We all know that fresh food is better than processed food. If it’s true for us, it makes sense that it is true for our dogs.
My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Buddy, is a very healthy boy. The only physical problems he’s had in his 10 years have been of his own making: swallowing parts of toys, snatching and gulping down food off the Manhattan streets faster than I could stop him. The bacteria in old food has sent us to the vet a few times. Now I’m much more careful. Each trip to the vet was terrifying and, as you probably know, it’s a helluva lot of money.
The sole digestive problem my hairy little son had is messy poops. The vet said it wasn’t anything to worry about so I didn’t. Then I met Kevyn Matthews,The Dog Chef.
During our first conversation I joked with Kevyn that Buddy has promised me he will never die. But, seriously, I’m scared now that Buddy has reached double digits. Kevyn picked up on my fear and said if I wanted my dog to live longer I should feed him a raw food diet. My first concern was food poisoning, like salmonella, but Kevyn reassured me that his plan includes probiotics to fight off any potential infection.
That’s all I had to hear to give it a try.
What Kevyn said made sense. Wild dogs ate raw meat and vegetables. I looked up the world’s first dog and that was 31,700 years ago. There have been many pooches since then and they’ve been around long before packaged dog food, riddled with fillers and preservatives, hit the shelves.
Convenience dog foods became all the rage in America in the mid to late 40’s. Huge bags of dry dog food became increasingly popular the same time the first McDonald’s popped up in 1948. That was long before what our nation now knows about nutrition.
“Packaged dog food contains wheat, rice, soy, or corn,” Kevyn said. “That’s not what dogs would be eating in the wild. Dog owners figure if the kibble comes from a big bag and a big company, it must be good. Most people don’t know if they’re feeding the dog healthy food or not because they don’t read what’s in it. Dog food was created for convenience to humans, not what’s best for a dog.”
This is Kevyn Matthews, The Dog Chef, in the midst of preparing a customized raw food meal for a client’s dog.
A few months have passed since I switched Buddy to Kevyn’s raw food diet and, glory hallelujah, Bud’s poops have been solid and easy-breezy to clean up. I’ve also noticed Bud’s breath is sweeter and his coat is softer, silkier, and shinier.
The average American pet eats food processed at high temperatures and filled with preservatives to extend its shelf life. The heat kills naturally occurring enzymes that exist in raw foods. Enzymes are tiny protein molecules found in every living cell. They are the “workers” that provide energy, metabolize foods, and help remove toxins. Heat, pesticides, herbicides, food preservatives, additives, artificial colorings, and flavor enhancers destroy enzymes.
There are two key categories of enzymes:
To maintain every cell, tissue and organ.
To work in the stomach and intestines to break down food.
- Amylase aids in digesting carbohydrates and starches
- Cellulase breaks down fiber
- Lipase aids in digesting fat
- Protease works at digesting protein
When your pet eats heated and processed “dead” food without enzymes, their system will kick into survival mode to digest food. This means borrowing digestive enzymes from their metabolic enzymes. When that happens, your pet’s body is in overdrive and only able to partially digest food. Whatever isn’t digested can enter the bloodstream.
Kevyn said, “Inside your dog is an entire ecosystem that was designed to eat and digest foods in a certain way. Commercially cooked dry food with chemical preservatives is not what a dog’s system needs. By feeding a dog these foods we are changing their system from the genetic blueprint and making it work much harder. Fresh food takes your dog 6 hours to process; cooked foods take 12 hours or more to digest with some of it left sitting and rotting in the intestinal track. Stagnant food causes digestion issues and inflammation, which can lead to liver, kidney and pancreatic diseases, and cancer. When toxins aren’t processed and they spill out into the bloodstream, that can create serious health problems.”
“Obesity,” said Kevyn, “is increasing in this country and so are diabetes, cancer, and a host of other diseases. We have to stop and think about what we feed our animals. They need protein rich, enzyme rich, raw meat and raw vegetables.”
When fed grains, a dog’s pancreas have to produce large amounts of amylase to deal with starch and carbohydrates. Dogs were never built to digest grains, yet dog foods are filled with them.
Another reason I’ve switched to The Dog Chef’s raw food diet is the new knowledge that as my little Buddy ages, his body will produce fewer enzymes. If he doesn’t have enough his system will become taxed and age faster. I want my little four-legged fella by my side for another 10 years at least. I’m feeling hopeful since I switched to The Dog Chef’s raw food plan.
The oldest dog on record lived until the age of 29. Hey, you never know.