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I’ve Been Conflicted

I’ve Been Conflicted: Roscoe’s Changeover

Following on from last week’s blog post about Roscoe’s changeover to raw food, I thought I’d fill in the story with some notes on the issues Gill, and I considered before deciding to make the switch from dry food to raw and what we’re doing now…

Health

Since we sell our own premium dry dog food, it’s been tricky, mentally, switching to something else. 

I’ve been conflicted. 

We all see people online struggling to stand behind a specific political argument just because that’s the perceived wisdom on their side.

They have to defend their position; they’re committed despite the verbal and mental gymnastics they have to perform (cognitive dissonance for the win!).

It can be tricky to work through that and get to your own conclusions.

We’re pet parents, and part of that role is helping make decisions for the family as a whole based on our own particular family circumstances.

Our dry food is a premium dry dog food, but it’s still processed, raw is fresh, and that’s what we’re told over and over as hoomans is the best thing to eat. 

It contains more goodies and fewer baddies.

It’s the same for dogs, and we did recognise those health benefits for Roscoe, but there were also other issues stopping us. 

However, over the last few months, we’ve discovered they aren’t what we thought they were…

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via GIPHY

Salmonella

This is thrown up time and again, but it was a sticking point with raw chicken in particular. We have a visiting grandson scrabbling about all over the place – the risk was clear to us.

However, after reading Dr Connor Brady’s ‘Raw Feeding’ book, I discovered far more salmonella cases are associated with dry food than raw.

But just to be sure, we made sure our own raw is Defra approved and each ingredient fully traceable.

Freezer Space

We hit the freezer space issue immediately. 

It forced us to do an immediate and much-needed clear out of the uneaten and unwanted grub that had been drawer blocking for the last ten years.

Care with space has had the added benefit of helping to keep us clear of the processed frozen stuff and boosted the fresh in the fridge –  win, win, win!

Preparation

We thought this would be particularly painful, but because the 80:10:10 raw your dog will be getting is a complete meal, it’s quite simple.

  1. Portion Preparation:
    If you need to, defrost one of the frozen raw bags in your fridge, create portion sizes and refreeze. (NB Always defrost in the fridge, and meat should not be out of the fridge or freezer for longer than 2 hours when portioning.)
  2. Take out tomorrow’s food from the freezer and pop it in the fridge to defrost.
  3. Feed your dog using the food in the fridge we got out yesterday (or one left out from your portion prep).

Complexity

This ties in with preparation, both Gill and I had the mistaken impression, from our occasional wanderings into the raw arguments, that we had to do it ourselves or even if we got a pre-prepared version there would be all sorts of essential extras to add every other day or once every four days or something.

I have to set alarms to tell me it’s time to make dinner. There was no way any of those complexities were ever going to happen.

The 80:10:10 is a complete food so all that worrying went straight out of the window.

It’s incredibly easy.

After the initial fail during changeover we now just add an occasional raw egg every few days for an Omega boost – no hard and fast rules it’s just when we remember – it’s an optional goodie.

We’re also now giving him our fresh food leftovers with his own food. 

Leftover veg is perfect because it’s already been cooked (veg is easier for dogs to digest if the cell walls have been broken down via the cooking process). 

And leftover meat and fish is, of course, wonderful too.

They’re all added goodies – fresh, tasty and ready to be scoffed.

If there’s a lot of leftovers, maybe because some fussy teenagers didn’t enjoy my latest ‘delicious’ experiment, we just don’t give him as much raw as usual.

Don’t Overthink It

The essential thing is to try not to overthink it (there’s so much information flying around that it’s tricky, but this is my biggest takeaway).

We don’t have a weight and food guide for those pesky hooman kids of ours.

Dogs survived many thousands of years before the invention of feeding guides in the 20th Century.

We simply try to give them as much fresh as possible and then assess and adjust as we go.

Roscoe eats less than the 2-3 percent of his body weight he’s supposed to have – but he’s never been a big eater, and he does enjoy a lovely lie-down.

Gill and I simply assess and adjust as we go.

That is it from me.

I’m checking out a new gin bar tomorrow, so I’m having a lovely, lovely weekend – I hope you do too!

Darren

PS
Maybe all these food guides and weight measures were really a way for a smart yet utterly ruthless industry to ensure we needed what they were selling, and we didn’t try and do it ourselves… because it’s complex – look at the guides we need!


PPS
Want to check out our raw dog food for yourself? You can find it here: https://shop.bounceandbella.co.uk/collections/raw-dog-food

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