Posts tagged with ‘Diet’

I’ve switched the dogs back to Instinct!

Since I can’t get discounts on ACANA anymore, I’ve switched the dogs back to Instinct. It’s so weird seeing those tiny kibbles in their bowls, though. ACANA kibbles are enormous compared to instinct kibbles!

Sammy eating a turkey neck.

Plato EOS Grain-Free Turkey Treats

We sell these treats at the veterinary hospital where I work and I thought I’d give them a try since Sammy has such a sensitive digestive tract.

Raw Feeding

So I’ve decided I will feed raw in my dogs’ crates and occasionally outdoors for minimal hassle (I’m a lazy dog person, I don’t want to mop my kitchen every time I give the dogs raw meat).

One of the LVT’s I work with feeds raw to her Border Collies and told me about a product called Thieves that she uses to clean up after her dogs once they’ve eaten raw meat. I believe it contains all natural ingredients and is non-toxic to pets, which is one of my main concerns.

I’ll probably buy a bottle and try it out. It is a multi-use product that kills bacteria and prevents the growth of unwanted microorganisms.

Where do raw fed dogs eat? →





So I normally feed my dogs their kibble upstairs in their room, but obviously I can’t do that with raw because I have carpet in all corners of the house except the bathroom and kitchen. How do people feed raw indoors? Do they just let their dogs eat raw meat on the kitchen floor, and if so, what…

Mila is picky about surfaces so I do let her eat on the carpet. I bring in a large towel, put those plastic placemats (a new thing I added because the towels get gross quick), and let her have at it. If it falls off the placemat, no big. Those go in the laundry anyway after I soak it in vinegar water.

The first few times I had to hover (chill out a few steps away) a bit just so she doesn’t take it off the towel but now she’s learned to stay put.

Sam and Helo like to move around and shift positions when they are eating something for awhile. Helo scarfs down his food so he might actually stay on a towel during his meal, but Sammy will most definitely want to take her food somewhere where she can lie down and chew for awhile.

Tonight I gave them turkey necks served in individual bowls. Helo stayed in one spot, but Sam eventually started moving around the kitchen with her turkey neck. She kept trying to go into the living room, but I blocked her into the kitchen (which has two doorways). 

I was thinking about getting a shower curtain, but I’m not sure how I would clean it after each meal. Maybe a shower curtain, plus towels, plus place mats? I’m such a germaphobe so I don’t want to take any chances of having bacteria growing on the kitchen floor.

I mopped with a very small amount of bleach mixed with very hot water, then ran another hot water mop over the floor. Hopefully that’s fine for now, but I’d hate to have to mop every single time I give the dogs raw food, mostly due to time constraints.

We used to have a large plastic sheet thing (it’s a large black heavy vinyl… thing) which acts a lot like a shower curtain. Mila hated eating on it mostly because of her surface preference. But if Sam and Helo don’t mind tile, you can probably do towel/shower curtain in the kitchen. :) Mila just always tries to bring it onto the carpet when I fed her on tile. Oh, there’s also people who feed in the crate so the meat doesn’t go anyway and it’s just a quick wipe. :D

I had a spray bottle of vinegar water (I was wary of using commercial chemicals since she will be licking off the surface next meal time) that I wipe it with after she eats.

I feed their kibble in their crates and thought about feeding their raw in their crates, too. But what would I clean the crate pan with? You mentioned vinegar water a few times. I’m a little new at the whole meat bacteria thing, so what exactly is the benefit of vinegar water? Would it be just as easy to throw the pans in the tub and scrub them down with anti-bacterial Dawn dish soap perhaps? That would be pretty convenient for me.

I’m not exactly comfortable using any bleach on their crate pans because they both lick their crate pans like crazy. I mean, I could always use a super, super diluted bleach but if I can avoid bleach that would be preferably. Sam especially has a paw licking issue due to her allergies so I don’t want to risk her licking any kind of bleach, even diluted bleach, off of her paws.

(Source: candidcanines)

Sammy eating a raw turkey neck.

Sam and Helo eating turkey necks tonight.

Picked up some gizzards and livers.

I think I’m ready to put the dogs back on raw! I’ve gathered a collection of chicken backs, chicken thighs, turkey necks, chicken gizzards, chicken livers, and eggs (which I will only give once a week). I’m either going to do raw in the morning and Acana in the evening, or alternate every other day.

Since Helo has never been on raw food and Sammy hasn’t been on raw food in a couple of years, I will start with a little chicken and stick with chicken until I see that their stool is normal.

I haven’t really decided if I want to follow the BARF diet or the PMR diet. Feel free to send me your input! I was going to try the 80% muscle meat with fat, 10% meaty bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organ and just see how it goes. Then later if I decide to add in some vegetables and fruits, it’ll be no problem.

Eight chicken backs and four turkey necks later…

Managed to get home safely with the loot. My dogs are going to be thrilled when they find out I picked up some chicken backs and turkey necks for them! I actually haven’t fed any raw foods to them in over 2 years!!! Helo has actually never even experienced raw food, sadly. I was thinking about implementing it back into their diet, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way. I realize that raw meat digests at a different rate than kibble, so I’m not sure if I should do raw one day, then kibble the next, or perhaps do raw in the morning, and kibble in the evening?

Who knows… I’ll figure something out. I might even go full raw, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. My biggest fear with going full raw has always been that I might not feed them enough, or that the diet may not be properly balanced with the right vitamins and nutrients. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if my dogs weren’t getting all that they need in their diet. I’ve just always felt more comfortable feeding a good quality grain-free kibble like Instinct or Acana simply because these companies have done the research and seen the positive results from their foods.

Then again… Big companies like Purina have been funding research for decades and they still produce and sell terrible quality foods because they can, and because there’s still a market for it.

I once got into a debate about dog food with a very reputable veterinarian in my area who says he and many other veterinarians who have been in practice for a very long time believe that this whole “grain-free” hype was brought about by newer pet food companies who were looking for a way to stand out among companies that were already on the top of the market (like Purina). Whether or not that’s true, I have personally seen the results of a grain-free fed pet compared to one that eats lower quality foods. The physical difference alone is enough to sell me on grain-free foods. How can anyone argue that grain-free isn’t better when you can actually SEE the improvements?

Anyway, I’m getting a little off topic. I’ve always been wary about going full raw because I’ve met some raw fed dogs that did not look nearly as healthy as my grain-free kibble fed dogs. Maybe they were doing it wrong? But I guess that’s why I’ve always been a little cautious. I’ll make an effort to explore raw foods more over the next year! I need to find a basic guide, or recipe to follow for a meal for a 30lb dog and a 50lb dog and it would need something in it to help keep their stool firm. Sam has a sensitive stomach and can end up with loose stool fairly easily which is why she ends up needing to have her anal glands expressed from time to time.

Champion Pet Foods


Dogs are looooving Acana just as much as Orijen. Whew, get to save a few bucks! 4-5 bags a month of dog food adds up.

Yay, that’s awesome! I am planning to switch to Acana from Nature’s Variety Instinct. I’ve been feeding the NV Instinct for over 3 years and have been satisfied with it. The dogs love it, and I like that I can rotate from rabbit to duck to lamb… I fed Orijen to a wolfdog we rescued, but I didn’t see a reason to put my dogs on Orijen because the Instinct has always served them well and was $60 versus $100 per 28lb bag. Acana isn’t easy to come by around here, but I was very pleased to find out that the veterinary hospital I work at sells it! Now that it’s easier to obtain, I was planning on transitioning the dogs in January.