About a month ago we decided to change around our dog Judah’s diet for a number of reasons. The most pending reason was due to the fact that he was having major skin issues mainly due to allergies and flea bites. It turns out that we aren’t the only ones attracted to the beaches and great weather in Southern California, but fleas as well. San Diego is supposedly the Flea Capitol of the U.S. We give Judah his flea treatment once a month with some occasional salt water swims, but this barely does anything to help. Recently he started developing hot spots from some sensitive areas he couldn’t keep himself from licking and scratching. Our vet said that it a common thing for dogs, especially labs, to have skin issues. They also gave us some medicated shampoo for the hot spots. I new there had to be more we could do, so I started researching for more options.
The first thing we did was change his diet to a raw food diet. Also known as the B.A.R.F Diet. The acronym in BARF Diet stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food. The ideology behind it is that each animal has specialized dietary requirements and if they don’t receive their biologically appropriate diet the end result will be detrimental to their health. After I learned a little more about dogs and their eating habits I would almost go as far as calling this a ‘common sense diet’. "The food your animal eats should provide all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all organs and systems of a healthy body to perform in harmonious unison. A properly functioning body does an amazing job at preventing disease and healing itself, and to do this it requires the energies and nutrients of a well-balanced diet." You see, since the first dogs placed their paws on this earth they have been carnivores. Hunting, scavenging and eating raw meet, not commercial pet food. Many of the commercial dog food companies would have us believe that they actually use human grade meat in the production of their food, when in fact the sources of this “meat” are not even fit for animal consumption. I learned that the most common and most visible symptoms of nutritionally caused deficiencies are allergies of one kind or another. Because many commercial foods are woefully deficient in key nutrients, the long term effect of feeding such foods makes the dog hypersensitive to its environment. I soon learned that Carnivores cannot maintain long term production of the quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly digest and utilize the carbohydrates. In addition, the proteins in grains are less digestive than animal proteins. As a result, the immune system becomes irritated and weakened by the invasion of foreign, non-nutritive protein and carbohydrate particles. When this happens allergies and other chronic immune problems may develop.
So for the past month instead of getting his usual kibble, we started feeding him raw meat. Now he eats fish, beef and chicken; bones and all. Bones are full of nutrients good for dogs. They also slow down their eating and clean out their teeth. The important thing is that the bones are not cooked. Poultry bones especially are dangerous cooked because they can splinter and cause internal damage to you your pup. However if they are raw they are still soft, and can be digested.
The results so far have been quite noticeable and worth mentioning. 1. He has lost weight, which is a good thing because he has had issues with his knees since he was a pup. 3 lbs on a dog makes a big difference. 2. His coat is more shiny and he is itching a lot less. 3. His Hot spots began to heal and new hair began to grow in. 4. His stinky dog odder and breath disappeared. We washed him a month ago, and he still smells clean. 5. Cleaning up after him has never been so easy as his droppings are solid and gamey. I know that is a bit gross, but if you own a dog you understand that something like that is a big change.
We will obviously keep a close eye on him and continue to moniter his eating, but so far things are looking pretty good.