It's Friday 4th October, the night before the first Calm Down Dawg shop opens. I would be lying if I said this week hasn't been tough to prepare everything that is needed to open a store (it's given me a new appreciation for owners!). I would also be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about our opening tomorrow. But for me, this is all worth it. For one reason...
Feeding raw is something that we’re extremely passionate about.
Don't just take my word for it that it brings countless benefits - experience it for yourself, or see the success stories in action for the many dogs we've switched over to raw.
Feeding raw provides a huge list of both health and behavioural benefits for dogs, cats and ferrets. However, no doubt you will have heard many myths and opinions for and against feeding raw. You may have like many of us been warned off by your vet and told that you need to feed a processed diet (biscuit, kibble, tinned, etc…) that unfortunately causes many health and behavioural problems in our furry friends. I have a lot of respect for vets, however those who warn against feeding raw… I have to bite my bottom lip.
Working as a dog behaviourist, is in my opinion, the most rewarding job (if you can call it a job) in the world. Seeing stressed, anxious or aggressive dogs become calm and balanced through behaviour modification is an emotional journey and many tears are shed along the way. Raw feeding plays a huge part in getting dogs calm and balanced. Sometimes we need to work with a hungry dog to get results because ‘naughty dogs are overfed dogs!!’ so we fast them for 24 hours. Many clients gasp in shock when I say this (however it’s actually really good for a dogs gut health to be fasted 1-2 days a week) and yet when I go to see them they often say ‘I can’t believe how calm my dog has been’. It’s simply because they don’t have this processed dog food in their system and we’re already seeing the benefit of not feeding them an un-natural diet.
The amount of our clients who say their dog is a ‘grazer’ or ‘she’s not a big foodie’ yet when you put down their first bowl of raw food it’s gone with in a heartbeat. Doesn’t this tell us something?
Raw feeding is vital for dogs, cats and ferrets because it is their natural diet. It’s what they would eat in the wild. What other animal on planet earth gets a sensitive stomach, has food allergies, skin infections, ear infections, kidney and liver disease, poor dental health, etc from eating its natural diet? None… I hear you say!
We’ve stopped giving advice and our opinion on feeding raw because quite often it can be a challenge to get people to see why they should switch over. It’s not their fault because they have un-knowingly been flooded by very clever TV adverts all their lives and most of the Western World just believes that dogs and cats should eat ‘dog/cat food’. The processed dog food industry is 2nd behind the petroleum industry for profit worldwide. Mars and Nestle jostle for top spot.
It’s big money and the raw pet food industry is a huge disrupter for them.
How we help our clients to understand the importance of feeding raw now is by simply sticking to the facts. The facts about why it makes sense to feed raw to our pets:
· Evolution has provided dogs, cats and ferrets with incredibly strong and powerful jaws, equipped with teeth that are designed to rip, crush and tear bones and chunks of meat. They’re not designed to eat biscuits.
· A toy dog can produce 200 pounds of pressure per square inch of their mouth, a mastiff can produce 2000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Some breeds have jaw muscles that are 1 inch thick.
· The dog’s gut is far shorter than ours. Ours is 10-11 times the length of our body. A dog’s gut is only 4-5 times the length of their body. It’s shorter because dogs are notgreat hunters like their ancestors the Wolf. Dogs are great scavengers, so they pass the food through quickly because it’s often rotting. No animal wants to hold onto harsh bacteria any longer than it needs to.
· A dog’s gut should be very acidic. An acidic gut is a very healthy gut. When they eat processed dog food it’s so easy for the gut to digest the food that over time the PH level of the gut rises, and this is when many health problems kick in.
· Feeding raw provides a whole list of health benefits as well as preventing many unwanted health conditions as well.
· Better dental health (especially on the BARF diet), far healthier coat, clearer eyes, cleaner ears and less gunk coming from their eyes.
· They drink far less water. We’re always amazed when we look after dogs that are fed biscuit about how much water they drink. Think of the pressure this puts on their liver and kidneys over the years. No wonder so many dogs suffer with kidney and liver problems later in life.
· Even their poo is nicer to pick up! For those of you who live with dogs who have terrible ‘fluctuance’ you’ll be amazed at how quickly feeding raw stops this problem.
· Raw meat is naturally ‘hypoallergenic’ meaning it suits those dogs that are plagued with food intolerances.
· Better immune function helping dogs with allergy issues.
· Helps control weight for under and overweight dogs.
· Far less trips to the vet throughout your pet’s life. This saves you lots of money and more importantly it keeps your pet healthy and happy.
· Dogs don’t produce serotonin naturally like we do, so they have to get it from their food. With processed foods dogs just don’t get the serotonin that they need. Serotonin boosts contentment and focus in dogs, so when fed raw they get everything they need to become calm and balanced.
· Better mental health and behaviour due to enhanced production of neurotransmitters and hormones.
· When on BARF they produce endorphins much better due to the mechanical action of chewing. When dogs chew, they release dopamine which is a mood enhancing chemical so if your dog is stressed, anxious or aggressive giving them whole bones and carcasses to chew down sends them into a state of calmness. And relax…. The reason why stressed dogs chew things their owners go out is because the chewing calms them down. They’re essentially self-medicating.
· Living with a pet that’s fed raw is just an easier life!
Come and join us and feed your four-legged friend(s) their natural diet and help them live a calm, balanced and happy life…