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,

Cold Chicken Liver Soup

So, people are telling me they want to feed a Raw, wHOLe food diet, but it’s time consuming, and they don’t know what to buy or how to prepare it. For the next several posts, I’m going to share some of the recipes I’ve created. Saddle up.

Organ meats are good for your dogs (see Liver La Vida Loca, parts 1 & 2). High nutritional content, but should only be fed occasionally because they’re so rich.

Here’s a little recipe I’ve developed over the last few months that is easy to prepare once you get over the grossness of dealing with organ meats.

  • 1 container of organic, antibiotic-free chicken livers (frozen)
  • 4 oz raw goats milk
  • 4 oz organic chicken stock
  • 4 oz filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Organic, not-pumped-up-with-growth-hormones chicken livers are smaller and better for your dog. When you get home from the market with your chicken livers, put wax paper on a cookie sheet, and lay the livers on it so they’re not touching each other. Freeze for at least a couple of hours. They’re less messy/slippery/gross when frozen.

Once frozen, put them in your food processor or blender, add all the other ingredients, and blend until smooth.

It makes a brownish-pink cold soup. I pour 6oz portions into plastic containers and refrigerate. They’ll keep for about a 5 days in the fridge.

Nutrient-rich meals for days! I either pour out 3oz servings for each dog for each meal, or I’ll pour a single ounce over something else, like say if I’m splitting a single chicken wing between them. Most of the time, though, it’s just the soup, and it’s a complete meal. Then once it’s all gone, we rotate to a different protein, like beef or fish.

pugs & kisses,

Keep it simple, stupid.

In the words of Prince (the Coolest. Ever.)

All I want is your extra time and your ….. KISS!

Love,

The Dog.

I tend to get wrapped up in things I have a passion for, you know? And once I started feeding a Raw food diet, I got excited about the the endless possibilities of food combinations. I even gave some thought to developing my own product line, which may come one day.

But for now, I’m still learning and proactively seeking to educate myself on as many aspects of HOListic nutrition and health as I can.

There for a while, I was preparing complicated recipes, and in the process, I was over-feeding my dogs (and they were happy to oblige my enthusiasm).

I would encourage you to KISS your dog! Keep it simple, stupid! Don’t get overwhelmed or intimidated by this. It can be time consuming. And I certainly understand that not everyone has the luxury of spending 20 minutes preparing a beautiful, multi-colored, nutritionally balanced, fortified bowl full of glory for their dog.

(Ahhhh! the Heavens open and the Angels sing).

You don’t even do that for yourself, right?

That’s why I’ve suggested A+ Answers. It will simplify your life.

I suggested FreshPet early on, which is fine for a few days when you’re gone & someone else has to feed your pup, but it is heat pasteurized and therefore not really raw.

If you are devoted to the convenience of dry kibble and just can’t Go Raw, might I suggest Orijen, or Acana, or even Taste of the Wild? They are high quality, high protein, grain-free dry dog foods.

Then, if you want to gradually wade into feeding raw, add a couple of ounces of raw goat’s milk to the kibble. Or toss a raw chicken wing in the bowl the next time your grilling. When you’re making stew, hold a few ounces of the raw meat out for your pup. If you’re scrambling a big mess of eggs on Saturday morning, beat one for your dog and pour it in his dish.

Add a powdered digestive enzyme, like Prozyme or Total-zymes, which aid in nutrient absorption of cooked foods.

Every now and then, add a teaspoon of raw honey, or raw Apple Cider Vinegar, or both.

Even these little things will make a big difference in your dog’s health.

But if you want to Go RAW, and you’re overwhelmed by fear of feeding the wrong thing or the wrong amount, or of failing to get the right balance, please don’t give up.

Take a look back at the list of What Not to Feed (#WNTF). It is SHORT. The world is your oyster!

You may not be able to balance the nutrition completely with each discrete meal, but over the course of the week or the month, you will be able to balance if you rotate your offerings. Dogs on a raw diet can endure a rotation in protein and vegetables without stomach upset. I’ve been doing it for months without incident.

One protein, one vegetable, one add-in, and digestive enzyme. DONE.

Keep it simple! You can do it!

pugs & kisses

Calm Down

I’ve had Pugs now for more than 20 years.

I am no stranger to my vet’s office, nor to the ER vet, nor to the specialty small animal clinic at Auburn University.

My dogs are my life. I’m single and have no children. They are my companions and my reason for getting out of bed each day. (Sorry, work. You come somewhere after the dogs. That’s just how it is).

My maternal instincts are strong. My friends in high school gave me a coffee mug with “Mom” on it. Except that I’ve not actually become a mother to a human, I’ve assumed that role in very nearly every facet of my adult life.

Whenever the health of one of my dogs was in question, I sprang to action to ease the discomfort, right the wrong, fix the broken. Whether I could afford it was a question I reserved for response ex post facto. I always found a way.

My first instinct was to run to the vet at any hint that something might be wrong. I was inevitably panicked. My beloved pup was in distress. We had to get this fixed. Pronto!

It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I decided to take an alternative, preventative approach to their health, did the flaws inherent in my previous methods become clear. In fact, they screamed at me. Correcting the problem on the back end, after the pathway for illness or disease is well established, is almost pure nonsense.

I’ve finally begun to arm myself with some practical knowledge about nutrition and natural health care that provides me with a degree of comfort. Food is EVERYTHING. And proper nutrition can retard or even prevent the manifestation of illness, inflammation, disease on the front end. If I’d only known this truth before!

Because I now know my dogs are in excellent health, I am retraining my brain to stay calm whenever I notice something out of the ordinary. I’m sure there will be times when running to the vet will definitely be in order. But I am now confident that I absolutely can work through these minor things on my own.

So, when I see diarrhea, worms, fleas, warts, minor wounds, etc…

…girl, I’VE GOT THIS!!

It’s changing my world.

pugs & kisses,