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The Raw Diet by DogtorJ

This area was just established on January 2, 2003 following the distribution of numerous Emails to breeders concerning my success with controlling epilepsy through diet.

The Emails started pouring in concerning the health benefits of the raw diet. Many of the responders had mixed reactions to what they found on this site. However, the only real problem was that I wrote about the problems with commercial pet foods and then turned around and recommended more commercial diets rather than suggesting the raw diet.

First of all, let me say that I agree with those who feel that a raw, natural diet for dogs and cats is a healthier alternative to commercial kibble and canned foods in general. As I say in the following Email, there are no BBQ grills out there in the wild. And aqs most can easily tell from my writing, I am very much into the "back to nature" approach. However, getting my clients to feed a raw, homemade diet to a horribly allergic 150 pound Rottweiler is a real trick, I can guarantee that. I have my hands full just getting them to stop stuffing them with pizza and donuts or prodding them into going to the pet shop for food rather than the grocery store.

Also, I am a bit concerned about the potential health hazzards of feeding a raw diet the way some advocate. We must remember that the cat, for example, eats birds, squirrels, rabbits, and rodents that were alive just before they succumbed to the cat. This is a good bit different than feeding them chicken, beef, and fish that has been processed and handled by man. I hate to remind us that the conditions under which these foods are handled can be less than ideal, as evidenced by the cases of E.coli and Salmonellosis that occasionally strike us and our pets. I simply ask that those who choose to feed this way remain aware of these potential dangers and use good judgment.

I feel that some of the main benefits of the "raw diets" are that they are elimination diets that often match my own. In other words, many of the proponents of this manner of feeding also speak out against grains, dairy, and soy. Therefore, I could believe that the principle health benefits of these diets come from getting rid of these gut-damaging allergens more than simply the raw nature of the food.

A good compromise would be to cook the meats but feed the fruits and vegetables raw. This would deal with the safety issues that have been raised but keep the more delicate vitamins and minerals of the vegetables intact. But whatever you do, keep all of these foods out of the microwave. As you may have read on this site or on others, microwave cooking absolutely destroys the nutritional value of most food. The high heat generated by this method of cooking both decimates vitamins and creates carcinogens by denaturing proteins. We would all be better off by tossing out our beloved microwaves. Trust me...I know how hard this is. It is probably the most difficult aspect of the new diet guidelines I try to keep for myself. But, if you need proof or motivation, just do a little Internet research. Once again, Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com)  has much to say about this (unsettling) topic.

But, I am very interested in this idea of raw and natural diets for the pet and want to provide the information to interested parties. Therefore, I have decided to dedicate a page of this site just for that concept.

However, here's the deal. (smile). YOU get to write it. I am going to be swamped with just getting my main message out to the public so I plan to take what YOU write and publish it on my site. This will be YOUR area, complete with links to your sites and your recipes.

For example, one of my first Emails was from a breeder who was well-informed about nutrition and stated that what I was saying was nothing new. I totally agreed, except perhaps for some of the fine details of the medical aspects of food intolerance as it applies to animal health. She mentioned one of the pioneers of the idea of raw food feeding, Dr. Billinghurst. He created the BARF diet...biologically appropriate raw food. Great name.

Dr. Billinghurst has established a fabulous site and provides a dry food that incorporates the principles of feeding raw foods while eliminating the problem foods. His formulations are in line with everything that I have written on this site. His site can be accessed here (http://www.barfworld.com)  He has clearly been into this concept for much longer than I have and I am the first to admit that.

I want to make this very clear at this point. There are numerous people out there who know what I know, what Dr. Billinghurst knows. The problem I have run into is that nobody I know seems to know this. The word has not gotten out to the public very well. That is why I tapped into breeders as a resource. There are not many groups of people more dedicated to excellence (nor more passionate...smile) than breeders. They have the motivation, dedication, and most times the knowledge to take concepts like these and run with them. Again, the testimonies have been very impressive thus far.

That is why I have created this page for your input. I think this will be an exciting addition to www.DogtorJ.com. I hope that you are as passionate about this concept of food-related health problems as I am and will be willing to help out. If I haven't gotten you turned on to the importance of this idea, then I haven't done my job...yet.

To start, here is my response to the first Email I received. Please pardon any air of cynicism. I am really working hard on that. I know how hard it is for people to change their routine. When I first graduated, I asked my clients "What do you mean you can't give your cat two pills three times a day?" Hmmm... Rank inexperience on my part, eh? Now that I have done this for 23 years and actually have a life of my own, I know how hard and slow change comes. I have become a realist.

But, sometimes I do get a bit frustrated when I know deep down inside that a particular pet or person could be helped phenomenally if they would just understand and do what needs to be done. But, like I said, I am a realist. A very optimistic realist, but I know that the path is narrow in some areas.

Please visit Dr. Billinghurst's site at http://www.barfworld.com and see what someone else, a leader in this industry, has done. It is very impressive. Best of all, he is right.

NOW, get to work and send me more information and feedback on the raw diet. (Smile)

Dogtor J.
dogtorj@bellsouth.net
www.dogtorj.com 


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