You may have been able to tell by a few of my posts as of late, we got a puppy. My boy, Buckley.
He's a fun-loving, stunningly gorgeous, hilarious and stubborn Australian Shepherd Poodle mix and I'm COMPLETELY in love. So what's an all natural girl like me feeding an all-natural dog?
Raw meat, gently cooked vegetables and ALL whole foods. (in a nutshell) I'll get to more details on what I'm feeding, but first let me tell you why I'm feeding him this way.
Why Raw? Is it Safe?
Good quality raw meat for dogs is safe, and their native diet. Wild dogs have eaten raw meat for millions of years. Wolves (for which our canine counterparts are direct descendants), live in packs, hunt, kill and eat. They get mild worm infestations, but as they grow and thrive, their bodies become immune to the ill effects of these worms. They live, survive and thrive on raw meat. Worms are a problem for sure, they leach nutrition from your dog and while they're young this is extremely bad for their health. There are LOT'S of natural de-worming protocols (some of which are in this post). If you're in the Detroit area go check out The Pet Beastro on John R in Madison Heights, they have everything you need to de-worm (and feed) the natural way.
SO - As with humans, it's important to eat the diet that we've best evolved for. For dogs, it's pretty simple. Raw meat, bone, ligaments, organ meats and some veggies etc., are exactly what they should be eating. Anything else is like eating fast food every single day for your entire life. Live foods are vital, dead foods are DEAD.
Although raw meat, livers and ligaments seem pretty gross to us, (I know), DOG's LOVE IT! It is what they instinctually crave–And they get healthy on it too. I'm not saying you can't feed any kibble, but less is best. For now, we're skipping the kibble and doing all raw. That's my choice to try to get him as healthy as possible and as strong as he's growing SO fast.
There are good kibbles and bad kibbles and lots of in-between-kibbles too. Buckley is beating back the worms and yeast at this moment so we're feeding 100% raw meat, bone and whole foods for now. Go to my friend Jill's Website (or her storefront) for the very best all-natural dog food money can buy. She ships all over the country.
Fact: 99% of all dog problems could be fixed with proper diet.
Fact: 75% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
(LOL) And while I'm not certain what the percentage is of dog ailments that could be cured by feeding raw, I do know this: Feeding raw is the natural way for a dog to eat. With all the problems our dogs are afflicted with from thyroid problems to allergies to behavioral issues - they need to eat correctly (just like us), to be well both physically and mentally.
So if you're dog "has issues", consider the following regiment of food.
***Disclaimer, I'm NOT a dog expert, for that I defer to Jill at the Pet Beastro in Madison Heights, Michigan. She's good, DAMN good. And she's trained exactly as I am, except she works with animals. I don't know how much to feed your dog, for that you'll want to find ask a holistically minded vet exactly what to feed. But a good rule of thumb is the details below:
How much to feed (approximately):
- Toy Size Dog: 1-2 cups (of this type of food)
- Small Dog (up to 20 lbs) : About 3-4 cups
- Medium Dog (up to 40 lbs) : About 6-7 cups
- Large Dogs (up to 80 lbs) : About 8-9 cups
- Giant Dogs (80 lbs +) : About 9-10 cups
If you can see your dogs ribs sticking out, he's too thin. Puppies should be fed 3-4 times per day.
So, Food ...
Here's what I'm feeding the Buckmeister.
- Answers + Raw Food (this is a complex of raw meat, bone, vegetables, oils, and more.) If you want, you can just feed this food with nothing else. It gets more expensive this way, but they can live on just this if it's convenient for you.
- 1 Raw Egg Per Day for shiny coats (good quality only, free range, organic or better)
- Wheat Germ (ground up, great source of vitamin E)
- Heavy sprinkle of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (for the worms and other parasites)
- A handful of chopped up raw dandelion leaves (either from the garden or from the produce section, great source of vitamin C and it's a wonderful digestive food.)
- 2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast Flakes per day (high in B-Vitamins, this keeps away the bugs, fleas and improves their overall health)
- I rotate (a little over 1 cup per day) of any of the following Organic foods: Soaked (then cooked) Steal Cut Oatmeal, Cooked Potatoes, Cooked Sweet Potatoes, Cooked Carrots, (Soaked and Cooked) Amaranth, Barley, Millet, Brown Rice or other whole food.
- A few tsp per day of Raw Garlic (for worms and overall health)
- And yes, Raw Bones.
I put all this together in the morning and spoon it into a bowl for him 3 times per day (since he's a pup). The Answers + Raw Food is really easy as it comes in a milk carton frozen. You just thaw it and spoon it out into a glass container. I stick a bit of wax paper down in the carton to keep it extra fresh as it sits for almost a week in the fridge. After you've spooned the Answers plus into a container, add your veggies, add your dandelion, potatoes, rice, diatomaceous earth, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, eggs or whatever you've decided to use. Add a bit of water, stir and serve.
I usually add a generous sprinkle of more nutritional yeast before serving as it makes the food SO good for them. Think of it as a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on your spaghetti! I also add a bit of warm water to the concoction before I sit it down in front of him as refrigerator-cold food isn't good for their digestion.
More Supplements, Fruit Etc:
I'm also giving him coconut oil (adding a little liquid coconut oil to his food here and there). Also I let him drink whatever herbal tea I'm sipping, (usually with a bit of bone broth–which he LOVES). I've never seen a dog drink a liquid like my boy puts back bone broth. He practically slurps it out of the bowl. Here's a SUPER easy way to make bone broth.
He also likes bananas, apples, pears and so far raw coconut too. Although he does play with it a while before he actually eats it. Apparently grapes are toxic to dogs, so don't make that mistake.
I like to give him a couple of raw bones per week at least. I'll give them everyday if I have them. I always have him do it in the kitchen or outside as it gets pretty messy. You'll also want to keep an eye on them (especially at firstIt's amazing to watch a dog take down a raw chicken thigh. It gives you an idea how powerful their jaws really are! They need the bone to clean their teeth–and for adequate calcium for their bones, teeth and overall health. They can eat all different kinds of raw bones, but cooked bones are toxic and are a choke hazard as well. Yep, dogs in the wild eat bone, and so should your BFF. :)
I'm doing a worm protocol per the holistic vet too, (Dr. Leveque in Berkley, MI), which included a homeopathic remedy and an enzyme. This with the black walnut powder (again, I combine it with bone broth), raw garlic and diatomaceous earth ought to help me get the worms down to a minimum. I know that they will never really go away completely, and that's ok. He's a dog, he's evolved to get some worms and if fed correctly, keep them in check. It's when a dog is fed poorly, and has worms, that they get into trouble.
Enjoy the Process, Make Mistakes – And LEARN from them: We don't know what we don't know.
I HAVE made mistakes already. One day I fed him too much venison and he puked ALL over the carpet. When trying a new meat for your dog, tread lightly and feed on the short side just to make sure it's well tolerated. If you're trying to switch your dog over to a whole food diet, begin by adding whole foods to their kibble, slowly increasing the ratio of whole food to kibble as you go. Do your best and learn all you can. Pick up a copy of Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health For Dogs & Cats on Amazon.com. This book helped tremendously!
I'm enjoying the process of raising a good doggy-boy. He's happy and healthier by the minute, growing like a weed and bringing me a whole LOT of joy. I'd love for him to stick around as long as possible. I'm told by my breeder that dogs that are minimally vaccinated and that eat raw can live 20-25 years (similar to cats). And that's my goal here. A happy, healthy dog that lives to a ripe old age with a good quality of life.
Cheers to your dog's health, and to yours~! Thanks for reading!