Making Raw well nigh Irresistable!

I decided it was time to get serious and try to get Cailean back to raw eating.

As Barb H warned me at about 1 year she and alot of other deerhounds  turn their noses up at raw chicken backs etc. Their palates having been educated by those tasty morsels their hues (Human in “Roil speak”) somehow let fall into their willing maws.

I have tried with marginal success to keep up the raw regimen and was successful only with small slices of meat; or on occasion when other dogs are around the occasional chicken back; (a little sense of competition and its amazing what they will eat.)

It really wasn’t sitting well with me, feeling that the best food for her was available but she wasn’t willing to eat it. IF. IF I had been willing to force the issue and feed nothing else but raw we would have overcome this hurdle a long time ago. I know there are many others who have found that steeling themselves to such rigid unyielding measures impossible. So, here we are 5 months away from her 3rd birthday & I finally nailed it. Hot Damn!

Here’s how I did it. Make the usual batch of soup, just leave out the chicken. In other words make a tasty veg soup using aromatic vegetables; carrots, celery, sweet pepper, squash, peas, beans whatever is convenient(no onions of course). Once veggies are cooked as desired toss in raw chicken carcass, turkey necks, pieces of lamb whatever for just a minute or so until it is not pink on the outside but rare on the inside.Toss in a handful of freshly minced parsley (great source of bioflavinoids and chlorophyll. Add a couple of squirts of salmon oil when serving up.

I am sure Cailean is enjoying her food more, has less gas and isn’t hungry still when finished.



Diet, Treats and Preparedness

I was reading the Summer 09 Deerhound Newsletter Article by Elise Cartmell & Rob Horsfield  The article gives lists of the types of food to include & not for a deerhound on a Raw Diet. I have mentioned in earlier discussions on this blog that raw is probably the best diet. Rob and Elise gave links in the UK to purveyors of raw food along with a super site that has recipes for amongst other things Liver cake. Sounds fab! I will try that one definitely substituting gluten-free flour.  If you don’t have access to the Deerhound Newsletter go to Rob’s site www. (a great discussion list for Scottish Deerhound and other Sighthound owners where you will find lots of discussion on the subject.

I also feel that flexibility is important. In the case of a natural disaster-flood, hurricane, fire, ice-storm, tornado whatever- electricity is always dicey. God knows there have been lots of them. Having food on hand that is portable and easy is essential.Whether or not your dogs are on a raw diet having an emergency supply of fresh good quality kibble on hand is a good idea. I would suggest esp. if kibble use is only occasional to buy grain free & a protein percentage of about 24%, it is a little difficult to find grain free that doesn’t have an extremely high protein percentage, I personally use a kibble that is wheat,corn, soy free but does have brown rice. Use as a training treat or cookie treat to prevent it from going stale or bad. If your dogs are not on a raw diet try introducing elements of the raw diet – There is no hard and fast rule that if a dog is eating kibble they can’t eat anything else. See the Deerhound Primer section on this blog for other meal suggestions.

Barb Yaroski Sept-09 176

Meatloaf Bon Woofetit!

Last night my kids complained loudly when I started to make meatloaf for Cailean. They are more used to the soup concoctions I make for her.  What about meatloaf for us? The vegetable soup simmering on the stove smelled heavenly funny that it didn’t quite appeal to them in the same way as meatloaf would.  I didn’t have the Calcium I wanted to add, so I skipped it with the exception of the five eggshells I added. I am all for using what you have available & experimenting. Poor guinea pig Cailean. She can’t tell me “it’s not great Mom.” This version was a winner! Even after having her dinner she kept going into the kitchen sticking her nose near the cooling loaves. When cool enough I gave her a sample she wolfed that down & walked over to the stove stopped and looked at me. More please??? I don’t think so fat dog! Our fat bottomed girl is very bootilicous with nicely muscled thighs who could stand to lose a pound or two. She’s 92 lbs of muscle but her ribs are not as prominent as would be ideal.

Beefy Meatloaf Cailean Approved


1 large beef heart

3 lbs lean ground beef

5 eggs and shells

½ cup brown rice

1 large sweet potato

1 small bunch kale

1 tblsp tamari sauce

Cook rice in 4 cups water for 30 min. add cubed sweet potato simmer 10 min. add finely chopped Kale. (chop Kale in food processor) simmer 3-4 min. To cuisinart add roughly chopped beef heart- pulse until finely chopped, add eggs mix well. Mix all ingredients together spread into loaf pans bake at 350 degrees until set.   Freeze in double or single sized portions.

That's a lotta Beef!

That's a lotta Beef!

Deerhound with Giardia

Giardia spp. are parasitic protozoans (single celled organisms) found in the intestines of many animals, including dogs. This microscopic parasite clings to the surface of the intestine or floats free in the mucous lining of the intestine.  Giardia is transmitted from host to host by the ingestion of cysts in contaminated feed or drinking water. Cysts may also be found in creeks, streams or other water sources.

Symptoms of Giardia infection may range from no symptoms, mild recurring diarrhea, weight loss, listlessness, mucus in the stool, explosive diarrhea and anorexia. See your Vet. Treatment usually consists of the antiprotozoal drug  metronidazole or quinacrine. Animals testing positive for Giardia should be treated whether or not they exhibit symptoms. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea a liquid diet of broth may be advisable for the first 24-48 hours. A dog used to a raw diet would benefit from a diet mostly of chicken backs, frames or necks at this time.

A deerhound friend of ours was recently diagnosed through stool tests with Giardia. This young male deerhound needs to put on a bit of weight and along with some friends we were discussing the merits of “Magic Meatballs” as a means of helping a dog to put on weight. I am including several recipes and would like to note a caveat or two regarding the recipes. I have not tried all these recipes and only made the ones that I thought would appeal to my dh. I would suggest trying a fairly simple small batch  first to see how well your dog likes them. If your dog does not like raw hamburger it is doubtful if they will eat magic meatballs. I personally don’t recommend the use of garlic for dogs but suggest you decide for yourself. Some dogs do not like the taste of molasses & it would be wise to go easy on this ingredient or my suggestion would be to substitute tamari sauce for seasoning as suggested by Dr. Pitcairn as being a valuable source of amino acids. I would also add finely chopped fresh parsley. If your dog does not like raw I would suggest A Meatloaf made along the lines of that suggested in Dr. Pitcairn’s book. I will add a version I like.

Satin Balls Raw Dog Food * Multiple Versions
10 pounds hamburger meat [the cheapest kind]
1 lg. box of Total cereal
1 lg. box oatmeal
1 jar of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
10 raw eggs AND shells
10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf.
Divide into 10 quart freezer bags and freeze.
Thaw as needed and feed raw!
I don’t like the Satin Ball recipe b/c of the sugar- laden Total Cereal.
Here’s the fat ball recipe that helped put weight on Druid.
1 lb ground beef
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 jar all natural peanut butter
1 jar (smaller of the sizes) wheat germ
1 doz egg yolks
1 cup or so of flaked oats soaked in heavy cream
Mix up, form balls, freeze, feed as treats or food supplement.
Louise’s Fedemma’s Fat Balls
Small heavy cream
1 doz eggs
2 blocks of cream cheese (room temp)
5 lbs ground beef — (I get the 27% fat)
1 sm box TOTAL cereal
(crunch up Total into small crumbs)
1 cup wheat germ
mix dry ingredients
Add heavy cream
Add cream cheese
Add ground beef
Roll into balls — I put them on cookie sheets and freeze, makes a lot –
Marge Paszeks Fat Balls
1 lb hamburger
1 package cream cheese
1 dozen egg yolks
1 jar all natural peanut butter
about 1 cup rolled oats soaked in milk
1 jar wheat germ
Mix up, measure out, feed as needed. You’ll need to mix it with your
hands. It’s hard to mix and messy. I usually make this with more hamburger (like, 2 or 3lbs) and freeze what I’m not using that day or the next.

1 dozen egg yolks
1 lb jar crunchy peanut butter
1 small container oats
1 jar wheat germ
1 lb hamburger
1 package cream cheese
*Some versions of this recipe say to soak the oats in milk or cream first.
Put the stuff in a big bowl and mix w/your hands. Roll into 3″ torpedos and put in ziplock bags and freeze until needed. Feed one or two a day
Fatten ‘Em Up Quick Meatloaf!!
1 doz. Hard Boiled eggs, chopped
10 lbs of inexpensive hamburger meat
20 oz Jar of Wheat Germ
1 canister of Knox Gelatin, joint complex, (unflavored)
1 lg box of Total breakfast cereal
2 – 1 lb boxes of Quaker oatmeal, (the kind you cook)
1 1/2 cups Canola Oil
12 oz jar of unsulfered Molasses
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp minced Garlic, (jarred variety or fresh, NOT dried)
Box of 1qt Freezer bags
Just dump all into huge pot and dig in. It takes some effort, and you will
be up to your elbows, but you want to mix thoroughly.
Separate into 14 freezer bags, gently squeezing out the air before sealing.
Flatten out the bags, (this will allow for a quicker thaw period), and lay
flat on a freezer shelf.
Feed one packet each day, 1/2 in morning, half in evening. Breaking up into
chunks, or rolling into meatballs. You can place one in the fridge each
evening to thaw for the next day.
OR a smaller batch, that you can flavor for variety.
1 1/2 lbs hamburger
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 envelope Knox Gelatin Joint complex, (unflavored)
5 tsp molasses
5 tsp Canola vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
I cup Total breakfast cereal
To the above you may add ONE of the following to add flavor and give variety!
1/2 lb Cooked and pureed beef liver OR
1 small can of tomato sauce/ 1 cup of cooked rice or pasta OR
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter OR
4 oz package of cream cheese
Form into balls, layer in plastic freezer bags, freeze—remove several at a time to thaw, and feed as in between meal treats.
Fattening Treats
Doggie Peanut Cheese Balls
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 lb jar crunchy peanut butter
1 container of Quaker Oatmeal
2 cups of evaporated milk, (Don’t dilute!!)
1 jar wheat germ
1 lb hamburger
8 oz. pkg cream cheese
envelope Knox Gelatin Joint Complex, (unflavored)
Meatloaf for dogs
1 ½ lbs lean gr. Beef chicken or turkey
6 slices whole wheat bread or
1 cup brown rice  cooked
1cup cottage cheese
5 eggs
½ cup cooked veg
2 tblsp sunflower oil
½ tsp tamari sauce
calcium supplement (optional)
Vit A supplement (optional)
Serve raw or bake at 350 till set and slightly brown about 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

This and all other recipes are meant to be adjunct to a healthy diet and have not been balanced to make up the whole of a diet.

Bon Woofetit!

Finicky Eater

When a deerhound is finicky about food.

A finicky deerhound can be a major stress and worry for its owner.

In the experience of most deerhound owners their will be occasions when a deerhound puppy or adult will be indifferent about food. In most cases there won’t be any medical reason to be concerned. If however a lack of appetite is accompanied by lethargy, fever, or diarrhea a visit to the vet might be in order. A bitch in heat may have a diminished appetite; not too big a concern if it is just for a brief length of time.

When a growing puppy seems reluctant to eat red flags seem to pop up and if you’re a worry wart like me it is easy to overreact and get anxious about something which is usually minor.

There are a few strategies to try to make the meal ritual comforting to your dog.

  • If you have more than one dog make sure that bowl sharing is equitable and if one is unwilling to be assertive enough to get its share you may have to feed separately.
  • In any case situate the food bowl in a spot out of the main traffic flow of your kitchen. Remember elevating the bowl is not advisable (due to increased risk of bloating)
  • Use the same phrase to indicate meal time. “OK Puppy, are you hungry?” “Come and Eat!”
  • A healthy appetite can be enhanced by exercise; preferably exercise 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after.
  • A deerhound raised as a single dog may not always be interested in eating if it is not stimulated enough, it needs play, exercise and companionship to feel well and eat happily. Raising a singleton will be made easier if he/ she has opportunity to socialize and play with other dogs regularly.

Food strategies may encompass a few different things. Don’t let yourself be manipulated into multiple choice meals. If puppy doesn’t want this meal, it is replaced with something more tempting and if that doesn’t work, something even more tempting. No No No! Don’t do it, you’ll be sorry…… After 10-15 min. bowl should be lifted and refrigerated until next meal time. I know it is difficult to steel yourself to be unyielding in this, but you really should.  The exception to all of the above is a deerhound elder, then its time to pull out all the stops and just try to tempt them with whatever works.

  • VARIETY is the spice of life. Don’t feed the same meal all the time, change it up.
  • As I’ve said in previous posts try to have 2-3 kibbles that your dog is adjusted to serve in various proportions. Top with chicken soup, or lamb stew, ground beef with brown rice and green beans or canned sardines, or some fish, or grated cheese. If your dog is eating a raw diet, just remember to keep the diet varied as well.
  • Organ meats are a great appetite tempter. Lightly sauté some liver or heart, about once a week. Canned tripe is worth keeping on hand.
  • If your puppy is teething partially frozen chicken backs or necks will be much enjoyed.
  • A thin active puppy will usually love snacks, a piece of cheese, a couple of boiled egg yolks. A good snack or meal replacement is ground meat balls, either a “magic meat ball” or plain ground meat. Cottage cheese mixed with some oil is a healthy snack. (provided there is no lactose intolerance.

Once your puppy has reached adulthood snacks aren’t as necessary and you should remember adults don’t need as much food as puppies.

Barb, Barb and Fernhill puppies

Barb, Barb and Fernhill puppies

Here’s how to Evaluate your dog’s Food

Here is a link sent to me by Cailean’s breeder, I think it provides really good guidelines. Below is the rating article and you can judge your food compared to major and other brands.

Keep in mind that saying 100% chicken meal on the bag is normally ground up parts of the chicken that have little food value.

How to grade your dog’s food:

Start with a grade of 100:

1) For every listing of “by-product”, subtract 10 points

2) For every non-specific animal source (“meat” or “poultry”, meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points

3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

4) For every grain “mill run” or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points

5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. “ground brown rice”, “brewer’s rice”, “rice flour” are all the same grain), subtract 5 points

6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points

9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points

11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points

12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points

13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points

3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points

9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count “chicken” and “chicken meal” as only one protein source, but “chicken” and “” as 2 different sources), add 1 point

13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

94-100+ = A

86-93 = B

78-85 = C

70-77 = D

<70 = F

Dog Food scores:

Alpo Prime Cuts / Score 81 C

Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy / Score 114 A+

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+

Authority Harvest Baked Less Active / Score 93 B

Beowulf Back to Basics / Score 101 A+

Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F

Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice / Score 83 C

Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice / Score 106 A+

Burns Chicken and Brown Rice / Score 107 A+

Canidae / Score 112 A+

Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+

Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F

Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B

Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A

Diamond Performance / Score 85 C

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice / Score 106 A+

Dick Van Patten’s Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+

EaglePack Holistic / Score 102 A+

Eukanuba Adult / Score 81 C

Eukanuba Puppy / Score 79 C

Flint River Senior / Score 101 A+

Foundations / Score 106 A+

Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 B

Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D

Innova Dog / Score 114 A+

Innova Evo / Score 114 A+

Innova Large Breed Puppy / Score 122 A+

Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+

Member’s Mark Chicken and Rice / Score 84 C

Merrick Wilderness Blend / Score 127 A+

Nature’s Recipe / Score 100 A

Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Venison and Rice / Score 116 A+

Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct / Score 122 A+

Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice / Score 81 C

Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy / Score 101 A+

Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B

Nutro Max Adult / Score 93 B

Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice / Score 98 A

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free / Score 86 B

Nutro Natural Choice Senior / Score 95 A

Nutro Ultra Adult / Score 104 A+

Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F

Premium Edge Chicken, Rice and Vegetables Adult Dry / Score 109 A+

Pro Nature Puppy / Score 80 C

Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach / Score 94 A

Purina Benful / Score 17 F

Purina Dog / Score 62 F

Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F

Purina One Large Breed Puppy / Score 62 F

Royal Canin Boxer / Score 103 A+

Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+

Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+

Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F

Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F

Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A

Solid Gold / Score 99 A

Summit / Score 99 A

Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry / Score 120 A+

Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+

Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A

Nutro guilty until proven innocent

FDA’s Laura Alvey, deputy director of communications with FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine denies investigation into NUTRO Foods. Freelance journalist Lisa Wade McCormick a reporter for Consumer Affairs stands by her story that an anonymous FDA source confirmed an investigation exists. Consumer Affairs Editor in Chief James R. Hood said in an interview with Veterinary Information Network (VIN) that “where there’s smoke there’s fire” and they have received upwards of 640 consumer complaints about NUTRO pet food.  From web-site ‘

I will continue to follow this story to see if there is any substance to the claim by Consumer Affairs. Unfortunately I and many others are not going to give NUTRO another chance to cause illness in my pet.