Raw Feeding Your Dog: 5 Common Roadblocks
Many pet owners know that switching to a raw, species-appropriate diet will improve the health and lives of their dogs. So why is it so hard to make the change? In my experience, there are 5 common roadblocks:
1. Change is Hard.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new!”
Why does change have to be so hard? One of the biggest reasons pet owners don’t embrace a raw diet for their dog is because of our busy, stressful, chaotic lives. Any extra effort to make a change sounds like more work. Let’s face it, we are exhausted, and the last thing we want is another chore. Grabbing a bag of dog food on the way home from work may seem easy, but I am here to tell you that raw feeding isn’t tricky or complicated. Skip the extra trip to the pet food store and buy your pet's food during your next trip to the grocery store.
See my Resources page for more information about raw feeding.
Fear can be terrifying, paralyzing, and debilitating. When I decided I was never feeding my precious pooches another bowl of commercial dog food ever again, I felt empowered and determined. But even though I thoroughly educated myself on raw feeding, I was unexpectedly confronted with fear and trepidation when it came to throwing out the kibble. Taking that first step and jumping into the uncomfortable unknown is hard.
Before you can make a change, you need to be ok with the fact that you might get scared, worried, nervous, or filled with self-doubt. But do not let it stop you. Keep moving forward. Trust yourself enough to know that no matter what happens, you will figure it out!
For me, it took a lot of courage to throw away that bag of dog food. It felt like throwing out my security blanket. Don’t let your fear stand in the way of progress. The sooner you make that first step, the sooner you will get over your fear. And the sooner you will see your pet’s health improve.
“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."
Everyone judges. It's an unavoidable fact. And when you go against what the mainstream believe, your friends, family, and society in general will likely judge you in a negative way.
Here are a couple of helpful tips:
Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who support you. If you can't cut those who drag you down out of your life, set boundaries on your relationship.
Remember that it is not your job to convince anyone of anything. Accepting this was very liberating for me. So when the grocery store butcher looked at me like I was a reckless maniac and said, "aren't bones dangerous for dogs?!" I simply said, "Only if they're cooked" and walked away.
4. But my vet said…
What I am about to say may be difficult to accept. At least it was for me. For years I thought the white coat and the diploma on the wall meant my vet was the foremost expert on how to keep my dogs healthy. But after working with a team of veterinarians, and spending tens of thousands of dollars on office visits, exams, tests, x-rays, surgeries, CT scans, and medications. I lost my dogs Cyrus and Max to cancer. I eventually came to the very sobering conclusion that my veterinarians, as well-meaning as they were, could not heal my dogs.
They are heroes when it comes to emergency, lifesaving situations like trauma, broken bones, poisoning, stings, bites, etc. But they are not the best source for your pet’s overall health and wellness.
Regardless of the evidence that their limited training on nutrition in school is typically funded by the multi-billion dollar pet food industry, my personal experience taught me that the allopathic, western approach to disease involves nothing more than medication, chemotherapy, and surgery.
Please don’t get me wrong, I have a tremendous amount of respect for veterinarians. When I was a child, I wanted to be one. I imagine most go into the profession because they love animals. My heart goes out to them, it must be incredibly disheatening and discouraging to lose patient after patient despite all your efforts.
I took a leap of faith into animal naturopathy when our Westie Darby was 12 years old. Among many things, she suffered from chronic diarrhea. And after switching her to a raw diet, it took more than a year for her body to detoxify and produce a solid, somewhat normal looking bowel movement.
It took an incredible amount of patience, perseverance, and, most importantly, TRUST not to give up and revert back to old habits of symptom suppression with medication.
Change isn’t easy, but I promise that if you make the extra effort, feeding your dog a raw diet will be worth it. Just be prepared for the fear, judgment from the mainstream, and to contradict your veterinarian. But most of all, have patience. Stay committed to improving your dog’s health.