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Frequently Asked Questions - Dog and Cat Nutritional Advice
Why raw meat?
Handling raw meat can be a messy job and your preference may be to feed your companion something closer to what you would eat, but your needs and those of your dog or cat are completely different. Raw meat is the natural source of protein for both carnivorous and omnivorous animals. Protein is an amino acid, and an amino acid is a molecule. Raw meat is made up of long molecule chains that are easily broken down by the dog's/cat's digestive system. The long molecule chain is broken into short chain amino acids through the cooking process, and the pet is left with a deficiency of a complete amino acid profile. Amino acids, essential nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants are destroyed or altered through the cooking process. These nutrients are absolutely vital to good health, and in fact are essential for every biochemical activity in your pet's body. The feeding of cooked or processed foods interferes with many of the body's normal functions, and therefore is responsible for impairing or otherwise compromising the immune system. When fat in the meat is cooked it transforms to trans-fats, which are toxic and have been found to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, cell membranes and liver function.
Are there risks of Salmonella poisoning?
Salmonella is a bacteria derived from animal fecal matter. It is associated with the presence of feces on the flesh, which means the meat was exposed to the contents of the lower digestive tract during the slaughtering and processing stage. There are many unsubstantiated concerns which condemn raw meat feeding, the primary concern being the potential to infect humans with salmonella, however, there exists very little real evidence that exposure to humans is a serious threat. The phobia of raw meat feeding seems to be a North American issue, as in Europe it is common practice to feed raw with full veterinary approval. If Salmonella infection is truly a problem it would have been of much greater concern in the smaller, crowded Eurpean countries. As with any feeding method, common sense, good hygiene, and the handling of meat as one would their own, is of greatest importance The dog's digestive tract is short, only 3-6 times its body length. The dog's stomach holds the food for up to 8 hours and secretes hydrochloric acid many times stronger than that of humans. This aids the digestion of protein and kills harmful bacteria. The wolf has evolved over millions of years, with apparent immunity to the effects of salmonella. Research has taught us that the wolf upon killing its prey will eat through stomach and organs, including the lower bowel, where salmonella is typically found. No apparent side effects have been noted. The typical wild cat kill involves the consumption of the entire animal, lower digestive tract included. Cats will not willingly consume badly contaminated meat, however it is quite apparent, through observing the wild cats' behavior, that the cat has the ability to handle a considerable quantity of bacteria.
What are some of the changes that people have noticed in their dogs' general health?
In most cases you should notice your dog will have: healthier skin and shinier coat; less itching due to dry skin irritation; cleaner teeth, a reduction in plaque build-up, and fresher breath; clear eyes and cleaner ears; elimination of that 'doggie' smell; more energy and greater mental acuity; obesity is no longer a problem; no bloating; less water consumption; less backyard clean-up. We are also aware of some more serious health problems being positively affected, including: anal gland problems; arthritis; benign tumors and cysts; intestinal disorders and dog allergies, and dog diabetes. Some changes that we have observed in cats include, elimination of struvite crystals and the re-currence of oxalate stones, less kidney stress, less tartar on the teeth, healthier coat, more energy, diabetes alleviated, IBD disappears.
Won't eating raw meat make my dog more vicious?
Absolutely not. An old wives tale. If you notice any difference in the behavior of your dog, it will likely be for the better, because, they are not having to tolerate the effects of too much carbohydrate in the diet, which is typically found in grain-based commercial pet foods. These carbohydrates are used mainly as filler, because it makes the food more affordable, not because the dog requires it as a part of the diet.
How can I get rid of the tartar on my dog's teeth?
If your dog has previously been on commercial food, you may notice an excess of tartar. Commercial pet food is processed and the enzymes that naturally clean the teeth are destroyed. With a raw dog food diet you should notice the tartar gradually disappear, leaving clean, white teeth. For the older dog this process may take longer, up to 6 months. An alternative is to have your dog's teeth cleaned at your veterinarian or local dog care centre.
What's wrong with giving my dog whole, raw bones?
It depends on the type of raw bone you are feeding. Some veterinarians are reporting that dogs are coming in with bones lodged in the palate, stomach and intestines, and we feel that the benefit does not out-weigh the risk. The feeding of raw bones is a personal preference, but we recommend that dogs be fed only beef knuckle or soup bones, as these are less likely to splinter and become a problem. Gnawing on a good meaty bone is a delicacy to most dogs - yummy - but keep it safe! Our ingredients list includes highly absorbable human grade calcium lactate.