|There is so much material and website with all sorts of info on raw feeding, so I will not re-invent the wheel again here. I will give you my opinion and findings on the matter and post several links to website for your own research.Shiphra Shepherds: Basically in a nutshell, raw feeding is the best! You can start easy with feeding raw 3-4 times a week at super time, or you can jump right in and feed raw full time. Let me start by saying I am not a Vet although Vet’s really have nothing to do with this subject and most vets are UN educated when it comes to Raw. So they will just advise you on what they know. They are not experts in this field.With that being said, I will give you my opinion on research I have done over the years and from straight experience. I will tell you what I have done and what works best for me and my breed. Always do your homework and a little research before, it will help you understand more, and in the end will be very beneficial to your dog.There are many ways to do this. I will be honest, I have seen dogs that do not do well on it probably only because it was introduced as an adult and other reasons I cannot explain and even do not understand. For the most part they are a SMALL majority. Raw food is said to be the best for your dog’s teeth, gums, coat, health, skin you name it. Some Vets recommend it and some don’t. Usually the ones that have witnessed its effects personally cannot say anything bad but sometimes because of politics and promoting food companies that approach our vets and offer substantial rewards for selling their foods, they often stick with what’s in their office and the medical formulas that are out there. Enough about Vets.If you ask anyone who has been feeding raw for years, they should tell you that their dogs have never been healthier; they NEVER need a vet, or Adult vaccines of any kind. Their dog’s coats are amazingly brilliant, shiny and teeth are glowing. They will probably say a few more things about it also. It is all accurate in my opinion and that is why I believe in raw food. Sometimes can be not as convenient as the kibble in a bowl, but actually I find once you are set up with a section in the freezer or your own raw food for dog freezer, it is pretty simple and can also be given frozen to them. I prefer de-frosting myself and taking just enough out for all my dogs supper. It is NO MORE expensive than good kibble!There are different ways to feed. You can buy it pre-made which is expensive but some have all the supplements and you do not need to worry your dog is getting what he or she needs. A cheaper way is to make it up yourself with all the ingredients needed and the supplements for your dog. I tried this too. I found it too time consuming (your choice) I made it all up into patties for one month and took out what I needed for 2 days’ worth. The feeding part was easy. It will take you a good afternoon to prepare all these ingredients and grind, blend them together etc…Now I just simply reach in the bag and throw it to the dogs. Chicken necks, feet, backs, carcasses, liver, kidney, and more. The whole thing. Bones included. That’s right I said bones included. They are great for your dog. Fibre, calcium and much more. They do not splinter like people think. Only if Cooked. Never give cooked chicken bones to a dog. I also feed Beef, grounded up heart liver, tripe, hamburger, tongue, bones, pork, venison, rabbit, goat meat, sheep meat. It is all great stuff!There are different beliefs in raw feeders and makers of raw food. Some believe that is ALL they need! Others mix in some vegetables and fruits which are good by the way. Google it to see which ones are toxic to dogs, like grapes! Some dogs eat carrots, some don’t. Some people mix it all in together, again time consuming.Here is what I do. It has been said that dogs are carnivores and raw food digests in their system in 4 hours and their systems can handle bacteria not like ours. Cooked food (kibble) takes 12 hours to go through their system. You should never mix cooked (kibble) with raw. I am told it stays in their system for longer than 4 hours and then you are looking for problems with bacteria and salmonella.I feed kibble in the morning (early), they get all they need as far as pro-biotics the supplements etc…. and Raw for supper. I find this to be the easiest and outside of what some people say I have not ever had a problem and they are healthy as could be. Hard stools and all. If you choose to do all raw, which is recommended here, then you can feed morning and night raw food. These were my opinions and research I have done, please make your own choice as to what and how to feed your dogs after doing the homework. Here are some excellent sites on raw food!
Here is what Kennels Von Lotta has to say on the subject which I found an excellent read.
OK, let me say this: dogs are very healthy animals by nature. They are not prone to cancer, kidney or liver failure, skin problems, etc. You can trust me on this one. I spent my entire life with dogs, around dogs, in dog clubs, at dog shows, etc, and through all these years I had only heard of one dog that had cancer. I lived in a country where commercial dog food did not exist, farm animals were never treated with hormones and antibiotics, and ALL pet owners were feeding raw, or they prepared meals for their dogs using ingredients from the same sources that they would use for themselves. (Not necessarily the same ingredients, though, as they would use such great by-products as lungs, stomachs, udder, and connective tissue to feed their dogs.) During my first two weeks in the USA, however, I personally met two dogs dying from cancer. I thought it was a coincidence, but I was shocked to find out how many pet owners have lost dogs to this disease, as well as many chronic conditions, including kidney, liver, and digestive problems, allergies, really poor dental health, etc. All of them fed commercial brands of dog food, sometimes those recommended by their vet.
Vets go to school to study the internal systems of many different types of animals and birds. They also study different animal diseases and how to treat them. They are doctors, not necessarily nutritional experts. Their focus is in helping sick or injured animals, not how to produce healthy, top quality dogs with outstanding coats, joints, bones, skin etc, which can perform at shows and trials, or be used in a breeding program. It’s typically top breeders and show people that have the benefit of years of experience in raising and researching one specific breed of dogs.
As a side note, also, most vets usually have only a very general idea about the proper weight of the German Shepherd Dog. They usually don’t have breed specific information and may have limited knowledge of how a German Shepherd puppy develops differently from other breeds of dogs. Most vets, when seeing a German Shepherd puppy in a healthy, fit condition will advise the owner to “put some weight on’em.” Don’t do it! And also don’t follow suggested feeding amounts on your bag of dog food. Most often you have to cut that amount almost in half for your German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherd puppies need to stay very lean while growing. They will grow large, and strong, and fit. If you like a heavier dog, you will always be able to let him “fill in” later, but please do not destroy his growing joints with excess weight during the growth period.
So, back to feeding your dog. Of course everyone knows that a dog is a carnivore. If you only take a look at a dog’s digestive system, the teeth and skull anatomy, and the way they are built, it becomes very clear that these animals have developed to tear their food off, shear it, not chew or crush it as a cow, horse, or a human would. They have sharp pointed teeth, strong jaw musculature, and don’t have any digestive enzymes in their mouth as humans, for example, do. When they chew things, they only do so to cut their food down into pieces small enough to swallow. Being carnivores, dogs have a very difficult time digesting grains. Animals that evolved to digest grains and whose primary dietary component is carbohydrates, have intestines two-three times longer than that of a dog, and they often “pre-digest” their food while chewing it. They also have different enzymes and acidity levels in their stomach. So when pet food companies use soy in their products, it increases the amount of protein that they can put on the label, but how much of that plant protein will your dog be able to use?
When you feed your dog raw foods such as meat with bones, fat, and organ parts, your dog digests this raw food completely in about 4-6 hours, producing very small stools. When you feed your dog grain-loaded kibble, it may sit in the digestive tract for up to 15 hours, all along poisoning your dog’s system, undermining his immune system, thus predisposing him to cancer and allergies, as well as creating the perfect breeding grounds for worms and other parasites.
Feeding your dog kibble is no doubt very convenient, just like eating in a fast food restaurant. Sure we all can survive a Big Mac now and then, but imagine eating fast food every day of your life, all your life. What kind of health would you have? What kind of health can you expect your dog to have when feeding him “doggy fast food” kibble?
There are high quality kinds of kibble available now that don’t use wheat, soy, corn, etc. They are much better than your typical commercial dog food, but they are still over-processed and “dead.” There is nothing that can substitute for a raw meat diet for your dog – you will never get complete amino-acids, enzymes and vitamins that your dog needs for his digestion, immune system and clean teeth from cooked, ove-processed commercial dog food.
Due to the numerous health problems that arise from feeding commercial dog food, and also due to the recent unfortunate deaths of many dogs because of tainted food, I feel it is necessary to share how we feed our dogs raw, not only with my puppy owners, but with anyone interested to educate themselves on the subject.
Feeding raw is the best thing you can do for your dog. It might be a little more time consuming than just filling a bowl with kibble, especially in the beginning, but as you get into a routine of doing it and establish reliable sources of your raw ingredients, it really becomes just about as easy.
The base of our dogs’ diet is chicken. It is inexpensive, readily available, easy for dogs to digest, and is a great source of bones and fat. Bones, fat, and organs are just as important in your dog’s raw diet as the muscle meat itself. Feeding skinless chicken breast is not a complete raw diet! I try to go by the ratio of approximately 25% bone, 20% fat, 15% organs, 35% lean muscle meat, 5% fruits and vegetables for my adult dogs, and a bit more veggies and variety of other foods for puppies.
Note: please do not feed treats to your dog throughout the day. You will most likely create bad habits and unbalanced nutrition. You dog doesn’t need them, and “What a good boy!” and some play are wonderful rewards all by themselves. Reserve the treats for the training sessions.
WARNING: Never feed your dog cooked bones of any kind. They are brittle and can damage your dog’s digestive tract.
We Now Sell Raw Dog Food!
Please Visit RAW DOG!
These guys have the best price and we use their food exclusively.