What I know for sure about raw diets for dogs can be summed up in two words: Not much. I feel like the more I read, the less I know! I guess that is always the case when you leap into something new (learning a language, a new job — one day it just clicks). I do know there is controversy (between traditional vet medicine and more holistic approaches). But sometimes, with the dogs, I have to go with gut instincts. Thus, we are trying Melvin on raw.
My motivation is simple, I love him. I want to always be able to say, we did everything we could for each of his issues. His liver values seem to want to stay high (bad) and I so desperately want to show those values who the boss is. To do that, we need to at least try to get him off some of his medications. Raw diets have shown great promise for dogs with colitis and allergies (Melvin has both) by getting many dogs off medications so after much deliberation (and much conversation with those who know much, much more than my amount of very little) we are wading into the shallow end (a comical metaphor to use since Melvin can’t swim…).
The first thing we did was add a little teeny tiny bit of a freeze-dried raw food to his normal meal just to see how he handled the introduction of a protein to his diet (his current prescription food is a pre-digested protein). We tried beef via Stella & Chewys. For one week I watched his every move, counted itches, looked way to closely at his poop. And the verdict, he seemed fine. Yay!
So this week we are trying fresh raw (bought at the dog supply store, the type already mixed with veggies and fruit – I still don’t get the ratio of meat to bone to all the other things enough to make it at home). If only Melvin could make his own meals. I feel extreme nausea at the site of the blood that looms at the bottom of the container and have to force myself to hold back gag reflexes as I mix it into his bowl. (“You love him, you can do this”). You know who hasn’t gagged? Melvin. He loves it. I don’t know that we will make a transition to all raw just yet but so far so good, although it’s only day three of this phase.
Never a dull moment! Here is Melvin in his new Sirius Republic collar (cannot tell you how much we LOVE it)! Leather collar, raw diet, Melvin is proudly NOT vegan (although with each meal I prepare for him, I am one step closer to it).