My dear Gonzo and I moved into our own lovely home earlier this year. Having always lived with other people, it was rather a strange experience having peace and space to do as we wished without anyone else trudging about. We have been so overjoyed at having our own proper garden, and living so close to Barnes Farmers Market, that we have become organic converts. Gonzo loves our food orientated gardening too, and digs holes faster than you can shout "NOT THE BASIL PLANTS!!"... (luckily the apple tree is too big to take on!) But we both love gardening, most of all, because organic food makes cooking and preparing food such a joy and creative experience! We have not got much of a crop yet though, so rely on extra organic food from the Farmers' Market while we save up for a green house.
Organic fish, meat and vegtables are so much yummier and have so much flavour compared to what you would get in a supermarket. And what variety too - Venison, Quail, Phesant... Gonzo has loved our trips to the market (partly due to all the cuddles and free food!), and has shown far more enthusiasm for eating than ever, and so I started to encorporate raw things and veg into her diet as I prepared food. Bits of carrot, other root veg, a variety of fish and meat left overs. Eventually I couldn't bear to give her dog biscuits or tinned food anymore. She was also beginning to go hungry rather than eat it. I read more and more on the subject, and almost binned the microwave for it's nutrient murdering qualities, though decided not to just incase we need to use it for milk or sterilising water or something.
It was important to research the subject carefully, as some surprising things can be highly dangerous to dogs, even deadly (for instance Onions, grapes, garlic and pears among other things). I also discovered that cooking food kills enzymes, and alters molecular structures of food. My last blog was on the dangers of cancer causing chemicals in dog food. Chemicals are absent in Organic food, plus, Raw food seems to have health benefits that far outweigh the smelliness, expense and mess of preparing them. Plus, crucially, wheat, a large part of most dog food, is considered, by cutting edge dog dieticians, to be bad for dogs, causing bloat, wind, bad breath, and a wide range of other problems that dogs didn't have before they started eating wheat in the 1930's. Infact, I discovered that there are no documented cases of bloat (a condition where the dog's stomach bloats, twists, usually resulting in death aka gastric tortion), in dogs that have been fed fresh meat rather than kibble. Hardly surprising when kibble doubles it's size with water in the stomach! Dogs used to eat things like rats and rabbits, which are protein and 70% water. Compare this to tinned food and kibble, which is 12% water or less. Our dogs are in a constant state of dehydration. It looks like wheat and kibble are very bad for dogs. We should be feeding a home prepared raw and organic diet. Raw bones are not the danger that we have been trained to believe, dogs bodies' are designed to cope with them. The nutrients they contain are vital. They also clean teeth. It's worth you googling it, and asking organic experts, as you do need to be very careful about what bones to let them eat.
Kibble was introduced as a response to the 1930s depression. People needed to find a cheap way to fill up their dogs, and wheat was it. I worried that Gonzo would not be full up enough on raw food, but where she used to carry her bowl around and winge for more, she now curls up contentedly in her basket for the night. I have even been able to leave her without her having separation anxiety (this initially cost a lot in phone calls - leaving the landline connected to my mobile to check!). I'm convinced her diet has calmed her down.
Gonzo and I have noticed lots of benefits to organic eating: I have no Rosacea anymore, thicker hair, and feel really healthy. Gonzo is a much calmer and happier dog than ever too, and in very good shape. We are in training for the Brighton Marathon alongside full time dog walking work, yet still have energy to go out and do fun things. Though this could be put down to our lovely calm home, I think the organic food has really helped. Our visitors certainly prefer our food now too! Here's hoping that kibble disappears from all our shelves, and organic reigns.