Raw Feeding @ Wayeh
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last updated 08/10/2005


A few basic rules I have learned since beginning raw feeding in January 2002:

A bad raw diet is worse than any AAFCO kibble.
It takes research and thoughtfulness and understanding of what a dog NEEDS before you can figure out what to FEED the dog.
It's not rocket science.
It's not cheap.
It's not quick.

So, do your research, buy the books, join the email groups, and be prepared to spend considerably more on dog food than you ever have before.  But the results should be spectacular.

Contrary to popular thought on some email lists and in some books, people do not know how to feed themselves and they frequently do make a hash of feeding their dogs.  But sometimes it works anyway.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Dogs live so much quicker than we do, so malnutrition in a dog for a few months can be as bad as malnutrition in a human for years.

We feed 2 days kibble each week.  Pregnant bitches get all the benefits of raw meaty bones, fresh muscle and heart, kidneys and livers, and gawk, yes, vegetables, fruits, and a few select supplements.  They also get a cup, or more, of kibble each day for their entire heat cycle, pregnancy, whelping, and rearing.  Litters we free feed kibble but give them big healthy fresh meals they tend to look forward to and not to finish -- so they don't eat the kibble from hunger, they eat it between meals and they eat it if there is something lacking in the fresh stuff.  The body tends to know what it wants, that's what cravings are (not cravings for Ding Dongs, there's no reason to eat those... even if we do.)

We do not feed grains (except what is in the kibble) unless we have a skinny dog, and then, by a miracle, the thing that works to add weight is to add carbs to their diet, and we use whole COOKED oats.  About 15% of the diet while getting back to optimal weight.

My dogs are skinny, by design,  They work all winter in harness and genetically being long distance runners, they don't need any extra weight on joints or organ function.  

A few guidelines I use here at Wayeh:

Give all fish oils with Vit E

Why?  You know, I hear a lot of reasons why that I can't prove or disprove, but it seems to work better when given together.  I use a d-alpha NOT a dl-alpha, and I use a mixed tocopherals.  Considering this is 1 400IU caplet 2x/week, even if they are a smidge more expensive, it's better.

Give all meat meals with eggshells (and eggs)
Give all veggie meals with eggshells (and eggs)

Why?  Calcium and phosphorus need to be in balance to be healthy.  There is much discussion about the optimal rations 1:1 or 1:1.5 or.... and the guidelines have changes recently.  And you can build a spreadsheet and calculate this all out (the way I did).  But here's the gist:  Raw meaty bones are in balance -- NATURALLY.  But veggies and muscle meat have high phosphorus and low calcium, even the calcium-rich veggies.  So you have to add calcium, without much phosphorus.... well, don't sweat it.  A large eggshell has 2000mg calcium and 85mg of phosphorus so it helps make up the difference.

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