The Myth: Raw diets are not balanced.
The Truth: While that statement can be more than accurate with some aspects of what raw feeding really means. First off - to try and make a biologically species appropriate raw diet fit AAFCO complete and balanced is nearly impossible without the use of synthetic vitamins and minerals. AAFCO in our opinion is a way to balance leftover cereal and rendered waste products into a consumable dry matter that has minimum requirements to keep majority dogs alive for the feeding trials allotted time.
This standard is not applicable to fresh food, we as humans probably would not opt for something in the form of a dry pressed pellet that companies could develop in an environment where 1000 humans were fed this for a period of two years only to have 10 humans die and consider it a success. People can also live off potatoes for a lengthy time, but just because we can process it - doesn’t mean it’s what we are meant to eat.
Even NRC balancing while a great guideline was only revamped in 2006 and a plethora of research and developments have outdated much of this information.
Dogs are however great at adapting to what they are fed. Some people claim feeding a cooked diet of things such as rice, chicken, vegetables and other table scraps have had their dogs healthier than ever - while probably better for bioavailability than the average kibble - that is still not “balanced” neither is feeding a pound of raw hamburger meat.
Balancing is some time in the eye of the beholder - some of us balance over time, some of us balance at every meal. The rule of thumb for raw feeding is three proteins plus fish, wrapped up in an 80/10/10 meat/bone/organ ratio. Pretty simple guideline for most dogs but not always attainable due to sensitivities. Every dog is different, just like every human is different. We can’t expect every dog to process vegetables, grains, dairy, or even some meats the same. Get to know your dog through feeding raw - find out what they like, what they don’t like - dogs are very good at telling us what does or does not work for them. Many pre-made raw diets come “balanced” this is typically in the 80/10/10 ratio but the same with any human or dogs diet - rotation is mandatory. Most companies do not promise a “Complete and balanced diet” because no raw company wants you to continue throwing a singular patty in a bowl for the duration of the dogs life. Any reputable raw food company will educate you in what you need to ensure proper balancing and all nutritional requirements that are up to date with current research. Most raw food companies will also teach you how to add in some DIY options.
Myth: Raw feeding and raw fed dogs pose a serious health risk to humans
Truth: Have you ever handled raw materials for yourself? There - you can do it for animals. Hand washing, bowl washing and cleaning of board/counter surfaces will insure that you keep your family safe.
Fun fact: KIBBLE is the number one cause of pet to human salmonella or other serious risks. People often keep kibble in pockets, let it roll on the floor, not wash dishes, or hands after handling. We are still talking about a meat based product here and having kibble crumbs lingering for your crawling baby is extremely unsafe.
Fun fact #2: Dogs do not have the proper enzymes in their saliva to rid caked on kibble, this causes risk to the dog with pathogens, dental decay and bad breath and to humans who are licked by the dog with this old leftover yucky rotting kibble! When a dog eats raw, that’s it, poof it’s gone, nothing is left but a clean antibacterial saliva.
Myth: You can’t mix raw and kibble
Truth: The idea was that kibble and raw digest at different rates, slowing down the digestive tract and causing meat to sit in the gut. Well, yes - kibble is highly indigestible in its original form, the raw can actually be beneficial to helping digest the kibble. Furthermore, dogs digest literally everything at different rates. Vegetables themselves slow down the digestive tract. Most healthy gutted dogs can digest kibble and raw together no problem if you choose to continue feeding kibble. This myth has been debunked.
Myth: Feeding raw is expensive
Truth: Feeding raw is never going to be like feeding that $12, 40lb bag of supermarket kibble that’s for sure. But it doesn’t have to be expensive, you just have to adjust how you shop to your budget. Pre mades can have the potential to be a bit pricier - typically when we introduce dogs to raw, we start them on our pucks in which we consider to be “balanced” we encourage people to feed that way for a few months until they have a good idea of what their dogs should be producing for stool. Then we encourage to start feeding more whole foods, turkey necks, raw meaty bones, table scraps etc. We would love everyone to transition into a semi or totally DIY raw diet - simply because that is what nature intended. We have many available options to make your transition to raw more affordable, and living in Nova Scotia we are very lucky to have many raw food sources and butchers available to help.
Myth: Puppies can’t eat raw
Truth: This is the biggest lie the kibble industry tells us. It is proven that puppies grow at a more steady and even rate when fed raw over a sugar, starch, jacked protein kibble. Shouldn’t this be when we are filling our growing puppies with the proper nutrients and exposing them to more bioavailable rich real foods to start their growing off right? Puppies do need a little extra, such as calcium and phosphorous increases. This can be achieved by adding in edible bones, tripe, bone broth, goats milk, egg shells etc.
Myth: Raw food hasn’t been through extensive feeding trials
Truth: Actually, yes it has been, including studies with sled dogs, service dogs, and cats.
The kibble industry however runs many skewed food trials with much of the findings not published. With these trials we find that the survival number can be fairly low to be considered a successful food trial and the information published isn't exactly easily understood to the average person or even veterinarian.
Myth: Feeding raw meat will give your animals a “taste for blood” ie. make them aggressive.
Truth: This one is perhaps one of my favorites - because it is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE! Many raw fed dogs are livestock guardians, cat and rabbit friends and can very much distinguish the difference between friend and dinner. Kibble on the other hand, being full of useless carbohydrates, other sugars, astronomical high plant protein levels, synthetic nutrients and weird hormones, wreak HAVOC on a dogs body, like feeding corn pops every day to a growing child and expecting them to be able to concentrate in a classroom setting. Or feeding dogs like bodybuilders and expecting them to be calm, cool and collected.
Myth: Raw causes infertility
Truth: Well, no - more and more breeders are seeing the benefits of feeding raw and weaning to raw.
https://www.marshsmas.ca/-feeding-your-mas.php is a great example of how feeding raw can help with responsible breeding and producing beautiful pups!
Myth: Dogs need grains to prevent DCM
Truth: Let me tell you the amount of research that has been done on Dilated Cardiomyopathy over the last few years. The most common thread is that grain free foods block the absorption of taurine - leading many people to believe that you need to add grains to a diet for the essential amino acid taurine. Let’s get this straight, grains do not contain taurine, they don’t make taurine any easier to absorb. So this doesn’t apply in raw dog food. We will leave it up to the kibble experts to tell you why it doesn’t apply to some forms of kibble.
Things that do contain taurine: Scallops, Octopus, Turkey, Red meat, heart, mussels, fish, seaweed, chicken etc.
Myth: Garlic is toxic
Truth: BUSTED - garlic in any NORMAL amount is non toxic and very beneficial for promoting circulation, detoxifying the body, liver enhancer, prevents blood clots, widens blood vessels, anti-oxidant, antibiotic, antifungal and antiparasitic. Also proven to help prevent fleas and ticks.
That being said - they are part of the chive family so eating an entire bag of garlic is not recommended…
Myth: Chicken bones are bad
Truth: Cooked chicken bones are bad - raw chicken bones are perfectly safe and the easiest bone to digest.
Myth: You need to deworm your dog on a regular basis if you feed raw
Truth: Oh boys this is getting monotonous. If you are buying credible inspected meats fit for human consumption there is no need for a dewormer. Furthermore - check for worms, then treat. If you want to add a natural dewormer you can use diatomaceous earth mixed well into the food. If you want to be extra safe, freeze your meats for 2 weeks prior to consumption.
PS. Avocados are also not toxic, not that I think it’s a staple for feeding but if you dare share with your pup - they’re perfectly healthy.
Neither are apples for that matter - your dog would have to eat 38734664 apple seeds for it to be toxic.