Evelyn’s First Week

Because Evelyn is so very small and so very malnourished, I have been concerned with how much to feed.

I know to feed for the desired weight, not the actual weight. But I also don’t want to make her sick in the process by overfeeding. Pugs are pretty notorious for over-indulging, if permitted.

Slow & steady wins the race, right?

The first day, all she had was Answers‘ raw fermented goats milk. 2-3 oz every 2-3 hours until she had consumed about 10 oz. I preach and preach on this stuff. It is awesome. Such a gentle protein, it’s easy on the digestive tract because it’s fermented, which means it’s LOADED with probiotics.

She slept like a baby all night.

See how tiny she is by comparison? (She's the apricot in the middle)
See how tiny she is by comparison? (She’s the apricot in the middle)

The next day, I added a farm fresh, free-range raw chicken egg to her milk. I thought the extra protein would hold her while I was at work and unable to come feed her every 3 hours.

But, when I weighed her on day 3, she had dropped to below 11 lbs.

I freaked out.

Pearl & Truman both weigh about 25 lbs. Recently, I learned that to determine the amount of raw meat & bone to feed your dog, multiply the dog’s body weight by 10, which will give the number of grams to feed.

25 lbs x 10 = 250 grams. Converts to about 8 oz per day.

And that is what they get. (plus treats)

I don’t want to tax Evelyn’s system, so I only increased her intake by 2 oz. Also, she is crated during the day, so the decrease in activity should help as well.

Because she’s anemic, I wanted to add a blood-builder. So I fed fresh, raw organic chicken livers pureed with her goats milk for 2 meals. Unfortunately, it was too rich, and gave her the runs.

Crap!

So, back to the egg & milk routine, with a little baked sweet potato added to the mix. After one meal, no more runny poop, and by Friday, she added a few more ounces.

We are now holding steady at 12 lbs. Woop woop!!

She had her first bath on Thursday night to finally wash off the significant stink from the streets of Birmingham, the kennel, the vet. Plus, her coat is a total nightmare right now. It’s rough as a boar bristle, and the conditioner I used really didn’t help.

This coat is a complete wreck. The base of her tail is totally hairless. The dark bald spots have to be from previous flea infestation.
This coat is a complete wreck. The base of her tail is totally hairless. The dark bald spots are from previous flea infestation.

So I’ve added coconut oil to her diet. 1 full teaspoon everyday, whether by itself or on a treat. She devours it!

She is great in the tub. She holds very still and seemed to enjoy the warm water and the gentle massage across her frail frame, and loved being wrapped in a warm towel at the end. She is finding her place in the family, and the other 2 are adjusting to her encroachment.

Room enough for 3 in mama's lap.
Room enough for 3 in mama’s lap.

She has a LOT of energy for such a tiny, skinny pug. She LOVES to play. She’s a good little retriever, and enjoys a good game of tug. Despite her previous pregnancy/ies and the gray in her face, I am more convinced each day that she is much younger than anyone thought.

She’s a big help with the blog to boot.

Evie takes over The HOL Dog.
Evie takes over The HOL Dog.

She got a new JazzyJ collar this week, and is making herself at home.

We’re on an upward trajectory, folks!

pugs & kisses,

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VEGGIE SMOOTHIES!!

In our quest to reduce sugar, and thereby reduce yeast and trim the waistline, I worked on a few smoothie options that contained more veg and less fruit. These options have been working. Pearl’s urine is clear, that potent smell is now gone, and she’s lost over half a pound in 2 weeks!

There are some base ingredients I put in all their smoothies, so it may look like a long list of stuff, but half of it is the routine add-ins, including:

A pinch of sea salt because the body needs salt to function properly, and they’re eating whole, unprocessed food that contains no salt. So, we have to add it back in.

Raw honey for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and homeopathic treatment of environmental pollen allergies. For a more detailed account of all things marvelous about honey in your dog’s diet, read this.

Raw, fermented goat’s milk for the protein, probiotics, and natural antihistamine.

A+ Answers pet food raw fermented goats milk
It comes out clumpy, which freaked me out until I read on the carton that it contains curds. Shout out to Little Miss Muffet, yo!

1 clove of freshly minced garlic. I’ve discussed it before. It’s on every veterinarian’s list of what not to feed your dog. This article in Dogs Naturally Magazine explains why that is and refutes it. In such a small quantity, it’s good for the gut. It’s anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral, and boosts immune health.

The other thing I’m adding is blueberries while they’re in season. Blueberries are such great antioxidants, and good for the smooth muscles of internal organs. A small handful doesn’t bring in too much sugar.

These two recipes below include several “cooling” foods that also support the liver.

Cucumber Mint

  • small bunch of fresh mint, stemmed
  • 2-4 slices of cucumber
  • 2 kale leaves, stemmed (I use flat leaf kale grown locally)
  • 2 oz fresh blueberries
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2 oz Answers raw goat milk
  • 2 oz filtered water

Avocado Basil

  • 2 kale leaves, stemmed
  • small bunch of arugula
  • small bunch of fresh basil
  • 2oz fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2oz Answers raw goat milk
  • 2oz filtered water

Note: The avocado makes a thick and creamy smoothie. You may want to add more water to make it thinner.

Broccoli Carrot

  • 3-4 broccoli florets
  • 2 kale leaves, stemmed
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 2 oz fresh blueberries
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2 oz Answers raw goat milk
  • 2 oz filtered water

These have been super easy and very popular. Of course, my dogs will eat just about anything I put before them, but they’ve not turned a nose up even once. Plus, I really feel good about feeding these things to them. At night, they of course get meat protein, and I don’t have to worry about balance because they’re getting these wonderful greens to start their day.

I also feel confident that we’ve got our yeast, bladder, and liver issues on the run.

pugs & kisses,

Raw Roundup 2015!

Y’all, I am so excited to be attending the Raw Roundup 2015 this weekend!

It is sponsored by Dogs Naturally Magazine, and is tonight through Sunday, all from the comfort of my home office.

The lineup of speakers and topics is top notch. I can’t wait to saddle up my computer chair!

I’m sure I’ll have LOADS to share when I’m done, but more than that, I’m excited to continue learning all I can about feeding my dogs a raw diet.

With each passing day, I become more and more convinced I’m doing the right thing by nourishing their bodies in a more natural, wHOLesome way to strengthen their immune systems and give them longer, stronger, higher quality lives.

It makes me feel like a better guardian of God’s creatures.

Deep Thoughts

by Jack Handey

So stay tuned and prepare yourselves for a wHOLe bunch of information about herbs, fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, and nutritional balance.

pugs & kisses!

We are Diggin the Bone Broth, baby!

Have y’all discovered bone broth yet? If not, permit me to introduce you.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article touting the benefits of bone broth, and last week a friend shared with me another. I decided to give it a try, and now I’m hooked.

I’ve been feeding raw bones to Pearl and Truman for months, but I’ve limited them to chicken and game foul because of their size. I’d gotten a look at beef bones back in the early Fall, and they were far too large for a Pug mouth, and I’ve puzzled over how to get some variety into the bone offerings.

Enter: bone broth.

Isn’t it the same thing as stock?

No. Stock will typically have onions and other vegetables in it, and onions are a no-no for dogs. Also, it’s most likely quickly processed at a high heat, which compromises the nutrients that may have once resided in the bones. Plus, the stock or broth you buy at the store is often LOADED with sodium to keep it from turning rancid while it sits on the shelf waiting for you to buy it.

It’ll be better if you make it yourself.

Fresh, Douggie.

That’s how we roll now anyway, right?

But, why bone broth?

  1. It’s easy.
  2. It’s inexpensive.
  3. It’s full of beautiful nutrition.
  4. It’s a great way to warm refrigerated meals.

Bone broth is rich in amino acids, and loaded with natural glucosamine, gelatin, and chondroitin, which are all good for joint health. It contains protein, of course, plus vitamins C, D, K, calcium, thiamin, potassium, iron, and everything else that raw bones have to offer–except the pure pleasure that comes from gnawing and crunching.

How do you make it?

  • Get some bones. Any kind. Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, whatever. Raw or cooked. Raw is better, of course. But I used a rotisserie chicken carcass to get additional use from it before I tossed it. After you’ve cooked them, remember do not feed to your dog. Toss ’em.
  • Put them in a pot. A stock pot or crockpot. (Good use for that crockpot that otherwise takes up space waiting for you to make chili for the office cook-off). Simply cover the bottom with bones.
  • Fill the pot with water.
  • Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, or regular vinegar if you don’t have ACV.
  • Cook it low and slow. The longer the better. I cooked mine overnight.
  • You can add delightful things like turmeric or parsley or unrefined sea salt. This is a good way to incorporate herbs, minerals, or other natural supplements depending on your dog’s needs. Make sure anything you add is safe for your dog to consume.

You can freeze it in ice trays, or soup containers, or freezer bags. Gently thaw it in a double boiler or in warm water (better than microwaving), and ladle it over your dog’s dinner.

If your pup is feeling puny, bone broth is a gentle way to get vital nutrients in his system.

If you’ve got a senior pet that is in need of joint support, bone broth is a healthy, natural way to supply the body with the essential nutrients it needs.

Adding a measure of turmeric, depending on how much you’re making, can provide an arthritic dog with a natural anti-inflammatory, instead of a synthetic drug or vitamin supplement.

Underlying all of that, it’s just a real simple way to add richness and variety to your dog’s diet.

Give it a try!

pugs & kisses,