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Friday, January 18, 2008

January Raw Diet Update

Luna on January 17, 2008. She is approximately 5 months old now.



For comparison, here's around the beginning of November, or approximately 2.5 months.

She had just been to the groomer in the 2.5 month picture, whereas in the others, it had been about 1.5 months since brought her.




Anyways, on to the raw diet update. The feeding itself is going well, and Luna is liking mostly everything we give her. We have moved from feeding 3x/day to 2x/day.

Luna also seems to have had a low-grade lower intestinal bug for the past week or so. Outside excursions have been somewhat of a grab bag; we never know what we're gonna get. Liver-like, scrambled eggs, mucous-covered, or regular...or combination of those. We went to the vet today, where we were sure they would find worms in the stool sample. In fact, we were somewhat *hoping* they would find worms, because at least that would be the solid and definite cause. They found nothing unusual though. So on with a round of metronidazole. We don't know what caused whatever-this-is. Perhaps she picked something up at the doggy park last week?

I have read a few places that made it seem like raw diets would cure your dog of all typical doggy ailments, and that your dog would never get diseases or worms or whatever (I hope I have not set up a strawman here). Well this is just not true. Canine raw diets are not an insta-cure for every dog disease out there, nor will they necessarily prevent your dog from exhibiting some of the typical doggy things that most dog owners put up with (body odor, bad breath, doggy gas, etc.).

Luna would be our case in point, obviously. Her coat is nice and soft (even when scruffy looking), her teeth look fine, her ears have less stuff, and her energy levels are consistent for a puppy. However, her ears still do have a little bit of accumulation, her poop still does smell a bit, and she has tear stains and eye mucus. Luna is just one data point though, and it could be her owners that are the problem. After all, who knows if we're giving her the exact ratio of meat/bone/organs that she needs? Maybe she needs WHOLE carcasses, including skin, fur, feathers, and eyeballs? Or maybe she's allergic to chicken? My point is that Luna is not in *perfect* health, but we can't pinpoint why she's in slightly-less-than-perfect health.

Although we have seen with Luna that raw diets are not the insta-cure panacea that Chuck Norris' tears are, our research leads us to believe that raw diets are generally the best diet for dogs.

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3 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony's Mom

    Happy birthday to Luna too. She is still as cute at ever.

  • Ewokgirl

    Luna really is a beauty!

    I've really appreciated your posts on a raw diet. I've read a lot about these diets, but I've never been able to come to any conclusions about them, so it's nice to read an honest report based on personal experience.

    I'm curious to know what you'll do to feed her if y'all go out of town? Our cat sitters just have to refill the boys' bowls with dry food and water and do all the regular cat-care stuff, but I know it would make things more complicated if they had to feed them a special diet, such as real meat. Will you just prepare it and leave it in the freezer? Are kennels willing to do these sorts of feedings if you board her? I've always wondered how the raw-diet feeders handle things when they have to leave the pets behind for a little while.

  • JunkMale

    Ewokgirl,

    Thanks for your appreciations. I try to be as semi-neutral as possible in these raw diet updates. I try to keep them as agenda-free as possible...after all, one must do what is works best for his pet

    As for leaving Luna with someone, it sort of depends on who we leave her with. If we left her with someone we knew quite well, and also someone who would be willing to do it (obviously), then we'd leave pre-cut 2 oz. chunks of meaty bones.

    We also have the Nature's Variety prepared raw meat medallions on hand. We have actually never fed her these, but thought we might need to, which is why we bought them. They would be very easy for a babysitter to feed to her, considering they require no weighing or bloody clean-up duty.

    And if that wouldn't work, we would leave the dogsitter with some high quality canned food, such as Wellness or Merrick. We currently have two cans of those brands left over from the pre-raw era. They have grains (oats or barley), but if we were to buy canned food again, it would be grain-free, since we observed some of her problems disappearing after eliminating grains from her diet.

    And for SOME reason if canned food wouldn't work, we have a big bag of Merrick kibble out in cold storage (a.k.a. the garage). This is also left over from the pre-raw era, and it also does have some grains in it. It's good for quite a while longer, so we're keeping it around for dire emergencies. For example, if the power were to go out for a long time, or if our refrigerator and freezer somehow happened to break at the same time.

    I'm not sure if kennels would be willing to do anything but just pour kibble into a bowl. We haven't had to leave her for more than a few hours at a time yet.