No more kibble!

Kelsey was adorable. She loved to SMILE! She had bad teeth and bad breath, her eyes had cateracts, and she suffered from constant itchy skin. During her life, Kelsey ate whatever mini kibble had the best advertising, but after 2 surgeries for bladder stones we changed her to Science Diet CD and she got fat. In September 2008 Kelsey suddenly began having violent seizures. Her decline was so fast, we put Kelsey to sleep less than two weeks later on her 13th birthday. The vet told us that Kelsey suffered from many maladies that probably stemmed from eating processed dog kibble. If I had only known that changing her diet could have changed her life!

Welcome to our new yorkie Juliet! Welcome Raw Meaty Bones Diet!
To learn about this style of pet feeding, go to the very first entry and work your way up.

Friday, September 25, 2009


As I mentioned before, I follow my heart.  It is rare that we have leftovers with two adult sons and a giant husband all under one roof, but Juliet does get the occasional table scrap.  I do not offer cooked bones - ever!!  She likes green beans and peas, but dislikes squash.  I won't offer her anything that may cause gas like cabbage.  Juliet LOVES baked pork chops and roasted chicken. Carrots, cooked or raw, are a big hit and so I toss Juliet a baby carrot every few days as a treat.  I put a half teaspoon of olive oil on her raw meaty dinners.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Snack Time!

Juliet enjoys a chicken foot. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Happy Healthy Dog

Juliet is now a year old. Her coat is still immature and also thin
for the hot Florida summer. It will thicken up soon. She is so active,
it's hard to catch her sitting still.

Squirrel!                                 Mirror friend.

My little water bug. We have to watch her around the inground pool.

Watching the July 4th parade.

Meeting a Great Dane.
Juliet wasn't afraid, she was barking, "Play with me!"  Goliath was very amused.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Preparing Juliet's Food

This is a prep day for about six weeks worth of food.   I remembered to take pictures after I had already bagged up the majority of the food. What you see in the bowl is about a week of food. You don't have to do all this quantity or variety, but I wanted to photo all the options. I made a large variety of meats, but many happy dogs enjoy a diet of strictly chicken and maybe some liver or gizzards. Choose hormone-free meats. Organic would be best, but the price is prohibitive.The teaspoon is in each pic to show size.

Chopping up the meat. The bowl is nearly empty, but here you see chicken wings, pork chops, turkey wings and necks, beef, and cornish game hens.

Offal: From the frozen tube - chitlins, cut into chunks, plus chicken liver and gizzards. Each baggie gets a chunk of chitlins, a slice of gizzard and a slice of liver.

I have a food scale that I used when dieting. It sure came in handy! I don't really need it anymore, as I know how much my dog eats. When I started bagging, the big white bowl was
overflowing with meat. I bagged 42 (2.5 oz) meals, placing 14 into a gallon ziploc bag for convenience. That's 10-1/2 pounds of meat! I splash on about a half tsp of olive oil on each meal. I need to get a bottle of fish oil. I'll still give the bit of olive oil, but will add a few drops of fish oil too.

A chicken foot or neck for breakfast or a snack.

Jules, asleep in my lap after a good meal.  Spoon for size...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Do I Serve Raw Meaty Bones?

   I am not a negative person, but it took me about eight weeks of pondering before I made the switch from Abundant Life's dog food to a raw diet. The whole time I planned and fretted and planned and worried. I was afraid this would be expensive and a lot of work! There wasn't a lot of information for owners of tiny dogs, which made successful feeding this way very doubtful. Negativity was overwhelming me and I decided to go ahead and jump into the deep end of the pool. We had run out of dry dog food and it was sink or swim!

   I learned that cooked bones splinter and cooked meats lose important nutrients and vitamins. Dogs should instead eat raw meat and bones. Bones are satisfying to crack into and crunch crunch crunch, plus they are a great source of calcium. The marrow is a healthy high-fat food. Pulling the meat from the bones "floss" teeth. Small dogs' teeth are typically crowded, so this is great for their teeth. Tearing, pulling, crunching all help continue good dental health. If your dog gulps his meal, make his food bigger than his head. He'll have to work harder to get his food, but he won't be able to swallow it whole.

   To round out the diet, your dog needs about 5% of his meal to be organ meat. Examples of organ meat would be liver, gizzards, hearts, and chitterlings (pig's intestines). I found the chitterlings (pronounced chitlins) at a meat market that carries more soul food than the typical grocer would offer. It comes in a plastic tube, just like breakfast sausage. Raw chitlins are white/grey and although frozen, slices easily. It does not smell wonderful, but shouldn't stink either. I also bought a packet of turkey necks, chicken necks, and a packet of chicken feet. Chicken's feet and necks don't offer a lot of meat, but are a fun treat for a small doggie to gnaw on.

   I went to the grocery store, bought a two-pack of all-natural cornish game hens,asmall packet of chicken wings,3 pork chops with bone, a container of chicken livers and gizzards, some ground turkey, and some stew beef. I also bought snack-sized baggies. The butcher at Albertson's was happy to cut the frozen game hens into chunks, six pieces each I think. Next, I went to a meat market in south Apopka (Central Avenue) and got a tube of chitlins.

   Once home, I got out a big bowl to put all the meat in, a cutting board, a hatchet-like meat cleaver, zip-loc baggies, and a food scale. I chopped up all the meat into servable sized hunks. Don't chop too small, because the pulling and tearing is healthy for the teeth. Example: Juliet is very small so I chop a chicken wing drummette in two pieces. It took about an 45 minutes to cut, bag, and weigh the food. You don't have to put the variety that I did in each bag, I just happened to buywhat was a good price, and added more meat that I already had in the freezer.

   They suggest to feed your dog 2%-3% of the total body weight. Juliet is slim and extremely active, and weighs 4.5 pounds, that's 72 oz. Multiply that by 3% and I should feed her a little over 2 ounces of food. I offer her more than this amount, because she never is still. If she hasn't finished her food, I wait about fifteen minutes, then refrigerate the leftovers, and offer it to her in the morning. This usually works out well, a small treat in the morning and her main meal at night. If Juliet eats all her dinner, as she sometimes does, she'll get a chicken neck or a chicken's foot at a goodie in the morning. She'll clink her dinner bowl when she's hungry, and I'll again, offer a neck or foot. The ultimate treat for Juliet is a teaspoon sized piece of chicken liver mounded with a tsp of ground turkey, then frozen individually on (sprayed) waxed paper until frozen, then they all go together in a ziploc bag. My dog knows what you're talking about when you ask her if she wants a popsicle! It's the ultimate treat! If Juliet begins to gain weight, I'd be more cautious about the amount of food she eats, but while she's still just a year old pup, highly active, and very slender, she gets as much as she wants/needs.

   Juliet used to be a sissy. She didn't want to get dirty, and didn't want to get her paws involved in eating (pulling). I followed my instincts, knowing that nobody starves when food is present, and she finally bent to hunger and dug in. Now she's a pro!

   It takes longer for a dog to eat raw food than it does to crunch kibble. It's also messier. My suggestion is to feed your dog in his crate, lined with newspaper. Until Juliet got the hang of eating raw, she was pretty messy and wanted to drag her goodies all over the carpet. Now she eats from her bowl in the kitchen. I do put a small (old) dishtowel down in front of her bowl so she can "work" her meat. She still tries to bring her meal into the family room, and if she insists, I just move her and her food into her crate. Her crate is NOT a punishment place, so she's totally casual about taking her meal crateside.
   I'm a relaxed pet owner and if we have leftovers that I feel she can tolerate, I'll toss that in her bowl with her regular meal.  Variety, the spice of life!
  Feeding this way is a little more complicated than dumping a scoop from a bag.  You have to shop, chop, bag, freeze, and then remember when you feed dinner to put a new bag of frozen food into the fridge to defrost.  You also have to watch your dog eat, (dogs sometimes choke when they first start eating raw food - Juliet never has), and then you have to clean off your dog's face afterwards.  No big deal, a damp paper towel does the trick.  I have meals down to an art!  When I go out of town my family knows the routine.  Easy, as long as the meat is bagged up.  Good luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feeding Choices

     Some of the many diets I read about were: Raw Meaty Bones, Bones And Raw Food (BARF), Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF), homemade cooked dog meals, raw vegetables with cooked chicken and rice, and a variety of other feeding beliefs. Each diet I read about was written by dog owners that were completely sold on their programs, which made sorting through their persuasive verbage pretty intimidating. Some were created as a response to the deaths from prepared kibbles, others were created because of health problems, and still others were developed by the "crunchy-granola" - those that run  through organic fields on bare-feet, sporting tie-dyed tee shirts. You get the picture.

     I did some soul searching and decided to follow my heart. My mother told me when I was a new mother that I should do what I feel is right. All the good advice on earth may not suit you and your baby. I applied this to my pet, and I did what I felt was best for my convenience and financial situation, and most importantly, best for my dog's health.

 My choice was Raw Meaty Bones.