One of my favourite blogs out there is The Apprenticeship of Pasha, written by Pasha’s long suffering Uncle Mishka, it is a brilliant guide for us non furries living with our canine companions. I was delighted when Miskha agreed to take a break from supervising his idiot nephew Pasha and writing his own blog to write a post for Ted, all about raw feeding.
You can see Mishka and Pasha’s 1,000 raw fed dogs photo here, along with Cleo and Thomas their kitty friends.
“Hello there. My name is Mishka, I am a nearly 10 year old Russian Black Terrier and if I say so myself, a rather suave and wise old codger. Me ole mucker Ted asked me to do a guest blog on the why’s and wherefor’s of raw feeding. As a dog, and therefor being an expert on the matter, of course I accepted graciously.
The thing that gets me though is why there is this whole thing about raw feeding and non raw feeding. Why do we even need to talk about it? Well, I can tell you why and that is because in my humble opinion you humans have gotten a bit lazy in the last 100 years or so and just want to be told what to feed, how much and when and only have to pop your hand in a bag to achieve it. OK so I haven’t exactly been around that long although I am about 85 in human years, but I am learned so I think that does make me qualified to comment.
But seriously guys, think about it. Go back 100 years or so and I think you’ll find that there wasn’t many pooches fed out of a paper bag, even one with pictures of supposedly happy chappies and purporting to contain everything your beloved pet needs for ‘a balanced diet’.
Nope, ask any old duffer over the age of about 70 (or my Grandad Dennis he’s 78) and you’ll be told old Rover got chucked a bone given to him by the local butcher and/or a bowl full of whatever little Johnny or little Alice didn’t eat that night. And they were proper dogs too, they had to live in the yard most of the time rather than in a nice centrally heated house so they had to be tough.
Cats well, Tiddles might have come in for the odd cuddle but other than that she went and got her own dinners in the form of mice and birds. In fact most people had a cat just to catch the mice.
Thing is if you listen to the powers that be that make all these cardboard nuggets they’ll try and tell you that the dogs (and cats) of yesteryear were always ill and died young. They’ll say that today’s pooches live much longer, healthier lives and some of this is down to their supa-dupa magical all-in-one grub.
Well do you know what my answer to that is ? Well pardon my french but b****ks. Plain and simple. First of all Grandad and all his doddery mates told me they all had dogs who lived from ages 14 through to 19 and none suffered anything nasty.
Of course animals live longer now. The vets have more drugs available to lengthen lives, because that’s another thing you humans can’t deal with and that’s death. But that’s another story and not for this blog. So you have all these poor bloody dogs and cats desperately ill but alive because their human for whatever reason needs them to be, when in day’s past, the vit’nery would have dispatched them at the first sign of suffering. But my contention is this ‘healthier lives’ claim. Firstly, don’t forget nowadays everything is noted and kept for the records whereas years ago I doubt the vet bothered with even record cards for anything minor!
But if these wonder foods are as good as they claim, then why are so many cats and dogs suffering from allergies like skin irritations, digestions problems like farty bums and runny poohs, liver and kidney issues (one of the biggest modern killers of cats I hear) and the big BIG bug-bear dental diseases.
Seriously can you imagine what James Herriott would have done if you had presented at his surgery up there in 1950something saying Benji has dental issues ? My guess is he would have been rotfl! But these days it is THE biggest money spinner for veterinary practices so much so, that the petfood industry has had to bring out all these special chews and foods to help with dental problems!
And anyway, who wants to live longer with a whole host of rotten diseases, taking loads of pills than create another loads of problems. I certainly don’t. I told Mother from early on when I first persuaded her that it was OK for me to eat raw meaty bones rather than the krapple that was giving me itchy skin and runny bums, I’d rather have a full healthy life and pop my clogs a bit early than be ill for years and years before some vet decides I’ve suffered enough and puts me out me misery.
You humans forget (and the petfood industry nurtures this) that cats are descended from African Wild Cats and are obligate carnivores which means plain and simple people that all they need to stay healthy is meat and some bone. Nothing else. Nowt. Nada. Zilch. Nichts. Rien. In fact it has been proven that if you feed cats carbohydrates it actually damages them. So what do the petfood companies do, well they put carbs into their cat food as fillers of course and tell the public it’s all ok they have done the research and found it’s just peachy.
They have done the research. I can’t deny that. They pay billions for scientists to test products and foodstuffs and come up with various menus for pets with various medical conditions with jazzy names and flashy bags that look good and say ‘completely balanced for your pet’. Did you get that? In case you missed it – THEY pay the scientists. IE; the scientists are employed directly by the company to test a product……anyone else see a problem with that or is that just me?
Us canines are descended directly from the wolf. Canis familiaris. We share more than 99.8% of our DNA with the grey wolf. We as in me, Ted, and Chopette the Boxer next door. Any breed of dog anywhere in the world. No we do not really look like wolves anymore (except maybe those Malamute thingys), nor do we behave like them (I have been known to howl occasionally) but ultimately we are still carnivores who have the capability to eat omnivorous food where meat and bone is not available.
This is where the argument really gets going you see. The petfood industry has convinced the vets and the vets have convinced Joe Public that we have evolved into omnivores. Well firstly I smell a rat when I find out that the petfood industry generally pays for and delivers the nutrition part of the training of the veterinaries and secondly, I am no biologist but I am pretty damned sure it takes more than about 50 years for a species to evolve. I think it took man billions of years didn’t it (mind you that’s not a good example considering how slow you lot are). No, as a dog I think I am more expert than the bleeding CEO of Pedigree blooming Glum to say what I am. Just look at my mouth – I have the perfect set of teeth for biting, riping and grinding large lumps of meat and bone to a pulp and the digestion system nearly identical to Cousin Wolfie to process it all quickly and efficiently dealing with any bacteria that may come my way.
And yeah I suppose if Mum kicked me out on my backside without a pot to pee in I might have to resort to fending for myself and if that meant eating a few berries or fruits along the way to survive then of course I would – I am not stupid – as you probably have gathered by now. What I am not gonna do is raid a cereal field – when did you last see a wolf do that? Yet in many petfoods the main ingredient is cereals!
Don’t get caught up in all that rubbish either about wolves not lasting very long in the wild either. Nor would you in below freezing temperatures in a world where hunters want to hunt you and your prey and builders want to cut down your home in the forest and by default the home of your dinner so they can build a six lane highway or oil pipeline or something. It’s very difficult to live long and prosper when on one hand someone is shooting atcha and on the other hand you can’t find nowt to eat bar a blackberry bush!
My other gripe is all this tripe about the dangers of bacteria and bones. Tell that to Tiddles when she brings home half a mouse – the other half of which she’s already eaten…….or to the wolf who brings down an elk. What do you expect him to do, whip out a camping stove and cook said elk ? Be serious people! Yes there are some dangers – cooked bones BIG no-no they can splinter and pierce things and it’s not a good idea to feed very small bones to dogs with very big gobs because if they chomp them down too quick there is a risk of choke but that’s just commonsense. Nevertheless these are all stories the petfood companies and uneducated vets will use to frighten the crap out of you in order to get you to buy their food!
Honestly open your eyes. We do just fine and dandy on meat and bone. Give us a nice piece of juicy bone-in-meat with some organs and whole oily fish or salmon oil. Preferably you’ll want to give us a good variety so we do then get all the vitamins and minerals needed to keep us in tip-top glossy coated happy chappy condition and so it’ll naturally balance itself over time, none of this twaddle about needing to have it balanced on a daily basis.
And the real bonus – you won’t need to buy any stupid expensive denta-blooda-sticky nonsense thingys because to top it off the bones and skin really clean and floss our teeth!
These dogs and cats on the petfood adverts may look good – but remember things are not always what they seem.
So if you do one good thing this year change your pooch or puss cat to raw meaty bones and see the differences for yourself.
Eds Note: Mishka is available for one to one consultations at a fee of one meaty bone per hour.