|Barked: Mon Sep 26, '05 1:01pm PST |
|I have a little (long) thought on this issue. I don't eat raw, and I don't know anyone "personally" (as opposed to dogster people) who feed their dogs raw food, but I have a little quasi-educational guess on what's happening to Rosie.
A lot of times, when people try a new form of diet on their dogs, they freak out when they see loose stool or other signs of the dog suffering from mild or severe stomachache. Sometimes, dogs vomit after eating a new form of food too, and that really alarms people.
I personally think that these symptoms of "illness" (nausea, vomiting, stomachache) often means that there's either something wrong with food (example: the food is rotten) or there's something wrong with the dog's compatibility of food (example: the dog is allergic to that food). However, this is not always true.
There ARE exceptions. I especially think when it comes to people debating whether or not raw diet is "compatible" or "incompatible" with their dog, and USING these symptoms of illness as an indicator of this "compatibility" question, I think this expception applies more frequently than GENERAL cases of a dog's sickness following eating an unusual food.
Sometimes, I think dogs WILL get sick when they eat something they haven't eaten before. They get sick NOT because there's something wrong with something they used to eat or something they tried new for the first time. They simply get sick, because everytime a new food gets introduced to their digestive system, it needs to readjust how it works before it can readily accept that new food.
This phenomena happens to people as well. When people go on Atkins diet (a weird hip diet nowadays which people ingest meat and fat only, and no carbos), their digestive system sort of reprograms itself to adjust to that diet over time. When these people all of a sudden ingest a bowl of pasta months after being strictly on an Atkins diet, they get sick. They will get severe stomachache. They might even vomit.
If you wonder: was the pasta rotten? Are these people now and forever unable to eat pasta? Are they now allergic to pasta? Are they incompatible to pasta? None of these are true. Of course people can always switch back to eating pasta, and unless they happen to be those few people who happen to be allergic to wheat for one reason or another, they don't all of a sudden become allergic to wheat just because they've been eating meat for months.
If you serve a vegan person a steak, the same phenomenon will happen. I know I'm going off on a tangent, but this vegan dude made a documentary movie about him eating BigMacs for 30 days. The first time he ate a big juicy burger, he threw up and he made some comment about how he threw up because the burger is all unhealthy. At that moment, the people in the movie theater who were even remotely related to health field sneered and called him an uninformed whiner. Of course he threw up because as a vegan, he never had that kind of food in years. Of course he threw up because he just shocked his system with these new foods. His body did NOT reject that food because it somhow magically KNEW that burgers are relatively unhealthy compared to his usual vegan diet.
Going back to the topic, the point I'm trying to make is this: If you have raised your dog on raw food all its life, it will thrive on raw food. If you raised your dog on kibbles all its life, it will thrive on kibbles. If you have raised your dog on home cooked meal all its life, it will thrive on that as well. HOWEVER, if you ever decide to switch from one form of food to another, it CAN also thrive, given that you have the patience to stick with it. There is NO such thing as "my dog can't eat this because he's just special that way" UNLESS it has ALLERGIES or other form of DIAGNOSED conditon that prohibits it from eating that specific food. Let me emphasize here also that the statment: "well my dog's old diet must be better than the new diet because.. LOOK my dog got sick!" (this is often the reasoning people use to promote one form of diet over another) can also look somewhat silly.
In the end, pet diet is about choice. You, the owner, make that choice because it makes sense to you, and it fits your lifestyle. UNLESS your dog has SPECIFIC health related condition, your dog DOES NOT make that choice for you, as your dog CAN and WILL adjust to and THRIVE on any form of diet over time.
Not one diet is better or worse than the other - they're just different. If you are careful and sensible about what you feed to your dog, and if you make sure that your dog gets all the nutrients it needs one way or the other, your dog will do well.
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