Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thank you Canine Health Concern

I've just sent a long email to Catherine O'Driscoll, founder of Canine Health Concern (CHC), to thank her for her campaigning and to let her know how useful I have found her website. Catherine (I hope she won't think it impertinent of me to call her by her first name) is best known for her books explaining why canine vaccines are so detrimental to canine health. However, she has also been a fervent advocate of raw feeding and through CHC commissioned some interesting research which is summarised on their website ( as follows:

We asked people who had changed their dogs away from pet food and onto raw meaty bones to take part in some research. Our results showed that Natural Food - including raw meaty bones - is Better for Dogs than Processed Pet Food

Eighty-nine dog owners took part in the survey. Seventy-four per cent had changed to the raw meaty bone diet, and 13% were already feeding a similar diet. We were astonished by the results: there was a massive drop of 85% in veterinary visits shown by people whose dogs had �gone natural�. The 85% reduction was achieved by those who had been feeding the natural diet for a period of six months or more. Our own records show that, initially, feeding costs of a natural diet increase whilst vet costs decline. After about a year, quantity and feeding costs decline, too, as the dogs� nutrition rises to optimum levels.

The main visible health benefits reported by owners of the 126 dogs who were changed to the natural diet include . . more energy and activity, improved teeth and gums, glossier coats, and skin, and weight and behavioural improvements. Other benefits included lower susceptibility to fleas, improved appetite, an absence of stomach and digestive upsets, sweeter breath, cleaner ears, no more scratching, and veterinary medication no longer required.

Although dogs who had been on the diet for only a few weeks showed improvements, those on the natural diet for six months or longer were dramatically healthier than those whose diet had only recently changed. And - importantly - guardians were reporting multiple benefits for their dogs.

Canine Health Concern has been incredibly effective in its campaigning and in 1998 was the subject of a World in Action documentary. It only costs £16 to join (I've just joined myself) and it is money well spent.

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