Hampton's facebook pal, Abby Wabby Beagle-Chan (isn't that such a cute name?!), posted this video "The Truth About Pet Food". It provides an interesting history on how pet food came about and information on what should NOT be in pet food.
If you're not interested in the 'commercial' part of the video that starts at the 11min mark.
Please note: Always consult with your veterinarian first before changing to raw food!
We've been feeding the bb's raw food for over a week now. The first week we fed them a turkey mix and gave that to them for a week to help with transition. They say you can switch to raw food cold turkey without experiencing the diarrhea etc and it was true. There was no diarrhea. But, we stuck with the turkey for a full week just in case.
Based on consultations we have decided to try the following (for now): - turkey mix (mixed with some veggies) - salmon - lamb
I recently learned that we can just alternate between the three, e.g. Monday: Turkey, Tuesday: Salmon, Wednesday: Lamb, Thursday: Turkey, Tuesday: Salmon...etc etc. That makes it real easy! I thought there was a big formula behind it all but it really is that simple! Especially because we decided to buy pre-mixed packages (has all the right amount of bone, veggies, meat mixed for you).
We have noticed that ZuZu has more energy. She is also really eager to eat her food. With kibble she had to be encouraged. Now she just gobbles up whatever is placed in front of her!
Almost instantly we saw a change in Hampton's ears. I was shocked. However, just in the last few days there has been a little bit of discharge. His ears are also still dry and a bit swollen but nothing like they were before. Our vet said it will take a while for his immune system to change and his allergy may not necessarily be linked to his food but something in the environment. So, we will wait and see how things go.
And last but not least, well least in some sense....we are seeing smaller poop! Their poop is less frequent and much smaller in size! This is definitely a benefit - less to pick up :)
We've been thinking about switching the pups to a raw food diet for a while and finally taking the plunge! We did give Starbuck and ZuZu a home cooked diet when Sb got cancer but since Hampton joined our family we went back to kibble. Honestly, at the time it was just easier. However, Hampton has had a re-occurring yeasty ear infection the last few months that just won't go away and we hope this will help solve the problem. As well, ZuZu is also getting older, she turned 9 this year, and we want her to be as healthy as possible for the next 10!
When we first started looking into making the change it was a little daunting I admit. There is so much information out here and it almost did turn me off. I like simple and easy, especially when it comes to preparing food (hec I rarely cook for Dave!). I was also worried about ensuring the pups would be getting a balanced diet (e.g. the right amount of calcium, protein, veggies etc etc). Luckily, we were referred by our vet's office to a natural pet food store with an owner who is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Yay! It was like finding our own dog dietitian!
For now they are starting off on a Turkey Veggie blend (we went cold Turkey on Turkey! lol) by 3P Naturals (a local company). Zu and Hammie both loved it! I'll write a bit more about their meal plan and progress in the days to come (in case anyone else out there is curious or has been confused with raw diets too). :)
Oh and if anyone has any tips to share, we'd appreciate the info!
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I mentioned in my previous pupcake post that I make all our treats for the bb's. Peanut butter nom noms (aka peanut butter terrifics) are the staple treat I make for them. Its super simple to make and they love the peanut butter. Here is the recipe (c/o "The Healthy Dog Cookbook, by Jonna Anne with Mary Straus) and a few pictures:
Prep time: 10 min, makes about 24 treats
1/2 cup water 3 tbsp peanut butter (organic, no salt) 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (brown)
ZuZu and Hampton are always on their best behavior when I bake cookies for them. And, some most times they get to lick leftover peanut butter off the measuring spoon. Hampton got some on his nose. I thought he might go crazy not being able to get it off but he did after about a minute.
1. Preheat oven to 350F 2. Mix all the ingredients together 3. Cut into desired shapes
I like to use heart, butterfly and tulip cookie cutters:
4. Bake for 30 min or until lightly browned and crisp:
ZuZu and Hampton could smell the cookies baking from the backyard. Here they are peaking into the kitchen window. "Are they ready yet? Are they ready yet?!"
The cookies should keep 2-3 weeks in an airtight container...
but won't keep as long if the bb's have it their way! :)
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When Starbuck got sick I really started to think about what type of food the bb's are eating, including their treats. Last Christmas Dave got me a kitchen aid mixer to support my interest in baking for them. And since then I've had lots of fun baking. For those of you who don't know me its amazing that I'm actually spending time in the kitchen. I barely even cook for Dave!
Anyway, here are some pics of carrot and molasses pupcakes I made. These pupcakes are good for our pups as they are high in vitamin A and potassium.
The carrots and molasses:
The next asian martha:
They are ready!
ZuZu gets first bite, she's older than Hampton and plus it was her birthday that day:
You can add yogurt or cream cheese icing ( fyi - not the low-fat kind for either) but i decided not to as too much dairy isn't always good for puppies.
These will keep in the fridge for 1 week. Let me know if you want the recipe!
Here is the recipe from 'The Healthy Dog Cookbook' by Jonna Anne with Mary Straus.
Prep time: 15 min Makes about 12 pupcakes
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 tbsp baking powder 1/2 cup rolled oats 1 cup finely grated carrots 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses 1/2 cup water 1 egg 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C 2. Combine the flour, baking powder and oats in a small bowl 3. Thoroughly combine the carrots, molasses, water, egg, and oil in a large bowl 4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well. 5. Pour the batter into small cupcake pans and bake for 20 minutes
Note: Store the Birthday Cupcakes in the refrigerator for 1 week.
We'd love to hear from you once you give this a try!
Hi! Thought I'd post 2 cute videos of SB for those who haven't seen him in a while (taken Sunday). This first video I'm in the kitchen and I knew he'd be walking in as I was making noise with plates etc...his cue that its eating/snack time. ZuZu makes an appearance too :)
In this second video, he's finished his snack and the look he gives me at the end is classic "are you going to feed me or what"
p.s. don't bug me about my baby voice, can't help it :))
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts "Sunshine and Salmon" that SB and ZZ have started to eat organic meatballs (salmon balls). They loove these home-made all natural and organic meatballs. And they are sooo good for them. The meatballs are 80% meat and 20% vegetables.
Vegetable ingredients include: ALFALFA SPROUTS, GINGER, APPLES, CARROT, ASPARAGUS,GREEN KALE, BLUBERRIES, PARSLEY, BROCCOLI, RED YAM, CHARD,SPINACH, CILANTRO,CRANBERRY and GARLIC
The meat is 100% Free Range and Non-medicated.
Also, the ingredients help to reduce allergic reactions. The food is PRESSURE COOKED to keep the ingredients healthy and fresh as possible. Pressure cooking the food prevents bacterial growth in organs when they eat, and does not damage minerals and vitamins from natural source as much as regular cooking.
Their products are GRAIN, Soy, Sorghum, Corn, or dairy products FREE.
We were feeding them Origin organic dry food which was one of the better organic dry foods out there. We tried feeding them raw food before and they just didn't take to it so we were really happy when we found these meatballs. Here is a link to their web site. I also had the opportunity to meet Heather who was so sweet, nice and very helpful.