Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 2008 Raw Diet Update: Dogsitter Portion Control!

Raw feeding tip of the month: Exercise extremely simple portion control when leaving your dog with other people!! Especially if you are not going to leave the caretaker with raw foods.

Earlier this month, we went camping with some people from church. Thinking she'd be more trouble than she'd be worth during a camping trip, we left her with a college-age girl who is spending the summer nannying for an older couple with an adopted baby boy. They were going camping too, and leaving the baby and dog with the nanny at their house. So we thought we'd do that too (except our baby and dog are one in the same). We left the girl with a can of grain-free dog food, with explanation that she was to get a quarter of the can per meal.
Stock image - cylindrical can
Well, she must have heard wrong or something, because Luna came back with no leftover dog food. Admittedly, even I find it hard to gauge how much a quarter of a can is. She got at least four meals worth of food in three sittings. Not to mention probably plenty of other standard dog foods.

I should mention that the older couple also has a dog, a Maltese. But. This Maltese...weighs something like 25 pounds. The ideal weight for a Maltese is 4 to 6 pounds! The dog is fed a standard dog food that one can buy at Walmart or Petsmart (I'm not quite sure which it was...either Ol' Roy, Eukanuba, both, or more). They also leave out dry food for him to graze throughout the day.

Well, you know Luna, and Luna is not a very picky eater. She got in their house and pretty much went straight for the grazing bowl and gobbled up what was in there. I have no idea whether nanny ever poured more grazing food into that bowl, but I am fairly certain that Luna would've had some more. So make that about 5 meals that she had, when she really should've had 3.

She didn't feel too fat when we got her back, but according to eyewitness reports, she pooped a lot. And we can testify that she certainly continued pooping a lot after we got her back. She had at least 3 substantial instances in the span of a couple of hours. That is not normal for Luna, who might ordinarily poop about twice a day, in smaller amounts than she did. So the food didn't agree with the lower half of Luna's gastrointestinal tract, and I certainly didn't find it very agreeable either. Let's just say that her daddy felt like he should've bought a pack of diaper wipes.

Anyways, allow me to reiterate the raw feeding tip of the month. Exercise extremely simple portion control when leaving your dog with other people!! If you are leaving your dog with someone who won't have a problem feeding raw, make sure you cut the meat into single meal portions. You must dummy-proof the portions. Do not trust the caretaker to take away the chicken leg quarter after doggy's had "approximately a third of the original size of the leg quarter." This is hard to do, since even you yourself might have trouble remembering how big the meat originally was, how much the dog's eaten, and whether you can maybe, just maybe, let the dog have a "few more bites," since she's enjoying the meal so much.

Stock image - sardine canIf you are not going to leave your dog with easy portions of raw meat, give foods that are simple to portion out. Next time we leave Luna with not-raw food, it will be things like hard boiled eggs and sardines. As I mentioned in last month's raw diet update, I consider eggs to be one of the most convenient foods for a dog. The standard large egg from the grocery store is 2 ounces, which is exactly how much Luna gets in one meal. Portion control doesn't get much easier than that. Also, flat cans like sardine cans are much easier to portion than cylindrical cans. The added bonus is that sardines are generally very good for dogs.

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  • Ewokgirl

    Live and learn. Keep in mind that if there was a grazing bowl left out for the other dog, Luna may have been sampling out of anxiety. I know that my cats eat more when we're away from home because they get nervous about our absence.

    If nothing else, just look at this as being similar to leaving a human child with grandma or a favorite aunt. The kid gets to eat all kinds of garbage mom and dad wouldn't ordinarily allow. Luna had her treats, and now it's back to regular life. Too bad it's caused her some intestinal distress, though.

    Oh, and for the record, Ol' Roy and Eukanuba are NOT in the same league!

  • Alan

    Thank you so much for the detailed poopage update ;-)

    Maybe you should chase Luna around the block a few extra times every day for awhile to make up for it!