Friday, December 14, 2007

Hot the Pot

Brrrr! Chilly weather requires warm food. For raw feeding there are easy ways to warm up a meal.

Add a little hot cereal. Just a spoonful is fine. This morning I did this by putting the dry cereal in the bowl on one side, and the ground up raw food on the other side, boiled up some water and poured it over the cereal, as well as over the raw food. This cooked the cereal and took the chill off the raw food (which of course had come from the refrigerator). I didn't have the food soupy, though, which would dilute the stomach juices too much.

Add supplements after warming, as some might be negatively effected by the hot water application.

(by "cereal" I mean flaked grains for making hot breakfast cereal for people, of whatever kind you and your dog prefer).

Can't add cereal? Just omit that step from the above description. It helps to chop in crevasses for the water to penetrate and warm up more surface area.

You can also just "hot the pot" by pouring hot water into the empty bowl to warm up the container, pouring off the water before adding the food. If I were doing it that way I would probably float the raw food container in hot water too.

When it's dry and cold out it's not a bad idea to add that little bit of warm water to the food, but experiment and see what works best for your dog.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Forgot about the rabbit

I was just looking back at previous posts and saw "Miss Thing Doesn't Do Rabbit", and discovered I need my own blog. Just a couple of weeks ago I tried to feed her rabbit, completely forgetting about this last attempt.

Again, I got dropped food and looks of disgust. She'd try to eat it and just couldn't, it was so obvious that she was completely grossed out, poor thing.

Vida, I promise not to try and feed you rabbit again.

a chill in the air means time to warm the tummy

Even here in San Diego it's been chilly. Rain on the coast, snow in the mountains, and for us, cold temperatures. Just like people, I'm pretty sure animals acclimate to where they're living, and out here we feel cold.

Today Vida and I spent several hours outdoors with chilly temps and wind. I already "warmed up" her meat (in the chinese medicine sense) by switching to venison for the storms, but tonight I'll be doing half venison (raw brand: Nature's Variety), and half Honest Kitchen, with a bit of flaked grains (a home mix), so she'll get a warm (in the actual sense) dinner.

I was already adding warm veggies by using Honest Kitchen Preference - I like it because the process of preparing it makes it kinda like veggies from a freshly killed animal. Gross, maybe, but we are talking about feeding dogs.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feeding in Fireland

Luckily we were not terribly effected by the local fires. We didn't have to evacuate, but the air and ash on the ground was terrible for several days.

Vida and I both started taking Y.E.S., or Yarrow Environmental Solution from Flower Essence Services to help with the crap in the air and in the ash. This remedy was originally developed for nuclear fallout and radiation, but I think it's good for any environmental toxin. With the chemicals used in modern life I wouldn't discount anything when it comes to fire air. Just so you know, the taste is very abrupt - one doesn't dilute it for use, and it has both brandy and sea salt - so I don't recommend giving directly in the mouth for pets (eww!). Just spritz their food before mixing it up, and mist them with it.

We'll both start a bit of homeopathic detox too for good measure.

I added a little cooked grain to her breakfast this morning to moisten her a bit, as well as a fingerful of local raw honey to moisten the lungs. Keeping up with the coconut oil and the usual supplements.

She's finally getting a little stir crazy from the lack of exercise (we're both trying to stay inside), but finally today the air in our neighborhood is clearing enough to do some exercise outdoors. This morning I was washing ash off the house and Vida was playing with the spray.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn Sort of Arrives

Weird weather, still very warm. Wore long sleeves to the dog park for the first time in months today, the breeze was cool.

Feeding changes for Vida? Less fish, a dab of honey every couple of days, the last of this year's poor figs before breakfast this week, turkey, duck, honest kitchen, coconut oil. All these small adjustments.

Autumn is the season of the Lungs and Large Intestines - the Metal Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Honey moistens the lungs. Raw local honey of course (local as in within 100 miles). I have some good Alfalfa honey from Orange County. We're both eating more honey. Don't want the dry autumn wind to start any trouble.

Coconut oil - haven't given it since last Fall, seemed a need. not too much.

Oh yeah, giving a Eye remedy, chinese herb spheres designed for animals. A couple weeks in her eyes look more moist, which is good. Not treating an acute problem, just the slight development of cataract mist at an early age.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Flea Free

Ok, let me first state, I don't panic about fleas, even though I live in Coastal Southern California (otherwise known as Flea Central). First of all, my dog rarely has fleas. Second, I'm more afraid of the nerve toxins people are using on fleas than I am of fleas.

It wasn't too long ago that a few fleas were considered normal on a dog. Now if the dog itches the owners reach for the chemicals, even if they haven't found a single flea! So let's run down a list of ways to limit and deter fleas:

First - diet! The healthier the animal the less attractive they are to parasites. This doesn't happen overnight, so start now. Fresh, preferably raw food is #1. Certain foods added to the diet can help to condition the skin to be less attractive: small to moderate amounts of garlic (some people like the ease of garlic and yeast tablets) up to one clove a day for large dogs, a small amount of raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar to balance the pH, fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, and even tonics like nettle, burdock, and dandelion for a round of detox.

Any soap kills fleas!! There is no need for flea dips or anything else. Just plain dog shampoo is fine. If you need to wash frequently get the gentlest you can (labeled hypoallergenic).

The flea comb is your best friend! Even heavily coated dogs can be combed on their belly. Just have a small dish of soapy water and push the fleas from the comb into it (keep the comb dry for ease of use on the next pass).

Treat the environment. If you must have carpet spend an afternoon scrubbing a boric acid product deep into it for longlasting help (buy one designed for this). No matter what kind of floor, when you vacumn suck up a little borax to dry out anything that my sprout in your vacumn bag. Use diatamacious earth under baseboards or other dark nooks. Pyrethrum powder (the real thing, from flowers, not pyrethrine the chemical) is another deterrant, though it is dark orange in color so be careful if that matters. Wash bedding at least every two weeks.

Use topical deterrants that won't harm you or your pet. BIG CAVEAT - essential oils can be dangerous to cats, so if using packaged products only use those that are labeled for cats). Use sprays before walks, they don't last long so daily use is needed. Neem spray is one option (works great for mosquitos too).

Here are a couple recipes you can make yourself, these are from "Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals" by Kristen Leigh Bell.

Dog Flea Spritz
(makes 8 oz, store in dark bottle, shake well before use).
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
1/2 oz grain alcohol or vodka
1 tsp sulfated castor oil
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
7 oz distilled or spring water
4 drops Clary Sage essential oil
1 drop Citronella essential oil
7 drops Peppermint essential oil
3 drops Lemon essential oil

If you want to use just drops rather than a spray, use the essential oils above in 1/2 oz of carrier oil (like sweet almond or hazelnut oil).

Cat Flea Spritz (note: this uses hydrosols, not oils!)
1 oz Lavender hydrosol
1 oz Lemon Verbena hydrosol
1 oz Rosemary hydrosol
1 oz Vodka (or 1/2 oz grain alcohol)
4 oz spring or distilled water.

Notice I didn't get into ticks - that's another story!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Shame on them? Shame on you too!

Today I had a shopper wagging her finger at a dog food company, yet buying their kibble. She wagged her finger and said "Shame on them!" but still bought their food!

She doesn't want to read the labels, she doesn't want to feed fresh, but she wants to have an opinion nonetheless.

Too many people still want the easy way out when feeding their pets. That's what started this whole mess in the first place - No one was paying attention!!

Complacency is already on its way back.

Friday, April 20, 2007

If all this pet food recall business hasn't convinced you yet...

Come on folks! If you still trust these food companies you're crazy! or lazy? There's a whole secret, incestuous world of pet food the world is just now getting a glimpse of.

I've discovered the wonderful Dogster blog to follow along on all the latest news and opinion on this topic.

And it's finally come to haunt me directly at work - one of the foods I sell at the store had a recall. We had a sign out saying "Safe Pet Food Here" with a big arrow. Now we joke about crossing out the arrow and writing in a question mark. Or pointing the arrow directly at our freezers of raw food.

Fresh is best! Of course you need to worry about livestock eating contaminated food too. Funny how this pet food scare has opened people's eyes up to the food chain they use too. Let's see how long they stay open.