Thursday, July 13, 2006

Starting Off Odd

It just so happens that my first post is on a day when my dog had an odd dinner:

  • 1 cherry tomato - an appetizer picked from the garden
  • 1 chicken egg - picked from the nest (we have 4 hens)
  • A small spoon of raw tahini
  • A slight squirt of honey
  • A couple spoonfuls of grated zucchini
  • A teaspoon of Wholistic Pet Canine Complete
  • A sprinkle of Solid Gold Holistique kibble (perhaps to satisfy me as much as her)
I think it's good for dogs to have odd meals. As long as they're healthful. This meal wouldn't sustain her too well over the long term, but it's a good light alternative on a hot day, just to offer something different.

I got inspired yesterday reading Juliette de Bairacli Levy's Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat. She's pretty much the originator of modern natural feeding for dogs. She pioneered the use of kelp as a supplement, and other herbs. All based on what she learned travelling and seeing what worked for traditional folks. After all, "pet food" is a modern industry which produces unnatural food - well marketed products that have little resemblance to what dogs are designed to eat.

Raw food diets for dogs are primarily based on a prey model - recreating a carcass. Levy is interesting because she adds on to that, advocating the use of grains (rolled, flaked, and soaked, especially in raw milk). This is fed seperately from the meat/bone/veg. As the title of the book indicates, she also advocates the use of herbs as food and medicine. Describing her suggestions, well, just read the book. It's a classic. She's a classic, having begun her Natural Rearing writing in the 1930's. I have to say, her plan certainly has the test of time behind it, with many generations of animals raised on it.

It's become so natural for me to be open to new ideas of feeding my dog. I can't imagine just feeding dry food and thinking it was the best thing to do. It may be adequate, but it's not optimum. And it's not hard to feed an optimum diet. The rewards are well worth it, the vibrant health of your pet for whom you are responsible. And it's fun to be able to share - we had "micro greens" yesterday - tiny baby version of all those healthy greens you don't want to eat - it's salad (or deer food as my friend Sergio once said about sprouts) for dog and human alike.
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