Random Question Wednesday is a feature in my Facebook group, the Raw Feeder's “Kicked Out” Club. Because the group guidelines state that we discuss raw feeding (and raw adjacent) topics only, Wednesday is a day when the floor is opened to everything. These posts may also include random questions I receive via email or blog comments.
Garlic for Dogs
“Garlic! I'm going to start feeding it.. should I feed whole… halved.. crushed? How much would a 19kg require a day? Do I feed every day or…?” ~ Karen G.
Benefits of Garlic for Dogs
Garlic is high in nutrients, works as a natural detox, has cancer prevention properties, supports a healthy digestive system, and serves as a natural flea and tick repellent.
Isn't Garlic Dangerous for Dogs?
It's a common misconception that garlic is toxic to dogs. While every dog is different, I have learned that garlic is only an issue if we feed an excessive amount. “Excessive” would be feeding 60 cloves to a 75-pound dog, for example.
If you're raising a dog with gut issues, I suggest speaking with a holistic vet before adding garlic to your dog's diet. While garlic does support a healthy digestive system, it will aggravate an unhealthy gut.
Dosage of Garlic for Dogs
It's important to know that the benefits come from fresh, organically grown garlic. Always buy local. DO NOT buy a jar of minced garlic because measuring the correct dosage becomes a challenge AND the benefits were processed away. Growing garlic is surprisingly easy; I grew two whole garlic in a pot.
I feed garlic crushed, adding it to the vegetable mix that I feed to my dogs. I puree it in the blender, however, if a dog owner wants to add garlic to meals, my friend Tina advised me to crush the garlic, let it sit for about 20 minutes, then add it to their food. She adds garlic for flea and tick prevention among other benefits.
- 10 to 15 pounds – half a clove.
- 20 to 40 pounds – 1 clove.
- 45 to 70 pounds – 2 cloves.
- 4.5 to 6.8 kg – half a clove.
- 9.1 to 18.1 kg – 1 clove
- 20.4 to 31.8 kg – 2 cloves.
The Purpose of Bone in a Raw Fed Dog's Diet
How important is it to make sure [raw fed dogs] have bones and what is the purpose? ~ Cindy C.
Does anyone have recommendations for bones for teeth cleaning? ~ Nicole M.
Benefits of Bones for Raw Fed Dogs
- Chewing on bones scrapes tartar from the teeth and gumline, maintaining good dental hygiene.
- Chewing on bones satisfies a dog's natural chew drive.
- Chewing on bones strengthen jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles.
- Bones provide a natural source of calcium and phosphorous.
- Chewing on bones strengthens the digestive system as it primes the gut to receive a treat.
Recommendation of Bones for Teeth Cleaning
I give my dogs recreational bones and raw meaty bones. Recreational bones are bones that aren't meant to be a meal; instead, the dogs just chew on them to pass the time (and clean their teeth); my dogs don't eat recreational bones. Raw meaty bones can be part of a meal or a snack and the dogs; my dogs do eat their raw meaty bones.
Recreational bones I give to my dogs:
- beef knuckle bones
- beef kneecaps
- buffalo knuckle bones
Raw meaty bones:
- duck necks
- duck frames
- lamb necks
Aren't Raw Bones Dangerous for Dogs?
This has been a concern for me for years, and I feed raw bones. We're warned that eating raw bones can result in broken teeth or a punctured esophagus or digestive tract. This is very true. However, there are steps that can be taken to make this integral part of raw feeding safer for dogs.
I SUPERVISE BONE TIME to make sure that my dogs aren't swallowing large pieces and the bones aren't splintering (Rodrigo tried to swallow a long piece once). This helped me get to know my dogs' chew styles so that I can eliminate bones that were a higher risk – for me, that's rib bones and antlers (not technically recreational bones). Rib bones splinter too much with my dogs, and the antlers I've found are too hard.
It's also important to remember that dogs have the teeth and gut to manage raw bones. They can chew the bones down into smaller pieces; I've held the bones to make sure they know how to do this and not swallow big pieces. And the digestive juices in their gut further break down the bones into smaller pieces that can easily pass through the digestive tract.
Dr. Peter Dobias has a great article on feeding raw bones has helped to ease my mind.
Can Fish Be Fed as a Whole Raw Meal?
Is there enough organ in a whole fish to consider it balanced? ~ Angie T.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, second only to raw eggs, fish has the highest biologic value at 92% – this is a great food for our raw fed dogs.
“Fish are an excellent “whole food”. In an appropriate raw diet, feeding whole carcasses is the best diet to feed your dogs and cats. While this isn't possible for most people all the time, feeding fish does provide the dogs and cats with a “whole carcass”. At my house, the dogs get at least one serving a week. The fish on average weigh between 1/2 a kilo to a whole kilo.” ~ RawLearning.com
I haven't fed my dogs a meal of only fish, yet. Instead, I add 3-4 canned sardines (canned in water, no salt added) to their meals several days a week.
- Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – sardines
- Monday, Wednesday – fish oil
- Friday – green tripe, which is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids
I did recently order a small case of whole, frozen sardines. I'll be trying those out with my dogs, chopping them into thirds, when the order arrives.
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