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.

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment