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

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HOListic Tip of the Week

How Slippery is your Elm?

If you are considering a HOListic approach to your dog’s health & nutrition, powdered Slippery Elm bark needs to be in your bag of tricks.

It is the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree, and acts in all of the following ways:

**VOCABULARY WARNING**

  • Demulcent — used internally to soothe and protect irritated and inflamed surfaces & tissues
  • Emollient — used externally to soften, soothe, and protect skin surfaces
  • Nutritive — provides nourishment
  • Diuretic — promotes the production and secretion of urine
  • Mucilaginous — has soothing effect on inflamed mucous membranes

You can mix the powder with warm water, juice, milk, or an herbal tea, and as a water-soluble fiber, it will nourish the body while relieving stomach issues. It is ideal for any pet recovering from an illness. You can also use it externally to soothe, say, a skin rash, for example.

It forms a jelly after you mix it with liquid, and is kind of slippery. (Get it? Slippery?)

I mixed it with warm water and added a couple of tablespoons to food to cure diarrhea. I mixed a thicker consistency to get more of a jelly to apply externally to relieve a little hind leg skin irritation on Pearl recently.

Give it a try!

pugs & kisses,

Pumpkin seeds — Nature’s Vermifuge

So, this bout of diarrhea was apparently due to worms, which were apparently caused by the aforementioned fleas.

Fighting fleas sans application of, or filling my dogs with, chemical pesticides presents a challenge, and is a topic for another day.

So back to the worms. How much good would it do to dry up the runny poo if I didn’t get rid of the worms?

Here’s you some vocabulary words to toss out at your next cocktail party (b/c the topic of intestinal parasites comes up over a glass of wine all the time):

Anthelmintic

Vermifuge

Both are terms for herbs that destroy and expel worms and parasites from the intestines.

Some examples include Aloe, chaparral, cloves, wormwood, garlic, pomegranate (the white rind), rue, and black walnut hull.

I had some garlic, but I’m still a little uneasy about how much to use given the prolific warnings that abound on the Internet about feeding garlic to dogs. I didn’t want to dive into that without additional guidance, so I kept looking (because I didn’t have any of the rest of that list either. Surprise, surprise).

Turns out, pumpkin seeds are anthelmintic. And guess who has two thumbs and a massive stash of dry roasted, ground pumpkin seeds from all that treat-making back in the fall? This kid!

I knew there was a reason I was holding onto all that in my fridge. I needed it for deworming!

WOOT!

I researched side effects and found none. So I just added a little sprinkle to their meals twice each day for 5 days.

And it worked.

No more worms.

BOOM!

Every time I find a way to stay out of the doctor’s office through something as simple as a pumpkin seed, my heart grows three sizes.

Word to the wise: Anytime you adopt an herbal regimen designed to address a specific ailment (like deworming) as part of your routine, you risk reducing the herb’s effectiveness for that ailment over time. So it’s best to treat the ailment until the body heals, and then discontinue usage. So I will not be adding pumpkin seeds to their food as a matter of course. But I will keep my stash in a cool, dry place until needed again.

Lovin’ this way of life!

pugs & kisses,

Doo-doo-run-run: What do you do when the doo-doo runs? (Part 1)

This week has been a bit of a challenge, friends. This story is in multiple parts. When I first started writing it, it was going to be one long story. Then, it got far too long to hold anyone’s attention. So, bear with me and please stay tuned.

So, we switched to Answers pet food week before last, right? We talked about that. We started with beef. They really liked it. No tummy issues. It’s the bomb.

We added the goat’s milk. They love it as well. No tummy issues.

I like to rotate their protein to avoid allergy development, so for the 2nd week, we switched to the chicken formula.

Truman loved it. Pearl wouldn’t touch it. #wompwomp

Because I had modified my grocery shopping to accommodate the prepared raw food, the cupboard was nearly bare of raw protein. I had to punt.

She got a beaten raw egg with some raw goat’s milk for breakfast, and pureed chicken livers for dinner. DONE.

Two nights in a row, however, that bomb blew out Truman’s back end. Houston, we havea problem.

POOP-A-PALOOZA 2015!

Let me tell you: it was a MESS! All over him. All over the crate.

And it wasn’t the nice, little dark balls of dookie I had grown accustomed to seeing. I’ll spare you the remaining details. Suffice it to say, there was plenty, and it was pervasive.When I let him out, he ran through the house in his zeal from being freed.

I had to mop the house. And spot-clean rugs.

And bathe him. And wash the bedding. All before I could even think about dinner. (I’m pretty sure I skipped mine that night).

I figured it was the change in food, but continued to feed it to him. Why? He loved it so, and I thought maybe he just needed to adjust to it. After all, it’s chocked full of gracious goodness.

On night 2 of Poop-a-palooza 2015, I got wise. Bye-bye chicken formula. Back to Mama making the meals.

There’s a lesson here. Keep it simple. Don’t introduce too much new at one time so that you can eliminate the source of the trouble more quickly.

After I took away the chicken formula, no more blowouts.

I’ll still use the Answers, but we’ll stick with the beef formula for now, and the raw goat’s milk. They’ll be a part of the regular rotation.

There’s something in that chicken, though, that we can’t handle.

And there’s more to this slimy story…

After mopping, scrubbing, laundering, bathing all before dinner... #needmorewine
After mopping, scrubbing, laundering, bathing all before dinner… #needmorewine

….to be continued…