Those pictures of raw food bowls.....you know the ones I mean. The pretty bowls with hundreds of ingredients including those you've never heard of!
Those bowls! Do you scare you? They scare me! My bowls never look that pretty and, to tell you the truth, I've no idea why half the ingredients are included! I might get shot down for this but.....
....those bowls are just done for social media and not for the benefit of the dog!
Raw feeding doesn't need to be difficult. You don't need pretty bowls full of this-that-and-the-other. You just need variety! And not variety every day. Variety over time.
I'm going to share with you a week of teas that I feed my dogs. I'm not going to share their breakfast because their breakfasts are literally an 80-10-10 plonked in a bowl! Their teas are where the variety happens...well most days!
I have 5 dogs - 3 collies, a collie cross and a Jack Russell. Thankfully none are fussy or have any intolerances.
This is as pretty as my bowls get! I had a bit of time to prepare the dogs' tea so took the opportunity to give them some extra bits today.
Their base meal was an 80-10-10 from Mersey Raw - pork & lamb.
I then added some fermented veg. I make my own fermented vegetables and store in a jar in the fridge. Fermented veg is so good for dogs because they have loads of nutrients, probiotics and digestive enzymes.
The bowl in the picture is Disley's bowl. He has supplements for his joints and stiffness (he had a bad accident 18 months ago and still suffers with stiffness in his joints). He gets Winston & Porter Hip & Joint Plus in his food plus I added Devil's Claw. Devil's Claw usually goes in in the morning but I forgot! I don't add either of these to my other dogs' bowls as they don't suffer with their joints.
Next, I add their Billy No Mates (natural flea/tick repellent)
Then I mix and mix and mix because my dogs are like toddlers and if they see some veg or anything green, they won't eat it!
I then break a quail egg to their bowl. They love eggs!
Finally, I topped off with some antler powder; it reminds me of sprinkling parmesan on my pasta so I feel like a proper chef giving my dogs a proper culinary treat! Antler powder does have many properties such as aiding circulation, improving metabolism, helping bones, muscles and joints and strengthens the immune system.
Then after spending far too much time getting my dogs' tea ready, they get to eat it!
Not a pretty bowl but quite a bit of variety in it!
I wonder what they'll have tomorrow?
Not as much time today so not a lot added to their bowl. Mine are all adult dogs so it's fine to balance overtime.
Today, they had a simple meal of 80-10-10 Premium Raw (horse) with their Billy No Mates. Disley had his joint supplements too.
The most important thing to remember about raw feeding is that variety is key. Day 2 and they've already had 3 proteins in just their teas! They'll have had different proteins in the morning too. We aim for at least 5 different proteins in their diet.
So far this week my dogs have had pork, lamb and horse. They've had fermented veg and some quail eggs plus their daily dose of Billy No Mates.
Tonight, I wanted to give them a few extra bits. I had time and they had a relatively simple meal last night.
I had The Dog Butchers Ox Tripe & Turkey defrosted so that made the base of their meal.
To this, I added some Boil & Broth Goat Bone Broth. I like to give Disley anything and everything that might help his joints and bone broth has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. The others like it too and it can only do them good so they all had a helping.
Their meal tonight was then topped off with some yummy sprats! These were still slightly frozen but mine will eat them any way they're served (good job as I never remember to defrost them!)
This was Molly's bowl so she had 3 sprats. Little clover just had one sprat. Bless her, it's rubbish been small!
And of course, Billy No Mates for natural flea and tick prevention.
Another busy day so another quick and easy tea. I had remembered to get some veg out which was good because they hadn't had any veg since day 1.
I think it's worth noting here that you can give veg and fruits daily; in fact I'd recommend it if you're feeding veg/fruit that's low on the glycaemic index (the less starchy ones). I don't give mine veg every day because 1) i often forget! and 2) Clover gets itchy if she had too much veg so I like to spread it out throughout the week.
So tonight they had Naturaw Fish & Chick (80-10-10) plus some Betsy's Veg Blend. I love the ingredients in the veg blend - so good for the immune system and gut health.
Then as always, topped off with Billy No Mates.
Then I give it a good mix to hide the green stuff! Mine have got better eating veg over time so if your dog won't eat it, start with small amounts and just persevere.
Think mine have definitely had their 5 proteins this week already!
I found some kefir paws lurking in the bottom of the freezer. The best thing about kefir paws? They don't need defrosting so no preparation (or memory) needed! Kefir is good for gut health so a good supplement to add to any food.
Their base meal was Natural Dog Lamb 80-10-10. I love that these are 500g chubs because 2 is the perfect amount to feed my 5 dogs.
And then the Billy No Mates mixed through.
Another easy meal.
Beautiful looking vension today from Naked Dog! You know you're a raw food addict when you describe it as beautiful!
Added to that was Naturaw Pure Blend. I love this stuff and so do my dogs. So much good stuff in it. Lots of superfoods including oily fish
They also had their Billy No Mates and a sprinkling of Antler Powder.
Looking back through the last 6 days, my dogs have only had eggs once. I like to give them eggs twice a week so will make sure tomorrow includes some.
Tonight it was the turn of Betsy's to feed the dogs. As you'll have noticed, not only do I mix proteins, I also mix brands. This is so important because different brands will use different cuts of meat meaning different nutritional profiles. The more variety, the more complete your dog's diet will be.
There was some forage left from yesterday so that was added to their bowl. I remembered eggs! Quail eggs and Billy No Mates completed their meal.
That completes my dogs' week of teas.
Bowls aren't pretty but they do offer offer a lot of variety. Remember they also have their breakfast but that is just 80/10/10. I rarely add anything to their morning bowl but carry one the theme of different brands and proteins.
Raw feeding doesn't need to be hard. It certainly doesn't need to be pretty. It just needs to be offer variety