I am completing a double certification in Natural Animal Health. I attend St. Francis College of Animal Homeopathy and the University of Natural Medicine. I hold a certificate in Animal Naturopathy from The American Council of Animal Naturopathy, LLC. I am certified in Raw Dog Food Nutrition by DNM University. These two certifications allow me to be your resource for nutrition and natural care.
I first came to seek this certification after many years of conventional medicine. My animals remained ill, the illnesses returned after treatment, or death occurred. Oddly enough, and I still thank God for her, it was a veterinarian that set me in this direction. It is amazing what we can do when there is no other option - and I have never stopped chugging forward!
This approach is the foundation of ALL my animal care routines. It is one that I'm passionate about - and one that maintains optimum health on our farm.
My hope in sharing is to supply you with the understanding of my beliefs as your animal's caretaker. It is not what I do for a living - it is my life! Let it inspire you to ask further questions and seek answers. Explore the path I took after losing dogs to cancer. Dig in after they've scratched their inflamed skin after three rounds of medication. Or, if nothing else, know that your new pup has received the best, natural upbringing. The ultimate decision about their continued care remains in your hands - not mine. May these words be their support.
Did you know that the difference between Domesticated Canine DNA and Wolf DNA is a mere 0.2%? At this point, I feel people should say - Oh, yea, you're right - my mission accomplished - and everyone begins feeding dogs the way nature intended. But as I know this is not reality, allow me to continue.
Genetically, your pup is a wolf! They have the same digestive tract and metabolic pathways as their ancestors. Thus, their nutritional needs are identical. Yellowstone National Park researchers studied the contents of wolf scat from 2002 - 2013 and found the following:
of wolves studied:
52.8% had consumed hooved animals
32 % Beaver, hare, Rodents, & Squirrels
23.6% Garbage (from raiding trash sites, i.e., campers, picnickers)
13.9% Vegetation (inc. berries and grasses)
5.6% Other Canines (coyote, fox, etc.)
We do feed a Raw Diet. Before the inevitable, NO WAY, know I do so as an educated Raw Feeder. I have spent years studying this Primordial outlook on nutrition. And have developed my feeding routines from this research. Since I have made a complete switch, I’ve never had a dog with allergies, never had a dog refuse food, and never had a dog become ill until old-age. I can not say the same when I was feeding them kibble; unfortunately, I knew my vet pretty well.
There are two different ways to calculate how much to feed. You can base amounts off of their current weight or on a percentage of their adult weight. I use the latter method as the calculated amounts differ only slightly. Furthermore, I don't feed solely on percentages, I allow their body to alert me to too much or too little. However, this provides a great starting point.
You should be able to feel the backbone but have the ribs covered with a moderate layer of flesh. In my experience, a slightly thinner dog, as opposed to a slightly heavier dog, is a healthier dog.
Calculated at Current Weight
Until 4 months: 8% - 10% of current weight (three feedings/day)
4 to 6 months: 6% to 8% of current weight (three feedings/day)
6 to 8 months: 4% - 6% of current weight (two feedings/day)
8 to 12 months: 3% to 4% of current weight (two feedings/ day)
over 12 months: 3% of current weight (one feeding/day - with fast)
Calculated at Adult Weight
Until 6 months: 2% of adult weight (three feedings/day)
6 to 12 months: 2.5% of adult weight (two feedings/day)
over 12 months: 3% of adult weight (one feeding/day - with fast)
To provide some context to these numbers, at 10 weeks of age, the pups will weigh close to 20 lbs. give or take. Ennio, our adult male, weighs 90 lbs. and Evelina, our adult female, weighs 78 lbs.
The ground small animal prey is the entire animal - they get it all! I feed the following: Cavies, Rabbit, & Quail at this age.
The chunked small animal prey is exactly that - pieces of animals - including Duck, Rabbit, & Chicken at this age.
Below is a sample menu for a 4-month-old male, calculated at the adult weight of 90 lbs., being fed 3 meals/day:
Ground Small Animal Prey 18.1 ounces
Chunked Small Animal Prey
Fish (Sardines, Salmon, Herring)
Totaling 33.6 ounces
Total/3 feedings 11.2 oz
Kibble vs. Raw
I haven't fed kibble in such a long time. If you choose to feed a kibble diet, I recommend you use a transition schedule. I DO encourage you to feed raw as it is the best way to maintain your dog's health. However, if you choose to switch, this sample below should move you toward the kibble company's recommended daily amounts.
When you are looking at kibble feeds - and this significantly applies toward the working dog - choose the following:
A kibble that is roughly 20% - 25% protein and 12% - 15% fat. I recommend you choose a feed that is grain free. As your pup moves into adulthood, they will need protein levels closer to 20% and fat in the range of 10% -12%. Wild game is reported at approximately 21% protein and 9% fat. I am more than happy to prepare a cost comparison, as well as, a protein and fat breakdown between the brand you choose and the Raw Diet they have been eating.
Day 1 - 2 Feed 1/2 raw to 1/2 of the recommended kibble amount
Day 3- 4 Reduce the raw to 1/4 and increase the kibble to 3/4
Day 5 - 6 Mix in a heaping tablespoon of the raw into the kibble
The Happy Medium
Many people have asked, "How about a happy medium?" I am usually all about meeting in the middle, but this is one place I and wholeheartedly not. I do understand the idea of feeding raw meat to your dog is not the easiest bandwagon to tie people up to, but allow me to offer the same advice I provide my clients who are reluctant to make the switch:
1. Are you a vegetarian? Okay, so use gloves -your dog is NOT! BTW - I am.
2. Have you ever made yourself or family a piece of chicken, steak, fish? How did you handle the raw meat?
3. But, my dog won't eat the raw meat. Yes, that's because he's been eating the equivalent to Oreo's the past so many years - you are now asking him to eat healthily. Wait until he catches on!
If this is something you would like to explore further - I am so happy to help you at no additional charge! I raised these pups, they are now in your care - and I'm always here to help you do so! Here are some ways to ease into the Raw Diet:
1. Have a Raw Meat day where you feed ground and/or whole meat to your dog.
2. Do a half and half approach. Mix ground meat into half your kibble.
3. Give RAW chicken wings and necks (yes - I said Raw, and NO they will not splinter. It is the cooking process that makes them brittle)
4. Supplement any kibble diet during this change with:
Probiotics: Meat has natural beneficial bacteria, kibble is sterile.
Apple cider vinegar: A dog's pH is acidic - kibble is alkaline. The ACV can help balance the pH in your dog's body.
Herbs: Especially Slipper Elm or Marshmallow Root as they will aid your pup with any indigestion.