We all want the best for our dachshund(s). We want them to be in the best mental and physical state possible. Everyone has their own ways to try to achieve this state, and one of them is raw feeding.
Raw feeding is the practice of feeding your dachshund primarily uncooked meat, edible bones and organs. When you search for “raw feeding” on the internet, you will either end up on websites that say raw feeding will save your dog or on websites that claim raw feeding will kill your dog. So what’s the truth?
I asked three dachshund owners who feed their dachshunds raw food, what their experiences are with raw feeding.
This is Sophie from Canada. Patricia is Sophie’s mum, who has been feeding Sophie raw food a little over 6 months now.
Patricia never really believed in the power of raw food, because she thought dry food would be better for Sophie’s teeth. That all changed when she met with some friends over a dinner, who had been feeding their dogs raw food for quite some time already. They shared their positive raw feeding experiences and pointed out that the bones they give their dogs are just as good for their teeth as dry food is. Patricia was convinced and decided to give raw feeding a try. These are Honey, Snoopy and Marley. Their owners, Nick and Beth, have been feeding them raw food for around 7 months now.
Nick and Beth were looking around on the internet what kind of food would be best for their doxies. After doing a lot of research, they came to the conclusion that the dry food they were feeding their dachshunds now, could lead to serious health issues in the future. So what could be a good alternative? Raw food.
But what all three owners told me right away is that you can’t just start feeding your dachshund raw food without the proper research beforehand. Finding out everything you need to know about raw feeding can take up to several weeks, simply because there is an overload of information to find about it in books, on websites, through vets and in pet shops through pet shop owners.
What really helped Nick and Beth were the raw feeding support groups they joined on Facebook, where people share their experiences, tips and tricks on raw feeding for dogs.
When you have finally decided to start feeding your dachshund raw food, you of course need to know how much and what you need to feed your dog. All three owners say that finding this out was not a difficult task at all, because this information is very easy to find on professional websites and through pet shops and vets. But now the question that everyone wants to know the answer to: “Did you notice changes in your dog’s behavior and appearance after starting raw feeding?” Patricia: “In terms of behaviour, no probably because she is still very young, full of life and very energetic. In terms of appearance, yes, her coat is definitely shinier, her teeth are extremely white but she is still very young so I’m not sure this can be attributed only to the raw food. Her breath is not perfect, but not bad, so again, we’ll see with time. One of the effects is smaller (because there is no grain or fillers) and less stinky poops!” Nick and Beth: “The difference was unbelievable from the outset. They don’t go on the hunt for more food after each meal like they did when fed on kibble. They are fully satisfied and settle down to have a nap after every meal which didn’t happen when they were kibble fed. They are much calmer than they have ever been and more obedient. They aren’t hyperactive anymore and there is a far more relaxed atmosphere. The physical differences since switching to raw were obvious to all who saw them. Their coats are now immaculate, they shine like gloss. They shed all their excess weight within the first two months of switching, their muscle definition is astounding, their teeth are spotless and they are more alert without being hyperactive. Their energy levels have quadrupled, the pigment in their noses is a darker black and their eyes are bright and clear.”
This all sounds very promising. But the one final thing I wanted to know was whether raw feeding is more or less expensive than prepacked store bought dry food from a decent brand.
Patricia says it is indeed more expensive, because she buys the raw food prepared. Prepared means that the food comes in frozen patties and the cost is approximately $11 Canadian dollars a week (about as much as two and a half Starbucks Lattes). Even though the food is more expensive, she is told that you recover this in smaller vet bills because your dog will be healthier.
Unlike Patricia, Nick and Beth prepare their dogs’ meals themselves, which means their meals are around 1/2 the cost of the prepared frozen patties. In the end the difference in cost between dry food and raw food is not significant, because you feed them less raw food than you would feed them dry food as it is packed with all the high quality nutrients, minerals, vitamins and protein they need and contains no fillers such as rice and corn which have no nutritional value for dog and is linked to allergies.
All four dogs love their raw food, and their owners are all fully convinced that raw feeding is what is best for their dogs. These are of course only two experiences out of many, and there are also stories circulating on the internet of dogs who got very sick after being fed raw food. Conclusion? Do what you think feels right. Talk about it with people, share experiences and most importantly: just make sure your dachshund is healthy, both mentally and physically.
I want to thank Patricia, Nick and Beth for their time and honest answers.