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Bruce Goes Raw

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bruce Goes Raw
There is a big debate about feeding dogs raw.  Some say dogs will get sick because of bacteria from raw meat while others insist dogs are designed to eat this way.  There is a plethora of resources available to anyone who is interested in exploring this method of feeding.  I've done my research on commercial pet food and after doing so, decided to put my dog (and past dogs) on a higher quality (more expensive) commercial food.  But still, I just wasn't satisfied that my dog was getting the right nutrients.  Or maybe he was getting enough to live and still enjoy life, but I wanted him to have a natural diet with more options and varieties to keep him interested and happy with his own food.

I've spoken to dog owners who feed their dogs raw and am amazed at the changes it has made in their dog's life.  Everything from allergies to energy level has been affected.  After reading books authored by both dog owners and veterinarians, I've learned that a raw diet is not only safe but is highly applauded.  Of course, some dogs cannot handle a raw diet, so their owners keep them on home-cooked, which is still way better than commercial dog food.  I'd even considered putting Bruce on a home-cooked diet instead of raw just because raw seemed so intimidating.  But alas, after years of debating whether or not to put Bruce on a raw diet, I've decided to make the switch. 

Here is a simple break-down of how to go raw.  I've just started, so I'm only knowledgeable on what works for my dog.  I'll make sure to provide links to resources at the bottom so you can get more detailed information!

What Goes Into A Raw Diet?
(muscle and organ, but way more muscle than organ)
  • Use variety!  Chicken, beef, lamb, turkey.  I'm staying away from pork because it seems that this meat is harder for dogs to digest, though some people have managed to make this work. 
  • The purer the meat, the better.  Organic or chemical-free meat is the best because you don't have to worry about drugs or hormones will be consumed by your dog.
  • Do not use spoiled meat!  Use meat that you would eat. 
  • Once the dog is done eating, take the bowl away.  Do not allow the meat to sit and the dog to come back to it later. 

Raw Meaty Bones
  • Knuckle bones, chicken/turkey necks and backs, wings, drumsticks, etc.  These are excellent and needed for calcium!  They also are great for dental health. 
**Don't ever give cooked or frozen bones!**

Eggs and Dairy
  • Raw eggs.  Use hormone-free, drug-free, free-range eggs.  Although many people fear salmonella poisoning, this isn't commonly found to be a problem with dogs.  If your dog normally has problems with digestion, cooking the egg will be just fine.
  • Cottage cheese and plain yogurt are wonderful sources of protein.

Pastas and Rice
Yes, pastas and brown rice is great for your dog.  Get wise on how much to give and you can have a wonderful variety for your dog!

Veggies, Legumes, Herbs, and Beans
These are important as there are many vitamins that are offered by them.  Some may need to be cooked while some can be fed raw.  Always be aware of veggies and herbs that are poisonous for your dog. 

Supplements, egg shells, etc.  These are needed to provide anything that the diet doesn't contain.  Some raw feeders don't utilize supplements because the diet they offer is well-balanced.  Use your own judgment.  Do some research on how much to give your dog so you don't overdose! 

How Do You Put Them Together?
  • More meat, 1/4-1/2 veggies, and just a teeny bit of herbs.  For Bruce, I use 1 cup of meat, 1/4 cup of veggies, a few dashes of herbs, a raw egg, and a tablespoon of cottage cheese!  Then I give him a dessert-- chicken wings or necks.
  • I use a food processor (cheap on at Walmart for $10) to chop up the food, then I mix them all together and make a big glop of everything.  It looks disgusting. 
  • Serve the food at room temperature for a smoother digestion.  Cold food upsets tummies.  You can add a little warm water or even put the food in a Ziploc bag and heat it up a little in some warm-hot water.  Don't get it too hot, though.  You want the food to stay live with vitamins and nutrients!

Can I Store Them?
Yes!  It'll be best to keep the next two days' supply in the fridge and freeze everything else.  You should freeze each meal separately so you don't waste any.  Once thawed, you can't refreeze.

Hopefully this doesn't seem as intimidating to you as it did to me.  It isn't as crazy as I thought it would be.  And don't worry about getting every nutrient and vitamin in one meal every time.  As long as the diet balances out over the course of a week, you'll be fine. 

I'll be posting progress updates on Bruce! 

A Few Online Sources
The Dog Guide
Raw Feeding FAQ
Raw Food Diet For Dogs

Suggested Reading-- I found the books to be best for me

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats - The Ultimate Diet
by Kymythy R. Schultze, CCN, AHI

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats
by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn

Dogs On The Web

Papa Dog

Papa Dog's story is beautiful and enlightening.  Saved from death on the streets, he was brought into a warm home. 
Then one day while I was roaming in traffic, I became very weak and had to lay down in the middle of the road, where I almost got run over. All of a sudden, an angel appeared and she helped get me out of the road. She didn't want me to get hurt, or something far worse. My angels name is Kayla, aka mommy.
Papa's saviors opened their hearts and their home to him, wanting to never let him hurt again.
She knew something was wrong ...
Papa Dog is in need of your help!  Due to his rough life, he was left with many medical issues.  His new family is faced with the financial challenge of getting him better.  They are so close to reaching their goal!
We are just a little over $100 to our goal to get Papa his injections. I am so thankful!! What a relief to know that Papa is going to soon be heart worm free. Thank you so very much.

Last week was a rough one....
Please go to his site and donate-- they don't need much more, but the quicker you can help the better! 
Talkin' About Walkin'
The weather has been beautiful the past few weeks.  The family and I have been taking advantage of it by going for nice long walks!  Because we live in an apartment (a teeny one), we make it a point to stretch Bruce's legs as much as we can.  And walks (or runs) do just that.
I just love going for walks because it's peaceful, the dog absolutely digs it, and I get a chance to see some nature!  The kids can poke holes in the ground with sticks and do boy things like scream and run.  Plus, I get to take some pretty awesome pictures!
When you're strapped for space, get that leash and grab your camera.  Put nature in your life!
Cute Bruce Moment
I was trying to do my homework the other night.
Sitting at my desk.
School book on my lap.
Bruce quietly comes over.
He puts his big head on my book.
And stares at me with large brown eyes that say
I was trying to do my homework the other night.
But I rubbed ears instead.
And I massaged a giant puppy.
And I kissed a nose.
And he was happy.
Thanks for reading today's post!
I write not for myself but for Bruce and others like him
who sit behind bars waiting for a home.
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