Raising Mastiffs Naturally - Raw Feeding
Like most carnivores, dogs are made to eat meat. Their teeth are designed for holding, ripping, shredding, shearing and tearing, not molars made for grinding. Their head and neck physiology are designed to pull down prey and assist in chewing bone, meat and hide. Their jaws are hinged to open wide and gulp down large chunks of bone and meat, skulls are heavy and shaped to prevent lateral motion of lower jaw when captured prey struggles. They have elastic stomachs to hold large quantities of bone, meat, organs and hide and a short foregut and short, smooth unsacculated colon, to process food quickly. Dogs also lack the salivatory enzyme amylase, which is needed to break down complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetable and grains
The benefits of a raw diet in dogs far outweighs any ‘inconveniences’ that someone new to raw feeding feel might exist. The dogs love it, they eat better, and they drink less water, which aids in preventing bloat. Their coats are healthier, they have no signs of skin allergies, never get ear infections, they are very physically fit and we know exactly what is going into their systems.
The work put into it is much less time consuming than most people anticipate. While it does take more effort than pouring some kibble in a bowl, it isn't like you have to butcher the cow each meal either. When you first start out it might be a good idea to weigh their meals out to get an idea for what foods weight what, however after a while you can estimate close enough that the scale is unnecessary. Our dogs are fed on average 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ meat. They are also supplemented with Essential Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) because I can’t get a lot of quality fish around here, Vitamin C for added immunities and Glucosamine/Chondroitin for added joint support.
Other benefits of a raw diet include:
• cleaner teeth
• less stool produced, so let time scooping in the back yard
• consistent, slow growth of puppies helping prevent growing pains and issues
• fresher breath
• glossy coats, dandruff free
• greater muscle tone
• elimination of yeast infections or any other allergy related reoccurring issues
• more energy
• improvement of joint issues
• easier weight control
• fewer vet visits
• reduced food bill
I will say this again, because it is SO important. YOU are the advocate for your dog. NOT your vet, NOT the vaccine companies, NOT the dog food companies (all profit based businesses). YOU and YOU alone are your dog’s advocate. Many vets follow what they learned in vet school 20+ years ago. Many vets follow the protocol’s set forth by the dog food companies (specifically Science Diet in many areas). Many vets don’t know there is a difference in the way you treat and medicate a giant breed vs. any other breed. Many vets don’t know the nutritional requirement for a growing giant breed, NOT the same thing as a large breed. Many vets don’t know that there are numerous Anesthesia’s’ that are unsafe for use in Mastiffs. And finally, the person at the pet store is NOT qualified to give you advice as to what to feed your pet. It is YOUR job as your dog’s advocate to make sure the right decisions are being made in regards to the well-being of your family member. If your vet or anyone else is trying to bully or push you into decisions that don’t make you feel comfortable trust your instincts and find a second opinion.
Copyright 2012. All text & pictures are the property of Gryphon Mastiffs and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.
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