If any of you have done any research on this yourself you would have seen much of the same things I have. In summary: whatever you read the dogs always love the raw diet. What I have realised is that this is not said - only implied.
I am yet to find anything written on anything negatives (from reasonable people) about this diet. When one Google's the topic the one negative title come's up is someone stating the raw food diet killed her dog and some "possible negatives" pointing out such things as Salmonella. Seeing these varying "opinions" (the penny finally dropped for me that a large part of the reviewing of this diet is mainly a matter of opinion) I decided to go ahead with this and go with what my gut and my hounds tell me.
A summary of my opinion thus far is that this is not for everyone and that not enough detailed information is given with regards to potential dangers and pitfalls. Also - your dog may not necessarily like the idea of this.
Fudge and Bailey have by no means been spoiled with regards to food so have no reason to be fussy. They are and always have been happy and healthy dogs with healthy appetites. As you may know I decided to give this diet a go mainly due to Bailey being an allergy prone dog and I believe he has digestive issues so research told me unless it's something bigger (like thyroid or diabetes) this diet should be a solution.
Bailey has been the one that has been least receptive. During week 1 he very reluctantly tried the raw food mix I made (they were both reluctant at first but Fudge ended up accepting it). After the first meal he threw it up during the night - after that he flat out refused to eat for 4 days. He did not want kibble, bones, raw food - nothing. On day 5 I decided (out of interest as well as not liking seeing my dog not eating) so I went and bought fresh chicken breasts, a beef and venison mince mix and some beef goulash cubes at Pick 'n Pay. I call this "posh raw" - long term not good enough by means of nutritional balance. I cut it up, mixed it together and he loved it. The next morning I took the meats out the fridge and did the same........I wish I had a video clip to show you as I think it is quite unbelievable, but this dog picked out the chicken pieces (about 1cm x 2cm) one by one and placed them on the floor next to his bowl! Then he proceeded to eat the beefy venison mix. My jaw still drops at the memory.
I continued feeding Fudge the mix I made and Bailey on the "posh raw" diet whilst waiting for my next delivery. I wanted them to also have some fruit and veg but wanted something more digestible than raw fruit and veg and they did not show interest in the experimental pulp I made for the meat mix. From this was borne a "doggy soup" (recipe to come). It is not 100% raw and not 100% vegetarian but the dogs love it.
During this time my research continued and I drew on my knowledge of the human digestive system - I made the decision that I want to separate fruit & veg from proteins as the time of digestion for these two are so different. This I will also discuss in more detail in posts to come.
This past week has been a difficult one because Fudge became horribly constipated. Since Sunday I have had him and Bailey both on a liquid diet. I have been alternating the "raw" soup with a completely cooked one of chicken breasts, pumpkin, sweet potato, celery. For Fudge I added 2 teaspoons of liquid paraffin to each meal for 3 days. He finally had relief today (my apologies if this is an "over share")
My first order from BARF is arriving tomorrow and I'm very excited to pull my experience from these past weeks together from Sunday