I have always loved the cleverness of the “Magic School Bus” – one of the most ingenious educational programs to date.
Today, I would like to invite you on a journey through the digestive tract of two very different groups – herbivores and carnivores to see why nature, unlike processed food junk companies, believes that raw food is the way to go. If you yourself are unsure about raw food or have a friend who you try to educate then this blog post may be helpful.
Let's look at the cow – a herbivore. It has three fore-stomachs and one stomach to digest and ferment plant material, grain and fiber. A horse represents a slight variation of this design. For a horse, it would be very hard to run fast with a big fore stomach full of food. Instead, horses have a large colon that also digests and ferments plant material and fiber.
The digestive tract of carnivores is very different. It is shorter, is equipped with a smaller but stronger stomach and have relatively short intestines. The digestive glands of the stomach and especially pancreas are larger and produce large amounts of protein digestive enzymes. Carnivores do not have the ability to process fiber through fermentation as well as herbivores.
When dogs eat large amounts of fiber, grain and complex carbohydrates, they can’t digest these properly. This makes their feces large with strong odor. The feces from a processed food fed dog is three times larger and if you can’t see it, you can definitely smell it.
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The above is nature’s clear and strong message. Feed a diet that is species appropriate.
As a veterinarian, I see the consequences of feeding processed, carbohydrate-rich foods every day. Obesity, dental problems, premature aging, arthritis, kidney and liver problems, digestive issues and allergies.
How do I know? Often these problems completely disappear or at least improve after feeding the right food.
The story of Randy and Dinara
I met Randy 7 years ago, on the day I adopted 8-week-old Skai and he adopted Dinara. We chatted briefly, shared our excitement of our new family members and agreed that every once in a while, we would meet for a walk.
As Dinara and Skai grew, I started seeing the difference. Her coat was duller, her bones were slighter, her feet were not as strong and the ligaments appeared loose. Skai was fed raw and Dinara was fed processed food and it was starting to show. I tried talking to Randy gently several times, but he chose to turn a blind eye to the clear differences. “Her food must be good. It was recommended by a vet,” he replied.
I soon realized that I was not the person to convince Randy. It is never a good idea to give a friend unsolicited advice, even though it is well meant. I put the issue aside and hoped for the best.
Three years later, Randy called me victoriously. “Peter, guess what? I talked to a lady at the local magazine store and she told me that raw food is great for dogs and I have decided to go for it. I see the difference between Skai and Dinara. Skai looks so much better.”
For a moment, I felt like saying: “But I have been trying to tell you for for three years!” However, I kept quiet.
Since then, Randy has been feeding Dinara fresh food and she is doing well. However, her bone and joint development will never be as strong as if she had started earlier.
Now I have another challenge; how to convince Randy that natural food is simple, however the main principles have to be followed to get good results.
I secretly hope that the magazine lady to talked to a vet experienced with natural and raw diet feeding…