Interview with Kimberly Gauthier – Raw Food Feeder Extraordinaire

I have known Pacific Northwest’er Kimberly Gauthier for approximately ten years and have photographed her pack several times.

Kimberly is a Blogger, Podcast Host, and published Author.

She has inspired me to transition Larry and Birdie from kibble to raw and fresh food over the past month. Both dogs are LOVING the switch and I have noticed a difference in their energy level, their excitement at meal times, and the size of their poop!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberly recently.

Kimberly Gauthier and her dogs

What inspired you to become a raw food feeder, blogger, and educator?

I switched my dogs to a raw diet because my dog, Rodrigo, wasn’t doing well on a kibble diet.  He had allergies and digestive issues, and he developed problems with his joints at two years of age. His veterinarian predicted that he wouldn’t live long past his third birthday, and after two years of trying to figure this out, I decided to try raw feeding because I heard that other dogs were cured by switching to fresh food.  It worked.  Rodrigo lived another 10-1/2 years.
 
Becoming a blogger was a different story. I’ve always kept journals, starting as a teen. I read a book, The Broke Diaries, that inspired me to become a blogger. I’ve written about photography, content creation, and now dogs.  I launched Keep the Tail Wagging in 2011. I narrowed by focus to food in 2014 in an effort to pay forward the help others had given me when I was trying to learn how to feed my dogs a raw diet.


What was your experience previously?

I had no experience. I learned to do everything by asking questions, reading books, watching YouTube videos, and joining helpful online communities.


How long have you been a raw food feeder?

I have been feeding my dogs a raw diet for 11 years in April 2024.

Kimberly prepared a raw food meal.


What difference has it made with each of your dogs?

I credit raw feeding for extending Rodrigo’s life, giving me more time than predicted, with Sydney and Scout, both of whom developed cancer. It’s also helping me keep my current dogs and cat healthy. My cat eats freeze-dried food, while my dogs, Zoey (10), Apollo (5), and Bella (1-1/2), eat raw food.


Please tell me something unique about each of your dogs.

Zoey has taken on the role of my therapy dog, and she can pick up that I’m about to have an anxiety attack before I feel it coming on. I’ve learned to pay attention to her cues, which has saved me a lot of stress.
Zoey.
 
Apollo loves everyone. I took him to the dog park once, and when I was ready to leave, I couldn’t find him – he was at the other end, sitting in a circle of young girls as they petted and hugged him.  He was in heaven, so we stayed longer.
Apollo
Bella is our newest addition. She’s an anxious GSD/Husky/Heeler mix that loves dinosaur and donut toys, and playing soccer. I’m working with her daily on confidence building and hope to take her hiking this summer. 
Bella


What are three tips you suggest to begin feeding your dog a raw diet?

Three tips I recommend for anyone interested in transitioning their dog to raw is to…
 
1. Discuss your needs and budget at your local independent pet store. The owner or manager will help you choose the right commercial raw brand for your dogs, allowing you to transition immediately.
 
2. Take your time figuring out what brands and proteins suit your dog. Also, take the time to look for other resources, especially if you’d like to begin feeding a DIY diet.
 
3. Follow people on social media and join groups that resonate with you; some pretty passionate people may make raw feeding overwhelming. If this isn’t for you, continue looking for people who don’t stress you out. This should be fun. My favorite raw feeding group is Raw Feeding 101 on Facebook.
 
I wrote a book available for $4.99 on Amazon that shares my experience as a raw feeder and how I feed my dogs.

Raw Feeding From A to Z


What does a typical meal look like?

A typical raw meal for my dogs includes approximately 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat (half of which is liver). I include a base mix (dehydrated vegetables, fruits, seeds, and other natural ingredients) and canned boiled oysters (for zinc) to cover all necessary nutrients.
Raw food meal.

How do you source your ingredients?

I source my ingredients from a local raw food co-op, ethnic markets, outlet grocery stores, restaurant supply stores, and local farmers/homesteaders.


Are there any myths or misconceptions you’d like to address?

Many myths and misconceptions about raw feeding scare people away from the diet. For instance, if you can feed a chicken or turkey dinner, then you can feed raw without making yourself sick. Also, dogs have properties in their saliva that kill bacteria, and their stomach is highly acidic, making it an unpleasant place for bacteria to set up shop.  Homemade raw diets can be nutrient-deficient if the pet owner doesn’t take the time to learn how to formulate a diet properly —this is why I use a base mix; it takes the worry away. 


Is there any chance of contamination? If so, how do you avoid it?

Contamination is possible if you don’t clean your tools, dishes, and surfaces.  I wipe down my countertops after feeding the dogs or preparing meals. I run my dogs’ dishes through the dishwasher each evening. And I wash my hands thoroughly.

What are the health benefits of a raw food diet?

Raw feeding has many health benefits, including:
  • Reducing allergies
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving gut health and nutrient absorption
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Supporting skin & coat health
  • Improving breath and dental health

 

Kimberly doing a podcast.

– Kimberly Gauthier, CPCN
Easy Raw Feeding Tips: KeepTheTailWagging.com
Thank you Kimberly!
I hope you enjoyed this interview!
–  Julie Austin