3 years ago I finally put it together that one of my dogs has an allergy to kibble ingredients. I was feeding the best kibble I could find; Wellness and Newman’s Own.
But she was hugely allergic nonetheless. It was Winter’s near-death experience that brought me to a raw food diet for all of my 6 huskies. I won’t say that I don’t have a bag of kibble in the house… I do, and I use it for treats.. the dogs (all but Winter) still love a handful of kibble but their main diet is raw.
Here’s what I found
First of all, I read the B.A.R.F. diet book by the vet. Then I began looking around. I was able to find a highly respected slaughterhouse within a 40 minutes drive. All of the local farmers take their calves, pigs, lambs there.
Second, we purchased a new freezer for ourselves and moved the old one to the garage for the dogs. We, ourselves, have a small farm set up and therefore also have a refrigerator in the garage for eggs and it also became the refrigerator for the dog food.
Here’s what I get: I am able to purchase 50 lb boxes of frozen bone dust, this is the “dust” that comes off of the saw blade. It is an excellent source of calcium and meat from a wide range of animals. I also purchase 50 lb boxes of livers, hearts and pigs’ feet/ears/tails/tongues.
I thaw this food enough that I can package it in bags that will provide ~4 days of food and re-freeze it. It is reasonably priced, for 6 dogs I am buying ~ 1 box a week and I rotate what I get. I am saving money from the straight kibble days.
Then I make up a veggie glop. This represents what would be the stomach contents of an animal they might eat. We raise layer and meat chickens for ourselves and I know that if one gets out and the dogs score… the first thing they go for is the guts. sad but true.
Anyhow, my veggie glop contains just about anything from the garden I can donate.. lettuce slightly past it, chard, broccoli leaves, root crops all but potato and onion. Fruit such as apples, I use the stems from strawberries I cleaned, peach skins, bananas that are past it. I freeze it as it accumulates, then I juice it all and add the pulp back to the juice, mix in a couple eggs (shell and all), a splash of cider vinegar, and molasses and garlic powder, and some plain yogurt or whey from my goat’s milk and voila! They love it.
Putting It All Together
Now, to assemble a meal: for breakfast, they simply have a good handful of bone dust and some whey.. or they might get a chipped egg added in.
For supper, their dish contains a smaller handful of dust, a ~1/3 cup of veggie glob, 3 ~small chunks of liver, 4 ~small chunks of heart, a small piece of pigtail, a capsule of Kelp supplement and a capsule of fish oil. The total weight of the dinner dish will be ~12 ounces.
First of all, “Winter” is a healthy dog for the first time in her life. As for the rest: they love it, they have lost weight, improved coats, improved breath, their poop is very small and has very little odor, their energy level is through the roof and they are HAPPY dogs.
My husband says I’m the only nut on the planet doing this… I find that hard to believe but do feel kind of out there alone. It’s not an easy topic to bring up.. the average person is grossed out but it is anything but gross..it is totally natural and right. We have taken in rescue pups and they have transitioned over from kibble to raw food in 1 week without missing a beat.
Needless to say, I would love to be able to swap stories and ideas and tips with someone else involved with a similar diet for their dogs.