Our puppy was about 4 months when she started turning her nose up at her dinner. It was a more expensive brand of dog food, recommended by her breeder. We began to get concerned.
The label of the food was the first thing I looked at. It was mostly filler, with a quantity of some kind of meat derivative. Didn’t really sound very appetising. Back into the lounge and powered up the laptop.
A TV show was trying to put children off eating fast food by making chicken nuggets, making a big show of the poor quality of the raw ingredients- the chicken carcass used had nothing left worth eating. It was quite stomach churning.
A thought…. What is in pet food if they use all the “yuckky” bits in human food? I had always thought the pet food people would use the rest of the animal after the butchers had got all the good bits off… so what is in pet food if there’s nothing left?
The laptop powered, several days of reading and cross checking and referencing later we were convinced. BARF.
Raw food with bones in (for the calcium), or cooked meat without bones (cooked bones shatter into sharp bits when bitten). Veg, fruit and nuts. Offal for vitamins, an egg and some fish. Chickens have the correct meat-bone ratio for protein-calcium, but other meat is necessary too for variety.
We got a diet sheet worked out and printed off and went off to the supermarket. For comparison we noted the price of their dog food and began filling the trolley with our long list for veg mix and the chickens, offal and a couple of bit of lamb and that had been reduced…. the trolley was full and it came to quite a bit. Pet shop next- tripe, frozen in portion sized packets that you just need to defrost, no cooking involved. I sighed with relief. We got some more microbiotic cleaning stuff in case she wiped the uncooked meat over the floor. It was all going brilliantly until waiting at the till I wasn’t paying attention and was gazing about the shop and suddenly started laughing at an extra twee rabbit hutch. My husband glared at me… “what?” I had started giggling the very moment a chubby lady in front of us couldn’t lift a heavy sack of food out of her trolley. Oh no!
So very glad to be home we set about making the veg mix. My husband already had showed me how to cut up a chicken into quarters, soon we were good to go. Would our pup like it though?
With some trepidation the bowl went on the floor, the dog sat nicely and then “take it”. She caught a whiff. Her eyes widened and her head was in the bowl and she was munching before my heart had time to beat. Then it nearly popped with joy to see her relish her food so much, after such ambivalence.
As the weeks went on she grew and gained weight appropriately. More dogs came along and they too seemed to thrive. People ask if Poppy had been swimming when she wasn’t wet, her coat is so shiny. Now our dogs’ seasons are frequent, a sign of great health. There was one drawback on offal day as some dogs don’t like raw liver. Once we worked out they love it cooked with a some carrots (microwaved for a few minutes with the extractor fan on)….. there was no turning back.
How about the price? it works out cheaper than the stock-standard branded food we price checked at the supermarket that first day. Cheaper still if you buy the offers and reduced things and then freeze them, or become friends with your butcher.
We have no food aggression here… I suppose because they perceive the supply as plentiful they don’t get anxious about sharing.
Our diet sheets are available on request 🙂
P.S. Dogs will become ill if they are fed grapes and raisins, onions or leeks. Chocolate is also poisonous and can be fatal.