Raw feeding part 5

Ever since Jersey ate the chicken foot I’ve been stoked about the fact that if she’s willing to do that there’s hope for us yet! It can be overwhelming at times trying to learn how to really do this right. I try to remember that it’s only been a few weeks. Even though we’re not starting the transfer from kibble (we used Honest Kitchen and cooked meat) it’s still a big change and I need to give it time. I’ve come a long way also, in terms of sourcing and reading up on how to measure things but there is just SO many resources out there. I’m trying to be patient. I get really excited when I find new supplements and I try to share them here. Raw goats milk and Fish stock are two things I will be discussing this week! I also found an awesome calculator in the App Store (called Raw Dog on apple) which is full of great info and additional reading. (Pictured below)

Today we made some great source connections. I found a local, ethical and high quality meat vendor that had literally everything I could ever need (including the weird stuff like turkey necks) no tripe but whole animals so there’s hope there. I bought a whole chicken, beef and organ mix. We did pretty good at dinner tonight but she turned her nose up at the raw egg and shell that she loved yesterday… even the goat milk… so I’m forced to conclude there’s no rhyme or reason for her pickiness. The fact is I spoil her and cater to her pickiness so it’s really not about her adjusting as much as me. Stopping that will help. I have to be ok if she doesn’t eat. I actually heard a doctor give a talk about the benefits of dogs fasting one day a week. It helps them detox and is more in line with how they would eat in the wild. It’s all stuff I know but implementing it is still hard for me. So we’re advancing maybe at the pace we should be. I’ll report on how the chicken goes… I might need some assistance touching that! My vegetarian belief system is cringing but the love I have for my dog will make me do literally anything lol! Progress not perfection.

Exercise and dealing with dog mom guilt

We all know that face. It’s the one we get when we have to leave the house and we can’t take our furry family members with us even though we want to! I am a huge sufferer of puppy eyes and there’s just no two ways about it. We even have surveillance cameras just so I can be sure she’s not sulking. I am a mess when it comes to this lol but I also know that to give her a good life I have to leave her home sometimes, so I just kind of do my best. The “nanny cam” thing helps and also never forgetting to greet her when I get home! I know over time some dogs will stop getting super crazy excited when we come home but I’ve also heard this is because of us! When we forget to get excited back, because we’re tired, busy or whatever they stop making the effort. Most of us know the PURE joy of a dog that’s that happy to see you, so a goal of mine is to never let that end. When I come home that first 10 (or more) minutes is dedicated to her because I know she is that dedicated to me! The leaving guilt is pretty much unavoidable unfortunately but the other kind of guilt I deal with is lack of exercise. I KNOW the importance of exercise in dogs and I used to be a super star dog mom in this area. I took her to the park EVERY single night for 1-2 hours and swimming for 2 hours straight 4 to 6 times a week! My whole day revolved around her social schedule. I did it because I knew I was only temporarily going to have that kind of time but now that I don’t I feel really horribly about it. The swimming during the day is not something someone with a job can realistically do but the park is and I’ve even stopped doing that. I HATE to be admitting this right now but it’s the truth. I got burnt out and stressed by the unpredictable nature of the dog park and dog fights. All of this being said, the two+ years I was dedicated to the park, there were two things that helped make that possible. One was routine. Doing it every day just like going to the gym is easier when there’s no decision and just commitment. The other was having a set time when I knew people would be expecting us. This helped because I had friends as well who I could pass the time with and just let Jersey do her thing. We moved a few months ago and that’s when my nightly park dedication just plain ended. I had a legitimate reason maybe for a week or two but now it’s not a valid excuse. I tried a few new parks but kind of gave up. Now she has a big back yard and we still walk daily but we need a new exercise routine for sure! I’m not sure what that looks like yet but because I know it’s so crucial to her longevity and God knows I need it also, I’m not giving up. An hour a day is nothing in the grand scheme and the rewards of that hour has the potential to mean SO much!