Originally Answered: Questions about feeding a chihuahua a raw food diet?
I'll be honest too - the first time I heard of a raw diet, I thought, "Really? Is it safe with those sharp bones and bacteria?" Talk about brainwashing! If bones and bacteria hurt canines, then they would have died out millenia ago. But wild, feral, and domestic dogs with enlightened owners consume raw muscle and organ meat and raw meaty bones every single day and are THRIVING - not merely surviving.
Science Diet is unfortunately one of the worst, and the the most highly publicized, brands out available today. It is chock full of grains, which is an unnatural food source for a carnivore, and grains cannot be broken down in the digestive system and only serve to further stress the body.
Yes, a raw diet of meat, organs, and bones is the absolute best food you can provide for your dogs. A canine's entire physiology shows that they are designed to hunt, kill, and consume prey animals, from rodents/birds to large ungulates. Their jaws and dentition are for the ripping and tearing of flesh and the crunching of bones.
It doesn't matter if you have a chihuahua or an Irish wolfhound. Their appearances are different - their dietary needs and basic instincts are not.
The negatives? Pretty much just backlash from people who haven't taken any initiative to question what is advertised to them. Also, nutritional studies are often if not always paid for by commercial pet food companies, and there is very little research or information in general regarding proper diets provided to veterinary students.
There isn't a worry of hurting your dog or causing disease when feeding a raw diet. A carnivore's digestive system is EXTREMELY harsh, and what's more, very short and thus moves food very quickly, letting no time lapse for incubation. Salmonella and e. coli aren't an issue. And if you simply wash your hands and sanitize the preparation area, as you would when you prepare your own food that involves raw meat, there is absolutely no risk.
I got my pup at 6 weeks (I know, a bit young) and he was fed a raw prey model diet for the first week we had him. Within 3 days, the smell he had from the breeder's disappeared, and his stools became compact and few & far between, and unless my nose was inches away, I couldn't smell it at all.
Due to my work schedule at the time, my husband is primarily raising him and doesn't like to handle carcass or meat at all, so after that week, we switched him to a grain-free hard kibble. Boy! He started pooping a TON (still does) and it stank to high Heaven (still does). And it seems to me that he has taken on a certain scent.
Everything about him was odor-free when he was on REAL food. On kibble, even a very good one with no grain, he is surviving, but just not THRIVING, so after this bag is up it's back to raw.
I don't know what links you have, but I'll give you a few more:
There are a couple of raw feeding groups here on Y! that are a great wealth of information:
I hope this is helpful, and I hope that you'll listen to those with raw feeding experience and will make the right decision for your dog!