If this doesn't sound crazy, nothing will!
If the title confused you a little, good! I am happy to get through to you with this message.
A few months ago, I wrote about Matilda, the very sweet but very smelly basset hound. This past summer, after a few years of thinking about it, her family took the plunge and switched her to a raw diet and the Fab4 essential supplements.
At the beginning of their "leap into the unknown" they were still skeptical that anything could change after years of trying in vain to fix Matilda’s problems. To be honest, even I was unsure if Matilda wasn't too far gone to recover from her skin condition of many years.
Coincidentally, today, four months after she began her raw food diet and essential supplements, I have received word that she is doing fantastically! She is happier, more energetic, her "dirty-sock" pungent rancid skin odour is almost gone, and she is not on any antibiotics, steroids, or medicated shampoos.
Unfortunately, Matilda is just one out of millions of dogs around the world who suffer needlessly, and sadly, most of them will never experience the transition to better health.
There’s a good chance that you don’t feed your dog kibble, but if you do, I hope to help you make the switch. If you have already taken the leap, and are feeding a natural diet, I hope that you will read on and use this info to help others do the same.
It's all the electrician's fault!
It has been more than one hundred years since the first commercial kibble was introduced by James Spratt, an electrician who decided to present himself as an expert nutritionist. His hunger for money combined with his marketing genius were the beginning of an era of kibble and pet food misinformation. Ever since, the general public has been misled and brainwashed into believing that real fresh food is dangerous for their pets, and that kibble, the highly heated processed dried food junk, was the only safe way to go.
ad for Spratt's kibble (left) Old Spratt's factory (right) by Nigel Cox - Wikipedia
As time progresses, more and more people have seen through the thin veneer of the processed pet food industry's lies, and their targeted efforts to brainwash veterinarians and bring them on board to perpetuate their agenda. I suspect that many veterinarians still honestly believe that kibble is the only way to go because that is what they have been taught at schools and at conferences. These events are under heavy sponsorship and influence of the pet food giants.
In glaring contrast, it would be very difficult for you to find a human nutritionist or doctor that would recommend a processed junk-food diet instead of fresh wholesome foods.
Below is just one example of an ingredient list for a weight-loss kibble made by one of the major veterinary diet manufacturers:
Powdered cellulose (powdered wood chips), chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat gluten, wheat, corn gluten meal, natural flavours, dried plain beet pulp, chicken fat, fish oil, pea fiber, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, vegetable oil, psyllium seed husk.
Wood chips? Rendered chicken meal, corn, gluten, wheat…? Basically, the idea is that if we feed our dogs wood chips to fill them up, and add some carbs, fibre, and fat, our obese dogs will miraculously lose weight.
If this doesn't sound crazy, nothing will!
Anyone with even a little bit of knowledge about nutrition can see that there is a lot wrong with this recipe.
I would really love to have a conversation with the formulators of such food. It’s clear that when it comes to kibble, even the “prescription” formulas, not much has changed since the days of electrician James Spratt. Profits are above all else.
The good news is that thanks to the internet, people are starting to wake up when it comes to making the shift towards feeding their dogs wholesome foods.
After more than 20 years of raw feeding dogs, I feel very comfortable advising people about raw feeding and am a passionate advocate of feeding dogs a natural species appropriate diet.
One of the most common questions I get asked is whether or not it is okay to mix kibble and raw food.
When it comes to the functioning of your dog’s digestive tract, mixing is okay to do and your dog’s body should be able to tolerate it. However, if the goal is to improve your dog’s health, I am not a big fan of mixing kibble and raw.
It's kind of like asking if a little bit of smoking is okay.
Mixing processed and fresh foods together is okay when starting out and transitioning to raw, but any health-conscious dog lover should ideally aim for a full switch to raw food in order to maximize health benefits and increase their dog’s lifespan.
In other words, “half-assing" your dog's diet will statistically lead to a shorter and less healthy life.
Here is why almost everyone can afford to feed a raw diet.
At first glance, some people may think that feeding a raw diet is unaffordable, and while it is definitely not the cheapest option, the veterinary care bills of most raw feeders are less than half.
Also, we all can make some adjustments and modify our budgets in order to be able to afford raw meat for our dogs.
Whenever I go shopping I like to observe the content of the average shopping cart, and it seems that many people are buying much more than they actually need to. Being more mindful while shopping, and purchasing a little less, can provide the extra money needed for feeding a raw diet and help you consume less.
Does this make sense?
A few more ideas on how to afford raw food:
- If you are thinking about adopting a dog, think about getting a smaller dog instead of a larger one to help save on food costs.
- Swap your take-out dinners and coffee shop visits for homemade meals and coffee.
- There is also the option of eating less meat, or even better, going vegetarian to free up more of your budget for healthy dog food. While we are able to thrive on vegetarian food, dogs do not have the choice or ability to do so, and need to consume meat in order to remain healthy.
If you have an invasive species such as deer that is overpopulated in your area, you may be able to connect with local hunters who can help you get top quality wild food for your dog. I recently received a few pounds of wild deer meat for Pax from a friend, and he absolutely loved it!
Adjusting your dog adoption strategy may also work.
If you are planning on adopting more than one dog and feeding a kibble diet, consider adopting just one dog and feeding them a fresh food diet. I understand that dogs love the company of other dogs, but you can solve this by dog-sitting for your friends or going on regular group walks with other dogs in the community.
My travels do not allow me to have two dogs, but I love dog-sitting so I often have other dogs in my house. At the moment I am dog sitting Pax’s friend Lana, and it is so wonderful to see them having fun together.
I am in no way suggesting that people shouldn’t have more than one dog in general, but if the cost of food is a concern then adopting one smaller dog instead of three Great Danes might be the way to go.
I know that it is difficult to see homeless dogs without wanting to take them all home, but if someone is tempted to adopt a second or third dog despite their limited budget, it might be best to find another dog-less friend who can adopt instead.
I understand that it is tempting to feed kibble, or mix it into your dog’s meals sometimes, because of its seemingly lower cost and convenience, but is it really worth the risk?
In the end kibble is much more costly when we factor in the increased cost of veterinary care, and years of lost time with our beloved dogs.
Far too many times I have seen people broken-hearted, regretting the fact that they fed their dog processed food instead of a healthier natural diet.
Thank you for caring for your dog, and for sharing this message. ❤️🐶
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Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.
Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.
As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex®, his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.
Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.