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120 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a very good book from which I learned a great deal; however, I don't like so much emphasis put on supplements. The book is closley linked with the B Natural supplements. Nutritional philosophies are sure to vary on supplementation but according to my holistic vet, if 1/3 or more of my dog's diet is raw food, there is no need for me to add digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes and/or vitmain supplements + (sometimes other supplements) are big parts of all her recipes, raw or cooked. I've been advised by other well recognized canine nutritional experts and by my vet not to add vitamin supplements or digestive enzymes supplements to my healthy dog's cooked food meals that make up 1/3 of his diet since 2/3 of his diet is already completly balanced with the highest quality commercial raw and Instinct kibble foods I use. This book recommends much more supplementation than that.

Raw food already has enzymes and beneficial bacteria in it and a lot of bio-availabe nutrients, so it makes no sense to me to include digestive enzymes to raw food for a dog with no digestive problems to begin with. And there's no need to add vitman supplements like Berte's Daily Blend when adding fresh food to kibbles like Orijen or Instint or Wellness; they already have plenty of vitamins. (Whatever your feelings are about high-end kibbles, postive or negative, lack of vitmains is not a problem with those kibbles, and using vitmain supplements like Berte's Daily Blend that include vitmain D along with kibbles that are already high in vitamin D, is not advisable accordng to very reliable sources in my research.) Why add a supplement that includes vitmain A when you're feeding meals that include liver and other organs? Liver is already high in vitmain A. In short I think this author over supplements and that the book was too much of a means of getting people to buy the Berte's supplements, and no other company's supplements, rather than to provide a truly fresh food natural diet.

My idea of a natural diet is one in which as many of the nutrients come from the foods as possible, not from powders and capsules. I learend much from the book and found the chapter on the history of dog food interesting. This book served me as a good step forward to improving my dog's diet, but it is not a way of feeding that I strictly follow. I just use basic supplements like fish oil with vitmain E and use egg shells at her suggested dosage to balance the boneless meat meals calcium to phospherous ratio. But I even try to use salmon most of the time instead of resorting to fish capsules.

When I was using the Berte's Daily Blend for a month, it did not agree with my dog at all. (He had small loose stools for a month and he's never had a problem like that before or after using the supplement.) Maybe this was because of the whey that's in it, or it was too strong at the suggested dosage -- I don't know for sure. But without the Berte's Daily Blend supplement, the approximate 1/3 portion of my dog's diet that is fresh cooked foods (eggs, wild salmon, bison, etc.) has been working out great.

The book makes for good reading, it brought about positive changes in my dog's diet; it taught me a lot, and I'm glad I read it.

Update six months later: I've read the author's comment to another reviewer in which she says that she does not sell or make money from the sales of the B Natural supplements. I believe her, but it came across that way to me too from the book because the B Naturals are such an integral part of her feeding concept. I think it is a flaw of this book to have limited her supplementation recomendations to B Naturals and to have never even mentioned products from other companies that enhance a fresh food diet and that make fresh food feeding so easy. There are good options from other companies. I no longer feed any kibble at at all. I mostly feed fresh meat meals with an excellent product called Wysong Call of the Wild, which is a powder that is added to fresh meat,(and I feed some commercial raw). It's okay to supplement a fresh food diet, if it's not overdone. I think that anyone interested in feeding a homemade raw or cooked diet should read this book, read Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet by Steve Brown, and read the site Dogaware. Put the knowledge of those 3 together and you'll get good results.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
We've been feeding our Siberian Huskies holistic foods for several years now; after noticing the "highest quality" commercial food (now branched with P&G)they were on, was causing more harm than good. Our journey started with making a simple chicken soup (homemade), while looking for the right holistic brand of food. That adventure included trying the B.A.R.F. diet (raw food & bones), but our huskies hated it and we weren't too adapted with it either. We found a good USDA human-grade dehydrated food made for dogs that worked well (even recognised as "doable" for raw feeding), but ended up preparing our own meals more and more (by adding cooked meats into the dehydrated food & then creating and alternating our own cooked recipes). Not many books were available or known on canine nutrition back then (in 2001), so much was relied on the internet and our veterinarian. This is one of those books I wish was available back around that time. It would have helped saved me a lot of time, engery and work. I could not put this book down until I finished reading it!

I am one that is not comfortable or convinced on the feeding of bones or feeding raw meats (especially of pork, poultry & fish), but I understand why most raw feeders look toward the science and ancestory of the wolf to determine dogs are carnivores & meant to eat raw. Yet, 5,000 years ago(even 200 years ago for that matter), there wasn't so much worry about illnesses caused by pesticides and polution, as there is today. In today's wilderness, even these wolves, coyotes, etc.. (eating their hunt) aren't living as long as their ancestors did...and even then, the alpha of the pack usually is the one getting the best parts of the hunt (in a given group). Wildlife just isn't as healthy as they once were. So, this is hard for me to justify feeding my huskies raw meats and bones as the only answer. They aren't in the wild...they are domesticated, and instead of going out to hunt, they are relying on their human parents to provide them the best nutrition.

What I appreciate about "Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals", is that it was written for those interested in feeding raw, those desiring to homecook their dog's meals and even those that only wish to supplement their "kibble"...it was meant to help inform. Of course, as I'd want it, it does focus mostly on the raw feeding and homecooking, by providing sample recipes. It's definitely not one of those, "the only way to help your dog live a long and healthy life is by feeding raw" type books. Raw feeding isn't for everyone & the writer understands that.

The author not only goes into explaining the importance of nutrition in a dog's diet, but also the reasons behind those nutrients and the best sources to get them. Regardless of whether you prepare raw foods or cook for your dog, the importance is in the meat & fats. This book will definitely help guide you along to have a better understanding of canine nutritional needs. I love how the vitamin & mineral section isn't so generic and vague! Too many nutrition & diet books for dogs encourage you to rely on adding full spectrum multi-vitamin/mineral supplements to their diets, and they generally fail to explain the whys and where to get these nutrients. Olson goes a step further and helps guide you through this area where others slack off. There is also interesting information and nutritional tips for feeding and caring for dog's with health issues.

If raw feeding isn't for you, don't be discouraged by the title...this book is an awesome resource. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a dog. This is one of those books that should be on every canine parent's shelf.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
too much advertising of the authors products, not enough information on how to formulate a diet with substituting one protein for another. the amount of information on recipes would make a small chapter, the rest is filler about the dangers of commercial food and how bad carbohydrates are without enough hard data to back it up. coyotes, wolves and other wild canines will quite eagerly eat corn, root vegetables, fruit and other carbohydrates in the wild when they get a chance. the premise that dogs and wolves would eat only meat in the wild is insufficiently backed up with data. get billinghursts books instead.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have been a follower of Lew's for many years on the K9 Nutrition group ([...]) and her site [...]. Her knowledge and understanding of the canine diet and nutrition is second to none. She really lays it out for anyone to clearly see the benefits of the raw diet and what's necessary to successfully transition to it. I've helped many clients switch to raw over the years and always point them in the direction of Lew Olsen to make sure they make the right decisions about their dog's diet and how to supplement. Lew certainly enlightens dog owner's looking to make better nutritional decisions for their dogs. If you feed raw read it. If you want to feed raw read it. If you are hesitant or set on kibble read it. Regardless you'll get something out of it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2015
Format: Paperback
I was asked to review Lew Olson's book prior to publication due to my scientific education and experience as a raw feeder. I wrote a scathing review and am truly disappointed to see it was eventually published. HERE ARE A FEW THINGS I FOUND HORRIFYING:

1. Suggesting that Dairy is an appropriate source of supplementing probiotics, (GREENTRIPE.COM is a MUCH better source or soil based probiotics that you can buy on Amazon.). Dairy is one protein you want to avoid, especially if you have a dog with food allergies, which is the reason many people start feeding raw. It is part of the four horseman: http://dogtorj.com/what-is-food-intolerance/the-history-of-the-big-4/

2. Suggesting that it is OK to feed diets without bones. Bones are essential for dental health, as well as for providing a healthy gut biome. It is the type of bones used that yield the benefits and ALL DOGS NEED BONES. If your dog has dental issues, you just have to pick a species appropriate source and stay away from beef and other weight baring bones.

3. Suggesting that it is OK to feed veggies (some in the list are NOT OK to feed), then also writing that they aren't digested. So why would you feed something that isn't digested? Oh, yes, that is because Lew never explained that the dog's feces will change consistency depending upon the meal that they are fed. The veggies are there to disguise that! Why not be honest?

4. Suggesting that supplementation is necessary, (No, SUPPLEMENTATION IS NOT NECESSARY, with a well-sourced balanced PREY MODEL, nose-to-tail diet. But since she owns a supplementation business, I'm sure she gets lots of income from the MULTIPLE references to her company. This is a SERIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST that runs throughout the book. She sets the reader up to think that one cannot feed raw without HER SUPPLEMENTS.)

5. Suggesting that Calcium is all you need to supplement if you don't feed bones. This is where I began to wonder about her PhD in "Natural Nutrition". Ummmmm... So she has a masters in Social Work, so I wonder if her PhD was from a papermill as no school was mentioned in her Bio. Supplementing with ONLY calcium is not a good idea for dogs or humans, unless you want to give your dog a heart attack or kidney issues.

Oh, I could go on... but hopefully you'll get my point. So, any reader should be aware that LEW OLSON LACKS BIOCHEMICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY EDUCATION, essential for anyone claiming to be an expert in this field. This is a book based on old data from pre-1970s understanding of health.

For those seeking to feed raw, you need to find a mentor who has been feeding a PREY MODEL RAW Nose-to-Tail diet for +10 years. There are a lot of tricks to finding well sourced (grassfed/pastured) meats that are cheap. You should also read many books and join raw feeders forums to balance the history of raw feeding (which you'll find in books) with the new info/trends/how-tos (which you'll find on forums).

BEST OF LUCK TO YOU NEW RAW FEEDERS!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought this book as it was recommended to me by several people. I have several book on raw feeding in my library and enjoy reading each one of them.

There is a lot of good information, but I feel Lew does not make things very clear. She states that there is no need for vegetables but some of her recipes have vegetables. Conflicting information.

She also suggests to use her supplements but why? Is there a way you can get those nutrients from food? Many of my other books explains that if you offer the right foods with the right mix there is very little supplementing you need.

I would never recommend this book to anyone. I would however recommend "Dr Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cat" This book has been money well spent. As a matter of fact, I'm ordering one for the friend that just got into raw feeding and she bought this book and feels the same way as me. I asked her what she thought as I did not say a word to her when she said she ordered it.

Anyway save yourself some money and find a friend that has the book. Go through it and it you like it buy it if not then you didnt waste your money like me. I think that is what I'm going to do the next time someone wants to buy the book. I'll loan it to them for review. If I dont get it back no great loss.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really expected more in the book.
The the book is just too vague - maybe its because its all just an opinion of hers and not based on real data, maybe no data exists? We study the hell out of mice and everything else (research grants are big money and big business), i'm sure there is data. Since her Masters degree is in social work, her Phd is most likely in HUMAN nutrition - OR they'd be spouting that it was in animal nutrition to sell sell sell, so, again, I think its all opinion and nothing empirical.

Pros:
1) I did like the supplement list HOWEVER, most of the dosing is not based on weight - so it is really not helpful.
2) If you want to know about the dog food industry etc. and why you should be feeding at home and not buying the junk in the stores, this is the book for you – otherwise, find another. Which, I thought THAT was the whole reason we were buying the book in the first place - because we KNOW we shouldn't be feeding our pets the junk dog food from stores....?

CONS:
1) WARNING, for the digestive enzymes, do not use them regularly, if you do, the dog will stop producing them in its body. I know this from experience, I took them for a few months to see how they would help with the extra protein I take for bodybuilding and to see if there was any benefit to them ie- if I could measure any gains, only to find out that once I stopped taking them - my body wasn't producing them at all anymore.
2) This book is not really a definitive guide to feeding - it just basically states the same material over and over – raw meaty bones, organ meat……basically everything you can find for free online.

I am disappointed that the book does not really go into actual nutrition, outside of a brief supplement guide. As a bodybuilder, I know far too much about nutrition to know that this book is not a real source of information, even though my nutritional needs are a little different from my dogs. I'm a low carb guy anyway so I eat (minus the bones of course) about what my dog will , once I find a real book to help guide in some detail for her meals. ADDITIONALLY, a section on how to go about feeding raw would have been nice, it could cover bacteria, cleanliness, maybe even a process - do you wash the meat blah blah....stuff like that - some actual details would be nice!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Holy supplement sales batman ! now I know why I see so many people in online groups flocking to shove handfulls of supplements down their dog's throats. Much better books out there :
Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: by Kymythy Schultze , Dr Becker's Real food
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
With all the talk about what's going on with dog food and dog food recalls, it's time to remember that we didn't always feed our dogs with kibble. And with all the news about eating local foods, if you ever wanted to know how to feed your dog the same way, this is the guide. It's clearly written by someone who has 5 generations of show dogs eating this way! I have been a follower of Lew's methods for over two years now and the difference in my own dogs is amazing! I love this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2015
Format: Paperback
FDA and ASPCA say it's dangerous to raw feed. Author says it's safe. Author provides no evidence, scientific research, or citation to actual studies. I think it would be foolish to trust her recommendations.

I am very skeptical about this book and do not recommend it. I am not writing this to debate about whether it is safe for dogs to eat raw food.
I am open minded about the idea that raw food could be good for dogs. After all the FDA and ASPCA could be wrong. They take the position that raw feeding is dangerous. The author makes conclusory statements, arguing that raw food is safe for dogs. However, she provides very little actual evidence or citation to back up her conclusions. In the end, I do not feel comfortable going against the FDA and ASPCA's recommendations based on this author's recommendations. With that said, I am not arguing one way or another what is right. However, I am not going to risk my dogs health based on what she says.

1. The FDA and ASPCA do not recommend feeding dogs raw food. They warn that it can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Whether you trust this author or the government is entirely up to you. I do not trust either. However, I do not trust what the author says because she lacks credibility, disclosure, scientific analysis, and citation to appropriate scientific evidence.

i. she seems to lack the credibility required to write about biology, chemistry, and etc.

ii. throughout the book she highly recommends a certain brand of dietary supplements for dogs... which she does not disclose is her brand... if you read the very last page of the book in the "about the author" section, there is one sentence explaining that she owns the brand!

iii. Many of her statements contradict themselves

iv. The book has several sections of text boxes with "case studies" that have no citation, mention of control groups, or any other scientific evidence.

If you want to find out about feeding a dog raw food and whether it is safe,
I would recommend finding a different book from an actual veterinarian or medical doctor that has an actual grasp on science, a proven background, citation to scientific evidence, and peer review and approval.
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