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One of the things that seems to put people off switching to a home made diet of raw meaty bones is that it is more complicated to have to decide what to feed your dog when you do this rather than read the instructions on a packet and pour into a bowl.

In some ways it is, you have to plan where to get the food (butcher, supermarket, local hunter etc) and what to get. But this soon becomes second nature, and fits into your shopping plans for your own food, as does making sure that your dog gets variety in it’s diet over time and the right amounts of offal, fish etc. In fact before you know it you’re at the local farmer’s market and saying, “Ooooo, look Poppy, pig’s feet, I wonder what you’ll make of these”.

I do spend a few minutes each week chopping up chicken, rabbits and the like into suitable portions for Ted so that I can freeze them. If I had a bigger dog I wouldn’t even have to do this, a rabbit would already be the right size! And we travel about quite a lot so I do have to spend a few minutes thinking about what I need to throw into the freezer box I keep in the back of my car rather than just picking up a bag of kibble.

But to be honest the extra time is minimal once you have been feeding raw meaty bones for a few weeks. And I liken it to feeding myself, it takes me longer to cook something than it would to pour boiling water into a Pot Noodle but it is far more satisfying both nutritionally and emotionally to be in control of your family’s food.

Yesterday I changed my mind about all of this, totally and utterly. It is, in my humble opinion, much much easier to feed a diet of raw meaty bones. I’ve been following Mollie Morrissette’s blog “Poisoned Pets” and watching the Diamond Pet Food recalls story unfold. In fact it’s still unfolding it seems but here is an update from Mollie http://poisonedpets.com/2012/05/05/your-complete-guide-to-the-diamond-pet-food-recalls/.

Reading it not only made me sad for those impacted but it also made my head hurt thinking about how you keep your family (in which I include your pets) safe from this sort of thing if you feed commercial pet food. Most of the pet food companies seem to have a multitude of brands, just as Diamond Pet Foods do, so it’s not always straight forward to work out what is being made, by whom, and where.

I then tried to understand some of the standards regarding not only what is allowed to go into pet food but also how that is monitored (as it’s all very well all these companies have internal quality assurance programmes but I’m not a fan of relying on self certification). My head hurt some more so being selfish as it doesn’t impact me, and there being excellent sites like Mollies that can be turned to if it does impact you, I gave up. If you feed a commerical food I really would recommend taking a look at Mollie’s site.

I can honestly say that if I had to feed a commercial food I wouldn’t know where to even start to select one given the dubious ingredients in many and the problems with recalls due to contamination etc. I am thankful every single day (especially when I can hear Ted chomping away on his raw meaty bones) that I found this way of feeding him and to me it is really no trouble at all.

I’ve grown my dog from this:

To this:

on a diet of raw meaty bones and I intend to continue keeping him healthy this way.