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Raw Power
Article By: Glenn Redmond

When I was younger, my mom told me that if I made a face and the wind changed, my face would stay that way permanently. It was effective marketing for the no-face-making camp, at least somewhat, as I was careful to make faces only when inside the house. I also lived in fear of our dog getting a hold of raw meat, as it conjured up images of our household harmony being ended by one night of bloodthirsty savagery, now that our dog had tasted blood.

Now, much older, face intact, and having fed my therapy dog Dakota a raw food diet for the past ten years, I know both fears were unfounded.

A raw food diet consists mainly of raw meaty bones, uncooked ground meat, vegetables and fruits, essential oils, alfalfa and kelp. I was not always a proponent of natural raw food feeding of animals. When I started my career, in British Columbia, I believed all the advertising and marketing campaigns and recommended to my clients to feed a quality dry food. One day, a bright-eyed, enthusiastic representative was sitting in my office trying to sell me the benefits of this new raw food called "Fargo". He was met with both skeptism and interest. Skeptism, because I am naturally suspicious of anybody that tries to sell me anything. Interest, because what he said made sense.

After some research of my own and a willingness to try, I made the switch to raw food. Over the coming years, what I was to witness would make me a believer for life. I saw dogs and cats with behavioural problems that training alone was unable to fully grasp, become more adjusted and less anxious. Animals that were on a variety of medications, underweight, and losing hair, now appearing healthy for the first time.

You see, cats and dogs have been domesticated for thousand of years, but commercial pet food has emerged only in the past sixty years. Despite this domestication of our canine and feline companions, their gastrointestinal systems have not changed from their wild ancestors. They are carnivores designed to eat meat, bones, and the intestinal contents of their prey. Almost all commercial pet foods contain grains that are foreign to a carnivore's stomach. Many vets now suspect grains to be a causal factor in a variety of diseases such as pancreatitis, diabetes, and bloat.

According to the animal protection institute - "most owners do not know that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a convenient way for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered unfit for human consumption and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts."

In March 2007, their was a massive recall on the most lethal pet food in history as thousands of cats and dogs were sickened and many died before Menu Foods recalled product marketed under the brands of Eucanuba, Hill's and Purina, just too name a few. Tragic, but really nothing new under the horizon as there have also been pet food recalls that have sickened and killed our companion animals in 1995, 1999, 2000, 2003, two in 2005 and three in 2006. Many owners have taken control of what their pets are eating, feeding a raw food diet and have reported incredible changes in their animals. These include: healthier skin and shiner coats, clean teeth and healthy gums, fresh breath, improved digestion, less- and much less smelly-stool, increased energy and vitality, increased appetite, less shedding, and fewer behavioural issues. Hyperactive dogs become calmer and owners have reported boosted immune systems with less vet visits and seemingly higher disease resistance.

I am not trying to convince anybody here to switch over to a raw food diet or to replace advice from a qualified veterinarian. I am encouraging all to do a little research and to make your own decisions, and not just believe blindly what pet food companies are telling us.

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