Mark has very cleverly put together a pie chart of the reasons that you, our positive pack elected to go raw with Bella and Duke. As you know, I am not normally a fan of pies but willing to make an exception here, he’s the boss AND this pie is grain free. And be reassured this is the only pie that Mark is ever going to make.
Yes, there is of course the old adage about lies, damn lies and statistics. We are going to totally swerve going down the management consultancy route here. Hear screech of tyres. We simply want to share with you the top reasons that our tribe decided that going Raw with Bella and Duke was the way forward. (And rightly so!)
So for the purposes of simplicity, I am going to list the top reasons and guide you through my conclusions from these. As per my new modus operandi, I intend to keep this clean and simply natural. Just like our food.
Number One – Healthier Species Appropriate Diet (28%)
Hands down the number one is that you all simply wanted a healthier, more species appropriate way of eating. Over a quarter of our pack elected this as their reason. This is a great reason, a preemptive, proactive positive reason for going raw. I take great “comfort from this” . As inherently we all know that food is a key part of the health jigsaw.
I do suspect however, that additionally this is a “generic catch all” that may be hiding the actual motivation for change, such as symptom. I have a hunch, thats all. More often than not when I see a new patient they explain how they want to get “healthier” and when we dive deeper there’s a specific symptom that is prompting this.
We know that food is a major part of the health journey, it’s just we also have an additional motivator to set us off on it.
Number Two – Dog has Awful Poops (13%)
Now we get into the real motivations for change and lets face it, if you aren’t going to be motivated by an awful poop then nothing will stir you, especially as, as responsible dog owners we are obliged to collect these on a daily basis. More importantly though than this pressing call to action, is what this represents as a symptom.
Awful poops instantly tell me that the dog is having real problems digesting its previous diet. A healthy poop is compact and does not smell like, well lets stop there… The underlying reasons for a tricky poop can be a profusion of bad bacteria (who simply love feeding off carbohydrate and sugars, it’s like a 5 year olds party picnic for them), an inability to digest the food properly, be it inappropriate food for the dog (kibble), lack of digestive enzymes (due to kibble), lack of amylase to deal with carbohydrate (in kibble), undiagnosed food intolerance’s (from Kibble) or allergies (made worse by kibble), IBS (from kibble), the list is endless. Or more commonly a combination of all of these.
Oh by the way I need to level with you. I suspect I may have a bias against kibble. Or anything else that endangers our pets. Honesty and transparency in my journalistic efforts.
Back to the blog.
These are serious symptoms as the gut is our number one interface with the outside world. It’s our source of nutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, water, probiotics. Its also up to 80% of our dogs immune system. If this is not working optimally then how are our dogs going to replace new cells, be energised or defend themselves from disease? You have seen what goes into a dogs mouth? This needs some serious immune defense to maintain!
REMEMBER : SYMPTOMS ARE COMMON BUT NEVER “NORMAL”
My humble opinion is that the gut is the gateway. It can be either a gateway to health or a gateway to illness. What the dogs (or humans) eat will become an actual part of every single cell in their body. Do we want that to be built on kibble or built on a raw natural species appropriate diet? I guess thats quite a loaded question 🙂
Let’s just cover that again. What you feed your dog will become your dog.
Your dog will digest the food you feed it, assimilate it, take the relevant parts and build new cells with it. This cells will either be healthy and robust or not. What you are seeing before you now is what you have fed your dog 6 months ago. When I visualise the digestive process like this it always throws a whole new perspective on “treating your dog” or indeed “yourself”.
So the next time you tell yourself “oh go on you deserve it” What is it exactly you deserve? If you are reading this I want to believe you all deserve vibrant health and energy ! Is your ‘treat” helping this?
This for me always throws a totally new paradigm on food and how it affects our biology. Food even affects our mood and our decisions. Far fetched? Far from it!
Consider “Comfort food” or the temptation of warm toast with butter. Even i when I smell it go “ahhhhh”. Why is this so attractive a prospect? Simply put the grain in toast evokes an opioid response. Yes….it acts exactly like a drug and binds to receptors in the brain. Want to know more? Check out this article.
This is where the “naturally selective feeding” argument falls down slightly. A dog might chew on a rubber wellington because its nice to gnaw on, not because its lacking rubber in its diet. Same story grains. These are highly addictive and responding to this addiction does not mean your dog “requires wheat”. It’s merely alleviating a craving. This craving contributes to all manner of symptoms which become reasons to switch to a raw diet.
A vet contacted us recently asking for all of the research papers that we base our blog on. I resisted the temptation to instead ask them for reasons why on earth anyone could believe that the “current processed food” being fed to dogs and recommended in vet practices across the world are working? When so many dogs have digestive issues and other symptoms, SURELY someone must see that there’s an issue. Nearly all of the reasons on the list for starting Bella and Duke are food related symptoms. Nearly all.
It was tough but I resisted. Well done me. Gold diplomacy star. I am getting better at this but I am brewing an outburst, its inevitable. 🙂
Number Three : Itchy Skin (12%)
Oh my, this old scratchy chestnut! Itchy skin affects at least one in eight dogs and potentially many more. Quite often this is a secondary symptom. For those of you who have been following this blog, watching the facebook lives or listening to the podcast, you will already be aware that we “strongly believe” itchy skin to be a direct product of what is going into the dogs mouth and leaky gut.
Quick recap : itchy skin , we believe is directly related to food intolerance’s or bad (pathogenic) bacteria (or both) which are creating leaky gut and evoking inflammatory reactions. Both internally, and then externally on the skin. Nothing more complicated than that. There’s a few other factors but it’s essence is, what the dog eats or ingests creates inflammation, it becomes inflamed.
If you imagine a flood inside a building, its only normal you see wet walls also from the outside. Same thing with biology, inflammation is rarely localised. It spreads! And for those swots amongst you, you may also recall that once leaky gut occurs, it let’s both the good and the bad bacteria into the bloodstream, all of which then creates inflammation. Bacteria is meant to be in the gut. This is where is helps to act as a barrier to pathogens. It is supposed to outside of the tent not inside.
SO we have covered the top 3 reasons you elected to “Go Raw”. Without going into Thesis length discussion on the others let me quickly list some of them then tie this up.
Anal gland issues
In summary, nearly every single reason on our list, is specifically diet related or heavily diet influenced.
More than 90% of the issues listed are (in my best guesstimate) exacerbated by kibble and made better by going Raw. So if you have gone Raw and you are reading this, then well done you.
Right now, with the research we have available, the clinical evidence we have mounting, the anecdotes we have pouring in, you have made the very best decision for your pet.
And if this changes, so we will also change. Evolve as a pack. Bigger, better, stronger and healthier.
Wishing you all well
Rowan & KismetTags: choosing raw, raw feeding