Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raw Blog #1

This is the last time I will apologize for a large gap between posts. Sorry I am a bad blogger.

On to the meat of this post...

This is Bertie. He is a 2 lb miniature poodle puppy. No worries, Amelie is still kicking but I have wanted another dog for a loooong time. I was wait listed for this little guy for over a year. And now he is here.

And so begins our adventures with raw food. The same research that lead me to positive reinforcement training for The Poodle has also made me want to try a raw diet. I don't really want to give a whole run down as I am not an expert on this but for those not familiar with the term a raw diet is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a kibble full of fillers and meat from unknown sources you feed your dog whole bones and meat and offal and depending on your stripes veggies (some raw feeders are adamant that vegetables are unnecessary, others say their dogs just like them and seem to seek them out).

The result is a much happier and healthier dog. Dogs on raw diets have brighter eyes and shinier coats and blindingly white teeth. Since I got Bertie I have been feeding him (and Amelie) a partial raw diet (I was buying a pre-made raw mix and feeding that primarily along with a high quality canned food and a high quality kibble). A couple days ago we had a play date with another poodle puppy his exact age and Bertie had easily three times as much energy. The other puppy kept winding down and taking nap breaks but Bertie was good to run around for the full three-ish hours (and after). So I was already feeling good about their food.

But I've been doing some more reading the past couple days and realized that they are missing out with the pre-ground food. They miss out on the teeth cleaning and the work for food aspect that I already know Amelie loves. So I decided to switch to the real thing.

Today was actually our second official day with a raw diet. Yesterday they had sardines at lunch and chicken feet for dinner. Today Bertie had (more of the same) chicken foot again and I gave Amelie a beef short rib. I wish I could have cut the thing in half because it was waaaay too big for her. She managed most of it but is now super full and since she's on the pudgy side I'm thinking tomorrow for dinner she's just gonna get the one last sardine. I may get a hack saw or something to chop these bones down in future.

Bertie did very well with the chicken foot today after I scored it down the middle. His little teeth were having trouble denting the hide. Amelie looked like a portrait of a saint in ecstasy. They spent the better part of an hour working on their food. After the chicken foot yesterday Amelie was so excited for dinner tonight. She didn't even know what I had planned but she was shaking from excitement. Even the greediest chow hound at work doesn't show that kind of enthusiasm for food.

This is still primarily an art blog (no really!) but I have decided to chronicle this experiment for posterity. Last November the vet told me that Amelie would need her teeth scaled (again) sometime in the next year. I have been dreading it because even though he told me it would only cost "a couple hundred dollars" I know that it frequently costs $600 and up and I just don't have that kind of money right now. I've been doing dental chews and trying and mostly failing to remember to brush her teeth and they aren't that bad. Some tartar around the gumline but it's not too bad. I am interested to see when/if the new food starts to make a difference.

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