Why I don’t do raw feeding


IMG_7732, originally uploaded by CourtKnee.

The Daily Dachshund and Dog News has been looking for an excuse to run this raw feeding photo and send you over to Flickr to see the entire series of Dachshunds gnawing on lamb heads, and we’ve finally found it: our New Year’s diet and exercise series. What better time to discuss the whole raw food thing.

Full disclosure: The Daily Doxie is 100% against raw food diets for humans and, while more open to them for dogs, we are not convinced. Given that advocates for a canine raw food diet have chosen to refer to it as BARF — an acronym for Bones And Raw Food — we have some pointed questions about their judgment.

For more background here’s a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report on raw food for dogs.

Update: Okay, everyone take a deep breath. As is noted in the comments, the Daily Doxie is not against raw food diets for dogs — just humans. While we do indeed believe that BARF is a really bad acronym, this is something we would be more upset about if we were trying to spread the word about the benefits of raw feeding. It’s a textbook case of bad branding.

As for the serial killer comment we made at the Scottish Terrier and Dog News, well, we actually thought it was funny, and were also referencing the whole lamb/ serial killer thing. , And finally, what the Daily Doxie loves about this photo is the juxtapostion of the dog eating the lamb’s head with the Fat Frank’s sign.

Update2: Honestly, if I didn’t know better I’d think there was some link-baiting going on here. I haven’t been in this much Doggy Doodoo since the Shaggy scandal.

28 thoughts on “Why I don’t do raw feeding

  1. Courtney Keys

    As the photographer of these pics, I have to say I’m upset you used them in your ignorant anti-raw campaign. But, they do have a Creative Commons license on them. Perhaps your ignorance will allow those who truly know about dog nutrition to have a voice. The lamb heads were a treat – I feed them maybe once a year. My dogs are healthy, vibrant, and gorgeous. Their perfect conditions astound the vet every time we see her. Perhaps those who seek advice for fat dachshunds as per the post below this should ignore your ill-informed ways and do their own thinking. Raw is the best thing for dogs. I understand it’s not for everyone, but to be against a species-appropriate diet on a site that probably is trying to give dog tips (or just to make ad money, more likely) is missing the point. I encourage all readers to research raw and its benefits for themselves and make an informed decision that way. Here are some great links to check out.





  2. Anatresia

    You should add more of Courtney’s pictures to your story so everyone can see how healthy, trim, and gorgeous her raw fed dogs are. (Then you could add pics of kibble fed dogs that are fat!) Raw feeding is a choice that is perfectly healthy and acceptable and just because it’s not YOUR choice doesn’t mean you should campaign against it. I don’t eat pork because I don’t like the taste, but I’m not out posting pictures of people eating bacon and preaching about how gross it is.

  3. Jess

    I feed my dog raw and it’s the best thing I ever did for him! I was skeptical at first, but will never go back. It sounds scary, but once you do the research (and try it in life) you’ll see the benefits. I had trouble finding your anti-raw posts and am curious what your reasoning is…

  4. AnnB

    Jess, I don’t have any anti-raw posts. I haven’t written about raw before today.

    I did write on my Scottie site that the dog looked like a serial killer dismembering a victim and say that BARF was a bad acronym, but that’s the some total of it.

    If people want to feed their dogs raw, I’m completely fine with it. Better than poisoned food from China.

  5. Pam Wright

    Its weird that a dachshund blog is put together by a gal who doesn’t own a doxie, and weirder still to take a raw doxie feeders photos and post them for anti-raw propaganda. I’ve been feeding my dachshunds raw for over 10 years now. They are happy healthy dogs. Check out the links that Courtney posted. Educate yourself. Stop with the propaganda statements I see you posted on your “sister” scottish terrier blog about this post: “which includes photos of a Dachshund dismembering a lamb’s head in a manner reminiscient of a serial killer.”

  6. Swayze

    That dachshund looks extremely healthy, better than many I have seen on a so-called healthy diet of kibble and/or canned wet food. I have never seen a coat that shiny! 🙂

  7. AnnB

    Don’t worry about it. a long time ago I was warned this was a controversial subject and somewhere along the way, I forgot.

  8. Michelle, Tia and Taj

    A balanced RAW diet is the best thing for healthy, correct weight dogs, and has certainly cleared up the vast majority of my Shar-Pei’s health problems including ear and skin infections and gastro upsets.

    I would also like to add that BARF is *NOT* a true raw diet as it includes vegetables and fruits – neither of which naturally occur in wild dogs diets. I totally agree it is a ridiculous acronym though.

    And for anyone considering switching their dogs to raw – sheep heads or other such things are not a pre-requisite for raw diets, you can get all your dogs food on styrofoam trays in the meat section if you are a bit queasy (but I am sure that most raw fed dogs would LOVE a sheep head now and again!)

  9. Anonymous

    I personally think that if you havent tried something that is vet reccommended you shouldnt laugh/joke ect. about it. I also think that before you post people pics up you should contact them in regards to the pic subject and what you are going to be using the pic for.
    The doxie eating the goat head is happy, healthy, and has super shiny hair. And as another person commented she doesnt eat pork but doesnt put pic up just to get a reaction. If you have never tried the RAW diet on YOUR dachshund then you really cannot comment on it pro or con.

  10. Pamela

    Wow, you hit a nerve and you didn’t really “dis” raw feeding. I guess a little ridicule goes a long way in our sensitive crowd. As others have pointed out, raw feeding has evolved quite a bit since Dr. Pitcairn first discussed it in “Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats” and Dr. Billinghurst published “Give Your Dog A Bone.” My standard poodle’s health has improved along with it. Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s book, “Works Wonders” is the current sine que non for raw feeders. Check it out.

  11. Jacqueline

    I guess if you are against “raw for humans” you better get in touch with all those restuarants who offer steak tartare. Just what the heck do you suppose that is? And I guess you don’t want to sit down with me when I eat steak, because I just barely want it warm.

    I think we should all be in as good shape as Courtney’s dogs are. While I don’t feed raw, I do hand out marrow bones, and as any good vet will tell you, cooked bones are a big no no. Maybe you should check with the experts before you start handing out tips.

  12. Tex

    As someone who has met Courtney’s dogs in person, I can tell you that you would be hard pressed to find healthier and happier dogs. I have to agree with the “don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it” approach. There are so many over-weight dachshunds out there…..I wish more people would put in the time and effort to research different ways to feed before they just start bad-mouthing alternative ideas.

  13. Anonymous

    I am SO SICK of the advocates of this, that or the other thing stating that their way is THE BEST. Let’s see, the Atkins diet is THE BEST diet. No, Weight Watchers is THE BEST diet. No, it’s The Zone. No, South Beach is THE BEST.

    Grow up. If you’re happy with feeding a raw diet and it’s keeping your dog healthy, well, I’m happy for your dog. Me? I find the whole raw diet thing somewhat disgusting. Any advocate for one form of behavior or another will have SOME study (or three) that supports their point of view.

    I have a happy, healthy and NOT overweight dachshund and she gets kibble and a bit of canned food. How do I, without feeding my dog “THE BEST” (in your opinion) diet, keep her so healthy? Well, she gets everything IN MODERATION. Not too much food. Not too many treats. She goes on daily walks. She gets her coat brushed daily. WOW. What a concept.

    As for the Daily Dachshund’s comical portrayal of raw diets, well, I didn’t necessarily WANT to see a pic of a dachshund eating a lamb’s head, but the BARF comment was really funny. You have to give them that.

  14. dour scotsman

    Greetings Dachshund fans! I ventured over from the Scottish Terrier and Dog News to see what all the fuss was about.

    My dog Ramses is on the haggis diet although I do give him the occasional raw bone.

    Glad to see you’ve also got the naked pictures here.

    It’s my favourite part of the Scottie News.

  15. Raw in MO

    To the person with the kibble fed doxie, how often do you take your dog to the vet? Not for shots but for anything? I’ve had healthy “looking” kibble fed dogs but my current pups are RAW dogs all the way. I’m glad you are ahppy with your doxies diet and that you take such care, but when the dog gets older and develops cancer and other health problems from the additives and what not, you may want to look into raw for your next dog. Remember they are not digestively different from wolves they just wear family freindly coats and have been manipulated by selective breeding look how PEOPLE want them to. How many wolves or even Feral dogs do you see busting in the grocers to get the kibble? None you see them eating wild animals, road kill and cats whose stupid owners let go outside.

  16. Anonymous

    To Raw in Mo:

    Gee, now you’re saying that kibble diets cause cancer? This is why I detest these staunch advocates of X, Y and Z. Everything is absolute. “You MUST do what I’m doing, or else your dog will die. You are a BAD person if you don’t do what I, or scientist X, thinks is best. Don’t blame ME when your dog gets cancer. You didn’t listen to ME, so you’re at fault.”

    And when a dog that HAS been on a raw diet develops cancer, whom do you blame? The farmer that raised the livestock that polluted the dog’s blood with toxic chemicals in the non-raw feed?


    Oh, and I love the “feral dog breaking into the grocery store to steal kibble” argument. Priceless. Actually, you just made my point. Thanks.

  17. Just saying

    I used to live next to a McDonalds and feral dogs and other animals were always eager to chow down a big mac. Preferred it to domestic cat and wild rabbit as far as I could tell. But maybe they just wanted a break from catching their own dinner.

  18. just saying

    Duh, yourself.

    Since when are we supposed to assume that feral dogs used to live in a home and escaped too late to learn hunting skills? That’s sure a complicated imaginary back story.

    When I say feral dogs, I mean wolves and coyotes who always lived in the wild and preferred collecting big macs and fries from the garbage to hunting rabbit.

    So, DUH on yuh!

  19. Anonymous

    Gosh, that dogs looks great! A perfect advertisement for the raw diet. And I don’t think that dog is on the BARF diet, which advocates lots of veggies and stuff. But the funniest thing is, the author keeps saying she’s against raw for humans. Why in the world would she care about the dietary choices of adults?

  20. Jacqueline

    Personally, I would oppose someone feeding me sushi – yuck – but if you want it, fine. Pass me that barely warm steak, tho.

    I guess we are not to eat raw veggies, either, huh? Too bad. Not only do I eat them, but so do my dogs, which oddly enough, are doxies. Healthy, good looking doxies who don’t have to break into stores and steal kibble because their Mom buys them expensive well balanced human grade stuff. They won’t need to run with any “wild dogs” to learn hunting skills, I guess.

    Maybe it was a slow day for idea on this board when the owner decided to post this photo and start a war? All doxies, not to mention other breeds, should look and be as healthy as Courtney’s babies. She doesn’t tell you that it’s her way or the highway, tho.

    And she is too classy to keep saying…..duh.

  21. Rya

    I've been looking a raw feeding site before and I found out ur site. thanks you for your additional inputs to
    me. Your aticle also is very neccessery reference for us.Thanks
    Raw Feeding

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