Raw Feeding- Puppies, Kittens and Big Babies- Learning as we go
We took a stab (see what I did there? 😛 ) at raw feeding about a decade ago, but we just did not have enough heart in it (sorry, can’t help myself! lol) Quite frankly, I just felt too lacking in knowledge to do right by my babies. I was terrified that I would not get it right, and nothing is more important to me than the health and well being of my Rotties save my own children. After more than 2 decades of floundering (yup, did it again 😛 ) around a bunch of different foods and not being completely satisfied with any of them, and disappointed more often than not, we decided to take the plunge again. We switched all of our carnivores cold turkey (ok, that one was just ‘pun’ishable! lol That’s what happens when you are surrounded by kids all day!) and have not looked back. Only been on raw a couple of weeks, so I am by absolutely no means anywhere near an expert or even novice at it yet, but thus far, I cannot tell you how much I love it! I will try to post some updated information as we learn.
There are a few different types of raw feeding- some that include fruit and veggies, some that don’t. The one we went with is called prey-model and it is essentially 100% meat or meat products (eggs, etc.). We feed approximately 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs- kidney, spleen, brain, pancreas, etc., green tripe (fresh cow stomach), and about 10% bone with the balance muscle meat. I say approximately because we strive for balance over time- today might be fish day, tomorrow whole rabbits, etc. The key is variety- there needs to be at least 5 different meat sources a week. We also adjust the organ and bone content based on the dog’s stool. If it is too dry or chalky, then too much bone; if it is too loose, then more than likely, too much organ. We include loads of fresh eggs, courtesy of our flock- they get guinea eggs, peafowl eggs, turkey eggs, duck eggs and chicken eggs- all freshly laid. We are still learning as we go, and I still do not, by any means, consider myself an expert, however, I do love how the dogs look and act on raw and I LOVE how everything “comes out”– a fraction of the waste (poop). There is still loads of controversy surrounding raw, so again, I want to stress that nothing on my website should take the place of veterinary medicine or what is best for your individual pet. I offer what we do as information only and encourage everyone to do their own independent research.
We went to 3 different butchers to get all of the cuts and types of meat we needed for our pack, hauling all of it (in multiple trips) in a Prius! We turned our garage into essentially a butcher shop. Liliana was my sous-chef, and frankly, my right hand in everything. We chopped, quartered, ground and filleted hundreds if pounds of whole chickens, catfish, polluck fish, perch fish, salmon, chicken liver, chicken gizzards, over 40 pounds of chicken hearts, beef kidneys, beef spleen, beef whole trachea, beef lung, beef heart, pork ribs, pork tongue, whole rabbits, turkey wings and ground goat *whew* I think that is about it…
Beef heart- it is much bigger and heavier than you would think. Even though heart is an organ, it is considered a muscle meat when calculating your organ percents.
Whole rabbits- minus head, feed and skin.
Green Tripe- when I had the kids help me carry this inside, they all thought this was some furred animal! lol Green tripe is the stomach of a cow. This is an excellent source of digestive enzymes and probiotics and each dog gets a couple of chunks a day.
That face says it all! I lost my ability to smell more than a decade ago. I am actually allergic to cats and dogs and was told as a child I could never have an inside pet (clearly I listened, I do not have “a” pet 😉 ) Between the chronic sinus infections and sinus surgeries- well, lets just say, for once, I am not missing my sense of smell! Green tripe is referred to as “green” not because of the color, as it is more brownish than green- but rather because green tripe is not yet washed/bleached. People also eat tripe, however they eat the bleached/washed version. Everyone in the know will readily tell you that green tripe has its own special level of nasty smell. Even the lady at the butcher, who does this for a living, was gagging as she bagged it for me! I do miss the smell of brownies and Christmas dinner in the oven or even simple things like roasted chicken. Not being able to smell changes how everything tastes as well- think of how everything tastes to you when you have a cold. However, for once, I think it was absolutely a blessing that I missed out being able to smell this ‘treat.”
The butcher gave me the trachea, lungs and heart all attached! The kids of course thought this was amazing!
The lungs are massive- bigger than the cutting board!
Chopped lung- yum!
Whole chicken quarters, freshly ground round, a whole egg (shell and all) just laid, and a bit of salmon oil. Breakfast of Champions (no, literally…. this is the breakfast our multi-country and international champions will be having 😉 )
Waiting for everyone to sit politely rather than beg enthusiastically 😉 Geneva looks annoyed waiting for everyone else to get it together 😉 lol
Num, num, num
When you are stuffed and tired, but the food is just so good that you can’t stop eating…
The stray mama kitty came up to visit the puppies <3 I thought she was just going to sit up on the sink counter and talk to them and thought that would make a cute photo, but to our surprise, she just jumped down and greeted everyone! Even with a whole herd of puppies came up to say hello, contemplate nursing, and give puppy kisses, she was so relaxed and chill <3 The puppies were also awesome! They were curious, not at all intimidated, but still so gentle <3 Gold stars all the way around!
Raw is not just for the puppies! We have never fed any of our rescues any less quality than we feed our ‘high dollar’ dogs- they are all His creatures <3 And frankly, the rescues need all the extra nutrients the most. Of course kitties too 😉 I had SOOO much fun watching these guys eating raw for the first time. It definitely brought out their inner tigers 😉 If there was any wonder whether or not the kitties would take to the raw, it took the kitties about 0.1 seconds to dispel that fear!