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What We Feed Frog Holler Filas. . . and Why

by Lisa Ford

So, you’re wondering about this raw diet deal, huh? Biologically Appropriate
Raw Foods. What is that supposed to mean, you ask. Kibble was designed by
veterinarians and pet care professionals and is balanced and nutritious for
our dogs, right? Hey, I was with you not too long ago! I was fighting these
raw food weirdos tooth and nail. I’ve been to college and I thought that I
knew enough to know that a little knowledge is dangerous. If you aren’t a
nutritionist, stay out of the dog-food bowl. But this is what changed my
mind ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My dogs looked great and they seemed to feel great. There was hardly a
hair out of place. How could they get any healthier? A friend of mine, to
whom I will forever be indebted, had been suggesting that I feed a raw diet
to my pooter-pies for over a year. In January of 1999, she began to
forward links to sites that discussed raw diets. Being curious and
wanting to know both sides of the issue, I checked out every site that she
sent. Some were interesting, some were too holistic for my tastes, and
others I just wasn’t interested in at all. The interesting ones I read
thoroughly. And I found myself copying and pasting parts to my hard drive.
Just for comic relief I told myself. Well, after a few months of checking
into a raw diet, and hearing awful stories of increased health problems in our
canine friends since the invention of kibble, the crap that goes into these
‘balanced’ foods, and then the raving successes of breeders who tossed the
pre-made stuff away - I was unable to remember exactly why I was feeding
a kibbled diet. The stuff seemed OK, the dogs liked it OK, and it was easy
to feed - just a scoop-scoop here and a scoop-scoop there. But, maybe
there was a better way. . . .


Lance and I discussed (more like, I followed him around spewing copious
amounts of information and facts regarding) the raw diets and we agreed
(me - enthusiastically, and him - to shut me up!) to place his spayed Fila
bitch, Mallory, on this diet. It is here, where our astonishment begins.

Day one: Mallory (AKA: The Guinea Pig) drags up out of a fitless sleep, to
the sound of Stainless Steel being hailed upon by kibble. Hooray! It is
feeding time! She hears tails beating the walls and floors, as hers begins to
find its own cadence in anticipation of her dinner. “What was that?” she
thinks. “Was that Mom? Yes! It is Mom! And look, there is my bowl filled
with goodies!” The dog next to her is served her bowl of kibble, and Mallory
gets up to greet, and eat, hers. As it is set down, and she is lowering her
head to consume the brown pellets, her nose tells her, ‘Hit the brakes! It is
a trick! Mom put one of the farm animals in the bowl so that she can
discipline you for eating it!!!!’ She instantly looks away and collapses. I tell
her, “It’s OK, Mal. Go ahead. Eat your tookie.” She looks into the bowl and
sees a chicken back in there, RAW of all things! Is this some kind of joke?
Soon, the dog that is next to Mal finishes ingesting her kibble and
starts for Mal’s meal. Yea, right! Mallory quickly scoops up the chicken back
and sits there holding it in her mouth for nearly ten minutes, depositing
stringers into a puddle of viscous drool upon her bed. She took her first
bite, just a tentative little crunch, and upon hearing me tell her that she was
a ‘good girl’ flopped down to enjoy her dinner. And since then, she’s never
looked back!


Let’s do a pre-raw and post-raw comparison for Mallory.

Pre-raw: Overall, Mal was a relatively healthy dog of 5.5 years. She was
beginning to show some age in the graying of her muzzle and she was slowing down some. Her teeth were requiring scaling every 6 months to keep the tartar and plaque build-up to a minimum. She has had problems with her immune system since she was young. Slow to heal, somewhat flatulent, persistently smelly, oily coat and skin (which meant that she was forced to endure a bath at least once a week!), and down-right putrid breath due to her soft-palate being elongated which was causing her to have a mild case of chronic tonsillitis. Her stools were generally large and stinky.

Post-raw: WOW! Mallory has not had a bath in over a month (to her delight!)! She smells like a room that has had housed a freshly oiled saddle in it. She is clean to the touch as well, with no yucky residue that sticks to your fingers and will only come off in HOT water! Her breath is not even noticeable. This is the biggest change and the most appreciated on our behalf. Her breath used to knock you out. Just a yawn from her smelly schnauz could clear a room! I used to tease that she didn’t need to bite the agitator during a TT, just BREATHE on him and she would score an excellent! Her teeth are clean and very white. They look like the teeth from a 7 month old, not a 9 year old! Her stools are very small and quite odorless. If I am unable to pick them up every day they just dry up and blow away in the wind. She runs and plays with a reckless abandon! ABSOLUTE SUCCESS!


It was soon after this that we permanently rolled up the bag of kibble, and
crammed the vile stuff in the back closet. I imagine that some day I will
take it down to my local Humane Society for them to feed the strays. After
all, it is a very expensive premium brand of dog food! You will no longer find
it in the bowls of my beloved companions, though.

As you can imagine the whole crew here at Frog Holler is loving this change
in the menu. Never did they think that their Mommy was brilliant enough to
see that a natural diet is the best diet. Since the change, coats are
brighter, richer, and deeper in color, eyes are shinier with less tears and
eye-goobers, bodies are hard and strong, stamina has increased in the older
dogs, and hyper-activity has decreased in the youngsters. The dogs are full
of energy and they bounce and spring around the yards with smiles on their
faces. (Really!) They have a bloom (physical and mental) that was never
there when they were on the kibbled food.


Here is an example of what and how we feed:
In a 7 day period, being fed two times per day, we feed approximately 10
meals of Raw Meaty Bones (RMB). We feed about 2 green meals of a
vegetable/fruit puree in the middle of the week and at the end of the week
(usually dinner, for our convenience), and on the seventh day they fast for
breakfast and dinner, giving their system a chance to relax from digestion
and absorption. It’s that simple.

The RMB portion consist primarily of chicken backs. We are getting these
for $.37/pound, and each dog will be fed approximately 2 per meal. We also
would consider the RMB portion to encompass the following: any poultry
parts (chicken, turkey, goose, duck, etc. backs, necks, wings, legs, heads,
thighs, or whole carcasses), pig, beef, lamb, parts (head, feet, ribs, legs,
tails, backs, necks, etc.), whole rabbits, and basically anything that was
raised in a healthy manner or is a left-over from processing for human
Every once in a while the dogs are fed a meal of offal (organ meats) such as
liver, kidney, gizzards, brain (yuck!), spleen, tripe, etc.
And they are occasionally fed a meal of meat only, or are given meat in
addition to a RMB meal. This would include ground beef/pork/turkey,
chunked pieces of heart, diaphragm, tongue, or the costlier selections of
meat (if I can get them for a good price), like a beef or pork roast.
It is important that RMBs ALWAYS be raw!!! I have a great article (off site) that explains WHY!

Their green meal, as I like to call it, consists of whatever I have on hand
here at the house in the way of vegetable and fruits, or what ever I can find
on sale for cheap at my local grocery store. It is supposed to follow after
the contents of a prey animal’s stomach (partially pre-digested grass and
browse). All the following things are free game to toss into the blender with
some water or 100% juice:

Veggies: garlic, kale, radish tops, lettuce (all varieties), parsley, cilantro, carrots and their tops, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (these last three can cause gas, so go easy on them!), green beans, peas, dandelion greens, cucumbers, etc. I try to always put several cloves of garlic in there as it is very good for the dogs’ immune systems and has a palatable odor.

Fruits: apples, bananas, kiwi, mangos, grapes, oranges, lemons, cantaloupe (or any of the melons for that matter), tomatoes, pears, plums, prunes, cranberries, etc. You get the picture!

In this mixture (I make up a bucket of about a gallon’s worth) I add, as a
supplement: about 1,000mg Vit C/dog, about one super-heaping Tbs. of
live-culture yogurt/dog, one raw whole egg/dog, a healthy glug-glug of Apple
Cider Vinegar, and one can of mackerel or two cans of tuna. I pour equal
amounts in each dogs bowl.
Occasionally I’ll add some raw honey, some milk (my dogs all tolerate lactose
well), or some olive/peanut/flax/vegetable oil. Believe it or not, they gulp it down
and lick their bowls clean!

This is Hawk, owned by Gene and Paulette Hartman.
As you can see, he LOVES his vegetable meal!!

It does take more time than scooping kibble into bowls and plopping them
down in front of the dogs. It costs about the same as buying premium
kibble. It is difficult to explain to people what you feed your dogs and why.
It is even more difficult to explain to your best friends why you can’t go to
the mall. . . for God’s sake, today is butcher day for lambs/pigs/steers at
your Custom Meat House! It is a hassle to meticulously stack, ever so
delicately, 200 pounds of slimy pork organs, bones and skulls into your
freezer for later use. It is a pain to keep the kitchen clean, and to wash the
dogs’ blankies at least every week to get the small amounts of bone, sinew,
and blood off of their beddies. Last but not least,

it is WELL worth it!!

Need help finding RMB sources in your area????
Try this link: Purveyor Index to find a RMB distributor near you!
(Sorry, USA only)