Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Completely Edible Raw "Kongs"

 Stuffing a dog toy with a soft food item and freezing it is a popular way to to feed a dog, mentally stimulate a dog, and give the dog something time-consuming to do.  

I have stuffed Kongs with cottage cheese, mashed banana, canned dog food, and ground raw meat.

I thought to myself, "Why not stuff the raw meat into something edible?" Thus the idea for a completely edible raw Kong type project.

I chose beef trachea as my item to stuff. Trachea is good for dogs to eat, and a natural source of chondroitin. For the stuffing material, I used some Tripe SuperMix from My Pet Carnivore, but one can easily stuff trachea with any ground meat, ground tripe, canned tripe, or canned dog food.

Take beef trachea and...
  • stuff with meat or meat mixture of choice,
  • freeze; and
  • feed to dog.
My dogs LOVE these.

I stuff them tightly, but leave a bit of room at the ends to prevent overflow when stuffing. Pop them in a Ziploc bag and freeze, then watch your dogs enjoy themselves.

Do your dogs enjoy stuffed Kongs?  What is your favorite Kong stuffing?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Faolan Wears His Heart On His Sleeve For Bravo! Crunchy Delights

I have said it time and time again: Faolan is exuberant.  If he is experiencing an emotion, it shows.  He is the antithesis of stoic, and has a terrible poker face.

Happy, excited, anxious, fearful, angry, antipathy; he shows them all.

His personality is overall wonderful, and makes me laugh on a daily basis.  I regularly call him a silly little boy.

He is a notorious treat snob, known to snub his nose and walk away from treats that aren't good enough for his picky palate.

We are trying out some Bravo! Crunchy Delights, and the little treat snob LOVES them. 

As a raw feeder, I am familiar with and a fan of the Bravo! company.  These new treats are not raw, but baked goodies that are made in the USA with all natural ingredients.

These biscuit type treats do have a strong, albeit pleasant smell, and are easily broken into a smaller size.  (Don't tell my dogs that I break their treats...)

I am always happy to see him so excited about a treat, because I know that they will work well as a "distraction" treat, if he is willing to focus on food instead of something else while out and about.  These types of treats are always needed in my house.

Find Bravo! on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

I was provided with complimentary product.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beauty Goes to the Dogs: Posh Pet Box Review and Discount Code

My name is Rebekah, and I am addicted to subscription boxes.

I was recently introduced to the Posh Pet Box

Posh Pet Box is a monthly beauty box for dogs.  They offer designer dog clothes, toys, treats and accessories for the most discerning pet parent.  Members fill out a pet profile, identifying the posh level of their pet, and select a custom (directly benefits the needs of their pet) or curated plan.  

Three plans are available, starting at $29 month, based on how picky and posh one's pet is-Plain Posh, Picky Posh, and Posh Boss.

We were sent a Picky Posh Box to try out, and their info card is the nicest I have seen!

Posh Pet Box review

The Goods

ABO Gear Bully Sticks.  Approximate retail value $3.99 each.  Bully sticks are always appreciated in my house.  Always.

Etta Says! Crunchy Duck Chews.  Approximate retail value $8.99.  These made in the USA treats have already proven a hit with Faolan.  We have received various products from Etta Says! in the past, and they have all been successes. 

The Farmer's Barket Pork Chow Chips.  Unknown retail value.  Two ingredients-hog liver and golden flax seeds.  What's not to like.  I just wish this bag were larger.  

Aussie Naturals Wiggly Monkey.  Approximate retail value $15.49.  One of the cutest toys I have seen.  Eco-friendly, features three distinct smells, and contains no squeaker.  This is too cute to let my dogs destroy.  Decisions, decisions...

The Watering Hole portable dog bowl.  Unknown retail value.  This is a great idea.  I am a fan of reusable, collapsible, portable dog bowls.  This can fold and snap around a leash or collar, taking up no extra room.  It doesn't hold a ton of water, but is ideal for small to medium sized dogs.  

  My Doggy Apple Honey Cookies.  Approximate retail value 12.99.  Soft cookie type treats that are made in the USA with simple ingredients.  I am a fan already, and don't even know if my dogs like them yet.

I am impressed with the Posh Pet Box.  High quality treats, toys, and gear.  I cannot wait to see what sort of clothing articles are available for smaller dogs.
Posh Pet Box is taking extra special care of their first 250 subscribers, giving out extra surprise selections in addition the posh goods.  Use code ROTTENPOSH250 to receive $10 off your first Posh Pet Box!  (Good for first 20 readers using that code only.  If 20 sign up using discount code, a $5 discount will be given after 20.)

Find Posh Pet Box on Facebook and Twitter.

I was provided with complimentary product.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Inadequate Arguments Against Raw Feeding

I have heard all sorts of reasons why I should not feed my dogs a raw diet.  Some are ridiculous, some border on paranoia, and some are truly valid concerns.  Following are some common arguments people come up with against raw feeding, and my thoughts and responses to them.

What about Salmonella?
Salmonella is not necessarily present in raw meat, just as it is not necessarily present in kibble.  However, I hear of far more kibble recalls for salmonella than I do for raw meat.

Healthy dogs have short, fast, acidic digestive tracts, designed to move food through quickly, reducing the risk of bacteria illness.  

I do not fear contracting salmonella (or any other food-borne illness) from handling my dogs' raw meat.  I practice good hygiene, washing all surfaces that come in contact with raw dog food or raw people food, the same as people should do when preparing their own food.  

It's a Fad
For some reason, many people think that giving a dog fresh (raw, cooked, homemade food, etc.) is a relatively new thing, a popular fad if you will.

What many people do not realize is that kibble has only been around for about 60 years.  Canned dog food is only a little older than that.  What did people feed their dogs prior to the invention of kibble?  They fed them table scraps, raw meat, and other fresh foodstuffs. 

I love this video of Jack Lalanne describing what he feeds his dog.  It's a raw diet.

You Don't Have a Degree in Canine Nutrition.
This one kind of makes me giggle.  You wouldn't eat nothing but donuts everyday, would you?  Give your dog variety.  Different proteins, different cuts.  See HERE for more information on balancing a PMR diet.  Give the dog some bone, some meat, some organs (and some fruits, veggies, grains if that is how you do it.)  It is really not difficult.  Besides, it's unlikely your parents had a degree in human nutrition, and you turned out alright.

It Will Make Dogs "Bloodthirsty."
Plenty of dogs have a high prey drive, including mine.  Feeding raw hasn't made it worse.  Plenty of livestock guardian dogs are fed a raw diet of sorts, and still able to guard the animals that they have been entrusted to do so.  

It will not make your dogs "turn on you."  I regularly offer my dogs my hands to lick if they are nearby when I am prepping or portioning out their raw food.  They gently lick my fingers, and know that my fingers are not food.

Wolves Only Live to be 6 or 7 Years Old
Sadly, this is true.  However, it is not the diet of wild wolves that causes them to have a shortened lifespan.  Wild wolves die of starvation, attack by other wolves, injuries and disease (source.) 

Captive wolves regularly live to 12-14 years old or older.  Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, is a captive wolf educational facility.  They have several wolves who have lived to be 14+ years old, including Kiri, who was 19 years old (!) when they made the decision for  him.

Many other arguments against raw feeding exist, and I have heard some of them.  Fortunately, I have yet to have a vet question it.  Instead, it is always other dog owners.  Many dog owners, while not raw feeders themselves, are supportive of those who do feed raw.

I do not attempt to pressure or push people to feed raw or fresh foods.  I just make information available.  If one researches what is best for their animals, and are doing what they feel is best, than I support them.  However, I will encourage including some fresh (raw or real cooked foods) in any dog's diet.

Further Reading
5 Raw Feeding Myths by Kimberly at Keep the Tail Wagging
Raw Feeding Resources
How I Feed Raw