Bet you thought I quit again. Nope! Just been super busy.
Raw Roundup 2015 has changed us. My biggest take-away so far comes from noted Australian veterinary surgeon, Dr. Ian Billinghurst who coined the term BARF.
BARF isn’t just a verb in all caps. It isn’t even merely an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s an also the adjective that describes what the food we should be feeding our dogs is supposed to look like… at least when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
(not as gross as a raw cow liver, or the dried cow trachea I touched by accident yesterday).
On the “biologically appropriate” point, Dr. B discussed the evolution of dogs, and kept coming back to the point that if you have a question about whether a dog should eat something, ask yourself whether the dog evolved eating it. When you ask that question about cooked grains and processed, complex carbohydrates, the answer will be ‘no’ every time.
Dogs may eventually evolve to adequately digest these things, but they’ve only been around a couple of hundred years, which is not enough time for dogs to have successfully evolved to derive nuritional benefit from them. Some pet food manufacturers and even veterinarians assert that dogs can not only digest cooked grains, but live long, healthy lives on a diet that consists mostly of them (cooked grains are cheap, yo). (Insert lecture about the power of the almighty dollar here). But they cannot dispute, because the facts are irrefutable, that a dog’s physiology is not genetically equipped to properly digest and absorb complex carbohydrates and cooked grains. (Note: “Breed-appropriate” is a marketing ploy. Don’t fall for it. There is no biological distinction in the dietary requirements of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua).
A dog’s digestive tract is much, much shorter than an herbivore’s. For example, cows have 4 stomachs to digest the grasses and grains they are designed to cosume. Dogs don’t have true molars (look in your dog’s mouth. Does he have flat teeth? No.) or the tendecy to grind up their food in their mouths before swallowing.
I’ve made this point before when discussing the need to cook some vegetables I feed to Pearl & Truman. But it still didn’t occur to me that the cell structure of all plants, with that rigid cell wall surrounding each individual cell, is just as present in a banana as it is in a potato, despite the softness of the fruit and the fact that it is edible raw.
Dr. B says we must “pulverize” any fruit or vegetable to break down that cellulose for fruits and vegetables to have any positive nutritional benefit for the dog. Chopping into chuncks may satisfy the need to chomp something, but it’s not doing much nutritionally. But when an ancestral dog killed a prey animal that was an herbivore (as most are), and consumed its stomach contents, the grasses, fruits and other vegetation were partially digested. The prey animal had broken the cell wall of the plant material, which left it absorbable for the canine carnivore. Makes total sense.
My eyes were opened.
I’ve been cutting fruit for breakfast for months. The Pugs love it, and they seem to be thriving. But in the past 3 weeks since the Roundup, I’ve been ”pulverizing” and it’s made a difference.
1st, the poops are even more dense & almost totally stink-free. And the dogs create less poop! There’s less waste because the nutrients are being absorbed and used.
Total bonus. Less to pick up at the park.
Dr. B says you can use a blender, macerator, or juicer. Drink the juice yourself, and give your dogs the ground up pulp. I have a juicer, but it is a big ol’ pain in the butt to use, and extremely difficult to clean. (Thanks anyway, Jack LaLane.)
I also have a big fancy blender that is also a hassle to clean, especially for such a small amount of fruit.
So, I found an individual-serving blender at my trusty neighborhood Target for the low, low price of $19.99, and we are in business, baby!
Now, every day I make SMOOTHIES!! Faster and simpler than chopping so much fruit first thing in the morning.
Not getting any complaints either.
recipes in the next post.
pugs & kisses!