Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book of the Month

My pick for Book of the Month for July is "Raw Meaty Bones" by Tom Lonsdale. I am including this book because I feel that it's a good resource for those thinking about starting their dogs on a raw diet. Information gleaned from this book combines nicely with "Give Your Dog a Bone" and "Grow Your Pups With Bones" by Ian Billinghurst. I know that I've included a few different books on the raw diet throughout the year, but I think there are enough people out there who are curious about sources of information to learn more about feeding a raw diet, that it warrants mentioning. While I love feeding my dogs a raw diet, it's not necessarily for everyone. For those who want to feed this way, I think it best that they become as informed about the diet as they can.

With all that said, I will again caution those who are reading this book to take away from it the diet specific information. While the book is overall beneficial, there is a whole lot of time spent talking about Lonsdale's struggles with getting other veterinarians in Australia to listen to him. He talks about this a lot. So be prepared. I understand that part of his agenda for putting out this book is also to show people how to become an advocate for the diet and to push back against the societal norm of feeding your dog a kibble based diet. I do have to admit that a lot of what he had to say got me to thinking. During my life time, the norm has always been to feed kibble. However, that is a more recent construct. For several hundreds of years people raised and bred various breeds of dogs successfully without feeding their dogs kibble. It's just so common place now, that we often don't even think to ask what we did before kibble.

My second cautionary note regards the author's take on kibble being the downfall of canine oral health. When I gave my review of "Grow Your Pups With Bones" I gave fore warning about Billinghurst's conclusions that kibble was basically the cause of every malady to befall kibble eating dogs. Welllllllllll, that's sort of a recurring theme in this book as well. While Billinghurst harped on hip dysplasia; Lonsdale harps on oral disease. I do understand his reasoning though. It has been proven that unhealthy teeth and gums can adversely effect the dogs overall health. Greyhounds adopted from racing kennels have been recorded to have a decrease in the severity of heart murmurs soon after having a total dental cleaning. So yes, I get the connection between oral health and overall health. However, not all kibble fed dogs necessarily have gnarly teeth. And again, I think that it's kind of "easy" to blame oral disease for EVERY single thing wrong with a dog.

Like I said, read this book with an open mind bent on gleaning the intended information from it. If you're interested in learning what Lonsdale went through to get heard and the ostracism that he faced by sticking to the results he found based on feeding a raw diet, then you'll have an additional bonus! Either way, I believe that there is useful information within and it's not a bad read.

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