Albie had his first meal last night and we have repeated the same processes for his meals today.
We spoke with Dr.Sarah to make sure our plans for transition were as well thought out as they could be to give him the best chance of success. Most dogs can instantly switch from a kibble to RAW diet but with some dogs more care must be taken, including those with possible immune system problems or other medical issues. It has been great doing this with the support of Kate Mallatratt (Contemplating Canines) and Dr.Sarah because we feel like there is a little wall of support there for Albie to keep him on track. (In case you missed the first blog we are feeding him Honey's Real Dog Food and you can read where we started here).
Dr.Sarah suggested we get a Digestive Enzyme for Albie just to help support him through the transition, he has one tablet with every meal and this should support his tummy so he doesn't have to work quite so hard to learn how to digest the new food. When I phoned the local Health Food Shop to ask if they had any I think they were a bit surprised when I said the tablets were for a dog but nonetheless they were very helpful. When I got there it was quite amusing being told that the Manager who would be able to point me in the direction of the tablet was (and I quote) "out the back, on the toilet but she won't be any more than a minute"! Before you ask, no, I didn't time it! However, they were all exceptionally friendly and helpful so I left the shop knowing that evening we would be giving Albie his first bit of RAW food.
We opened the 'sausage' and were expecting quite a firm pack of the meat mixed with bone and vegetables. Probably because it is what you get when we open up our own actual human sausages but also because we had only really seen them in their frozen form when they were of course completely solid. But when we opened it everything was really quite soft and mushy! The most surprising part was the amount of liquid which oozed out of the packet! We certainly weren't expecting it! Apparently, the beef can tend to have more liquid than some of the other meats... Thanks Albie for reacting to most meats other than beef!
Note to self: When opening do so directly over a bowl or the sink!
Note to self: Yes it does look a little bit gory so if feeling unwell get Leigh to open them! (Am sure that will fade soon though)
We are doing a slow transition for him, starting with about 25% RAW and 75% of my own homecooked meal. Albie with his colitis can quite often appear ok in the first 24 hours of a food change, it is normally around Day 2 where we notice things might be heading for trouble so a slow start is the best approach for him.The big question now was, how much will Albie like it?
Having seen him SO interested in all the packaging we were expecting him to eat this up pretty quickly. But he surprised us (no change there!). He immediately went for the rice (he really does love rice though!). When he found the meat we could just tell he wasn't quite sure about it, but we have spent a lot of our lives observing him and can spot tiny little behaviours that give him away now. If Albie hadn't liked it he would have left it, he simply won't eat what he doesn't like. This was more of a cautious surprised reaction. But then I think if someone gave me some raw fish or meat to eat I would probably inspect it rather carefully too!
You can see him eat his first meal in the video below, having watched it back it actually looks like he eats it very quickly but there is one moment just before 30 seconds into the video where you can see he spits a bit out. So, will he eat it all?
(The music on the video has caused much laughter in the house today, I thought it was quite a funny 'murder mystery' type thing - you know, will he won't he? Leigh told me I have a 'unique sense of humour' but he hugged me after so I'm taking it as a good thing!)
Enjoy watching and we will update again tomorrow. (So far his tummy has been fine.... no signs of the colitis flaring).
Some of you may already know that Barks & Bunnies was originally a business specifically making handmade dog treats. We were inspired by our own Golden Retriever Albie who suffers from Colitis, a very difficult condition to live with, and I should know because I have it too - well the human version anyway!