Kibble pet foods have improved dramatically in the last decade, but they were originally created over 100 years ago, in a time when we were feeding "just a dog". Cheap and convenient were the keys. As long as the dog did OK, why do more? Its "just a dog".
We live in a different time than when "dog food" was first developed. Now, our companion animals are more than "just a dog". We all know someone that has spent thousands of dollars on operations, allergy testing, hip/knee surgery, dental on their dogs or cats, if we haven't done so ourselves. But the vast majority of pet owners are stuck with "just a dog" food.
Yes, kibble has improved, and there are many out there that are formulated with quality ingredients, made in North America, and are exceptionally better than the grocery store stuff that was the mainstay of dog's nutrition for decades. And if you can't handle/afford the raw alternative, these quality kibbles are far preferable to corn and wheat based pellets in fancy bags on the grocery store shelf.
For those that want the very best for their pets, and can make the extra effort and afford the extra cost, there is no match for the nutrition of raw.
We've all grown up being programmed that "dog food" is little brown pebbles made up of carbs with meat flavouring. Big corporations spend millions of dollars to keep this myth going. The only difference between "Dog food" and "People food" is that "dog food" is generally food that is not good enough to feed to people. Most dog food comes from outside the people food chain, sources that could never pass inspection for human consumption.
Getting past that, and back to the idea that dogs and cats are carnivores, and were meant to raw meat, is a small leap in logic, but a huge leap in deprogramming.
Dogs are Canis Lupus Familiaris. That is their scientific name, a subspecies of Canis Lupus, the Grey Wolf. 98.6 of the dog's DNA is shared with wolves. To suggest that dogs have "evolved" to the point that raw meat is an inappropriate food for them is just cray cray. Raw meat is what they were designed for, and it is the optimum foodstuff for them.
Q. Won't my dog get worms from raw meat?
If you feed wild game without freezing it first, sure. But all frozen, prepared raw foods, or any wild game that has been frozen a month, is safe and free from parasites. Your freezer is your friend, it kills parasites naturally, without killing nutrition.
Q. I was warned that raw food can make my dog sick with salmonella.
Dogs digestive systems are designed to be resistant to bacteria like salmonella. It would take an immunologically compromised animal subjected to a high load of bacteria to become ill. Wolves and wild dogs eat dead stuff all the time without incident. The risk from salmonella is not to the dog, but to the humans in the house. Commercially prepared raw foods are fresh, and sxalmonella free. Many are HPP treated or contain bacteriophages to naturally eliminate bacteria. Handled properly with respect, raw foods are as safe or safer than kibbles. Every year thousands of bags of kibble are recalled due to salmonella contamination, and hundreds of people have become sick from handling contaminated kibble. I don't think there has been a single case of a raw fed dog causing a salmonella infection in a human.
A study showed that if you feed a dog a salmonella laced raw food, it was likely to have the same salmonella in its feces. This, the CVMA warns, makes them a contamination vector to humans. Well, it only does if a) you feed raw food loaded with salmonella and then b) eat dog poop or handle it without washing your hands afterwards. Pretty easy things to remember not to do, right?
Q. Isn't a raw food diet hard to balance?
Not really. Commercially prepared meals will contain a variety of proteins sources, as well as fat and bone in appropriate balance. If you are worried about whether your pet is getting all the vitamins they need, we do sell pet vitamins, and there are many other foods that you can add to naturally provide those additional vitamins and minerals you may be worried about. And balance doesn't have to happen in every bite. Imagine if we tried to balance every meal we ate? Yikes. Over time, though, our diets balance. And so do raw fed pets. Once you get into raw feeding, you will always be looking for something new to feed your pet, and that's how balance happens.
Q. Can't my pet choke on chicken bones?
Until a bone is cooked, it is generally safe to consume. The smallest dogs and cats have strong jaws and can crush bones into pieces small enough to safely swallow. Some pets may swallow pieces that are too large, if they gag/choke on a piece, its not because of the bones, but the size of the morsel. For these ones, ground mixes may be a better choice. We do caution about cut bones, like porkchops and tbones, because they can break into pieces that are not naturally formed, and can be sharp and damaging. Whole ribs, whole chicken quarters, whole backs or necks, marrow bones, knuckles all are safe as long as they are not cooked, and as long as the pet does not try to swallow to big a piece.
Q: Won't raw food make my dog vicious?
If anything, people generally report that raw fed dogs have much more stable personalities. Because they are getting a satisfying and nutritious diet, they have a more focused energy, and don't have the need to go after blood, they are already getting their fill. There are multitudes of pictures on the net of raw fed dogs and chicks, bunnies, babies and other defenseless creatures.
Q: My vet says my dog's blood levels are not normal.
Comparing the blood levels of a raw fed animal to those fed a carbohydrate based commercial diet doesn't really make sense. Make sure the vet realizes that this is a raw fed dog, and refer them to the "normal" levels to be expected when raw feeding. A good reference can be found at