Monday, October 20, 2008

Graduation, adoption, and the great food debate

Here is Danno. He graduates the program Friday. He has an adopter already interested in him and he will go home for a slumber party on Saturday. He and his handler have both done fabulous. He knows all the basics, can heel on and off leash, is crate trained and has a few tricks he can show off. He is also a very sociable boy and loves to make new friends. He will make a wonderful dog for his new family. I will miss him.

This is Chloie. She is an akita that is under consideration to be our next prison dog. (one of many) I thought she would get adopted quickly but the person interested in an akita came in and said "that isn't what he wanted". I have a suspicion he wanted something a bit larger and more macho. It's to bad because she is very friendly and has a great personality. His loss.

So the new raw diet is going well. With hunting season in full swing, I have access to LOTS of meat scraps that my wonderful husband is saving and grinding for me at the shop. Here it is all packaged as I get it. Fresh and ready for the freezer or fridge. (labels on the underside) I rented space at the shop in one of the extra freezers for the season because I can't fit it all in the two freezers we have.

This is a bag of liver he ground for me even though he hates working with it at all. I can't say I blame him. It is pretty gross. Next time I think I'll have him just cut it into pieces and freeze those, it will be easier. For now I have the liver bagged into smaller bags so I can mix it into the ground meat along with the calcium supplement I use. (Only because at the moment I am feeding no bones, calcium isn't needed if you feed actual bones.) Tip: when mixing meat use rubber gloves so the smell doesn't linger on your skin.

Check out my awesome B-day present. A scale is a must if you want to feed raw so you can keep an eye on proper amounts. I tried using a cheap food scale and it was way to inaccurate so be careful. Digital is the way to go. Thankfully I have a raw friend who is overseeing my progress. VBG (Thanks Lauren!)

I found this book to be excellent and highly recommend it. It will take much of the stress out of figuring out how to feed raw. It will also explain things simply in a way that makes sense. Just one of the many books out there on the subject.

I'm still giving Wellness Super 5 with whitefish for breakfast. I did switch Jenny over to that too and so far she is doing fine on it. Is raw for everyone? No, but for some of us it is a great way to know we are feeding our dogs a healthy diet more appropriate for their species. Think about it, what did dogs live on before kibble became popular? And I know I am not a nutritionist, but chances are neither is your vet. Think general practicioner vs specialist. Only my family doctor isn't selling a brand of food to us. Hmmm Food for thought?


So here is my speil: There are lots of options out there for our pets so they can eat healthy. Learning how to read labels and choosing wisely is up to us since they can't do it for themselves. The book "Food pets die for" by Ann Martin is a great start on learning what is really in pet foods. Ironicly she is against raw diets (she listens to vets) but it is still a good book about the industry. (I sound like a broken record about the book but it was SO eye opening for me!) For those that want to try raw but don't want to do the prep work or find it to gross there are some great companies out there doing raw diets. I use Primal myself when I don't get meat from hunting season. So far I am very pleased with the results I am getting and the satisfaction I have from knowing I am providing healthy meals to ALL my family members, not just the human ones. Actually considering all the additives in people food I think my dogs are eating better than the rest of us at present. For me it works, though I will try not to become the dog food nazi for others. Do what works for you and your dog. Just know there are many options out there. Don't take ANYONES word for it, even mine, do your own research and see for yourself. Good luck and good health.


Mr. Bison said...

Congratulations on switching the dogs to the raw diet. Pretty soon you'll get good at eyeballing the amounts the dogs need and won't need the scale. My dogs have been on the raw diet for 1.5 years. The transformation is incredible! Just having disintegrating poops is good enough for me :) Seriously, the sun dries out the poops and they crumble's fantastic! We buy in bulk, shop the ads, buy from a wholesaler in our area, or do group buys with raw food co-ops. For the past year we've started to prepared enough meals for two months and store them in glad tupperware sorts of containers. We spend a good 2 hours cutting, prepping the food, and storing them. It's took us a while to get into a groove and make the process easier. I like it because their meals are already set and mixed with organ blends, green tripe, and muscle meat. Takes the guess work out of every feeding. We just take out meals for a few days and let them defrost in the fridge. It's easy like feeding canned food because all you do is dump it in their bowls.

Anyhow, I just wanted to give you blogger support for the transition to the raw diet. It's very intimidating at first but gets easier the more you do it.

If I had any advice for you, it would be to sample any new species before buying a case of it. ha! I learned the hard way that Bison did not like Tilapia (fish) and that he wouldn't touch his food unless it was out of his bowl. For two months straight I picked out tilapia out of his container and saved it in a zip lock for my sister-in-law's dogs. Lesson learned!

(Bison's momma)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marie said...

Thanks for the tip. I plan on trying some chicken with bones soon and some deer ribs. I really want to add bones for their dental health. My two small dogs will eat anything, and I mean ANYTHING so no worries on that front for them. Jack on the other hand can be a snot somedays. Typical akita male behavior, let me check it and see if you are trying to poison me. LOL He ate all around some asparagus the other day. I had to pick some of it out too. Such a brat. :)