We have now been feeding the dogs a part raw (am) part Halo Pets kibble (pm) diet* for two weeks today. We switched from mixing up the food to ordering from Darwin’s Pets, because…
Please note: the morning raw food meal takes 4-5 hours to digest; the evening kibble/soft meal takes 10 hours to digest – neither meal is mixing in our dogs’ digestive system. Mixing kibble with raw in one meal can cause dogs to be sick, because the kibble takes longer to digest, keeping the raw in their system too long (allowing it to rot).
Darwin’s Pets provide quality meals (no hormones, steroids or chemical preservatives) that are human-grade
- They worked with to develop a diet (beef, turkey, chicken) that is affordable
- Our dogs love the food
- Their customer service is amazing and I was able to call, ask questions, change our order; I can even advance or postpone an order easily
What I Learned This Second Week
Sydney is spoiled and it’s my fault. There were a few days when she refused to eat unless I fed her. Then Rodrigo and Blue wanted to be fed too. Pretty ridiculous and I was late to work twice (not the end of the world) feeding our little monkeys.
The dogs like their raw food warmed up. I toss it into the microwave for 30-45 seconds to take the chill off, but no longer, because I don’t want to cook the food and kill the nutrients (the entire reason we went raw).
The pre-made raw food contains ground raw bone in it and the dogs took a second to get used to crunching on it, but then they liked it really go for their food with gusto.
Sydney love a little ground turkey tossed into her meal so I bought a bulk package at Costco and will give her some as a treat some days. Of course, the boys want some too.
Not Everyone Thinks the Same
Another thing I learned is that the raw food community is a passionate bunch. When I was a Life’s Abundance rep, I was told that if someone said they fed their dogs raw, don’t even bother trying to promote Life’s Abundance food to them, because they are passionate about their diet choice. Even the Life’s Abundance people didn’t discount the raw food diet, which is something that I respect about the company.
I have found a couple of very supportive groups on Facebook…
- Holistic, Raw and Premium Dog Food Diets for Canines (a Facebook group)
- Benefits of Raw Feeding (a Facebook Page)
Last week, a woman told me that if we’re still feeding kibble, then we’re not really feeding raw. I disagreed. Not everyone I meet is feeding a fully raw diet, because they want the flexibility that a premium kibble can offer (on vacation, late getting home, forgot to thaw out the raw) and more people commended me on making a partial change, because at least I’m heading in the right direction.
I think the occasional criticism is worth it, because I’m learning so much. The critics are just passionate about dogs and it’s important to separate their “tone” from their words, because they have a lot to share with us novices.
What About the Poop, Coat, Energy Level?
The dogs are pooping about 1/3 less than they used to; I was going to take a picture of my bag of poop, but that’s just gross. I used to scoop poop every other day, now I do it every three days.
Their coats are shiny and gorgeous, but they always had nice coats. The biggest difference I’ve seen is in the skin. Rodrigo had a skin rash on his lower back (in the area before his tail) and it would only clear up after a bath with the Paws on Earth Shampoo bar, but reappear about a week later. It hasn’t returned since we switched to raw. So the combination of the shampoo bars and the raw diet is really making a difference with their skin.
Energy level has improved, which is great and kind of sucks. Blue is our most active dog and now we really need to exercise him to get him settled down in the evening. Rodrigo can keep up with Blue more and helps us. And it’s been great seeing Sydney running around and playing like she used too. Both Rodrigo and Sydney are also taking Wag Lifetime Joint Care and are currently arthritis pain free!
So that’s it! I don’t think I’ll continue with the weekly updates, but I’ll be sure to fill you in on any additional changes we make and why. It’s been amazing and I’m so glad that we finally just went ahead and make the change.