We are pretty passionate about feeding raw; it just makes sense.
A little Dog History
Even though our modern dogs breeds of today have been domesticated for 1000’s of years their digestive track is basically the same as their wild counter parts wolves. The first evidence of dogs (ancient wolf breed) with humans is believed to be 15000 years ago and evidence shows humans were burying their dogs just 1000 years later. During that time of developing our relationship with canines they learnt to adapt to human presence for food and security and so developed man’s best friend the dog and we started realising their potential to help us. For 1000’s of years we simply fed them what we were eating which suits them because they are opportunistic carnivores, or facultative carnivores, which in general terms means they are primarily meat-eaters, but can survive on plant material alone if necessary. The key word here is "survive." To survive is not to thrive. To thrive is to grow vigorously. To survive means simply to stay alive. Even to this day, you can breed a wolf to a dog which goes to show just how close to each other that actually are.
The creation of Dog Biscuits
Dog biscuits were invented accidentally in a London butcher shop during the late 1800s. Yes that’s right just 200 years ago, but wait! According to the story, the shop's owner was trying to expand his business by creating a new biscuit recipe for his customers. After baking a batch, he tasted them and thought they were terrible. He gave one to his dog, and the dog gobbled it right up. This gave him the idea of making biscuits especially for dogs. He made his biscuits in the shape of a bone and they began to sell rapidly. In 1908, his recipe was bought by an American businessman who introduced it to the United States. The F.H. Bennett Biscuit company was established, and they began selling the dog biscuit under the name Malatoid. In 1911, the recipe was granted a patent. The name was changed to Milkbone in 1915 to reflect the fact that cow's milk was one of the main ingredients.
The Milkbone dog biscuit brand was then acquired by Nabisco Biscuit Company and it dominated the dog biscuit market until the late 1960s. In fact, during most of this time, it was the only commercially available dog biscuit. Initially, it was marketed as a treat for dogs, but eventually the health aspects such as cleaner teeth and better breath were promoted. In the early 1970s, a number of manufacturers came out with competing products. This competition has remained, resulting in hundreds of different dog biscuit products.
That’s right folks it wasn’t till 1915 that the dog biscuit gain traction and further 50 years till it became competitive. That is a relatively short time to be eating processed food.
My family fed our dogs biscuits, because we are told how good they are for our dogs and to be honest we didn’t know anything else, dog food companies have some very clever marketing going on. To be fair to biscuits today are just a chemical shit storm compared to the relatively basic biscuits that were made with actual meat and whole food products. It wasn’t till I met Marina about 12 years ago that I learnt about prey model raw (PMR), and biologically appropriate raw food (BARF). I met her black Kelpie, Jessie, who was this amazing, shiny, healthy dog, who was still working sheep at 16 (was still going at 20 but had an accident). She was fabulous.
Just a quick bit about my mentor and friend Marina; Marina was born and raised on the land with dogs at her side and saw the introduction of biscuits and like most people moved to them in the 70’s it was easy, convenient and cheap. It was many years later she started seeing changes in the dogs also they were dying earlier from new diseases. She decided that the biscuits were to blame and went on a journey that took her all over the world. She learnt about wolves, worked with drug and cadavers search dogs, Seeing Eye dogs, educated herself on holistic healing and the properties of plants. She formed Jesserene boarding and behaviour centre and this is where I met her many years later. She is my go to person anything dog related, she is a fountain of knowledge.
Dog’s digestive tracts are short and very acidic. Raw and decaying meat goes through quick and leaves no chance for bacteria and such to breed. Unlike herbivores where their digestive tract is long and designed to get all the nutrients from a less dense source plants. Another clincher for me to make the move to raw was their teeth and jaw. You can see through evolution that they have teeth to tear flesh and the way their jaws moves is to chomp down and gnaw on bones.
I prefer to feed my dogs 'prey model', which to balance is easy but there is couple of things to remember. Firstly percentages; you want to use 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal of which 5% should be liver. This emulates roughly what they would get in the wild from a beast. The only vegetable content they would get is anything their prey had eaten and was in the stomach and if times were tough berries and such. Like most people we are time poor and also living in a rural area it can be hard to source the variety and quality we want, so we use a BARF product. Because it is frozen, which depletes the fatty acids in the fat, we add a blended oil to it, easy. After changing to a raw diet the next thing we noticed is 100% Australian meat treats are hard to come by in Western Australia, so we decided to start buying bulk and share the costs with Marina. That’s how our pet treat business was born. We now have huge range products with multiple protein sources which caters to most dogs treat needs. Check it out!
The difference in our dogs has been fabulous. Their coats are so shiny, they don’t have that doggy smell even though I never wash them with products (well unless the roll in something gross). Their poo is not this gigantic smelly grossness, they have cleaner teeth with fresher breath. Other people have seen the following after changing to raw diet: better weight control, reduction of allergy symptoms, increased mobility in older animals, more energy and stamina, strengthened immune system, improved liver, pancreatic and bowel health, savings due to less trips to the vet.
We will never feed a biscuit ever again, and you?