**Full disclaimer! I am not a vet and have no medical background. I am simply a dog mom trying to give her dogs the best holistic lifestyle possible.**
As many of you know, we adopted a very sweet but very itchy 8 year old Corgi. We decided to name her Honey because she can be our sweet Honey Bunny or a sassy little Honey Badger. Our Honey has extremely bad allergies. I’m talking chews her fur off, wakes me up scratching, and sometimes bleeds, kind of bad allergies. Instead of doing allergy testing, we decided to try a more holistic approach. We have completely changed her diet and are starting her on antibacterial and anti-inflammatory paw wipes made with essential oils and anti-yeast spray.
Honey’s diet consists of COOKED ground turkey, brown rice, raw egg with shells 2-3 times a week, fruits, veggies, and yogurt. First and foremost, let’s talk protein. Your protein should be 75-80% of your dog’s food. I choose turkey to start off with because it can be easier on dogs stomachs. I did make the mistake of buying chicken and then found out that it can be an inflammatory because it is high in Omega 6 (fatty acid). Remember to choose a protein that is balanced and if it isn’t balanced like chicken, find out what it is lacking and add it to the diet! Google is your best friend when starting out the change from kibble to home cooked or raw. Since I already bought the chicken and was mortified that I was going to add to her already itchy self, I did some more research and found out that what balances Omega 6 is Omega 3. Great natural sources of Omega 3 are flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or fish oil - specifically krill oil. Fun fact, pumpkin seeds are a great holistic dewormer for dogs. I personally chose chia seeds because we already had some in the pantry and fish oil is not always farmed sustainably.
I decided to include rice in Honey’s transition because it is a good source of fiber and the ugly truth about switching dog food is that they usually have soft bowel movements or just awful diarrhea in general during the transition. Since Honey is older, I did not want to upset her body anymore than needed. So far, and this is day 4 of cooked meals, her bowels are actually more solid than when she was just on kibble. Now, why brown rice instead of white? Well, Honey gets yeast infections out the wazoo and let me tell ya, girlfriend stinks! She has a very yeasty smell going on, BUT it is subsiding!! We have completely cut off anything yeast feeds on, which is why I choose brown rice over white. Brown rice has the husk still on it and breaks down into glucose at a much slower rate which allows Honey to digest it better. When white rice breaks down, it becomes sugar (glucose) VERY quickly, giving yeast all the food it needs to multiply! My goal is to completely wipe out grains from her diet, but we are taking it very, very slow. Once she is completely switched, flaxseed and apples will be the main source of her diet. Can’t forget about that canned pumpkin for an upset tummy, though! How many other pet parents keep a can in the pantry for those “just in case” moments?
Fiber is a prebiotic and it needs to be balance with a probiotic. Raw goat's milk or kefir is your ultimate goal, but since it is extremely potent I decided to start out slow and use plain ol' regular yogurt. If you want to see how your dog reacts to dairy- pay attention to their bowel movements as well as their toots! This is your judgment call, ladies and gentlemen. Listen to your dog's body!
Veggies should account for about 20% of your dog’s diet and fruit about 5%. Right now we are feeding broccoli, carrots, and celery. Fruits are rotated between bananas, apples, and blueberries. Dogs can also have asparagus, green peas, green beans, spinach, dandelion leaves, watermelon, cranberries, and pineapple, to list a few. Since I am cooking for dogs, they also need a calcium supplement. That’s where the egg WITH the egg shell comes in, as well as yogurt and broccoli. I also make homemade bone broth and turmeric paste. See how these foods compliment each other? If you are ever in doubt, then just google it and remember to stay away from starch!
An easy guideline:
Rotate Support Foods:
-pre and probiotics
-if cooking calcium
Don’t worry, friends, I will be writing blog posts about my wipes, anti-yeast spray, homemade bone broth, and turmeric paste. As always, I am open to any and all suggestions to help my puppers since I am new and learning things as well! If you have any advice, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy cooking and Happy Tails to all!