I wanted to take some time to write a little bit about our experiences with feeding our dogs a raw diet and what made us decide to finally make the switch. While I have done a lot of research on the subject, please note that these are just my own experiences - always be sure to consult your veterinarian when making changes to your dog's diet.
For the first 4 years of her life (before Toro came into existence), we fed Luci a high quality, grain-free kibble diet. In her younger years she constantly battled with ear infections, urinary tract infections, crystals in her urine, itchy skin, and absolutely foul gas. She was the dog that could clear any size of room with a single toot. I had always been very interested in raw feeding, but I had been unable to source a product that was both high quality and affordable given that she is a medium-sized dog (and that we always knew that we would eventually have a second dog as well.) I thought about sourcing ingredients and preparing my own at home, but I was worried about consistently hitting all of the proper nutritional requirements - especially when I was starting out.
About 6 months after she turned 4, we noticed what we thought was a wound inside her mouth. We had it looked at by the vet, but it wasn't healing the way that it should. Very LONG and emotional story short, it turned out to be a cancerous oral tumour that we had removed surgically via partial mandibulectomy, which is basically a scary-sounding term meaning that they had to remove a section of her jaw bone. The surgery went well, they got clean margins, and other than being down a few teeth and having her tongue sometimes slide out the side of her mouth unexpectedly, she is otherwise normal and cancer-free.
She was so young to have already experienced cancer that it made me stop and reevaluate what we were feeding her. If I could ensure that what she was eating was as fresh, nutritionally balanced, and biologically appropriate as possible I knew we had a much better chance at preventing the cancer from returning. Shortly after we got Toro we made the switch to a raw diet for both dogs and we have never looked back!
Just a few of the MANY benefits we have noticed since switching the dogs to raw have been:
- Healthier body weight and increased energy levels
- Shinier, softer skin and coat
- Cleaner teeth and better breath
- No gas (honestly, they only get gas now when they eat something they aren't supposed to...)
- Smaller, less frequent poops (that the neighbourhood birds eat - far less poop duty in the yard!)
- Luci's allergic flare-ups have virtually disappeared completely - she has not had an ear or bladder infection since switching over to a raw diet
- Toro's food-related allergy issues have been significantly reduced (now if only there was some sort of bubble to keep him away from the environmental triggers...)
Fast forward to 2019 when I had the dogs in for their annual wellness exams at our vet. I opted to have them do a "geriatric blood panel and urinalysis" on Luci (trust me, I almost died when they called it geriatric) just to ensure that everything on the inside was functioning as it should be. Even at 9 years old, every single level on both tests came back within the completely healthy and normal range, which I took as a huge testament that the diet is doing everything for her that it should be.
We have had amazing results using Grand Dog Essentials as our raw food supplier from the very beginning. The quality of their product is consistent, their team is absolutely excellent, and the food is delivered right to our door so there is no driving to the pet store and loading heavy frozen boxes in to the back of my car. Some days the dogs eat the food as is, but I also frequently supplement it with:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fresh raw and dehydrated parts & organs (duck heads, rabbit feet, beef trachea, etc.)
- Green-lipped mussels for joint and muscle health
- Cranberry extract for anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting properties and urinary tract health
- Bee pollen to help reduce allergy symptoms
- Camelina oil for omega-3 support
- Raw bones
Interested in trying the raw food diet for your dog? Take 10% off your first order at Grand Dog Essentials with coupon code 'DogDogGoose' at checkout!