From Kibble to Raw. Benji's Raw Diet Journey (Part 2)

March 27, 2024 3 min read

In this long overdue follow-up, I'd like to update you on Benji's raw journey progress. If you missed how we started this adventure, check out part one here.

So, what's the verdict? He loves it! It's been 18 months since the change, and so far, every meal has been eaten in record time, and each bowl was double- and even triple-checked for any leftovers and licked clean. Keep on reading, or, if you'd rather see for yourself, watch our short video update.

 
 
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Diversifying the menu

After the transition period was over, we started experimenting with different proteins to make his diet as varied as possible. Constantly feeding your dog only one protein, such as chicken, can create nutritional deficiencies and develop allergies. Different meats offer different nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, so if you're only feeding one, it may result in a nutritional imbalance in your dog. So far, Benji has had an extensive list of meats, and we're yet to try more exotic ones such as zebra, crocodile, or kangaroo.

Benji usually gets complete minces, consisting of 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% offal. I tried a few different brands and noticed that in some, the bone content is much higher than what they state on the package. This resulted in crumbly poops and a bit of constipation, but adding an extra boneless meal helped. I now have a list of brands that I feel happy to purchase from and know which ones to avoid.

I've started doing more DIY with his meals too. I buy different meats and use a raw dog food formulator to ensure his meals are balanced in all essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. 

Unexpected Discovery

An unexpected twist in our journey was Benji's newfound tolerance for raw chicken, despite previous intolerance to cooked varieties. This revelation has opened up a world of possibilities for incorporating this protein source into his diet, much to his delight.

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Supplements and extras

When it comes to supplements, there are mixed opinions within the raw feeding community. Some say dogs get everything they need from the food they eat, others add natural supplements to their dogs' meals. Benji still gets some supplements tailored to his needs, such as Mobi (as a preventative because he's a large dog and his breed is prone to joint issues), Omega (on days when he's not getting oily fish), and Rawster (on days when I'm not giving him fresh vegetables). I also give him Green as it's a great source of nutrients and minerals as well as it helps to strengthen the immune system, protect against oxidative damage, is anti-inflammatory, and overall a perfect addition to any dog's diet in my opinion.

Incorporating vegetables into Benji's meals has been a game-changer for his digestive well-being. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale provide essential fibre and nutrients, promoting optimal colon health and firmer stool consistency. Some he eats raw, and some are blanched or boiled and then pureed, as this helps break down the vegetable cell walls, making them easier to digest.

 

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Changes I noticed

One of the most tangible indicators of Benji's improved health has been the transformation in his bathroom habits. Smaller, less frequent stools are a testament to the enhanced digestibility and nutrient absorption of his raw diet, a significant improvement from his previous routine. He hardly ever gets diarrhoea, which was a common occurrence before the switch.

Benji's coat is now glossy and gleaming like never before. His dental health has improved too. He has no more bad breath, and his teeth are cleaner and healthier because of the raw bones he gets to chew on that help to scrape the plaque off his teeth.

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Conclusion

Overall, I am delighted with how he reacted to the raw diet and relieved that he loves this food. By providing him with a diverse array of proteins, essential nutrients, and supplements tailored to his needs, we've seen improvements in his health, digestion, and overall well-being. If your furry friend struggles with dietary sensitivities or poor health, it might be worth exploring the benefits of a raw diet. 


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