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Looking for a new BARF diet for my 10 year old English Shepherd

 
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This is Pip.



She’s called Pip because her mum was called Apple. She was the first born daughter of Adam and Eve who were imported to the UK from Utah and Arizona. The English Shepherd disappeared in the UK with the rise of the Border Collie. They are both ‘cousins’ descending from a common ancestor of many shepherd breads around the world.

Pip is my dog and I’m her master - this is her arrangement, not mine. Since she was a few months old, I have fed her a Bones And Raw Food diet know as BARF. The bulk of her food has been raw chicken wings. The rest of her diet is random and includes fish, eggs, yoghurt, leftovers, raw marrow bones etc. Standard BARF fare.

She’s was until recently in top health. She’s now approaching eleven and slowed down a little, but as any shepherd owner will tell you, that still makes her a lot more active than most pooches. Apart from one incident when she ate an oily rag, the only vets bills I’ve paid have been for annual check ups and jabs. The vets are always amazed when I tell them how old she is. She still has a puppy nature, glossy fur, clean shiny teeth and the blood work of a two year old . . . Much to the annoyance of the vets!

Recently though, her diet has started to cause issues. A couple of hours after eating she gets full body hick-ups and she sometimes  throws up the chicken wing knuckle bones.

I came here first because I’m sure there are Permies whose animals are on a BARF diet. I also want to stay true to my principles. The food she currently eats is of the highest ethical standard I can source, so free range organic local regenerative farming  chicken wings, eggs etc. (Might sound expensive at just over $4 a day but for her health, quality of life and my conscience, worth it. The only time I had an unscheduled trip to the vets it was $700+).

So I need an alternative for her . . . Can you help? Thanks.


 
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How often do you feed her?

Our dog gets three meals a day, just like me ... breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Which meal is giving her problems? If you only feed her one time a day maybe it would be good to change to two meals.

Our dog has breakfast of quality dog food.

Lunch and dinner consist of green beans, carrots, and pumpkin.  Usually on a rotating basis.

Would adding some veggies help your dog?

 
 
master pollinator
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Have you checked out mypetcarnivore.com?    They have a pretty big selection.

Also,  you may try grinding them for her.  At her age, it could be a chewing issue that is causing part of the problem?    Does she get a probiotic?

I've been raw feeding for 20+ years.    I raise my own rabbit, and used to have duck eggs for them as well.   I have a few local butchers that grind their own raw dog mix.   Plus I've ordered from the above website to round things out.

I believe there is also a raw food coop in your neck of the woods, let me ask around to see if I can find them/a link/ and if they are still doing group orders and a delivery circuit...
 
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I have been feeding mostly raw food diet thanks to my best friends vet Dr Dobias. He has a great website with tons of information from a holistic and veterinary perspective. It is free and is relevant for dogs and humans.

Recipe Maker Dr Peter Dobias

Good Luck and health to you both...
 
pollinator
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Second the motion to feed 2-3 smaller meals per day rather than 1 large one (if that's what you are doing now).  Is she getting enough organ meat?  

Also, the idea to grind her food has merit if she's struggling with chewing the bones.  Though chicken wings shouldn't be a struggle unless she's losing teeth.
 
master gardener
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I also feed raw, but my Charlie is not quite 3. She also gets 3 meals/day, starting with a raw egg from our own chickens (she's only about 15lbs, so small meals) for breakfast, with a vitamin/ mineral supplement sprinkle. Dinner and supper are each meals of fruit, veggies, a variety of good quality meats - both organ & muscle, psyllium husk fiber, powdered egg shells (from the same eggs), & mushrooms. Treats are dried fish, or other meats - chicken, venison, duck, turkey, etc, plus any cartilage I can find. My vet said she couldn't do better, herself. Hopefully, like you've done, my efforts will keep her healthy for a very long time. If you're looking for supplements that might help, I'd check with dogsnaturally.com. They have a good variety of specifically-directed supplements that are easy to dose as a flavorful sprinkle over food, including fermented and other digestive health options. Not cheap - but, much less expensive than typical vet bills.
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Edward Norton
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Awesome! Just the kind of information I was hoping to get. Thanks for the links. I should have enough information to transition to a more varied and less chicken orientated diet.

She only gets one meal a day, so definitely going to change that. Her veggie intake is mostly leftovers. She was getting much more organ meat when we lived in Singapore where I could buy it cheaply at the wet markets. I need to fix that. I didn’t think about probiotics except she gets home made yoghurt and a dash of ACV.
 
Carla Burke
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Edward Norton wrote:Awesome! Just the kind of information I was hoping to get. Thanks for the links. I should have enough information to transition to a more varied and less chicken orientated diet.

She only gets one meal a day, so definitely going to change that. Her veggie intake is mostly leftovers. She was getting much more organ meat when we lived in Singapore where I could buy it cheaply at the wet markets. I need to fix that. I didn’t think about probiotics except she gets home made yoghurt and a dash of ACV.



Probiotics are great, and yogurt isn't a bad one, but if you can do kefir, or find goat milk, to make yogurts or kefir from, the goat milk is easier on their digestive system. Raw, organic acv is very good, and a tablespoon per ten pounds of dog weight is a great dose! Raw honey is good for them, too (at about 1teaspon per 10 - 15lbs of dog weight), and could be mixed with the acv (making it an oxymel), and drizzled over her food or added to her water, for a lemonade-esque treat that would be super beneficial. The mushrooms I add are reishi, maitake, shitake, and lions mane.
 
Mother Tree
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The English Shepherd disappeared in the UK with the rise of the Border Collie. They are both ‘cousins’ descending from a common ancestor of many shepherd breads around the world.



The blood didn't disappear completely though - a few years ago the remnants that were still to be found, mostly in Wales, were found and registered as Welsh Sheepdogs.

Check out this thread - Training a Welsh Sheepdog

I have one here, in Portugal.  


And a shot of him working, in very non-border-collie style, before he come over.



They aren't recognised by the Kennel Club as the society has refused to hand over the information to them, believing that the breed would be better kept as working only, and is likely to get spoiled if they are allowed to become show dogs.

Can't help you on the diet - mine needs very plain, dry diet. Anything else is too rich for him and messes him up. Most sheepdogs I knew as a kid (which were welsh sheepdogs in all but name as this was long before the society was formed) survived on a diet of milk, bread and scraps. And probably sheep-afterbirth...
 
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