Since several folks have asked, the following are the "typical" components of the raw diet that I feed to the New World crew... Of course, there are individual variations -- Mirrie [who was born in 1994, and has had one litter] gets less fat in her diet, for example, than her two "pups" Dulcie and Ninja [who were born in 1997 and still seem to burn up every calorie they consume!].
The following is not a "recipe" for feeding BARF to Basenjis. Its merely a list of items that I've successfully fed to my own kidz - and what they seem to really enjoy! I'm lucky enough to live close to an International Market, frequented by the buyers for Middle Eastern and Chinese restaurants -- giving me access to some items that might be hard to buy in a grocery store [cow's feet, veal brains, and chicken feet being just a few!]. At the end of the list, there are some comments about quantity -- but again, one of the highlights of feeding a raw diet is how simple it is to adjust quantity to suit your own dog's needs for overall calorie intake, fat, protein, etc.
I don't supplement with flaxseed oil, vitamin supplements, etc. (other than glucosamine for my old boy) at the present time. That's simply because I haven't found it to be necessary to achieve the results I want -- glossy coats, good weight, good muscle tone, good results at our vet visits, and plenty of energy ! If I weren't achieving those results, I would look first to the components of the diet I'm feeding and make adjustments. Only if that didn't work would I consider supplements. Most supplements are "processed" in some way, and therefore (IMO) are not as useful as nutrients that come from unprocessed, raw food sources. In other words, my son and I get our vitamin C from fresh citrus fruit -- not a pill! The same goes for our four legged kidz (who eat much healthier than we do, overall)!
The New World Kidz Eat [on any given day] :
RAW MEATY BONES
Chicken necks with fat and skin
-- Chicken wings
-- Veal neck slices [bone-in]
-- Beef Ox tails
-- Turkey necks
-- Beef short ribs
-- Lamb Rib lets, necks and shanks [split]*
*I don't feed pork simply because we don't keep it in our home for religious reasons -- but I know several folks who feed pork neck bones successfully and my local store always seems to have an ample supply!
ORGAN MEATS/ MUSCLE MEATS
--Veal liver & heart
--Chicken liver, gizzards
--Beef heart & tongue
-- Lamb Liver
--Whole milk yogurt
--Whole milk ricotta cheese
--All natural string cheese
--Whole raw [veggie fed] brown eggs
-- Sardines in oil or spring water*
*No, these are not raw. I have tried on several occasions to tempt my kidz with fresh smelts, catfish, etc. and they will have none of it. Canned fish is a "poor man's cousin" to fresh fish -- fresh fish is preferable. Be aware, however, that RAW salmon from the Pacific Northwest may contain "flukes" that are very dangerous to dogs. Raw salmon must be deep-frozen for an extended period before feeding.
VEGGIES [crushed with a juicer to make pulp]
-- Green beans
--Red leaf lettuce
-- Sweet Potato
-- Butternut Squash
*I don't feed these in any particular combination -- except that my kidz really LOVE green beans and tend to "favor" the batches of veggie "slop" that contain them... For that reason, nearly every batch I make features at least a handful of green beans!
-- Canned Pumpkin*
-- Dried fruit [the only kind mine will touch!]
-- Cooked Oatmeal [just in the winter, as a snack]
-- Cooked brown rice [same - very small amount of this!]
-- Occasional handful of California Natural kibble
*See the link below for a special New World treat!
FEEDING THE "NATIVES"
The main meals here at New World are lunch and late supper. This is purely for my own convenience. Like most folks, I'm very busy in the morning trying to get myself to work and my son to school! My experience has been that dogs who are fed in a stressful or "rushed" environment don't digest their food as well, and don't get to experience the FUN of eating. So meals are scheduled here for times when everyone is relaxed, well-exercised, and ready for some serious chowing down!
I tend to use all "non-raw meaty bone" items as "lunch"... So, for example, lunch might be 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese, or 1/4 cup of yogurt. It could also be some canned fish, or a raw egg. At least twice per month, lunch is veggie slop mixed into a small amount of ricotta cheese or yogurt -- with or without an egg added. Canned pumpkin [a big favorite although not technically "raw"] is fed straight from the can -- or mixed with yogurt also. Approximately two-three times per month, lunch consists of organ meat or muscle meat -- about 8 oz. per dog.
Dinner is the time when crunching sounds are heard at New World! Two chicken necks or wings will "do" for the smaller gals, and big-boy Ninja gets three necks, or two BIG wings... One ox tail, veal neck, or turkey neck is ample per dog. If the dinner meal is going to be "big" then the lunch is small [or maybe even non-existent]. If the dinner meal is going to be "small," lunch is a bit more generous. On Sundays, the kidz have a couple of light snacks. This is our version of "fasting" and it works well for us. By Monday afternoon, everyone is furtively glancing at the refrigerator waiting for lunch!
On any "diet" it is OK to cheat -- just a little. We "cheat" by occasionally having a few Iams biscuits, a bag of [gasp!] Pupperonies, a handful of Wysong kibble as a "snack" or some Steve's Real Dog Food [a pre-fab raw diet that comes frozen in small "ice cube" sized pieces]. Of course there are nights when I "forget" to thaw something [although my kidz actually prefer their meaty bones frozen!] or when we're pressed for time -- and that is most often when we resort to convenience items. Since we "stay raw" the vast majority of the time, a little bit of cheating now and then seems to actually help to keep things spiced up [varied and interesting!] in the food department here at New World!
Karla A. Schreiber