sa-ga'cious (są-gį-shūs), (of animals) keen-scented; hence discerning sensible; keen-witted; shrewdly intelligent - otherwise known as AIREDALE
Ch. Joykl Spic N' Span x Misty Moore's Screaming Demon
Bones And Raw Food Diet
Sagacious Airedales, adults and weaned puppies eat a raw food diet. My puppies are weaned to raw food. Raw food is biologically appropriate for canines. Canines have lived on raw food for centuries and it wasn't until commercial dog food became available that canines began to eat canned food and dry kibble.
I start weaning my puppies to raw food when they are between four and five weeks of age. At this time I am trying to help their Mother (she is eating four times her normal maintenance diet) because by this time she is really working hard to produce milk, especially if it is a large litter. They get one raw meal a day consisting of oatmeal, almonds, powdered anise seed, honey and powdered slippery elm bark, all of this is ground and mixed together into milk and it will be fairly thick. The milk consists of mixing one-half pint of whipping cream into one-half gallon of nonfat or skim milk. If you have access to raw goat milk or raw cow milk all the better. All I am trying to do is get their digestive tracks working a little harder. I will feed this for several days. When they can handle the oatmeal meal I will add one meal of ground chicken necks, mixed with Tree Bark Gruel, from www.naturalrearing.com, and yogurt. All this time Mother is still nursing her puppies. During the second week I add a another meal of ground chicken necks. And, once again when they are handling that just fine I will add a veggie mush meal. So, within two weeks of being weaned they will be eating one oatmeal, one veggie mush, and two meals of ground chicken necks. At this time I also quit grinding the necks and use a pruning shear to just cut through them about five times. To make a veggie mush, the vegetables I put through a blender or food processor, and I start out with just carrots and a little garlic, and to that I add ground beef, turkey or chicken in the same weight as I had vegetables. Every couple of days I add more variety of vegetables, whole raw eggs with shell, and their supplements. If all the food is organic, there is less need for a multivitamin mineral supplement. By the time the puppies are eight weeks old, they are eating whole chicken necks (not ground), liver, heart, gizzards, and a wide variety of vegetables. At eight weeks they are eating four raw food meals a day, two veggie mush and two bone and their Mother has pretty much told them it is time to quit nursing. The amounts fed (volume) is increased usually every third or fourth day. All meals are warmed to the puppies body temperature.
The constant in their diet five days a week is Ester-C, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, the NR (Natural Rearing) Daily Health and NR Herbal Compound. I also switch between a multivitamin mineral compound and equal parts of kelp and alfalfa powder. I've been getting my organic or wild crafted bulk herbs from www.justneatstuff.com and have been very pleased with their quality and service.
At ten weeks, the puppies are eating whole chicken wings, backs and necks (I still use the pruning shears on them), and are still eating four meals a day, the two and two. Between four and five months I cut them back to three meals a day, one veggie mush and two bone meals. Between five and six months they are on two meals a day and are being fed like my adults. Also, at six months they are fasting for one-half day being given a milk meal with Tree Bark Gruel and honey mixed in. They get this in the morning and a veggie mush or oatmeal meal at night.
Puppies, especially those in the larger breeds, need to grow their bones slowly, therefore the amount fed is not the amount they want to eat. Keep them on the hungry side. They need to stay very lean and should show nothing but muscle.
My adult Airedales also fast one whole day but they do get a milk meal in the morning and another one at night. I fast them on Sunday. On Saturday night I get them ready to fast by giving them either an oatmeal meal or veggie mush. I bring them out of their fast on Monday morning with an oatmeal meal or veggie mush. I feed oatmeal usually only one or two times a month. Normally, I will feed the veggie mush.
My normal adult oatmeal meal is about 1/2 cup dry old fashioned oats per dog, several tablespoons wheat germ, a tablespoon flax seed oil or olive oil or sunflower oil, a handful of raisins or dates or both, cinnamon, pecans or some other nut, carob and honey. The oatmeal is soaked several hours during the day or all night in enough hot water to soften but not overly cook. All the extras are added just prior to feeding.
The adults and puppies six months of age and over get in proportion to their size and activity also to the size of the meat involved so these amounts are approximate:
Monday through Friday
AM - 1/4 cup veggie mush with their supplements added and three chicken wings sprinkled with ground flax seed - puppies with the half day fast. 1 1/2 cups veggie mush with their supplements added sprinkled with ground flax seed - adults with a full day fast.
PM - Five chicken wings drizzled with flax seed oil or olive oil, or sunflower oil and sprinkled with wheat germ.
Saturday mornings all of them get an all bone meal.
I also feed in smaller quantities because the bones are harder, chicken leg quarters, turkey necks and pork neck bones. They also enjoy beef rib bones and beef knuckles for recreational chewing.
I try to include in my veggie mush more of the dark green leafy vegetables, a little broccoli, sometimes some cabbage or cauliflower, parsnips, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens, garlic, etc. Just a nice wide variety. The only vegetable that is not wise to feed is white potatoes. Sweet potatoes or yams are very good either raw or steamed. The meats for the veggie mush are usually ground beef, ground turkey, ground whole chicken and to that add a can or two of mackerel and a tub of whole milk yogurt and eggs with shell. Feed fresh fish as a bone meal. Feed some overly ripe fresh fruits, but separately. They love strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, almost everything. For treats try the dried fruits. They like dates, figs, raisins (I put these in their Buster Cube), prunes, really any of the dried fruits.
Something to keep on hand to use in a pinch is creamed corn and pumpkin. Pumpkin is good for constipation and diarrhea.
One of their favorite meals just happens to be mackerel, creamed corn and chopped ripe olives. It is a little on the salty side so feed it when the extra water consumed will not cause a problem. I've also included a page of Recipes for treats.
Of course, the volume of food fed is greater in winter as they burn more calories playing, than in the summer months. I do lots of rib and backbone feeling checking weight.
In feeding a raw diet you will notice a marked decrease in the amount of water consumed. The other benefit is what comes out the other end, small white, dry, poops that have very little odor.
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