Hey nature, what’s really the best dog food for my dog? What!! Organ meats like liver, heart, and tripe? Gads, do they make that stuff and where can I get it?
DOG DIET COMING FULL CIRCLE
by Vickie Haywood, Professional Groomer & Dog Sports Editor
I started in the wonderful world of dogs a very long time ago.. Our first family dog was a little Springer from a shelter in Norfolk Virginia. It was 1958. “Spotty” got a distemper shot and a rabies shot and became a farm dog in the wilds of Nottoway County VA. I was 9 that year.
Spotty was a great farm dog. The first spring he killed 21 snakes on the farmstead and proudly left them for My Mom on the steps. Later that year he became Groundhog Dispatcher Extraordinaire. He got his fair share of injuries being a farm dog but only visited a vet once in his life time. Dog food? He ate what we ate. Nowadays they call it health food or natural diet.
By the fall of 1958 my dad had retired from the Navy and as fast as he could build fencing, the numbers of cows and horses grew accordingly and a rough collie joined us as a working farm dog. She and Spotty were buddies and then she became 4... Her litter only got a distemper shot and a rabies shot when the vet came to check the cows. With the exception of weaning pups (they ate oatmeal gruel) the dogs ate what we ate.
As Dad began to butcher the cows and pigs, the food freezer grew also...no bones or rough cut meats were wasted, they were dog food. My Mom was an OCD canner/freezer! She grew up in the depression so the larder was always full. NOTHING went to waste...either we ate it, the dogs and cats ate it, or the chickens and pigs ate it. I carried a Sears Roebuck Poultry foundation 4 H project from the age of 10 till I graduated High School and I won the county nearly every year. Every spring the flock was bolstered by the new 50 Rhode Island Red pullet's that came to the post office as part of that 4 H project. Every fall the older chickens went to the freezer and you guessed it - nothing but feathers was wasted.
Somewhere along the line, My Dad began buying dog food. The dogs still got the left overs and milk, cottage cheese and eggs when we had abundance. Along around this time the pup litters seemed smaller. The cows began to be artificially bred and some were not getting pregnant. We got a Bull. The pigs were not weighing in as much at butcher time... Things were changing.
Fast forward a few years and I was now into poodles, Mom was into Schnauzers and my Sister was into Russian Wolfhounds. Dogs were getting more vaccines and so was the livestock, Things continued to change…our animals did not seem as healthy, there were more vet visits, smaller litters, smaller calves, less finish weight at butchering, the chicken’s laying life was not as long.
Now come forward to today with GMO's, pesticides in foods, more vaccines than ever before, sick dogs, bottle neck diseases, the list is long. I joined the ranks years ago with minimal vaccines and raw food feeding…yep - back to the way we used to do it!!! Common sense made me come full circle!
It brought me back to having much healthier dogs, large litters, and dogs who actually dive into the food bowl. The bonus is very low vet bills. My 12 year old, who has had NO vaccines other than rabies since 16 weeks has never had a sick vet visit, my nearly 3 year old the same and baby pup is “healthy as a horse” er, back when horses only ate grass and a few oats.
Maybe I am preaching to the choir but if one person out there is on the fence about food in a bag vs. species appropriate natural, usually RAW diet, maybe my words will tip them over the edge to try a healthier lifestyle!! There are GOBS of information to research right here and many other places on the web. From Dr Dodd and Dr Schultz and Raw Feeders all over the globe.
Haywood Can't find the quality raw meat (including organs like heart and tripe) and bones you want at a price you want to pay? Well, start your own co-op where you live.
As the ranchers and growers become more aware of supplying to organic restaurants, the off-cuts of meats and bones become more readily available. Local produce markets are everywhere. People who have chickens sell eggs... Livestock organ meats are available if you look. You can buy a small freezer at Lowes for $168 - I know, I just installed one in my spare bedroom. Right now it looks a little bare but over time I will fill it up!
Maybe, since Mars is buying out VCA Animal Hospitals and we clearly have a conflict of interest (can you say push their food and more vaccines?) someone on the fence will advocate for their pet and “Just Say No” to yearly vaccines. They CANNOT make you give them or buy their bags of dog food! They might threaten not to have you as a client but you have other choices!
Tonight’s menu : green tripe ( already ground up!) and chicken, including the ground bones... YUM!!
Such is my life on ...