.

I'm not saying she's a bad boss or a bad veterinarian. I'm sure she's a fantastic veterinarian. She's just good at what she was educated to do, and doesn't know much about what she was not very well educated on, that's all. :smile:
 

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Yay welcome to raw!

Ok, I'm not going to bash your vet, I'm just going to tell you the facts about veterinary nutritional education.

I'm not saying she's a bad boss or a bad veterinarian. I'm sure she's a fantastic veterinarian. She's just good at what she was educated to do, and doesn't know much about what she was not very well educated on, that's all. :smile:
I agree with EVERYTHING you just said. I know that they get very little education about dog nutrition. Since posting, and going on my 3rd? week of raw, I am completely set on it. I can already see differences in Jemma, like I said before she has had NO stomach upset. That really gives me peace about the whole thing; she used to have horrible diarrhea if she snatched three kibbles out of my other dog's bowls.

Thanks for your stories and input :biggrin:
 

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I agree with EVERYTHING you just said. I know that they get very little education about dog nutrition. Since posting, and going on my 3rd? week of raw, I am completely set on it. I can already see differences in Jemma, like I said before she has had NO stomach upset. That really gives me peace about the whole thing; she used to have horrible diarrhea if she snatched three kibbles out of my other dog's bowls.

Thanks for your stories and input :biggrin:
And now you will start to realize what dogs/cats will thrive especially on a raw diet that you come into contact with...and I know that you know what/who I mean LOL :biggrin:
 
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