Wonder what a raw diet may look like?
The raw meat on the left below is for 16kg puppy Jeddah (in photo) and on the right for 25kg senior dog Baxter. This will last them three days. As Jeddah is still growing, he is getting more food per kilogram of body weight, than Baxter.
A species appropriate diet of raw meat and bones is bio-available, full of whole food natural nutrition and is exciting to eat!
Did it occur to you that chewing raw meaty bones is stimulating, entertaining, mood enhancing and also a form of stress release?
This time Baxter and Jeddah are getting a chicken carcass each, organs (liver, kidney, heart, sweetbreads and giblets – it’s not easy to get much else here in New Zealand unless you ‘grow your own’), green tripe, pilchards aka sardines, eggs, muscle meat and chicken feet. Sometimes I add ground up raw vegies.
The boys are fed twice a day. Their stools (poo) are mostly regular and firm and because they’re only given what they can digest; they are also small in comparison to kibble fed dogs. The smell is also much kinder to the nose!
Important guidelines for feeding raw bones:
- The golden rule : NEVER feed COOKED bones as they are prone to splintering and causing internal damage … so please watch out that bones at barbeques are not thrown to your dog.
- Raw meaty bones to chomp and swallow are recommended for dogs eating a raw diet only due to the developed acidity of their stomach.
- To not serve raw meaty bones to dogs eating kibble only (kibble promotes an alkaline environment which is not conducive to digesting bones. It will also make your puppy more susceptible to the bacteria when feeding raw meat products having a less acidic system). An exception is giving very large bones with lots of meat on to kibble eaters as entertainment, as they won’t be swallowing the bone e.g. a cow femur. Once they hit the bone best to remove from dog as this weight bearing bone is very hard on teeth when they can break. Removing the femur bone applies to raw fed dogs also.
- Dogs to always be supervised when given bones to eat. Learning pet first aid which will include the Heimlich maneuver is recommended.
- Choose a size and shape of bone that matches your dog’s size i.e. large enough that they have to chew on it and cannot swallow whole. Also round bones are a risk for getting stuck in a dogs throat e.g. a tail bone. I know because Baxter nearly choked on one – incredibly scary. I thought it was big enough that he’d have to chomp it up a bit, but he didn’t.
- Puppies can be taught to chew by holding onto the bone – this forces them to have to chomp through it before swallowing (rather than hoovering down whole as I experienced with Jeddah – was most alarming. In this case a chicken foot!)
As nerve-wracking as some of this may sound, once you know the above you know how to care for your dog better. Better to be informed and prepared than ignorant and sorry.
Some of the Benefits
Your dog’s happiness and excitement being served raw whole food from quality protein, that smells and looks good with a variety of tastes and textures. It is an investment short and long term in their health as they’re getting natural bio-available vitamins and minerals and nothing man-made. It is also a real pleasure serving food of this quality and changeability rather than the same old day in day out that tends to be the case when feeding commercial products.
Baxter and Jeddah’s coats are shiny, eyes bright and clear, energy is great, fleas are never a problem (don’t use flea treatments) and worming is also not an obvious issue. They don’t have doggy breath, nor an unpleasant body odour. Interestingly, Jeddah came to us at 11 weeks of age, with that musty dog smell and was being fed a cheap supermarket brand kibble (respectfully, the best that could be afforded for him). On his raw diet, the smell disappeared never to return.
They are given worm treatments using food quality ingredients but generally they don’t show symptoms of being wormey. Jeddah was given a course of worm treatment drugs in his early days previous to staying with us, as they’re typically passed on from mother to her litter.
Is raw feeding for you and your dog/s?
There is loads of information on the internet to help with raw feeding – including that which contradicts the other, so if you feel you would benefit from a personalized leg-up to get you well on your way, I’m very happy to help you. Please follow this link where I can provide you with a Personalized Raw Feeding Guide where a ‘menu’ is created for one dog and is also full of helpful information to get you operating efficiently (like the information on feeding bones above) … all in one place! This Guide has the potential to help you develop more confidence and I’ve also included an extra list of quality resources so you can go on to build on your knowledge and experience.
Be prepared to be inspired by a growing community of dog lovers all over the world who are passionate about giving their dogs a lot of pleasure and natural nourishment. Also please be warned, it’s not as simple as pouring out a bag of kibble, walking away and that’s it until next meal. It’s a commitment to your precious family member/s that will depend on your time supporting their health and well-being in this way.
Our beautiful Baxter enjoying the morning sun.
Why listen to me? I …
… have raw fed exclusively (no commercially prepared food) for at least five and a half years, prior to this mostly a mixture of raw and processed believing I was doing the best I could for my dogs going back to the early 1990’s,
… was awarded a Certificate in Raw Dog Food Nutrition by DNM University (DNM = Dogs Naturally Magazine) from Canada in January 2018 (studied part time and online over about 7 months),
… have attended two annual Raw-Roundup Summits hosted by DNM – on line for 2.5 days, which attracts speakers such as passionate qualified holistic vets and more. Am attending the next one in March 2020. Join me – maybe I’ll see you in the chat room,
… am continually learning and adapting all the time as more information comes to light via reputable people as above,
… am a member of many Facebook groups on raw feeding, holistic dog health and general well-being for dogs as well as being a holistic practitioner myself.
As a perpetual student I’m currently enrolled in quite a few courses, including some from Cat Lane of The Possible Canine that I have yet to start, involving nutrition, herbalism, cancer care etc …. these are on my list to do.