my heart is so happy

july 1 2017. pre-raw. overweight, lazy, arthritic. 

july 1 2017. pre-raw. overweight, lazy, arthritic. 

march 12, 2018. has been on raw 8.5 months. down to her ideal weight, energetic, and extremely mobile

march 12, 2018. has been on raw 8.5 months. down to her ideal weight, energetic, and extremely mobile

as most of you know, my livelihood is dogs. 24 hours a day, seven days per week i watch dogs. i interact with dogs, i feed dogs, i clean up after dogs. you can only imagine in the last six years the number of dogs i have cared for (and the amount of poop i have cleaned up). obese dogs, well-conditioned dogs, dogs on horrendous foods, dogs on ideal diets, dogs on medications (some so harsh i doubt owners know the long term side effects), dogs who are forced to eat prescription diets because "the vet said so." dogs that itch non-stop, seizure dogs, dogs that smell of yeast. dogs that are forced to take flea and tick meds every 30 days because the vet assures them their dogs need it, regardless of it making the dog incredibly sick or having a reaction to it. dogs that are unhealthy with weak immune systems yet are still vaccinated when they do not need to be. i am no expert on dogs or dog nutrition, that is for sure. however, i have such a passion for canine health and wellness i continue to read different books and case studies on a daily basis -- i enjoy problem solving; and for some dog owners the change in nutrition (when given a chance) can be life changing. knowledge IS power. my passion for canine wellness grows with every puppy and dog i meet. the more people i meet who are incredibly misinformed the more answers and information i seek. i feel i have discovered something so amazing that it would be a disservice to NOT share it with other dog owners. so, that is why i continue to provide information and offer help to those who are interested and want to see change and make a positive impact on their dog's life. and when i say "help" i do not mean charging people for information. i mean helping them because i want them to help their dogs. i will do anything i can...and yes, it is FREE!

some dog owners i am not even sure know their dogs are overweight or that the challenges they are experiencing with their dog can be solved through nutrition. some i am not sure have ever even looked at the ingredients in their dog food. and, well, some probably do not even care. hey, why not spend $20.00 per bag of dog food. after all, the dog just needs something to eat. many dog owners are in awe by the oh so clever marketing by big name food brands that they really do believe that their kibble cooked at 300 degrees MUST be the best thing out there for their dog.  some have too much faith in the vet thinking they have put their time and energy into nutrition (wake up call, they haven't...they study medicine) and fork out hundreds of dollars on expensive limited ingredient prescription diets. most of my clients care very dearly for their dogs and i would say 80% really and truly would want to feed their dog the right foods...they just have no idea what is really in their kibble or where to start on the fresh food side of things. some dog owners do not understand that the large, horrendous smelling stool from their dogs is actually due to the preservatives and fillers in the kibble which give it shelf life. some think that pooping 6-7 times per day is normal...their dog just has to go. unfortunately a dog's digestive tract is not made to try to break down all those challenging carbs, starches, fruits, veggies and fillers...ugh. go ahead, go get your bag....read those ingredients. yeah...you will have to look some of them up.

a couple days ago i had a conversation with a client i know quite well. her dogs would be staying with me and she wanted to transition her dogs to raw. ah, lovely...that is my favorite thing in the world to hear. her older dog had been on and off diets, lost weight and had been underweight, and then put on a prescription diet for 'joint and mobility.' i was and am still appalled that this is the $80.00 bag of prescription food that was suggested for this "senior dog." it's basically a bag of inflammation. 

it's hard to say what the first ingredient "meat meal" actually is. there is no telling the source of the raw form of meat used to get the protein source from it. The second ingredient "brewers rice is a processed rice product made from the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of rice and is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground white or brown rice. Even the third ingredient is a filler. And corn? Must I even go there....

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/about-meat-meal/
https://www.dogtipper.com/tip/2011/07/understanding-brewers-rice-in-dog-food.html
https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/16/pea-fiber-on-pet-food.aspx 

Not only is this bag completely filled with preservatives and cheap fillers, and full of carbs...the ingredients scream inflammation and weight gain. if i walked into the doctor complaining of inflammation and weight gain this would probably be comparable to my doctor telling me to go to the original pancake house for breakfast each morning, go to moes for lunch each day, and then maybe grab a pizza for dinner. however, i am addicted to food so to me those crappy foods taste good...but to a dog i truly believe they are preferable to fresh meat over processed foods (unlike humans who become addicted to processed foods; dogs eat for survival).  Dogs (carnivores) make their energy from animal protein!

in the coming months luckily this wonderful dog (who had to eat this expensive kibble), now on raw, will be able to reap the actual benefits of fresh, whole foods and a truly nutritious diet! it's unfortunate this bag cost so much money and the quality is so bad. most prescription foods are not rated for quality, or the companies that rate the food work for the company that processes it. go figure, right?

the side by side images above really put dog food into perspective for me, and i hope it makes you think for a second too. but, let's talk about the precious little beagle at the top of the page. dogs like her are the reason i want to share information with people. i love transformation photos! lola was yeasty, itchy, overweight, arthritic, and pretty lazy. after just eight months of being on a raw diet she is at a great weight, and mobile as can be. the owner's are so pleased with how she is and wish they would have discovered raw feeding sooner. i mean, really that is all there is to it. 

three years ago when i made the change for my dogs i did not know where to start either. i did not really know much at all. but now that i continue to educate myself i could not imagine NOT sharing things with all of you. so, if you need help...ASK. if you want reliable and credible sources i am happy to send to you. feeding raw started as a battle of just keeping my mouth shut as there is so much misinformation and myths out there i did not want to deal with being questioned by friends, family or even a vet. it is not a one size fits all diet - as different health challenges have different requirements. but, if you ask, the information is out there. it can be life changing and battles you thought there were not answers to may be prayers soon answered. and no it is not overly time consuming or difficult, that is the same as a human saying it is "too much work to eat healthy."

so now, when sweet little lola walks into the vet for her annual appointment and the vet tells the owners how awesome she looks i smile and sit back knowing when the owners respond, "oh, we switched her to raw," that perhaps a light bulb will go on in their head. 

Nicole