The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:43 pm 
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I am not trying to convert people, I just want them to take note of the available info. I wish someone would have told me years ago... then Spike and Lucky and Mike did not have to suffer the way they did. Same goes for shoes etc. I always say: do as you please, I just want to make sure as much people as possible know about this.
If you do not want to take action, your choice. But you can't come round saying I did not tell you, as soon as the problems shall start (and start they shall). I have done my duty, it's up to you know.


I just say,: just take the info in, that's all I ask.
No one really has anything sensible against it, that is the whole point. But starting actively with it takes indeed some more devotion that 'I happen to have a dog and I don't want it to cost money nor time'.

As soon as people return, when the problems have started I do not say 'I told you so'. I just say "well at least you know what to do now".

Guess it all different for me anyway as it is my daily job within Equihof to explain about bitless/AND/natural care and food etc. :)

We can only spread the message of peace, but can not end the war :green: :alien:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:27 pm 

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Hi Josepha,
a comment that's just slightly off topic:
Quote:
Same goes for shoes etc. I always say: do as you please, I just want to make sure as much people as possible know about this.
If you do not want to take action, your choice.

When I first read that (having had a slightly stressful morning) I thought: shoes? now what's wrong with them? this is a talk I haven't heard yet! :huh: - and then I realized you were talking about horseshoes. :rofl: :rofl:
And then I thought, probably there are some parallels here, I read a lot by Pete Egoscue how walking barefoot is really the best way to strengthen human feet and contribute to curing flat feet and a bunch of other problems. Orthotics do the opposite, the do what muscles should be doing. :)

Birgit


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Annette, I have a German Shepherd mix too and even though she is a first generation mix I'm still a little concerned about her health in the future (she is 8 and healthy at the moment). Maybe I better go higher on the BARF portion of her diet before something goes wrong given the hundreds of debilitating diseases in German Shepherds. Not all of them are recessive and therefore even mixes can be affected.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Birgit


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I think they also suffer more when they are out of the part of the world they belong.
In Africa a German Shepherd is definitely not designed to do heat!

I think only you will know what is right for your dog, but at 8 a shepherd is middle aged already. As a middle aged woman I now try and eat healthier (also more wholesome and raw) as this is the time in my life where regeneration and recovery time just takes that much longer. So I guess it would be a great thing to give your dog all the ammunition his body needs to fight his way into old age!!!!!!

I think once you wrap your head around it, it's no different than doing your own grocery shopping. My local butcher is fab for giving me all the fresh chicken carcusses after the meat has been taken off for pre-packed portions. The veg and fruits I got from a large discount store and would buy whatever was cheap and seasonal. As for the additives, these can be bought from a health store and once you have a supply, last quite a while.
It seems a lot of work, but once you get started can be lots of fun. No two meals are ever the same for your dog so they are always excited to see the bowl go down. You can adjust the amount/feeds/types of food groups as you go along depending on how your dog does weight wise. The bonus is that there is a lot less poo, as most of the food is utilised and not just passed through. You do need a good food processor though......

I was amazed that my dog just loved this mix so much....it was like he was screaming for nutrients.......
You have nothing to loose.....except your sanity!!!! :funny:
I have a dog that thinks he's a human and a horse that thinks he's a dog, no wonder people think I've lost the plot!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:16 am 
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I have a question for anyone feeding their cats raw food...does your cats have to be supplemented with Lutein, and if so, do you just give them an egg occasionally? Do you feed any other supplements?

Our cat, Chance, has always been on kibble. For the last few years, it was at least, a grain free kibble. It was good quality, but lately I could see that she was drinking more water and peeing so much. I started to wonder if her kidneys were a problem.

I had recently switched my dog Rio to raw (he's doing well, but I'll tell his story later) and I thought that I should probably do the same good thing for Chance as well. She loves it (was actually quite jealous of the dog's meals) and instantly she is drinking less and peeing less. Part of that could be because her food is now moist and before it was always dry. I know kibble can cause excessive thirst, but it didn't seem to be an issue before.

At any rate, rather suddenly it all seems to be fine. I was going to take her to the vet for a blood test, but I think I will wait a little...moniter the litter box carefully and see if all stays well.

By the way, Chance is now living through her second Airedale Terrier (Rio). She is two Airedales old...she is now 19 years old. She is a very healthy cat and she just keeps going and going. She does not look a day over 10. Quite amazed given her crappy diet all these years, but I think part of the equation regarding her health is that she had only ever had vaccinations as a very young cat, then never again. She is more lucky in that way than my boy Rio (again, another story).

But for now, I was simply wondering about lutein, if it is important and if it is enough to give her some egg yolk once in a while?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:02 am 
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yes, I give them raw whole biological eggs once a week.

I'll comment on the rest later :)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:47 pm 
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Thank you Josepha! :f:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:44 am 

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I decided to increase the amount of meat/fish and dairy/eggs I'm feeding our dogs and cats to about half to 2/3 of their calories. The reason is that the higher meat kibble we were feeding as primary diet is no longer available in the same quality. We have 11 dogs and 4 cats and I can not afford to feed meat only so I'm considering a couple of different options:
1. high-quality kibble with some dairy/egg in the morning, raw meat and bones or fish in the evening
2. meat and bones in the morning, kibble in the evening, this would give the stomach more time to go back to higher acidity levels
Even the high-quality kibble (we are seriously considering Organix because of the good ratings of this food) is relatively high in grain and it is quite expensive, about $ 50 for a 30 lb. bag.
3. If we fed a home-cooked 7-rolled grain/egg/dairy (yoghurt/buttermilk) mix for one meal and meat for the other we might come out ahead financially but we would not have the benefit of the vitamins/minerals of a prepared kibble.
Any opinions on this? Dogs range in size from 15-80 pounds and from 10 weeks to 12 years in age, cats range in age from 6-12 years.

Birgit


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Hi Birgit,

grains are the worst problem for dogs and cats. They just can't cope with them. Rice or (sweet) patatoes would be better. If you have a kibble high on grain and it is expensive than better look for a kibble high in meat or fish protein. The less grain, the better.

You, in the old days, dogs and cats were fed human left overs and they were much healthier and got much older then today with all the healthcare.

I do not always have enough meat in the house so I just feed Gina leftovers from our table or cook extra for all of them and they are very very healthy. Lucky is 14, Spike 13, Daisy 10 and Kiki 9 and Gina is 11... no one believes their age and their are simply never ill even though they never get yearly injections etc.
When there was a breakout here of a illness that caused severe cauching and some dogs died of it. Gina had it too, but she was well in a few days. And she did not have the injections against it. The dogs who died did?!

Anyway, with what you are going to feed them I think they will be just fine :)

For kibble how is this? is it as expensive as the kibble you feed? This one looks good:
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogfor ... PFish.html But I do not know it for real...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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Hi Josepha,
thanks for the quick response. :) :f:
Unfortunately my answer is pretty lengthy since I found there is a lot to consider.
Part of the story I did not tell yet is that the food that I had just started feeding, which is called Timberwolf and is considered a very good food in the industry made 8 out of 11 of my dogs sick (throwing up, diarrhea, refusing to eat). Needless to say that all the bags I had bought went back to the store I got it from. It turned out that the food's manufacturer had been dropped by the supplier of our local pet food store. That should have been my tipoff. I since learned on the internet that this food had a major recall in 2008, but also that the "Whole Dog Journal", a well-respected source for dog owners in the US, has since dropped Timberwolf off their recommended list because the manufacturer of the food was not open about some things about how and where it is made.
Long story short, I did a lot more research yesterday.
The food you mentioned, Natural Balance, still contains a lot more grain then the one I was considering and unfortunately the company has been involved in many recalls over the years. The food is less expensive then the one I am considering and better then grocery store food.
Here are two websites that I have found useful for reviewing and comparing dog foods and I'm linking the pages for the organic version of Natural Balance. Both are giving it a 4 star rating.:

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food ... 68&cat=all
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food- ... -food-dry/

The food that I'm considering and testing out right now, Organix, is rated here:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food- ... -food-dry/

I found this page interesting as well:

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php ... od_reviews

My assumption was that the grains to avoid for dogs are primarily corn and wheat, esp. since these are usually GMO crops in the US and very frequent allergens for dogs.
I also read that other grains like oats, barley and rice etc. are digestible by dogs when cooked, same for legumes (peas and lentils) and that it's just better to get the organic and non-fragmented versions of them (not bran, meal etc.). Am I wrong about that?
Of the foods that do not contain any grain (incl. rice) most contain potatoes or sweet potatoes in large amounts and some are so high in protein (in the 40-50 % range in all the EVO products) that they have caused bad diarrhea and kidney failure in sighthounds (and possibly other breeds). Potatoes and sweet potatoes have a very high glycemic load which makes me think would be even worse for dogs than grain, but I really need to research this more.

Another common problem with dog foods is that the smaller companies continue to be sold to very large companies that make mainstream dog foods and almost always the ingredient lists change after that and people often find that the food now causes problems for their dogs because cheaper ingredients are used or ingredients from bad sources are used.
While the problem of ingredients in dog foods is bad enough the worse problem may be the unethical standards of it's production.
I found another surprisingly helpful source for evaluating dog foods that were listed there the ratings on amazon.com
In any case, I am very careful about any dog food manufacturer now and have resubscribed to the 'Whole Dog Journal' for more info on an ongoing basis. I've also just ordered their guides for making your own dog food, both cooked and raw.

Part of my question was how to deal with the combination of kibble and raw meat.
So far most of the research I have done is on dog foods but I think the same principles can be used for cat foods as well.
The only difference may be that cat's are less able to utilize non-animal derived products.

After doing some more reading I also thought this page deserved special mention:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php ... ngredients

Birgit


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Wow how misleading websites can be! maybe it is different in Europe meaning that if one promisses something on a label, it has to be so?

I have never fed (sweet) potato and rice from kibble, only freshly cooked. Wonder if that makes a difference. But I am so happy with all the info you put here! I shall point people out to it, for I do not know much about kibble outside Europe as you see. And you know more on the subject anyway :ieks:

The only problem with changing between raw meat and kibble can be that the stomach is not acid enough for digesting raw meat. What if you would add a teaspoon of apple vinegar to the kibble?
I would point out this question to Esther but I am sure she can not advise you either as she is a specialist in feeding raw only. You cold also send an email to Dr. Ian Billinghurst. Maybe he can help you out? Esther has visited him and found him very approachable and friendly :)
http://funfacecam.com/fun/viewpic.php?i ... d-afda.jpg

Also, this forum could be helpful maybe? this forum?
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_ ... ead/560631

I now feed Gina around 400 grams of meat left over for non human use mostly beef a day and the cats max 100 grams of the same. Then I add milk, yoghurt, eggs and the left over or extra cooked from our (vegetarian) table and salmon or tuna from a can.
I have to first feed the meat to Gina, for if I mix it with the vegetables, she only eats the vegetables! I think she wants to be a vegetarian :ieks: still wondering if that is possible as Rita swore it could be... but I have only sees disaster from it alas :(

I also add a little curcuma now and then and some garlic and rosemary.
I also give them verm-x.

They are so increadable healthy... I can't believe it myself :)

If I ever have to feed kibble, because for instance someone sleeps over who is not accostemed to raw I buy this one:
http://www.portacat.de/catalog/index.ph ... istic.html
but rather:
http://www.portacat.de/catalog/index.ph ... d-Wet.html

No idea if that is available in your region? I'll look some more up :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:53 pm 
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http://www.naturesvariety.com/Prairie/cat/kibble/all

http://www.doggonenatural.com/

looks interesting a story:

http://www.holisticforpets.com/pdf/TheT ... etFood.pdf

must say... not much to find if you compare with Europa, or are I just not searching in the right way maybe?

have a good new years eve!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Josepha,
thanks for the links. I'll look them up later today.
I feel like I'm really just starting to research all this seriously. I'm getting really quite fed up with dog food manufacturers but realize there are also some very well-meaning and honest folks out there who do the best they can to produce a good quality food.

It's great to hear your personal experience. Interestingly enough my shepherd mix that looks almost like your Gena seems to do fine on any of the foods I feed her at 9 years old. It is the whippets and the pointers, all the dogs with very low natural body-fat and strong muscling, that are much more sensitive. The most extreme is my Beagle. She has a garbage-gut :funny: . She is 10 years old and I could feed her almost anything and she would be ok. I thought I almost lost her when she managed to get into 2 times the lethal dose of Rimadyl and she survived with no long-lasting effects on her liver. She would most likely be fine on the cheapest garbage food on the market.

For now I will see what happens if I feed the Organix kibble or homecooked grain/rice with dairy/egg in the morning and the rawmeat/fish/bones at night. Adding the vinegar sounds like a good idea, will have to see if the dogs like it.

I will add more info to this thread as I find it. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or renamed so that dog people know to look here as well?

Birgit


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Birgit,
You may want to look at quantities and amount of feeds while you are researching......
I always fed my dogs twice a day (as I see you do). Now I know we can't compare wild dogs (or wolves) to our domesticated ones but something tells me that dogs shouldn't be eating twice a day, but rather only once a day. (I suspect in the wild they eat a lot in one sitting and then maybe go days without food?) There is also some psychology involved in the provider of the food and the pecking order. Since I left this thread last, I have dropped my dogs feeds to once a day and he is healthier and also less dominant towards people and food. (He is a large dog and encouraged to protect our property!) He does not seem to be hungry but has a tendency to overeat if food is available all day and he seems more alert and less lethargic.
I'm not trying to give you extra research..........honest.....lol..... :funny:

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Annette,
I've have thought about the frequency of feeding some lately. My posts were actually misleading in this regard. I had been feeding my dogs only once a day for about the last two years and just recently started going back to two times a day.
I'm still guessing what all the factors are to make one work better than the other.
Canines in the wild will of course have to eat large amounts when the opportunity presents itself. But for them it is also natural to binge eat and then regurgitate the food for their pups. Domestic dogs will often throw up their food when they overeat but then it's a bit messier to clean up if they do the whole bulimic cycle in the house (and believe me, I've had lots of practice lately :yes: ;) ).
I found that some of my older dogs have trouble maintaining enough weight on once a day feedings, especially the picky eaters that don't overeat when given the opportunity. So for them twice a day or even three times a day is the best bet.
For easy keepers I think once a day works great. I'm also thinking that a raw-fed only dog will do better on a once a day than a kibble or mixed-fed dog. Huge amounts of kibble, even the best quality, are very low in moisture and it's hard to get digestive juices to deal with it all at once.
For the 80% or so of dogs that overeat when free-fed I suspect that feeding once a day may be best. But even there I found a behavioral disadvantage: Dogs that live indoors and are fed once a day are more likely to forage the kitchen counters, garbage cans and in some cases even anything else that's perfumed in the bathroom and this could end up messy and dangerous for the dog.
Our beagle can make it through baby locks and only a padlock will keep her out of the garbage under the kitchen sink. She is also very good at climbing and reaching even the highest shelves. There've been times where I've wanted to pick her up by those long beagle ears when she got herself in trouble. :roll: :funny:

Birgit


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