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Dogs and cats are carnivores so should eat raw meaty bones for health.

Puppies can start on raw meaty bones and then you'll find how far a chicken wing will stretch!

Natural Flossing
Wolves hunting

Carnivores don't attach grains!

Poo from a raw fed dog that's small, white and crumbles ...

Nature dictates what is best for the diet

Optimum health is attained by feeding a species-appropriate diet that has been proven in nature over thousands of years rather than over a very short time in a laboratory by those with a vested interest in what they're testing.

Dogs, cats and ferrets are carnivores. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they MUST have animal-derived protein within their diet in order to survive. Dogs are facultative carnivores and can survive by eating fruits and berries etc in times of hardship where animal prey or carrion carcasses are not available. There is however a subtle but important difference between the ability to survive a short period of hardship away from the optimal diet and what is required to really thrive. Many breeders are now recognising this important difference and have moved away from commercial feeds to Raw Meaty Bones (RMB). These breeders frequently have multiple dogs which undermines the argument that feeding RMB is too complicated and time-consuming. It isn't. Done correctly it is quick and easy!

The Fundamental problems of Commercial Pet Food

Commercial pet food is largely based on grains and plant content with minimal meat. "Meat derivatives" as they are often described on bag labels means, poultry feet, pigs trotters - ie the bits of a carcass not required even to make human processed meat products. Although these parts of a carcass would be eaten in the wild, these low-grade ingredients would not constitute the sole meat source in nature. High amounts of grains with poor-grade animal parts is nowhere near the natural diet in terms of ingredients or preparation.

  • How many wild-life documentaries have you seen where carnivores surround and attack a field of grain or other crops?!
  • How many times have you seen animals cook?! Home-cooked diets as are now being promoted may avoid some additives but are far from a species-appropriate raw diet and may be nutritionally deficient as cooking denatures vitamins etc.

If you don't see it in the wild it isn't natural or normal and there are significant health repercussions for feeding unnatural and unnaturally prepared food. If they don't do something for themselves in the wild, we don't need to do it for them as domesticated individuals.

There is recent evidence that points towards chemicals in commercial feeds being reponsible for reduced fertility. These chemicals will inevitably be affecting cellular function in other organs too which must be having adverse consequences that have yet to linked to their cause.

Commercial pet food manufacturers would have us believe that dogs are not carnivores but omnivores because they occasionally eat plant-derived foods in the wild - which they do - but only when they can't get meat or to get a sugar hit from ripe fruit. This deliberate mis-classification flies in the face of all the evidence.

  • Dogs have recently been reclassified by scientists with no vested interest in commercialism as a sub-species of the Grey Wolf because they share 99.8% of their genome. Nobody doubts that wolves are carnivores.
  • Looking at the anatomy of a dog, the jaw only moves up and down so cannot perform any sideways grinding action necessary to start physically breaking down plant cell walls that releases the nutrients within.
  • The dog dentition has carnassial teeth that are designed for gripping and shearing flesh and crunching through bones.
  • There is no salivary amylase, the enzyme that starts the digestion process of simple carbohydrates in the mouth for herbivores and omnivores.
  • The liver has enzymes that generate energy directly from proteins so there is no dietary requirement for any additional carbohydrates.
  • The digestive tract has no plant fermentation area and food stays in the gut a relatively short time.

Commercial pet food manufacturers try to counter this evidence by claiming that despite the recent re-classification as a sub-species of the Grey Wolf, dogs are not little wolves because they have evolved through living with humans into being able to eat grains and other inappropriate ingredients. This is a blatant lie to justify their existence and the inclusion of lowest-cost plant-derived ingredients to maximise profits. Dogs exhibit many of the behavioural characteristics of their wild relatives. They circle before lying down because in the wild this action flattens a space in the grass, they try to lick your face because that is how they stimulate the regurgitation of food by their mother, they lie on their back in submission to a more dominant member of the pack etc etc.

Given the choice, dogs eat raw meaty bones!! Although dogs have co-habited with people, early man did not cook for them or pour them a bowl of kibble! More likely they brought home the kill, took what they wanted for their own cooking pot and gave the carcass left-overs and raw scraps to the dogs. Sure they probably got some cooked left-overs too but this would be a small part of the overall diet. Certainly dogs' physiology has not adapted to commercial junk food in the couple of hundred years it has been in existence.

There has been some research to show that domestic dogs have some genes not present in the wolf that enables them to utilise carbohydrates. Those with a vested interest would have us believe that this demonstrates that domestic dogs are now significantly different from wolves and are therefore omnivorous. What the research doesn't indicate is how many genes are different between a carnivore and an omnivore, so it is impossible to evaluate how much of shift towards being an omnivore has really occurred. In my opinion, genes that enable some use of carbohydrates are a survival adaptation only and until the main fundamentals of anatomy and physiology have shifted away from the typical carnivore as listed above, I do not accept that a few extra genes has sufficient significance.

Another pathetic argument used to try to justify commercial pet foods is that dogs in the wild don't live as long as domestic dogs so the diet can't be as good as commercial feed. What utter rubbish! This statements takes no consideration that wild dogs have to catch their prey whilst domestic dogs are given everything on a plate. Domestic dogs have the advantage of central heating, owners to protect them and remove virtually every hardship they would otherwise experience. Significant numbers of older domestic dogs are on medications that enable them to survive and function in a way that a wild counterpart with the same issues would not be able to cope with and would perish. Human ancestors frequently only used to live until their 20s and 30s. I think McDonalds and KFC know what response they'd get if they tried to claim that the reason the average age at death for people is now over 70 years old has nothing to do with improved hygiene and standard of living but is solely due to fast food!!!! We don't buy into that idea for ourselves so let's not accept it for our pets either.

If you are still looking for further evidence and science about how to classify a dog as a carnivore or omnivore then please look at the following YouTube video by Dr Conor Brady in 4 parts.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Advantages of the Raw Meaty Bones Diet

The proper Raw Meaty Bones (RMB) diet provides a number of functions for our pet carnivores.

  1. Chemical nutrients - building blocks for energy, body repair and procreation
  2. Physical cleaning of the teeth and gums which are an efficient self-cleaning mechanism if fed correctly
  3. Emotional satisfaction - pacifying endorphins are released by chewing and crunching bones and tough connective tissue that leads to better, calmer behaviour.
  4. The harsher physical environment of the gut is less conducive for intestinal parasites.
  5. Slight straining of harder faeces (poo) helps express the anal glands which prevents impaction and other anal gland problems common in dogs fed commercial diets.
  6. Cats derive essential fluid intake from raw meat that helps prevent kidney issues later in life (see later).

There are additional benefits to us as owners

  1. Very often it is cheaper to source a RMB diet than commercial pet foods - especially the "top-end" supposed quality feeds. In reality an inappropriate feed ingredient is not made any more appropriate by being organic! Butchers have to pay for bones etc to be taken away and many are happy to hand them over in exchange for a donation to the charity tin or for a nominal charge. Be warned however that bones from efficient butchers are not as meaty as they need to be, so meat must be provided in sufficient quantity to prevent constipation and getting bunged up with digested bone. Ideally the meat is fed on the bone to encourage the dog/cat to rip it off thereby flossing the teeth and also to protect the oesophagus as the chewed bone is swallowed. In less than ideal situations it is better to have extra meat fed separated from but with the bone.
  2. Happier, calmer pets that are not hyperactive from additives and preservatives. There are approximately 4000 approved additives for pet foods, many of which have been banned from human food.
  3. NO BAD BREATH - "Dog breath" is not normal despite this phrase now being widely used and accepted in the English language. It signifies a rotten mouth that has periodontal disease leading to many other deleterious medical conditions. (See later for further details)
  4. Puppies chew bones instead of furniture, shoes etc and teething is easier.
  5. Volume of faeces (poo) goes down to about one third of the previous volume - less to clear up!!
  6. Faeces is hard and very much easier to pick up on walks in the public parks and for multiple puppies post-weaning.
  7. Faeces goes white in the sun - easier to see when cutting the lawn.
  8. Faeces crumbles if stepped on accidentally and dissintegrates into the ground instead of leaving large mounds of undigestable and insoluble plant fibre from commercial pet feeds that is a public health hazard and nuisance.
  9. Fewer health issues and LOWER VET BILLS!!!

Periodontal disease is one of the main health issue caused by commercial pet foods. Tartar builds up around the teeth and gums and the bacteria that is protected by the tartar attacks the gum itself. Once the gum desmosomes start lifting off the teeth and breaking the seal into the body itself the immune system is under constant pressure to try to contain the invading infection. As reported in Time magazine, human mouth inflammation and periodontal disease can lead onto a variety of other diseases including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. If it can do that in people there is no imagination required to see that it can do that to our pets too. Bacteria that gets into the blood stream through the gums can disperse to the heart causing bacterial endocarditis, or to the kidneys and liver causing diseases there. When energy is used up by the immune system instead of being used for more effective cellular repair elsewhere in the body, degenerative processes begin. The strain on the immune system combined with over-vaccination leads to immune-mediated diseases.

Commercial pet food companies try to claim that kibble keeps the teeth and gums clean. The vast majority of pets are fed kibble and yet the official statistic published by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) is 85% of pets over 3 years old have dental disease requiring veterinary intervention. If that isn't proof in itself that kibble isn't working, Hill's have produce a specific "Science Diet" aimed at reducing dental plaque called the T/D diet. By definition it implies that other diets including its own other science diets are inadequate in this respect. The T/D diet has a higher fibre content but any kibble shatters if put under pressure and it is very unlikely that teeth will be cleaned adequately at the gum margin where it is most required. If you think tooth-brushing your pets will do the job, I suggest you try letting someone else brush your teeth for you and see how long it is before you start getting strange looks due to bad breath!!!

For those in any doubt, this is what a healthy raw fed mouth looks like ...

Note the gleaming teeth, no inflammation at the gum margin and no toothbrush or annual dental required!

Kidney disease is one of the commonest causes of death in cats which are derived from desert carnivores,. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is another very common condition that creates serious health issues for cats. Unlike dogs, cats rely far more on fluid intake from eating raw meat than from drinking water. It is illogical and contradictory to switch cats onto a tinned wet science diet as part of a treatment regime without also recognising the causative action of the dried kibble in causing the kidney disease and FLUTD in the first place.

For those who want more detail then Tom Lonsdale's original book Raw Meaty Bones goes into the science and politics of raw feeding and is a well referenced book that was nominated for an Australian Veterinary Association Award.

Tom's other book "Work Wonders" is pictured in the left side-bar. It is a simpler read and every day practical guide on how to feed the RMB diet. Both are readily available to buy online from Amazon. All owners, vets and vet students should read at least one of these.

There are plenty of other websites that give you information and practical advice on how to proceed with swapping your pet carnivores onto a species-appropriate non-commercial raw feed. See links below

www.rawmeatybones.com

www.ukrmb.co.uk

www.rawfed.com/myths

There are also various yahoo raw discussion groups for vets, vet nurses and students and another for owners where people with many years experience can give you practical advice and support if your local vet won't or can't. If your vet is open to raw feeding then encourage them to join the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society in the UK to learn and share.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/RawMeatyBones/ for pet owners

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/RawVet/ for vets, vet nurses and students