The Dog's Dinner - by Ann Ridyard

Raw feeding for dogs

                              Feeding bull breeds

  

In my experience many owners of the bull type breeds can be put off feeding a raw diet to their dogs, as they worry about choking issues, given that most bull breeds, don't chew - they gulp and try to swallow whole!!

I thought these pages may be helpful to owners of such dogs, so they can see for themselves others with similar breeds, who have had tremendous sucess feeding a raw diet to their own bull breeds. 

Some avoid bones, but ensure that the diet contains adequate bone content, which is ins provided in the minced meats they choose to feed.  Others do include bones, but try to ensure if their dog does have a tendency to gulp, the bones is big enought to prevent this behaviour.

However you do it, we are interested in hearing about and will include any inspirational story which would encourage others to take the 'Bull' by the horns and feed him the diet he was born to eat.

You can help too, if you have a bull breed who is raw fed and would like to share your story, please email to designerdogs@ntlworld.com  including any pictures you have.

 

                               Sarah-Jo's story.........

 
I have two bulldogs (Baxter dob 13/5/2009 and George dob 01/08/10)

 

I first heard about feeding raw in 2010 from a bulldog owners forum I'm a member of, I won't deny it that it horrified me and I never dreamt it was something I'd be able to do. I used to struggle handling raw meat for the family, could easily be a vegetarian, so that was my biggest hurdle. 
After reading on the forum and seeing pictures of others feeding their bulldogs the likes of chicken wings and bones, I decided mine were missing out and I had to overcome my fear of them and give them a go. The first time I gave chicken wings I bashed them with a hammer, that gave me confidence as I was worried they wouldn't chew them, I needn't have worried they were absolutely fine. Their enjoyment and capability with bones helped my confidence grow very quickly, though with carcasses Baxter had to have the skin trimmed/slashed as it quite often caused him to gag.

I did lots and lots of reading on the net and joined raw feeding forums, many of which gave conflicting information (which did put me off feeding raw full time for a while) eventually in August 2012 I took the plunge. 
I was adamant if I was going to do this I wanted to feed as near to prey model as I could, it wasn't until I joined the Facebook group that I began to fully appreciate the benefits of adding in minces to the diet for variety.
 
At this moment in time we are 4 months in and mine have enjoyed a wide variety of meat and bones (bones including chicken quarters/carcasses/pigs trotters/whole bunny/whole mackerel/lamb neck and spine/duck wings..they manage them absolutely fine...saying that I can remember two occasions where I have been concerned, George ate the knuckle end of a turkey leg after not crunching it for long, I thought it would get stuck but it was just me worrying, and I soon realised there was no need for concern; the other time was when Baxter ate some lamb ribs after not crunching and brought them up 2 hours later, second time round he spent longer crunching so I'm hoping it'll be a lesson learnt)
 
I've still not got used to the sheer delight the boys show at meal times, compared to the depressed state George was in before we started, when he'd be ready for a meal..but watching the tin being opened (he has kidney trouble which was a big factor in me taking the plunge to raw) he used to do a big sigh and walk away refusing to eat. I'm happy they're so happy being raw fed, don't think I'll ever tire of seeing their happy dance. My only regret is not starting sooner. 
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                                 Margaret's story.......

 I've been raw feeding now for around 9 months, I have always wanted to take the plunge but to be honest the bones scared me and like many bulldog owners I believed bulldogs couldn't eat raw! Our journey into raw has been eye opening and suprised me in many ways.

So let me tell you a little more about my boys.

I have two bulldogs Ralph (white male 2years 10months) and Vinnie (red/white male 3years 3 months)

Ralph didn't have the best start to his life, he broke his leg in a freak accident at 16 weeks old for 8 weeks he was confined to crate rest and was very poorly his leg was constantly getting infected and he was given course after course off antibiotics. Finally we got over the leg break and then he developed demodex mange, this I now know was due to his poor immune system caused by age and overexposure to antibiotics, again as with conventional treatment he was given aludex bath along with course after course off antibiotics to deal with secondary infections. Finally mites were under control but we now develop allergies to food and environment. Allergy testing showed he is allergic to every food on commercial food panel and several environmental allergies. Again skin was being infected with his self mutilation so again we we are prescribed course after course off antibiotics. I am this point at wits end and have a very sick boy. Determined not to go down the conventional treatments off immunotherapy or steroids my journey into raw feeding and natural treatments began.

Raw feeding together with some supplements to control his environmental allergies have made a massive difference to his general health and well being, his skin has improved massively we are not quite there 100% and its not been an easy journey as he has detoxed quite badly but I know this is part off healing process and we are sticking with it. He is a true carnivore and has taken to raw feeding like a duck to water, he still cannot tolerate a few protiens namely chicken and beef but luckily I'm able to source more novel protiens to give him as varied and balanced a diet as impossibly can.
Now Vinnie, his journey into raw feeding hasn't been so easy as a power chewer and a very food orientated boy it had taken some time to "teach" him to chew. He's has given me a few scares but I found that bigger pieces, carcasses, poultry quarters, legs etc work much better than smaller wings, thighs as he has to chew them. I have found myself on occassion on kitchen floor holding rmbs for him to encourage him chew and do score skin as he does have trouble tearing thro thicker skins but mostly he manages well but it is a work in progress.
Pre made minces / meaty chunks and offal form a large part off diet usually fed in morning with meaty bones and whole fish fed later in day to allow supervision but this varies.

My only raw regret with the raw diet is I didn't switch sooner the joy at feeding times is the major driving force, but beautiful silky coats, calmer dogs, puppy breath, gas free and no more piles off sloppy pooh well you can't complain at that now really can you?
 
Margaret Cassidy