Thursday, October 10, 2013

Natural Rearing Diet Fails

October 1, 2013: Thanks to one of our Kona Raw Pet Food Co-op members, I read The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.  She was a fabulously interesting British woman who roamed the world with gypsies and nomads to learn their herbal practices.  Before World War II, she left veterinary school because they did not understand the evolved nature of carnivores (and still don't).   She raised champion Afghan Hounds that won at Crofts and Westminster shows.  She fed her dogs a diet of 75% raw meat and meaty bones, because they are carnivores!  The rest of the diet was herbs, raw eggs, goats' milk,  and whole grains. 

Advice in the book is a challenge to follow, because I know so little about herbs, but I am willing to learn.  I shopped the local health-food stores and ordered some of her composite herbal mixtures for puppies and pregnant bitches online.  I already feed my dogs and puppies raw eggs and yogurt.  I don't know if the addition of specific herbs, goats' milk, and some whole grains to their diet will make a difference in the health of puppies and mothers-to-be, but we shall see.  Remember, though, that 75% of the diet is what we already feed -- raw meats and meaty bones.
Diet Experiment Results: Last week I reported on adding some grains and supplements recommended by Juliette De Bairacli Levy as part of her Natural Rearing diet.  Although she recommends a canine diet of 75% raw meats and bones, she also includes rolled oats, barley, rye flour, wheat germ, and the like.  I shopped the health food stores, ordered her supplements online,  and began to feed my 16 dogs her recommended grains and supplements.  I bought raw goats milk locally @ $7.50/ quart.

Within a day, we noticed that the dogs' poop was larger, yellower, and it smelled!  Those are signs the dogs are not digesting grains as well as a straight raw meat diet.  It's the same problem dogs have with commercial pet foods: Dogs and cats do not digest carbohydrates well, because they evolved to eat MEAT and MEATY BONES! I knew better, but it was interesting to try a diet so widely admired. I don't know what the raw goats' milk did, but I do not plan to buy it again.

As soon as the grains were eliminated, the dogs' poop returned to its smaller, darker, and odorless state.  I am continuing her supplements, because they don't seem to do any harm.  I don't know if dogs need algae, barks, and herbs, but they don't seem to be disturbing the dogs' digestion.  It was instructive to try Levy's diet for a week, but now the chickens are getting the grains.  Chickens are well equipped to digest grains and lots of other stuff -- just like us (we are Omnivores; dogs and cats are Carnivores).

 Thank you for the enlightening experiment! I tried adding grains to the raw diet I fed my anorexic 20 year old feline upon recommendation by a vet but it did not help at all. It turns out he needed digestive enzymes and probiotics to help him assimilate his raw food (at this late stage). He's since gained a whole pound for the first time in 4 years and seems very content. Yeah to raw diet and supplements when need be!
Caroline (:


  1. wow this is really awesome you are doing some great work here. What should I feed my new kittens?

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