The Dog's Dinner - by Ann Ridyard

Raw feeding for dogs

Raw feeding my Dalmatian by Paula Kelsey

 
I feed my Dalmatian Alfie raw and have done since he was 10 months old (he's now almost 18 months old) and I can honestly say it was the best thing I ever did for him and I wouldn't go back to feeding kibble now if it was free!
My reasons for initially looking into raw feeding were numerous; Alfie had never had consistently firm bowel movements since we got him at 8 weeks. He also suffered on and off with an itchy rash on his head and belly which the vet advised Piriton for, something I wasn't overly happy about giving long term but as soon as the Pirition was stopped the rash would come back. He was also a bit wiffy and his breath and mouth were not pleasant places to smell!
Dalmatians as a breed can suffer from urinary crystals in their bladder, which if left unchecked can cluster together to form stones which at a worse case scenario can cause blockages preventing the dog from urinating and can be fatal. The crystals are caused because the Dalmatian cannot process purines like other breeds. Many food are high in purines and Dalmatian owners are advised to make themselves aware of these foods and avoid them.
My research discovered the fact that the PH levels of a dog's urine can tell us if he or she is more likely to develop the crystals or not. When the urine goes too acid (less than 5.0) this can be a sign of those crystals starting to form. After weighing up the pros and cons for many weeks I made the decision that I would put Alfie onto a full raw diet (most Dalmatian owners choose not to feed the foods highest in purines; all offal, beef, games meats like venison) but I would monitor his urine PH levels very carefully. I started taking readings for several days before he started eating raw so I could asertain what were his "normal" levels. I still now test his urine twice a day, every day and keep a chart with all the readings on. I also keep a food diary of everything he eats so if there ever were a problem and his urine levels started to get too acidic I could hopefully pinpoint which food might be causing the problem.
I know I am quite unusual in feeding my Dalmatian all raw food, including those high in purines but I firmly believe 2 very important facts:
1. Even though all Dalmatians CAN form urinary crystals doesn't mean they all WILL.
2. My dog is a carnivore and deserves to be fed a species appropriate diet, which is meat, bone and offal. To feed anything other would be doing him a massive injustice.
Alfie is absolutely thriving on his raw diet. His coat is almost as soft as it was when he was a puppy. His teeth gleam. He smells delicious! His poos are perfect lol. He is happy, healthy and fit. Every meal time is a thrilling event for him... something that could never be said when he was eating kibble.
 

Raw feeding my Dalmatians, by Paula Goodswen

 

I do not proclaim to be an expert on raw feeding Dalmatians but I have been raw feeding my own Dalmatians for 6 years now and have seen many health benefits. White teeth, sparkling eyes, healthy coat and a love of life!

Dalmatians can form urinary stones and a diet that is low in PURINES is recommended for the prevention of this, please do not confuse PURINES with PROTEIN.

I choose to feed my Dalmatians mostly chicken wings, chicken necks, chicken carcasses, and turkey necks, some duck wings, Lamb necks, Whitefish and a mixture of Tripe, Chicken, Turkey, Venison and Lamb minces. I offer puréed or pulped vegetables including lots of leafy greens twice a week and also include eggs, cottage cheese, yoghurt and olive oil in their meals occasionally.

As a Dalmatian owner I DO NOT feed organ meats because these are the highest in Purines and I also limit Beef, some Seafood and Broccoli as these is also quite high.

It is essential that a Dalmatian gets plenty of water which can help flush out any small sedimentary particles from their bladder so I along with the constant availability of a full water bowl I choose to “float” all my dogs minces in water before I serve it.

The goal for a Dalmatian is to keep the urine neutral and dilute". With the increase of water the availability and frequency of needing to toilet will increase also, so free access to a garden is important. I have 4 adult Dalmatians and one 13 week old pup, Kyla (female) is nearly 8years old, Charlie (male) is almost 5years old and Ella and Ruby (sisters) are 3years old, Zak (male) is 13 weeks old and so far I have never had one form Urinary Stones.

We recently had our first litter here at Alphadal Dalmatians and reared 11 happy, healthy puppies. 

There is nothing better than seeing your dog excitedly anticipating their dinner and tucking into it with gusto!