If your dog was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy one of the best things you can do is to switch your dog to a raw food diet. There are so many reasons why that we will cover shortly, but first:
To begin feeding your dog a raw food diet, it’s important to wait a minimum of 8 hours before feeding them any raw food for the first time.
If you have a large dog it’s perfectly ok to feed them a whole chicken, cut-up in appropriate sizes. Obviously, smaller dogs would not need as much. You don’t need to be selective about the right meat, bone and organ ratios in the beginning. Initially, the main focus is to get your dog’s digestive system accustomed to eating raw food so take it slow. Overtime, you can start introducing other meats, bones, fat, organ meats, vegetables and fruits combined in precisely the correct balance just as Mother Nature intended.
Raw Food Diet Benefits for Dogs With Degenerative Myelopathy
When it comes to degenerative myelopathy, your dogs immune system plays a vital role. In-fact, many homeopathic DM treatments rely heavily on the suppression of immune diseases. Simply by eliminating the toxins found in most pre-processed dog foods can play an important role in preventing disease in dogs. Studies have shown, an all natural nutritional diet consisting of meats, veggies and fruits can help correct and stabilize a dogs immune system which is very important for a dog suffering from DM.
There are quite a few other benefits to an all natural raw food diet as well. Tarter build-up on the teeth will be eliminated, which will certainly improve your dogs breath. Itchy skin conditions associated with allergies will be alleviated and finally you can expect that shiny and lustrous coat your dog deserves. Diarrhea often disappears and stool volume and odor is significantly reduced. Your pet’s weight will be brought into line and with proper exercise you’ll find it easy to maintain a leaner, fitter body allowing your dogs health, vitality and well=being to improve drastically.
Raw Food Diet Risks and Degenerative Myelopathy
On the other side of the coin, there are some risks to feeding your dog a raw food diet. However, most dogs will be able to handle these risks without a problem. Just keep them in mind so that you will be able to adjust accordingly if and when your dog is having trouble adjusting to an all raw food diet.
As mentioned in previous topics, feeding bones may pose some risk for dental fractures and perforations within the stomach, and with regards to the presence of bacteria in raw meats. Because meats are not heat treated they may contain microbes which are harmful for your dog’s health. Pathogens are significantly abundant in raw food even in some commercial raw food items. The purchase of raw meat however, from trusted sources as well as freezing and defrosting before feeding will usually destroy such parasite and eliminate the risk.
Other Risks Associated with Raw Food Diet and DM
- A dog without a healthy immune system may not be able to digest raw food correctly. If this is the case for your dog, consider the use of probiotic supplements.
- Potential for whole bones to choke an animal, break teeth or cause an internal puncture.
- Constipation: Happens if fed too much bone. If constipation or problems passing stool becomes a problem simply feed less bone and feed more meat or organs. Feeding a non-balanced dry dog food can also cause constipation.
- Parasites: If you are getting your meat from a human-approved source, this should not be an issue.
- Bacterial septicemia: Rare and usually occurs only in immunocompromised dogs or dogs with some other underlying health issues.
- Pancreatitis: Kidney disease typically gets blamed on raw food. In reality, there were underlying factors and or issues that are usually evident prior to a diet change. It is typically dry dog food fed dogs that suffer from pancreatitis and it becomes evident after they receive a fatty meat food item that they are not used to having. If a fatty meal triggers a bout of pancreatitis, then that means the pancreas, and possibly other organs, are not well. A healthy dog with a healthy pancreas will not suffer from any problems with a raw food diet.
- Please be aware, an unbalanced raw food diet may damage the health of some dogs if given for an extended period.
- Aggression: Raw meat does not make a dog aggressive or a killer or “blood thirsty.” Dogs usually love this type of food and some dogs that have never shown signs of food aggression may show signs after starting a raw food diet. This normally can be dealt with the same way any resource guarding issue is dealt with through training.
- Raw feeding can cost more than dry dog food. This can be true in some cases however, if you buy raw food in bulk chances are you’ll spend less money than on premium dog food.
- The preparation time for each meal takes longer.
For more info on Degenerative Myelopathy and making the switch to a raw food diet along with some awesome recipes your dog will love, make sure to download our FREE EBOOK:
Doggie Parents Guide to Degenerative Myelopathy – (See Right Sidebar)