raw food, raw talk

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I’m an advocate of optimal nutrition for dogs. Because I am a trainer and work with dogs, hands on, everyday, I can tell you that nutrition directly effects behavior.

When I have to peel a dog off of my head, and then find out they are on some kibble that is high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, well we tend to talk about nutrition and appropriate food for a dog before we start working on behaviors.

You can’t work with an emotionally unstable animal, that has to be balanced first. Emotional stability has many components, nutrition is one of them.

Try eating corn dogs and cotton candy for six weeks straight, and then let’s talk about how you feel. Let’s talk about how others enjoy being around you. Let’s talk about your attitude in general. Lets talk about your ability to focus and concentrate. My guess is, our conversation won’t be roses. Just a hunch.

Some commercial kibbles are worth using, most commercial kibbles have just about the nutritional level of corn dogs and cotton candy, some are even worse. You really have to read, stay current, and ask questions. About eight months ago I posted FOOD, a blog post with links, Q & A, information, and how to read a dog food label. If you haven’t read that check it out!

I will say that it isn’t easy. For example, I am a marketing companies dream consumer! I like nice packaging, I like new and progressive, and I love to read nice good things on the label. Oh, raspberries and blueberries! I’m like a moth to a flame! Commercial dog food companies have some of the best marketing and advertising firms behind them. Their strategies are awesome, and as a business person I applaud them. BUT, it does not mean what they are selling is appropriate for your dog, or even mildly healthy.

I started to feed a raw diet about 10 years ago. We started with commercial raw, then moved to carcass feeding and some commercial raw. Now we do a true rotation diet. Carcass and raw meaty bones in the AM, some mixed ground meat with offal, organ meats, and a little veggie in the PM. We use Petcurean kibble on busy days or when traveling and on the road.

I have two videos that have been on my YouTube channel for awhile, and have been helpful to other raw feeders or people just curious on what it looks like.

Multiple Dog Household and Feeding

Carcass Raw Feeding – unplugged – cornish hens

What takes most people by surprise is HOW LONG it takes to feed. If you’re use to watching a dog gulp down a bowl of kibble in seconds, then raw feeding might seem like an eternity. A dog has to negotiate the carcass part, and work through the meat, fat, tendons, cartilage, and bone. During this process they work all of their teeth for their intended purpose. It’s slow and beautiful to watch. Raw Meaty Bones is a book worth reading!

Today’s video is segments from our feeding this morning. The video is only seven something minutes long, but the bone time was about one and a half hours long.

You’ll see the progression of; working on the meat, ligaments, and bones, then switching bones, milling about politely and calmly, rolling on the bones, a bit of play, and at the end, Story’s ritual of ‘dig a nice hole and let the bone belly rest!’. Chewing and working on a bone is a lot of work, when my dogs are done they are panting, and stretching and looking for a place to crash. My dogs are still sleeping, and Franny, bless her Grandma heart, is happily snoring away.

Ocean takes the longest. She’s retrieved thousands, if not millions of toys and sticks. Over 10.5 years it’s taken a toll,and her teeth are not great. They are filed down quite a bit, and I am sure sensitive to some extent. I give her a space where she can work at her own pace without the others pushing in.

Franny, $eeker, and Story will politely mill about once they have finished and just check out the other bones. They are always polite, and there is safety in that. All have nice teeth for their ages!

Whether it’s my husband or myself that feeds in the AM, we are always present, always monitoring, and observing. It’s a nice way to relax and observe the dogs, it is not however our time to nap, check out, or read. Safety first and foremost.

Nancy, happy feeding!


  1. In the last part of the post, you mention the time it takes to feed raw…the time factor, and cost/storage issue of getting quality raw where I live, is my primary stalling point on making a switch. I would like to try it, but I don’t think my lifestyle (being single and having an on-call job) is suited for feeding raw…nor in the winter do I relish the idea of feeding raw meat inside the house. Thoughts? What is the cost comparison to feeding quality kibble? I’m assuming a freezer is necessary for storage? Do you feed frozen, dethawed or as fresh as possible?

    1. Hi Kim,
      there are those considerations for sure. ‘Rawesome’ is located in Missoula I believe and she delivers state wide, she is the rep. for Oma’s. You can start with doing a commercially prepared raw diet that is complete, you just measure out the ounces or pounds you want to feed. Good quality. Feed raw meaty bones on the days you know you are home, start with 1-2 times per week. The important thing is, just like everything else in life, get use to it before you jump in. I did commercial raw and bones a couple times a week for a few years while I read and talked to a bunch of raw feeders. I wanted to have a good sense for what I was doing, what it should look like, and how my dogs should feel. A great quality kibble like Petcurean is actually more expensive to feed than raw. So In our house we purchase cornish hens and beef ribs and other raw meaty bones on sale days, we watch the paper carefully. I buy bigger joint and knuckle bones from a local grass fed ranch, I simply LOVE the huge size she can sell to me. We sometimes get offal and organ meats from her but most often from Oma’s. Sometimes I will do a trade with some one who has purchased a side of somethign and we trade that way. I bought a reach in freezer at Costco for a really reasonable price too.

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