For millions of years dogs have lived on a diet of raw meat, bones, fat and offal.  From time to time, they would also eat grass and any ripe fruit which had dropped to the ground.  If they found a nest of eggs, they would consume these raw.  They did not eat cereals, they did not drink milk and they did not eat anything which was cooked.  A few thousand years ago, dogs were gradually domesticated by man.  This few thousand years would only be a minute fraction of the time that dogs have been in existence.  It is only in the 20th century that dogs have become pampered pets and sometimes we go out of our way to provide for their every need. However, this is not always in their best interests.  For example, we have suddenly decided that, rather than let dogs eat what they are biochemically adapted to, we will cook their food for them.  We give them cooked meat, cooked chicken and cooked vegetables.  Even worse, we give them cooked tinned food and cooked biscuits.  Cooking food as been shown on numerous occasions to:

 1.  Destroy vitamins in the food, especially water-soluble vitamins

2.  Destroy proteins and fats by denaturing them

3.  Destroy the natural enzymes in the food which aid in its digestion

4.  Create indigestible components in the food.  The pet food manufacturers try to make up for this by adding vitamins to the food. However they cannot repair the denatured proteins and fats and they cannot replace the natural enzymes.  

As long ago as the 1930s and 1940s, Francis M. Pottenger MD ran a 10 year experiment on 900 cats, following them through from generation to generation.  He fed part of his colony a diet of cooked meat, pasteurized milk and cod liver oil.  He found that these animals developed a high incidence of allergies, sickness and skeletal deformities.  Each successive generation produced smaller litters of weaker, low birth-weight kittens. Stillbirth, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion and resorption in the uterus became common.  After three to four generations, they no longer produced litters at all, and the group died out.  Other abnormalities noticed were dermatitis, neuroses and abnormalities in neuromuscular co-ordination and behavioral abnormalities.  Anatomical differences between the sexes became less apparent and homosexuality appeared.  Another group of cats Pottenger fed on the same diet, except that the meat was raw and the milk unpasteurized.  These animals were healthy, ha! a good skeletal structure and were normal in their behavior.  They produced healthy litters generation after generation.  Not only did they not die out, they thrived.

 Similar results have been demonstrated in thousands of laboratory animals. In India , Sir Robert McCarrison fed monkeys on their usual diet, but in cooked form.   All of these animals developed colitis (inflammation of the colon), and also gastric and intestinal ulcers.  

In Switzerland , O. Steiner did similar work with guinea pigs.  On a cooked diet, his animals soon developed anaemia, scurvy, goitre, dental caries, degeneration of the salivary glands and, when 10cc of pasteurized milk was added to their daily diet, arthritis as well.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, zoo animals were commonly fed on diets of cooked restaurant scraps.  Mortality and illness was very common, until it was finally realised that the animals must be fed raw food.  Once this raw diet was implemented, the animals became much healthier and the death rate dropped markedly.  A particularly interesting phenomenon which occurs when cooked food is eaten is "digestive leucocytosis".  This was demonstrated by Paul Kouchokoff at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne in the 1920s. When cooked food is eaten, it causes white blood cells (leukocytes) to be mobilized to the gut, presumably to aid in the digestion of the food by releasing their own enzymes.  This phenomenon does not occur when raw food is consumed.  If these white blood cells are being utilized for digestion after every cooked meal, they are no longer available for their primary function of fighting off infections.  The animal's immunity to disease is thereby lowered. 

 Therefore the diet of a dog should be basically as follows:  

1.  Raw meaty bones with the fat left on, for example brisket bones, lamb shanks, mutton flaps.  These should comprise 80-90% of the diet.

2.  Raw chicken and rabbit, bones and all.  Bones usually only cause problems when cooked.  Cooking makes bones hard and brittle and difficult to digest.  It also ties up the calcium and other minerals in the bones, making them far less digestible.

3.  Raw eggs, shell and all, if the dog likes them.

4.  Raw liver every 2-3 weeks - a whole meal of it.

5.  Raw fruit and grated raw vegetables.

6.  Fresh water.  

Dogs should NOT be fed:  

1.  Tinned food

2.  Dog or human biscuits

3.  Cooked meat or cooked chicken or any cooked table scraps

4.  Cooked cereals or cooked vegetables

5.  Milk or cheese (which have virtually been cooked by pasteurization)

6.  Bread or toast

7.  Ice-cream or chocolate

8.  Mince meat.  There is not enough chewing in mince meat, and it sometimes contains preservatives.


Two Old Wives Tales Demolished:  

1.  Dogs will not get worms from raw meat, especially if it has been purchased from a butcher's shop where it has been inspected and passed for human consumption

2.  Raw meat does not make dogs savage.  In fact, I have noticed at my hospital that they are often less nervous when taken off commercial food. Don't worry if your dog buries his bones and digs them up two days later to eat.  In scientific trials on Eskimo dogs, they were found to maintain better health if they did this than if they ate them raw immediately. Clinically I have noticed the following improvements when dogs are changed to a raw diet:

 1.  Most cases of chronic skin problems clear up

2.  Dogs with arthritis seem to experience less pain.  I use a combination of raw diet plus acupuncture to treat these stiff and sore dogs.

3.  Dogs very often show more enthusiasm for life, especially the more sluggish or older ones.

4.  Their dental hygiene is much improved.  Once we have removed any decaying teeth and removed plaque and tartar by ultrasonic teeth scaling, these dogs no longer build up tartar if they are fed a raw diet with plenty of bones.


Although I have concentrated in this article on dogs, the same principles also apply to cats, with the exception of fruit and vegetables, as cats are strict carnivores.  The natural diet for cats is:  

1.  Raw meat - in big pieces with the fat left on.  Cats have a fairly high fat requirement and for this reason it is better to feed beef or mutton rather than a lot of kangaroo meat which is low in fat.

2.  Raw fish - bones and all

3.  Raw chicken - bones and all.  Again, bones only cause problems when they are cooked.

4.  Raw liver - an entire meal - once every two weeks.

5.  Raw eggs if they like them (preferably free range)

6.  Fresh water


Do NOT feed (except as standby):

1.  Canned food

2.  Biscuits

3.  Cooked meat or chicken

4.  Milk, cheese, cream (pasteurized)



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