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raw diet
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Why I Feed My Dogs A Raw Diet
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Why I Feed My Dogs A Raw Diet

I began feeding my dogs a raw several years ago when my (now deceased) Australian Shepherds, Lex and Ruby, were about fifteen and fourteen years old, respectively. I'd done a lot of reading about it, but it was really a leap of faith because I was worried it wouldn't be as healthy as all the claims I read on the Internet.

Thankfully, those testimonials turned out to be exactly right! Lex lived until he was 18 and Ruby lived another six years. She herded up until the day before she died. Now, all four of my dogs, three working dogs: two Australian Cattle Dogs, a Border Collie-Cattle Dog mix and a chihuahua eat a raw meat diet.

Some people assume a raw diet for pets can be very expensive but I haven't found it to be. Dogs only need 2 to 3% of their body weight (sometimes less if they're more sedentary). Even my largest dog, who tends to be lazier than my females, eats only 1.5 pounds a day. The others eat under a pound and the chihuahua's portion is miniscule.

As with other diets, if your dog needs to lose weight you feed them less but I've never had to adjust my dogs diet from the 2 to 3% ever. Many people feed their dogs twice a day but I found my dogs tended to not eat as well. Now they eat once in the evening and it seems to work best for us.

Their main diet is chicken with plenty of raw eggs. I raise free range laying hens so eggs are always available here. They get organ meat a couple times a week and beef ribs when I can afford them. I'm lucky enough to live in the country so they're also able to have the occasional wild turkey, pheasants or other game birds. Very rarely they get pork.

My dogs get no fruit or vegetables of any kind, though like all dogs they munch on grass here and there. I doubt I could get them to eat a grape or carrot. My older dogs never had any problems chewing through the bones. However, it's very important that you never give your dogs cooked bones or ones thawed in the microwave. Cooked bones can split and sliver whereas raw bones are quite soft and flexible.

The best thing about feeding my dogs raw meaty bones is their overall health. I've never had to take them to the vet except for their required vaccines. Their bodies are lean and muscular and they have tremendous energy. Even their moods are better with this diet.

When I was feeding them dry dog food I fed them kibble that was grain free. I even cooked food for them at one point. Still, they weren't as healthy and lively as they are now. Even their behavior seems better. I know I'll never feed my dogs any other diet. I owe it to them to take the best care of them I can because they give me more than I can give them. Unconditional love is a precious thing.


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