Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Transitioning to Raw

I'm making a gradual transition from home-cooked "dog stew" to raw feeding.

I don't know if this will become a permanent thing -- with an immunosuppressed person in the house, and the occasional not-completely-healthy foster dog passing through, it may not be feasible to feed raw foods all the time -- but Whole Dog Journal's consistent advocacy of raw feeding convinced me to give it a try, and a couple of weeks' experimenting with Pongu does seem to show some improvement in his energy level and general demeanor. Of course, that could be the Prozac kicking in too; it's hard to say exactly what's making the difference. But it seems clear that there IS a difference, and so I think it's worth keeping on with everything.

The transition hasn't been an overnight thing. I started with some whole ground rabbit and chicken from a butcher in the Italian Market who provides meat to other raw feeders, but Pongu rejected that batch. Maybe he doesn't like rabbit, or maybe he felt there was something "off" about that food. (I found a sharp piece of wire measuring an inch and a half long in the ground rabbit -- thank god Pongu found it first and spit it out instead of swallowing it -- so it is not hard for me to believe that there might have been subtler problems with that food as well. Needless to say, I won't be buying meat there anymore.)

So I stepped back and, following WDJ's advice, made a batch of lightly cooked "rare" dog stew, let Pongu get used to that for a few days, and started alternating meals of lightly cooked dog stew with completely raw food (that I ground up myself in a food processor, being now completely paranoid about purchased ground meat-and-bones). I've also been using the Primal frozen pheasant nuggets, because that's an easy way to mix some raw food into a lightly cooked meal.

It's been a little over a week and Pongu is now accepting raw food, albeit with some suspicious sniffs before he digs into each meal. I'll start completely raw feeding (which is to say, all the homemade food will be raw, but still accompanied by a scoop of high-quality kibble with every meal, just in case I'm missing something) this week.

Here's hoping it takes. Grinding up chicken wings and raw liver in the food processor isn't much fun, but it still beats the 24-hour crockpot endurance run to make cooked dog stew.

No comments:

Post a Comment