Rin-Tin-Tin goes Raw Foodie

Approximately one year ago, we were well into our nesting phase and making that oh-so-unique decision to get a dog. (Sarcasm.) We toyed around with the idea, and when we saw that the local animal shelter was having FREE adoptions, we jumped at the opportunity.

Did I mention the FREE adoptions were for “Extra-large breed dogs?”

Well, we visited the shelter and I promptly fell in love with a tall, sloppy drink of slobbery water. This mixed breed was some kind of Dane-Mastiff-Pit Bull mix. He was waaay too big, Husband said. But all us ladies know, when the Husband looks at us and emphatically says, “No” – it really means – “Go back to the shelter while I’m at work and put in an application.”

We brought Cal home in a rainstorm and immediately set off on a walk to establish the chain of command. After re-attaching my leash arm twice as Cal pulled me through rain puddles like he was charging the first leg of the Iditarod, I had my doubts. But we settled in to our routine, got a Dyson, let him up on the bed, and learned that the surefire way to “loosen up” is to adopt an untrained, fabulously obnoxious, overly enthusiastic 90-lb bundle of joy. I can say without reservation that my dog is the $#it.

 

This is his water. I don't argue.

We were fully Primal at this point, and as I became “one of those people” who chats with strangers about their “kid” without specifying that I actually mean “dog,” I started to think that we could do better than standard kibble. I’m no genius, but I’m 99.9% sure that wheat isn’t a natural part of a dog’s diet. So we switched to Orijen. I was happy with the ingredients and the improved digestion, but Cal wasn’t much more enthusiastic.

 

He's got the after-dinner blues.

Even with my Primal devotion, I scoffed at the idea of feeding dogs “raw.” Until I asked my friend Beth at Canine Cottage what she feeds her incredibly healthy, youthful dogs. We had a conversation about holistic nutrition (my obsession) and how it applies to dogs. She visits a holistic vet, doesn’t vaccinate on the traditional schedule (she titers) and has great success with feeding a raw diet to her pooches. Suddenly it made sense to me – crunchy, uniformly chalky beef-flavored nuggets? That may be the furthest thing from a natural diet there is. My dog is extra large, and I know XL dogs are supposed to be doomed to health problems, dysplasia, arthritis, stomach issues and earlier death than their teensy counterparts. Could this be diet-related?

I want to have Cal around for as long as humanly (and canine-ly) possible. If a raw diet will make that happen, I’m on board. So we gave it a whirl.

 

Majestic Raw, his favorite so far.

Raw food – the good stuff – can be obtained from local butchers (Cal also gets lamb), Majestic Raw, and US Wellness meats has it as well. Like eating whole foods, it may feel more expensive, but we’re looking at the long term here.

So ask around – there are vets who’ll say “no way, ” but as with doctors, sometimes the first opinion shouldn’t be the last. The ingredients? All kinds of nasty stuff that dogs love – Tripe, heart, liver, bone, and the kitchen sink. Raw poultry isn’t nutritious enough, so don’t opt for chicken because it’s cheaper. That long ingredient list on the Majestic sleeve makes use of just about every part of the cow, and the pooch makes use of just about everything in there too. His digestion is awesome (I won’t bore you with the details) and I hope this keeps him with us as long as possible.Ā I supplement his diet with the occasional pastured egg and coconut oil.

Anybody else feed Raw?

 

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9 Responses to “Rin-Tin-Tin goes Raw Foodie”

  1. Our kitties eat raw meat. Plain old ground turkey and Primal brand beef and salmon nuggets. I like the idea that if I ever run out of my own food, I could share some of theirs. šŸ™‚

  2. I feed our “canine companion” what I eat, animals and low carb veggies… so he’s primal.

    However, we do not feed him raw. Will check out the links though…thanks! šŸ™‚

  3. Alcott is all about her raw diet…w e switched her over to kibble when she had to stay at my in-laws (yuckkk). We went raw when we were still training her and it made a HUGE difference. Full puppies and happy puppies. I always made her food myself, so I am really interested in trying Cal’s favorite brand.

  4. Not long after I went Paleo I caught myself putting food in the dog’s bowl and thinking, “Hey. I don’t know what’s in this crap either.” I’ve been working on getting her switched over ever since. Your post is a timely reminder that I need to work harder on that so I’ll definitely be looking into this. Plus I’m getting two more puppies in about three weeks and I’d like to get them off on the right foot from the get-go!

  5. Have been feeding our dog a mix w/ raw meat and veggies for a couple of weeks now. Funny results include protecting her food from the cat (who tries to dart in for some liver) and pointing on walks (she only occasionally manifested this behavior in the past). BTW, Cal is gorgeous and one lucky dog!

    • Thanks Adam, for the comment AND the complement! We sure love our big guy..Our big “special” guy. I can’t believe it never occurred to me how unnatural kibble is. I’m so happy to supply the pooch with a more biologically appropriate diet! Also, our boarding lady told us to feel free to supplement with our table scraps…meat, veggies (nothing too seasoned) and the like. I realized…why WOULD I throw that stuff away when some of it would be just great for the dog! And whaddya know – it hasn’t caused him to beg or harass us at the dinner table. (Although he’s gotten up on the counters a few times. Not his fault – I understand the impulse!) BTW, your blog is great!

  6. My dog has been eating raw since she was a puppy. I tried all sorts of kibble when I first got her and all of it gave her the runs so bad (TMI!). It didnt even click that she should be eating raw until I met another dog owner in the park who told me she only fed her dog raw meat and some cooked veg. It makes so much sense when you think about what type of creatures they are!

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