Tomi and Joyce are Parker's fine humans. They are just starting the RAW diet and I offered this advice.
For dogs starting off, I prefer chicken breasts, bone in. Also Rowe Farms has rolls of chicken - they grind the whole thing, bones and all. I keep some Rowe Farms pet food in my freezer, but Frida does enjoy crunching bones!
FYI - Parker will also need organ meat. You can buy green tripe from Global Foods on Bloor west of Keele. Also he needs veggies. I suggest Preference made by Honest Kitchen at the same store. We give Frida our steamed veg, but this product is excellent. Get powdered probiotics at Evergreen on Roncy and Omega 3 there as well. I also give Frida ConcenTrace from Evergreen, as well as apple cider vinegar.
Some of the info was given to me by our holistic vet who is very well
known; other stuff was research. Also stay away from pork, rawhide,
and chicken wings.
If you can, would you also pick up a bag of beef neck bones (small
size, I guess), which is what dogs love. This is a raw meaty bone
(RMB) and it;s considered to be a meal (plus the vegetables. The vet
advised staying away from the marrow bones (forget the name - the ones with the center). You can also get chicken backs from Rowe farms and long beef ribs as well. The chicken backs are inexpensive and Frida loves to pull the meat off the long beef ribs which are also
I forgot to mention - I use the apple cider vinegar (1/2 tsp.), ground pumpkin seeds (I get the pumpkin seeds from our local Evergreen), and wheat bran ( 1/2 tsp., soak in the fridge the night before or make up a batch) - this may help in the fall, spring, and summer to ward off Giardia ( pumpkin seeds and wheat bran to keep the intestines flowing) and perhaps fleas (apple cider vinegar).
There is a site that has recipes for anti-flea sprays that are easy to prepare as well - earthclinic (look under "pets").
You might feed Parker 2 - 3 % of his desired weight (per day). I think this does not include the veggies, but I'll check and get back to you!
The East York Animal Hospital started us on Billington's Raw Diet and Frida is doing wonderfully! The diet we follow is really the BARF diet which includes veggies, as opposed to the Prey Diet which does not.
Best in this endeavor,
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Yesterday I worried my new friends, two pugs named Ernie and Bella might not be ready for trail hiking. I and their owners (family) had been inspired by the image of the puggies experiencing the sense of freedom that comes from being leash-free on the trail.
But at the High Park off-leash area, Ernie had roamed too far and although he was found on the other side of a fence along the path, he had traveled and stood alone and somewhat confused away from Bella and our pack. He had visited with me at our house before the walk, sharing Frida's toys and treats, and being cuddled by me and my daughter Caroline. I always do this with new dogs, as well as with dogs who hike regularly with us. I think it helps develop a powerful bond - we become relatives.
Anyhow, Ernie and Bella's family reassured me: they had thought Ernie might get carried away, but they had been willing to have him hike off-leash. They suggested Ernie stay on lead if I felt more confident, but should I sense a shift in his staying power, I might give free rein another try.
Yay and yay! Today we came home for some quality bonding and then headed out for Humber bay Park East. Ernie gets anxious in the car, so he likes a reassuring arm around his torso. Bella watches over him.
At first I kept Ernie on leash, but within five minutes he was running through the bushes and along the path. Whenever he came within arms reach I'd call his name and give him a peanut butter star from Fetch on Roncevalles. I like to think the honest affection I felt for both him and Bella helped keep both Puggies (as well as for Giselle who shared the hike) within range, but I know those treats were tempting.
After the hike, Bella and Ernie came home with us once again, briefly this time. On the way back to their house, Ernie was calmer in the car. From time to time I'd say "I know, it's not easy for you" and I'd hold him close. He didn't understand the words, but I do believe he felt my empathy. There seemed to be a certain flow between us, deepened by our hiking time, and I felt honored.
Janice is the founder of and primary caregiver at Happy Trail Dogs Service. She is also the founder of an arts-related non-profit and worked in the fitness industry for over two decades. She is an artist, editor, writer, and mother of two wonderful women and a glorious lab named Frida.