Michelle and I know each other from a raw feeding forum, I love seeing photos of Keisha and if I’m brutally honest this was one of the reasons I asked Michelle if she’d like to write a guest blog! Plus I’d never really heard Michelle’s raw story, she has been feeding raw longer than I and was one of the people helping me as I switched Ted.
The thing that struck me when I read it is that it mirrors the feelings a lot of people go through in switching to raw so whether you’re thinking about feeding raw or already doing it you’ll likely recognise some of the feelings Michelle talks about below.
If, like me, the two photos below aren’t enough for you there’s another one of Keisha on her 1,000 raw fed dogs post here.
” Meet my 2 year old keeshond, Keisha. Here she is the first week we got her, deliberately flattening my plants!
Both my husband and I took 2 weeks from work to help her settle in. We were both exhausted! She was so naughty we almost gave her back! Although we found out she had fleas which was making her irritated, she also had the appetite of a gnat and we endured weeks of stress and sleepless nights worrying about her not eating.
Her breeder had told me to feed her Purina, she wouldn’t eat it. I tried other ‘premium’ brands of kibble, Keisha was still not interested, only having the occasional nibble to keep her alive. The vet and the breeder must have thought I was some kind of psycho, she was at the vets more times in those first few months than a whole life span of a normal dog and I bothered the breeder with calls night and day. There was nothing wrong with her appetite – I know now, she was just being a fussy madam!
After another desperate call to the breeder, she suggested that I give Keisha a chicken wing. WHAT, I thought! Is she insane??!! Well it’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Everyone knows that bones are dangerous, don’t they? And what about salmonella, I could potentially kill everyone in my household?
Well, you know what desperate people do, don’t you? They try everything!
I don’t think I’ve ever held my breath longer when Keisha had her first taste of RMB. She demolished that chicken wing but unfortunately, I knew little about feeding this way and went back to feeding her kibble. More weeks of sleepless nights and worry and then I decided enough was enough, and promptly trawled the net looking for alternative diets.
I came across information relating to the ingredients in processed dog food. I was absolutely horrified to discover the stuff that went into most products, even the premium brands! I decided there and then that I wasn’t going to feed my dog anything but food that I knew where it had came from. I learned that a dog’s DNA is almost identical to that of the grey wolf, and that although humans have bred different shapes and sizes, a dog’s digestive system is exactly the same as its ancestor, the wolf. As I had never heard of a wolf cooking its meals, raiding farmers fields for grain or hunting down carrots I decided I was going to feed as close to a wolf’s natural diet as I could. Keisha had already had a taste of raw meaty bones (RMB) by the way of a solitary chicken wing but it was time to go all the way!
That same day I bought a raw chicken, quartered it and stuck it in the freezer. The next day I took my recently purchased 15kg bag of Purina to the RSPCA. On the way home I was feeling a little sick thinking about the defrosting chicken I was about to give Keisha. But, boy did she enjoy that chicken! Apart from me wincing through 20 minutes of her crunching through bone, we both survived. The next worry was what was going to come out the other end. After a few hiccups (bottom end) she was fine after a couple of days. I still had doubts and lots more questions but I found a wonderful raw feeding support group that helped me along the way.
Keisha is doing great on her RMB diet. It all seems a little daunting at first and I can admit that it took me a few months of mistakes to feel confident I was feeding the correct way. I think I had a particularly hard time because I succumbed to her fussy eating habits – but that’s a whole other story! Now she can’t wait for meal times and scoffs the lot with gusto. And so easy to feed this way!
I am passionate about feeding my dog a species appropriate diet, I believe this is one of the most beneficial things I can do for my dog’s health. I find it difficult to explain to other dog owners the benefits of feeding RMB. I think most people think it’s ‘weird’ or just ‘hear say’. I think though, if they can just research like I did and see the information for themselves, they would never continue to feed their dogs commercial dog food.
Michelle & Keisha”