Monday, July 9, 2012

It's A Dog (M)eat Dog Kinda World

Dogs are meat eaters. It makes sense then, that we should give them meat to eat. All the kibble and wet canned food says "beef and barley" or "chicken and rice." Seemed about right, until I started asking around.

Why did I start asking around about her diet, you wonder? I want her to be as healthy as possible. After a trip to the vet for spotty hair loss, my vet said her immune system wasn't as strong, and had me add Omgea-3 fatty acids. But I knew that I could do more. Since my whole life is focused on eating healthy for both my son and myself, it made sense that my dog should have the best diet for her, as well.

I found out that most kibble (not all) has fillers (cereal, grain) and really, a dogs teeth are made for tearing meat. But raw meat? Thoughts of salmonella creep in. I talked to someone who knows a lot about feeding dogs, and learned a few great things. I am not good at retelling information, so I'll be brief.

A dog's digestive tract is the length of their body, and their stomach acid easily kills bacteria. (I am not a vet, so read this knowing that I am retelling information that I processed, so I may not be telling it exactly right.) The only thing you need to do is be sure that the person handling the meat cleans up afterward, just as you would preparing meat for yourself. No big deal.

Another thing was,  I thought the meat was store bought ground beef or steaks. What I didn't know was that there are a variety of brands to choose from, packaged meat for dogs and cats, and the whole process is super easy. I replaced a blend of Purina One kibble and a can of wet per day, with raw meat for Sugar. It's about the same exact price, but the raw meat is much easier to use, and much better for her. I don't have to leave a plastic bucket of dog food out, or a scoop, or clean and recycle 7 cans a week. I simply keep the meat in the freezer, except for the meat she is eating for the next few days. That, I cut into four equal parts and put in little plastic tupperware containers, and leave them in the fridge.

My freezer, L to R: a couple of Amy's frozen vegetarian meals for the humans, three rolls of Sugar's Blue Ridge Beef (purchased at Paws-itive Experience Pet Services in Rockaway), three bottles of vodka, and some frozen organic veggies. You see how simple it is to store her food? Easy freezie!

At feed time, I just transfer it to her bowl, mush up the meat, and add a little warm water (she likes it better like that). I add digestive enzymes and omega-3 fatty acids. Just today, I started adding dehydrated beets and carrots. Sugar was thrilled.

Here's the meat defrosting in the fridge (still in the roll), and some containers holding the individual portions I created. Super easy.

Sugar's dinner tonight. Blue Ridge Beef and Bone blend, with added dehydrated beets (and she has a couple bits of an anti-inflammatory in there, from her recent sprained ankle). This was GONE in two minutes.

If you have any desire whatsoever to try a raw meat diet for your dog, trust me and try it. It's made my life so much easier (ridiculously easier), my dog is both happier and healthier, and now I don't have horrible plastic buckets full of kibble sitting out, or can upon can of dog food in the cabinets. It's the best decision we have made for Sugar since finding doggie day care.

Paws-itive Experience Pet Services sells a variety of raw meat brands for cats and dogs, tons of healthy treats and supplements you can trust, offers doggie day care, training, and so much more. They also sell top of the line kibble for those who prefer to stay with dry food. is located at 114 Beach Street in Rockaway, NJ. Check them out at

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