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Turkey Tracks: Raw Dog Food and Sojos

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Turkey Tracks:  February 18, 2012

Raw Dog Food and Sojos

When I was a child visiting in Reynolds, Georgia, the home of my grandparents, no one gave the many fine bird dogs dried dog food.

They didn’t because commercial dried dog food had not yet been developed.

The dogs ate table scraps.

And they lived long and healthy lives.

I fed our first dogs dried dog food.  That’s what everyone did by the time I was 30.  Our beautiful pair of Springer Spaniels had chronic ear problems, chronic itching skin problems, and when they got old, massive flea problems.  By the time they died, the poor things were skin and bones and miserable.

After the springers, I started reading about feeding dogs raw foods.  And, remembering back to what my family used to feed dogs before dried dog food made feeding dogs “easy.”

Our rat terriers have never had dried dog food since they crossed the threshold of our house.  At 9 and 10 this spring, they both still play like puppies, their coats glisten, and they don’t have any grey starting on their faces.  The only vet bills I have had are for rabies shots; the occasional teeth cleaning mostly for Miss Reynolds Georgia, since she isn’t as diligent about chewing bones as Penolope is; and the heartworm medicine I give them ONLY in the spring and summer.  And, I space that out to about 45 or 50 days.

The digestive tracks of dogs are most like that of humans.

Would you eat dried dog food if you had a choice?

How would it seem to you if you constantly smelled delicious food cooking, but you never got any?

And, like humans, too many grains, or any at all for dogs, put too much stress on dogs’ bodies.

And, dogs don’t fare any better on chemical brews than humans do.

Our dogs eat, mostly, raw meat.  I am so lucky because I can get whole chickens–skin, bones, organs, everything–ground up for $1.49 a pound.  But, for years, and sometimes now, the two dogs ate a half-pound each of raw hamburger a day.  They also like whole chicken necks, skin and all.  I supplement with table scraps, yogurt, and fresh eggs from time to time.  Miss Reynolds Georgia loves roast chicken better than I do.

Recently, friend Patricia Shea showed me Sojos, which is a bag of dehydrated veggies that one mixes into the meat  with a bit of added water to dehydrated the mixture.  It’s full of mostly good things:  veggies, fruit, garlic, and so forth.  And, it smells fresh and clean and very nice.  It isn’t organic though, so I only use it when I just don’t have any cooked veggies in the house to give the girlies.


Vets and people who raise dogs and sell them are horrified when one mentions table scraps.  My holistic vet, however, knows raw food is better and is a strong advocate for it.  Remember that mainstream vets are taught that real food is bad for dogs.   Bless their hearts, they don’t know any better.  And, most of them think what they “know” is right and that they are doing good things.

But, never forget that the power of industry to inculcate unscientific nonsense so it can sell more products is awesome.  And, cynically speaking, vets do benefit from treating chronically sick dogs and from giving them a bunch of shots and “protective” medicines dogs don’t need and which wreck their immune systems.

The same pattern is likely true for human docs too.

Those of us who “remember” are getting older now.  Soon, no one will know that there was another way to live and another way to feed people and dogs and chickens and cows and so forth so that they all had abundant health.

PS:  If you are thinking of switching a dog to raw food, proceed very VERY slowly, and with the help of a holistic vet if you have one in your area.  Dogs on dried dog food lose the enzymes that will process real food, so you need to help them redevelop those enzymes.  It’s easier to switch a puppy over than it is an older dog…  But, it can be done.

Written by louisaenright

February 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

2 Responses

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  1. Nice blog about dog food, Louisa. Do you go to Lee Herzig in Belfast? I go to him for non-open-wound issues and wish he was my doctor! I’m always so horrified when I go to the mainstream vet and watch people leaving there with bags of Science Diet who, incidently, donate heaps of money to the vetrinarian schools, no coincidence there.
    I admit, however, that I feed my dog dry food, mixed with table scraps. The food is grain-free, but I really want to take the extra time to feed her more raw food. The problem is, she doesn’t like raw meat (i.e. beef liver, raw chicken/liver, raw beef). Do you think it’s still beneficial to give her cooked meat? She’s eleven and looks like she’s 5 and still hikes up mountains with me. I could give her raw eggs with her food more, too…


    Jennifer Marshall

    February 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

    • Hi Jennifer! I do go to Lee Herzig and love him too. I’ve seen that sweet doggie you have. She’s a love. She’s probably very set in her ways at this stage, too. What I need to add to this post is that if anyone is going to try to go raw, they need to do it VERY gradually since their dog may no longer have the enzymes needed to process a raw food diet. Probably adding probiotics would help, and that would be with the help of a holistic vet… Francis Pottenger’s work on cats is good to know. He fed a variety of diets to cats for several generations and observed what happened. In a nutshell, the cooked food cats degenerated terribly within one generation and eventually lost the ability to have babies, had chronic illnesses, etc. The raw food cats thrived. I’d certainly give cooked meat over grains, etc. But I’d go very gently with any changes at this stage. Ask Lee???


      February 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

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