Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Today's doggy breakfast menu consisted of:
- ground Diestel turkey necks
- ground Diestel turkey meat
- Diestel turkey hearts
- Petaluma Poultry chicken liver (not for Popeye though, as I'm testing out the theory that he might be allergic to chicken)
- Preference dehydrated fruit & veggie mix from The Honest Kitchen
- probiotics (for Popeye & Phoebe because they were on antibiotics recently)
- wild salmon oil (excellent for skin and coat)
- liquid glucosamine (to maintain healthy joints)
They don't always get such a wide array in a single meal. Sometimes they just get 1 or 2 things. Every meal is different.
A lot of people feel overwhelmed when first reading about raw feeding (or BARF, which stands for Bones and Raw Foods or Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods). There is a lot of information out there. I was so overwhelmed that I decided not to switch to raw the first time I looked into it.
The concept of raw feeding is very simple. Aim for about 50-75% raw meaty bones (chicken wings, thighs, backs, lamb breast, turkey necks--you get the picture) and the remaining can be anything else such as boneless meat, offal (that would be the organs like liver, kidney, heart), veggies, eggs, whatever. That's it. Just like our own human diets, there are no exacting recipes and an infinite different ways to go about it.
An easy way to transition into raw feeding and still feel confident your pet is getting a balanced diet is to do what I did. Buy a mix like any from The Honest Kitchen or Sojos (I would recommend grain-free). Then just add some raw meaty bones. You can go to the supermarket meat section or get pre-packaged ground, such as Small Batch if you're in the Bay Area. Voila. Instant raw diet.
BTW, if you prefer a kibble diet, at least make sure you are getting a good quality brand. If you've seen a commercial for them, then chances are they are not good quality brands. That includes Pedigree, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet (yeah, I don't care what your vet says). Most high quality brands are small names and more obscure. Pet Food Express carries many of them. You can look at the ingredients and decide for yourself. Here's how to interpret them: http://dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html#commercial. That link also provides a list of the top 20 commercial foods recommended by Whole Dog Journal. Notice that none of the major brands are on that list.