Michael Cox wrote:
I guess my take home is that
1) It is only in fairly recent history that dogs were given prepared meals, as opposed to scraps.
2) They like meat, but they don't need it (unlike Cats!)
3) They do better on cooked food - it is safer and they can extract more nutrients from it.
Jen Rose wrote:I will put my vote in that dogs are carnivores. I feed raw and have done so for years for many dogs. In reality dogs can live on a shocking variety of foods and survive, but in my experience raw fed pooches have been the healthiest. No stinky greasy dog odor, no eye boogers, no itching, no rashes, no ear gunk, no bad breath, pearly white teeth, trim robust healthy weight, and beautiful soft coats. Not to mention less boredom when they get to satisfy carnal behaviors eating Whole Foods every day, and a very spunky pooch into old age to boot! Ok, maybe some gnarly farts now and again, but it’s worth it to me!
We flourish mostly on a combination of road salvaged deer and home raised rabbits. 4 working does should provide a daily meal for a very large dog, and they are incredibly simple to raise. I keep mine on open ground in a colony. I usually cull the males and sell the females. My breeding stock have names, but the offspring are dog food, I avoid attaching to the kits. I have no problem butchering, I know the value of the whole system. The rabbits live healthy happy lives and the dogs get food nature intended. Plus I’m not paying $$$ for premium specialty kibble that my dogs won’t get rashes from. I personally use cervical dislocation to dispatch. A shovel handle over the neck, step on the handle, pull up on the back legs. No screaming, no bleeding, no thrashing, it’s instant, and you don’t have to look. And if for some reason you don’t get it right the first time, it’s paralyzed and can’t feel pain, unlike hacking off a chickens head only halfway :s. Oh how I hated butchering like that! Cervical dislocation is the only way for me these days!
I also raise chickens and turkeys, which, if your dogs will eat poultry, can be a great way to supplement and diversify. My dog is too spoiled... she’d pick rabbit over anything any day, but otherwise she demands red meat. The booger! A small flock with broody hens can raise dozens of birds for you in a year, providing months of dog food. Many folks are terrified of poultry bones. I’m not here to debate it. My dogs have been eating raw and cooked carcasses for almost a decade. I’ll leave it at that.
The only problem with bones I’ve had was a puppy swallowing a large piece of raw deer bone. She passed it, but it was painful for her. When she pooped it out finally, boy she sniffed that turd carefully, pinpointed the bone, and said “never again” . From that day on she spat out any tough piece larger than 1”. Smart girl!
I’ve also tried quail... if you can manage to contain and protect them and want to incubate eggs manually, they’re very prolific. I will get back into them someday, but they do need a special setup. Quail make great meals for small dogs and cats. I used to dehydrated skinned quail for. Hiking with th e dogs- quail cookies! Easy, lightweight foodstuffs. I do this with fish as well, crunchy fish cookies loaded with good oils and nourishment.
I also raise pigeons, they’re not terribly prolific, but easy to keep, easy to feed, pleasant to have around, and they produce a surprising amount of meat with thick tasty fat, reminiscent of duck. I use them mostly for cat food as the dogs have plenty to eat.
My philosophy with raw meat is that every part of the animal makes the whole food. The skin, fur, tendons, blood, bones, organs, guts, brain, cartilage. Every bit of it is fabulously nourishing. Raw meat poos are small, odorless (usually), and break down incredibly quickly. If You have the means and the stomach for it, I avidly encourage going raw!
Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:This is how we feed our dogs and cat at the moment and how we will develop this as we grow more of our own food.
All hail the canner!
My last batch contained lungs that I got from the butcher. As I progress I will up the amount of beans and veg to the cans. When we butcher our own pigs I'll include brains, hear and lungs, ears and feet, all pressure cooked first for sanitary reasons but also to release the goodies.
Hope this helps
Skandi Rogers wrote:We have a collie Lab cross (22kg) and a pug (8kg) the collie has been on raw food since she was 11 weeks and the pug since age 1. They get chicken legs/thighs for breakfast and then slaughterhouse waste for dinner. We buy the pluck from a local slaughterhouse, so liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, tongue and if it is pork normally the trachea and other tubing as well. It is important to balance it with ours receiving around 10% bone 80% meat (includes lung and heart) and 10% organs (includes Liver, kidney, spleen etc).
The cats are not so lucky they get cheap kibble (free fed) and as many mice/voles/rats as they want. I want my cats to go catch their own, I do not want to feed them all the food they desire they have free access to all the dried food they could possibly eat but it is one type. one flavour and never changed, mice taste much better apparently and that is the whole idea.
Mike Homest wrote:
Interesting that you get (cheap?) liver. In Europe it is mostly sold not so cheap in a butchery, sure it tastes horrible but contains shitloads of vitamins, minerals and so on, almost anything, a real super-food!
Lorinne Anderson wrote:I have concerns about feeding raw or roadkill. Dogs are NOT wolves, although, as many described, when faced with a carcass will always go for the herbivores stomach FIRST - this clearly puts dogs in the OMNIVORE category - so should never be fed straight meat.
Lorinne Anderson wrote: The second issue with roadkill or raw is parasites - to say a dog "never has issues with parasites is strictly anecdotal, unless regular bloodwork and fecal floats are done. The dog may not SHOW effects from parasites, but that does not mean they do not exist, and are not transferable to humans or other livestock for whom they COULD be troublesome.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:
Medical treatment for parasites, be it the dog, the stock or the human IS expensive, and introducing nasty pharmaceuticals into the creature AND the environment. Ask anyone who has had to treat a dog for tapeworm - a large dog can easily be over $100.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:Lastly, the feeding of high fat or giving of fat drippings or congealed fat can be very risky, causing a condition called pancreatitis. Again, each animal is individual - what is fine for one can kill another. The high holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) are a vet's busiest time for this as folks decide to treat their pets with the turkey pan full of drippings, or a meal of leftovers, smothered in gravy.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:YES, many dogs, miraculously manage, likely because they had older dogs to mimic proper eating, have learned which plants are natural purgatives, and supplement their diets with wild found foods. My concern is that, not knowing the POSSIBLE risks, someone takes their pet off kibble and without slow introduction to new feeding methods, COULD potentially cause great harm or death to their beloved pet.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:The reason I harp on this is it can become a serious health issue, not only for the dogs, but potentially for the humans; especially with parasite transfer to the very young, older, or health compromised. Although I am not employed at a vet clinic, I spend, on average, 10 hours a week there (I take in broken, high medical care animals); and I see the results of these feeding methods, literally every time I'm there - and I watch their owners wrestle with paying to treat their pets, and euthanasia, as they simply cannot afford treatment. Most of us permies are NOT flush with cash. So please, take ALL risks into consideration, before opting for these cheaper/more natural feeding methods.