Back in 2010, Mommy started noticing Mercedez and Austin slowing down lots. They were only 8 years old. She had been reading a lot of positive things about raw feeding and decided to give it a try. Back then it was not a very popular thing but she had a few friends that already had there dogs eating raw with positive experiences. Mercedez was a fast eater so there was always the possibility of her getting bloat, common in Labs, especially on kibble. There had also been way too many dog food recalls and she was always scared that our food would be next. She did not want to take the chance so……she switched to raw. There is a local Raw Diet Butcher for dogs that she got the food from, Armellino’s K9. They were very helpful with starting us off.
Rather than switch over gradually, Mommy just fed them the raw food for the first time and OMD……..they loved it. (I was not here yet) Aside from them loving it, they did not go lay down for a couple of hours afterwards whilst the food digested, they ran right outside and started playing like puppies. (It is recommended that you gradually switch by mixing the raw and kibble. All dogs are different and may not take to the switch as fast as we did. ) Mommy and Daddy always gave us table scraps so our tummies were a little tougher than dogs that have never ate anything other than dog food. Another reason that Mommy switched us to raw was because she was having a hard time keeping the extra pounds off of us. Mercedez and Austin always had bad hips so keeping them at a healthy weight was very important. And in the winter, not being as active, the pounds would pack on. Raw diets can help your dog lose weight without losing muscle mass.
Mercedez used to have major allergies, not sure what they were caused by but she used to bite at the bottom of her feet till she bled and would suffer from chronic ear infections. Within the first week on the raw diet, she stopped eating her feet and her ear infections never came back. Could it have been something in the kibble, more than likely but we never did any testing to find out. Mommy always thought it was the wheat in the food but even after switching to a wheat free food she still had the issues. Mommy noticed a huge difference in our breath, skin and fur and our energy level once on a raw diet. She could not believe how much more active everyone was, especially Austin who started really slowing down. That was 8 years ago and at 16 she is still doing well. Of coarse she is not as active as she used to be but we really believe that if she was not on a raw diet since then, she would not still be here today.
Lately we have also been getting our raw meat from Abady, where the sanctuary gets there food from. We get both Abady and Armellino’s meats mixed together and have also been using Abady’s granular food as a topper. Aside from the meat we also get yogurt, fruit, veggies, digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oil (fish, flaxseed or olive) and any other suppliments that we may need at any time. For treats, we only eat marrow bones, table scraps, fruit, Ambassadog treats or Grove Naturals treats. My sisters and wife used to love rawhides, I never had one, but after watching Mercedez almost choke on one and then reading up on how bad they actually are, Mommy swore to never give us any again.
A lot of people are hesitant on starting a raw diet for their dogs because of the expense. I can tell you first hand that any extra money spent on a raw diet will save you vet trips and expenses and with the cost of dog food lately, there is not much of a difference. Once on a raw diet Mommy only had to take us yearly for our annual shots. No vet visits for sickness or stomach issues or allergies. We will list a few websites that Mommy looked into before starting raw for those that are looking to switch.
Rule of thumb (even though I have none) is 1lb of meat per 50lbs of dog. Of coarse you can decide if a dog needs more or less based on their energy level. At Austin’s age, she only gets about a half lb of meat, she is 45 lbs. With Lexus’ high energy level, she gets almost 2 lbs of meat a day.
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