Holiday season just ended, and traveling and visiting was already stressful enough trying to explain how I raise my dog to my family was just not in my bag.
So we packed up, I separated Echo’s food into days, made sure she had enough organs in each container and brought some toppers too. When we are at home she eats once to twice a day at meal times. I do not have scheduled meal times so that we can always be flexible, but we don’t have an open buffet all day long for a number of reasons; raw meat left out would go bad, just like us animals tend to eat when they’re bored, it’s harder to keep track of how much they’re eating which is usually the first sign that something is wrong. And you have probably guessed everyone we visited leaves the food down and just tops up the bowl. Of course Echo, who has never been trained not to eat another dogs food since we only have one dog and all of our animals have their own rooms, headed straight for the bowl and ate what she thought were treats. By the time it came for her food she didn’t want to eat anymore. I mean when you were a kid would you want to eat dinner if there were always cookies?
So yes Echo ate kibble for a few days, and while I wasn’t happy about it so far the worst was the size and amount and consistency of poo. My goodness, I had forgotten what kibble poos were like and I can’t wait till she gets it all out of her system.
Of course no matter how aloof I tried to act everyone tried to assure me that they had the best food or care etc. That’s actually what really got to me. I had already rationalized Echo eating kibble by reminding myself that I had been eating McDonald’s for the past 3 days and in my mind they are the same thing. I did not need them to belittle me or talk to me as if I’m overprotective. Seriously if I hear one more time “It’s from the vet.” I’m going to scream.
While I talk and write with confidence, please never mistake that for me thinking or claiming to know everything because I don’t and just like you I have made mistakes. I will try to recall these in order.
My first mistake assuming that feeding kibble and raw was a good idea. No nothing bad happened, the problem was that all the good I was doing with the raw was being undone by the kibble.
I mistakenly believed (was told by my co-workers at the pet store) that in order for the raw food to be complete it had to contain vegetables. While it is nice to have veggies and I fully support adding certain veggies into their diet a complete meal does not need to contain vegetable matter.
Choosing the wrong brand. Echo can be picky if she smells something is off. I don’t mean that it has gone bad, I mean if they used hormones, or antibiotics or if the meat has been sitting in the freezer too long. Things that you and I wouldn’t know unless we snuck on the farm. It took a while to figure out this was why she was refusing to eat.
Not balancing the amount of organs with the amount of bone content and assuming that Echo needed pumpkin when she actually needed more organs.
And the last mistake for this post is trying to explain raw food to my family who believes the kibble from the vet is magically better than kibble in the store, or that the commercial says this is the best food and that raw food is bad. Yes now I just smile and nod because I know they will never get it.
What mistakes have you made? Or if you are worried about raw what are your concerns?
It has been quite a while since I posted to this blog so today I’d like to talk about something I have been doing that some of you are going to cheer for and others are going to look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I’m talking about raw food. That’s right Echo has been eating food that has not been cooked, just like a wild animal (GASP!). When it comes to how you feed your fur babies it is your choice, just as it’s your choice what you feed your children. So if you want to feed your kids processed food with lots of sugars and starches that’s ok by me just don’t complain later if they develop health problems, or maybe they’ll be the lucky ones and have no problems. I take the same approach to Echo’s food, I don’t believe processed food with loads of sugar and starch is healthy no matter how pretty the pamphlet is or how much the rep sweet talked it to my vet. (Side note I have a background in marketing and sales so it makes it easier for me to spot a line)
Don’t think I made the switch to raw food lightly, I spent months researching and learning and even though I have been doing this for years now I’m still learning and have made mistakes. The main reason I switched was just as I mentioned above the amount of sugars and starches in ALL kibble is astronomical. You actually can’t make kibble without adding a starch to hold it’s shape. You may notice the kibbles that list really low starch content are usually quite crumbly and you end up with half a bag of dust. The only way to get around that is additives. At this point I’m not sure what additives would hold the kibble shape so I’ll refrain from commenting on that. These starches often encourage yeast growth and just aren’t part of a dogs natural diet in such high quantities.
The next factor for me was price. Echo is a large dog and has a very fast metabolism so needless to explain she eats a lot. By the time I was done buying kibble, cans, treats and bones I was well over $200 A month and that’s not including toys, supplements or vets. With the raw company I currently buy from I spend $180 and it’s delivered to my door. That includes food, bones, treats etc. Shocking right?! Yes you read that right I’m actually saving money by buying raw!
Take some time an let that sink in next post will be about some of the mistakes I made with the raw diet.
As I sit here trying to figure out where to start I keep imagining what kind of place I want this to be. I want this to be a place where people (you included) could openly discuss what’s on their mind. A place where no one is trying to sell you something you don’t need. A place where new ideas and fresh thinking is encouraged and most of all a place where I can speak openly.
In my day to day life I often have to be very cautious of the info or suggestions I give to people as it doesn’t correspond with my bosses opinions or a vet’s opinions or a customer’s opinions, or because it may be considered practicing veterinary medicine without a license. So let me be perfectly clear I am not a vet, I don’t play one on TV and I certainly don’t play one on the Internet. I am, however, a fully conscious human with a brain and the mental capacity to form an educated opinion on many matters including, but not limited to the care of my fur babies. Any information learned here does not replace your vet, that is not the purpose of this place.
Is there anything you would like to talk about let me know in the comments.