To have my cake and eat it too, I was experimenting with freeze-dried raw (you know, raw diet for sissies ...) combined with home-cooked.
As it were, Cookie is helping me with the agony of the decision.
With a prey drive as strong as hers, from the start she would catch little critters, mice mostly. I remember her first catch. She knew how to catch it but had no idea what to do with it once she had it. Tried playing with it, carried it around a bunch and when she decided to eat it, she swallowed it whole.
It came back out shortly after.
The next time she decided to eat one, she figured she'd chew it some. Voila, it stayed down! Since then, she's been embellishing her diet with the occasional freshly caught snack.
(Note: the mice around here are truly wild ones, with no human population to speak of, so no rodenticides. People who worry about rodents get a cat)I accepted these raw snacks. Other than the first time when she ate it without chewing, Cookie never got sick from eating a mouse.
When we were discussing Cookie's diet with our new vet, when she found out I also give Cookie eggs, the vet recommended feeding them raw.
After a lot of thought I decided to give that a try.
Cookie really likes that and it hasn't caused any upsets.
The other day she found remnants of a rabbit carcass in the woods. It seemed to have been mostly bones of front legs. It was on top of the snow, so we could tell that it hasn't been there very long.
At first Cookie mostly carried it around and dropped it when asked. But I could see she really wanted to eat it.
After some internal turmoil, I decided to let her have at it.
Was I worried? You bet. But the bones were quite fresh, quite small and she was chewing them quite well. Plus humans are the only animal that takes something away from another who already has it in their mouth. And since this is technically perfectly eatable, why do it?
Cookie munched them down and no upset followed.
I think she's trying to tell me something. And I think that sometimes one just should let nature take over. When I was prepping their beef for slow cooking yesterday, I gave away a little bit of it raw.
No upset followed.
Perhaps Cookie will make a raw feeder out of me yet.
"Natural" With Regard To Dog Nutrition (Part I): What Does It Mean And Does It Matter?
The Whole Food Philosophy: The Nutrients, And The Mojo
The Whole Food Philosophy And The Tale Of A Giant Sugar Beet
A Rant About Breast Milk And Dog Nutrition
Trying To Make "Bone Meal" From A Wild Duck