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Starting your puppy on raw dog food

| blog | December 11, 2014

Dog Food PuppyThis is a guest post by Dean Barrow who runs raw feeding website, Raw Dog Food. 

Raw feeding is getting increasingly popular amongst dog owners these days, and it’s no surprise that they’d like their pets to be as healthily as possible.

For those of you in the dark, raw feeding is the process of mimicking a dog’s natural diet as closely as possible. This is done by feeding what dogs have been eating for thousands of years – raw meat.

There are two distinct feeding methods undertaken by raw feeders, these are BARF, short for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods, and the Prey method. That doesn’t mean you have to take sides though, some feed one, the other, or even a mix of both, whatever works best for you and your dog.

BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods

This is the quickest and easiest way to start feeding raw, BARF is essentially a pre-mixed blend of raw meat, bone, fruit and veg, calculated for the perfect nutritional balance for your dog.

The Prey Method

Prey feeders serve the whole prey whenever possible instead of a pre-mixed blend. This can be any mammal that runs, flies or swims, including whole chickens, turkeys, rabbits etc.

But enough about what is it, the question you’re probably asking is why you should start feeding raw to your new puppy.

Why should you feed your puppy a raw food diet?

So if you’ve just got a new puppy, or you’re planning to get one (remember at this time of the year, a puppy is not just for Christmas!), you’re likely doing a bit of research as to what to feed them.

Well if you want to start them off by feeding them the most natural and beneficial diet as possible, you should really consider raw dog food. Not only will your pup be healthier and have more energy, but you’ll soon start to see noticeable differences. Their coat will be shinier and healthier and they’ll quickly appear more muscular, with a leaner physique.

After feeding a raw diet, you’ll notice that those puppy pearly whites will stay white and shiny forever, the chewing and massaging action of eating raw meat and bones actually helps to clean the teeth. Compare a raw fed dog to a kibble fed dog and the oral difference is immediately obvious.
Remember, kibble has only existed for around 100 years, and was created purely for convenience, not with your dogs health in mind!

There are many more benefits to raw feeding, this post just scratches the surface of raw dog food.

How much raw food does a puppy eat?

This is often overlooked at first, and many people perform an amount of guesswork as to how much food to put down. This can lead to an over or underweight puppy, but it really is quite simple to calculate.

If you know the breed of your dog, especially if your dog is a pedigree, then you just need to feed 3% of their ideal adult weight.

If you don’t know their expected adult weight, such as if you have a crossbreed, then the first thing you need to do is weigh your pup and reference the below table.

Age in weeks % of bodyweight to feed
10-16 10 %
17-24 8-6 %
25-36 6-4 %
37-52 3-4 %

These are guidelines only, all dogs are different with individual metabolic rates and exercise levels. Keep a close eye on your dog and adjust up or down as required.

Start off by feeding 3 meals a day and decrease this to 2 meals after at least 12 weeks. Different breeds will vary so you may end up switching at around 3-6 months.

What’s next?

You should now know enough to consider switching your puppy onto a raw diet, although this is only just the beginning. Do your research and learn as much as you can about raw feeding and you’ll soon be wondering why you haven’t switched already!

For further reading on raw feeding, see the getting started guide on Raw Dog Food.

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This Dog is laughing all the way to the bank !

| blog | October 15, 2012

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are quite passionate about our dogs, and more importantly so about what we feed them, and we try in our own small way to offer the best advice when it comes to all things dog.

I came across this poster in my local Aldi store yesterday, when I was in there buying some cabbage, broccoli, carrots and courgettes, some of which will end up in our dog’s bowls, along with some fresh meat.

The statement on the bottom of the poster reads – “Paws for thought – We’ve been feeding Irish Cats and Dogs for 20 years”

I guess that makes them pretty good at it then ?

Maybe the company that is based in Naas, Co. Kildare should have expanded on this statement a little, and advised the customers, exactly WHAT they have been feeding Irish Cats and Dog over the last 20 years, as according to the fancy packaging this food claims to help support the IMMUNE system, helps aid COAT condition and offer 100% COMPLETE balance.

However on closer inspection, one would find out the following.

Cereals are the main ingredient, and there is a whopping 4% rice in the rice kibble.

As part of the meat and animal derivatives, 4 % consists of beef, and there is another whopping 4% carrot in the carrot kibble, plus, go on, have a guess as to what percentage of peas is in the green vegetable kibble…….If you answered 4 well done, top of the class, although if you had only scored 4% in your school exams, something tells me you may have spent a lot of time down the back of the bike sheds, having a quick smoke.

Now I’m not sure how much one would be expected to pay for this wonder dog food, that not only comes in fancy packaging, but purports to support your dogs immune system, aids coat condition and offers a 100% balanced diet for your dog, but reckon your money would be far better spent on picking up a copy of Honeys Real Dog Food, Natural Feeding Handbook for dogs.

This handbook explains why your dog will be better off on a natural diet and provides simple instructions on how to prepare your dogs food.

This is what one person that bought the book has to say about the results “Put our dogs onto a raw meat feed a month ago amazing improvement.”

More information can be found out about the same at this LINK

So if you’d like to wipe the smile of this fellas face, and maybe help him lose a small bit of weight (Your dog that is) do your dog a real favour and next time your in store, don’t be sucked in by the fancy packaging and false claims, head instead to the fridge with the fresh meat in it, and then pick up a head of cabbage or some other vegetables, blend them together with what you learn from this handbook, and I am 100% positive your dog will thank you for it.

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Who wants €150 to donate to an Irish Dog Charity ?

| blog | August 17, 2012

The good folks at Honeys Real Dog Food, have kindly sent me 20 copies of their Natural Feeding Handbook for dogs.

The handbook is a short plain-English guide to feeding your dog what it is biologically designed to eat, and as there is absolutely no difference (apart from size) between the internal organs and digestive process of a Chihuahua and a Grey Wolf,  they should both eat the same diet.

This handbook explains why your dog will be better off on a natural diet and provides simple instructions on how to prepare your dogs food.

As agreed with Jonathan, the author, we are going to sell these 20 copies though our website, with all proceeds going to a designated dog charity.

That’s where you come in.

Obviously we are friendly with certain dog charities in Ireland, but we would like to hear from you, that if interested in the book what charity would you like to see the money going to.

The books will be sold at € 9.00 which includes post and packaging of €1.50, so the total donated will be € 150.00

If you need any further info on the book etc, or would like to be one of the luck ones that gets their hands on one of the copies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Not only will you be the owner of the most practical guide to feeding a natural diet to your dog, but you will also be helping the cause of our designated Irish Dog Charity.

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Dog food…Are you having a laugh ?

| blog | May 30, 2012

In a blog I posted towards the end of last year, I stated that We Are What We eat, and therefore Our Dogs Are What They Eat

Another way of looking at this is to say that you only get out of a dog what you put into it.

Dog poop, is a subject we have covered here quite a few times in our illustrious 2 and a half year existence, and I’m not going to get too deep into this here today.

But, we’ve all come face to face (hopefully not literally) with a big mound of dog poo, so big in fact, that as my Dad would say, “you could take shelter behind it”

Is it any wonder, when you see peoples shopping trolleys at the supermarket checkout, loaded up with the cheapest of the cheap dog food, like the example above.

4% Chicken in the Chicken Kibble…What the hell is the other 96% made up of ?

4% Carrot in the Carrot kibble and 4% Peas in the green vegetable kibble…Bloody ‘ell

That’s even before you get onto the colourants etc….

Here’s a snippet from one of the larger supermarket chains in Ireland in relation to the dog food that they stock, that goes out the door by the trolley load….

We know you want the best for your pet, so we make sure that our suppliers use only the best quality ingredients in our pet food“….eh….4% Chicken in the Chicken Kibble, I don’t think so….

It’s common knowledge amongst us humans that too much processed food in our diets is very bad for us, but yet the majority of the dog owning population in Ireland, couldn’t give a S… when it comes to looking after their dogs nutritional requirements.

So if you REALLY love your dog, get your act together, do your research on what is the best possible food for him or her, you’ll not only be doing your dog a favour, as from now on you’ll be able to bring normal sized poop bags out with you on your dogs walk, instead of the big black bin liners you have had to use in the past.

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Dogs, Drinking, & Diabetes

| blog | November 21, 2011

Following on from my blog the other day are we feeding our dogs to death something came to mind this morning.

We noticed and were slightly worried that Doris our oldest dog , who was diagnosed as Diabetic earlier this year, wasn’t drinking enough water.

This is the total opposite to what first lead us to believe that Doris had a problem, as back then she could empty a water bowl in one sitting, and the frequency and huge size of her piddles, had us in the car and straight to our vet.

We have sinced switched Doris onto a Raw Food Diet, and so far are obtaining the best results in relation to sugar levels in her system.

Then the penny dropped. Doris isn’t drinking as much water now, because she is away from the dry food diet she had always been on.

All commercial dog food companies will advise on their packaging that when feeding their dry food please ensure the dog had access to fresh clean drinking water.

Now I know that most water that dogs have access to isn’t toxic etc, but taking in large amounts just to satisfy the thirst created by the food we ate, can’t be great for the system.

In human terms it would be like us eating salted bacon every day, and even though we might love the taste, end up with a throat as dry as the Sahara desert.

That as well as the other benefits we have seen whilst feeding Doris her Raw Food Diet, is a big enough reason to put the extra effort in, and make sure your diabetic dog is getting the correct food for his or her condition

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Are we feeding our dogs to death ?

| blog | November 16, 2011

Doing some research recently re diets for dogs with diabetes I came across the following statement

“It has been my observation that the prescription diets for diabetic animals, sold by vets , are generally very low protein, which means they are very high in carbohydrates, or carb based food. Research shows us now that carbohydrates, especially poor quality carbs are the last thing you want in a diabetic diet, due to the glycemic index, or the way the body utilizes carbohydrates. Plus a lower protein diet means loss of muscle mass, and the largest muscle in the body is the heart”

The author also went on to say that in her experience “Vets have little or no training in nutrition ”

This sounds quiet absurd, as the saying goes, “you are what you eat” , so therefore our dogs are what they eat.

You would imagine alongside exercise, grooming & veterinary care that your dogs diet and therefore nutrition should play a major role in your dogs general well-being.

Since discovering that one of our dogs was diabetic earlier this year, we have experimented, as you have to do, with a lot of different diets, and the results have been quite drastic, but a lot of dog owners are of the mindset that if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it, and continue to feed their dog or dogs the same food for the duration of the dogs life, with little or no variation.

That is all fine and dandy, but if your dog develops a condition such as diabetes or renal failure a change of diet is almost a certainty, and most people undoubtedly turn to their veterinarian for professional advice, and in most cases are switched to a prescription diet, which not only cost a lot more, but if you are to believe the statement above, can do more harm than the original diet.

This on top of the theory that some people believe that it is some commercial dog food diets that contribute in a large way to increases in diseases like diabetes, you would have to stop and wonder why nutrition doesn’t play a much larger role in a vets initial and ongoing training.

Comments please…..

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Your Dog is what you feed it

| blog | June 8, 2011

Dogs for sale in Ireland“As a responsible dog owner, you owe it to your pet to ensure their diet is perfectly matched to their lifestyle, age and activity level. Many dog owners simply select a food and stick with it, never trying anything different and refusing to change even as the dog”s lifestyle changes.”

I must say I fell into the later bracket until very recently. Our Dachshunds have been fed on a major brands breed specific food for the last 7 or so years.

Coming from the school of, if its not broken don’t fix it, I was loathe to change to any other product / brand or food type.

That’s until our oldest, Doris, who is 10 in November was diagnosed with diabetes.

As in humans, diet is extremely important in relation to keeping diabetes under control.

We switched her to a light and sensitive food, salmon based, and her sugar levels have drastically reduced. We still have to inject insulin every day at the moment, but are working on her diet constantly and recording the results re the same.

Danno, who will be 3 in August suffered an allergic reaction to something in March, the worst I have ever seen (See my blog 13-03-11) www.pedigreedogs.ie

In order to rule out any food ingredients we have him on the BARF diet for the last 3 weeks, and must say he is looking great on it, and although early to say, seems more relaxed within himself. We have been advised to keep him on this for another 5 weeks at least.

This type of feeding does take a bit of getting used to, and at the start does take more time to prepare, but once you have a system in place, feeding time doesn’t take much longer than with the commercial food.

Regarding the light and sensitive feed, we are currently giving this to our other 2 Dachshunds as well, and must say, we have seen a great improvement in overall condition.

I pointed this out to a fellow exhibitor at Saturdays Dog show, whereby I ran my hand against the grain all the way along Daisy’s back, and not one speck of dry skin could be detected on her glossy black coat.

And if that isn’t enough, she got Best Of Breed, and third in group 4 !

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