Whilst I started this blog to share my experiences with Ted, I am a member of a number of dog related forums and most days the subject of raw feeding is raised either by someone thinking of switching their dog to raw, or by a forum member in response to health issues an owner is looking for advice on. I get to read about what puts people off raw and what concerns them about it on a regular basis.
A lot of the time the barrier seems to be fear, fear instilled by “clever” dog food company marketing, fear of all the conflicting advice out there, fear of it being horribly complicated, fear of getting it wrong, this list goes on. For every person who decides to seek out such advice I’m guessing that there are others who don’t. Now I’m not saying that everyone should feed raw, it is down to an individual owner’s choice but what I want this blog to do, amongst other things, is make it an option that people feel they can consider when choosing their pet’s diet.
To pick off the fear of getting it wrong for this post. The absolute best advice I was given (on the Raw Meaty Bones Yahoo Group Forum) when starting out was that I didn’t need to get Ted’s diet 100% perfect from day one. In fact I didn’t need to even give him a balanced diet every day, just over time, the same way as I feed myself. That even without me creating an ideal balance for him in those first few months I would still be doing a lot better than filling his bowl with dog food.
It is often recommended that dogs are started on one type of meat, chicken for e.g., and fed this for a number of days making sure the dog is coping well with it (older dog’s digestive systems can take a few days to wake up to raw/there can be some detoxing before normal poo service is resumed) before adding in the next meat source. You repeat this with each type of meat to ensure you pick up any intolerance to a particular meat. So you actually should go slowly when starting.
For me this really helped me make that first step as I felt I was able to gain some knowledge then get started and learn as I went. There is so much information out there that if I’d read it all first I’d still be working out what to do now.
It really doesn’t take long before you know what you are doing. I have witnessed a lot of people go from not knowing where to start and being quite scared about bones and what to feed to being able to advise the next nervous newbie a few weeks later.
If you think you might be wanting to try and you like to learn from books order Tom Lonsdale’s “Work Wonders: Feed your dog raw meaty bones”, you can find it on his site http://www.rawmeatybones.com/, it’s a really easy read and only takes a few hours to get through. If you prefer to “chat” to people for advice then take a look the various yahoo groups, the link to the one I am on is above but there are loads of them. There are more links on where to start on my “Don’t Take My Word For It” page.
So if you are considering raw feeding your dog, take a leaf out of Ted’s book and relax, there’s really no need to worry about it 🙂