What a controversial area. I didn't know if I wanted to risk talking about this important area of care. However I have found that new puppy owners are taking their duty of care with their new puppies very seriously and like to be guided by their puppy's breeder. So I have decided to simply share information about what I do.
Because I am into natural and homemade things I dehydrate my own chicken livers as treats for my dogs rather than buying commercial, highly processed treats that often contain unnecessary sugars or salt. And guess what..... it's cheaper! The dehydrator that I purchased for around $30 has paid for itself in no time. Another thing they love out of the dehydrator is boiled sausages, sliced thin and dried.
Feeding a raw meat and bone diet can be economical if you source your meat carefully. I have been able to buy fresh whole drumsticks and 4 star mince quite reasonably. I think that compared to premium dry dog food the health of our Scotties makes up for any deficits.
Each of my Scotties consume 200 to 300g of yummy beef mince with fruit, veg, oats or lentils for breakfast and a raw chicken drumstick for tea each day. They sometimes get a variety of turkey, eggs, kidney, liver, lung, heart, other muscle meets when available. They also get a little flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, garlic, parsley and bone broth. Also adding sardines occasionally is a healthy treat as well. Puppies also get a little drink of goats milk. I have calculated the average daily cost of this type of diet for one Scottie = $25 per/week.
So my Scotties get to have two nice yummy meals a day and some treats! I would argue that their health is worth every cent, they are fit, healthy and happy, which is money well spent in my book!
I do understand that convenience is part of our decision making process in today's busy lifestyle. I won't lie, feeding a natural raw diet does require some planning, sourcing and preparation. If you have a freezer then it won't be too bad. I have tried to make feeding as uncomplicated as possible.
The evening before I am planning to make my weekly dog food up, I boil some oats or some lentils (plant based protein) and allow to cool over night. Roughly about 1 cup per 1kg of meat.
I buy minced meat, any offal and chicken drumsticks from my local supermarket. I come home and immediately freeze drumsticks in daily zip lock bags so I am thawing each day's drumstick fresh.
I then mix together the fresh mince with a tiny bit of offal (if using), add in oats or lentils. I add 50ml flaxseed oil per 1kg of meat. I then add pulped fruit and veg to the mixture. Wearing plastic gloves I work the mixture to make sure ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout.I then divide it all into daily amounts and freeze. If you have only one or two dogs you could multiply these quantities making up enough to last a month so then you only have to do it once a month. Now you have a supply of balanced raw food diet frozen into fresh daily potions ready to thaw and serve!
When pulping veggies I just use whatever I have. I usually choose about three or four things e.g. a piece of pumpkin, carrot, apple, celery, a zucchini, kale, parsley, broccoli, cabbage. Avoid peas, potato and sweet potato.
Garlic is best added freshly crushed just prior to feeding! The yummy fruits and things can be given as treats like strawberries and watermelon.
My Scotties do not seem to like the offal very much so I only add a very small amount to their mixture and not every mixture. Kidney, liver, heart and lung offer iron and other valuable nutrients, so including a little is a good choice if you can. It is important to ensure that all offal has been frozen for at least 3 days to guard against the transmission of Tape Worm and Hidatids. So once you have frozen your mixture containing offal wait a few days before using the first one. I freeze mine for at least 5 days just to be sure!
The great thing about not feeding kibble is that the dogs don't seem to have any issues with obesity. At 200g to 300g of real food (minced beef) and a chicken drumstick each day they maintain good healthy weights. They are active and full of energy. When I was giving kibble my dogs were noticeably more lethargic and I was always having to cut their food back and feed different amounts to different dogs as some seemed to put on excess weight more easily than others. A natural raw diet has cured stinky breath and the disposal of doggy do do is comparatively, a way more pleasant task. I would be interested to hear about anyone else's findings!
I do not claim that the diet I provide for my dogs is what everyone should feed. It is what I am feeding my Scottish Terriers. I have included it on my website as many years of experimentation and research has gone into its development. I have only posted it here as a suggestion for anyone looking for comparisons or perhaps guidance when starting out. As such I also welcome constructive criticism and any suggestions for improvement. Please feel free to comment at