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Why A Raw Food Really Works To Solve Your Pet’s Digestive Problems

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to ethylene glycol containing antifreeze.[1]

Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze. Unfortunately, many older cars tend to have leaky radiator hoses and this can cause a pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. The antifreeze has a very palatable taste and animals love it. One lick of this highly poisonous substance can be enough to cause irreversible kidney failure and death in a cat, and it doesn’t take much more than that to have the same effect in a dog.

Common Signs of Digestive Problems

Nationwide, vomiting and diarrhea are routinely among the most common reasons that pets are brought to the veterinarian for emergency evaluation. These are, in fact, just the outward signs of any number of potential underlying problems – including irritation or obstruction of a pet’s intestinal tract, ingestion of a poisonous substance, dysfunction of one or more internal organs…or it could be the result of something even more common…and something that is easy to solve.

Here at BARF World, we routinely hear from pet parents whose dogs have digestive issues. Most of the time this is caused by the continuous ingestion of a processed grain based food.  Eventually the dog’s digestive system breaks down, the result of feeding enzyme deficient food that in turn weakens the immune system of the animal.

Disruption of the Immune System

The immune system is an integral piece of the puzzle because it is Mother Nature’s very best protective mechanism to reduce inflammation in the body. All it takes to disrupt the immune system is to feed an enzyme deficient diet or to administer antibiotics, steroids, or multiple vaccinations. A long-term course of any of these plays havoc on the immune system and this opens the door for inflammation and ultimately disease. When the body is monitored and controlled by an efficient working immune system then it responds properly to all digestive and cellular functions.

So, What Exactly Is Wrong With My Processed Petfood?

First we must look at the quality of the protein in your petfood, which is governed by two factors: the presence (or absence) of essential amino acids, and the ability of the particular protein to be digested and absorbed.

Thus a protein can be deficient in two areas. It can be poor quality because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids, and it can be poor quality because your dog is unable to digest and absorb it easily. A common example of a poor quality protein, deficient in both ways is the protein present in most dry dog food or any diet constructed mainly from cereals. This results in digestive problems in the animal.

Stress on the Pancreas leads to Pancreatitis

In addition to the quality issues, feeding a processed diet totally eliminates the availability of living enzymes in the food. This places stress on the pancreas to supply all of the needed enzymes to digest the food. Once the lifetime supply of enzymes is depleted from the pancreas (and there is a finite number of enzymes), then life ceases to exist – in other words, it will result in the death of your pet.

The Common Sense Solution

Now it only takes good common sense to realize that the easiest way to supplement the pancreas with enzymes is to provide them naturally in the diet.  The best way to do this is with a raw food diet, which of course has not been cooked.  The enzymes are left intact because no heat is applied during the manufacturing process.

When we receive calls here at BARF World about digestive problems (and digestive issues are among the most common calls for help that we receive), we suggest that the pet be switched to a raw meat diet.  Ironically, often we must first “convert” the pet parent, who has been hoodwinked by the clever marketing tactics and packaging of most well-know brands of kibble and semi-moist foods.  We usually advise a slow conversion to a fresh natural non-processed diet.

It has been my experience as a developer of raw food diets and a feeder of raw for almost 40 years, that a slow conversion to a fresh raw meat diet, in conjunction with the use of digestive probiotics, eliminates digestive problems very quickly. Within a week of switching to raw, the pet is well on the way back to happy normal life…and we have fulfilled our mission to return all pets to perfect health – one pet at a time.

Never forget that often the best way to solve a problem is to go back to nature…so using proper nutrition is the easiest and smartest way to start.  Of course all animals are different and we always recommend contacting your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s treatment.

[1] The Preventive Vet, “Pet Emergency Statistics,” http://www.thepreventivevet.com/stats.html.

ggggRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

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2 Responses

  1. April

    Our GSD is 3 years old. For the last 2 1/2 years we have dealt with vomiting issues. Our poor dog would vomit almost every day. When he went into a vomiting episode, you could bet there would be 15 piles of vomit all over the carpet the next morning. He would go a day or two without vomiting then he would spend the next 4 days vomiting. He would lie in the floor beside my husbands chair and you could hear his stomach just rolling and gurgling whenever he would eat.
    We tried everything. The vet first said it was that he was eating too fast. So we put a rock in his bowl. Didn’t help. Then the vet said probably allergies. So we went to a grain free (the most expensive avail) food. I did tons of research and was shocked to learn what was in general dog food. So I figured this extremely expensive, grain free, “natural” food would solve the problem. That was the longest he went without vomiting… 5 days. We really had our hopes up. But it all started right back, just the same as it had been. Then the vet said ahe needed an elevated bowl. So another $80 that didn’t help even a little bit. Our dog actually got trained to head to the door so we could get him outside to vomit. Of course, most times he couldn’t make it for the first episode. And it didn’t help at all if we were asleep or not at home. We love our dog so much, he is part of our family. But the vomiting was seriously starting to take a toll on all of us. He was a 3 year old GSD that weighed in at 48 lbs. 🙁 He didn’t like to eat. He might go a day or two before he finally forced himself to eat. Sometimes he kept it down, but most of the time he didn’t. The final episode had us all ready to scream. It had been a long, tiring day. We finally headed to bed, only to wake up at 2 a.m. to the sounds of our vomiting dog. My husband jumped out of bed to race him outside. After stepping in several piles on the way to the door, my husband realized how futile his attempt had been. There were just piles and piles of vomit every where. My dogs vomit is always just brown slime. So it stains our carpet so easily. So at 2 a.m. we spent 2 hours cleaning carpets and had to be up at 6am the next morning.
    I tell you this to show you how desperate we were. We felt like we had tried everything and were out of options. We were just going to have to live with piles of vomit forever.
    The next day, I’m sitting with my husband researching vomiting in dogs. I had heard of the raw diet. I actually had a “health nut” friend about 20 years ago that feed raw to her animals. I remember she bragged on it so much. But I didn’t have animals then and really didn’t pay a lot of attention. So, as I’m sitting there researching vomiting, I go ahead and do a little research on raw diets. I look at my husband and say “the only option left is a raw diet. Nothing else has worked.” I tell him about all the positive reports posted and I tell him what I found about BARF. He agreed it was worth a try, even if it turned out to be more expensive.
    The next day, I did tons of research and made out a grocery list. We headed out and stocked up. We got chicken gizzards and hearts, beef and chicken liver, chicken thighs and breasts, turkey, beef, pork, canned sardines and salmon. And eggs (I had a hard time convincing my husband to add the shells at first!)
    We didn’t make a slow conversion. The poor dog hadn’t eaten in two days anyway. He obviously didn’t want that dog food. Even if it was expensive! He started right when we got home and got it prepared for him.
    And he ate it. Every single bit. An hour later, he went to his bowl and barked! He wanted to eat again! Our dog has NEVER been food motivated. He has NEVER asked to eat. He rarely ate once a day, much less twice. He was fed again and he ate every drop. We were nervous. Very nervous. He had eaten twice and we braced ourselves for a long night of vomiting. But… He didn’t vomit that night. Or the next. Or the next. Or even the next. Fast forward two months. Not a single episode of vomiting!!! He has put on 10 lbs! And he is so much happier and playful. The first two times he ate RMB, he had a “vlurp” about the size of a quarter. But I had read that was normal and after almost 3 years of huge vomit piles, that didn’t faze us a bit (and we don’t count that as vomiting!) So many people now tell us “he looks so much better!”
    We are no experts. We try to include a variety and he gets an egg a day with shells and fish twice a week. He isn’t crazy on bones- you really have to work at it to get him to eat it. And he isn’t crazy about pork (but he will eat it.) But the transformation is amazing! He actually likes to eat now.
    Because of the risk for torsion, he gets 3 smaller meals per day rather than one large meal. But sometimes, he even asks for more. His coat is beautiful, he looks so much healthier now that he has put on weight, and he is so much more content. We don’t hear his stomach rumbling and rolling anymore. AND NO MORE VOMITING!!! I can’t tell you how much happier we all are!

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