Tito has always been a wotsit when it comes to food. All those years ago when he first came to us as a tiny little ten week old, he has been a nightmare.
He was a poorly pup, and spent a lot of time in the vets, he used to refuse to eat biscuits and we would persevere with meat added and all sorts, but nothing seemed to satisfy him. In the end we dropped the biscuits and went to run of the mill wet food, along the lines of Chappie etc. He liked it but it never really suited him.
From the moment we brought Tito home we have had problems with him toileting in the house, he goes through periods where he is good and periods where he is really bad. Generally when I am pregnant I might add. But he does have phases of being ok and phases of being really bad.
When we got Buddy he was a Bakers dog, he had Bakers meat and Bakers biscuits and he was hyper, we quickly changed him from Bakers and moved him to just meat like Tito. This lasted a while and then when I fell pregnant with Boo, I really couldn’t stand the smell and it was expensive, so we moved gradually to a biscuit, and amazingly both dogs ate it. We gradually got rid of the meat and both dogs were happy and Tito’s toileting really seemed to improve.
A couple of months back Tito stopped eating. He was fine in himself but he just stopped eating.
He ate any of our food that we gave him, but eating his biscuits stopped. We fretted and we worried, and we talked at length to our vets, who agreed there seemed to be nothing wrong with him. So we started to add a little meat to his biscuits and suddenly he was eating them fine, however the toileting problems returned.
We were at a loss, he wouldn’t eat biscuits, but eating tinned food made him have accidents in the house. We were stuck in this rut and didn’t really know what to do.
We have had a couple of weeks of talking to the vet regularly over the phone. We have tried to be strict and not give him anything to make him break and eat, but Tito is one stubborn cookie, and refused to give in however much we refused to feed him. We have tried various varieties of food and none of them fit. So we were stuck with two possibilities.
Him starving himself.
Or us having to deal with his accidents indoors.
Too be honest neither was really a possibility.
So I started researching and looking around for alternatives and I came across the RAW diet or BARF as it is known, where you feed your dog raw food. Raw meat and raw veg. Mr L and I looked into it and we decided that we didn’t really have anything to lose, we might as well try it but we thought that we would cook the food rather than give it completely raw. I think we were both a bit eek about the raw meat.
So on Thursday when their biscuits had finished that we decided to take the plunge and see how they go.
Breakfast – Cooked beef mince and vegetables. I think the dogs thought it was Christmas when they realised this was their food both wolfed it down in minutes.
Tea – Cooked beef mince and vegetables. Again both wolfed it down and it looked like we were on a roll with it!
Breakfast – the same as yesterday both dog ate it nice and easy and then Tito was sick and brought it all back up. I was worried this was a bad thing but speaking to others who have been feeding the raw diet this can be a normal thing, as the dog’s go through a little detox. So I decided to see how he was this evening.
I spoke to the vet today as part of the raw diet is to give raw bones, including chicken wings, Mr was not convinced this was ok and made me start to doubt everyone that had said it. So I wanted to clarify that it was ok. I was a little concerned about speaking to the vet as have heard some are not raw diet fans and didn’t want to have a battle as we were so new to this.
I really didn’t need to worry.
The vets fully supported what we were doing, and were happy we were trying it, saying that it was one of the best diets for the dogs. They also completely reassured me that chicken wings were fine for the boys and that they wouldn’t harm them, as long as they were frozen and thawed out and given to them cold and NOT cooked any when before given to them. We also discussed weight and the weight of the boys food and the best way to give it to them, and even though it is a raw diet they were happy that we were cooking the food before, as it was still better for the dogs than what they were on.
I came away from the conversation really pleased, happy that I felt we were doing the best for our dogs. Now I would only feed the children the best food we can so why not do the same for the dogs.
I gave the dogs the same food for their tea and there was no issue with Tito he wolfed it down and was completely fine with it.
Breakfast – Cooked mince and vegetables – both dogs ate it fine, and it is so lovely to see Tito so excited about eating again.
This afternoon we went to get some more mince and found some Prize Choice meat for the dogs, which is an actual dogs meat mince, that can be fed raw. So we thought that we would try it. I came home and measured out all the meals and worked out what the dogs could have to their right weight, and for the first time this evening gave them a completely raw diet of just some meat.
Buddies didn’t even touch the side he loved it, Tito wasn’t so impressed.
He ate a little and then left over two-thirds of the meat, I decided to heat it in the microwave as it can be given either way and once it cooled down Tito ate it all. It seems we may have a dog that has to have cooked meat.
But eventually he ate it all.
I am going to try it raw again tomorrow and add some vegetables again, as Tito is a little awkward with changes and does take a while to get used to things. And to be fair if he doesn’t want it raw it really doesn’t take long to microwave it and heat it up. But it would be easier to have them both on a completely raw diet rather than cook one and not the other. But if that is what we have to do then that is what we will do.
We are still at the early stages of a raw diet. But it is something that I really want to keep going with, as I have only heard good things about it.
So there will be more Raw Food Diaries as we go on this journey and I hope to get more tips and ideas along the way. If you feed your dog raw I would love some ideas and tips that you have.