We scored a whole hog for free this week. Decided to feed it all in one sitting as a gorge meal. The dogs are all fat, happy and passed out.
Why feed a whole hog at once? Gorge meals are a normal thing for wolves, dogs. Their lives revolve around finding food. Either they find a carcass or they make a fresh meal but either way they eat as much as they can in one sitting because they have no idea when their next meal will come. Obviously our dogs at home know when their next meal is coming, and so do we. So, why do a gorge meals? For several reasons.
First, feeding a meal like this gives our dogs the opportunity to really get a mentally stimulating experience. It takes a lot more mental work for a dog to rip and tear meat off, crunch through bones of this kind of source. The enjoyment alone we watch from our dogs eating is reinforcing enough to do it again.
Second, it allows us to feed large meals to our big dogs. It saves us a lot of work with breaking down a whole hog, just let the dogs do the work!
Third, it may or may not provide any health benefits. There is no research, anecdotal or scientific, stating one way or the other. Many raw feeders do this and it works well for their dogs.
Gorging and fasting should not be attempted by the novice raw feeder. I highly suggest that only dogs who have been raw feeding for a few years do this. It takes some time and conditioning to get a dog’s system capable of handling such a large meal. This can be achieved by gradually increasing the size of a meal once every 2 weeks, and then increasing the space between the larger meal and their next meal. Puppies weaned to or switched to raw feeding early are better equipped to handle gorging and fasting sooner, but I don’t suggest doing it until the puppy is at least 6 months old, unless its a toy/small breed who may never be able to handle a true gorge/fast meal even as an adult. Toy or small breeds who are prone to hypoglycemia should never be fasted for long periods of time, so true gorge/fast meals may never be done with these dogs. Just proceed with caution and always supervise any feeding of any kind with a scrupulous eye!
Our dogs pictured below have been raw feeding for at least 2 years, the exceptions being two Great Dane puppies, 8 and 10 months old. All of them have been conditioned to gorge meals and handle them well!