Title: Sandia Labradors   Life With Labs
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Raw Feeding PuppiesLINK to Raw Feeding Your Puppy

 

Why Raw Feed Your Dog?

The first time someone mentioned the “raw food diet” to us, we thought it sounded totally disgusting and like a whole lot of work. Why feed raw when there are so many prepared dog foods available? It just didn’t make any sense to us…until we purchased four Lab pups! The four of them were all within two months of age, and because of their rowdy play with each other, they sustained injury after injury.  We were spending a fortune at the vets, not to mention the time and effort involved in getting them there. Some of our friends were already feeding raw and kept telling us to switch to raw food and the orthopedic injuries would cease. So after an especially expensive vet visit requiring x-rays, we decided to give it a try.  We drove directly from the vets to the local specialty dog food store, K-9 Kitchen, and purchased our first raw food. 

The results were amazing, and it wasn’t long before we decided that this was the food our dogs would eat for the rest of their lives. Right away we noticed some differences in our dogs. The amount of water they consumed was reduced by about 50% (there is no sodium added in raw food) and the amount of poop they produced was also cut in half (they are retaining more of the nutrition they are eating). After they had been eating raw for about 6 weeks, we took them to a show. When we bathed them we could hardly believe the difference in their coats which was especially noticeable in the blacks and chocolates. Their coats were just lush! Another difference we observed was in their muscle tone and structure. After just a few months on raw food their muscles were firmer and better defined. Their energy levels also increased.  Maybe I shouldn’t list that as a positive, however, as they just had more energy to spend on their “search and destroy” missions in our yard and house. In fact, all of our dogs are so athletic that we sometimes wonder if they’ve developed some kind of spring mechanism in their legs. Another benefit is that raw fed dogs appear to rotate their coat rather than blowing their coat, so consequently they don’t go through those periods where they look almost naked. A lactating bitch on raw food will produce a little less volume of milk but it will be richer. A raw fed lactating bitch will also recover her figure faster (probably due to the fact that her connective tissue is stronger) and will not lose anywhere near the amount of coat that a kibble fed lactating bitch will lose. And, last but not least, raw fed dogs have an amazing ability to heal very quickly, which we attribute to a stronger immune system. Additionally, our friends were right! We haven’t made a trip to the vets since for anything other than vaccinations. 

So, now that we were sold on the raw food diet, we set out to make it easier and more affordable, which is how the recipe for our Meat & Veggie Mix was born. Because we believe that raw food is the best choice for a dog’s diet, we wanted to share some of the time and money saving tips that we have gathered since we started feeding raw.

First, a large upright freezer (two, if you have more than four dogs) will be a real money saver. This way everything can be purchased in bulk (by the case) and food can be made up ahead of time and stored. We cut costs approximately 50% by just buying in bulk and making our own dog food. 

Second, a good supply of zip lock freezer bags is also a must. Small, plastic freezer containers are handy too. Freezer bags and plastic containers are the ideal way to store individual portions or a meal for many. 

Third, get a plastic tub (the kind you wash dishes in) which is used to thaw out bags of raw food. We take the morning food out of the freezer at night when we feed and the evening food out when we feed the morning meal. This makes it easy to remember and you won’t find yourself without thawed food when it’s meal time.

If you would like to learn more about the raw food diet, including recipes to use in preparing your own dog food, please read on.                 Next

bark being shown

 

Barkley - Starquest’s Slam Dunk at Sandia - participating in a conformation class as a 10 month old.

 

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