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Hi, my name is John Yanik.  I am the proud owner of 2 raw fed dogs, both German Shepherds.   One of which, Cody, 3 1/2 years old, has been raw fed his entire life, weaned onto raw by his breeder.  I show him German Sieger conformation as well as compete and train schutzhund with him. My other dog, Chasey is actually an Amercan Tundra Shepherd, which is a very rare breed with wolf recently introduced into the breed.  She is 6 and raw fed since about 1 1/2 years.  They are both amazing dogs, perfectly healthy. Whenever we go anywhere, everyone raves how great they look with their shiny coats, white teeth, no doggie smell and minimal shedding. You may be at the point I was years ago and start questioning the "normal" way people take care of dogs.  Feed them dog food, take them to the vet every year for their shots.  I had the horrible experience of losing 4 dogs to cancer in about 4 years, all older dogs but nonetheless, it was devastating. Having a scientific and medical background, I started to analyze it. 4 dogs, all different breeds with different genetics, different cancers those were the variables. The constants in the equation were environmental, namely food and vaccines.  Being a medical person with a hard science, allopathic background I began to research and question what is preached by the mainstream school of thought.  The more I researched it, the more it made sense.  Yes they survive on what I gave them to eat, but slowly poisoning them every day with processed food with no nutritional value, toxic chemical preservatives and species inappropriate ingredients. This left them with weakend immune systems, and signs of old age such as arthritis, hearing loss, etc, things we assume is part of normal aging but it doesn't have to be. Chasey, who was my new pup, started the traditional route.  Dog food, puppy shots, etc.  She was chroniclaly ill that first year. Poor coat, chronic diarrhea, chronic vomitting, vet visits resulting in x rays, swallow studies, steriods, acid reducers, prescription diets.  Then we went raw.  After a brief period of time without the "help" of modern medicine and the best dog food you can buy, she got better and hasn't been to the vet since. Now, I am a die hard proponent of natural rearing which include, of course a species appropriate raw diet and or minimalist vaccine protocol.  I follow the prey model raw feeding which is meat, bone and organs.  Invariably the vegetable issue arises, and, I did the research, studied the canine physiology and normal behavior of wild canids and that was the model that made sense to me.  Professionally, I am in the physical therapy field and work in the acute hospital setting. I have a background in biology, chemistry and physical rehabilitation.  Recreationally I very much enjoy reading as much as I can on both human and canine nutrition, physiology, psychology, allopathic medicine as well as a new but deep interest in natural health and healing.  So, I can speak to medicine, health and nutrition from both sides of the fence as they say, which gives me an altogether deeper understanding. I am happy to be on board with Raw Instincts, I hope you learn as much from my articles as I do researching them.  Remember, its all about the dogs and what's best for them!
John Yanik