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A word of caution about homemade/raw diets

I just wanted to add a word of caution here about feeding homemade and raw (which I do, almost though not exclusively . . . just my personal preference, lots of people do extremely well with a good kibble).

You do need to be very careful switching from a kibble/pre-prepared diet to raw/homemade . . . very careful. I had an email from a person who tried that just recently. Here's part of that email: 

"I made the decision to put my poms on homemade food...since I could not find what I should feed them I came to the choice that hamburger, rice and veggies would make sense. I would supplement with vitamins and be content that they were getting good, natural and fresh food! I drained the hamburger so there wouldn't be excess fats, etc. After two days my one Pom <name removed> became very ill, he wouldn't eat drink or play. I took his temp and it was off to the vet! He was diagnosed with Pancreatitis, due to the hamburger. After a vet bill of nearly $400 and making my poor pom so sick ... "

Turns out this person used ground meat bought in a supermarket . . . that stuff can be just be loaded with bacteria, hormones, antibiotics, chemical/artificial fertilizers/pesticides. They grind chicken (I would never feed that raw to my dogs though I know some people do) and everything else in the same grinder, and its usually only cleaned once a day . . . and maybe not sterilized even then, who knows! My dogs get extremely ill if fed even one meal of ground meat from the supermarket, even if it’s well cooked. They’re so little, and the meat is so concentrated in their diet they just can’t handle the high bacteria count. So I get my raw meat from a butcher who raises his own cattle organically, slaughters them himself and is very, very hygienic over his grinding/handling equipment. If I’m really stuck, I’ll buy a roast at the supermarket and grind/blend it myself … lot of work, but safer. 

The other word of caution is about what to feed besides meat. This person said “hamburg, rice and veggies” with afew vitamins thrown in. If the meat was clean, that probably wouldn’t hurt the dogs for a few days or even a few months, but I’m not sure if that would be a healthy diet for poms, day in and day out, over the long term. What about essential oils and fatty acids? What about fish which is very healthy for them? Is rice the best grain to feed? Should they even get grains on a regular basis? What are the proper ratios of meat/veggies/fish/oils for long term health? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. When I decided to go raw/homemade, I booked a consultation with a canine health consultant. We had some wonderful discussions (still do) and she designed a diet (that includes considerable variation over the week) especially for my dogs. That was over two years ago, and I’ve never had a hitch.