By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.
One would think that it would be an easy decision to switch your dog to another type of food… but many find it difficult to do. Several different reasons dictate the need for a change. Here are just a few of them:
- Your dog refuses to eat the existing formula.
- A recent change in health requires a diet change.
- Your dog is getting older and needs less caloric dense food.
- Dental problems prevent eating hard kibble diets.
- Obesity has created joint and structural problems.
- Allergies have developed from a food intolerance.
- Cost is a factor for the guardian.
- Digestive issues have developed resulting in diarrhea and vomiting issues.
- Cancer has taken over.
- Immune system function has been challenged.
Each and every one of these scenarios creates a hardship – not only for the dog but also for you as the guardian of your pet. But when should the change in diet take place? You simply have to know when enough is enough. The clients we cater to, place a high priority on establishing better health for their animals. The family dog is just as described – a prominent member of the family and like every family member good health is important.
1) Your dog refuses to eat the existing formula
We see this all the time. Consumers are encouraged to buy dry, processed kibble, which is actually biologically unsuitable for a dog. Most dry foods are very bland, grain based diets that need flavor enhancements to encourage the dog to eat the formula. There are hundreds of different brands to choose from, and all are a little different regarding the combination of grains such as corn, soybean, and wheat. The omnivore nature of the dog allows it to eat and be sustained on this food but over time this type of feeding may cause the development of various nutritional deficiencies.
To encourage the dog to eat, consumers may try different brands of dry food- but routinely find that they are all basically made the same way and the dog loses interest in eating. Switching brands to other dry kibble diets does not resolve the problems. Some of the more high-end kibble made without grains do provide some benefit but are still heat processed, which is not the best solution. When the dog refuses to eat what you are serving, you know that enough is enough.
2) A recent change in health requires a diet change
You were just at the vet’s office and have been told that your dog has diabetes. Do you suppose that a dry diet that contains a minimum of 40% carbohydrates has something to do with this health issue? In this case an immediate diet change is required and we encourage switching to a natural raw meat diet which will reduce the carbohydrate levels instantly. Allergies are the number one problem facing the vet community and the reason can be tracked to corn, wheat, and soybean as triggers for allergic reactions. Switching to a natural meat based diet is a simple solution.
3) Your dog is getting older and needs less caloric dense food
A lot of marketing dollars are spend trying to convince the public that there are different nutritional requirements and therefore different menus for various life stages. This causes confusion and it is hard to know when it is appropriate to make a diet change that is appropriate for an aging pet. The natural raw diet users have a much easier time making the transition to the different stages of life.
We do not recommend changing the diet itself, but merely reducing the amount that is fed. As your pet gets older, the caloric requirement will be less and when you reduce the amount of food at feeding time you will adjust to the new life stage easily. Conversely, when you are feeding a puppy, we recommend increasing the amount fed to adjust for the growing caloric requirements. Sometimes “enough” means a little bit more or a little bit less!
4) Dental problems prevent eating hard kibble diets
The dental problems that exist in today’s sugar coated world are of epidemic proportion. Just ask the majority of kibble fed dog owners whether their pet has bad teeth, bad gums, and resultant bad breath? You will find the numbers are staggering. It is to the point that most owners believe that smelly doggy breath is an acceptable condition. They don’t realize that dental issues and bad breath are curable situations. Talk to any natural raw meat diet fed dog owner to gain their perspective on this problem. Enough bad breath is phew – really enough!
5) Obesity has created joint and structural problems
Recent statistics indicate that over 50% of our nations pets are obese. It’s not surprising, since the majority of dogs are fed carbohydrate laden kibble diets that contain about 40% carbohydrates. A dog is just not capable of utilizing this level of carbs and when there is excess it turns to fat – damaging the joints and skeletal structure. You’ll know as your pet’s weight and problems increase, that enough is enough and it’s time to switch to a natural raw meat diet with less than 5% carbohydrates.
I hope you are starting to see the real advantages of switching to a raw meat diet because of the massive nutritional benefits it provides for all these conditions.
6) Allergies have developed from a food intolerance
This is our number one customer concern. After trying several different brands of dry food they are ready to try anything to relieve the itching and scratching that is driving their dog crazy. Enough is enough and they now need to try different protein choices to see if it is a food allergy that is causing the problem. We usually begin with an elimination diet approach to find out the real allergy trigger. Unfortunately, many pets come to us that are already on antibiotics and steroids prescribed by their vets to control the inflammation and possible secondary infections. This knocks down the immune system (the body’s best natural defense mechanism) and the cycle continues. Enough is enough… a healthy raw food diet will do the trick.
7) Cost is a factor for the guardian
When cost is a major consideration, the quality of the diet usually takes a hit. A really inexpensive dog food diet is formulated with the least utilizable ingredients. The result is a larger volume of feces in the back yard. This is your “utilization” monitor to gauge the quality of ingredients used in the manufacture of the food. As the quality of ingredients goes up the cost naturally goes up but the amount of poop goes way down. It is a good practice to source a diet that contains the highest level of fresh meat ingredients. Note, I said fresh meat and not fresh MEAL – there is a big difference. You can make a raw food diet yourself but this is often time consuming and a bit tricky. Stick to professionally made raw diets for your pet.
8) Digestive issues have resulted in diarrhea and vomiting
Guardians that have to deal with vomiting and diarrhea issues are really eager to make a diet change. The success we have had in this area is truly amazing. When dogs are converted to a natural raw meat diet we see about a 25 to 30 % reduction in stool volume, along with a reduction in stool odor. This is because of the total utilization of the ingredients, which leaves just ash and fiber to form the stool. Stools are easy to pick up and vomiting and diarrhea issues are drastically reduced. Having the meal completely digestible from mouth to tail is a definite advantage when feeding raw. Believe me, if you are fighting this problem you know when enough is enough.
9) Cancer has taken over and a diet change is required
If you have been diagnosed with cancer yourself, you know that one of the first things usually suggested is a diet change. Your dog is no different and will be required to change eating habits as well. The first suggestion I have is to change your pet’s diet to one that has a reduced sugar level because cancer cells thrive on sugar to expand. It is also important to improve the nutritional content of the diet to gain the maximum advantage of strengthening the immune system. A natural raw meat diet is the optimum choice for this condition.
10) The immune system has been challenged
Last but not least is the importance of a healthy immune system. In fact, this point is probably the most critical of all. The immune system is the “policeman” of your pet’s body that defends against attack by foreign invaders. Once this mechanism, the immune system, is compromised, the ability to defend against disease is diminished. The very best way rebuild it is to feed a very nourishing, ingredient based raw food diet, supplemented with vitamins, minerals and additional omega fatty acid supplements.
Isn’t enough, enough? It’s not difficult to make a diet change for the better. The secret to giving better health to your animals is simply to switch to a natural raw meat diet.
Robert 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!