The crew gets a raw deal

I’m going to come right out and say it.

I put the crew on a raw meat and bone diet.  That’s right.  Bridget and Spike are kicking the kibble habit, and, let me tell you, they are loving the change!

I didn’t make this decision on a whim or without research.  It’s something I’ve considered for a long time, but I figured it would be too difficult to handle, what with all the traveling the crew and I do and the many out-of-the-way places we camp.  It’s difficult to shop when camped at 9,000 feet up the side of a mountain, for instance, and space is limited in the BLT’s refrigerator and freezer.

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Interstate 8 . . . a straight shot into Yuma, Arizona from the Ogilby Road ramp, California

A few events lead me to reconsider.

About a week ago I gave the crew raw bones as a treat.  I think I told you about that — baby back ribs, extra meaty.  I watch Bridget and Spike peel the meat off and grind up the bones.  They act like they’d never had a real meal before.  Never have they eaten kibble with that much enthusiasm!

Then, while over at Nina and Paul’s place last week . . .

I learn that their dog, Polly, is on a raw meat and bones diet.  I ask them what the diet consists of and they take the time to explain it to me.  Simply put, it’s 80% raw meat (including raw egg), 10% organ meat, and 10% bones.  It’s important that the bones be UNcooked.  (Cooking causes bones to become brittle, and they can splinter.)

At Wal-Mart I search for the right meat and bones.

It’s a bit of a challenge finding meat that’s affordable.  Here’s what I bought:  pork neck bones, boneless chicken breasts (only because they were cheaper than wings, drumsticks, or thighs and no chicken backs were available), ground turkey, beef liver, chicken gizzards, sardines, and tuna fish.  I also bought a couple cans of plain pumpkin (not pie pumpkin) which helps deal with changes in stool, and also I bought eggs.

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Some of the meat I stocked.  What I won’t do for my crew!

No room in the fridge for my food.

The crew’s new diet means I’m on a diet, too.  I need to get back on the Dukan Diet anyway.  My weight is creeping up.  Oh, how I love food!

As for the crew . . . so far, so good.

Bridget and Spike have been on their new diet for three days.  I can see positive results already.  First off, they love the raw meat and bones.

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They never were this intense about kibble!

Secondly, they seem more satisfied. 

When on kibble, Bridget and Spike were forever acting hungry, begging and tearing into the kibble bag when I wasn’t looking.  I do believe the raw meat and bones have them sleeping better, too.  I hope Bridget will lose weight now that she’s off the kibble.

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The desert along the interstate has more sand than where we are camped. I wouldn’t dare drive across that soft stuff!

 In the Wal-Mart parking lot, I hear my name.

“Is that you, Sue?” a lady calls from the passenger seat of a car.

“Yes, I’m Sue.” I smile as she gets out of her car.  “Hello,” I say, greeting her with a hug because I know she must be one of my blog readers.    She tells me her name is Irene.

“I knew you were in the area!  I was hoping I’d see you!” Irene exclaims.  It amazes me that anyone would be excited to meet me.  “My husband and I follow your blog.  When you don’t post, we miss you!”

I have a bag of trash in my hand. 

“Let me go dump this and then I’ll let out the crew.”  Of course, Bridget and Spike are happy to meet someone new.

Irene says that she and her husband, Harold, are from Vancouver Island, B.C.  They stay in the Southwest for four months during the winter.

Irene and Harold have three English cocker spaniels.  What a wonderful crew they make!  They’re like people, only nicer!

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Left to right:  Fizz, Radar, and Sadie

Harold comes out of Wal-Mart just then, so I have the opportunity to meet him and thank him, too, for reading my blog.

Irene and Harold mention that they took their dogs over to the dog park before coming to Wal-Mart.  I decide to take the crew over there to check it out.  However, once I drive out of the parking lot, I remember the milk, the meat, and other perishables in the PTV.   If I take Bridget and Spike to the dog park, they won’t want to leave . . . .

rvsue

YOUR AMAZON PURCHASES THROUGH MY BLOG ARE APPRECIATED!

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Radar says, “Do like the nice lady says and shop Amazon here.”

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141 Responses to The crew gets a raw deal

  1. Suzi from MD says:

    Thank you Sue for another great blog entry 🙂 I truly enjoy reading and learning from each tale. Speaking of tails – the new Spike and Bridget diet sounds interesting. Please keep us updated.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Suzi. Yes, I’ll let you know how the diet works for them.

      • Pen says:

        I learned about something similar (the “BARF” diet) back in around 2008. By then my dog was 15, so I didn’t start him on it (although I had always fed him a lot of raw veggies, which he loved), but if I had learned about it sooner I would have. I heard of it from a co-worker (we got to bring our dogs to work, yeah!) who fed it to his pups. Good on you for trying it even with the challenges of BLT life. B and S look like they are *loving* those bones!

  2. DeAnne in TN says:

    What beautiful English cocker spaniels. How nice to see this many together. I’m curious to see how the diet goes also–Spike’s and Bridget’s that is…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      The crew went on the new diet “cold turkey.” In other words, all at once, rather than gradual, which is recommended. The first day they had “issues” with their poops, something expected and not worrisome. Everything’s moving along fine now. 🙂

  3. mockturtle says:

    Dogs & raw meat. Just makes sense. My dog Bucky loves raw meat but I admit I still give him kibbles, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, mockturtle,

      It’s tough not to throw in some kibble, too. The raw meat proponents say not to do that because kibble takes longer to digest, but, hey, they’re dogs. They can handle it.

  4. jean in OR says:

    I haven’t tried raw meat yet, but I will if the crew loses weight on it, but I buy beef knuckle bones at custom cutting shops lots of chew, no t much money, twenty pounds frozen for forty bucks, two bucks a pound, a bone laststs for ever,no chicken bones.iloveyourblog, sue, I suck my thumb if tou don’t post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Oh no, you’re thumb-sucking! LOL! Next thing you know, you’ll be banging your head on the crib . . .

      I’m glad you love my blog. I really am.

      I’m keeping an eye on Bridget’s butt to see if there’s any change.

  5. Ed says:

    Spike and Bridgett are getting better meat, certainly more of it, than I do. I have not gone to the BARF (Bones and Raw Food) diet for Patches but I did put her on a grain free premium dog food about 1 1/2 years ago. I also add some fresh spinach when I have it for myself and she always gets to lick the yogurt container. Kind of like licking the ice cream dasher when I was a kid.
    I can not buy it at Amazon and it is a little hard to find so I must plan ahead but I have been feeding her CANIDAE® Grain Free PURE Elements®. This is made with fresh lamb, plus turkey meal, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal. Then they also add sweet potatoes, peas and chickpeas for naturally great nutrition. It is expensive but Patches loves it so I keep getting it for her – I keep telling her she never had it so good until she found me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Good for you . . . and for Patches, switching over to the premium dog food. I wanted to do that for the crew. Moving around so much, especially from small town to small town, I was finding nothing but junk kibble.

      Feeding dogs can be expensive when you do your best for them. They give us so much. They deserve it.

  6. Rand says:

    BLUE Wilderness™ Salmon Recipe
    is the preferred food of the rat terrier.
    After years of itching, biting (people) and tail chasing. This overpriced bag of food solved those problems.
    He also gets 4 drops of Rescue Remedy for Pets. (I thought it had to do with dog rescue but they made it first for humans)
    And treats are Monterey Jack cheese. (the magic of Jalapeños)
    He never has gained weight or been anxious about dinner time.
    I theorize he needs more oil for the common problem of terrier itching and I am not sure if protein is a stimulant for aggressive behavior.
    The wolf on the blue bag not at Petco but yes at Petsmart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      Nice to hear from you again. I’m glad you found what suits your rattie. Skin problems in dogs can be the devil to cure. Spike’s never had the itches. Bridget used to get bad rashes, probably due to humidity. She hasn’t had that problem since we left Georgia.

      Oh yeah, Spike is nuts for cheese!

      The good stuff is gonna’ cost ya’ . . . no way around that!

      • Rand says:

        loved it when I had a 50 lb bag over my shoulder walking thru the parking lot and a well-dressed lady stopped me and gave me 3 free coupons for the same bag. Salesperson from Phoenix.

  7. Alan Rabe says:

    Dogs and cats are carnivores, they systems aren’t designed to eat carbohydrates and vegetables, it just goes straight thru. It sometimes amazes me what goes into pet food. I have tried feeding my cats raw meat but they won’t eat it. A lady I knew in Phoenix was a vegetarian and thought that is what her dog should be. She feed him lentils and other such stuff. She actually thought that because he would scarf it down that he liked it. The animal was probably starving, he would’ve eaten boiled sticks if you put it in his bowl. I really wanted to report her but I just couldn’t, she was a true starving artist and I doubt she could afford anything else. The crew should thrive on it.
    God, I wish I could be out there. Here in Va. Beach it has been below freezing and will be 16 tonight but tomorrow it will get to 45, a real heat wave but only for a few days, then back to the arctic. But it is allowing me to flush out deficiencies in the RV. Last night the container for my water filter froze and cracked. It was outside in the water bay but is an issue. Working on a solution.
    Anyway, Happy trails to you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Alan,

      I wish you were out here, too. Not to rub it in, but the weather has been perfect for weeks! Today the sky was heavy overcast, yet the humidity is very low and the air seems fresh. I love it. I also love not having to deal with stuff freezing. What a pain!

      Oh well, I’m glad you are in your RV. So many folks wish they could get out of their homes and on the road.

      Your story about the dog forced to be a vegetarian is sad.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Sue, do the research on the pork…there is no way I would feed dogs pork, much less raw pork!! I think otherwise, you might be safe enough so doing. I hope the dogs do well on this diet. I do think most dog food is way too much cereal type stuff really. Dogs should be eating a more meat based diet. Keep us posted on how it goes on this diet.

    • Wheeling it says:

      There is really no problem with raw pork. Trichionosis has been eliminated from domestic pork for ~40 years. The only time you risk it is with wild pork/boar. Pork is the #1 meat in Polly’s diet and has been for almost 5 years.

      Nina

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks for dropping by to help me out here, Nina. 🙂 So do I need to freeze the pork neck bones?

        • Wheeling it says:

          We freeze whatever we don’t use and then thaw when we need it, but we’ve also given Polly chops straight from the market. We usually buy a weeks worth of pork chops. That’s her mainstay evening meal.

          Nina

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      The chance of trichinosis is extremely small from inspected pork. As a precaution, however, I am freezing the neckbones for 3 weeks.

      I’ll report on how the crew does with this new diet.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Though that could be a concern, it is a digestive thing that I was thinking about…my in-laws dog got very ill from eating cooked pork…just saying…

        • Wheeling it says:

          The digestive systems of dogs is very different from humans. I would get deathly sick from eating raw meat daily whereas our dog is perfectly biologically adapted to do so. I’ve raw-fed Polly since she was 4 weeks old, and maintained the 80-10-10 balance that Sue wrote about. I always joke that I’ll go back and feed kibble the next time I see a bunch of dogs around a campfire BBQing their food 🙂
          Nina

          Nina

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Nina… I posted (far down these comments) an article that explains canine digestion. It explains why your Polly hasn’t fallen ill or died from her raw meat and bones diet.

      • Elizabeth says:

        With humans, it goes through your digestive track very quickly. Some of the more health type docs do not recommend it for humans. One of my friends has very bad crippling arthritis…her specialist told her that there are over 200 known diseases attributed to eating pork…now whether that might also apply to dogs I have no idea…any rate, they are your dogs. Just please report what happens…so the rest of us can know whether we can feed our pets this…we as you know cannot have a dog yet…but I am still hoping our lives get to where we can!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know you care about the crew. I posted an article about canine digestion several comments below here. Maybe it will allay your concern.

          • Elizabeth says:

            I am not worried really about raw meat feeding, as after all what do dogs do if given a chance to, on their own? But some types do concern me. Another question is, if your dog is one that likes to lick you a lot…is their eating raw meat, going to make some kind of chance that you might pick up something from that raw meat on your skin and thus fall ill?? (Our last dog was just always licking on someone…I let her on me and would get up and wash…poor thing, no one else would let her…)

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I don’t think that will be a problem. Bridget is an arm-licker and a foot-licker. LOL! Spike doesn’t lick.

            • Elizabeth says:

              Maybe it is their frustrated mama thing…ours was female that licked so much too…

  9. Ladybug says:

    My cat like raw meat. But she prefers to catch it on the hoof. Then bring it home. And leave it on the porch. Where I step on it. Only then is it fit to eat.

  10. Bill from NC says:

    Hey Sue, Spike, and Bridge. My friend Sarah that gave me sadie and shows and raises several breeds feeds them all raw chicken and baked sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes make for regular fiber to facilitate bowel movements and are eat up with vitamins and especially beta caratene. She buys chicken carcasses from Purdue chicken processing, they r whats left after they filet the boneless breast off and take the leg quarters and wings. There is the back, all the skin and a lot of fat too.

    You can buy several all meat and bone diets that are storable in bags for a while, they expire in a few weeks so check the date. I tried them for Chum Lee my english mastiff and great dane cross but the flatulence was terrible! So I buy legquarters for him. The baked sweet potatos dont get backed anymore, both Chum Lee and Sadie love them raw now.

    Little Sadie eats a homemade brew of mine learned when I was in Vet school. Chicken livers, rice, green beans, and eggs all boiled up together. Put the pasty goey mess in the fridge and dish it up every day. Sadie has a grooming disorder that is helped by this diet and she always wears clothes. Lot of Pugs have it, the lick until they make a lick hematoma on theirself. The shirts must distract her. I say shirts people, Sadie is a mans dog and MY DOG DONT WEAR DRESSES!!!! LOL Hope this helps some of yall.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill,

      Oh my, I wouldn’t want to shop for raw meat and bones to feed a great dane and a mastiff! Your little Sadie is a bit more manageable. . . I’m glad you found a way to cure her grooming problem.

  11. Irene says:

    Hi Sue,
    i wish i had know about the raw diet when i saw you. I have fed my dogs raw for at least the last 15 years . Pork neck bones are wonderful for the dogs, they love them, the bones are great for the calcium and their teeth will sparkle. my guys had the chicken gizzards for dinner yesterday. So excited to see you today, i felt a little like a stalker but had to say hi. take care
    love your blog.
    irene

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Irene,

      I really enjoyed meeting you and Harold today! You were so sweet to me and the crew. I’m glad you called out to me . . .

      Your dogs certainly look like they do well eating raw. It’s quite challenging starting out with this diet but I’m determined to do it right. I’m glad Bridget and Spike are fairly small. You must have to keep a lot of meat stocked.

      What a photogenic canine crew!

  12. Irene says:

    oooops missed their names, From left to right they are Fizz, Radar, and Sadie. Radar is the one shopping Amazon.
    irene/harold

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So Radar is the one in the back, by the steering wheel? Thanks. I changed the captions under both photos.

  13. Wheeling it says:

    Whooooo hoooooo! I am so excited!! So glad the transition is going well. We’ve had Polly on raw diet since she was a pup and vets are always amazed at how healthy her coat and teeth are. This is fabulous!!

    Nina

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Only one snag in the start-up of this diet. Bridget, of course. She’s figured out that bones aren’t disgusting, that they are meant for dogs to chew. Now she likes them.

      However, she won’t touch liver, even when I mix it with the ground turkey. So Spike ate her portion of liver. She won’t touch gizzards either.

      • Rhonda says:

        Kinda think Bridget is much smarter than Spike as I would not eat the Gizzards but do love Liver but it has to be cooked so perhaps she is like me. I would watch the raw chicken bones as they may splinter even raw. Also Chicken can spoil real fast. You can smell the inside of the ribs. The plastic also feels slimy so keep an eye out for this in all chicken. It is at least 4 days old when it gets to the store so beware of fresh chicken. I am the Lady that sent you the recipe for my home made dog food earlier this month.

        • Din Milem says:

          I missed the dog food recipe. Can you kindly tell me the blog’s name so I can find it?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Din… I’ve searched for Rhonda’s recipe for dog food with no luck. Maybe she will come back here and show us . . . .

            • cinandjules says:

              sent or posted?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Oh, I bet I deleted it without realizing . . .

            • Rhonda says:

              Dog Food that is so good you could eat it yourself. Brown some lean ground beef, add whatever vegetables you have on hand cut into small pieces. Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, parsnips, turnips, etc. ( My dog Andy said NO PEAS) he hated them and would eat around them but yours may love them. Add some lot sodium broth. Beef or Chicken. A bit of rice. No spices, No Onions, No garlic. Cook until done. Package in small containers. Freeze what you will not use in the next few days. If you get hungry you can have some yourself but you may want some spices.

      • Wheeling it says:

        Try freezing the organs. Polly won’t touch them raw, but loooooves them frozen. She considers it a frozen treat. Lots of dogs seem to prefer the organs frozen.

        Nina

      • Wheeling it says:

        You can also try different types of organs. Polly doesn’t really like chicken liver, for example, but goes wild for lamb liver. I try and buy grass-fed organs (from a farmers market) when I can too. They’re more expensive, but you use so little of them they last a long while, and the grass-fed organs are much healthier (=tastier).

        Nina

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Nina! The liver I tried on Bridget was partially thawed. Maybe freezing lessens the smell? I appreciate your advice.

          Gosh, now you have another blog to monitor! 🙂

  14. Terri from Texas says:

    Hi
    Heres my two cents, Sue.
    Are you sure about the pork? I have always heard pork is bad for dog’s, but if you did the research, you probably know best. I learned about the right pet food for animals the hard way-after my 15 year old kitty developed digestion problems after eating Purina One for years. After spending about 2500.00 in vet
    bills and tons of research I finally learned the proper
    ingredients for cat food and they sure arent in Purina,
    Hills, Science Diet or any of that other crap vets sell.
    My cat made it to age 17. I still have a 15 year old who acts like a kitten on a high protein diet-she lost a ton of weight also, but not too much!
    Good luck with the diets!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      My research re pork: Dogs sometimes have trouble digesting pork meat. Others, like Nina’s Polly, do fine with it. To start, I’m only giving the crew pork attached to neck bones.

      What a terrible experience! The crew has been eating Purina One and I knew it was bad. One doesn’t have to be a vet to look at the ingredients and know it can’t be that great. It’s very hard to find good kibble when traveling. I think it’ll be easier to find meat and bones.

      I’m glad you figured out the right food for your cats.

    • Barbara says:

      Teri,
      I have a 13 year old cat who has recently developed bowel problems after eating Purina One since I rescued him from Animal control 7 years ago. I thought it was decent food. After a $300. bill, the vet sent him home with the Hills Science Diet AD. My kitty loved it, but the vet said not to keep him on the AD as it would give him diarrhea and to just feed him any wet food in lieu dry. He did recommend a dry food call Fiber Response by Royal Canin. ($39.00 for 8.8 lbs) I couldn’t afford it, so I am going to try the wet Blue Buffalo for cats. They sell it at Petsmart, but I haven’t gotten over there yet. I will read the label more closely then.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        It’s a shame you and your cat went through all that. We do what we think is best for our pets and too often it’s based on information that is slanted for the purpose of making a sale. I fell for it, thinking Purina kibble was good for my crew.

        I don’t know anything about Blue Buffalo. You’ll be able to tell if its good by reading the small print. If it looks good . . . It is available from Amazon, if going to Petsmart doesn’t work out for you.

        • cinandjules says:

          All of my cats are on Royal Canin Urinary SO due to crystals in their urine. Royal Canin has rebates for all of their recipes ranging from $10-30. All you do is email them or go onto their facebook page.

          Prior to Royal Canin they were on Blue Buffalo….so heads up. They didn’t like BB wet food. BB is expensive and they only give you one $5 coupon if you take their food test!

  15. Barbara says:

    Sue,
    Since I don’t have a dog, I can’t really contribute but find it interesting as I am planning on having one whenever I get to travel.

    There was a lady on a run in my neighborhood the other day. I asked her what breed and she said a Jack Russell. I actually did it to see what her response would be as so many people don’t know what they have. Definitely not a Jack. He looked like Briget and acted like Spike. His antics were hilarious. He kept stopping to visit folks who were out and she was trying to move on. Then suddenly he would dash way and stand looking at her as to why it was taking so long for her to catch up? Remind you of anyone???LLOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hahaha! That does sound like Spike, especially when he was younger.

      A lot of people confuse rat terriers and the jack russells. When in Washington State I saw a young couple coming back from a trail. The woman was holding their jack russell. It was wound up tight like a spring… squirming and kicking and being super-hyper. Rat terriers are calmer, more my speed.

      I think the rat terrier most closely resembles the toy fox terrier, which is their kin.

  16. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Ladybug made me laugh about her cat bringing food home. I have five cats and they are active hunters. I live next to farm land and they drag their kill home to display on my roof. How they get a gofer and a jack rabbit up on our roof is beyond me but we have to go up and take them down…not a pretty sight for neighbors to see. Our dogs eat baked chicken, rice, peas or green beans. In a pinch I usually buy can dog food…the big chunk steak flavored (don’t know if it’s good for them but they like it). When I first adopted our dogs, my sister thought I was nuts cuz I was cooking for them. I get a big bag of leg quarters from Walmart and it last a couple of weeks. I buy duck treats or jerky from Costco and pig ears as snacks. My dogs also love carrots. thanks for posting Briget and Spikes new diet. For a long time I thought I was doing wrong by cooking for my dogs but learning it’s better for them.

    • Rhonda says:

      Those Pig ears could be from China and are very bad for your dogs. Pig ears are something most vets advise against as they have been found to be very very harmful. It depends where they come from. Check it out on the net please.

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        I buy the pig ears from a local farmer’s market. They are in a big basket at the market and you pick which ones you want. I never buy pig ears or treats from pet stores. I buy veggies from the same local farmer’s market including fruits, honey, nuts and homemade canned goods. So handy cuz it’s not far from where I live.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I’m sure there will be times when my meat supply for the crew will be low and I’ll have to add some vegetables. I don’t keep myself on a strict menu every day. I doubt I can manage it for the crew!

      My goal is for them to have — overall — a nutritious, raw meat diet.

      Your cats are funny. I guess they figure they’re keeping their treasures from being stolen. Or maybe they prefer, as I do, eating their meals with a view!

  17. tinycamper says:

    Sue, kudus to you for putting your Bridget and Spike on an all meat and bone diet.

    I bet my little Sunny wouldn’t have advanced arthritis if he had been fed that all his life. Also, I am willing to bet Bridget will lose a lot of weight on it, too. Happily!

    I have been pondering how to make the budget work to get my two dogs on it.

    Irene and Harold’s dogs are gorgeous! They look so sweet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, tinycamper,

      The extra expense can be an issue. I wouldn’t be as liable to put the crew on raw if it weren’t for the Amazon income. Having that buffer allows me to loosen up the purse strings.

      Also being retired gives me the time and energy to shop and prepare the food, as well as monitor Bridget and Spike throughout the day. I wish I’d put them both on a raw meat and bones diet when I brought them home from the pound, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I was working and saving for this life on the road during those years… and I didn’t know about the benefits of a raw diet for dogs.

  18. Kathy from Florida says:

    Sue, just wondering how you determine how much raw meat to give the crew. My dog always acts like she is starving but is about 5 pounds overweight. I think she may benifit from a raw diet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      Your dog is behaving similarly to the crew’s behavior while eating kibble. It seemed like Bridget and Spike never could get enough to eat. I know I was over-feeding the Bridge, but her whining for food would break me down. And Spike would yell at me for more!

      With raw she’s very excited and hungry for supper. Once she’s eaten, she acts satisfied. No begging for snacks before bed.

      How much raw? The general rule is 2% of body weight. Bridget and Spike both weigh around 26-27 pounds which figures out to be around 8.6 ounces (on the high side).

      I’m not going to fool around with a scale. I take the weight of a package of meat and divide it into portions of 6-8 ounces, depending upon the size and meatiness of bones on hand (extra meaty bones + 6 oz. or skimpy bones + 8 oz.).

      For instance, ground turkey comes in tubes of 16 oz. Cutting it in half gives 8 oz. per dog for supper. A small piece of liver, plus a small piece of meaty neckbone for breakfast gives them enough to eat. A couple times a week I’ll stir a raw egg into the ground turkey.

      This is an expensive menu as the turkey alone is $2.78 per tube ($84 a month). However, it’s easy to start out with ground turkey until I come up with cheaper alternatives, like the boneless chicken breasts I found for $1.99 a lb. ($60 a month). I’d like to find cheap chicken backs . . .

      • Susan in Dallas says:

        I like to use chicken backs and necks to make broth for making soup but can’t find them at the big name grocery stores here in Dallas. Good luck with that.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks. I guess the demand isn’t great enough. People don’t make soup the way they used to. Now the chicken case is filled with skinless, boneless stuff . . . tenders, strips, etc.

        • Rita from Phoenix says:

          Go to Walmart. They have a big bag of chicken quarters. They also carry neck bones, gizzards, liver, etc. I buy bags of chicken quarters twice a month…about $20. I haven’t tried the gizzard or liver but now I’m thinking of adding that to my dog’s diet. Dog food is very expensive…more than $20 that I spend using chicken, rice, peas, green beans. Our local farmer’s market sells food once a month in bulk. I buy big baskets of green beans to blanch and freeze, I do the same with potato. I want to learn to can veggies and fruits.

  19. Trainman says:

    Hi Sue,
    From the pic, looks like the new diet is going well for the Crew. I have been following your blog for a year, and was excited when I had a RVSue and Crew siting.!! I was in the Green cargo trailer back by the hills just past you a ways. I almost drove off the road when I came in and saw the Sue and Crew camp. Ha.!!

    I was only there for 3 days, I ran down to Los Algondones, Mexico for some new glasses. I am a fulltime boondocker and very happy to have found your blog. Keep up the great info.

    Thank you
    Trainman

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Trainman! Hello!

      I saw your green trailer over by the hills and was intrigued. I love seeing the different ways people fashion a vagabond life for themselves. Sometimes I wish the PTV and BLT were green or tan so our camps would blend in better with the surroundings. Better? We don’t blend in at all!

      Welcome to my blog (a year late!). Thanks for writing. I always enjoy hearing from a fellow full-timer, so I hope you will drop by again . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Trainman…

      Took a look at your blog — well done! It gives a close-up, clear look at your trailer and tow vehicle — very nice combination!

  20. Two years ago, my 5 dogs were developing ‘complications’ as they aged, and my Chesapeake Bay Retriever Mix became diabetic! After 3 conferences with my vet(s), (one is 2 years out of vet school, one is about to retire, one is in-between & travels) ….. I began the research and asked all of them questions each time I had one of the pups or cats in their office! I did all the research they suggested, spent a fortune in the beginning, watched tons of YouTube videos, and even subscribed to the vet ‘online’ where you can ask questions.
    Within 3 months, I had completely switched all 5 dogs to a home-made, partially/mostly raw (sometimes cooked) diet. They thrived!
    By saying ‘almost’ raw, I also added about approximately a tablespoon of peanut butter in the mornings, a 1″ cube of cheese or a ‘slosh’ of plain yogurt in the evenings. I began slowly with these 3 treats first, and when they became ‘routine’, I began the ‘raw’ diet. But I also cooked the sweet potatoes, brown rice, some green peas, etc. to accompany the raw meat.
    At first I thought ‘traveling’ could pose a problem, so I decided on emergency compromises, …….such as buying off of McDonald’s ‘dollar’ menu, and throwing away the buns! I also found that I could drive through Arby’s and buy the ‘junior’ sandwiches and ditch the bread. I also took zip-lock bags with me for scraps in ‘casual’ or outdoor dining places, or asked for a take-out box after a meal. (I stopped using buffets, started ordering off the menus, and found myself ‘leaving’ a little bit of my food to give my pups!) All these behaviors also helped ME cut out sauces, mayo, and non-essentials from my own diet, because I wanted the pups to be able to eat it, too!
    The first raw meats my dogs got was the meaty bones like raw beef ribs. Second came the poultry! It was really hard at first to determine ‘how much’ to give each dog, so at my vet’s suggestion, as a ‘back-up’ plan, I began ordering the Wilderness salmon off of Amazon.com. I have Amazon Prime, and it was nice to have the huge bags arrive on my doorsteps! I always fed the raw foods and my cooked concoctions to them first, plus the advised ‘snacks’, but if I had to do things that might keep me away from home longer than usual, they could eat the Wilderness dry salmon as a last resort, but they rarely opted for it, preferring to ‘wait’ until I got home!
    I don’t know if ”the diet change” in diet made a huge difference in my Greyhound or my Golden Retriever, because they both died of breed-specific diseases and old age.

    HOWEVER, it made a huge difference for my Chesapeake Bay Retriever and her battle with diabetes! For the first time, all of her bodily habits became regular, her energy level was so smooth, and the amount of insulin she required lessened! It took over 6-7 months, but when I had the diet all figured out, and their feedings were truly on target, Chessie lived the last two years of her life in relative peacefulness, in spite of her diabetic battle! I will be forever thankful that I made that decision!

    Don’t be afraid to feed your dogs some of your veggies! Given good choices, dogs will usually choose what’s best for them, and like us, they will sometimes cheat & eat something they shouldn’t!
    I keep cans of Blue canned food ‘on hand’ and feed it once a week as a preparedness exercise, ….. just in case an emergency should arise, like a veterinarian hospital stay, accident, or illness when someone else would be taking charge, so I know they pups won’t be ignored or go hungry! If I’m gone, there is dry Wilderness salmon available, but every 2 – 3 days, I set it outside for the raccoons or feral cats, because the pups really don’t eat it often.
    My vet told me to ‘weigh’ the pups weekly and it would help me monitor their dietary needs, and their health. I also still have a chihuahua and mixed breed terrier who are still thriving on the same diet as their bigger family members did!

    Congratulations!! I know your pups are thinking it’s Christmas every day!! Don’t be afraid to let them ‘cheat’ sometimes, or to give them a can of good quality foods when you don’t feel well, so that they can manage should you need help with them.
    We will ALL love hearing about the new diet and what they are going to enjoy next! Best Wishes!!
    Becky in Texas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, B Beck,

      Very interesting testimonial for a healthy canine diet! How wonderful for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever to have a better life with her diabetes well managed.

      You bring up a good point about planning for times when I may have to leave the crew with someone else due to emergency, illness or whatever. As I become more adept at providing this raw meat and bone diet, I’ll keep that in mind and try to come up with the best plan.

      Your comment also has me wondering about the crew’s behaviors. I would love to see Bridget calmer and less prone to whine over every little thing. As I wrote elsewhere, I’ve already noticed they have deeper sleep, not as restless.

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        My daughter thinks I’m nuts but my dogs go to her house with prepared food in zip lock bags. I make a big batch at time and portion them out in zip lock freezer bags. I freeze some and keep a day or two fresh in refrig. Each dog gets two bags a day in morning and at dinner time. In between they get treats.

  21. P .S.
    My cats were originally ‘feral’ and only caught for neutering or spaying, shots and treatment, micro-chipped, then released.

    I do give them some raw meat, and they get some canned foods, (sometimes) …. but I am releasing them back outside after getting them vetted and micro-chipped, so it’s necessary that they all eat dry cat food as a habit. But they have a huge wooded area, bordering on farmlands, so they do some hunting for themselves! I felt like I should come back and comment about them, …….but there are approximately 20+ of them now, and they were never ‘pets’. …….but they are vetted and won’t be reproducing, and will always have ‘dry’ cat food outside for them, no matter what happens! Just an after thought!! 🙂 Once they recover from their vetting, they quickly start hunting again, and catching an assortment of nasty moles, mice, etc.

    I have two cats that want badly to live inside and be a pet, so they will get special consideration if someone wants a fully vetted young sweet pet!
    …….
    didn’t want someone reading this to think I was ignoring the cats, ……but they are truly ‘feral’.
    Becky

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you! You do a great service by capturing and neutering/spaying feral cats. I know people do that as a sort of hobby. It certainly is a more productive and beneficial use of one’s time than a lot of the pointless activities we “modern” humans engage in. Feral cats are a big problem in some areas of the country.

  22. Marie taylor says:

    Congrats on going raw with there crew. I went raw about 9 years ago and havn’t looked back. I’m glad to hear how much the crew enjoys it.

  23. MK Reed says:

    Congrats on going raw, I’m still in kibble mode, but it’s good kibble. I live rural and Taste of the Wild is available at all the tractor supply stores around here.

    Love the photos as usual.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MK,

      Thanks! I love shopping at tractor supply stores. It’s been my experience that they tend to carry quality items (tough to fool country folk!). It’s good you have a reliable, steady source for your dog’s kibble.

  24. Cheryl Ann says:

    YEAH, Sue! I got a 6 year old female German Shepherd 1 1/2 years ago from a colleague who couldn’t adapt her lifestyle to owning a dog (long story…) …Anyway, Lady LOVES the raw food diet. If/when we go out of town, however, we have to leave kibble out (I buy the COSTCO “natural” brand with lamb and sweet potatoes, but when we are at home, our two dogs get fed raw. IF I feed them kibble, her eyes get gooey and she looks lethargic! Glad you did your research! I also researched this extensively. I am fortunate to live near a WINCO where I can buy chicken, ground turkey (she LOVES that!), and chicken livers. I can also buy a 6-pack of frozen beef bones, which takes them a couple days to go through! She looks so much healthier now…shiny coat, more alert. She still has some issues with allergies, but we are coping with that. My black lab mix will eat anything, including…(gag…) CAT POOP! HA~! She also empties the trash every night, if she can!
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      Wow! You are seeing excellent results from the raw and bone diet. That’s very encouraging.

      I’m especially hoping the change will improve the quality of Spike’s life. It touches my heart the way he attacks the bones with gusto and relishes every meal. I’m not happy with the roughness of his coat. He’s continuing with the salmon oil… We shall see!

      Thanks for sharing your methods with your dogs. Very interesting!

  25. Linda in TX says:

    I had a Siamese cat that lived to age 21, and I have always wondered if it might have been due to the beef liver we fed her twice a week.

    One thought I did have….if you are keeping and handling all that raw meat, especially chicken parts, you may have to be super vigilant about your hand washing and surface disinfecting. Will that be a challenge with limited water? Okay, I’ll stop being your mama now. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Hey, sanitation and meat handling is a part of all this. I’m glad you brought it up. I’m trying to be careful.

      I don’t use a cutting board. I cut the meat on a large Corelle dinner plate set aside for that use only. I never touch the meat I’m cutting with my hands, using fork and knife only.

      Bridget and Spike eat from their own individual Corelle dishes that I don’t eat off. I like Corelle because it isn’t porous and cleans easily to a shine.

      I wash my dishes in a basin of warm, soapy water. I save the meat preparation dish and utensils, as well as the crew’s dishes, to last.

      I do touch the meaty bones and organ “morsels” with my hand, so hand-washing and sanitizer are important.

      To answer your question, no, I don’t anticipate a problem using up my water supply.

  26. ShaznAZ says:

    Hi Sue,

    Started reading the comments after the post & a Vet told me after i noticed my boy suffering bad vomiting as a new puppy from eating cooked pork, that pork swells to double it’s size in their tummies hence the issue. We all stopped eating pork !

    FYI, there is a fabulous pet / human nutritionist in Dallas who has a wonderful book
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Dog-Gone-Good-Cookbook-Healthy/dp/1250014514
    that makes life a little easier & fun too. It was my Doggie Christmas present to friends this year.

    The Spaniels are gorgeous.

    Shairon

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shairon (sp?),

      Maybe the puppy’s problem was in the cooking of the pork. Some dogs, according to what I’ve read online, don’t do well on pork. I imagine one has to be very careful with raw for puppies.

      Aren’t Irene and Harold’s dogs beautiful? I could tell immediately that they have a loving disposition and are very people-aware.

  27. Deadeye says:

    Sue, You might have to invest in something like this for all the extra meat.

    Dometic (CDF-11) Portable Freezer/Refrigerator

    Don

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Don,

      Fortunately I don’t eat much meat myself . . . chicken or turkey about twice a week . . . so the crew taking over the fridge isn’t a problem.

      (I changed your link to Dometic to one that goes to Amazon.) Man, the cost of that thing would buy a lot of meat!

  28. Barb in Washington state says:

    Heck, I got excited when I saw your Casita and realized it was you 😀 I told my husband “there’s sue!” We had seen another Casita and it didn’t have a vehicle near it, but it was another camper….

    I have a friend who feeds her dogs cooked meats and vegetables. The dog does really well on it. I think that is the natural way to go really…what did they do before dog food, anyway? Probably meat I think 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      As you may have picked up from reading previous blog posts, I started out cooking the turkey meat. Then I thought, “What am I cooking this for? Now I have a pan to wash!” 🙂

  29. Wheeling it says:

    For those interested in more on raw diets for dogs and cats here’s some good links:

    Myths on raw diets:
    http://rawfed.com/myths/

    A little more on the 80-10-10 diet:
    http://www.tiganagoldens.com/diet.html
    With Polly I’ll include eggs and raw, green tripe (when I can find it) as part of her meat portion. For organs I feed her liver, heart and kidney. She also gets salmon oil since I can’t always afford grass-fed meat.

    Raw feeding in cats:
    http://catinfo.org
    I’ve run a cat forum for 6 years focused on diet since the day my own cat developed terrible (almost deadly) urinary issues from dry food.

    Nina

  30. Bev says:

    Our cat is 17 years old and very healthy so far. The vet told us that feeding her kibbles was like feeding her marshmallows. We switched her to “Taste of the Wild” and she is like a kitten again. Spendy but worth it for our fur baby.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bev,

      Your vet has a way with imagery… That’s exactly how cheap kibble seems to me!

      The good stuff is spendy, but vet bills are worse. It’s hard to put a value on the health of someone you love.

      • Bev says:

        Someone with knowledge of animals told us that it is the grains in the food that is difficult to digest and doesn’t give the animal enough nutrients. Makes sense to me! Besides, some of the foods are processed in China and I really have a problem with that.

  31. Dawn on Camano Island says:

    Thank you for this post, Sue. Jim gives Ari, our Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, raw bones but hasn’t tried a raw diet. If it would prolong her life & ensure she would be healthy, I’m all for it. Ari is a sweet girl & I selfishly would like her to live forever!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Oh, who among us wouldn’t want their beloved pet to live long, healthy lives! I bet your Ari is a sweetheart. I’ll give updates on the results of the diet change for the crew.

  32. Hi Sue…good for you and good for the Fur Babies….I have had my critters on that diet forever..I include whatever veggies they will eat also…all are healthy and happy ..I get a lot of flack from “brainwashed ” people…I tell them processed pet food is junk food of the nastiest kind…!!!! My dogs live to be around 20 years old…my Lhaso Apso “Mo” was 23 years and 3 months ….when he was 22 years he fathered thr pup that I have now..”Chops”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      How lucky your pups were and are to have you for their “mom.” Thanks for sharing your positive experience!

  33. rvsueandcrew says:

    EXPLANATION OF DOG DIGESTION RELATING TO A RAW MEAT AND BONES DIET:

    This article addresses the fear of bacteria being present in raw meat and bones:

    “Yes, the bacteria in raw meat might hurt your dog IF the dog already has an immuno-compromised system or some underlying problem. Raw diets have also been blamed for causing things like pancreatitis and kidney disease, when in reality the underlying disease was already there and was brought to light by the change in diet.

    Dogs are surprisingly well-equipped to deal with bacteria. Their saliva has antibacterial properties; it contains lysozyme, an enzyme that lyses and destroys harmful bacteria. Their short digestive tract is designed to push through food and bacteria quickly without giving bacteria time to colonize. The extremely acidic environment in the gut is also a good bacteria colonization deterrent.

    People often point to the fact that dogs shed salmonella in their feces (even kibble-fed dogs do this) without showing any ill effects as proof that the dog is infected with salmonella. In reality, all this proves is that the dog has effectively passed the salmonella through its system with no problems. Yes, the dog can act as a salmonella carrier, but the solution is simple—do not eat dog crap and wash your hands after picking up after your dog.” — http://rawfed.com/myths/bacteria.html

  34. Geri Moore says:

    After reading your post and everybody’s comments about the raw diet I went right up to Publix and got 4 meaty beef neckbones for $2.37. Three hours later, DoogieBowser and Radar are still gnawing on their bones and have 2 left in the fridge for another day! They are Happy! Happy! Happy! Also, cold finally all gone! 🙂 Plus we got “hired” as volunteers at Myakka River State Park March – June and at Hillsborough River State Park for July and August! Yay!!! Great blog Sue, dang those spaniels were gorgeous!
    Keep an eye on Bidgette’s butt and let me know if raw works !!! Maybe I should try it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Congratulations are snagging that position at Myakka! I’m going to look up that park and read about it. I lived in Hillsborough County, FL for a short period of time, between Brandon and Plant City.

      Oh, I can see DoogieBowser and Radar having a grand time with those bones. They’re an excellent source of calcium, besides being fun for dogs. The stuff packaged as “dog bones” is often more expensive than the real thing. They do keep the crew occupied.

      So glad you finally shed that cold! Yes, I’ll make a butt report on Bridget if I see any change. If anyone has “stubborn butt fat,” it’s her. She also carries fat on her chest. I’d love to see her trimmed down.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another thing… Don’t be alarmed if your crew’s stools are loose or if they’re hard. Both are normal reactions and clears up.

  35. mockturtle says:

    Sue, this has nothing to do with your post [I already commented on that] but I have a question: How many GB of data do you get with Verizon per month for $60.08? I’m looking for a data-only plan with either V. or Millenicom and have no idea how much I need but would prefer to stay in that same price range.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I get 6 GB for $60.08. I don’t know if that’s a good deal or not and I didn’t know when I signed the contract. At the time I was desperate for internet (drove all over Wyoming for it, it seems) and when I found a Verizon store in Casper, I was ready to take whatever they offered. Good luck!

  36. cinandjules says:

    Glad they love their new diet. The bones will keep the tartar off their molars. Have you thought about vitamins?

    The spaniels are adorable.

    When we go to town…we always have a huge cooler bag for our perishables. Of course when it’s minus 18 one doesn’t need one but in the summer it’s a must! We also use them when we drive down to Wegmans in Syracuse (85 miles one way) to get real meat and fish!

    Mockturtle: Verizon has 10GB for $80 5GB for $50 with no contract.

    • Wheeling it says:

      The organs and bone are your “vitamin pills” if you will. Raw bone contains calcium and other micro-nutrients while organs have ALL the remaining vitamins (D, C, A etc.). It’s very important to feed 10% organ and 10% bone for that reason. As long as you include organs and bone your dogs diet will be complete.

      Nina

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        That’s why I’m perturbed about Bridget’s fussiness with organ meats. I’ll try a frozen piece of liver today before I give her supper.

        Thanks, again, Nina, for helping me with this topic!

        • Wheeling it says:

          No problem. I’m pretty passionate about raw feeding, so this is a topic close to my heart. If Bridget won’t accept the frozen beef liver you can try a different type of liver (chicken, lamb). The farmers market liver is also worth trying since it’s often fresher. Polly can be pretty picky about her organs.

          Worst case there are liver pills you can buy and drizzle onto their food (not my first choice, but if all else fails…).

          Nina

      • cinandjules says:

        I wasn’t aware of that! Thanks……………….one can learn so much here!

        Ewww I’m with Bridget……..not an organ person at all. My mom used to make Thanksgiving dressing with the gizzards…blech. Liver eh no thanks..could fathom eating something…………………………forget it…it’s almost dinner time!

        Hope Bridget eventually gives in…………my thought is she’d rather have rotisserie chicken….the cooked kind! 😉

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, cinandjules,

          My mother used to make Thanksgiving dressing with oysters, which I hated. And we had liver and onions TWICE A WEEK!

          Breakfast for the crew this morning was chicken breast cut up into tiny cubes on a plate. Bridget loved it. Very gourmet presentation . . . .

        • AZ Jim says:

          Just looking at raw liver in my mind has the same effect I would guess of watching open heart surgery. Smelling it cooking is enough to gag a maggot. When I was a kid my Mom tried to make me eat liver and onions. I refused. After a couple of our battles of will she gave up. In all these years not once (after a tiny taste as a kid) has liver touched these lips. AZ Jim’s list of untouchables: Liver, brains, chicken hearts, mountain oysters, gizzards and a few other delights like snails (calling it escargot does not alter the fact it is the same slimy little critter I killed by the thousands in California), Fish eggs (Caviar is still fish eggs) and some I am forgetting but upon remembering them will not make me eat them.

          No offense to those who eat any of the above items, it all a matter of taste said the old farmer when he kissed his cow.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I’m with you, Jim! Changing the name doesn’t change it . . . It is what it is!

            • Cinandjules says:

              Count me in too! Was that a CA past time for kids? We had snail fights!

              I can remember mom making “beef”… I said to my sis….what are those nubs on this so called beef? Mom said just eat it! We refused and got sent to bed early! Turns out it was tongue! Really mom? You got a entire cow to chose from and you want us to eat WHAT?

              Funny how something classified as non edible as a child stays with you your entire life!

  37. Bob says:

    Put my Natasha on a raw diet after spending close to $400.00 on “Vet” food and services. She’s been on it for 7 years now, with some quality kibble thrown in … anyway it cured her diarrhea quickly, which She had from the time we bought her till then. Always know if I have to up the meat % by her stool. PS I get skinned chicken necks at a farmers Market for .99 – 1.09 a pound. Also if you figure the price per pound of mighty dog it comes to $1.75 a pound at the best price I can get it.

    Raw, raw, raw

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good information, Bob! I suppose over time I’ll learn how to keep the cost down. I would never think of looking for meat at the farmers market.

      You did the right thing by your Natasha.

  38. LeeJ says:

    I am so enjoying this discussion of feeding a raw diet to dogs. this is something I have considered and now am becoming even more convinced to feed raw, thanks to you all,

    I will pose one question, why not buy whole chickens and cut them yourself, that way the feeding will include bones, skin and meat, plus the packaged whole chicken will have a heart, a liver and a gizzard, plus the neck. Wouldn’t that fulfill the requirements? And a whole chicken is generally way less expensive than chicken breast.

    I typically buy whole chickens for our use because I like to have the bony parts to make stock, and I always toss the organ parts to my dogs, so it would be a short step to give them even more.

    I buy my beef from a rancher friend (grass fed and no hormones or nothin!) and the butcher always gives me the option of getting the bones…so perhaps those of you that have a hard time finding bones might call up a local meat processor and ask for bones?

    As usual Sue, your blog is wonderful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      You are in an excellent position to “go raw” with the access you have to good beef and chicken.

      If my home was in one spot all year I’d research local sources such as meat processors. Being on the road most of the year that isn’t practical. I appreciate you bringing that option to our attention here, as apparently several of my readers feed their pets raw meat and bones, or they are seriously considering it.

      Whole chickens don’t always come with the organs. I guess it depends upon where you live. I’m still a bit leery about feeding chicken bones to the crew due to the fact that chicken bones are hollow. Maybe in the future I will.

      Right now, in the early days of their new diet, both Bridget and Spike are so thrilled and excited at their meals that they gulp down their food. Spike gobbles up his plate of food, so he can try to get some of Bridget’s food. Bridget gobbles up her plate of food, so she can keep Spike from getting it. Nutcakes! I would never allow Spike to steal from Bridget.

      I don’t think I’m ready to watch them tear into chicken bones without chewing more carefully.

      I’m happy you think my blog is wonderful. 🙂

  39. Teri in SoCal says:

    Great post with lots of info. I cook for one of my cats, he has inflammatory bowel disease. So he gets elk, rabbit and venison. Kind of pricey, but I adore him. My female won’t touch it. Both of them have cancer, so while I have them I will do without in order to do the very best I can do for them. I’m so happy that your crew loves the new menu!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      I’m sorry your loved ones have cancer. It’s tough to think we won’t have our pets forever. Your cats are fortunate to be cared for someone who wants to do the “very best” for them.

  40. Lisa W says:

    Hi Sue,
    Found your blog a couple of months back. I went back and read every post, and have enjoyed every one of them. We are heading into full time RVing when I retire from teaching at the end of May.
    Raw for dogs is great. We fed it to our 2 German Shepherds and Great Dane for years. For some reason we have never fed it to our mixed breed (who will be traveling with us). We did start putting raw meat in with her kibble a few weeks ago, and have been thinking of going totally raw. You have given us food for thought.
    Great blog!

    Lisa

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      Retiring in May . . . Going full-time . . . This is going to be an exciting year for you! You’ll love the freedom of living your life without schedules or being tied to one place . .. .

      It seems like such an enormous undertaking, providing a raw meat and bones diet to such big dogs. If you could do that, I should be able to provide for the crew.

      Best wishes to you as you plan for the next phase of your lives. Thanks for writing and for going back to read my early posts. Good to have you with us!

  41. Cheryl Ann says:

    Sue, this week I’ll go to our neighborhood WalMart (the smaller one) and buy some of the turkey like you have. That way, it will keep in the fridge. I was buying (…DUH!…) the fresh PACKAGES, not the wrapped ones! Hey, look what I learned!

    Added some yogurt to the doggies’ breakfast this morning and they scarfed it down!

    I’m now going back and reading everybody’s comments. Great post! I actually did one on my blog about my trip to WalMart and what I bought for our 2 dogs!
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      The tubes of turkey meat do store nicely in the freezer and the packaging doesn’t take up space (less trash). I’m going to try a little yogurt with the crew today. I’ll share my plain Greek yogurt.

  42. Cheryl Ann says:

    Sorry…just another thing…I have a friend who has 4 horses (I have 5…)…anyway, for the gentleman that mentioned Rescue Remedy…Barbara uses a lavender spray to calm her horses. One is a pregnant Fresian who had to incorporate into her herd. The lavender calmed the horse down and I’m going to try it on my hot thoroughbred mare. I’ll spray my hands with it (won’t get near HER with the spray!)…She also uses it on her dogs as she frequently brings ANOTHER ONE home with her, off the streets of Coachella.

    Anyway, just a thought. I bought a small spray bottle of the lavender ($5.00) at our once-a-week certified farmers’ market here in Palm Desert. It’s every Wednesday, so I can only go on vacation times. There is also one in La Quinta every Sunday and one in Palm Springs every Saturday, in case anybody is interested.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I read your blog entry re: raw meat and bones for your pets. I notice you are including a lot more dairy than I am (cottage cheese and yogurt). Interesting . . .

      Great blog, BTW! Thank you for mentioning “rvsue and her canine crew!”

  43. kirkman says:

    Sue… For storing the crews meat did you ever consider adding one of these highly efficient 12 volt fridge\freezers. They run very little and would work great on you solar set up.
    http://www.thetford.com/HOME/PRODUCTS/NorcoldIncRefrigerators/NRF45/tabid/842/Default.aspx

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kirkman,

      First I’m going to see how well I manage storing the crew’s meat and bones with the freezer and fridge that I have. That fridge does look good, except for the fact it would take up space and I don’t have a lot of that to spare.

      Thanks for the idea . . . Nice to know that option exists.

  44. Pat in KS says:

    Sue, you have triggered another trip down memory lane. I used to buy packages of chicken backs for 10 cents a pound. I used them to make chicken soup for my children. I have not seen backs in years, but if I did I bet they’d cost more than a dime a pound.

    I recently read a small bit about trichinosis. Apparently, here in the States it is found in bear meat. Just stay away from hunting bears and the crew will be safe!

  45. Elizabeth says:

    I am not sure that beef heart has as much B12 as liver, plus other things you maybe are looking for, but at least cooked, beef heart is very tasty. Have made some sandwiches for others (who did not know what all was in it) and used half ground cooked heart, and half ground cooked roast…adding mayo, pickle relish, onions, boiled eggs, etc. Makes a stupendous taste!! Maybe Bridge would relish heart as well!!

    One thing, being my dad raised cattle most of my life and my grampie before him…if there is anything that will end up with something bad in it, it is the liver in animals. Not sure how careful the meat handlers are these days about such. But we always liked liver (it is very good if properly cooked…and thinner cuts are best…paper thin preferably as it will NOT taste bitter that way…and a few onions help too)…but back to the subject…we always looked forward to the liver, but it seemed as time went on and the nearby farms let water run off into the year around stream where the cattle drank, stuff must have come in that runoff water…cause it got to where I do not remember them ever having a liver that was edible, from the butcher’s inspection. Lots of problems with our sheep when we had them too. You mention that she is pickier eater…but maybe those livers are not all that pure or good… just a thought…

  46. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi Sue,
    As usual a very interesting post…Just wondered if you have heard of Rimadyl for dogs with arthritis?
    I had a friend who had an older dog and he started giving him Rimadyl for arthritis, the dog was pretty old don’t remember maybe 13 or 14. Anyway he had told me it was like the dog was a young again with rimadyl…just a thought.

    Roger

    • My elderly dogs took that, too! It does make a difference and they did well. However, it has to be taken with food, especially if there are other issues! I had to get it from a vet.

      SUE, …… I remember that you had 3 pups when you ‘hit the road’ and the person who purchased your house kept one of them. I wish you would (please?) tell about the pups, when you adopted them, and their ages, etc. I originally read your blog from the beginning when you were going to retire, ……..but I don’t remember the ‘history’ of when, how, and ‘how it happened’ when you adopted ‘the crew’!! I do hope you’ll blog one day about how they entered your life. If it’s ‘in’ your blog, I can’t remember the details! ………and would love to know about the events surrounding their entrance to your family! Thanks!!

  47. Deb says:

    Please research Rimadyl carefully before use. Its benefits may outweigh its negatives or vice versa. Like all prescription drugs, side effects can be dangerous for dogs as well as humans. Watch any drug commercial today and you want to run as the side effects can be worse than the original condition. I am not “dogging” your friend’s choice to use this for their pup and glad it is working the way it should.

  48. Hi Deb! Good to see you here on Sue’s blog, too!

  49. Gary Alan says:

    It is good to hear that you have switched home made dog food. I too am convinced that home made food for my dogs are better than pre-made dog food. It saves our dogs from the harmful chemicals that is included in the process of making pre made dog food and the unhealthy meat coming from sick cattle which was injected with different chemicals just before dying.

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