My dogs eat better than I do…
This morning I whiled away an idle Sunday morning grinding and chopping vegetables and fruits for my dogs.
I pre baked sweet potatoes and squash. I diced Dandelion greens and Colt’s Foot (most of which I gathered from my ill tended yard and gardens, I’m ashamed to admit, but at least it’s a cheap and chemical free source of food). I chopped melon, ground it, and drained it in a colander. I put twenty pounds of carrots through my long suffering food grinder. I cored and cubed apples. I mashed bananas. I crushed garlic cloves. I seeded and chopped summer squash and zucchini and cucumber.
Then I mixed it all up, added fresh, organic cider vinegar, and packed it into my freezer.
Next week, I’ll pick up my fresh order of turkey necks, hearts and livers, and 40 pounds of lean ground, grass fed beef. I’ll stop and pick up two dozen free range eggs, two cartons of organic, pro-biotic yogurt, a carton of unsulphured molasses, some nutritional yeast, and six cans of water packed jack mackerel (to go along with the three whole salmons I have in the freezer, that will get poached tomorrow night).
Then I’ll spend another whole day chopping, grinding, mixing, weighing, batching and freezing. No one ever said feeding dogs raw was easy…
Oh, and what did I eat this morning? Two cups of coffee and a caramel rice cake.
Yup, it’s true – my dogs eat better than I do. Maybe I should just eat their food – after all, it’s not like this is commercial dog food, with its long list of scary and nauseating ingredients. I know where every ingredient I feed my dogs came from, and with the exception of the canned fish, all of it is as organic and chemical free as I can possibly buy. There’s no mystery animal parts, no chemical preservatives, no greasy fats sprayed on top of it it.
Of course, if you ask the AVMA, or the pet food industry, I’m a bad dog owner. I don’t care about my dog’s health, since I’m willing to risk their very existence by feeding them this home made swill of mine. I’m not a professional, you see – not like the folks over at Menu Foods, for example, or the American Veterinary Association.
According to all of them, people like me are conducting poorly planned science experiments on our dogs, feeding them this, feeding them that, and none of it ‘complete and balanced’, those buzzwords of the commercial dog food manufacturers.
In spite of this, I’ve managed to muddle through almost twelve years of raw feeding, with some experimentation here and there and some changed recipes. I’ve gone from using pre made mixes, to feeding whole raw parts (that didn’t work so well on most of my dogs – too much food bolting and choking), and now to my home made raw stew.
The basics are pretty simple, really –
50% or so turkey necks and fish with bones (salmon, sardines and mackerel, primarily)
5% liver, kidney, giblets (organ meats)
25% muscle meat (beef, sometimes mutton or pork)
10% ground vegetables, fruit and greens
the rest is a mix of eggs, dairy, nutritional yeast, molasses, yogurt and cider vinegar
We also feed leftovers from our meals – scrambled eggs, roast meat and chicken, pastas, salad, etc.
Somehow, in spite of the fact that we’re breaking all the ‘rules’ given to us by the big pet food companies on how we’re supposed to be feeding our dogs, myself and the rest of the raw feeding world are managing to raise healthy, disease free dogs and cats, with no melting bones or salmonella poisoning or other horrific complications.
Bear that in mind, the next time you read some scare tactic inducing piece of big brother comissioned reporting on the ‘risks’ of raw food for your pets.
oh my GAWD… RAW? How could you do that to your poor babies! Don’t you know that AAFCO says you MUST feed their kibble that shows that only a small percentage of dogs will die on it? That their tests prove nutritionally complete foods mean that only and insignificant number of puppies didn’t survive on it (not thrive.. survive.. let’s point out the difference)
Maybe you could improve your diet too! Eat Kibble!
Fuzzy Logic’s last blog post..Just gimme some chips and I’m set
I hear your “pain”, I also spent my day yesterday chopping up meat, veggies, chicken bits… But there is nothing more satisfying than seeing my frenchies so happy with their food, eating and enjoying their meals. :))
I’ve been feeding raw for some months now, but I am extremely satisfied. I haven’t made it to a good model yet, my Frenchies still choke a little on their bones, it’s very very messy and they don’t enjoy their mashed veggies that much, even though I try to mix it with beef.
I may start giving them ground beef instead of little pieces, I think that would be interesting around here… Do you only feed turkey necks as RMB’s? Besides chicken necks, I have also been adding chicken feet and sometimes parts of chicken backs and the occasional chicken wings.
Anyway, I’m still learning and a little overwhelmed, but I can honestly say that kibble will be kept to a minimum at our home, I’m just unsure about the future puppies we may have here, concerned about the baby frenchies at their forever homes and their dry and evil kibble.
Hi Vivianne —
Be careful with Frenchies and whole chicken parts. No matter what the ‘one size fits all’ feeding experts will tell you, not EVERY dog can eat meat on the bone. There have been cases of Frenchies who’ve choked on whole chicken pieces. I would suggest grinding your raw chicken, and just giving the occasional raw, meaty beef bone for recreational chewing.
I grind all of my turkey necks and parts – I’m not willing to risk choking, and, as you said, feeding whole parts is a mess, and rather unwieldy when feeding 10+ dogs.
I don’t think all kibbles are evil. In fact, I have two dogs who won’t eat raw, and they’re both thriving on Orijen. I think we as breeders have to accept that we can’t control what puppy buyers will feed – we can only try to guide people to a food we feel is acceptable.
If we only give puppy buyers ‘raw or else!!!!!’ type options, they’ll be afraid to come to us for advice on kibble or other options, but that won’t stop them from feeding it. Having options is all most people ask for. Since a lot of pet owners are unwilling to try raw, we have to steer them to an escalating scale of foods they might be willing to try. I arranged my list in a sort of ‘good, better, best’ list, which you can see here – https://www.bullmarketfrogs.com/files_/brandswerecommend.html
Where do you get your meat products from? I have been looking around and am having a hard time finding any appropriate poultry other than chicken wings. I am in a new area and have not been able to find a butcher shop.
I live in a farming community, and I’m lucky enough to be pretty much in the epicenter of the organic farming region for Ontario. I’ve found a lot of local sources by attending events and shopping at the local co op and whole food markets.
There are also several groups on Yahoo for people who feed their pets raw. Try this link::
Hi Carol, great tips. Thanks so much! I am researching to purchase a grinder at the moment, and meanwhile I’ll keep the raw meaty bones to chicken necks, which they really enjoy and don’t have any problems chewing on and eating.
I also follow many French Bulldogs lists on yahoo (I’ve seen you around also), and have been reading a lot about Raw Feeding at these lists. Unfortunately, in my country we only have the most known kibble brands. I haven’t had any luck in finding food such as Orijen, as some foreign breeders have advised, so the answer I found was to raw feed. We don’t have any pre-made meat patties companies around either.
I realize that not every owner can have the spare time to feed raw, and I understand that they can have tons of other reasons not to feed raw (especially their vets telling them it’s bad for their dogs), that is why I am still weighing my options.
There is a lot of confusion about a species appropriate diet for dogs. The “why” is that we have crossed the line between science and prolific industry propaganda. Since the 1950s vast sums of money have been poured into shaping public perception because the profits are enormous. Not to mention that “we the people” have a tendency towards anthropomorphism, and convenience is a driving force.
For unbiased scientific information see the article:
http://rawfed.com/myths/standards.html hi whoever said about the AVFCO thing this web explains the myth behind it along with lots of other raw food myths. VERY WORTH LOOKING AT TAGHT ME ALOT ABOUT RAW. ( owner of one 10yr old chi jack cross getting rescue pup soon and starting dog behaviour and nurition college soon)
the only qustion i have left about raw feeding is if dogs are carnivours why do they eat veg? the web i posted above also says that wolves would eat the the stomac wall but not the stomac? if anyone can anser this i wold love to know x txs xxx
I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.
I think your menu for your pets is just fine and you don’t have to be a professional at all! And yes, they eat way better than you do! Haha