"Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food." In 400BC, Hippocrates landed on a notion that continues to ring true to this day. The sentiment was simple. Regardless of species, what a body consumes has a significant impact on the holistic health of that being. Food can either be a source of health and power or a contributor to chronic inflammation and illness. So what can a biologically appropriate diet of raw meat, organ, bone, and veg do for our beloved dogs and cats? The results I have witnessed are nothing short of miraculous.
Huxley's Road to Recovery with Raw
My Huxley, who I adopted 10 years ago from the SPCA when he was 4 years old, was fed various dry diets up until his 5th year. During his 5th year, he was hit by a car - his right hock was shattered, and his legs and hip sustained severe road rash. The orthopedic surgeon had a plan to rebuild his hock and save his legs, but it would require at least 4 separate surgeries, including skin grafts, to address the external and internal damage.
I was desperate to do something productive to help! At this time, I knew very little about dog nutrition, but luckily I had an ally in a local pet shop who helped me come up with a raw meal plan to promote his recovery. Huxley was now on a 100% raw diet with a bone broth topper.
Following his hock surgery, I was taking him to the hospital every two days for bandage changes. During one of these visits, I was shown pictures documenting his healing progress. In each image, it was apparent the wounds were shrinking. The rapidness of his healing was so incredible that his vet team determined he no longer required the 2 skin graft surgeries!
Later, during his recovery, the surgeon examined Hux's hock via arthroscopy to determine if he would require surgeries to address scar tissue. After the exam, the surgeon asked what I was doing at home. I told him about Hux's raw diet. He wrote down everything I said in his notes. He then told me he found no scar tissue, and Hux wouldn't need the additional adjustment surgeries!
This experience solidified in my mind the importance of proper nutrition and the benefit a biologically appropriate raw diet can have on the life of a pet - and the incredible impact a local pet health shop can have on the lives of its customers! I believe Hux was able to heal in such an exceptional way because of his diet and the valuable nutritional advice that we received. This experience impacted me so much that within a year I was working at that very same local pet health shop learning everything I could about holistic nutrition.
Hux is 14 now and still goes on 4 mile walks with me at least once a week, and we regularly walk for about an hour each evening. He loves going on hikes! Here he is on a hike in the NC mountains.
Alice Kitty | From Foster to Forever Home: A Raw Diet Unites a New Family
Growing up I always had cats, and they ate dry foods from the grocery store. I was so allergic to them that my parents wouldn't let me bring them inside. I would sneak them in at night and would always get caught because my mom would hear me sneezing or she would notice my red eyes at the breakfast table.
As an adult, I decided to foster cats and kittens despite being allergic. At this point in my life, I was an assistant manager at a local pet health food shop so I had connections to several local rescues and shelters. It wasn't long before I brought home a mama cat, Alice Kitty, and her 4 kittens - Hatter, Cheshire, Tweedle Dee, and Futterwacken.
Mama Alice was very malnourished - her coat was dry and she was shedding dander like crazy. My eyes burned whenever I was near her, but this was no surprise since I knew I was allergic. One day while working at the pet shop my friend and co-worker asked me how Alice and the kittens were doing. I told her they were doing great, but I was having a hard time because of my allergies.
She chuckled, "You know if you put her on a raw diet that would decrease the amount of dander and therefore decrease your allergic response."
I stared blankly, "Are you serious?!" I walked straight to the freezers and grabbed a bag. That evening I started the process to transition her onto a raw food diet mixed with raw goat's milk. I hoped at the very least this would bulk her up, heal her skin, and increase the quality of her milk for her kittens.
After a couple of weeks, I started to notice that my allergies were subsiding and her physique had improved immensely. It worked! This was huge! I can have a cat. I can have cats plural! I decided to put the kittens on the same diet as Alice once they were ready to be weened.
Eventually, I was able to bring them to adoption events at our store, and soon Alice and her kittens all found homes. Alice ended up going home with a friend of mine from the shop who was also allergic to cats. They had bonded after all the time she spent hanging out with us at the shop. And when he realized that he could hold her without having a reaction he knew she they were meant to be.
I now have two cats of my own. Both were porch-found, bottle-baby, foster-fails. Once they were weaned they went straight onto their own raw food diets and have been on raw ever since. I have to say, they are specimens of health. I never in a million years thought I could enjoy a cat cuddle on a couch, or wake up with a sleeping cat on my face without my eyes being swollen shut (yup, one of them will sleep on my face), but it's possible! 😻