What’s for Supper? (Part I)

redefining dog food and canine nutrition through healthy, holistic, whole, raw foods

Every time I meet someone new and start talking about the raw food diet, the first question is always the same.

What do you feed them?

The list is long. People get bored.

I’ve posted a list of what they eat (see To Feed or Not to Feed?)

I’ve posted a list of what they do not eat (see #WNTF)

But I think the root of the question lies in not just the what, but the how.

Considerations:

My dogs each weigh about 25 lbs.

They sleep in their crates during the day. One is 3 the other is 8, and their activity level is moderate.

For each meal, they get 6-8oz total in their respective bowls.

I have a kitchen scale to measure it.

6-8oz of food twice a day is sustaining their weight, and they are healthy. They beg less.

Morning feeding:

4-oz of plain organic yogurt

1-oz of whole, rolled oats uncooked

1 Tbsp raw, local honey

3-oz fruit (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, pears, plums, kiwi, peaches, melon of all types)

Sprinkle of dehydrated organic coconut flakes

I mix the yogurt, oats & honey together. I add different combinations of fruit that they love so that they get a variety of things they like. If I’m out of yogurt, I’ll beat a raw egg for each of them, which they LOVE. They get that first, followed by the fruit.

Evening feeding:

4-6 oz of raw meat (beef, poultry, fish, game. No pork. No ground meat).

2-4 oz of vegetables. (tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes)

I make different combinations of things that seem to go together. Some vegetables have to be cooked. So if I have potatoes, I bake them thoroughly in advance. If I have broccoli, it gets steamed lightly while I’m cutting meat into smaller bits. If I have pumpkin or other winter squashes, they’re baked or roasted. But carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc., are served raw.

Supplements:

1 Tbsp raw, local honey (twice/day. Seems to help with allergies)

1/8 tsp digestive enzyme (whenever I offer something cooked)

1/4 tsp Earth Animal Flea & Tick Program herbal supplement (at night with the savory dishes just bc it smells like garlic & I find it off-putting to mix it with yogurt & bananas).

Pinch of unbleached sea salt (for the trace minerals it contains. Not bc I think it brings out the flavor)

1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (as occasional digestive aid, esp when they’ve got a case of the toots).

Because they’re getting the nutrients they need from fresh, unprocessed, wHOLe foods, they don’t have a need, at this point in their lives, for additional, synthetic vitamin supplements. 

Think about the explosion in the vitamin industry as an equal but opposite reaction to the explosion of the fast food/ pre-packaged food industry. People aren’t getting the vitamins & minerals from their food sources, because it’s been stripped away in the processing. So they have to supplement. Same with dogs.

In Part II, I give options for meal combinations. It really is very simple. I eat what they’re eating many times (except for the raw meat).

It requires thought, organization, and a little bit of time. But Pearl & Truman are worth it to me. They depend on me to make good decisions for them and to care for their well-being. With that in mind, it’s an easy thing to do.

pugs & kisses!

A New Experiment–HOListic Wound Care

all natural herbal wound care home remedy

Truman has a boo-boo on his paw pad.

It’s a sizable sore on the main pad. He wouldn’t let me touch it. Red, raw, and swollen. Ouch.

Pug with a hurt paw tries herbal remedy
Truman has a boo-boo. He likes his purple bandage, tho.

My first reaction was to take him to the vet, which I did two Saturdays ago.

They cleaned & wrapped it & gave us a round of steroids. ($)

We went back for a follow-up last Saturday. ($) Although it diminished in size, it hadn’t gone away.

Since I’m all about the HOListic approach nowadays, I decided to research our options to see what might enable us to avoid a minor ($$) procedure.

I looked first to herbs. But what to get? What might heal a wound or reduce inflammation?

Chamomile was the first to hit all the markers: it’s a nervine (calms & soothes nerves. Duh!), tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, aromatic, stimulant, among other helpful qualities.

… But I couldn’t find it. #sads.

What else, Google? (Don’t judge. I’m at the store. I need options.)

Calendula! Used to heal wounds & soothe skin. Great!

… Couldn’t find it. #nuts

Aloe vera, of course, but no aloe plants where I was shopping. (dammit. I’ve GOT to find a different store).

Gotu Kola. (Because everybody needs a go-to cola. Am I right?)

Reputed to strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds & increase blood supply in the area.

AND… They have it! Hooray!!

Well, they didn’t have the actual herb, just the extract.

Good enough. Let’s try some.

Why not make a poultice? Say what

A poultice is a little herb-soaked bandage to apply externally to the wound.

I soaked a clean cloth in 40 drops of Gotu Kola mixed with 2oz of water. I held it on his paw for 5 minutes (which was as long as he would permit). I left it unwrapped over night. Repeated the process the next morning. That night, it appeared smaller.

But then I read about raw honey as a treatment for wounds

FASCINATING! I keep raw honey in the pantry! Had no idea it was a wound fixer, and we are about to give it a go.

I’ll keep you posted!

pugs & kisses,

Liver la Vida Loca, dos!

I thought about this whole organ meat thing some more. And decided I’d give it another go.

So, I bought some chicken livers.

They were surprisingly larger than I expected.

They were supposedly not from chickens that had been fed growth hormones.

Hmmm….

Anyway. I froze them, put them in the blender with a couple of table spoons of apple cider vinegar and a bit of water, and hit “blend”. Pureed those suckers. I plopped the pate into a plastic container to continue the defrost in the fridge.

Still gross.

For real.

But much more manageable as a pudding, instead of a slippery, slimy, bloody ooze.

Served it up with some steamed broccoli and a sweet potato.

Lip-smackin good. (Or at least it seemed that way).

I don’t expect I’ll feed them very often, but as an occasional, nutrient-rich delicacy, this is something we can handle.

pugs & kisses,

Happy Gotcha Day!

Pets are family

October 4th marks mine & Pearl’s 1 year anniversary.

Here’s our story:

For 3 weeks, I had been grieving the loss of my Lulu, was under tremendous stress at work, and was deeply concerned about Percy. His health was declining–diabetes and COPD–and he was grieving Lulu too. He had never, ever been alone in his 12+ years. Lulu had been there to fill the void left by Princess, his littermate, who had passed away 3 years before. I was afraid I was in for another walk to the edge of the Rainbow Bridge. And I wasn’t ready for it. It was too soon.

Then, out of the blue, my vet’s office called. I couldn’t imagine why. I had no appointment scheduled. Lulu’s bills were paid. What’s the deal?

It was Misty, the head receptionist. They’d had a woman surrender her Pug, and she just wanted to check with me to see if I might be interested in taking her.

Uh. Yes, please.

Wait, don’t you want to see her?

Sure. But I’ll take her anyway.

Her owner had been struggling with serious health problems, and was in the hospital. She needed to re-home her pup.

“Mia” was 2 and a half years old, spayed, and in good health. They had known her since she left her mama.

I went by the clinic on my way home just to lay eyes on her.

I fell in love. She bit my toes in her excitement. I didn’t care.

She was FAT! and bubbly. And came wriggling and bouncing over to me like she’d known me forever.

I had a business dinner that night and didn’t want to just drop her in a strange home with a strange dog & walk back out the door. So she stayed at the vet one more day.

I brought her home the next afternoon. My girlfriends from college helped me choose her name.

Pearl.

She’s precious, round, and pearl-colored. A real jewel. And it sounded nice with Percy. Perfect!

Pearl brought me out of my deep sadness and filled my heart with joy once more. She helped Percy, too. His mood improved. His health stabilized for a few more weeks. And when it was time for him to join his sisters on the other side at the end of December, she was right there to help me through it again.

Where would I be without my Pearl?

Happy Gotcha Day, Pearl girl!!

So glad you’re here! 🙂

Companion animals need companions
Percy & Pearl nap together on game day.
Dogs in Christmas collars
Christmas Card photo shoot. One of many, many attempts.
Adopt, don't shop. Rescue a Pug in need
Pearl on Gotcha Day 2013. A little nervous. A little excited. Clearly unaccustomed to riding in the back seat.