This isn’t a human food post, but a dog food post, a review on Doggobone.
Kyle and I have three dogs, Buttons, Pepper and Louis. Buttons is a mutt, full of brak – we have no idea what she is. Pepper is a typical South African, Canis Africanis. The two girls we adopted from Malmesbury – see B & P adoption post here (one of my early days posts when I’d just started this blog). Then, our third dog, Louis is a Weimaraner from the southern suburbs in Cape Town, see our first year with Louis post here.
To be honest, I don’t have a problem with pellets for dogs or cats, but Buttons and Louis had some basic health problems and the vet bills were starting to add up.
– Buttons – she’s been incontinent from the time she got spayed. She’s also hypoallergenic and would scratch until she bled… seemed allergic to the good quality dog food she and Pepper were eating so we had to change up to a good quality hypoallergenic fish pellet diet. But even on that, she still scratched, less but controllable. She was also the fussiest eater, eating just two pellets at a time, slowly munching and then just not finishing her food.
– Louis – he had five ear infections before the age of eight months. He is a large chested dog and is prone to bloat, which can be dangerous, and even deadly. My roller derby friend Cherry Tempurr has a Great Dane and kindly warned me of this before we got Louis and suggested we introduce a ‘calm time’ after meals.
Being a food person, I like the idea that natural foods can be healing especially for skin conditions, and I also didn’t want to keep giving Louis so much antibiotics.
– Pepper‘s fine.
The thought process
As pet owners, we’re quite strict, we don’t give them human meals or junk food. But I’ve also always wondered how boring life would be if you just ate the same thing, so as treats our dogs would get a variety of veggies and fruit, the same way I snack. It might seem bleak to some but you should see how they jump for yogurt, oranges or banana and how they don’t even look at us when we’re eating a cooked steak – I didn’t like that my childhood dogs staring at me while I ate so we decided to condition our three dogs not to beg while we were eating meals and snacks.
Since I started Louis an Instagram account to document his growth and the shenanigans with his sisters, I came across Weimaraners all over the world. Many of them ate a raw diet and their owners would review and rave about the benefits. As someone who works with food, it did make sense that our pets should be able to just eat meat/veg for meals as long as it was balanced.
Now I’m too lazy to buy my own meats and veg, vitamins and minerals to create their meals but the raw diet was intriguing. I did some research and found a local company called Doggobone Active Raw Food, joined their Facebook group and started reading and learning from the reviews (most seemed good). Doggobone Active Raw Food has no preservatives and artificial flavourants, for both dogs and cats and they do the complete messy process for their customers. All you need to do is buy the freshly frozen tubes from a supplier, defrost in the fridge and feed your furkids. Their tubes include classic (beef and chicken), duck, fishmonger, venison, ostrich and more.
After doing the math (that took long), we calculated that each meal (pellets and raw food) would actually cost roughly the same. The idea is that you wouldn’t need to see the vet as often, which is how you save.
An indication – Louis is 30kg, and eats one tube (500g) in the morning and another at night, 1kg a day. But do use their feeding calculator to determine how much your pet needs.
They also sell raw bones (that helps keep their teeth clean), dried raw treats, diatomaceous earth (we use this now instead of topical insecticides/ointments or pills), kefir milk, frozen raw duck/chicken necks and wings and recently introduced turkey.
Their website breaks everything down beautifully.
The benefits on Doggobone’s website:
Some potential benefits pet parents have observed when feeding Doggobone
- Healthy, shiny coat with little or no odour.
- Better breath, reduced tartar build-up and healthy teeth.
- A noticeable Reduction in allergies, skin ailments and ear infections.
- Increased energy.
- Smaller, biodegradable, less odious stools.
- Ideal weight control – Raw food, keeps your pet’s weight in control by feeding the amount of food appropriate to your pet’s needs. The body is not maintained by the amount of food fed but by the amount of nutrients in the food that are absorbed by the body.
What it looks like
Yes, you’ll need to handle raw meat. You’ll see an odd eyeball, piece of offal (including tripe) and lung. We buy them ‘Classic’ or ‘Duck’ just to give them some variety about 30kg at a time (they have 200g and 500g tubes) and keep them in the freezer, take one or two out at a time to thaw in a container (overnight in the fridge).
The result so far
My daily sweeping has reduced to 1/3 of the dog fur I used to sweep up. Their poops don’t smell so much and dry out quickly, turn white and crumble into the grass. Also, their breath no longer stinks.
Buttons – She eats the classic (beef with a little chicken and has stopped scratching all together. She finishes her food immediately.
Louis – He’s gotten one more ear infection since the five months they’ve been eating raw food but I caught it early and used vinegar to clean it up and it healed without antibiotics. He’s leaner, muscles are more defined and his poop is always healthy. Bloat is less likely now since he drinks less water (gets liquid in his food) after meals and the raw food settles in his stomach nicely whereas pellets would float after drinking water.
Pepper – She seems to like this food way more and is also leaner.
We’re extremely happy with Doggobone Active Raw Food, the support from their useful Facebook group where we can ask the company’s owners and the Doggobone community for advice. Thank you to Abdul Kader Palekar and Zakira Palekar for such a good quality dog raw food product.