Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Extremists

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I’ve turned into the crazy dog lady.  Really, I have. But I have my reasons.  Think what you will of me.

About three months ago I decided to switch my girls from kibble to some kind of homemade diet.  It seemed like a good idea that the time.  Still does.

My main reason for even looking into a homemade diet was that Miss Sara, or Bitzer as she has been dubbed by me, would walk up to the bowl, sniff the kibble, look longingly at it like she wanted to eat it, and then walk away.  She learned to eat what she wanted of it quickly or Dottie would take care of it.  She would reluctantly eat about half of it and leave the rest for Dottie.

At first I figured she was eating until she was full and just leaving it because she was done.  But frequently, at least a couple of times a week she would regurgitate part or all of what she’d eaten.  I switched brands of kibble several times and then I went to Google.

While researching I learned that all Bitzer’s(I never even call her by her real name unless she’s in trouble anymore) licking and “fleaing” and puking might be because she’s allergic to grains.  I’ve since learned that she is.

Now, raw feeders swear by a raw diet.  And, for the most part I do, too.  It is closer to how dogs in the wild eat.  They are carnivorous.  Or omnivorous.  I’m not sure which because there are so.many. different ideas about what they are.

I looked into the Bones and Appropriate Raw Food model.  I looked into the Prey Model Raw diet.  I researched as much as I think I can about what is appropriate for my dogs to eat.  I’ve settled on what works for me and, more importantly, my dogs. It’s a homemade diet consisting of boiled eggs(the whole thing including shell), some vegetables(cook and mashed or raw and pureed), meat of varying kinds(pork, beef, chicken, goat, etc.), and bones.  I’m not going into a great deal of detail here about the percentages of each because this isn’t an advice post about how to feed your dog. This just works for me and my dogs.

You might be scratching your head by now wondering what this has to do with extremism. Stay with me, here.

I joined a raw feeding facebook group and a Yahoo! group.  This is a group designed to teach the ins and outs of raw feeding because you can’t just toss your dog a chicken leg every meal.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

They are also extreme.

You see, at first I had settled on the Prey Model raw diet, which is only muscle meat, bones, and organs. So joining a group that helps people with that seemed only logical.

What I quickly learned is that anyone(I wasn’t the offending party) that asked any questions about feeding anything other than muscle meat, bones, and organs received a written flogging.  If they asked another question or mentioned that they fed their dogs any other “unapproved” food they were banned from the group.  No, you may NOT use ground meat. You may NOT cut your dog’s meat up. It has to be a hunk of meat bigger than your dog’s head.

They are SERIOUS.   Now, I know that groups have to have rules.  I know that they need some structure, but whew!  And so I unceremoniously un-joined the group because they do have it as part of their mission statement that discussion of anything other than their approved feeding recommendations WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.  The will freak out on your ass. Never on mine, mind you.  Because I saw how they treated the ‘others’.

I probably wouldn’t have joined the group had I read that before joining, but alas, hind-sight is 20/20.  And Bitzer just looks at those big hunks of meat and then looks at me like, “Seriously? You’re kidding, right?” So I cut hers up.  Sue me. Dottie?  She’ll eat anything! I even resorted to giving them *gasp* vegetables.

It just goes to show how any group can become extreme about just about anything.  And I’m pretty averse to extremism in just about any form.

As you might have guessed, since I’m the crazy dog lady, this entire post has been a pretext for working in some photos of Dottie and Bitzer.

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30 thoughts on “Extremists

  1. Damn, she’s gotten big!

    Serendipitous, we just finished making up rice and veggies for our pack. Our big boy, Borris, can’t stray too far from his extra-special hypoallergenic (hyper-expensive) diet, though. His skin turns to a volcanic mess inside 12hrs if he has too much protein.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I went totally protein and bones for a while, which became ridiculously expensive and I couldn’t find enough variety. Then I tried veggies(sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, etc.) and protein and they did pretty well on that. I did one batch with rice in it and Bitzer scratched and licked and barfed. So, no grains for her.

      Yes, Dottie has gotten huge! I see her every day so I don’t realize how big she is until we take her somewhere like the dog park. She looks like a giant next to most of the other dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Food-related beliefs do seem to be the new religious moralities these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It occurs to me that extremists come in many forms. And it always reminds me of religious fundamentalism. And then, even if it truly is a great thing, I’m totally put off of joining the group. I’ll go off and do my own thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to our community! I’m the president of the Crazy Dog Lady Club. After years of testing, I can tell you the homemade turkey/rice/carrot stew diet is what works best. I’ve had them tested after various diets and in a general sense, this one works very well 🙂

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  4. Big dogs you have.
    What you describe is extremism.

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  5. I recently found this diet and have been using it. I don’t make the quantity suggested since one dog is only about 17 lbs. and the other one is still a puppy (about 20 lbs), but I do use the suggested ingredients in proportionate amounts. I add Pet-Tabs (crushed) rather than the LickOchops and Dinovite.

    I’ve fed my 6-year old raw food ever since I got her (rescue dog … 2 years old), although not this particular diet. She has remained very healthy and her teeth are surprisingly good. The pup has pretty much been on this since we got her.

    I also occasionally give them raw beef liver, raw chicken breast, and an occasional can of sardines (in water) for one of their meals. They also sometimes get a portion of (certain) veggies that we fix for dinner. The puppy gets raw bones as well.

    They are both doing very well (active, good body functions, maintaining a good weight, etc.). However, since you’re concerned about the rice, it may not work for you, but wanted to suggest it to your other visitors.

    Overall, feeding a raw diet is considerably more work than “kibbles,” but IMO, it’s much healthier for the dogs.

    As with anything, people can “go overboard” with their preferences in life (Example: need I say it? Christianity!), so it’s not surprising what happened on Facebook.

    P.S. Dontcha’ just love dogs?? Greatest animals on earth. 🙂

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    • I found that one, too! It’s the basically the one I use except I rotate the meats and I substitute the sweet potatoes and other veggies for the rice and I don’t use the supplements. I give them beef liver, and chicken gizzards and any other organs I can find and raw meaty bones. So pretty much, now that I’m looking at it, not that recipe at all anymore. 😉 I had to adapt for my dogs. My little girl (she’s about 38-40 lbs) is allergic to grains so the rice is out.

      It is more work, but the payoff is in their overall health and watching them go nuts and do the “happy dance” at meal time!

      I do love dogs! They’re awesome!

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    • Oh, but thanks for putting that link in there! It is a pretty good diet and it does make it easier than the way I’ve been doing it. It keeps it from being so overwhelming for those who want to feed their dogs a healthy diet and whose dogs also don’t have any food issues.

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    • Forgot to mention — I also add a little (plain) yogurt and a bit of pumpkin in their evening meal. The fiber in canned pumpkin is said to benefit their digestive tracts. The vet recommended it when my little dog (Lilly) was recuperating from her spinal injury and was constipated from lack of exercise.

      BTW, I’ve read that oatmeal can be fed to dogs that are allergic to some other grains. Just an FYI.

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      • Ha! This facebook group is totally opposed to feeding pumpkin. They say it irritates the digestive tract. Go figure! That’s one of the things that someone got “dressed down” about in the group. I’ve fed mine pumpkin, sometimes even as a little treat. They love it!

        I’ll have to look into oatmeal. Maybe I’ll feed her a little and just see. Thanks for the tip.

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      • This facebook group is totally opposed to feeding pumpkin. They say it irritates the digestive tract. Go figure! That’s one of the things that someone got “dressed down” about in the group.

        This was around the time it started to sound like I’d be sneaking around and breaking the commandments to feed my dogs things they like. I pictured other people doing that, too. It’s one of those things you do but you don’t talk about, kinda like a Baptist going to the liquor store. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My fiance and I are thinking about getting a dog at some point and it makes total sense to me that traditional dog food doesn’t work for every dog, so just learning that is interesting. As someone who just followed my mom around Whole Foods today, I can totally see how people could go nuts over the particulars of how to feed their dog. They certainly can go crazy over how to feed themselves. Sometimes their concerns are valid, but sometimes it’s crazy how picky they can be about things that aren’t actually important.

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    • Almost religious? It is in these cases where I can see the association that theists make between atheism and religion. I think it conflates fanaticism and worship. But are those two totally separate things?

      P.S. Dogs are awesome. You should totally get when when you’re ready!

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    • We fed out two boxers dog biscuits ad mixed this tinned dog food – which we have stopped and switched to beef mince and/or chicken (cooked).
      One of the boxers, Bobbi, does vomit from time to time but les now we have stopped the tin meat.
      Our vet told us many dogs throw up and it’s quite normal. How does find out if a dog is allergic to grain?

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      • I really just sort of found out by accident. I was feeding my girls a regular, run of the mill, kibble. Bitzer always had goopy eyes, licked her paws a lot, scratched a lot, and threw up about once a week. When I switched them to raw I cut out grains completely. Her eyes cleared up and she wasn’t scratching and licking as much. I didn’t even associate it with grains at the time. I just figured it was some unpronouncable ingredient in the kibble. I decided, because my budget needed a break, to add in some rice to one of their batches. As soon as she ate it, which she did with gusto, the goopy eyes, licking(even worse than before), and scratching(nearly drove me nuts, I can’t imagine what it was like for her) returned. So that’s when I figured out she was allergic to grains. She hadn’t had any since and had done quite well until a few days ago. I dropped some dry Cheerios onto the floor by accident and she got to them before I thought about it. She gobbled them up and immediately started sneezing.

        I don’t know if they can test for that at the vet’s office or not. I would think so but I think you might be able to figure it out just by altering their diet as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks. Shall look into it for sure.

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          • I wanted to add to that that dogs, just like people, can be allergic to any number of things. If your dog is allergic it might not be grains, it could be something else and you might have to just use trial and error – barring a vet visit – to figure it out.

            I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, but I guess I just never really thought about it too much until this incident with Bitzer.

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  7. You have two beautiful babies there.:)

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