We introduced our terriers to raw, meaty bones about seven years ago. There have been times we fed 100% raw and other times roughly 50%. Currently we feed a 50/50 diet. When on at least 50% raw, we have noticed several differences worth mentioning:
In the past, as a dog matured, we noticed it would begin to put on extra wight and loose that nice athletic, terrier figure. The older dogs have shed this extra weight and do not appear sluggish anymore. All minor skin allergy issues disappeared completely. And their teeth have been scrubbed to a beautiful pearly white due to crunching the raw bones. As well, they do not shed as much, their breath is fresh and they no longer have that general “doggy” smell. They enjoy their meals so much more and look forward to it with enthusiasm. Every terrier in our home is fed a diet of real, human food ingredients. The meats are not cooked, extruded or heat-processed in any way and are completely free of all chemicals, by-products, fillers and corn. If you would prefer to feed only a ready-made dry kibble to your pup from Connemara, Please go back to our DIET page for a list of premium kibbles to choose from. With that said; We do not recommend a kibble only diet.
*If you decide to feed raw 50%-100% of the time, ask us about Raw! Raw!, a supplement powder to dust on your dogs raw food just to make sure they are getting all the needed nutrients.
Raw, Natural Feeding
Raw, meaty bones should be a part of their diet and we can only hope you will come to agree. For example raw chicken wings, thighs or necks. The size of the meaty bone is determined by the size of your pets mouth. Don't cut them up - let them do the processing. Meaty bones are the dog's toothbrush and are vital to help prevent gum disease and overall sickness. Your pup will have been started on raw feeding before they leave our home. So they will be very used to it and yes, look forward to their meals with gusto!
Do not get confused and think we mean large knuckle bones or bones only. These can often cause tooth fractures and constipation as well as pose a threat as a choking hazard. As with anything, please monitor your pup when he/she is eating.
The quick scoop on raw foods:
Chicken and Salmonella:
An elderly or ailing dog may fall prey to this. An otherwise healthy, pup or dog produces stomach acids too strong for the salmonella. In other words - it is safe and fine for them.
Chicken that is NOT cooked by any source at all, are great for them. The bones do not splinter if not cooked. As always, like anything else, it can be a choking hazard. So I never feed them chicken with bones unless I am right there watching until they finish.
Beef and other red meats:
Most of the bacterias can be killed off if the red meat is frozen solid and then thawed. It does not kill all bacteria present, but most and is then considered safe for dogs to eat raw.
As a rule, I personally do not give them much pork. The bones are sharp and pork is not as safe. I do feed it to them on occasion - maybe only a few times a year.
Organs, muscle meats and liver:
Organ and muscle meats should also be fed each week. Liver can be fed roughly once every 10-15 days. A couple of our terriers simply will not touch raw liver; so we bake it for a few minutes first.
Weight bearing, large, marrow bones or meaty beef bones they are not able to break down. ...So they just chew and gnaw away and clean their teeth with them.
Pre-Made Raw Dog Foods:
We can recommend the pre-made foods listed here as we use them too. These companies sell raw frozen and raw freeze dried formulas for your dogs:
*When selecting a commercial, raw food, it is important to see if they meet the AAFCO Dog Food standards. If they do not, this means you will need to be sure to supplement as the formula is lacking some of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of the top rated, commercial, raw foods on the market today.
50/50 Diet: Very simple to do; We alternate raw with dry - never feeding both at the same time. Some dogs and/or breeds may not be able to handle this constant change of diet. Our dogs have always done fine on it. We will typically feed raw say three days in a row and then three days on kibble and cycle again.
You can get serious about raw feedings and creative with more exotic or hard to find meats (kangaroo, bison, rabbit and so on) or you can keep it simple (beef/chicken) and give it as a supplement, treat or in place of a meal a few days per week. We have fed all kibble and we have fed 100% raw only for an entire year. For us, a 50/50% diet works best.
*Buy a family pack of wings or thighs, put them in sandwich baggies and then thaw as needed. Same thing with satin balls - I make a big batch and freeze, then thaw as needed. "Satin Balls" are a nice occasional “surprise meal day” and also good for hard keepers who are very active or are hard to keep weight on. SATIN BALL RECIPES can be looked up on the internet.
WHY YOU SHOULD FEED PETS RAW FOOD
RAW FEEDING FACTS
Want more information? We would be happy to chat with you anytime.
E-mail Connemara - or give one of us a ring:
Sheila can be reached at; (207) 221-0267
Stephanie can be reached at; (207) 939-9404