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Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: My Dog Food

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Turkey Tracks:  July 23, 2014

My Dog Food


With the dogs I have now, and which I’ve had for 12 years and 9 years (Penelope, No No Penny, PenBay–was about two years old when we rescued her from Katrina), I’ve never used dry dogfood.

Up here in Maine, I am able to get whole chickens (skin, bones, organs, meat) ground up for $1.59 a pound.  I mix that pound with 1 cup of dried veggies (Sojos) and one cup of water and let it sit overnight.  This batch feeds two small dogs for two days.  I only recently added the veggies as both dogs needed to drop a bit of weight.  I’ve been very pleased with the addition of vegetables.


Before Maine, I used various ground muscle meats from the Virginia grocery stores, mixed with veggies I cooked.  That’s ok, but eating all muscle meat isn’t great either.  Make sure you get at least 15% fat, not all lean muscle.

I’ve never added grains to dog food.  And I supplement with some of my constant and ongoing bone broths, leftover foods and fats they like, and so forth.  Penny likes fruit.  Reynolds does not.

Both dogs LOVE raw chicken necks–and those are filled with so many great things for dogs.

The dogs love this current mixture, and they are really healthy.  People can’t believe their ages (10 and 11).  They don’t have any old-age white on their faces, their coats are thick and glossy, their eyes are bright, they have no skin issues, and their poop is great.

I think feeding issues show up when dogs get old…

Penny’s teeth stay pretty clean because she will chew bones.  I use a 5 or 6-inch marrow bone (those little ones don’t get chewed) that makes her work to get at the marrow.

Reynolds won’t chew bones on a regular basis, so I have to have her teeth cleaned about once a year–which is hard on her I think.  My holistic vet uses a chemical that knocks her down, cleans her teeth, then rouses her up with the antidote.  It’s the same process that you see when a vet knocks back a lion, or tiger, in order to check them.  I am with her the whole time, touching her and talking to her.  We did the teeth cleaning thing last Monday.  An hour later Reynolds enjoyed a walk all along the Belfast harbor.  You’d never know she’d been knocked back an hour earlier.






Written by louisaenright

July 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Turkey Tracks: Raw Dog Food and Sojos

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Turkey Tracks:  February 18, 2012

Raw Dog Food and Sojos

When I was a child visiting in Reynolds, Georgia, the home of my grandparents, no one gave the many fine bird dogs dried dog food.

They didn’t because commercial dried dog food had not yet been developed.

The dogs ate table scraps.

And they lived long and healthy lives.

I fed our first dogs dried dog food.  That’s what everyone did by the time I was 30.  Our beautiful pair of Springer Spaniels had chronic ear problems, chronic itching skin problems, and when they got old, massive flea problems.  By the time they died, the poor things were skin and bones and miserable.

After the springers, I started reading about feeding dogs raw foods.  And, remembering back to what my family used to feed dogs before dried dog food made feeding dogs “easy.”

Our rat terriers have never had dried dog food since they crossed the threshold of our house.  At 9 and 10 this spring, they both still play like puppies, their coats glisten, and they don’t have any grey starting on their faces.  The only vet bills I have had are for rabies shots; the occasional teeth cleaning mostly for Miss Reynolds Georgia, since she isn’t as diligent about chewing bones as Penolope is; and the heartworm medicine I give them ONLY in the spring and summer.  And, I space that out to about 45 or 50 days.

The digestive tracks of dogs are most like that of humans.

Would you eat dried dog food if you had a choice?

How would it seem to you if you constantly smelled delicious food cooking, but you never got any?

And, like humans, too many grains, or any at all for dogs, put too much stress on dogs’ bodies.

And, dogs don’t fare any better on chemical brews than humans do.

Our dogs eat, mostly, raw meat.  I am so lucky because I can get whole chickens–skin, bones, organs, everything–ground up for $1.49 a pound.  But, for years, and sometimes now, the two dogs ate a half-pound each of raw hamburger a day.  They also like whole chicken necks, skin and all.  I supplement with table scraps, yogurt, and fresh eggs from time to time.  Miss Reynolds Georgia loves roast chicken better than I do.

Recently, friend Patricia Shea showed me Sojos, which is a bag of dehydrated veggies that one mixes into the meat  with a bit of added water to dehydrated the mixture.  It’s full of mostly good things:  veggies, fruit, garlic, and so forth.  And, it smells fresh and clean and very nice.  It isn’t organic though, so I only use it when I just don’t have any cooked veggies in the house to give the girlies.


Vets and people who raise dogs and sell them are horrified when one mentions table scraps.  My holistic vet, however, knows raw food is better and is a strong advocate for it.  Remember that mainstream vets are taught that real food is bad for dogs.   Bless their hearts, they don’t know any better.  And, most of them think what they “know” is right and that they are doing good things.

But, never forget that the power of industry to inculcate unscientific nonsense so it can sell more products is awesome.  And, cynically speaking, vets do benefit from treating chronically sick dogs and from giving them a bunch of shots and “protective” medicines dogs don’t need and which wreck their immune systems.

The same pattern is likely true for human docs too.

Those of us who “remember” are getting older now.  Soon, no one will know that there was another way to live and another way to feed people and dogs and chickens and cows and so forth so that they all had abundant health.

PS:  If you are thinking of switching a dog to raw food, proceed very VERY slowly, and with the help of a holistic vet if you have one in your area.  Dogs on dried dog food lose the enzymes that will process real food, so you need to help them redevelop those enzymes.  It’s easier to switch a puppy over than it is an older dog…  But, it can be done.

Written by louisaenright

February 18, 2012 at 10:27 am