Thanks to the internet there are some novel ways to explore and learn more about the care of our canine companions. The Virtual Dog Expo an online event with an impressive roll call of speakers, including Tom Lonsdale is one. Unfortunately I came across this event a little too late, but its definitely on my radar to look out for next time.

Another is the existence of animalcentric podcasts and internet radio like All Pet's Radio and Animal Talk Naturally. The latter's most recent broadcast coincidentally, is a report on the Virtual Dog Expo, a taste of both of these new internet venues.


Vintage Dog Food

From a pamphlet given out in 1915 from the Angel Memorial Animal Hospital and Dispensary for Animals, Boston, Massachusetts, titled Feeding the Dog and Cat:

"The evening meal should consist of either raw beef, heart or lamb, to which a little minced raw vegetable may be mixed, such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, tomato. Liver and kidney should be fed two or three times a week in lieu of the raw meat and vegetables. A certain amount of fat is also necessary in the diet. There is no objection to an occasional feeding of roast or boiled beef or lamb or vegetables left over from the table, although cooked foods as regular diet are to be avoided. Some dogs demand cooked foods as they have never known any different. Such animals should be coaxed into eating the raw food by being fed very rarely cooked meats, either merely searing or scalded. If the vegetables are disagreeable the dog will get along very well upon a ration of milk, raw beef or lamb with fat and raw glandular organs."

Source: B-Naturals

In the long history of man's relationship with dogs, a canine diet probably closely resembled this - scraps, leftovers -an extension of its owners diet. If the ingredients weren't the choicest cuts from its master's table it at least still came from his table meaning it at least enjoyed a similar level of quality - a quality now described as "human grade".

In the much shorter history of commercially manufactured pet food, there has evolved an entirely new world of ingredients-meat by products, fat from unidentified sources, brewers rice, all unfit for human consumption-a quality of food desribed as "pet grade". How and why and why it continues to happen is a matter to be considered further at another time, what I want to dwell on here is the notion of a more halcyon time when the quality of what our pets ate echoed what we did and how much more sense this makes to me.

It makes enough sense to me to want to emulate it. Regardless of whether it is raw or cooked, or more suited for a carnivore than an omnivore or any of the other hot topics of the raw debate, what I feed Eti is at the very least of a comparable quality to what I eat and quite often the same as what I eat.



Good Egg

'Eggs are absolutely brilliant nutrition for your dog. Eggs are a whole food, and often regarded as having the perfect protein. It is the one against which all other proteins are measured. Eggs contain a full compliment of minerals, including excellent levels of calcium (mostly in the yolk), all the vitamins except vitamin C and a range of high quality saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the nutrient lecithin and the whole range of enzymes and other longevity factors always present in raw foods. Egg yolks are an essential food for a dog with skin problems. They contain sulphur containing amino acids, biotin, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and zinc.'

From Dr. Billinghurst's Barfworld

Additionally, the shell is a further source of calcium and trace minerals. Grinding the shell makes it more bioavailable and reduces any risk of shells irritating the system. I use a mortar but you can also wash and dry the shells and put them through a grinder/processor. Home Ground eggshells are also a slightly better source of calcium than commercially prepared bonemeal-which is usually cooked and processed.

With the availability of Omega 3 enriched eggs, created by feeding hens a diet that includes flaxseed, eggs are another source for this important nutrient. DHA eggs, from hens fed algae or kelp, and other green foods are even better.

Eti gets one egg a week. His breakfast this morning, in the photo, is ground duck with vegetables, one egg with ground shell and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Labels: ,


The Emotional Life of Dogs

One of my favorite authors Patricia McConnell has a new book out tackling this complex subject. "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend". Her perspective on the subject, as always, is an interesting combination of Behaviorist( she has a Doctorate in Ethology), Zoologist and Animal Lover.

Advance praise for the book:

“For the Love of a Dog is a wonderful book. Fine, balanced, charming, it is sure to appeal to all dog fans whose numbers seem to be increasing (and rightly so) by the day. I read it with great delight.”
–Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., author of Dogs Never Lie About Love

“A step-by-step guide on how to interpret how your dog feels by reading his facial expressions and body posture. A marvelous book that everybody who loves dogs should own.”

–Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation

“Brilliant! For The Love of a Dog is a perfect balance of science and soul. These stories will either keep you up reading long into the night knowing that with your dogs, you love and are loved, need and are needed.”
–Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on ABC’s Good Morning America and author of Fitness Unleashed!

“A fascinating, highly educational read. McConnell alternates between expressing empathy with our canine friends and taking a step back to explain the scientific limits of any attempt to get into their heads.”

–Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape

“Patricia McConnell skillfully blends cutting edge scientific data with examples from her personal experiences with dogs to produce a clear picture of the emotional life of dogs. In the process we learn more about how the mind of a dog works, and how to better understand and interact with them. This is a ‘must read’ for all dog owners.”
–Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs and How Dogs Think.




Duct Tape is a regular purchase at Chez MC. I save paper box containers (I used a toilet roll center in the photo), fill them with treats, in this case Innova Evo kibble, and completely duct tape the container. I then make a hole big enough for the treat to escape-a novice at this would probably need a few holes. This is about an hour's worth of interaction-also requiring nose work to find the treats that have fallen out. I think it also satisfies a natural urge to rip and tear, but in an approved and managed situation. All this brainwork and nosework is exhausting and guarantees a nice long nap after.



New Supplements

Having finally completed the giant container of NUPRO -an all purpose supplement that I have been adding to Eti's meals, I've decided to shift to other sources. NUPRO had some good ingredients-enzymes, acidophilus, kelp, garlic; but also a lot of unnecessary ingredients like bee pollen(not effective for allergies unless its from local sources)and ground flaxseed (not a goood source of omega 3,does not keep well once ground).

The general direction I want to move in is to get the supplements from as natural or least contaminated or processed dietary source as possible. For Omega3's , I continue to feed him mackerel, omega3 eggs and green tripe so I only want to supplement this 2-3 days a week. I'm now using 1000mg capsules of Fish Body Oil from Wholefoods squeezed onto his meal once a day. For a probiotic I'm using kefir-also from Wholefoods.

In the photo of his breakfast this morning he has 5 oz of ground lamb/w bone (no vegetables), a teaspoon of kefir, a quarter clove of crushed garlic and a capsule of fish body oil


Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]