Peg a few weeks after she came back from working on poor quality dry dog food for a year.
Almost a year later Peg's tail is still to clean up; she's a bit fat here after weaning pups.
Jesse is 18 years old here and still working. She's been fed raw all her life.
Healthy pups grow into healthy dogs. These 4 week old pups are eating the same food as the bitch twice a day.

Health info

Peanut

What a difference a month makes!

This little pup came to me at 5 1/2 wks in lieu of a service fee. She very nearly died…insufficient milk from the bitch, chemical wormer, canned puppy food….She developed an allergy to grass, got a huge rash and lost most of her hair.

Shown in the first photo with a half brother the same age from my Quizz litter, and again below (with pink collar) with the same pup. I gave her pet mince and some freeze dried tripe to get her going.

I am mixing my own raw diet and it’s so easy to start the pups on solids, they just get a bit of mum’s. The Allora Butcher has been very helpful and delivers a good quality pet mince weekly. I am lucky to have a discount meat supplier in Toowoomba and also get plenty of lean lamb bones through the generosity of Tony Parsons, although I sometimes have to buy him a new wheelie bin when they break!

I usually mix about 4 kg of mince nightly with 1 soup spoonful of Diatomaceous Earth(DE) per dog and a handful of Big Dog Boost or Vets’ Natural Health Boost to supplement vitamins and minerals. The dry ingredients are mixed with warm water before adding to the mince.The quantities naturally vary with the number of dogs being fed and the size of their feed. They also get lamb bones every day. DE is a natural wormer and great when I am using the grassed pup yards without long breaks. It is quite hard to feed kelpies when they are not getting a lot of work because no matter how much they exercise in the run, it is the mental energy generated when working that really keeps them fit. I monitor them daily (and automatically, after doing it for so long) adjusting their food to their condition; it is quite easy to fine tune weight by this method.

Everyone who has seen my dogs here asks what I feed them, so I’ll share a few things I’ve learned through referring all my questions on canine nutrition to Marina Angel Smith… who has studied it in detail, and is also very skilled  using herbs and natural therapies. Vet students study animal nutrition but it isn’t broken up into herbivores, carnivores and omnivores but treated as one subject; there is a huge difference in the digestion and diet of these groups of animals. Of course most vets are promoting dry foods in their practices(to their financial benefit, treating the resultant health problems). Pet food companies have so infiltrated the vet scene that in the States a text book on nutrition used in Vet. science courses is printed by one of them.

I know feeding raw food on farm can be time consuming and sometimes impossible, and that working dogs are considered ‘ better’ fed these days because of the convenience of dry food….BUT…..the working lifetime of dogs has been considerably reduced by grain based diets which cause arthritis, skin problems, cancers, kidney troubles etc from about 8 years of age. Marina’s dogs that have been on raw all their lives have consistently lived to 20 and worked to 16-18 years.  Try to give your dogs at least a few raw feeds a week and use a good quality dry food if you have to, most are bulked out with grains and use processed offal for protein. Boned out chicken frames are great and can be frozen easily, they are usually available if you ask around butchers or firms like Lenards..

Many ‘old timers’ remember dogs who regularly lived to 15 and over, fed mainly on rabbits, ‘killer sheep’ and roos. These dogs often looked pretty lean but lived long and useful lives. The calcium in dry foods can’t be absorbed by a dog and the body puts out its own stores until it runs out. The only calcium with correct magnesium and potassium balance so dogs can absorb it is in bones…not surprising really! The foods dogs/wolves ate in the wild must be better for their health.

Be careful feeding roo meat and dry food, it’s not a good mix. Roo meat is OK for fat dogs, or with fat mixed, but takes a lot of digesting because of the high nitrogen fixation and takes as much energy to digest as it contains…in pregnant/whelping bitches this can result in milk fever and fitting, because of calcium being leached from their systems. The only way to remedy this is with bone meal or bones, not calcium syrup which can’t be absorbed by dogs. Often people add the syrup to pup food but they should be feeding them bones; small pups can eat chicken frames from about 6 weeks.

Our soils are rapidly being depleted of minerals with constant cropping, and we should be aware of this as it applies to our own diets as well as our dogs’! Tests done in America over a 30 year period up until 1992 showed that beef contained: 20% less calcium, nearly 36% less iron, 16.7% less phosphorus, 100% less Vit.A and 52% less thiamine. Figures from an article in Dogs Naturally Magazine, and it has only become progressively worse since 1992. 

I am also vaccinating with nosodes available from HAMPL online. This homeopathic procedure produces immunity equal to vaccines with no side effects; tests have proven titers of the same level and it is now accepted by domestic airlines. Puppy buyers have the option of continuing with nosodes, but if they prefer to vaccinate I recommend they wait until 14 weeks, when that vaccination will protect the pup for some years.

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                                        Marina with Jesse(20 years old!) and Cash. Her expertise is invaluable, thanks Marina!

Here is some very interesting info from Marina which she shared with the Group in WA she used to run. 

You might wonder what the link is between Canine Nutrition, Behaviour and Training so here is but one answer for you.

When a dogs diet is high in carbohydrates which convert to sugar (Grains, Starches such as potatoes, Peas and Sweet Potatoes and simple sugars like Honey, Fruit and Fructose, and All cereals including Rice)
These foods cause the sugar levels to rise in the body which causes insulin to be released to lower the sugar levels, then when the sugar levels drop Cortisol is then released to help raise the sugar levels.
This process continues to cycle and affects Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone levels.
Also when Cortisol is repeatedly released in response to carbohydrates it competes with Progesterone for the same receptors and Cortisol wins the race every time and Progesterone is essential for fertility so bitches may begin to ovulate then stop.
Hormonal balance is also key to building strong joints especially through the growth period of a puppy.
Dogs need Cortisol in small amounts but when the adrenal glands over secrete it, the situation turns toxic as high Cortisol levels cause degenerative diseases and suppress the immune system leading to Pyometra in bitches; general infections anywhere in the body; Allergies; Thinning of the skin and coat; Decreased muscle and bone mass and gastrointestinal ulcers.
High cortisol also also encourages the kidneys to excrete water producing the classic symptoms of increased thirst and urination and elevates blood sugar which can lead to diabetes.
If this doesn’t have a puppy or dog feeling bad enough? Add irritability and restlessness into the mix and the effect it has on drive, I have experienced too many dogs having very little drive until I’ve had them on a natural raw diet for 3-6 weeks depending on age and of course breed, a dog with a belly full of carbohydrates and olfactory bulbs coated with trans fats isn’t as eager to work and doesn’t have the acute senses for drive and conditioning let alone the fact that Omega 3 Fatty acids (brain food) do not withstand cooking.
A dog can survive this way but not thrive, give it a try, all I’m asking is that you test the difference by trying a natural raw diet (eg Barf) for 6 weeks and see the difference.
Until next time be open to learning for and from your dogs.