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BTW, everyone by now should know this kind of statment will peak my interest and likely a response with links. :rolleyes:

 

Mark (geek)

 

Which is exactly what I appreciate! :D

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Finn ( just over a year old,) started on Innova,Solid Gold,and Evo kibbles,( I would rotate )along with Wilderness or Evo canned. About a month ago I started him on Ziwi Peak http://www.ziwipeak.com/nzl/home.shtml it came highly recommended and seems to be a good diet,we'll see.It's obscenely expensive,so it had better be good.

 

He also now gets Primal raw bones for his teeth,I had posted on here because his teeth were dirty and I did not want to put him under anesthesia.Several of you all suggested the meaty bones, and WOW did that ever work, after just a couple of bones his teeth were white again instead of tan/brown ! THANK YOU ! :rolleyes:

 

Kat

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Kibble (like baby formula) became popular because it was convenient and seen as "modern." Wish my folks were still alive! Up into the early 60s, most people prepared their own dog foods out of necessity. I do seem to recall that most of the food was cooked however, brown rice, meats including organ - liver, kidney, big bones (feeding poultry bones had always been a no-no, but I guess that is changed now.) Plus treats like carrot bits, sweet potato bits, cooked liver, curd cheeses, eggs, etc.

 

I'm not so sure I would feed raw to our dogs, but then I wouldn't eat undercooked meat myself these days. It is just as true to say that human prepared meats aren't what they should be now either...otherwise there wouldn't be outbreaks of e.coli, salmonella, etc. Sad because I really do like a med-rare steak! Chicken in particular has too much sodium solution added, even when its supposed to be fresh. Custom slaughter might be the way to go, but unless you raise and slaughter your own anyway, that is really pricey.

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Chicken bones do not splinter when raw. They turn into little knives when cooked.

 

Maybe Mark can explain what happens :rolleyes:

 

(I never understood why mixing baby formula is more convenient than opening a blouse, but then, I am not the one whose blouse needed to be opened.)

 

Regarding what wild canids eat, I have watched coyotes carefully and they can and do eat cereals, fruits, nuts, berries, grasses, insects, and the stomach contents of ruminants. I've seen coyotes eat corn, oats, barley, rye, and wheat off the ground and off the plants. I've seen coyote scat that consisted almost entirely of blackberry and grape seeds (and have not found dead coyotes from eating grapes). I've watched coyotes eat grasshoppers and the guts of sheep and deer. If you ask some raw meat freaks, wild canids eat none of these things. These were not starving animals looking for anything to keep them alive. They were fat and sassy and thriving. It's also not a strange isolated population. I've seen the same behaviors in Eastern coyotes in three different states in New England.

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My first 2 dogs were fed on pedigree and lived in great health till they were 17 and 15. My next dogs I started to question how I fed them. I dabbled in raw but found it difficult because of where I live to find the more unusual ingredients like tracheas etc. and I worried about a proper balance.

 

Recently I have gone to feeding Eagle Pack holistic as the mainstay of their diet and I add raw chicken frames and necks when I can find them. They get raw marrow bones every week which keeps their teeth in good shape and they love fruit, especially apples and other vegies which I give them as treats. I also add the occasional sardine. I also cook heart and steak as training treats.

 

They seem healthy, energetic and smart.

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Chicken bones do not splinter when raw. They turn into little knives when cooked.

 

Maybe Mark can explain what happens :rolleyes:

Okay, I'll bite.

 

After a short search with google scholar I learned why bones become brittle upon heating at cooking temperatures. I found this by looking at literature on how bones are sterilized prior to use as bone grafts. Bones are stiff due to the calcium but are "tough" due to the collagen (helps bones bend without breaking).

The role of collagen in determining bone mechanical properties

Xiaodu Wang 1 2 *, Ruud A. Bank 3, Johan M. Tekoppele 3, C. Mauli Agrawal 2

 

1Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio, 6900 North Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA

2Musculoskeletal Bioengineering Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA

3Division of Vascular and Connective Tissue Research, TNO Prevention and Health, Leiden, Netherlands

 

Abstract

The hypothesis of this study was that collagen denaturation would lead to a significant decrease in the toughness of bone, but has little effect on the stiffness of bone. Using a heating model, effects of collagen denaturation on the biomechanical properties of human cadaveric bone were examined. Prior to testing, bone specimens were heat treated at varied temperatures (37-200°C) to induce different degrees of collagen denaturation. Collagen denaturation and mechanical properties of bone were determined using a selective digestion technique and three-point bending tests, respectively. The densities and weight fractions of the mineral and organic phases in bone also were determined. A repeated measures analysis of variance showed that heating had a significant effect on the biomechanical integrity of bone, corresponding to the degree of collagen denaturation. The results of this study indicate that the toughness and strength of bone decreases significantly with increasing collagen denaturation, whereas the elastic modulus of bone is almost constant irrespective of collagen denaturation. These results suggest that the collagen network plays an important role in the toughness of bone, but has little effect on the stiffness of bone, thereby supporting the hypothesis of this study.

Mark

 

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I'm not so sure I would feed raw to our dogs, but then I wouldn't eat undercooked meat myself these days. It is just as true to say that human prepared meats aren't what they should be now either...otherwise there wouldn't be outbreaks of e.coli, salmonella, etc.
If you look through the literature you'll find lots of studies looking at the potential human infection from feeding dogs raw meats; but very little is said of the pathogens present in these meats causing infections in the dogs. I believe (but don't have the references handy) that the digestive tract of canines is more tolerant of the presence of these pathogens than the human digestive tract. This is likely due to differences in the pH or bacterial flora normally present in the human and canine digestive tracts.

 

Mark

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I am one of those folks who feeds both raw and kibble, as well as homecooked sometimes. We defrosted the freezer and I saw that I have way more food in there than I thought, so everyone will get an increase in raw foods (especially with deer season now in). One reason I also keep to kibble is because I tend toward being anal (surprise!) and I worry a lot about my dogs getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. Although I understand that a variety within the raw diet *should* meet all a dog's needs, I just don't think I can operate under that assumption (and I don't have the time or inclination to track everything in a spreadsheet to be able to satisfy myself that I'm covering everything). Variety is nice, but I also don't particularly want to feed my dogs stuff I wouldn't eat myself (I practically never eat chicken, for example, because of the way it's raised here in the US, so why would I feed it to my dogs?). We eat a lot of sheep and venison, with fresh caught fish when available, so that's largely what the dogs get for raw. Not necessarily a huge variety. I do break down and get chicken and turkey now and again, but I am morally opposed to the way chickens and turkeys (and pigs for that matter) are raised in tis country, so I have a hard time reconciling buying any of that for the dogs. I hold my nose and do it sometimes, because they do need variety, but I try to do it as seldom as possible. I need to butcher my own roosters here, and raise a steer for butchering so I can share that with the dogs, but I need an extra freezer before I do that.

 

No one has mentioned the cost of raw, and traditioanally raw feeders have touted how it's much less expensive than premium dog foods, but unless you have the financial wherewithal and storage space to buy in very large amounts, I find it somewhat cost prohibitive to try to keep 10 dogs on a raw-only diet (and I can get all the venison and sheep I want). I imagine given the rise in grocery prices, the two are fairly comparable now (unless you raise and butcher your own). The traditionally cheap cuts are no longer cheap in this area. You can't even find chicken backs, necks are scarce, and cuts that once were relegated to the cheap section (tongues, jowls, feet, etc.) are now upwards of $4/lb. and more. I almost never find cuts for less than $1/lb anymore.

 

So I compromise by doing a combination. I have had some of my dogs on a completely raw diet and on various premium kibbles and I couldn't really tell a huge difference when switching from one to the other. My picky eater can also be picky about what raw stuff she'll eat as well. Anyway, I agree with Mark, if your dog does well on what you're feeding, then you're probably doing okay and don't need to feel bad about your choice. If you want to dabble in raw, there's no reason not to. My dogs don't have problems with a combination of raw and kibble. Over the next few days, my pack will be gnawing on some lovely meaty deer bones. But they'll still get their kibble, too, though I'll adjust to compensate for the additional calories they get from the venison. I did have to lecture the hunters on saving at least some of the organs for the dogs when they field dress the deer though....

 

ETA:

Bill,

Most raw aficianadoes that I have spoken to will state that Canis familiaris is more closely related to the wolf than the coyote and so a wolf-appropriate diet is more suitable than a coyote-appropriate diet. I don't know that I agree with that. In other threads on this subject, people have provided lots of examples of their dogs choosing to "graze" in their gardens and orchards, which means they will eat vegetables and fruit by choice. I suppose there are some who would draw parallels between humans eating/drinking things that are bad for them (or at least not necessary to their health) as an example that your dog eating fruits and veggies doesn't mean a dog should eat fruit and veggies Whether they absolutely need to is a matter of conjecture, I suppose, but I personally don't think I'm harming my dog if it gets grains, veggies, or fruits.

 

Re: dangers of raw, I've had vets cringe at the thought of raw and mention the bacteria issue to me. First of all, I dislike handling raw meat so I'm pretty scrupulous about cleaning well afterward, and dogs eat all sorts of nasty stuff (poo, dead things) without issue, so it stands to reason that their digestive systems handle such things differently than ours.

 

J.

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If you look through the literature you'll find lots of studies looking at the potential human infection from feeding dogs raw meats; but very little is said of the pathogens present in these meats causing infections in the dogs. I believe (but don't have the references handy) that the digestive tract of canines is more tolerant of the presence of these pathogens than the human digestive tract. This is likely due to differences in the pH or bacterial flora normally present in the human and canine digestive tracts.

 

Mark

 

That and the fact that canine digestive tracts are much shorter than those of humans, no?

 

Julie, I buy almost all my food in bulk from suppliers other than the supermarket, for both quality and cost reasons. Doing so is really the only way to make raw feeding affordable for me. And even so, my costs for raw food have skyrocketed in the past year. I am, however, very lucky to live in an area that has resources available to provide a nice variety for my dogs. The one thing I lack, and have been working on locating, is free-range, non-crap-pumped-into-it chicken at an affordable price. So, like you, every now and then I just bite the bullet and swing on the pendulum by purchasing either really expensive chicken or crap affordable chicken.

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Some of my dogs have taken great delight in drinking from ponds that I find frightening to stand near, let alone contemplate drinking from! My pound mutt prefers drinking from our koi pond to fresh water - and our koi pond isn't exactly one of those crystal clear delights. I won't discuss what I've caught them eating on hikes!

 

Since they don't get sick or even have loose stools, I have to assume they have incredibly tough digestive systems.

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I don't think it's so much that their gi tracts are shorter. Food does move through that stage of digestion at a much more rapid rate - which can increase in response to an irritant or stress (stress poop!). Those pathogens need a certain amount of time to get established so that's one very simple way the dog is protected from the icky stuff they eat.

 

Maybe Mark can find something now on that topic - LOL!

 

It's not an either/or world. You can actually balance your dog's diet better than the dog food companies can do it, by doing it yourself. My diets are strcutured on the current NRC guidelines, which are calculated on one kg, to the factor of your dog's weight to the power of 0.75.

 

It is therefore impossible for a commercial food to meet the requirements of tiny dogs, and Great Danes, simulaneously, in one bag.

 

Why should it be necessary for an all-meat "species appropriate" diet to be supplemented?

 

First, most people say that they are reproducing a natural diet by feeding a variety of meats to reproduce feeding a while animal over time. But they really aren't, if you ask them to be honest. Do they feed head with brain and eyeballs? Tongue? Reproductive organs? Most people who live in the city have no access to a regular balanced supply of these items. A dog gets no benefit from the parts of the animal that the owner intends to feed, but rarely can.

 

Second, I believe taking our dear Mother Nature for a model is a mistake. My goal isn't a dog that's as healthy as a dog in the wild. I ask way more of my dogs than bare survival. Nature is satisfied if a dog contributes to the gene pool. That's it. That can be done under great stress and at a very young age. I want my dogs to perform at a high level (or be comfortable while playing), enjoy as close to perfect health as possible, and live to long and comfortable old ages.

 

So I feel like I'm taking the advantage of the "natural" way, and also the advances of science, and the best fruits of our agriculture, and merging them for the dogs' benefit. I like that. I do it for my family, why not my dogs?

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