Raw Feeding: DIY or completes?

Since bringing Colin home as an 8 week old puppy we have been a raw fed household. As someone who knew admittedly little to nothing about raw feeding before I decided to bring Colin home, I was absolutely terrified that somehow he would not get all the nutrients he needed and so, I decided to feed him complete minces. Complete minces are available directly from a number of different companies (our favourites are Poppy’s Picnic and Benyfit Natural) and many pet stores, including Pets and Home and Pets Corner are beginning to stock a variety of raw food. It is an incredibly easy way to feed raw without worrying that you’re missing any vital elements whilst still seeing most of the benefits of a raw diet (more on this later!).

Although I was very happy feeding complete raw meals, I have always wanted to have a go at preparing my own meals for Colin and Rhapsody. It took me joining the Facebook group ‘Rants of Raw Fed Dogs‘ last month to finally convince me to give it a go. But I was still worried that I would miss something and would end up causing the dogs to have some kind of deficiency. Thankfully, Aniforte have the answer to this – their BARF complete supplement mix! The supplement contains all the essential nutrients and minerals essential for a health life. These include; eco-marine algae, malt germ, brewer’s yeast, seaweed meal, natural eggshell powder, flaxseed flour and a herb mix with milk thistle fruits, nettle leaves, blackberry leaves, chamomile and dandelion root. Armed with the knowledge that I knew I would be covering all the bases I decided to give it a go!

The basic rules for DIY prey-model raw feeding as as follows:

  • 80% muscle meat (heart, lung, stomach and intestines all come under this category)
  • 10% bone
  • 10% organs (half of which should be liver, half other such as kidney, brain, spleen, etc.)

The biggest challenge for me was working out the bone content. All raw feeders will tell you that if the bone content isn’t right, you will know about it as your dogs’ poos will be far too soft. As most bones are within muscle meat it can be a struggle to work out how much they need to make up the 10% bone requires, luckily Perfectly Rawsome has an awesome resource which tells you what percentage of each food item is bone.

Let’s do the maths. Colin eats 300g of food per day. Which means he needs 30g of bone to keep everything running smoothly, all good so far. Let’s say I am going to use chicken wings to make up the bone content in his meal. Chicken wings are 46% bone. To work out how many grams of chicken wings he would need I divide 30 by 0.46 which tells me he needs 65.2g of chicken wings to make sure he gets his 10% bone. If I were using a cut with less bone, for example chicken thigh which is only 21% bone I would need more to make up the bone content, 30 divided by 0.21 = 142.9g. Phew. Hard bit done. I have been preparing multiple meals at once and then freezing in portions so that I don’t have to think about these things every day, for my two I can prepare a weeks worth of meals in under an hour.

Ok, so let’s say I have 65.2g of chicken wings in each of our bowl/tubs for Colin’s meals. Next I would add the organ meat. I cheated slightly on this one (yes, I know, not totally DIY) and use a pre-made “Just Offal” mix from Nutriment as honestly I hate handing raw meat and organs are just a step too far for me at the moment. Anyway, I would add 30g of the offal mixture to each bowl or tub and then I top it up to 300g using muscle meat.

Before serving each meal I would then add supplements on top of the meals I had prepared. Both dogs get Aniforte Salmon Oil and the Aniforte BARF supplement granules mixed in with their meat and Rhapsody also gets Aniforte Green-Lipped Mussel Powder for her joints. For more information on the reasons we use the other supplements, please check out our previous blog post on them!

In a raw diet it is important to feed a range of different proteins, I rotate ours with my weekly meal prep as well as trying to feed a range in every meal. Currently in our freezer we have chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, veal, venison, sprats, duck and pork all of which the dogs get on a regular basis. Occasionally our local farm shop also has more exciting meats in stock such as pheasant and rabbit so the dogs do sometimes get treated to those too!

img_3525-1
Example bowls; chicken necks, salmon, pork mince, chicken hearts, veal offal plus supplements.

My dogs are always super keen for their dinner and, of course, nothing has changed since I swapped them onto their new DIY diet. The main benefit I have noticed of feeding a DIY diet over the complete minces is that both of their teeth have improved dramatically just from having bones every day. Unfortunately if you only feed completes you will not get the same oral health benefit! In the long term, I am fully aware that I will not always have the time/energy to prepare their meals myself so I will endeavour to find a healthy balance between convenient completes and DIY meals, mainly for the oral health benefits.

This post was kindly sponsored by Aniforte UK, all views and opinions remain our own despite this partnership. 

Advertisements

Small Business Spotlight: The Distinguished Dog Company

DDlogo

Apologies for our brief Small Business hiatus, we are in the process of moving back in with my parents until we take over our Army quarters after the wedding in January so it’s been chaotic around here to say the least! I wanted to squeeze one more in before Christmas, purely because some the items we received would make perfect Christmas presents! We first met The Distinguished Dog Company at Pup Aid at the end of the summer, we caught them just as they were packing up and only managed to sneak a small peak at the goodies they had on display! When we arrived home we looked them up and I just knew we HAD to share their products with you all! Here to tell you a little more about The DD Company is owner, Tracey.

What was the inspiration behind The Distinguished Dog Company?

Mr Gatsby, our Lhasa Apso was the inspiration for the brand. When we got married we knew that he would be the star of the wedding and wanted him to feel dapper amongst the groomsmen. At the time I couldn’t find anything for him to wear that fitted with the style of the wedding and ended up importing something for him. After the wedding madness I decided to make him a bow tie, on his first walk with it on he had a certain swagger about him, so I made him some more and the idea developed from there! All of the accessories are about the dog feeling the bees-knees in what they are wearing.

gadsby.jpg
Mr Gatsby himself

What makes your dog accessories stand out from others?

There are some amazing brands in the UK and further afield that create wonderful pieces, but the one thing that I always go back to when I am developing a new product is that it needs to be better than a human would wear/ use/ eat/ have.  I am also really passionate about sustainable fashion and keeping production local so everything is make here in the UK, mostly in Devon where I am based- I think that adds to the passion that goes into each piece.  

What is your best selling item?

This is a tough one as it depends on the time of year and over the past three – four months I have been collaborating with artisans to bring to life completely new products that I have only soft launched at events so there is not a true gauge on those yet. Let’s say that everyone loves a bow tie at Christmas!

Which is your personal favourite item?

Oooo I can’t hone it down to one. I love each and every one of the bow ties and neckerchiefs that go to dapper dogs all over the world as I make each of them myself from scratch, but then there is also nothing better than seeing something that I have imagined and designed be brought to life by an expert and working with them to perfect something wonderful.

Do you have any exciting Christmas items at the moment?

Our ever popular Luxe Velvet bow ties are a firm favourite at Christmas time, and this year I also launched a beautiful hand-knitted Christmas jumper which is stylish and cozy and has been very popular.  

What does 2018 hold for DD company?

There is a lot going on. I will be developing the bow tie collection which will also include bespoke wedding bow ties and an entire collection made using short-run tweeds,  the Colynes Leather Collar and Lead will be launching on the website (a collaboration between myself and an incredible leather worker in South Devon, made using Oak Bark Tanned leather tanned here in Devon- it is incredible and built to last) the knitwear collection will be expanding and I have a whole new collection of stylish hand-made toys in the initial concept stage at the moment so lots going on!

Doodle Review: The Distinguished Dog Company Bow Ties and Neckerchief

Blogger mail is exciting at the best of times but when a surprise box arrives the excitement reaches new levels in our house! Even The DD Co. packaging is exciting! Everything is beautifully packed in recyclable materials, we love a company that produces luxury products whilst maintaining environmentally friendly standards. We also love to support companies that are based in the UK and all The DD Company products are made in Devon (on the South coast of England for any of our international readers!).

The first item inside our beautiful box (which Mum has decided to keep to store our extensive bow tie collection) was a gorgeous neckerchief, otherwise known as a bandana to less fancy folk. Tracey kindly sent us the Wonderment Luxury Dog Neckerchief which is part of their latest neckerchief collection, matching bow ties are also available. The front side of the neckerchief is a beautiful, luxuriously silky Liberty fabric with a lovely Alice in Wonderland feel to it, backed with an electric blue soft jersey cotton. This neckerchief has a true luxury feel, all the way down to the leather The DD Co. tag carefully fixed on the corner. These neckerchiefs are a classic tie-on design and are available in three sizes to suit dogs of all sizes, Rhapsody wears a size Small and The DD Company neckerchiefs start at £18.50.

Our box also contained two more, smaller boxes, intriguing right? Inside these boxes were the most beautiful velvet bow ties we’ve even seen, Mum had to check they weren’t actually for humans! Tracey has chosen matching Purple Pomp Velvet Luxe Bow Ties for us and they are just to die for. The buttery soft velvet is luxurious beyond belief (and yes, we need to learn some more synonyms for luxurious!) and is just perfect for the festive season! The bows slide easily onto any collars (up to 3cm wide) and have two elastic loops to secure them which means they sit impeccably at all times, no floppy bow ties here!

We thought we’d test our bows and decided to take them on a little London adventure, we got absolutely soaked but the great British weather but the bow ties still looked perfect for our afternoon tea bus tour. We can therefore confirm that although they seem too beautiful to actually wear, they can withstand a fair amount of adventure! The velvet bow tie collection from The DD Company start at £15.50 and are available in two sizes, both Colin and Rhapsody wear a size small.

The Distinguished Dog Company also make other goodies for both dogs and humans! We personally love their human Walkies jumper and their wonderful gift boxes would make the perfect present for any pooch this Christmas! You can check out the whole range on their website here and you can also follow them on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news, products and cute photos of all their customers looks perfectly distinguished!