Your puppy (and his parents and grandparents as it turns out) has been raised on a looser version of Aussie Vet, Dr Billinghurst’s “Bones and Raw Food” diet (BARF). See his website for further information:
If you read the section “What is Barf?” on the above website, you’ll get a good idea of what it’s about and hopefully get some confidence in it since it’s a Vet who is supporting this.
Of course it is your choice as to how you feed your puppy when it arrives but I would heartily recommend that you obtain the book “Give your Dog a Bone” by Dr Ian Billinghurst from your local library as an insight as to why dry food feeding is a rort.
Another book on the subject is Raw Meaty Bones by another Australian Vet, Dr Tom Lonsdale published in 2001, also attacks the pet food industry in Australia and exposes what he considers to be the “balanced diet rort”.
His book is a fascinating story on his journey as a vet, realising that something was really wrong with what he was recommending to his clients for diet that was causing, among other things, horrendous dental issues which then trigger serious health issues.
But even more interesting was the level of corruption and bullying he exposes in the Veterinary and pet food industries in Australia and the active role the Australian Veterinary Association plays in this.
See Tom’s website here: http://www.rawmeatybones.com/
In case you’re thinking I might be some vegan hippy with conspiracy paranoia (and no offence to any Vegan Hippies reading this), I run an Accounting Practice (and eat meat) and what Dr Lonsdale describes is simply big business, standard commercial practice, standard marketing for any billion dollar industry and the Pet Food Industry in Australia is a billion dollar one. It’s worth protecting. Your dollar is far more important to the pet industry (which includes Vets) than the long term health of your dogs and you can be sure that not everything in life that is marketed to you as The Best, is good for you! Remember cigarette adverts, promoted by Doctors??
Here’s my take on it! A dog is a carnivore ultimately and most commercial dog food is primarily made up of cereal and is often also derived from less than desirable meat sources (ie animals from abattoir not deemed suitable for humans). If someone came up with a meal-in-one biscuit with all nutrients perfectly balanced to help human children grow perfectly, would anyone actually feed their children this 3 times a day? I doubt it. We all know we need fresh fruit and veggies and as big a variety as possible to be healthy. So do our dogs.
Information on what to feed dogs changes frequently and advice we were all given by our Vets 10 years ago is now completely different.
For instance, it is now thought that adding extra calcium to the diet of any growing dog actually aggravates/triggers hip dysplasia by causing massive calcium deposits on the joints (30 years ago we were told to pile in large quantities of DiCalcium Phosphate (DCP) into our puppies’ feed).
Common sense would dictate that the best form of calcium can be found in raw digestible bones such as chicken frames, wings, necks, turkey frames, brisket bones, soft lamb bones, roo tails, etc. It seems to have worked for my dogs anyway!
Those giant bones you can get are good as chew toys and for entertainment but very little of them actually gets eaten so it’s the smaller softer bones that will give the calcium. Plus you want their teeth exercised and cleaned, not broken!
So please don’t shove excess calcium into your puppies. But also a diet of straight raw meat is completely lacking in calcium and will cause bone problems as well. Raw meaty bones are the go! My adult dog’s diet is based on raw meaty edible bones along with veggies, eggs, dairy products, cod liver oil, table scraps, tinned sardines, raw mullet, raw offal of all sorts, etc. But by far the bulk is just raw meaty bones like poultry frames and wings.
You can buy the fancy BARF rissoles with mashed up veggies and vitamins – they are no doubt fantastic but they are expensive and quite frankly I’ve done fine all these years just doing mainly raw meaty bones and whatever veggie peelings come my way (not much).
Your dogs will never need their teeth cleaned when living on raw meaty bones either.
It’s also a much cheaper way to feed your dogs once you source a good supply of chicken frames and the like, I am usually paying $.50-2 a kg for everything and have a rule not to pay more than $3 a kilo. I freeze in bulk and unthaw in the morning what I need that night. Too easy.
Cooked bones of any sort should not be fed to a dog. Apparently, these are not easily digestible and can cause (though it’s rare) puncturing of the digestive tract. Raw bones are completely digestible. Personally, I’ve fed cooked bones too on the rare occasion they come my way and no harm done. If it’s free, we eat it here!
By the time you receive your puppies they will be happily munching on chicken wings, necks, frames and other types of soft bones.
I also been feeding them a cows milk, eggs, honey and slippery elm mix as well and so far, no puppy has ever shown any intolerance to cows milk. That’s straight out the fridge, full fat $1 a litre cows milk. They’ve also had veggies, yoghurt and eggs. Pretty much everything EXCEPT commercial dog food!
They have also been eating chopped raw liver, heart and kidneys – whatever I can score from the abattoir. Offal is for a treat though and although it is nutrient rich, it is not balanced to be fed alone. It’s calcium deficient. So just once or twice a week if you have access to cheap offal.
I would advise that you stock up on chicken frames and necks for the first few days that your puppy arrives so that he doesn’t suffer any tummy upset to go along with the stress of leaving his litter and then swap him over to your own preferred method of feeding as soon as he seems to have settled in. (If you change to your own or vet recommended diet, don’t bother coming back to me with health and skeleton problems.)
Also have an egg milk mix on hand (one egg to a cup of milk) as a refreshing comforting drink until they grow out of the desire for milk.
Don’t worry about expensive puppy milk, as so far none of my puppies have ever had the slightest ill effect from drinking straight cows milk – as I suspect have countless generations of dogs since they started living with humans who had cows! Of course if you have goats milk, well that’s the ultimate!
Anatolians do not tend to overeat or be particularly interested in food or be greedy and, in general, are naturally lean. Your puppy will have more chance of growing into a sound dog if he is not overfed and kept fairly lean. Slow growth is considered more likely to produce a sound dog than fast growth – or that’s the latest thinking anyway!!
“Slow” growth for a male puppy will still mean a gain of 2-3 kilos a week for the first 7-9 months of his life. Growth is upwards though, not width ways! The girls grow slower and will not usually be as big as their brothers.
The bone problems so common in many breeds today are often caused by commercial Puppy Kibble which is extremely high in carbs and nutrients. This causes the bones to grow too fast, the tissue does not keep up, the puppy is fat so carrying more weight and bone problems quickly develop. Over nutrition is as dangerous as under nutrition. Not to mention dental and gum problems which then ruin the dog’s overall health.
Dogs rarely over eat on raw meaty bones so stay naturally lean on that sort of diet.
I used to feed roo meat years ago when it was very cheap. Now it’s not cheap but the main reason I don’t feed that any more is that in Australia there is no legislation to limit the use of preservatives (mainly Sulphur Dioxide – think dried Apricots) in pet foods. It’s a dangerous chemical and can destroy the kidneys of dogs and cats and there are strict guidelines for its use in human foods. But not in pet foods in Australia.
It’s thrown liberally over roo meat and other meat destined for pets as it improves the colour of the meat and helps preserve it. The Sunday Mail did a huge two weekend expose on the quantities of Sulphur Dioxide in pet foods and some well known companies had to quickly retract their website statements as to how safe their food was. Here’s the story:
So my advice is, feed your dog human grade raw meaty bones. They are cheaper than petfood and should contain less harmful chemicals.
So chicken frames, wings and necks are a great basis for a good diet. Lamb, pork, beef, duck and turkey bones are all fantastic too. Egg and milk mix until they grow out of it.
What Vets May tell you…
There are some vets (like the the vets mentioned at the start) who are brave enough to advocate a raw diet and who refuse to keep any brand of kibble in their surgeries – but these are rare. If you can find a vet who is a dog breeder himself of some repute, you will most likely find that he also feeds raw.
When your vet tells you not to feed the diet I have recommended above and mocks it and tells you to feed Canin Large Puppy or the like, my questions to him/her are:
How many litters of your own dogs have you produced?
How many pups have you raised yourself?
How many pups have you then followed the progress of until they died?
How many generations of your puppies have you followed?
The answer from 98% of vets will NONE whatsoever. In other words, your vet will most likely not have the smallest piece of hands on experience in actually breeding, raising then breeding again his own dogs. He is only spruiking to you, what he has been told is Absolute Truth by the pet food companies who pay him rather well to stock their food.
So, am I interested in a vet’s opinion on nutrition? No.
Interestingly I did speak recently to a vet (not a raw feeder) who had “tried” breeding for a bit but quit as it was too disheartening with fertility troubles, birthing troubles, dying puppies, no milk, genetic issues.
And that’s exactly what happens if you do not take VERY good care of your dog’s nutrition.
Vets will also tell you that your dog MIGHT break a tooth eating a bone. That’s true. A dog MIGHT break a tooth on a bone. I MIGHT break my leg walking down my back steps one day. I MIGHT. Dogs also break their teeth chewing rocks and all of mine crack open any macadamia nut that lands on the lawn from my tree – I suspect that a macadamia really might one day break a tooth! So yes, they could be very unlucky and break a tooth on a bone but probably there is more chance of being struck by lightning. However, if they are fed on kibble or cooked “jellymeat”, they will 100% get tooth and gum disease. MIGHT break a tooth or 100% get sick…. what’s your choice?