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Considering a raw food diet for dogs, but feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of meal prep and inadequate in your expertise? Get the raw dog food truth here!

Imposter Syndrome & Negativity

Negativity pervades our thoughts and overwhelm can overtake us in an instant. Particularly, when it comes to our ability to step out of the comfortable little box we’ve been coddled in. 

Confidence is fleeting, overpowered by defeatest self-talk. “I can’t do that.” “I don’t know enough,” and “They are the experts, not me.”

Raw Diet for Dogs Beginners - by Big Dog Mom

Never is this more true than when a dog owner feels a pull toward raw feeding your dog. 

You see others raw feeding.  You hear how much better dogs do on a raw dog food diet.  You may even dip your toe in with your own dogs with a raw coated kibble (which is not raw food, but that is a topic for another day). 

But unfortunately, the more excited about raw feeding you get, the more research you do. And so begins the cycle of negativity and insecurity.

Today,  we are going to confront head-on the most common lies, or myths, about raw food diets that paralyze so many dog owners into inaction. 

These five lies twist your positivity and clarity into an unrecognizable knot of confusion and doubt. 

I am giving you the truth today.  The RAW truth about raw dog food that you need to hear to break free from the prison of your mind. 

Let’s begin…

VIDEO: Raw Food Diet For Dogs | 5 Undeniable Truths “Experts” Won’t Tell You | Raw Dog Food For BEGINNERS

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5 Myths About Feeding a Raw Food Diet to Your Dogs

1. You Don’t Know Enough To Transition To a Raw Dog Food Diet

Here’s the truth.  

Yes, you do.

If you understand the basics of raw feeding, which I discuss in more detail in this post and this one, and have reliable access to a source for raw food, you have all the knowledge you need. 

Remember, textbook knowledge is only so good as your ability to put it into action.  

Let me give you an analogy that will hopefully resonate with you. 

Who would you trust to fix your leaky toilet?  A college professor in engineering? Or a plumber with 30 years of experience? 

Unless you enjoy the stench of human waste in your bathroom, my guess is you would pick the man with a lifetime of experience fixing toilets. 

Yes, the professor may know more about metals, thermostatic valves, and performance-based product standards, but when the real stinky S#!? starts flowing, does he have the skill to put that knowledge into action? 

I started raw feeding Sulley, my Mastiff, when he was 10 weeks old with little more than the 80:10:10 rule of thumb and a local co-op to place my orders. 

Everything else I have learned, I learned through experience FEEDING A RAW DIET to my big dogs. 

Compiling a textbook of knowledge does your dog absolutely no good unless you are willing to ACT on it. 

If you are someone right now who feels you just don’t know enough, let me ask you a question. 

If you don’t know enough now, when will you?  At what point will you say, “Finally, I’ve reached the pinnacle of raw feeding knowledge and I’m ready to begin!” 

The real answer is never. You are never going to reach the pinnacle of knowledge without experience. 

And you only gain that experience by actually raw feeding your dog. 

2. You Must Balance Every Meal When Raw Feeding a Dog

If you are in the process of compiling your textbook of knowledge, as we just discussed, you have no doubt heard the phrase, balance over time. 

I have discussed the concept of “balance” in pet food in numerous blog posts, including this one and this one, and in several videos.  

Raw Food Diet for Dogs Beginners - by Big Dog Mom

And while most experienced raw feeders agree with this mantra and, in the privacy of their dog’s bowls live by it, prospective raw feeders feel overwhelmed by the complexity of meal prep as taught in many raw feeding support groups. 

They see perfectly staged dog bowls with a colorful array of nutritional excellence that is presented as the standard all dog owners must adhere to if they want to raw feed their dog. 

The average dog owner can’t possibly live up to this standard and so you are left feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. 

Here’s the truth.  Balance is a myth.  No raw diet, or kibble diet for that matter, is perfectly balanced.  

We use the word balance as though it means perfect or optimal when really it is nothing more than a relative measure with a nebulous boundary. 

Yes, we have governing bodies who create standards for canine nutrition, but even those change as new knowledge, AND EXPERIENCE, are gained. 

Consider the case of copper. 

Veterinary scientists are recommending AAFCO ( Association of American Feed Control Officials) put in place a safe upper limit for the amount of copper in pet foods they regulate. Scientists believe the two-decade-long trend of increasing liver disease in dogs is due to copper toxicity, which some dogs are sensitive to.

So all this time feeding a commercial diet and your dog has been “overdosing” on copper! 

Was this malicious on the part of AAFCO or pet food manufacturers? Of course not. 

My point is that even a bag stamped with “complete and balanced” is not perfectly balanced with exactly the amounts of exactly every nutrient your dog needs for optimal health. 

So, why, might I ask, do prospective raw feeders desperately cling to this impossible standard of balance at every meal? 

It is idolatry. Those perfectly staged dog bowls are a lie and not the reality of 99% of raw feeders. 

I will finish with this.  

Consider your own meal preparation or the meals you prepare for your children.  Are they perfectly balanced all of the time? 

Your picky daughter that refuses everything but Kraft Mac & Cheese. How often do you deny her this boxed sustenance and battle her over broccoli and Brussels sprouts? 

It’s ok.  We both know the truth. Every parent knows the truth because we have all been there. 

Why do we treat meal prep for our dogs any differently?  

We assume that over time our daughter will get everything she needs.  We need to have the same confidence with our dogs. 

As long as you are feeding a varied diet of multiple protein sources, sticking to the average of 80:10:10 meat, bone, and organ, and offer some fruits, veggies, probiotics, etc, over the course of a month, your dog will get everything he or she needs from a nutritional standpoint. 

Balance over time isn’t pretty.  But it is the truth!

3. You Are Not An Expert or Smart Enough To Raw Feed Your Dog

There is nothing that sends me into a rage more than when I ask my child a question and they respond with, “I have no idea.” 

“Do you have a brain in your head?” I ask. “Or did God choose you as his lone hollow-headed experiment?” 

If you have a brain in your head, you DO have an idea. 

Not knowing the answer IS knowledge.  You know you need to either figure out the answer or find someone that can help you. 

The same is true with raw feeding. 

We are so quick to judge our lack of expertise in canine nutrition and biochemistry as an excuse to not raw feed our dogs.

We view the “expert” world from a submissive, dependent position (you are smarter than me so I’ll just let you feed my dog for me) rather than what they are, a resource. 

Nothing more. 

If you have a brain in your head, you are smart enough to feed your dog a raw diet.  It’s as simple as that. 

A quick story to illustrate this point.

Years ago, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of inadequacy when it came to educating my children.  They were going to a top-ranked school in Arizona, presumably getting a fantastic well-rounded education from “expert” teachers. 

When I finally overcame my feelings of inadequacy and started homeschooling, I found that my daughter couldn’t tell me the difference between an adverb and an adjective or which states were on the west coast! She was in 8th grade!

What I learned in this experience is that we must never give up our independence to the so-called “experts.” Because even they are fallible. 

Your child and your dog are just a number to them.  

Fast forward three years and I’m happy to report my daughter has flourished in homeschool and become quite the geography-loving grammarian after all. 

If you love your dog and have a basic understanding of raw feeding, that is all the expertise you need to start today!

There are plenty of “experts” you can consult along the way if you need to. 

4. You Are Afraid You Will Make a Mistake or Do It Wrong

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” 

Albert Einstein

This quote from Albert Einstein is spot on.  With new experiences, come mistakes along the way.  

How does a toddler learn to walk? By falling down.

How does a child learn to write? By scribbling, writing backward, and making a million other mistakes as they progress. 

Mistakes are a part of life and they make us who we are. 

When I transitioned Sulley to a raw dog food diet, he started to get persistent ear infections. For six months, I battled the stink, gunk, and his incessant head shaking. 

Raw Diet for Dogs Beginners - by Big Dog Mom

Despite keeping his ears clean, we would be back at the vet for yet another round of antibiotics and ear washes every 4-6 weeks. 

It was not until this point that the prospect of a food allergy was brought up.  The first food I eliminated was chicken, as this was the primary ingredient in his raw diet. 

Within a week, his ears cleared up and he hasn’t had another ear infection since.  That was 6 years ago! 

You could say I made a mistake; Sulley’s ear infections were a direct result of what I was feeding him. 

However, as Henry Ford put it,

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Henry Ford

Ford’s first two car companies failed and left him broke. Undeterred, Ford went on to found the Ford Motor Company and become the first to apply assembly line manufacturing for automobiles. He became one of the three most famous and richest men in the world.

Thomas Edison did 9,000 experiments before his first successful light bulb. 

And Colonel Sanders’s famous secret chicken recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant accepted it. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 65 years old.

Here’s my point.  

You will make mistakes when you start raw feeding your dog. You will do it wrong. And that’s ok. 

Your success as a raw feeder will be determined by your dog, not your perfection. And I can guarantee you he will be ok with a few messy mistakes along the way. 

5. You Are Not Doing Enough For Your Dog

Over the last nearly 8 years, I have gone back and forth from raw dog food to kibble for a myriad of reasons.  Junior’s Wobbler Syndrome diagnosis, Junior’s panosteitis as a puppy, raw meat supply issues, moving to Michigan, lack of storage space, and financial reasons, just to name a few. 

And while I wholeheartedly believe in the merits of raw feeding your dog, I do not believe any of us should feel guilty over the choice we make. 

So, let go of the guilt.  Be informed about raw feeding and make a decision.  

If you choose to start your dog on a raw food diet, fantastic!  But if not, do not feel bad about that decision. Perhaps in your next season of life, you will be able to. 

Remember that diet is only ONE component of your dog’s overall health. 

Imagine you preparing the most perfectly balanced and beautiful raw meal for your dog.  That meal will do him little to no good if he doesn’t also have exercise, water, and emotional support through training and socialization. 

Let me boil this down to a level we can all relate to…

Consider a raw food diet for dogs the ICING on the cake, not the cake itself. 

Remember, Instagram pictures are marketing. Sold only to those who don’t know the truth.

Now you know the RAW TRUTH… please share it!

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One Comment

  1. A great article, as always. I love these kind of blogs that explain things so well. I love to show them to my family and friends that have questions about raw diets because you can explain it way better than others.

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