10 months 6 days old
We continued on up to our local sporting/high school oval where recently he has made some friends with some local dogs and their owners and had some fun romps. No dogs were there, but the oval was nicely waterlogged and made for some great rolling fun, and general galloping around. By the time we got home Knightley didn't quite look like the dog of impeccable breeding he is!!! I gave him a really really good rub off (Golden's are prone to fungal skin infections unless you dry them thoroughly), and he curled up in his bed and slept for a couple of hours.
|Clipsy, my lovely previous dog when he was about|
Knightley's age. He died far too young from a genetic
heart murmur as so many Cavalier King Charles
Spaniels do. I still miss him, but having Knightley
has definitely helped.
So tonight Knightley had one of his big meals. I vary the size of his meals a bit, as well as the type of meat, complexity of the meals, and cut. Tonight it was a turkey leg, which takes him AGES to eat, so I got my camera out and took some photos as he ate. It's actually a fascinating process, almost like giving your dog a meaty kong. It isn't as easy as him just going chomp chomp chomp, but he has to think about strategy and try different techniques. Not to mention the physical workout!
We start in his crate with the very large chunk of turkey. This is one of his meat/bone meals. Every fortnight he eats about 5 meat/bone meals. Today I chose to give him one because his stool was a little runny and bone helps firm it up. Raw feeding is as simple or as technical as you make it! This photo is at the beginning of the feeding session. He's looking at me wondering what I'm doing with the funny black thing I'm always pointing at him! What a gorgeous dog, if I say so myself.
Knightley's now getting into the turkey leg. I usually feed his food semi thawed, mostly because the large cuts don't have time to thaw, even if I take them out the night before. I do like to chose on the day anyway, not the day before, depending upon what I think he needs for optimum health. You can see how he puts his head right down on the side so that he can use his molars to cut the meat away from the bone. He'll do this for a while, then pull the chunk he has cut away with his front teeth.
To make it easier for himself, he removes the skin as he goes. He licks the skin to get a bit sticking up, then just holds it in his front teeth and lifts the whole leg off the floor. It peels away, then he cuts it off with his molars. Smart little doggy. The skin can be quite tough, so he'll often eat that first before starting to cut with his molars again. It's important that he gets some skin, as that contains all sorts of good nutrients. If you feed skinless chicken/turkey, it is a good idea to supplement with some other fat. I get bags of grass fed beef fat from my butcher free to supplement Knightley's leaner meals, and Knightley LOVES it.
You can see he's really getting somewhere now! He has the bone exposed, and once he has stripped more of the meat from around it with his molars like you see in the photo, it'll be really down to business! He's eaten a good chunk of meat already at this stage though, and sometimes he will have had enough and will just stop. I find that Knightley self regulates his feeding on raw WAY better than he did on kibble. In fact, he just didn't on kibble. With kibble, he ate everything in the bowl. Because it takes so long to eat a turkey leg, it gives him time to realise whether he is full or not. He usually finishes he raw meals, but not always. I think that is a very good sign that he knows what is right for himself.
Crunch, crunch, crack! The type of raw feeding I do is called whole prey, where you try to give your pet as much of prey animals as possible over time - many different meats, organs, blood, bone and so on. Without this variation your dog will be seriously deficient in many different nutrients. It is even more important when raw feeding cats. They MUST have a very high level of variation in their diet, and must eat a diet with high levels of taurine - so feed lots of red meat. This is the case with dogs too, but it isn't quite so imperative.
I hope you enjoyed a mealtime with Knightley. It took him forever to eat that turkey leg!!! I was falling asleep!