My dog, Tarzan, a 6 yr old 75 lbs lab mix was just diagnosed with Addison’s disease last week. I had been noticing signs of a decline in energy and overall health with him for the past year. I switched to raw 6 months ago hoping that would help. He did improve for awhile but he later declined in overall health and energy after a few months. Luckily we found the cause and he is acting like a puppy again! So happy to have my boy back.
I’d like to continue to feed him raw as I believe it does a better job keeping him properly hydrated and feel like it is the healthiest diet for him. My vet believes in a raw food diet but he thinks the food should come from a trusted dog food company that has been specifically processed for dogs to eat raw. Previously, I’ve been feeding my dogs based off of the prey model and adding about a tbsp of veggies to their meals. Sometimes, I’d even feed Tarzan whole rabbits, fur and all, which he happily ate, no problem. My vet doesn’t think this is a good idea to buy whole rabbits or to buy my food from a grocery store even though I buy high quality, organic, grass fed or pature raised meat. He’s worried that since my dog has a weakened immune system that his body might not be able to handful the potentially harmful bacteria that resides on grocery store raw meat.
I’m really not sure what to think. I want to do the best thing for my boy but there is so much conflicting information out there. Does anyone have experience feeding raw to a dog with Addison’s? Do you worry about their immune systems not being able to process all the bacteria that an average dog would have no problem with? How much veggies do you like to add?
Currently I’m buying either vital essentials or small batch prey model patties or chub and adding Sojos premix, about 2-3 tbsp per meal. He also gets turmeric, green mussel and fish oil each meal as well. This has become quite expensive and I’m not sure how long my husband will allow this to carry on….I could be spending half the amount I am now if I could go back to feeding him the whole rabbits, grocery store meat and fish.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you are receptive to science-based veterinary medicine go here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/
Otherwise, I hope you will go by your veterinarian’s recommendations.
It’s going to be expensive to feed premade to a dog that size. If you’re in Facebook, look at the page called K9 Nutrition.
I think you would be okay with meat prepared for human consumption. However, if you’re really too concerned, you can modify the diet and prepare cooked meals.
I have no idea on your location but I would personally skip supermarket meat and go to a dog food co-op or find a farmer or butcher you trust with all your heart if you want to keep feeding raw.
Go to a local big box store or grocer that often has meat on sale, take note of the return area, and you’ll probably see meat left in carts in un-refrigerated conditions.
If your dog is having health problems, food quality matters. Most grocers handle meat meant for human consumption as just that–meat that will be cooked to a safe temp.
Most healthy dogs can handle meat that wasn’t stored very well. But with Addisons, I’d be extra careful in making sure this meat was frozen immediately and kept that way until you thaw it in your own kitchen.
If you’re worried, look into cooked diets. At least until she’s what you’d consider stable.
Balance it has a great site for this. Dog aware does too, with guidelines for preparing a cooked diet.
If you’re 100% stuck on raw…(and I say this as a raw feeder myself!!!)..
Find a co op or a distributor. My Pet Carnivore, Hare Today, and We feed Raw (google search) are all apparently good companies with good track records for quality foods with good handling. MyPetCarnivore delivers to parts of the USA, Hare today and We feed Raw offers delivery and the shipping chargers may be more than expected (insulated boxes aren’t free) but it might be a good potential solution to look into.
Another option is seeking out training or kennel clubs and asking the people there is anyone feeds raw and where they get their food. Conformation and sport people are usually looking for an edge, and can direct you to a local co-op, a good company like Hare Today etc., or a reputable butcher shop.
- This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by Acroyali.
I definitely agree with Acroyali. Quality of the meat is going to matter a lot if you plan to continue to feed raw. I think that is part of what your vet was concerned about.
If you were to do a commercially prepared raw brand, I’d go with Nature’s Variety personally. Or if you want to use a food service like We Feed Raw to continue feeding PMR that would be a good idea as well.
Thank you so much for all the replies!! Great to get others opinion and experience. I still go back and forth on feeding raw but have seen so many improvements with all three of my dogs in doing so. I’m receptive to veterinary ‘science’, but I also understand that there is a lot of influence and funding coming from these commercial foods as well. Also, most vets have very minimal training in nutrition. My vet is actually an advocate for raw, just wants it to be from a well known and trusted raw dog food company, but even he said that he’s no nutritionist. Sounds like maybe I just need to bite the bullet and pay for quality raw to be safe.
acroyali- thank you for taking such time to write such a detailed response. I was ordering from hare-today but after their shipping prices increased for the summer, I stopped buying from them. I started ordering from raising-rabbits.com instead. Have you or anyone else heard about them or their quality?
Like I said earlier, I’ve seen huge benefits to feeding raw. In my lab mix with Addison’s, before raw, he was drinking a ton of water and I mean a ton! He had horrible breath and he had a lot of tartar on his teeth. My shiba mix would eat about 2 meals worth of kibble and then quit eating eating it either because he was bored or just didn’t like the taste, no matter the brand, protein, etc- we tried it all. My shiba seems to be less anxious too. Our 5 month old puppy was the first dog that we started on raw from 8 weeks raw, she’s done great on raw. No bouts of diarrhea, never gotten sick, and has been a dream to house train.
My vet said that I could mix kibble with the raw to help with the costs. I’ve read a lot of conflicting information on this, any thoughts? I’m certainly open to switching back to kibble but would be hard pressed to go all the way back since my dogs are clearly doing so much better on raw. There isn’t a whole lot of scientific proof on raw feeding but who’s funding these other ones saying that raw is harmful for dogs? Just to be safe though, I think I will stop feeding them grocery store meat and stick with the ones I can buy at a pet store. I’ll check out mypetcarnivore as well. How much veggies do you all like to add?
Sorry this ended up being so long but again, I greatly appreciate your time and responses.
Forgot to add that my labs breath doesn’t smell anymore and his tartar almost completely disappeared after only a couple weeks of raw feeding. He stopping drinking a ton of water and consumes a normal amount now. My shiba is actually excited for meal time now and finishes his food, unlike before it was a total battle to get him to try to eat. He was rather skinny but now my vet says that he is a perfect weight.
And pitlove, I’ll look into the two companies you mentioned as well. I’ve heard of Nature’s variety but will check out the other one as well. Thank you!!
The girl that runs The Raw Feeding Community has stated that research has shown that feeding raw and kibble together is not a problem.
That’s great to hear, thank you. I’m leaning towards a mix of raw and kibble just to make sure that they’re getting all of the nutrients needed in their diet. This is what my vet recommended and feels like the best choice for me and my family. My vet recommended Wysong adult dog food. Does anyone have a favorite kibble that they like to mix with raw? I’d imagine most raw feeders are strict and only feed raw but would be curious if anyone here mixes the two.
Pitlove, thanks again!
Hi Lauren H:
For most of my dog’s life (7+ years old) the main part of his diet has been kibble w/ toppers and some home cooked meals a few times a week. I use commercial raw for some of his toppers with no issues and he loves it. I feed some kibble recipes from Pro Plan, Fromm, Exclusive, Purina One, Wellness, and Annamaet.
You are very welcome. Right now I feed Victor dry food. A lot of people seem to be using that food lately, even people that feed raw and kibble together. Might be a good option for you. A girl I follow on Insta gram who shows her pit bull uses the teal bag of Victor and mixes raw meat from the grocery with it. I would however stay away from the grain free line until the FDA can figure out what is going on with the DCM issue and grain free foods.
Bobby Dog, thanks for the feedback. There aren’t a whole of people mixing the two, so it’s good to hear that someone is having success with it with their own dog.
Pitlove- I’ve heard some good things about Victor and will look into that brand, thank you! I recently read an article about the possible link between grain free kibble and DCM in dogs. Scary, will definitely be staying clear of the grain free until they can figure out what’s causing it.
Thanks again everyone!
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