Natural Rearing Report
Well, the kids have been on the NR diet for about three months now. Everyone absolutely loves the food!! Teddy, who I'm trying to get weight off, is usually hungry and acts like he is going to have a heart attack until I put the food down -- dancing, whining and hyper- ventilating. I'm even getting psyched up to try and make healthy food for myself, what a switch!
Teddy's lameness has improved tremendously, only "gimping" after extended play. He is definitely more active. In addition to the NR diet, I used one of the homeopathic recom- mendations by Pitcairn for arthritis (although arthritis has not been diagnosed). This is the giving of two tissue salts - Natrum Sulphurcaum 6X and Natrum Phorphoricum 6X. This was given three times a day for several weeks, as indicated by Pitcairn, then discontinued.
Attended a seminar/private consultation with Diana Thompson who utilizes touch tech- niques for relief of pain and enhancing movement. This seems to have been very instrumental in giving Teddy relief from pain, along with the diet, homeopathic remedy and DLPA (see the article in last issue relative to this amino acid supplement). If he has overdone it, I have been able to apply the touch techniques in the evening for about 15 minutes and he will be fine in the morning.
None of the kids seem to have experienced the "healing crisis" mentioned in several of the books. That is, a period of worsening of symptoms which indicates the body is th- rowing off the toxins it has housed for so long. Teddy did go through a period of increased lameness which lasted about two weeks. Other than that, nothing drastic -- possibly they did not have such pronounced outward symptoms so this period was not very noticeable.
All in all, I am very pleased with the results so far, particularly relative to Teddy for whom this program was actually initiated. Adjustments in quantity are having to be made in order to maintain and/or reduce weight. The Rott and Aussie have gained weight, the Mastiff bitch has lost a little, but her mass has remained the same, the puppy Mastiff is nice and lean for her rapid growth period. One thing I have noticed which may be a real boon with this diet is that I am picking up very little in the yard -- they are utilizing all the food with no waste!!
Now to some preparation hints. Highly recommended for making up the veggies is a food processor. Because of the problem canines have in digesting cellulose (veggies), all your vegetables must be chopped up very fine. Pat McKay ("Reigning Cats & Dogs") indicates the pieces should be the size of a pinhead. I haven't been able to manage that, but the finer the better.
If you are working with only one dog, you can throw the veggies for a meal (or two) in the processor together. If you, like most of us, have several (a herd?), then doing each veggie separately making enough for about three days, storing in Rubbermaid■ or Tup- perware■ containers in the fridge is much easier. Using this method, veggies need only be prepared twice a week -- 15/20 minutes each time. It's a good idea to alternate types of vegetables to ensure variety of nutrients as well as taste. Pat McKay's book provides a lot of information on the nutrients available from each vegetable (as well as grains, meats and dairy).
Another item I found (through Pat McKay's book) was the use of grapefruit seed extract (or the citrus extract Nutri-Biotic which can be found in health food stores) to disinfect poultry. This can be used instead of cooking to remove parasites. Very economical and easy to prepare -- 4 drops in 6oz purified water per pound of meat. If the meat is ground, mix until water is absorbed. If the meat is in chunks, marinate for an hour and use the water when mixing up the food.
Be careful of feeding too much red meat. As with humans, red meat as a steady diet is not good -- but for different reasons. Dr. Stockner indicates that red meat supplies an abundance of phosphorous, without the balancing calcium required. I try to feed red meat only 2-3 times a week (alternating weeks) and fill in with poultry, and occasionally fish, the other days. This will help keep the calcium/phosphorous in balance. I will also be doing a periodic blood check on this balance, particularly with young, growing puppies.
On the other side of the coin, Wendy Volhard's "Back to Basics" diet utilizes beef muscle meat and beef liver as the only meat source, as well as very little in the way of veggies except in the cooking water of the morning meal. I asked her why and her reply was:
"In answer to your questions, I can only tell you that the diet is perfectly balanced the way it is printed. Both the breakfast and the dinner meal are individually balanced. When you add more vegetables -- nearly all of which are alkaline -- you upset the acid/alkaline balance of the diet. That does not mean to say that you must never give additional vegetables. I rotate seasonal vegetables in the water in which I cook my cereal. Since all of my 9 dogs are house dogs, they do get some salad when we have it for dinner, and left-over vegetables. The answer is IN MODERATION!
We do not feed anything other than beef and beef liver. Food is ethnic, and all of my dogs are imports from Europe or offspring of imports from Europe. Dogs that come from other parts of the world, or dogs that have been sick, may require chicken and chicken livers. The Natural Diet however, was formulated and tested with beef muscle meat and beef liver which seems to agree with the vast majority of dogs that are on this diet."
I have switched from using buttermilk to raw goat's milk (as well as goat's milk yogurt). The kids were experiencing some increased urination and Dr. Stockner suggested it might be the sodium in buttermilk. Changing to goat's milk seems to have worked.
I am also baking some kibble and biscuits. I go through a lot of biscuits, as training treats and just because they are good kids. But, it's hard to find economical ones that do not have any preservatives or food coloring. Nature's Recipe has a lamb and rice biscuit which I am trying (24# box for $27-31). The kibble is very convenient if you are traveling or to add some extra bulk to the meal on meatless days.
Following is my favorite (easy) vegetarian kibble recipe from Dr. Pitcairn's book.
4 Cups 3 to 6 Grain Cereal 2 Cups Soy Flour 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 1 Tbs Bone Meal 1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast 1 Tbs Kelp 1 Tsp Cod Liver Oil 1/2 Cup Oil 400 I.U Vitamin E 4 EggsMix dry ingredients to blend. Add wet ingredients and mix until all dry has been moistened (this may seem impossible with the small amount of liquid, but it does eventually happen). Pat onto oiled cookie sheets in a thin layer and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Be sure the layer is even or you will have burned spots. Makes approx. 8 cups.
Next issue will talk some about ingredient sources and cost.