It's a dog's life...

It's a dog's life...

Monday, 6 June 2011

All Raw!!!

We have now been totally raw for 5 days. I am amazed I have made it this far without some sort of nervous breakdown!

The dogs had their first chicken wings on Sunday. What a totally nervewracking experience that was!!! I held onto the wing and they happily crunched their way through them, so far, touch wood, with no ill effect! Since then they have also had a chicken neck each, which they loved! I held my breath until they had finished them. :-)
At the moment they are having chicken mince from Prize Choice as one meal (mixed with a variety of veg/fruit and somewhat controversially, oats.) For the other meal it is more veg and oats and either fish with raw egg, shell included, or some sort of bone, be that chicken wings or neck. Some of their mince has tripe mixed into it. They are also having tumeric (which apparently protects from cancer), garlic (anti flea) and thyme (good for the lungs). Today their heavy duty supplements arrived, some vitamins/minerals and 3:6:9 fish oils, both products from Higher Nature. I have also added Extra Virgin Olive Oil into some of their meals.
Meanwhile I have devoured 2 raw feeding books!!! :-)

So...where do we go from here (apart from more grey every time I hear them crunch on a bone?!! :-) )
Tomorrow I am introducing a different protein source in the shape of turkey. I intend to do one a week until I know what they can and can't tolerate. We also hope to get a knuckle bone from our friendly local butcher , the same place as we have sourced the chicken necks for an amazingly good 50p per kg!! I hope, within the month to not be talking about what they are eating all the time and to not panic whenever I give a bone...fingers crossed.

In the last week I have to say I think that their coat condition has improved, they were always shiny, but I genuinely think they are more shiny and soft. Their poos are less bulky..well just less really, less of them and without a doubt nowhere near as whiffy. Their energy levels are about the same I think, but there is a sparkle in Tango's eye that I have not noticed before.

So far so good.....

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A Raw Journey....

Years ago we fed our dogs Eukanuba, we then changed to Burns and noticed an almost immediate improvement in their coats and condition. In recent years we have also fed Arden Grange at points, as well as Naturediet. The dogs also have leftovers and fruit/veg .
I have never been keen on feeding kibble,it seems so far removed from being food that it has never,ever felt right. That said, I didn't want to just feed a 'wet' food as I had concerns about additives and of course the lack of chewing impacting on their dental health. I knew about 'raw' feeding but wasn't convinced that it made sense, I understood the idea of feeding a natural diet...but raw???

Recently I attended a days course with Nick Thompson, a holistic vet.
It was a fascinating day, whilst I didn't learn a great deal, it made a lot of sense and I found myself nodding in agreement, to the point that my neck ached at the end of it! It was all about psychoneuroendicrinoimmunology (I do hope I got that right!) I won't go into it, let's just say it made a great deal of sense.
Nick came back to the centre last week to do a days seminar about raw feeeding! I went along, thinking that I wouldn't be swayed...but I was wrong! I am. Ready to raw (I think!!!)
I have upped their intake of raw veg (that was the easy bit) and this morning, they had a raw lambs heart each! To say they loved it would be an understatement! Tomorrow, if all is well with what they produce later,they will be having a raw chicken wing. I think the sooner we do that the better! Let's just get the chicken done! :-)

So..I thought it would be interesting to write about our raw journey, the ups and downs and what goes in and what comes out aspect of it all. I am new to it all and I welcome any ideas and comment.

Ultimately I am aiming to feed a third raw muscle meat, a third meaty bones and a third veg/fruit...we shall see.As I introduce things I am keeping them on their current food but reducing it accordingly.

Wish us luck!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Juggling With Tango

Before coming to us, it seems that Tango had a break in her elbow, which is now arthritic, thanks to a great deal of new bone that has grown over the site of the injury. She really does suffer with her joint and so is on Metacam daily. We have never been able to reduce the dose, indeed, at the grand old age of just 7, we are aware that the Metacam won't help for much longer.

Long term use of Metacam can create problems in the gut and it seems that this may be happening with her, either that or she has developed an intolerance to part or all of her diet...or perhaps she has giardia or some other bug. This all manifests itself into regular gastrointestinal upsets, we are just slowly coming out of the most recent one, on Monday night she was up every 20 minutes either vomiting or straining to go to the toilet, culminating in her pooing out blood on Tuesday. All her blood work is 'unremarkable.'

So....what to do. Currently she is fed on Naturediet and lamb Arden Grange. First of all we are going to change that as it is a very rich diet and she does tend to put weight on, due to her age and arthritis. After much thought we are popping her onto sensitive Naturediet and chicken and brown rice Burns. We shall see how she goes on that. I thought a complete brand change for the kibble would be would a change in the protein source, the Naturediet is fish and the Burns is chicken (obviously).

We have also been asked to get small amounts of faeces for 3 days to send off and be analysed...what joy. On the plus side at least it isn't a urine sample as that is almost impossible to get from her!!!

If all that fails....then we shall change the metacam to another drug, currently she can't take it anyway as her tummy is so upset.

Tango is eating chicken and rice (well, the rice that is stuck to the chicken at least, she spits the rest out) and is also on Pro-Kolin. She is feeling much better in herself today but produced a blood filled poo again earlier, so we are monitoring her. Poor girl. She is exceptionally stoic.

I just wish we could explain it all to her.