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  • Primal Pets

    I know this has been a fairly common topic in MDA blog posts, but I didn't see a recent thread for it in the forums, so I thought I'd start one.

    What do you do differently for your pet to be more primal?

    Personally, I make my own dog food sometimes, usually chicken or beef liver as the base, lightly cooked sometimes with added carrots or squash. When I don't, I use Blue Buffalo kibble and their grain free and wilderness for small dogs soft food brands. I also get Newman's Own organic dog treats and organic beef liver (that stuff look so much like pate I've been tempted to dip a nut cracker of my own in it before feeding the pooch).

    My dog got really sick for about a week two years ago when she was on kibble from a major name brand. I changed her diet to rice and a little liver and she'd get better, but she'd get sick again as soon as reintroduced that brand of kibble. She has not had as much trouble since switching to Blue Buffalo and the few times she has I'm certain it was a stomach bug, not the food, and I switched her diet to purely homemade for a little while until it passed.

    When I took her to the vet last month for her annual check up they were very impressed - healthy weight, great teeth (esp. for her age), good blood work . . . and apart from the passing stomach viruses, she's never been seriously sick. She'll be 7 in November.

    So what about you? (I'm a dog owner, but I imagine there are some good primal things for cats as well)
    Healthy Bucket List:
    • Summit all of Colorado's 14-ers
    • Hike the Appalachian Trail
    • Do a real pull-up
    • Run a 5k
    • Be "Hot For Training Camp"



    Check out my journey at Outdoor Amy's Blog.

  • #2
    Well, my dog has gone primal along with us--and it's been darned expensive (but he's worth it). He's always had perfect health--can eat anything: mummified muskrat carcass, cat shit, dead bugs..... but the standard doggie kibbles are crap. Full of grains and various things that dogs aren't designed for. Now he's on a higher protein, grainfree kibble, and no more milkbone type junk-- his snacks are all meat, jerky type chews. He's never been overweight, but seems a little trimmer lately. Cat is primal too. Many/most catfoods contain grains such as corn--guess what? Cats are incapable of digesting corn. They are true carnivores (unlike the more omnivorous dog). So Mr. Pickle is a lot more expensive to feed, too, but eats less now and is also looking trimmer (AND less cat crap!). If possible, the average American pets are even more poorly fed than the average American!

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    • #3
      My dog has eaten a purely raw diet since we got him at 4 months old. He eats raw meat and bones, greens and fat of some sort (usually wild pacific salmon) or marrow. His treats consist of dehydrated meats such as dehydrated beef liver, etc and bully sticks. His current favourites meats are duck necks, duck meat with bone, green beef tripe, moose and deer, Cornish hen and Pheasant bodies. He is now allergic to chicken, but used to love chicken necks. All meats (other than deer, moose and pheasants which are hunted by family) are from local and pasture raised farms with no hormones or antibiotics.

      This is my dog: Riley, breed Havanese, now 6.5 year old. Steady weight of 13 lb. Great teeth, gums and coat. Haven't been to a vet for any issues other than annual checkup. This is him after 3 hours at the off-leash dog park. We both got our daily requirements of play, exercise and vitamin D



      If only eating like him (minus the raw part) would have occurred to me earlier, I'd be a whole lot healthier.
      Last edited by Metric; 05-28-2012, 09:07 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BratKat View Post
        Well, my dog has gone primal along with us--and it's been darned expensive (but he's worth it). He's always had perfect health--can eat anything: mummified muskrat carcass, cat shit, dead bugs..... but the standard doggie kibbles are crap. Full of grains and various things that dogs aren't designed for. Now he's on a higher protein, grainfree kibble, and no more milkbone type junk-- his snacks are all meat, jerky type chews. He's never been overweight, but seems a little trimmer lately. Cat is primal too. Many/most catfoods contain grains such as corn--guess what? Cats are incapable of digesting corn. They are true carnivores (unlike the more omnivorous dog). So Mr. Pickle is a lot more expensive to feed, too, but eats less now and is also looking trimmer (AND less cat crap!). If possible, the average American pets are even more poorly fed than the average American!
        The expense is the biggest reason my dog still eats kibble about 50% of the time . . . I'll be it better kibble. I'm a grad student. Until I get a full-time salaried gig (which I will soon, fingers crossed, since I graduate in two weeks), I can't afford to feed her as well as I might like.

        Do you guys know of any good brands for treats and/or rawhide chews? I've heard that a lot of rawhide comes from China and isn't very good for dogs . . . and, of course, all the treats that have been recently recalled (none were brands my dog has, but disconcerting nevertheless)
        Healthy Bucket List:
        • Summit all of Colorado's 14-ers
        • Hike the Appalachian Trail
        • Do a real pull-up
        • Run a 5k
        • Be "Hot For Training Camp"



        Check out my journey at Outdoor Amy's Blog.

        Comment


        • #5
          Unrelated to food - what are your feelings about mandatory pet clean up?

          Personally, I think it's silly, unless it's in a place where I kid is likely to play with it or something (like in the sand on the playground). Why would a wrap up a good source of organic material for the soil in a plastic bad and send it to a landfill instead of letting it go back to the earth? I get that dogs can have worms and such, but no more than wild canines. Why is it okay for coyotes and foxes (and wolves, though we don't have any where I live) to poop in parks, but not my dog? They're more likely to carry disease than my well-kept pooch. Not to mention the geese (who poop all over the sidewalk at one of the parks nearby), ducks and other birds, squirrels, rabbits, mountain lions and bears etc. who poop all over in the parks around here and no one minds or demands someone clean up after them. Am I the only one who finds this rule bizarre?

          Related note - any good primal-friendly/more natural options for kitty litter?
          Healthy Bucket List:
          • Summit all of Colorado's 14-ers
          • Hike the Appalachian Trail
          • Do a real pull-up
          • Run a 5k
          • Be "Hot For Training Camp"



          Check out my journey at Outdoor Amy's Blog.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by OutdoorAmy View Post
            rawhide chews? I've heard that a lot of rawhide comes from China and isn't very good for dogs . . . and, of course, all the treats that have been recently recalled (none were brands my dog has, but disconcerting nevertheless)
            I personally wouldn't give my dog rawhide, but I do give him Pizzles/bully sticks.

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            • #7
              My dog Malcolm gets whatever I'm eating. So I guess he's more or less primal. I do give him grain free kibble. He started on Blue Buffalo Wilderness, I switched him to Taste of the Wild because it's also a high quality (or so I thought) grain free kibble and it was cheaper. Then the Diamond food recall hit. Now he's on Fromm (also a grain free kibble). Honestly though he rarely even eats the kibble.

              He gets homemade treats and/or Blue Buffalo treats.

              I was told NOT to feed rawhide because they can choke on it Ithink? I can't remember but I never have let any of my dogs have rawhide. He gets bully sticks and pig ears on occasion though.

              It's been a while since I've had a cat, but when I did I used the World's Best Cat Litter. I saw that Blue Buffalo now makes a cat litter as well.
              "It's not a hill it's a mountain as we start out the climb..."

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              • #8
                We had a giant English Mastiff a few years back that died of renal failure at age 4 because he was fed Pedrigree kibble his whole life.
                We now have another giant English Mastiff and she's been fed raw since 9 weeks old (after leaving her mommy) and has 0 health problems, white teeth, smooth shiney coat and is so energetic, she tires out our young Pitbull.

                We feed, liver, muscle and bone, marrow, sweetbreads, kidneys, raw milk, eggs (duck and chicken), whole chicken and duck carcass, pork with lots of fat and cartilage, and once in awhile a whole cow head with horns after butchering.

                The cat eats chicken, liver, pork, can of tuna, sardines, raw milk and hamburger meat.

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                • #9
                  My dog is on raw food, mostly various cuts of bone-in, skin-on chicken because it's cheap, but regularly supplemented with eggs and beef liver, and chicken giblets when I can get them at the store. I'm starting to add canned sardines into the rotation as a supplement too since I'm sure the omegas and all their little bones and organs are good for him. He snarfs those things down like candy.

                  He's ~60 lbs at his ideal weight (he's a bit over right now so we're working on leaning him out a little at the moment) and he eats about a pound of food a day, so he probably costs me about $40-$50 a month in food depending on what kind of deals I can get on bulk chicken parts at the store. I used to be able to get chicken backs for less than a buck a pound from a local butcher but since we moved I haven't been able to find a deal that good.
                  Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                  My Primal Journal

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                  • #10
                    I just started my cat on Orijen dry food about 3 weeks ago. Her coat is so much softer and more glossy since then. She is a large cat, but is also overweight at about 12.5 lbs. I think her ideal weight will be closer to 10 or 11. She will eat fish from a can, but bits of raw meat (fat that I cut off in preparation or gets dropped/falls off the cutting board) she usually won't touch. She does like the "juice" that collects when I've defrosted meat however, which I pour onto her dry food.

                    When I can afford it, I'll start adding in more quality canned food (fish or quality cat food) with the dry. I don't intend to move her over raw 100%, but I'd like it to be a part of her diet to ensure optimal health.
                    Depression Lies

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                    • #11
                      We also use World's Best Cat Litter, I believe it's made of corn... one great use for it! My cat is 18 years old and has kidney disease, and this is the only litter that can take all the abuse (way more volume than before he was sick).

                      Both our cat & dog eat grain free for the most part, although we are not super strict - especially with the dog.

                      Have to agree with you, OutdoorAmy, on the poop picking-up. I see why you would do it in some areas, like my previous home in a very manicured neighborhood... there were fines for leaving dog poo and yes people would report you. Always annoyed me, but I understand that the "image" is very important. Luckily where I live now out in the country, it is very dog-friendly. People let their dogs go wherever, and you are more likely to step on deer poo than dog poo anyway. If I were in a town, I'd pick up if it were in someone else's yard or a kid's playground, etc. But things here are more "natural" and most people seem to consider poo=fertilizer.
                      Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jen AlcesAlces View Post
                        Have to agree with you, OutdoorAmy, on the poop picking-up. I see why you would do it in some areas, like my previous home in a very manicured neighborhood... there were fines for leaving dog poo and yes people would report you. Always annoyed me, but I understand that the "image" is very important. Luckily where I live now out in the country, it is very dog-friendly. People let their dogs go wherever, and you are more likely to step on deer poo than dog poo anyway. If I were in a town, I'd pick up if it were in someone else's yard or a kid's playground, etc. But things here are more "natural" and most people seem to consider poo=fertilizer.
                        Because people don't want to step in it (do you know how hard it is to get out of your shoes??) nor do they want to smell it.

                        I feed my dog blue buffalo wilderness... before I was feeding her royal canine..she always had loose stools (2 years).. now that I've switched her they are normal I also feed her lots of primal leftovers and she's never been overweight.

                        I'd like to switch her to raw but its a lot more work! You cant just leave kibble in a bowl or have someone watch her and just give them kibble.. it goes bad, plus the time to find deals on it so you don't break the bank!

                        Maybe one day ...argh

                        My cat has a urinary track infection problem so he was put on a special formula and been fine since (5 years). So I'm a little weary about changing his diet. Although grain free might be what he needs to stay healthy too?
                        Primal since March 2011

                        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                        • #13
                          With regards to dog poop. It is my BIGGEST pet peeve when people don't pick up after their dog in the city. If it's in the country and your neighbours don't give a shit, then that's a different thing entirely. I've stepped in dog shit that wasn't picked up in the city and it was not pleasant. Arg! Luckily most people are good at picking it up here.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Metric View Post
                            With regards to dog poop. It is my BIGGEST pet peeve when people don't pick up after their dog in the city. If it's in the country and your neighbours don't give a shit, then that's a different thing entirely. I've stepped in dog shit that wasn't picked up in the city and it was not pleasant. Arg! Luckily most people are good at picking it up here.
                            +1

                            It makes a HUGE difference in the city. In NYC we walk everywhere, and while this isn't the cleanest city (hello Seattle and Portland, Oregon) there are areas where there is ZERO pet mess on the ground and areas where you should probably just walk in the street, because there is sh*t lumped and smeared all over the sidewalk everywhere, sometimes on the welcome mat to the outer door of your small walkup! I guess it's a matter of scale.
                            My Leptin Reset Journey


                            Current BF%: 35
                            Goal BF%: 20-23

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                            • #15
                              I changed our cats to Halo Spot's Stew a while back because it didn't have wheat, and now to their grain-free formula (the previous was close, but not 100%). We also use World's Best Cat litter, it tracks the least and because we live in an extremely small space (an RV) that's huge for us. My oldest cat (14) scared me last week by refusing to use the litterbox, but I think it was because I was using the new lavender scented formula, which I didn't even like the smell of myself. When it ran out, she started using it again. We still have to be careful not to leave anything soft on the floor (rugs, clothing, etc.) so I do worry it's her kidneys or something, and I'm considering switching her to the wet version of Halo. They have a cat fountain, which takes up an absurd amount of space, but the 4yo will only drink fresh or moving water (??) and I worry about both staying well hydrated. Both cats will eat canned tuna (but their poo smells VILE after, lol), the 14yo will eat cooked chicken and the 4yo wants to smell raw chicken but not actually eat either one, so I'm not sure a raw diet would suit them. I know for a long time my 14yo turned up her nose at wet food, so I hope she'll come around.

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