5 things most people think dogs shouldn’t eat but are actually good for them.

There are hundreds of posts and images detailing lots of foods that dogs shouldn’t eat. Virtually all of them have at least one or more item that is ok for dogs and might even be beneficial. Here are five foods that people don’t realize are good for their dogs.


Most dog parents have been told at some point that garlic is toxic, garlic will cause anemia, garlic will kill your dog. The truth is if over fed yes garlic will harm your dog. According to Dogs Naturally Magazine the study that started this fear was conducted in 2000 on 11 dogs for 15 days. Each dog was given 1 clove per kilogram of body weight. So let’s say you have a 50lb (22.6kg), that would be the equivalent of 2-3 entire heads of garlic! I think anyone would agree that is an extremely excessive amount.

Now that we have lowered our fears let’s talk about the good things garlic does. Garlic helps to stimulate the immune system and is antibacterial and antiviral, so great for cold and flu season, yes dogs get colds and flus just like us. It’s an antioxidant as well and anti-cancer meaning it is going to help get rid of those pesky free radicals and help control any cells that have started to mutate into cancerous cells. In the spring summer and fall it helps to deter mosquitos and fleas.

Of course there is a proper way to prepare and administer garlic to your dog. First things first the garlic must be organic, there is no point in using garlic if it is covered in pesticides and herbicides. It also must be fresh, the chemical in garlic that makes it work so well is allicin which dissipates quickly after being released. You must give the garlic a 5 min breather after crushing/ chopping as allicin is only released as a result of damaging the clove but takes time to spread through the entire clove.

If you’re wondering how much to give here’s a handy chart:

Yes I stole that from Dogs Naturally Magazine!

Want to know more about garlic check out what these vets have to say:

Dr. Karen Becker: Fleas, Ticks, Seasonal Allergies

Dr. Deva Khalsa: Is garlic safe for your dog? (video)

Raw Egg

This one is a little tricky because it really depends on a lot of factors. The obvious issue with anything raw is pathogens with eggs it’s salmonella contamination that we should be concerned with and while some people argue that a dogs stomach can handle a little salmonella contamination it’s too easy for this to go wrong. So before we get into why raw egg is good for your dog I want to discuss some precautions to take. Never feed a raw egg from the grocery store, there is no way to know exactly where all those eggs came from, how long they have been there and how many pathogens they may have come in contact with. Further most eggs in grocery stores are from giant farms that have a higher chance of festering salmonella and other pathogens. Never feed, and this really should go without saying, an egg that has gone bad. Do feed eggs that you bought fresh from a local farm, even better if you hunted for them yourself. Do feed raw eggs in moderation. When in doubt boil.

Egg contains omega 3, protein, selenium and vitamin A just to name a few benefits.

Dr. Karen Becker: Egg product vs Egg

Dana Scott: Eggs: Why your dog needs them.

“Human” Food

This is one that really gets under my skin, food is food. It’s not like chicken farmers grow dog chickens and human chickens or cat chickens, that’s absolutely ridiculous! So why on earth do people think there is a difference between human food and pet food? If you are feeding your pet real food (not processed garbage) there is nothing wrong with sharing some of your real food.

Of course there are some stipulations obviously don’t feed anything that has onions, grapes, or anything you are not sure what all the ingredients are. I would suggest you avoid sharing any processed foods like chips or burgers and the like as well.


Let me start off by saying a cooked bone is never a good idea and should be avoided at all costs. Cooked bones tend to splinter and can cause internal bleeding. That, however, doesn’t mean that all raw bones are suitable for all dogs. Take Echo for example, she needs hard marrow bones cut from the femur or she will actually shred and eat the entire bone! I know someone is very confused, didn’t I just say bones were edible? To clarify there are edible bones and recreational chewing bones. Edibles bones would include poultry feet, wings, necks etc these are soft bones that are digestible. Recreational chewing bones on the other hand include beef ribs, necks, knees, legs etc. These are hard bones that are not digestible but have enzymes surrounding them that assist in cleaning teeth with the additional benefit of marrow is some cases.

To determine which bones if any are suitable for your dog you first need to do an oral check. Are there any cracked or fractured teeth? Problems with bleeding gums? If the answer is yes leave the bones alone and discuss with your vet the best course of action.

Next how aggressive is you dog when chewing and how do they chew. Is your dog a chomper or a gnawer? Meaning do they try to eat it like we would eat a chocolate bar or do the grind their teeth along it. If they’re a chomper make sure the bone is bigger than what they can get their jaw around. Always keep an eye on them while chewing bones, and take the bone away after 45min to avoid potential injury to gums or over use of the jaw muscles.


You might not know it but there are two main categories of cherry, sweet and tart. Sweet cherries are usually what you find in supermarkets and tart is usually what you would find in a pie. Cherries, especially tart cherries are excellent at relieving pain and you may see them in supplements for arthritis because they work so well. There is no reason your dog can’t enjoy them along with you and get a treat along with some health benefits. However, just as you would with a toddler please remove the pit and stem.

The pit, like other stone fruit contains cyanogenic compounds, that means they turn to cyanide in the body.

Of course you should never feed cherry pie or maraschino cherries to any animal.


Dog Food Recipes

If you have been following along you probably already know that I’m not a fan of processed kibble or even most canned dog food. I believe dogs should be eating real food and I’m not alone! Fellow blogger from Wisk and Dine recently posted one of her favourite recipes for real food dog food, Doggie Love Dog Food, go
check it out I’ll wait here.

Looks delicious right!? If you read all the way to the comments you might have seen mine. I told her how much I love that people are getting away from processed food and starting to make their dogs real food. And I mean it! Really nothing makes me happier, ok well there are a few things that make me happier. However, I did have some concerns and these are concerns I only have for those posting dog food recipes. My biggest concern is be concise, for example the nutrition would be quite different if someone recreating it used 10% fat ground beef as oppose to the 80% percent that she used. Not that it would be disastrous, but over time they may find that their dog isn’t getting enough fat and assume that all recipes are garbage because of that.

The other thing I noted was there was a lot of vegetable matter, now this is where it really gets into each dog is different. While dogs are carnivores it doesn’t mean that they can’t have veggies or even that they shouldn’t, further it does have a lot to do with their origins as well. For example huskies tend to love and do well with a diet of mostly fish. Echo who is a Giant Schnauzer, origins as a German farm dog, won’t touch fish; it’s not part of her natural diet. Of course that’s not to say that just because a dog doesn’t like something it’s not part of their natural diet.

In response to the comment I left she asked if I had any recipes I would care to share. And I’m finding that a little difficult, for the simple reason we don’t follow a recipe. Instead we have guide lines. She always gets 1.5-2.5lbs of raw meat and there is always some vegetable matter and oils and fats. How much and what precisely she is given depends on what she needs.

If you are new to dogs, feeding real food or raw I do not recommend this method. I know Echo very well, I mean really REALLY well. For example, there was a slight cloud to Echo’s eye, she is too young for cataracts and it really was barely perceivable. I realized this meant she needed more antioxidants and added more berries to her meals, it cleared up in a day. Or if her poops get dusty I know that she needs more organs. If she has been laying on the floor more than her bed or the couch I know she needs some rabbit and duck. Or vice versa if she doesn’t want to lay on the floor at all she needs some lamb. There are so many little tells we could talk about it all day, and there are even more that I haven’t discovered yet.

Here’s what she’s getting today:

1lb lamb (80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ)

1lb beef/ chicken mix (75% meat, 15% bone, 10% organ)

3 small cloves of organic garlic (pressed)

5 dehydrated organic blueberries

10 dehydrated organic cranberries

2 sprigs of fresh parsley

4 sprigs of fresh mint

A sprinkle of bone broth powder

8 tsp organic cold pressed coconut oil

Enough water to make it look like slop, looks gross but that’s they way she likes it.

You may notice there is very little vegetable matter as she will be getting some throughout the day and she is a carnivore not an omnivore.

In case you are wondering the meat comes from a semi local company called Big Country Raw. I am not receiving any incentives from them to write this post. However, if someone from BCR happens to be reading this and wants to send some presents my way Echo loves duck lol.

BCR really does make my life much easier by having the meat bone and organs already combined. This is crazy important for anyone making their own food. Don’t forget the soft bones and organs! They even make it easy on those who are new to raw feeding with what they call dinners. These have vegetables already included so it’s a little more familiar and even less work. Simply thaw and serve.

So that’s for today, as for tomorrow, we’ll just have to wait and see. And in case anyone is wondering this is how I feed the humans too, just not raw.

I was horrified at what she found.

We had just got home from the dog park, Echo was still amped up and covered in mud and suddenly became very interested with something on our steps. This isn’t out of the ordinary for her, if she gets a scent that doesn’t make sense she has to go investigate like the curious puppy she is. What she found horrified me!

It was her nail!! Completely freaking out on the inside I grabbed it yelled out for my husband who got the muddy girl straight into bathtub. I tore off all my outdoor clothes and rushed to join them in the bathroom all the way checking for blood. There was none. I was very confused, it looked like her entire nail had fallen off.

I figured it would be much easier to examine her once she was clean so I started rinsing the mud and leaves and sticks from her fur. I was even more shocked to find all of her toes had nails.

Nothing was making sense so I took a closer look at each individual nail and found what I thought must be the culprit. She had one nail the the top of the nail was still there but the bottom and tip had given way. Her quick was exposed but not bleeding. She had just run around a dog park for over an hour wasn’t limping, no snapping when I touched the nail or when I examined her foot. I’m still asking how are you not in agonizing pain? But she’s not.

So my only choice is to clean and bandage the nail with the exposed quick and start trying to figure out how this happened.

Now I feel even worse, this was all my fault. I had fallen behind on her nail trims and while I thought they were ok I was wrong. So let this be a lesson for you and for me keep those nails trimmed. I was lucky this could have been so much worse and it really is all my fault.

Long time no post: Raw Food.

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.

Once I let a vet scare me.

20170420_130126Confession time! I’m human and I can be fooled and scared just like all of you.
Echo my wonderful Giant Schnauzer had become a woman (no longer a girl), I called my vet and they told me I would have to wait for another 10 weeks until after she was done bleeding. And I did, and then I got strapped for cash and time so we put it off, and as things go I kept putting it off until it was almost too late. About a month or so before she was due to come into heat again I quickly phoned the vet to get things ready. This is when we found out I was behind on a few of her shots (yup bad mom!) So we had that appointment first and I used this time to talk to the vet (new vet at the clinic) about other options rather than a full spay. The vet gave me that look and explained that there are other options and it was my decision. Sounds good right? Of course, he was making me feel like it was my decision. He then went on to tell me about the heartbreak of dogs getting cancer and in his opinion because you can’t get cancer in something you don’t have a full spay was the way to go. I promptly went out and scheduled it for a week and a half later.
Yup didn’t even think twice, I was won over by the cancer scare tactic! Now some of you are wondering what’s wrong with that advice? After all no one wants cancer and no one wants anyone they care about to get cancer either. But would you cut off your arm because you might get cancer in it? Probably not, what about your tongue? Or liver? Throat? Thyroid? Toes? I do realize there are people out there who do remove body parts as a preventative measure, the difference is they are genetically disposed and if the doctor is worth anything they had to go through rigorous testing to make sure this was actually a viable option. My vet never did any tests on my dog, didn’t look into her bloodline didn’t even mention that schnauzers are prone to toe cancer. And in my panic I fell for it.
Now I don’t think my vet was maniacally laughing at me after I left, I think he truly believed everything he was telling me. He really was concerned about cancer and thought I should be too. After all that is the opinion his schooling has taught him. And this is why I feel the need to confess, I failed my girl by panicking. I should have stopped taken a step back and looked at this rationally and asked my vet the same line of questions I just asked you.
In the end the surgery went well and I have not noticed any major issues. She is still running around and acting like herself. But I don’t know how this decision will affect her later in life and I don’t know if I would make the same decision the next time I’m faced with it.

Opinions vs Facts; What is a Theory?

As more and more people start learning from non-traditional sources, like the Internet, there will inevitably be more disagreements and arguments and often in the middle of these fights you will hear (or read) someone yell “Well that’s your OPINION!”. It’s often said as a slur, meant to end an argument that one cannot win without fully giving in and agreeing with the other party.  Of course very rarely does it actually end the argument, it’s actually more likely to spiral a relatively calm debate into a full temper tantrum.  Essentially, by telling someone the info they gave you is an opinion (rather than a fact), you told them that they’re stupid, uneducated and are plain wrong.

In truth, there are very few (if any) facts period, everything we learn is actually someone else’s opinion or theory.  Take a second for that to sink in.  That’s right when you go to school and learn about say nutrition, you are learning someone else’s opinions and assumptions.  Your doctor learned someone else’s opinions regarding medicine and makes assumptions based on those opinions.  Wow.  Yes I did just say that but before you start yelling at me in the comments take a second and open your mind.

How did the practice of medicine start? I imagine someone wasn’t feeling well then ate something and felt better, then the next time they felt unwell they ate that same thing and again like magic they felt better.  They then told someone else who wasn’t feeling well to eat that same thing and the other person also felt better, and now when anyone feels unwell they eat that same thing and most feel better.  So here we have a person who assumed that what they ate was what made them feel better they also assumed that it would make someone else feel better. In their opinion (or from their viewpoint) they were the same and thus the same treatment would work. But of course as we know now what works for some (even for most) might not work for everyone.  Of course I don’t know if this is how medicine actually started but this is my theory on the matter.

So what is a theory? You guessed it; it’s an assumption based on observable data.

Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with fur babies, and the answer is everything!  I often here people say well I don’t agree with what my vet told me to do but they’re a vet. Or I don’t really like using _____ but the trainer said it’s the best thing. Or we’ll the breeder said this was the best/ the only thing I can use.  I usually want to smack and shake these people back to reality, your gut is telling you something is wrong. Do not ignore your gut! Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to question anyone, yes that includes me. Remember every single person who tells you something is telling you their opinion.  And it never hurts to get a second or even third opinion.

Of course there are limits, and there are things you really should trust your vet on.  For example if your vet refuses an operation or a medication ask why don’t just dismiss their opinion.  If your vet says no to specific foods, maybe that food will counteract a medication or maybe it will give a false positive on a blood test.  There really is a lot to learn when it comes to medicine, and while it is based on theories, opinions and assumptions your vet has had a lot more experience than you (and me).

My rule of thumb… leave medicine and surgery to the doctors; and question everything.



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.