I’m an advocate of optimal nutrition for dogs. Because I am a trainer and work with dogs, hands on, everyday, I can tell you that nutrition directly effects behavior.
When I have to peel a dog off of my head, and then find out they are on some kibble that is high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, well we tend to talk about nutrition and appropriate food for a dog before we start working on behaviors.
You can’t work with an emotionally unstable animal, that has to be balanced first. Emotional stability has many components, nutrition is one of them.
Try eating corn dogs and cotton candy for six weeks straight, and then let’s talk about how you feel. Let’s talk about how others enjoy being around you. Let’s talk about your attitude in general. Lets talk about your ability to focus and concentrate. My guess is, our conversation won’t be roses. Just a hunch.
Some commercial kibbles are worth using, most commercial kibbles have just about the nutritional level of corn dogs and cotton candy, some are even worse. You really have to read, stay current, and ask questions. About eight months ago I posted FOOD, a blog post with links, Q & A, information, and how to read a dog food label. If you haven’t read that check it out!
I will say that it isn’t easy. For example, I am a marketing companies dream consumer! I like nice packaging, I like new and progressive, and I love to read nice good things on the label. Oh, raspberries and blueberries! I’m like a moth to a flame! Commercial dog food companies have some of the best marketing and advertising firms behind them. Their strategies are awesome, and as a business person I applaud them. BUT, it does not mean what they are selling is appropriate for your dog, or even mildly healthy.
I started to feed a raw diet about 10 years ago. We started with commercial raw, then moved to carcass feeding and some commercial raw. Now we do a true rotation diet. Carcass and raw meaty bones in the AM, some mixed ground meat with offal, organ meats, and a little veggie in the PM. We use Petcurean kibble on busy days or when traveling and on the road.
I have two videos that have been on my YouTube channel for awhile, and have been helpful to other raw feeders or people just curious on what it looks like.
Carcass Raw Feeding – unplugged – cornish hens
What takes most people by surprise is HOW LONG it takes to feed. If you’re use to watching a dog gulp down a bowl of kibble in seconds, then raw feeding might seem like an eternity. A dog has to negotiate the carcass part, and work through the meat, fat, tendons, cartilage, and bone. During this process they work all of their teeth for their intended purpose. It’s slow and beautiful to watch. Raw Meaty Bones is a book worth reading!
Today’s video is segments from our feeding this morning. The video is only seven something minutes long, but the bone time was about one and a half hours long.
You’ll see the progression of; working on the meat, ligaments, and bones, then switching bones, milling about politely and calmly, rolling on the bones, a bit of play, and at the end, Story’s ritual of ‘dig a nice hole and let the bone belly rest!’. Chewing and working on a bone is a lot of work, when my dogs are done they are panting, and stretching and looking for a place to crash. My dogs are still sleeping, and Franny, bless her Grandma heart, is happily snoring away.
Ocean takes the longest. She’s retrieved thousands, if not millions of toys and sticks. Over 10.5 years it’s taken a toll,and her teeth are not great. They are filed down quite a bit, and I am sure sensitive to some extent. I give her a space where she can work at her own pace without the others pushing in.
Franny, $eeker, and Story will politely mill about once they have finished and just check out the other bones. They are always polite, and there is safety in that. All have nice teeth for their ages!
Whether it’s my husband or myself that feeds in the AM, we are always present, always monitoring, and observing. It’s a nice way to relax and observe the dogs, it is not however our time to nap, check out, or read. Safety first and foremost.
Nancy, happy feeding!