Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meat Shopping

Ever since I started raw feeding Rossi gal more than 2 years back, I have fallen in love with meat shopping.

I enjoy meat shopping much more than my own shopping. In fact, I find my own shopping quite boring. >< Call me crazy, Call me insane. Yes, I love to meat-shop for my darling, especially when I know she enjoys her meats.

Meat shopping exhilarates me. I love to view the display of meats before me, taking in the different cuts, smell, texture & colour etc...while in my mind, imaging how Rossi gal would enjoy eating them. It has sort of become an 'obsession' for me. 

My one constraint in getting meats would be freezer space. We share our freezer with Rossi gal. Her meats takes up around 3/4 of the freezer. Space for her food takes precedence over ours.

During my shopping trips, I always have the urge to get more meats than I initially intended as I browsed through the meat counters. However, I have to remind myself of the freezer space & restrain myself from getting overboard with my purchases.

Besides, I wouldnt want to overload my freezer or store my meats for too long. Rossi gal wont be able to finish up all the meats that fast too. Daddy joked that our next fridge gota have a big enough freezer  to accomodate my 'obsession'. @@ 

During the 2+ years of raw feeding, I have been to various butchers to get meats for her. There is one particular butcher, who has become my personal favorite, for their warm & friendly service, as well as another important reason, Rossi gal does very well on their meats.

*Among the different butchers I buy from, Rossi gal does best on the meats from this butcher. I witness positive results/improvements in her & I am happy with what I see. So, I like to get my meat supplies from them.  

In fact, when I was still doing home-cook for Rossi gal, I have already been getting meats from this butcher and I continue doing so after I switch her to raw. Looking back, I have been buying meats from them for quite some time. 

My darling is a sensitive gal, so I do take note of what I get for her. And what matters to me most is this: she must do well on the meats I get for her. This is of utmost importance to me.

If there is anything that she doesnt do well on, I will stop feeding it & not get it for her again. If she doesnt do well, there is no point in me getting it at all, waste of time & effort.

*Please note that this is with regards to my Rossi gal only, based on my observation & understanding of her. Every dog is different. One would have to observe what their own dog/s do well on.

Just wanna share my favorite butcher here:

Concluding my post with a pretty picture of my darling. ^^

Can't help, but think my darling looks so pretty

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rossi gal Vs the whole Cornish Hen

During Rossi gal's first year on raw, I got her a Cornish Hen once. At that time, I bought it out of curiousity & I thought it looked cute, as it was a small chicken, unlike those usual sized chickens I was used to seeing.

Back then, I chopped it up into pieces instead of giving the whole hen to her, as I didnt think she could handle it. She was still new to raw.

In the recent months, I watched a video of my fren's dogs tackling the whole cornish hen. I was very inspired by the video & it made me wanna get the cornish hen for Rossi gal to eat it whole.

So, in the next shopping trip, I included the cornish hen in my must-get list. I got the hen from my usual butcher. The packaging has changed from the previous time I bought it, but it's still the same thing.

Though the hen is quite small, just 18oz (510g), I was expecting to help Rossi gal with it, as she had never eaten this way before & also, when it comes to feeding her bones, like lamb rack, chicken drum/wing (the usual ones I feed), she would usually need me to hold the bone for her to start her off. Then after some tearing+chewing, I would release it for her to finish up on her own.

However, to my surprise, when the hen was presented to her, she sniffed at it  & started digging in on her own without hesitation & without any help from me! ;p I was both surprised and delighted!

Here is a video of her working on the whole cornish hen. =)

I enjoyed watching her work the hen. I can't help, but think my darling looks so cool tackling the hen. LOL. *proud mummy syndrome* @@

She didnt manage to finish up the whole hen in one sitting. She finished ard 3/4 of it & stopped eating, so I stored the remaining carcass back into the fridge and gave it to her for breakfast on the next day. 

*I kept thinking she ate ard 1/2 the hen, but on closer look as I wrote this blog post, it looked more like she finished ard 3/4 of it! LOL. *blur me* x___x  

Nothing wasted, the whole hen is devoured by my darling. :) So this is it, the cornish hen will be included as part of her diet.

My darling resting on the sofa, after her hen meal. I like the satisfied look on her sweet face. ^^

Friday, July 20, 2012

Her Pinky Head Band

Rossi gal has long ear fringe. Whenever she eats her bone, her fringe would touch or stick on to it, as she maneuvers it with her mouth. This set me on the look out for a clip of some sort for clipping up her ears.  

With the recommendation of my frens & seeing one of their cute pics wearing the head band, I decided to get it for darling. I updated Daddy about the head band, with pics to show & he headed off to buy it. I had thought of getting it during the weekend, but daddy acted much faster than me. ;p

I opened up the package and let her use it that very evening, as she was having bone for dinner. Initially, she had thought it was a toy and kept biting onto it, wanting to play tug-of-war with me as I tried to put it round her head.

Eventually, I managed to put the head band on her. I took a couple of nice shots and gave her dinner after that. As she was having her bone, I took another few shots of her eating with the head band for the first time.

My darling looks so sweet in her pinky head band. *Proud Mummy* :D 
(Pink is mummy's fave colour too.)

It is also very useful when she eats her bone, as her ear fringe is kept back neatly & it doesnt stick on to the bone when she eats. (Dual purpose: can be used as an accessory & for her meals. LOL )

*Thanks Milo ma (for showing me cute pics of milo wearing the head band) & Coffee Daisy for the good recommendation.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

My First Morning Out with Darling @ Bishan Park

Last Saturday, it was my first morning out with Rossi gal, without Daddy. Daddy couldnt join us, as he needed to work for the day.

I thought of places I wanted to take Rossi gal to, but settled for Bishan Park, as this was also the first time I'm taking her out. Though Bishan Park was just right opposite our home, I still chose to drive over, as I wanted to get her used to me driving her out.

My intention is to drive her to nearby places for her walk, then eventually, driving her to further places, like Pasir Ris Park, Gardens by the Bay, etc. :P 

Before: The top 2 images are taken when we are setting off to Bishan Park.
After: The bottom 2 images are taken when we are going home. 

Compare the Before & After. ;p
We reached Bishan Park at around 8.15am. Initially, I could feel that Darling was not really used to not having Daddy around. She was wondering where her Daddy was & why wasn't he with us.

♥ Chilling out @ Bishan Park, just me & Her ♥
But eventually, she got used to just the both of us walking together, as we continued to walk around the area and as I talked to her along the way, explaining to her that Daddy was busy at work today, so he couldnt join us.

Within the park, resides a nice, cosy restuarant & bar by the name of "Canopy Garden Dining & Bar" (or "The Canopy"). It has a soothing ambience & is located at a secluded corner. There are both indoor & outdoor (Alfresco) dining. As the name goes, it has garden setting, where diners can have the feel of dining in a garden. 

What attracts me to check out this place is cos, it is pet-friendly. Pawrents can have their meals, in the company of their furkids at the Alfresco area. How nice. Honestly, though I live near Bishan Park, I rarely explore the place, until this day I'm out with Darling. I must say, I didnt expect to see such a nice dining place within a park.

Canopy Garden Dining & Bar Webby:

I didnt dine at The Canopy, as I would prefer to have Daddy with us when dining there. Thus, I ordered a takeaway instead. The lady serving me was very courteous. She made the effort to introduce the restaurant's specialites to me and waited patiently, as I perused the menu to make my order. Their menu looks pretty good too. 

My Takeaway Order:
Top - Crabmeat aglio oilo
Bottom - Prawn & mango salad
Though its takeaway & me leaving it for a while before digging in, the food still tasted good. I like especially the prawn & mango salad. The pieces of prawns and chunks of mango are a good combination. As I love eating prawns, I enjoy this dish even more. ;p 

It was a nice morning out with Rossi gal. We spent more than an hour walking and exploring Bishan Park. Both of us really enjoyed our morning together.

Darling, let's do this again together! Mummy take u somewhere else to play. =) 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Her Diet: Organs' Intake

A proper raw diet consist of meats, meaty bones and organs. I totally agree with this. However, lately, I realised something.  

(Whole prey would be ideal, but it's not so possible to obtain locally. What I mean by whole prey here, is animals with eyes, furs etc intact.) 

After 2 years of raw feeding, I realised my Rossi gal do not take well to organs. 

Organs, though a very small part of the raw diet, are an essential part of the diet. The recommended organs' intake is 10% of the diet (5% liver, the other 5% other organs like kidney, spleen, sweetbreads etc).

I did not consider the possibility of her not taking well to organs, as they are an integral part of the diet and the quantity required is very small. Besides, I was only feeding her slightly under 5% of organs (liver+kidney), which is very little actually. I feed her mainly lamb & organic pork liver, along with lamb kidney, as treats in the frozen form. I have also fed her organs from rabbit, duck and chicken before.  

How did I realise she does not do well on organs?

Well, Rossi gal still gets hot spots/rashes every now and then. There are various factors in which hot spots/rashes could occur (which I would not go into). For Rossi gal, hot weather could also be a contributing factor. Furthermore, she has very sensitive skin since young & is more prone to hot spots/rashes too.

Then one day, she had another bout of hot spots/rashes & each time she had them, I found that they took quite a while to subside. Just recently, she experienced some runny poo, my bad. She had not eaten Venison for a long time. Usually, when I introduce a new meat or give her a meat that she had not eaten for a long time, I have to include the meat slowly in the diet & let her adjust to it. But this time, I was too ambitious, I gave her quite a big portion of Venison into her meal, thinking she could take it. I was wrong. It resulted in her having runny poo.

Thus, I had to stop all her organs for the time being. I only gave her usual lamb meat and her chicken & lamb bones. Within 1+ week of stopping organs, daddy and I began to notice her hot spots/rashes subsided significantly. Those areas that she was prone to having hot spots/rashes, had much lesser hot spots/rashes. I find them healing much faster than before too.

All these while, I have been wondering why she kept having recurring hot spots/rashes. And now, by stopping her organs' intake, her hot spots/rashes' condition improved significantly, which led me to think if she does not do so well on organs.

This incident also caused daddy to remind me of a much earlier time when he told me to stop her organ intake for some reason, which we could not recall. And for that period of time when her organs intake was stopped, the hot spots/rashes on her skin also subsided quite fast. The hot spots/rashes on her were minimal too.

Therefore, after rounds of discussion and analysis with daddy, as well as some conversations I had with a couple of frens, daddy & I are pretty sure that our Rossi gal do not take well to organs.

There are likely to be fellow rawbies out there, who would not agree with our observation and state that this is just not possible. why would there be dogs who are unable to take organs? I guess, they would say, their dogs are having raw organs & they are doing fine...organs are a must-have in the diet, non-negotiable...*try organs from other animals...Blah blah blah.

Well, what's not possible? Anything is possible. Every dog is different. I do believe there are exceptional cases, whereby there are certain stuff that some just dun do well on, but it seems the most of the others do just fine on it.

Some dogs can take much organs without issues, but mine just cannot. It's just like  how some dogs can just take meats from any sources without issues, but my Rossi gal cannot. I have tried on several occasions, feeding her lamb meat from other butchers and she just does not do well on it. But when I feed her lamb meat from her usual butcher, she is fine.

With these said, I would not stop her organs' intake totally. I would still give her organs, just that the quantity & frequency would definitely be significantly lesser than before. And I would have to monitor her skin at the same time, to determine the quantity and frequency more suitable for her.

I will do whatever works for my Rossi gal & not what anyone else thinks I should do for her. I will do things in the way I feel is best for her, not in the way anyone else thinks I should. What works for your dog, might not necessarily work for mine.

*In the local butcheries, I see mainly beef, pork, lamb & chicken organs (liver & kidney). There are also rabbit and duck organs, but the whole thing would have to be purchased to obtain their organs. Rossi gal cannot take beef, but she has tried the others though.