Long time no post: Raw Food.

It has been quite a while since I posted to this blog so today I’d like to talk about something I have been doing that some of you are going to cheer for and others are going to look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  I’m talking about raw food.  That’s right Echo has been eating food that has not been cooked, just like a wild animal (GASP!).   When it comes to how you feed your fur babies it is your choice, just as it’s your choice what you feed your children.  So if you want to feed your kids processed food with lots of sugars and starches that’s ok by me just don’t complain later if they develop health problems, or maybe they’ll be the lucky ones and have no problems.  I take the same approach to Echo’s food, I don’t believe processed food with loads of sugar and starch is healthy no matter how pretty the pamphlet is or how much the rep sweet talked it to my vet.  (Side note I have a background in marketing and sales so it makes it easier for me to spot a line)

Don’t think I made the switch to raw food lightly, I spent months researching and learning and even though I have been doing this for years now I’m still learning and have made mistakes. The main reason I switched was just as I mentioned above the amount of sugars and starches in ALL kibble is astronomical.  You actually can’t make kibble without adding a starch to hold it’s shape.  You may notice the kibbles that list really low starch content are usually quite crumbly and you end up with half a bag of dust.  The only way to get around that is additives. At this point I’m not sure what additives would hold the kibble shape so I’ll refrain from commenting on that. These starches often encourage yeast growth and just aren’t part of a dogs natural diet in such high quantities.

The next factor for me was price. Echo is a large dog and has a very fast metabolism so needless to explain she eats a lot.  By the time I was done buying kibble, cans, treats and bones I was well over $200 A month and that’s not including toys, supplements or vets.  With the raw company I currently buy from I spend $180 and it’s delivered to my door.  That includes food, bones, treats etc. Shocking right?! Yes you read that right I’m actually saving money by buying raw!

Take some time an let that sink in next post will be about some of the mistakes I made with the raw diet.


Opinions vs Facts; What is a Theory?

As more and more people start learning from non-traditional sources, like the Internet, there will inevitably be more disagreements and arguments and often in the middle of these fights you will hear (or read) someone yell “Well that’s your OPINION!”. It’s often said as a slur, meant to end an argument that one cannot win without fully giving in and agreeing with the other party.  Of course very rarely does it actually end the argument, it’s actually more likely to spiral a relatively calm debate into a full temper tantrum.  Essentially, by telling someone the info they gave you is an opinion (rather than a fact), you told them that they’re stupid, uneducated and are plain wrong.

In truth, there are very few (if any) facts period, everything we learn is actually someone else’s opinion or theory.  Take a second for that to sink in.  That’s right when you go to school and learn about say nutrition, you are learning someone else’s opinions and assumptions.  Your doctor learned someone else’s opinions regarding medicine and makes assumptions based on those opinions.  Wow.  Yes I did just say that but before you start yelling at me in the comments take a second and open your mind.

How did the practice of medicine start? I imagine someone wasn’t feeling well then ate something and felt better, then the next time they felt unwell they ate that same thing and again like magic they felt better.  They then told someone else who wasn’t feeling well to eat that same thing and the other person also felt better, and now when anyone feels unwell they eat that same thing and most feel better.  So here we have a person who assumed that what they ate was what made them feel better they also assumed that it would make someone else feel better. In their opinion (or from their viewpoint) they were the same and thus the same treatment would work. But of course as we know now what works for some (even for most) might not work for everyone.  Of course I don’t know if this is how medicine actually started but this is my theory on the matter.

So what is a theory? You guessed it; it’s an assumption based on observable data.

Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with fur babies, and the answer is everything!  I often here people say well I don’t agree with what my vet told me to do but they’re a vet. Or I don’t really like using _____ but the trainer said it’s the best thing. Or we’ll the breeder said this was the best/ the only thing I can use.  I usually want to smack and shake these people back to reality, your gut is telling you something is wrong. Do not ignore your gut! Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to question anyone, yes that includes me. Remember every single person who tells you something is telling you their opinion.  And it never hurts to get a second or even third opinion.

Of course there are limits, and there are things you really should trust your vet on.  For example if your vet refuses an operation or a medication ask why don’t just dismiss their opinion.  If your vet says no to specific foods, maybe that food will counteract a medication or maybe it will give a false positive on a blood test.  There really is a lot to learn when it comes to medicine, and while it is based on theories, opinions and assumptions your vet has had a lot more experience than you (and me).

My rule of thumb… leave medicine and surgery to the doctors; and question everything.