I fed my last dog raw food for the last 6 years of his life. He was a rescue. I have fed my GSD female raw since we brought her home. She's almost 16 months old. My son's rescue GSD female had terrible allergies. Switching to raw did not cure the allergies, but improved them dramatically.
I'm completely sold on raw food as the food dogs were designed to eat. I have a picture of a skull of a wolf next to the skull of a German Shepherd. It's impossible to tell which is which. Our dogs are carnivores.
There was a study done b y Dr. Gerard Lippert in (I think) Sweden. He did a survey over 5 years of 500+ dogs that died. Their owner's were surveyed and they looked for those items that seemed to influence longevity the most. The thing that increased longevity the most was the dog's diet. He did not say exactly what the longer lived diet was and I'm guessing that it varied, some home cooked, some raw. Here's what he said in the summary:
Our study shows that for food, the animal fed with home made food (based on similar food as the family) reach an average of 13.1 years, as the animals fed with canned industrial food reach an average of 10.4 years. The animals fed with mixed food (home made plus canned food) reach an average of 11.4 years.
The difference between the two extremes amounts to more than 32 months, i.e. close to 3 years. This great difference shows that food is a major determinant factor for the dogs' life expectancy. Giving it home made food is a guarantee for better protection, well being and longer life expectancy.
He goes on the speak of the low quality of food selected for dog food coupled with the damage done during high heat extraction and chemical treatments. Dogs fed human grade food are fed the same quality of food that the rest of the family eats and that quality clearly makes a difference.
I understand there is a study coming out of either the University of Illinois or Iowa - don't remember which one that results in an endorsement for a raw diet. The recommendation is based on study results. I'm anxious to learn more about it.
I'm in the prey model camp and feed 80-10-10. I think if they needed vegetables, they would have teeth to process them. They don't.
I may - or may not have attached pictures of the wolf and german shepherd skulls.