Raw feeders: Am I the only person who feels fasting your dog sounds slightly ludicrous?


I’ve read in various places that it’s good to let your dog fast for one day out of the week. They usually say the reasoning behind this is to:

a. Imitate a natural diet found in the wild. Wolves don’t eat daily, so our dogs shouldn’t.
b. Cleanse the body of toxins.
c. Encourage healing in a sick dog. Dogs lose their appetite when they are sick because digesting food takes up a lot of energy that could be put to use elsewhere (like clearing up a bacterial infection).
d. Digesting food takes up a ton of energy so their body needs a chance to rest weekly.

Am I the only person who thinks this sounds like a load of bullsh*t? They make it seem like digesting food is this gruesome chore that will just suck the life out of you or something.

I also have a huge problem with the "wolves don’t eat every day, so our dogs shouldn’t" idea. I personally figure that, if that is true, it’s because the wolves weren’t able to make a kill that day due to whatever circumstances, or because they had an especially successful hunt the day before and weren’t hungry, not because they were instinctively fasting.

And what about the idea that a dog not eating when he’s sick will improve his health? To me, it’d make more sense for them to eat in order to have the calories necessary to fight infection. I understand that in certain circumstances, it is beneficial to withdraw food, but my understanding is that it depends on what medical condition the dog has.

However, I could be dead WRONG, and I encourage you to correct me if you believe so. I did not post this to poke fun at people; I am honestly trying to understand where you guys are coming from. But I find it difficult to believe everything I read, and I notice the people who I’ve heard this from never go into much detail about this, which always leaves me frustrated and cynical.

I actually don’t think this whole fasting issue has a definitive answer. It still seems to be pretty controversial even with people who do it for health reasons. So say it’s not good to fast on water, and that you are suppose to drink fruit juices at least. I understand that humans have different bodies from dogs, but could something similar apply?

Where do you stand, and why?
@Skipper I almost called you out for plagerism! I was like, "WTF? I just read that on Frawley’s website and now she’s trying to pretend those are her words??"
Curtis, what did you mean by FaceBook?

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12 Responses to “Raw feeders: Am I the only person who feels fasting your dog sounds slightly ludicrous?”

  1. Khayos says:

    Well you gorge them as well.

    I don’t, I was trying to work Holly up to it but frankly I’m lazy and I have a short attention span. It’s likely Id over feed her a couple days in a row, or fast her a couple days forgetting I already had.

    But I do agree that it is the way to go about things if you want/can. Not necessary though.

  2. Curtis M WINS! FLAWLESS VICTORY! says:

    DD you soooo saw this on FB LMAO! Fasting is fine, I fasted my dogs yesterday. Gives the system time to push everything out. Carnivores don’t eat every day, they eat, lay around lazy in the shade, and catch something else when some of that gut has been slept off!

  3. Animal Artwork & Arctic Eyes says:

    You’ve been given a few good websites with some excellent explanations. I’ll add a couple of thoughts:

    Fasting increases food drive. It creates a dog who is far more willing to eat nearly anything it is fed and a less fussy dog.

    Increased food drive creates a dog for whom a low value food (kibble for my dogs) is a high value training aid. This sets the food hierarchy such that I can have a vast multitude of "treats" to reward a dog that I am training without having to break the bank buying steak or having to cook stinky liver.

    When I "fast" my dogs they still get kibble as treats (and usually more of it).

  4. ♥shelter puppies rule♥ says:

    i am super tired but i wanted to send you this link about why a gorge/fast diet is beneficial

    not only does a proper gorge/fast plan strengthen stomach muscles and release all the enzymes, but it also is a great mind workout. i do not follow this method because wolves in the wild have no choice to, but i also don’t think it’s necessary.

    i do only when i have a huge RMB that i think would be a great time to gorge. then i just feed less the next few days . so it’s not exactly a gorge/fast I follow mostly. but i do see the benefits.

  5. Jennifer M~ Baby coming on 7/7 says:

    I’m so glad you asked this. I have wondered this for some time. For some reason when I feed a raw meal I only feed once a day but when I feed kibble, I feed 2X a day. For me…that just makes sense.

    The only time I think I would withdraw food completely from a sick animal is if the sickness had to do with digestive issues. For example, I have had to hold back food from Shankly to try and combat diarrhea…not for long, just a day or so. Or skip the morning meal and feed late evening…things like that. I would also be cautious giving a vomiting dog food. However, I see no point in denying a dog with a broken leg food, etc.

    I’m going to check out the website Skipper posted.

    I also should throw out there that I cannot feed raw exclusively. I’d love to, but 2 (almost 3) small kids and busy busy busy makes me worry that I will not properly balance out their diet. SO, instead I feed Orijen kibble and feed a raw meal 1-2 times a week, or more if I can. My dogs show no digestion upset from doing this. If they did, I’d just stick to one or the other.

  6. Space Ace says:

    If they want to hurt the animal then they will starve the poor thing !

    Only someone very ignorant would do such a thing it’s not good nor healthy to let your dog or cat go hungry.

    You are to feed an animal once in the morning and once at night.
    Besides knowing this for a fact, what is the matter with people it’s also common since !
    Try taking the ignorant persons food away from them it’s not good for us to do that either because your body goes into starvation mode where it will then start to store up fat because the body is being deprived of nutrition.

  7. Dances With Woofs! says:

    I don’t fast my dogs,but they sometimes fast themselves. I always have dry food down,and some days they don’t eat,while the next day they will be ravenous. Of course they never turn down wet food,but sometimes they will take a treat and hide it for later. But I wouldn’t fast them on purpose unless it is before a surgery. I figure I like to eat every day,so the dogs do,too.

  8. skattered0077 says:

    after lots of reading on this and many other forums i am slowly switching to feeding my dog raw and i have read this a few times myself…so i am really glad that you have asked this…

    my dog is still a pup so obvioulsy i wont be skipping any feedings any time soon but it kind of makes sense to me to skip a meal every other week to help the dog clear out her digestive system…

    i had a rottweiler growing up and though we didnt feed her raw my mum would skip feeding her every other Sunday night and it seemed to do her a world of good. She lived a long, healthy and happy life so obviously it didnt do her any harm…

    i still have lots more reading and probably some trial and error before i find a raw feeding diet that works for me and my large breed dog…

    i look forward to what others have to say on this matter…

    ps…Skipper, I thought you were leaving??? 🙂

  9. moon says:

    your right dogs and humans have different digestion systems. so maybe a day without eating wouldn’t be that big of a deal to a dog, as it is to humans. i’m not saying it okay, but it doesn’t sound that bad. personally i do not do it.

  10. Skipper ~ 1st In MMA Tourney! says:

    It is a good idea to fast a dog that is over a year every now and then.

    I do not do this with puppies, lactating bitches or pregnant bitches. Fasting dogs helps clean out their system. Some feel it is a very healthy thing to get in the habit of doing. Fasting is a normal occurrence for carnivores. Fasting enables the energy used to digest food to be used for other things in the body. It’s important to remember to make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water on fast day. – Leerburg

    ^ I do exactly the same as they said, I always have and always will for as long as I’m feeding Raw. I have never needed anything to convince me not to fast dogs for specified reasons.

    This says some stuff about it: http://rawfed.com/myths/switch.html

    ETA: I did leave, and yeah I forgot to list the source when I first put it in.

    So far Skipper is ranked first, tomorrow is the actual Dog Show tho.

    ETA: Sorry I’ve been lazy, here’s the source- http://leerburg.com/diet.htm

  11. Sara♥ says:

    Nope, you are not alone I feel exactly the same

    I am a massive supporter of raw feeding but come on!! Making your PET DOG (not wild animal) fast is just over the top & comes with more cons than pros in my opinion!

  12. Demi ~ x says:

    We breed bull mastiffs, We fast for two days of the year to help get rid of toxins and stuff, Its perfectly fine for them, And it gets all the bad stuff out of them 🙂

    However..for the wolf bit.Dogs are NOT wolves, Yes they are canids, But they are NOT wolves. They have been bred, changed, patented for the job they are designed to do, Wolves are wild animals. Fasting a dog weekly does not seem right to me, Our stud dog needs plenty of calories to keep him of good muscle and good size., And It just isn’t right too fast that much.

    Our ancestors wouldn’t eat every day in the wild, But we don’t starve ourselves 1 day every week because our ancestors did, Do we?

    Dogs are not wolves, Just as humans are not cavemen and cats are not tigers, They are no longer in the wild, So why replicate a life that they have never had?

    They will sometimes refuse to eat, But if we have a dog that won’t eat we simply leave the food there a bit longer.