By Annie McCall
My 6-year-old Boston terrier Basil’s life – and mine – improved greatly when I got a job that allowed me to take her to the office. She enjoys our time together and loves socializing with everyone at the office. They’re all so kind to her.
There was just one hitch – Basil, like many Boston terriers, is prone to very bad gas. I thought this was normal, and even comical when she scared herself with particularly loud “poots.” Her chronic flatulence was so bad that she earned the nickname of “Pooty.”
Even though it was pretty unpleasant, I was used to Basil’s little problem. However, Basil’s socializing was tough on my coworkers when her desk visits included leaving behind a foul, potent smell.
I’ve heard that gas is your dog’s digestive system saying something isn’t right. But, I thought I was feeding Basil well. For years, I bought what I thought was the very best food in the grocery store. This food had a lengthy market presence, and a label that included the words “health” and “natural ingredients” on it. But, after losing a beloved dog to tongue cancer, I vowed to look more closely at labels and what my dogs were ingesting. Turning the kibble bag around and carefully reading the ingredient label showed a very different picture. I switched Basil to a higher quality kibble and supplements, but clearly, this still wasn’t optimal for Basil.
My boss, Susan Moss, suggested that I try a frozen raw diet, and even offered to buy a bag for me to try. She said that all kibble, even grain free, has an amount of carbohydrates that could be causing the gas. Even the very best quality kibble needs some carbohydrates to act as a binding agent. Dogs do not metabolize carbs efficiently, and fermentation of poorly digested food material in the intestine is a common cause of canine flatulence.
I was happy to take Susan up on her offer, and took home a bag of Primal frozen raw chicken nuggets. The change was dramatic and fast. Her gas was nearly completely eliminated by the next day. And Basil loved her Primal! Previously, some days, she would not even bother to get up for her kibble breakfast, but she bounded off her bed and pranced to her bowl in anticipation of her Primal nuggets. After eating, she nudged her empty bowl around in the hope of finding a remaining morsel – her highest food compliment. We’ve also tried Primal Pronto which she loves equally well, and I love that it’s as easy to feed as kibble.
There remained just one consideration in switching Basil from kibble to raw – the cost. I have a happy household consisting of a number of other animals, but with one daughter in college and another heading there soon, I am trying to budget carefully. I need to make sure that switching Basil’s diet makes sense financially. It’s hard to make an exact comparison, but my estimate is that I was spending about $1 a day on kibble, and feeding Basil Primal frozen raw would boost that to $1.50 per day. I consider this a very good value. I have paid many vet bills for my deceased dog that would probably have not been necessary with a different diet. I am convinced optimal nutrition is the best prevention and a sound investment. Even more important is knowing that I’m doing what’s best to keep my dogs and cats healthy.
My raw feeding trial convinced me that it was far better for Basil and I have made the switch to Primal frozen raw a permanent one. My kind coworkers are no longer subjected to waves of horrible odors from Basil when she makes the rounds, inviting herself on their laps.
But, the benefits don’t end there. Basil is pooping less than half of what she did before because her body has less useless filler to eliminate. Even with her fondness for office naps, she has much more muscle definition. Thanks to an all-raw diet, Basil is not at risk for wearing out her welcome at the office. And, we’re thinking of some new nicknames for her – maybe “Otter” because her coat is now so sleek and shiny.