Dog trains man

Monday, February 11, 2013

Going Raw in Baby Steps

Kenzo's facial expression after each raw meal reveals it all. Welcome to the dog equivalent of experiencing michelin stars and haute-cuisine. Every meal is now a feast.

We are making baby steps going raw. I keep a close eye on how Kenzo & Viva are responding to their new menu, mainly by doing a daily poo inspection and also following any change in behavior or energy.  The first week they still had kibble in the morning and only raw in the evening for just the first consecutive three days. Everything still looks good, and moving into the second week, it is all raw for evening meals. By next week, when everything is still good, we will go raw around the clock.

After Jan Wolfe gave us the final push to give a raw diet a try we tried to prepare as good as we could, yet it was daunting to actually start, just as Jan described. Like Jan, watching Kenzo & Viva chew through their first raw chicken bones, I too wondered if I would have to rush to the vet later that day. And every worry I had about raw feeding before, from salmonella to not-balanced diets, returned to hunt me, until my mind was spinning.

Viva growling in the dark...
It was fun to watch how differently they got reacquainted with their raw side. They both took everything out of their bowls and started to move it around in the house - while I was running after them and cleaning up after them where the chicken touched the floor, inspired by the salmonella ghost that was whispering in my ear.

Viva basically devoured her chicken, it couldn't go fast enough, while she was speeding to the darkest corners in the house she could find. We were just doing so good with her resource guarding issues, and I knew we had to start all over with that, when I heard that once familiar growl that send both me and Kenzo a meter up into the air. We'll have to return to feed them separate again, going forward.

Kenzo was very curious at first, and he inspected his chicken very thoroughly, sniffing and licking it, before he was content, and started chewing and eating.

Sourcing the food turned out to be a challenge, as we live in the supermarcado-big-city. I wanted to pay our local butcher a visit, but the reasons why I never come there all came back at once as I saw the doorknob of his shop. Instead, I took a drive and went to one of the more "fancy" butcher's downtown.

Apparently he already had a very good clientèle for his chicken carcasses and other left overs, so I ended up buying one of his organic whole chicken's for Kenzo and Viva's first raw dinner. With a price tag of 200 Danish Kroner (35 USD), they ate better than us that day.

Happily one of my Facebook friends, Torunn Kolberg, came to the rescue, and tipped me "Vom & hundemat", a Norwegian product of raw minced chicken, tripe and liver, that Torunn feeds her dogs in Norway. We were lucky, as it was available in Denmark as well, and I had a "dealer" close by. And on entering his shop, I discovered it was a raw diet Valhalla with everything between heaven and earth, when it is about raw feeding. We hit the jackpot, sourcing problem solved.

I only had to add some veggies and fish-oil - one day I added some brown rice too - and dinner was served. And a bone for dessert. Funny enough Kenzo loved the minced meat even more than the "pure" chicken, and this time it was Viva that was a little more reluctant. Maybe because it was minced? It only took her a day though, to return to her old devouring self.

And a big plus was, they didn't run around the house with their meals and ate it nicely from the bowl once more. I could put the cleaning detergent back into the cupboard. Excellent, as especially when you eat haute-cuisine, you have to mind your table manners.


  1. Interesting! I have always been curious about a raw diet. Cost is an issue with 6 dogs. And trying to get through all of the info. Sounds like you are making some headway and hey, if they kept it in the bowl all the better!

    Good luck!

  2. Hip hip HOORAAAAAY!!!!! Great to hear, and I am sure you are going to have endless pleasure finding different things for them to eat, and watching them enjoy their food. And as for the poo picking - it is sooooo much more pleasant to pick up raw poop! As time goes by, your confidence will grow, but it continues to be a learning exercise - even after 15 years!

  3. Good luck to you with the raw diet!

  4. I really want to do this with our dogs but we don't live near a butcher. A fellow pet blogger suggested buying organic in the grocery store, but I always wonder if it will really be organic. I thought going to Costco and buying meat in bulk might be an option, but it's expensive and 2 of our dogs are allergic to chicken so we'd have to go beef.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm going to reach out to a holistic vet for help preparing a diet.

  5. We tried to switch our boys but found neither were fond of raw meet. Monty's portions were wasted. I have to cook and debone it first.


  6. If I wasn't chicken I'd try it too. But with Jasmine, all her vets feel she's best of on home COOKED. So I'm sticking with that, with the addition of some raw things such as parsley, cranberries, blueberries, celery ...

    Either way, they all enjoy REAL food much more :-)

  7. I've heard very good things about raw diets! I hope it works out well for Kenzo and Viva.

  8. Vom og hundemat is brilliant isn't it? Used to use it all the time, but carrying 10 kg of food gets tiresome sometimes. I used to use the nr 25 version, which contains salmon. No need for the extra fish oil. Maybe not available in Denmark..? VogH is cheaper than kibble as well, which is kind of cool. If I had a license I'd probably use it still, but as I said, carrying 10 kg of food every two weeks gets tiresome after 2 years (3 dogs, you know).

    The dogs loved it and I loved the result, though Romeo's resent tummy issues could not be solved by a raw diet, but a specialized kibble diet. One day I'll get back, but I'm done with the carrying:P

  9. LOL, the dogs at Casa de Kolchak *often* eat better than we do. We have loved the change to raw and the improvement in health our pups have experienced. Good luck with it. I remember those recent convert nerves and they're no fun! Trust your instincts and your dogs.

  10. Good luck with feeding the raw diet. It sounds like you are doing good! We'll be following closely! (Thanks so much for adding me to the FB group:) I've been stalking around there this weekend!

  11. Check out my blog. I have been feeding raw for a long time and have a bunch of posts on raw feeding.

    I always tell my clients never to mix the diets, if you choose raw then don't feed kibble.

    Hope you check out the blog and let me know how it goes.

    Mark Armour


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