The Science of feeding real meat to dogs
Study roundups, Caroline Griffith.
Raw Food Meals can be complete and balanced to Fediaf and AAFCO trials.
Raw Proof; A 24 month research investigation into a species appropriate diet for dogs.
Produced as a downloadable booklet containing all the results from the Honeys real dog food website. Published 2018
Where and When:
Across the UK, led from Pewsey, Salisbury England and University of Exeter Diagnostic Laboratory.
24 Month Research Investigation and Study
Authors: Katie McCaul RVN BSc, Ruth Mackay, Dorien F Nel DVM MRCVS, Tom Farrington MVB MRCVS VetMFHom.
Questions in research:
1. Can a species-appropriate diet (raw food diet) be formulated to meet the nutritional guidelines as specified by FEDIAF the accepted Complete and Balanced guidelines for pet food.
2. Is such a diet nutritionally adequate under extended rigorous trials as set out by AAFCO, the American Feed Control Officials.
Only in 2. the AAFCO protocol trial 23 Adult dogs of optimal bodyweight were fed a range of raw food meals for 26 weeks*. Meals included raw meats, raw bone content and vegetables – all blended together. Treats were only air dried Ox liver and occasional chewing of knuckle bones.
Example recipe : Minced Lamb breast, Lamb Heart, and finely ground bone, Carrot, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Parsnip, Kale, Kohlrabi and celeriac.
(Full diet recipes included in the research articles appendix)
Dogs remained in their homes.
What was measured:
For 1. Five recipes were sent for analysis and tested for compliance to the FEDIAF guidelines. They were sent over a 24month period to ensure there was no seasonal variance.
Multiple samples, sent from different batches were analysed according to principles set out by the EC commissions regulation 152/2009, FEDIAF themselves and following the official control of feeding stuffs.
For 2. Post and Pre Trial Blood Analysis Bio-Chemistry and Haematology for each dog:
haemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphatase and serum albumin.
Examination followed as AAFCO Protocol including: weight, body condition, heart rate, dental score, muscle mass, hydration and full AAFCO requirements.
(Full Examination results, Blood analysis and are found in the appendix of the research article – 3 dogs did not finish the study for non-health reasons.)
Vitamin E slightly lower; the amount of Vitamin E required is directly proportional to polyunsaturated fatty acids rather than a set minimum.
(Supplementation may be necessary if the diet is supplemented with pufa’s)
Biotin, slightly lower; this is due to the higher guidance in Fediaf to compensate for potential antimicrobial or anti-vitamin compounds in processed pet foods.
Minerals, slightly lower: again as the previous two nutrients the Fediaf guidelines currently state slightly higher than required minerals to compensate for processed and cereal based food elements such as phytic acid.
Where individual recipes fell outside of the guidelines, recommendation is made to feed a blend of the recipes to achieve full nutritional adequacy.
For 2. Clinical and Pathology tests showed no nutritional deficiency or excess.
No individual lost more than 15% of initial bodyweight. All bio-chemistry and haemagloblin tests met AAFCO requirements.
In essence the diets were a resounding PASS under the AAFCO trial protocol basis.