Get in the Game

Last Fall, I was the fortunate beneficiary of my brother-in-law’s generosity. He had a freezer full of plucked, cleaned, and vacuum packed game fowl that he kindly contributed to my raw diet adventures. Best part?


Back in October, I was still nervous about feeding raw bones. I thought the smaller, more delicate bones of these game birds might be easier for Pearl and Truman to crunch and less likely to cause an obstruction, particularly if I cut them sufficiently. I was correct.

Pearl and Truman LOVE quail, pheasant and chucker. The dark meat is rich and flavorful. Having been cleaned and packed fresh at the hunting camp, they were full of what nature has to offer a hungry pup–fresh, raw, bloody meat, and bones rich with calcium and the incomparable nutrition of the marrow. These small wild birds were not raised in a massive chicken house, or in a cage, nor fed growth hormones or antibiotics.

I don’t do guns, and I don’t approve of hunting just for the sport of it. But I live in Alabama, and you can’t throw a rock without it landing on a hunter, even if you’re surrounded by women. (And they’ll point their rifle at you for throwing the rock at them, so it’s not advised). Given that reality, if you have a hunter in the family, and you happen to luck into some excess duck or Venison, your dog will love you if you let him Get in the Game.

You can pretty much feed anything from a hunt– Duck, Venison, Quail, Pheasant, Rabbit–to your dog. These protein sources are biologically appropriate for canines. Dogs have consumed these animals from the time of their earliest existence. Just be aware of your dog’s ability to get through a bone. Doubtful a Pug or Pomeranian can manage a deer bone. So, as always, use common sense.

Here’s a recipe for Winter Quail & Sweet Potato (makes 2 meals for a 25 lb dog):


  • 1 raw Quail (1 Quail is usually about 6 oz)
  • 1/2 small local, organic sweet potato, baked (Hint: I usually bake 2 or 3 sweet potatoes at a time, then keep them in the fridge for use in several meals during the week).
  • 2 oz raw goat’s milk
  • 2 tsp raw, local honey
  • half scoop of digestive enzyme


  • Check the bird for birdshot and remove any pellets.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the meat away from the bone as much as possible. (I do this for my small dogs to assist them because their mouths and teeth are small. This step and the next may not be necessary for a larger dog).
  • Cut the bones of the wings and legs at the joints. Then cut the breast bone in quarters.
  • For 25-lb dog, measure 3oz of meat with bones in the bowl.
  • Add 1/4 (about 1 oz) baked sweet potato, skin removed, and mashed. Sprinkle with digestive enzyme.
  • Add 1 oz raw goat’s milk, and 1 tsp raw honey.
  • Watch your dog try to eat through the bottom of the bowl.


pugs & kisses,


Sardines gross me out.

But my dogs LOVE them. Pearl spins around like a top until I can put her bowl on the floor whenever I break out the sardines.

They’re inexpensive, a good source of protein & good fat, and are filled with vitamins & minerals, including:

  • Riboflavin (may help prevent cataracts)
  • Vitamin B-12 (lowers risk of heart disease, cancer)
  • Vitamin D (lowers risk of arthritis, cancer)
  • Niacin (lowers risk of arthritis)
  • Calcium (bone health)
  • Iron (muscle & blood health)
  • Phosphorus (good for storing energy)
  • Potassium (lowers risk of heart disease)

I keep boxes of Reese Sardines packed in water on the shelf at all times, just in case I forget to take something from the freezer when I’m racing to work in the mornings.

And sometimes I feed them to Pearl and Truman just as a treat, or to get a break from our rotation of poultry and beef.

I add nothing to them. Just sardines in the bowl, mashed with a fork, because at 4.5oz per container, that’s a hefty meal.

They stink, though. So, heads up.

pugs & kisses,

Beef & Veggies

More shopping tips:

Buy beef stew meat. It’s the cheapest non-ground cut of meat in the packaged beef section of the grocery store.

I do not feed my dogs raw ground beef, primarily because it’s fatty, and also because most of the time, ground beef is not certified as grass-feed, hormone/antibiotic-free.

Stew meat is leaner, though has some marbling. I cut away any external pieces of fat.

Recipe for beef & veggies:

  • 3-oz raw stew meat
  • 1-2 oz steamed, chopped broccoli OR
  • 1-2 oz cooked, pureed carrots OR
  • 1-2 oz cooked, mashed sweet potato OR
  • 1-2 oz fresh, vine-ripened local tomato
  • 1 Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 scoop of digestive enzyme powder (Total-zymes comes with a scoop inside)

Digestive enzymes are added whenever I feed them something cooked, like steamed broccoli.

It’s important to avoid starchy vegetables in combination with proteins to keep from slowing the digestive process. Tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes are less starchy and will not cause indigestion.

I’m telling you, once you get into a groove, once you find your comfort zone, this is easy. You can do it!

pugs & kisses!

Ring-a-ding-ding! Time for Chicken Wings!

I still get stares of disbelief whenever I tell folks I feed my dogs chicken bones.

YES. They eat the RAW meat ON THE BONE.

They eat the bone.

Because it’s Raw, it does not splinter. It crunches, and even Pug jaws are strong enough to break the bone into bite size bits. Their stomachs have high levels of hydrochloric acid, so they have no trouble digesting.

When I shop, I usually look for sale items at Whole Foods. In the poultry section, they have bone-in, skin-on wings and thighs in a strip of 3 perforated pouches. Because more people want boneless, skinless breasts for their own use, the wings & thighs are cheaper.

I buy in bulk and freeze. My freezer is my friend.

I do a lot of prep on the weekends so that my weekday mornings and evenings are stress-free.

Once I learned I was overfeeding, I cut back to 3-4 oz twice per day for these 25-lb Pugs. One hormone-free raw chicken wing is about 3 oz.

Truman & Pearl have no trouble crunching the bones, but they do have trouble–with their tiny front-row chicklets–tearing the meat from the bones. So I help them out by cutting the meat away from the bones, and then cutting the bones at the joints. (Sharp kitchen sheers are also my friend.)

Here’s what they ate all week last week:

  • 1 raw chicken wing
  • 1 oz raw goats milk (for probiotics) OR
  • 1 oz fresh bell pepper
  • 1 tsp raw, local honey (for allergies)
  • sprinkle of ground milk thistle seed (for liver support)
  • sprinkle of ground roasted pumpkin seed (in case of worms)

You can do this. It’s not that hard, and it’s no more costly than those prescription bags of kibble I bought for years.

pugs & kisses,