Below is a description of what I feed my dogs as part of what I believe to be a good balanced BARF (Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. Personally, my dogs will eat almost anything from table scraps to dried ‘complete’ meal and even pigs heads, when they become available.
What I usually do is make up a large batch of vegetables which have been through a food blender and add some cod liver oil (which gives a healthy, shiny coat) and a small amount of garlic. The mixture should be almost liquefied. This is then either refrigerated or frozen until needed.
When the veggies are to be fed, I mix in meat I get from an animal food wholesalers. This can be minced beef, tripe, chicken, other organs (i.e. hearts, liver etc…). The dogs enjoy a change. I also keep a couple of bags of dry complete working dog meal and every two to three days use this instead of meat or instead of the veggies. If using gravy granules etc…to mix in, ensure it is a low salt version.
Right! Here is the vegetable list (adapted from a list given to me by a friend some time ago!) - this list is not exhaustive but will give you an idea of things you can feed:
Romaine (COS) Lettuce - high nutritional value
Ice Berg Lettuce - has no nutritional value but is OK to feed.
Tomatoes (avoid the leaves and stems)
Carrots - these are high in sugars so be careful
Celery - not much nutritional value but is a good diuretic.
Apples (not the seeds)
Bell Peppers (Capsicum) - red, green and yellow
Jicama (remove skin)
Vegetables/Fruits you can feed with caution:
Garlic - fed in small amounts is very beneficial for your dog. It is considered nature’s antibiotic. However, too much can cause anaemia and upset stomach. So when making your veggie mix, use 1-3 cloves but no more.
Grapes / raisins- (in high amounts) Dogs exhibit gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and diarrhoea and then signs of kidney failure with an onset of severe kidney signs starting about 24 hours after ingestion of the grapes or raisins.
Eggplant - OK to feed the fruit but avoid any other parts. They can cause upset stomach, drooling, lethargy and heart failure.
Avocados (& leaves) - Stay away from the leaves. The fruit part is OK to feed in small amounts.
Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Rhubarb - OK in small amounts. While these are not toxic, they are high in oxalic acid which is a compound that interferes with calcium absorption. Don't feed these very often, and especially not to pregnant or lactating bitches.
Cabbage/Broccoli/Cauliflower - OK to feed in small amounts but may cause gas. If fed frequently and in large amounts these will depress the thyroid.
Potatoes - If your dog is diabetic, has arthritis and/or has/had cancer then you may want to stay away from underground veggies because they convert starch/sugar which aggravates arthritis. Cancer cells also thrive on sugars.
Vegetables/Fruits you should not feed:
Onions and onion powder - these may cause an upset stomach and can cause Heinz Body anaemia.
Meat can be obtained from nearly everywhere and doesn‘t have to be minced.
1. Supermarket (though this will be very pricey!)
2. Local butcher: You will usually be able to get off cuts and bones which he cant sell. Quite cheap too. Sometimes he will sell you the off cuts but you get the bones gratis!!!
3. Animal Food Wholesale: near where I work there is an animal feed wholesaler who sells minced tripe, beef, chicken, chunks of heart, liver etc…as well as bones and pigs heads. This is quite reasonably priced. Large knuckle bones are great - they will keep the dog occupied for hours as they try to get at the marrow inside and also good for the teeth.
4. People with allotments are usually good to get food from i.e. vegetables and also pigeons, chickens etc…