Why I started feeding Honey raw meat and
bones (species-appropriate food) instead of store-bought,
processed dog food (kibble).
(taken from an internet interview in September 2007)
What year did you begin feeding raw?
Why did you begin feeding raw?
My dog, Honey, was exhibiting allergy-like symptoms: scratching his face raw, nibbling on his feet constantly, very angry looking red skin, inflamed ears, ear infections, no hair on his belly, rashes near his genitals, etc.
The vet I took him to in Holland said basically, "Well, what do you expect - it's a Westie and they're prone to skin ailments". He suggested cortisone treatment or I could try an elimination diet to see what he was reacting to.
I also took Honey to a specialist who basically confirmed that he was allergic to some types of foods, didn't know why and had no course of treatment for him.
I tried all the "best" dry dog food (kibbles) with different unique proteins and kept hunting on the internet for answers. I was not settling for the diagnosis or prognosis that standard veterinary medicine was giving me....
I just KNEW there had to be answers!
In my internet sleuthing I came upon information and a book called "Pets at Risk" by Dr. Alfred Plechner, DVM and I started to find answers - specifically that nutrition was KEY.
I began by cooking ground lamb and goat and adding brown rice or potatoes as well as chelated minerals, Omega 3&6 oil, and a probiotic. Honey started getting some relief but not totally.
It was then that I found out about the Natural Westies and Rawfeeding forums as well as a few other forums that I immediately joined. However, as a Westie owner I felt I was really on the verge of getting some real answers on the Natural Westies forum. I think I read the entire archive! I followed every link and read and read and read!
Because I was already feeding cooked meals it was an easy step to go raw. And Honey started to improve even more. His furry face started to fill in and his ears cleared up, the nibbling on his paws was
What was the first raw meal and do you remember how you felt giving
that first raw meal?
Instead of cooking the ground lamb I gave it to him raw. I felt pensive but very hopeful. I was desperate and I knew I was on the right track. It made sense to me.
Was there any person, book, article or website you attribute to
getting you started in raw feeding?
As I mentioned before, Dr. Plechner's book and the Natural Westies website and the wonderful people there. I was especially thankful that I could telephone a dog trainer from the forum, Jane, from my home in Holland and talk with her. Those phone calls were a lifeline of hope to me in a very distressing time.
Did you have to convince your spouse, significant other, friends,
family, vet, groomer, pet sitter, about your decision to feed raw?
I changed vets and thankfully found just the right one who respected my reasons for feeding raw and going chemical-free. He willingly does a rabies titer test each year (3 years now) instead of giving vaccinations. He respects my decision and has never forced medication.
I also found a great classical homeopathic vet who is pro-RAW.
My mother and sister have also seen the benefits of raw and asked me to get their dogs onto raw.
My groomer is also pro-RAW and has seen a wonderful example of it's benefits in Honey's coat.
List the animals, breed or mix of, and ages you are currently feeding
Honey, WHWT, 4yrs / Benjamin, Bichon, 13 yrs / Bridget, BichonPoo, 7 mos.
Have you bred a raw fed litter or have you reared a puppy on raw?
I'm currently training my mom's new puppy and switched her to raw at 3mos. She switched immediately from one day to the next and is thriving.
How old was the oldest dog you have switched to raw?
My sister's Bichon Frise, Benjamin, is 13 yrs. old. and I switched him to raw 4 mos. ago. He switched quite easily.
What, if any, health changes have you noticed by feeding raw?
I think I've seen the most drastic changes in my dog, Honey and in Benjamin. Honey's "allergy issues" were basically brought on by vaccinosis (over-vaccination). His healthy, raw diet has given him a solid foundation of health. He is incredibly fit, very strong and muscular, beautiful teeth and breath and a full coat that is easy to care for. He rarely needs a bath, due to good health and a stripped, natural double coat.
Benjamin, the 13yr. old Bichon was a barrel on 4 legs! He had pancreatitis episodes, 2 knee surgeries, 2 kidney stone surgeries, rotting teeth and "dragon breath". He was about 21 lbs and should have been 16 or 17 lbs.
That was 4 months ago. He has dropped the extra weight and is at 17lbs now, his teeth are clean and breath reasonably fresh for an old geezer. He has not had any pancreatitis episodes and he is walking better, even running and playing with the other 2 dogs now. A couple of his teeth had been loose (they were rotting!) and the gums have firmed up now and they are not loose any more.
Anything else you want to add?
I not only feed my dog raw, species-appropriate meat and bones, but I will try to convince any dog owner I meet that this is the way to health and happiness for their dogs. I'm a proud convert and feel I have an excellent testimony to share, first-hand, that dogs should eat meat!