This afternoon it was pretty hot! we’ve ran out of peanut butter so in my wisdom, decided to give the massive, giant pupper of ours a cheeky frozen treat .. frozen veggies.
This was the reaction ….
(note how miniscule said piece of cauliflower is !!)
Atlas is raw fed, and let me tell you this whittles down any fun treat your dog ever liked, every! expect for in Atlas’ case, his beloved peanut butter and frozen peas. Yep I am officially the fun sponge of the family, on a plus note though I am no longer thinking about shares in dentastix!
There is a reason for his raw feeding, and this is due to him being the itchiest thing I have ever known. He’s like a baby with eczema. He came home pretty itchy but we just initially put this down to him feeling a little confused about the whole new house, new family, first car ride etc. He was originally fed on Oscars dry food which I love ! They are fantastic, Jasmine was fed on that and so naturally when his lordship arrived, he was weaned straight onto their large breed puppy food, and he loved it, until the itching got worse.
We did the most obvious initially, the de fleeing and making sure his little body had no unwanted visitors via worming. We tried an oatmeal wash which was recommended and apart from making him look like something out of a L’Oreal advert, it didn’t really touch the sides. We re-mortgaged the house for piriton from the vet (as I paid she kindly announced I could have got them for 60p at Wilkos) …. you can imagine my joy when they didn’t work ! He was given something similar to a nuclear bomb on a second visit to the vet to ensure he had no fleas (after explaining he was in fact critter free) and then as a last resort was given a round of anti-biotic’s. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was not overly surprised when the itching persisted. We were then told by the vet that he was, and I quote “just itchy” ….. you have got to be kidding me! At this point I lost myself a little and was so angry that they had dismissed his problem which was in fact irritating the life out of us, let alone just him, that I went to researching myself.
In the mean time Atlas actually won the pet idol competition ran by Oscars food (fabulous) and so he was able to obtain a free bag of food. We decided that at this point we had nothing to lose and so changed him onto the grain free option they had … he hated it and we had to mash it with water. I don’t think he actually hated it but at the time he’d gone from tiny puppy pellets that resembled rabbit droppings to huge giant planets for food and his little teeth just couldn’t do it, Especially as he was losing them left right and centre. It did however calm the itching slightly, but not completely.
I then saw an advert for raw feeding and did some research. I spoke to three breeders and a few friends that also feed raw and so decided to give it a try. Having never prepared raw food for dogs before it took a little trial and error to understand what I was actually doing (trust me its like a minefield) but once we did we have never looked back. I found that most companies will do the complete minces with the 80:10:10 ratio of meat, bone and offal that is recommended, and it was around the same as we were paying for his dried food. He loves it so much that I had to invest in a slow feeder because it was gone in seconds.
We are still at a trial and error stage and notice quite significantly when his body doesn’t agree with a certain meat, for instance he loves fish and tripe (Warning … it smells like death) but he loves it, I added a chicken and beef for a bit of variety and the itching started, take the beef away and it stops. I like to add different things to ensure I can give him a variety but at the same time figure out which he will be ok on and which he wont. We are lucky at this point that the itching does only last a few days, unlike before when he was always scratching to the point of causing sores.
His coat is beautiful, his teeth are white and his weight is 34kgs. He’s not overweight as you can see … just the size of a small aircraft ! But I have found cons to the diet, which brings me back to the frozen veggies. Training treats are difficult to find, most make him itchy because they are not completely fresh. We end up buying tonnes of chicken and ham and occasionally sausage to reward him when training. He loves peas, so we use these in his wobbler toy, but as I mentioned its trial and error and finding what works for you and your puppy.
I would like to at this point mention that I am not adverse to dry dog food and I am certainly not on a rampage about how everyone should do go raw, it just so happens that Atlas took us on a different journey and we do what’s best for him
Our local butcher is fantastic and gives us huge bones for £1
(the rug takes a bit of a beating. Its basically Atlas’ he chews it, shreds strips of it, plays with the fray and now rolls around with his raw bones, it will be replaced when he learns some general house rules, in the mean time we are the family that watch Corry and Emmerdale with half a cow leg in the living room!)
P.S. my mum is a vegetarian …. we have to arrange feeding times around visits, and god forbid she finds a raw butchers bone lying around !!
Its all fun and games with an Atlas in the house