Hi- I have been feeding my dogs Wellness for a while now with good results...but I have heard so much about raw diets. The pet store where I buy there food just received Nature's Variety. I don't know ANYTHING about feeding a raw diet. I have a brochure and it shows actual frozen meat patties you can buy....do you actually feed the dogs these patties without any cooking? I have heard that when you cook meat, you really lose a lot of essential vitamins, so it makes sense, but totally raw....wow? Wellness has been working, but if raw is better, I am defnitely willing to give it a shot if it is healthier for my pups! Nature's Variety shows that it is 95% protein and only 5% fruits and veggies....is this ok, or do you need to add more than 5% fruits/veggies to the diet? That just seems like a lot of protein to me. I give them carrots as treats..but I don't think a carrot here and there will make up that difference if more than 5% is needed in their diet.
Any recommendations you guys can provide is greatly appreciated.
I've been feeding Nature's Variety, both raw and kibble to my cats since last spring, and to Indy since I got him at 8 weeks last fall.
Yes, you feed the patties raw, in fact cooking would be bad as it breaks down some of the nutrients, it will also make any chunks of bone brittle (though this is a ground food so it would pose less danger than if you were cooking whole bones, I still don't think it's a good idea). I take one out, put it in a plastic container and stick it in the fridge to thaw, usually 12 hours is long enough. I don't thaw more than two days worth of food at a time, to keep it fresh. Don't leave raw food down for more than 20-30 minutes (it usually doesn't last two minutes ;D) and wash everything as if you were handling your own raw meat, hot water and soap to wash hands and dishes. A healthy dog can handle fresh raw meat just fine. Introduce it like any other new food, slowly mix it in with the old food over the course of two weeks to prevent digestive upset.
I've been feeding the patties to my cats for quite a while, just added raw to Indy's diet a few weeks ago. Last week I discovered chubs, it's a new NV product, and it comes out to a much lower cost per pound for the exact same food packaged in tubes rather than pressed into individual patties.
The 95% meat, 5% fruit and veggies ratio is a good one imo, based on the reading I've done. Though you will always find differing opinions on this hot topic.
All of my animals have thrived on Nature's Variety. It's an excellent food. As your retailer if she participates in the frequent buyer's program. I think it's every ten of something you buy you get one free.
Thanks for the info. I will definitely ask the store rep about the frequent buyer program. In doing research on Nature's Variety on this forum, I found a link to get a coupon for a free 3 lb bag. hey- free is good :-)
So, do you feed both the frozen meat and the kibble?
Yeah, when I first started Nature's Variety I wanted both of my cats on 100% raw. But they did not agree. Now one eats strictly the Raw Instinct kibble, the other eats both the kibble and the raw. Indy I started on the dog kibble, alternating between chicken and rice and beef and barley because I was advised by the store owner, who is pretty knowledgeable to wait on the raw until he was done with his vaccines and had some time to build up a stronger immune system (I know some people have started them out right away and did well, but I decided it wouldn't hurt to wait a little). So i just recently started adding raw to his diet. With how much he eats, I don't know if I'll be able to afford going 100% raw unless I get a huge freezer and start buying up bargain meat and making his meals myself. I do like the convenience and quality of Nature's Variety, but even when I buy the chubs, it is still kinda pricey.
Yes, you just feed them Raw, uncooked. I like Natur's Variety. My dogs like the Venison and the Lamb. What I like about these patties is everything is in there, the veggies, the bone, etc, but all ground up... no mess, and they are easy to thaw.
I have been feeding mine raw for about four months or so now. I feed Evo kibble in the morning, and in the evening they get raw, either Natur's Variety patty, or raw chicken, beef, pork, whatever I can find at the store on sale. I do not give the bones. I did at first, but Ruger kept puking and I opted not to give them raw bones unless they are ground up. I add yogurt and cottage cheese for calcium. I also generally add green beans as Ruger needs to be FULL, or he thinks he's starving
Green beans fill them up without lots of extra calories? If so that would be great. Indy thinks I'm starving him : Do you think they'd be ok for a 6-7 month old? I think calcium is the only thing I really have to worry about, but I'm still learning ;D
It is not the huge concern that some people would lead you to believe. You need to practice common sense hygiene when handling the meat and keep it fresh. Dogs who are healthy (do not have a compromised immune system) should be able to handle raw human grade meat without problems. Food passes through their system much faster than ours, which means that many of the food bourne illnesses that are a problem for us, do not have time to take hold in cats and dogs before they pass the food. I would never say never. But there are just as many risks in feeding commerical kibble. I would say the benefits of feeding raw far outweigh any risks. Though not everyone agrees. You will meet people who think you're crazy, from those who have never heard of raw feeding to those who vehemently support commercial foods and are very anti-raw. It's a personal decision. But everything I've ever heard from those who actually have experience with raw feeding, have had a very positive experience. I find that most people who are anti-raw, are basing their opnions on mis-information, including vets.
Do some more reading to put your mind at ease. Read all the posts here. Then do a search on BARF, and raw dog food. I'm currently reading Dr. Pitcairn's book which is quite interesting, he discusess raw feeding in depth.
I have been doing research all day...and have found good and bad. the good mostly comes from these forums, but i just saw this article on healthypets.com about a cat who died from salmonella from the raw food diet.I did call my vet and she said that she would be worried about salmonella...now i am really confused. I will do more research. Thanks again for the chat!
Raw Food Diets
Popular pet diet may pose significant health risks for you and your pet
Raw food diets are a growing trend among pet owners hoping to improve their pet's health. However, a study published in the November/December 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association found that these diets may cause a potentially fatal Salmonella infection.
"While raw food diets are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners, there is a growing body of information showing that these diets pose a health risk not only for the pets that consume them but to their owners as well," says Link Welborn, DVM, AAHA past president.
Shane L. Stiver, DVM, Kendall S. Frazier, DVM, Michael J. Mauel, PhD, and Eloise L. Styer, PhD, from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a case study of two cats that developed salmonellosis (Salmonella infection) as a result of a raw meat-based diet. The salmonellosis caused gastrointestinal upset, weight loss and anorexia that resulted in the death of both cats. Salmonella in tissue cultures isolated from one of the cats was identical to cultures from the raw beef used in the cat's home-prepared diet, and the resulting infection was confirmed as the cause of death in both cases. The report is the first to describe the occurrence of salmonellosis in cats as a result of feeding a raw meat-based diet.
The JAAHA study also found that while most human cases of salmonellosis result from direct exposure to contaminated food, there are documented cases of infection due to direct and indirect contact with infected pets. In cats and humans, the very young and very old, as well as those with an immune-compromised state, have the highest risk of infection. Since people often spend a great deal of time in close proximity to their pets, there are many opportunities for exposure to disease causing organisms, such as Salmonella, through petting, grooming, food preparation, water bowls and litter boxes.
The study concluded that cats fed raw meat contaminated with Salmonella are at risk for development of salmonellosis and may pose a disease risk to their owners and handlers. Feeding of raw meat contaminated by Salmonella and recovery of Salmonella from the feces of sled dogs and greyhounds has been documented, suggesting a risk of human infection from contact with infected dogs as well as cats. Due to these risks, AAHA recommends that pet owners not feed their pets a raw-meat based diet and encourages owners to ask their veterinarian for advice regarding a nutritionally balanced diet that is appropriate for their pet's age and lifestyle.
"A substantial body of science-based nutritional data has contributed to the longer life span that our companion animals currently enjoy," says Dr. Welborn. "Your veterinarian uses these resources to provide nutritional recommendations that will help your pet live a long and healthy life."
For a referral to an AAHA-accredited hospital in your area, please visit the AAHA-accredited hospital directory.