Starting Pups or Crossover Dogs on a Natural Diet:
If the puppy has not been fed natural by the breeder then you need to introduce a change of diet gradually – increasing the raw/home cooked gradually – in the meantime here are the home cooked recipes that I use for rescues coming in that I want to change and for getting pups going as weaning commences.
- Raw Stuff: (yes even the chicken)
- Chicken necks are excellent – very small bones will teach the ‘chew’ which they all need to learn. Most ‘barf’ suppliers do necks.
- Chicken Wings – again very good for teaching the chewing technique and good for getting weight on because of the fat content.
- Duck – any part of the duck is good, excellent for putting on weight but pricey if you don’t shoot – if you have a local shoot, they usually have some for sale.
- Raw/ground minced lamb, chicken or pork – usually mixed with rice or pasta plus grated carrots or a processed raw veggie mix and some wholemeal mixer.
- Fish – whole heads and all – oily fish is best, herring, mackerel, sardines, pilchards. Don’t worry about the bones – the dog can cope with them but no smoked fish.
I boil a large chicken or a lamb breast/neck in plain water with some olive/veggie oil added until it is well cooked (as the pup gets older/or the older dog more accustomed, I cook it less and less until it is virtually raw then feed it raw) and falling off the bone – drain and cool but add to the stock (having first checked there are no bones in it) a kilo of good quality pasta or rice, throw in the potato/veggie peeling and trimmings from your own dinner (no onion family) – if no veggies that day (you been to MacDonald’s ha-ha) then add either barley, lentils or oats or a combination and cook all out. Pick down the chicken/lamb and combine the lot – feed in portions with wholemeal mixer added.
Offal – good if you are not meat sensitive
Liver, lites, hearts, tripe, kidney, brains, tongue etc all good – especially for the next stage feeding as the pup gets older or the older dog adjusts.
Cut into pieces and very lightly boil in plain water with some oats/lentils etc – but feed the veggies raw – either processed down slightly or grated.
I get pig and sheep heads from my butcher which are very cheap, I boil this until cooked then strip everything out and off (many find this too yucky) the skin gets slow roasted until crispy for chews everything except the bone and teeth is cut up put back into the boiling water and used as above.
Pate for Kongs and Liver Cake for Rewards:
1kg liver, 2 kg belly pork – cook very lightly in oil so still bloody in the middle – process to a very smooth gunk – put in a loaf tin – stand in a tray of water and bake until just firm – if, when it is cold it is too firm, then make it into a paste with some margarine or oil or cream cheese.
1kg liver, 2 mugs of semolina or rice flour or potato flour, 2 eggs. Blast in the processor and bake in a tray until really firm and dry – when cool cut into tiny squares. Recipe here.
Wash the blood off the liver for this – lay out on a tray and dry out in a very low oven until it completely dry – cut into very thin strips. Recipe here.
Extra special bingo treats:
Belly pork and pigs trotters – dried the same way.
Any raw meaty bone is good for the dog – I do not feed beef at all but many do.
There are 2 types – the easy to crunch – for feeding as a meal, ribs, neck, shoulder etc and the big knuckle type, filled with good marrow, which cleans the teeth whilst the dog is getting the marrow out. On a bone only day – for dogs 6 months and upwards – they need a combination of both – as a guide a 40k dog will need the equivalent of 2 large lamb breasts and 2 shin/knuckle bones – usually given early lunchtime if you feed twice daily then reduce this by a third and give lighter meal of 2nd class protein, fish or minced raw chicken/lamb with wholemeal, or pasta or rice – with fruit/veggies later.
To get the pup/rescue used to this quantity of bone then introduce a bone a day as one of the daily meals – start off with chicken necks and chicken wings and build it up.
And last but not least …
Bones are a high resource to the dog – make sure you work at the training of taking the bone off him and giving it back etc. – especially if you have young children in the house. Also teach the children they mustn’t disturb rover whilst he is eating his bones – after all they wouldn’t be happy if rover tried to nick their chocolate bar!
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