Raw diet for dogs? How I made the switch.

Committing to feeding a raw diet for dogs took me a while. Before I made the switch I was using what I believed to be a high quality kibble. Now that I’ve been feeding my dogs differently for over a decade, the idea of feeding dry dog food seems like a foreign concept.

My interest in feeding my dogs a biologically appropriate diet was ignited by the desire to create a healthier lifestyle for them. I had heard about the shortcomings of dry dog food and wanted to do better. But, I didn’t jump in quickly. I picked up a copy of Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s book, Give Your Dog a Bone, which had been published in the early 90’s

And still, I took no action to feed my dogs differently. 

The process seemed so daunting. I didn’t want to make mistakes and harm my dogs. After years of working in the veterinary industry, feeding anything other than dry kibble seemed so outside the norm. One-liners about the dangers of feeding “human food” or “killing your dog if you feed it raw food” kept me frozen in fear. Even after some reading about the benefits, I still wasn’t confident enough to make the change.

But then I discovered Wendy Volhard. Wendy was the founder of Volhard Dog Nutrition. Her knowledge of nutrition was intimidating (even with my background in science and biology!) But because she understood that people were easily overwhelmed by the thought of change, she decided to make it easy. Wendy developed and packaged a dehydrated product that would only need a few fresh ingredients added to it in order to create a balanced diet. 

The dehydrated product took care of balancing vitamins and minerals that the dog needed. The added fresh ingredients, plus water, made the diet complete. Once I knew it could be that easy, I made the leap!

I’m so glad that I did. It took only a few weeks to start seeing physical changes in my dog’s appearance. The eyes got brighter, and there were no gooey secretions. Their coat was softer and the color deepened. The dog’s weight regulated easily, and their ears cleared up. Ear infections and itchy skin went away. Plus, there were no more routine gassy bouts after meals. 💩 That was a bonus!!

I could only conclude that with all those outward signs of improvement, there must be some internal improvement as well. I was needing fewer veterinary visits with my current dogs than with my past pets. Their annual blood chemistry profiles have been maintaining normal ranges for years now. That blood work tells me a lot about their overall health. Even my veterinarian, who intially wasn’t onboard with using a raw diet for dogs, has given me the green light to keep doing what I’m doing.

I’ve continued to learn and investigate how food impacts the body and the mind. I’ve learned to make seasonal changes to the diet with fruits, vegetables and different proteins, particularly with my Duck Toller, Diva. Those changes help support her when we go through late summer, when she struggles with environmental allergies. Since Diva is soon turning thirteen, I’ve begun adding a supplement to help with joint support. She is doing fantastic and my terrier mix, who we think is about five years old, is thriving on the Natural Foundation Diet with no supplementation needed. 

Over the past decade of feeding my dogs differently, the big picture continues to become clearer all the time…if you feed the cells of the body quality nutrients, they respond by being able to function better. It is actually quite simple. What started out as daunting, has become the easiest step I could make toward improving my dog’s health and longevity.

Don’t delay as long as I did, start making strides toward improving your dog’s health by considering some diet changes.

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