The un-asked/not-given-enough-attention questions when it comes to raw
There is plenty of information out there about feeding your dog a raw diet. Probably too much. It can get confusing, overwhelming and down right scary.
This post is not about everything else that is out there about all the why's, why not's, how to's and when's but rather about putting a few points out there that you may not have thought to consider should you decide to go the raw route or things to think about if you're already feeding raw. Our points today:
1. Know your supplier
2. Know the ingredients
3. Know the process
4. Know the balance
5. Know the legalities
Know your supplier
This is mentioned as the first point because the other points trickle down from it. If you know and trust your supplier, their reps and staff and are able to build a relationship with them then the points following should not be an issue as the information will be provided to you without a problem. You need to feel free and comfortable to ask any of the following information and have the right to receive the answers without a problem.
Know the ingredients
If you're looking at feeding raw or already feeding raw, depending on how much research you have done you will already know that there is raw and there is raw. You need to be aware where your supplier is sourcing their ingredients, so that you can rest assured they are of good quality. If your supplier is hesitant about giving you the answers you should be hesitant about the quality of ingredients that could be going into your dog's food.
Know the process
Everything you read and hear about the dangers of feeding raw boils down to the handling of ingredients when it comes to bacteria such as Salmonella. Most articles stress this from the owners side, to store and defrost hygienically and appropriately. As a responsible owner that chooses to feed raw you need to think about more than just taking care at home. Find out about the transport, handling and process of the product from your supplier as well.
Know the balance
There is a lot of information out there about the importance of the ratios of feeding raw, however most owners blindly believe that the raw food they buy is perfectly balanced and is giving their dog everything it needs. They do not read the fine print that more often than not indicates that the food they are feeding is only complimentary and not fully balanced. Ask your supplier about the balance of their food, many come back with an answer stating the ratio of veg to protein but if your raw food manufacturer know what they're doing they will give you a break down of protein, vegetables, bone meal, organs and anything else that may be added to the food such as herbs and/or supplements.
Know the legalities
Check whether your raw food supplier is registered with the authoritive body in your country (South Africa: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). If they are then they have to adhere to strict specifications of hygiene, have regular random inspections and are legally registered to supply pet food.
If they are not registered by this body you have no guarantee that the quality of ingredients, hygiene standards or ethical processing standards are being met or even being followed at all. Their ingredients could come from anywhere. In some cases there have been reports of roadkill and even sick animals being used.
Is Kinesiology safe for my Beagle?
Kinesiology is a gentle, safe and non-invasive technique. If there is pain, the kinesiologist will be very attentive to not cause your dog any discomfort when performing a correction involving physical contact. A detailed history taken at the beginning of the session will allow the kinesiologist to know which parts of the animal’s body should be touched with care or avoided.
What to expect from a Kinesiology session
The kinesiologist will first meet and discuss the issue with you whilst taking a detailed history. He/she then carries out the muscle-testing part of the session on a surrogate, i.e. a person who "stands in" for the animal from an energetic point of view. This person is often the owner. The reason it is usually the owner is because if a strong bond exists between the animal and the surrogate it makes the session all the more insightful. A Kinesiology session can be a beautiful way to enhance the pet-owner relationship.
What is kinesiology and how does it work?
Kinesiology is one of the most comprehensive and holistic forms of natural therapy. It recognizes the importance not only of the body, but also of the mind and the spirit when it comes to health.
It is a therapy modality that relies on muscle testing to identify imbalances in the structural, chemical, mental and emotional systems of your Beagle’s body, as well as the external factors that may be affecting your dog’s health and well-being. Clearing these imbalances restores the flow of energy in the body, which boosts its innate ability to heal itself, lessen stress and frustration that could be creating behavioural issues or be causes of some injuries and illnesses.
Kinesiology therefore considers physical ailments and behavioural issues as the result of unresolved stress. Although Kinesiology does not treat named diseases (that is the prerogative of veterinarians), it highlights and corrects the underlying issues that have caused the ailment in the first place.
Whether your Beagle is suffering from allergies, ear problems, epilepsy, separation anxiety, Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD), has torn a cruciate ligament, barks excessively or is actively destroying your shoes and the furniture, kinesiology will be a beneficial complementary therapy to veterinary care or to consultations with a behaviourist.
To read part 2 about Kinesiology for your Beagle click here
Some shots of the garden being cleaned and cleared as well as a video of clearing being done in the area that will be the future outside training area.
A very interesting and productive year for Beagle in Mind behind us with oh so many more exciting things planned for the year 2017 - 2018 ahead of us.
For those who have not been following, here is a short summary of the biggest "milestones" for us:
Received our Letter of Auhority for the registrationof the trust No. IT000090/2016(C)
Start of our relationship with Friends of the Dog
The trust is registered as a taxpayer (No. 1414568186)
First official Beagle in Mind educational event.
Know the Nose at The Dog Care Centre also with Annaret Meintjies (Agility)
NPO entered into the register in terms of the Non-Profit Organisation Act NPO 175-622
Notice from SARS in terms of trading as a Public Benefit Organisation PBO 9300533706
Start of our relationship with Human, Horse & Hound Kinesiology
News that we can start work at the new premises for Beagle in Mind Education & Training Centre
Confirmed with Friends of the Dog that the education centre will be a base from which to host and present their courses in Cape Town
Work starts at the new location
Watch this space for updates :-)
I highly doubt this is going to read as any major "revelation" to those "die hard Beaglers" out there.
Let us forget about everything, we strip away "the list" : They need to be exercised, they need to be mentally stimulated, brushed, fed, watered.....................
But - what if you give the dog every single conceivable thing that it needs, do exactly what everyone tells you and more, yet you still sit with a problem....?
More often than you would think this is a perception formed by Beagle owners.
So the question looms - what then, is wrong with the dog if I give it absolutely everything it needs? Unfortunately if you are asking that question you need to let reality hit you and realise that you may in fact not be giving the dog everything it needs.
I think at this point the "die hards" are screaming in frustration. You have noticed what has not been mentioned I am sure. For those who have not - I urge you, please take a moment and let the following sink in:
You need a relationship with your dog
This breed in particular needs to feel PART of your family. From that comes a sense of security, respect and mutual understanding. From that comes the rest on which you can build, shape and elaborate to suit you and your life style.
In other words, if you have a problem more than likely the problem ....is you.
(Please do understand, there is a whole different topic that could be brought into account here of dogs with actual behavioural issues and I do understand there is a fine line. It is very important that you do not label your dog with "behavioural issues" that aren't necessarily there. There is a long list of things you need to cross off the list before the decision is made that there is a behavioural "problem" with your dog. Most of the time we slap "known" behavioural "labels" on them because we are too afraid to admit that we may be doing something wrong)
Do not fool yourself into thinking you are going to get the Beagle you want by keeping them at a distance or that they will just slip into your routine straight away.
You can get absolutely everything you want and more from this breed. More than you ever could have hoped for but you need to do the groundwork first and the ground work starts with building a relationship.
This breed is not a complicated breed as some people may tell you. Just do not fight what they are; they are hounds. They are inquisitive, they are intelligent and they have plenty of love to give to spell it out...LET them be inquisitive, intelligent and give the love they have to give. Set boundaries as the relationship grows, don't expect them to understand boundaries and rules unless you show them (sometimes over and over and over again).
To those reading this considering getting a Beagle. PLEASE look past the floppy ears, brown eyes and squishable puppy face. You need to ask yourself some questions and think about some things first and if you say even "uhm" to any of them, do a bit more research, ask more people more questions....
- These dogs get bored, are you up for providing decent and regular mental stimulation?
- They get lonely, are you ready for having something 100% dependent on you, your love and affection for at least 12 - 15 years?
- They are escape artists and scent followers and will potentially give you 5 million heart attacks and be the cause of all your grey hairs in their lifetime
- There will be hair and possibly drool in your bed, on your clothes possibly in your toothbrush and food and every conceivable place imaginable - can you deal with that?
- You are going to get home tired and there is going to be an excited four legged furry body wriggling, barking and extremely happy to see you, can you put your frustrations of the day aside, every day, and focus your energy and attention on your dog and it's needs as opposed to yours?
- Something (or things) will be found and destroyed (regularly) - can you tell yourself "I should have put it away" "these things happen"? Or are you going to tell yourself it's because the dog is naughty
- The neighbours may moan - incessant barking, howling, crying.....how are you going to feel about that and will you deal with it by trying to make a plan or are you going to label your dog as a "bad, noisy Beagle"?
- Your dogs may fight - it is not nice, it is more "shocking" to your system than you could ever imagine. Can you cope with the fact that this is something that happens - they are dogs. Will you be able to step back and be honest with yourself about your situation at home and that your dog's behaviour may be a reflection of that......or are you going to label your dog's as a problem?
- They will sneak up on your bed, your couch, get onto the dining room table and devour a cheesecake or the Sunday roast - dog's fault or yours for not training properly or KNOWING your dog and not leaving it unsupervised in a room with an accessible table full of delicious food?
- Counter surfing and landscaping are generally favourite pass times. They are problem solvers, the problem usually being "how do I get more food?" or "how do I get where I have been barricaded and blocked from going?"
- "Chase-me-whilst-I-have-one-of-your-most-valuable-or-expensive-things-in-my-mouth" a big favourite game. And if you have given in even only once to allowing them on the couch or bed with you despite swearing that those were going to be "Beagle free zones", you will have to learn how to play Beagle Tetris with your limbs.
- There is house training, stepping in puddles or piles when you walk half asleep to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Standing in the wind and rain and saying "Yay good dog!" and clapping your hands like a mad person when your puppy made a 5ml wee.
- Rediscovering what patience actually means, what understanding and unconditional love means and a world of self discovery opening up. These dogs really know how to make you see yourself for who you truly are if you let them.
Your Beagle will have good days, bad days, sick days, clingy days, crazy days, noisy days, naughty days. Your Beagle depends on you for food, for exercise, for entertainment, for love, for affection, for trust, for comfort, for safety, for guidance, for understanding.......for a relationship.
If the above overwhelms you, if it even in the slightest seems like a daunting task. Please please do not get a Beagle. If you already own one and are finding yourself in a position of pulling your hair out in frustration - then do whatever you need to do to make a mind shift, because it is you and only you that needs to change. Without it your situation won't. I urge each and every single one of you out there with whom this struck a cord. If you want a relationship with your Beagle and you don't know where to start. Start with someone that will give you a big dose of reality, hold your hand and support you. Do not lean on the shoulder of someone who 1. Does not understand Beagles and 2. Is only going to tell you what you want to hear.
If you truly and genuinely want a relationship with your dog there are plenty of people you can speak to that can guide you, chat with you, laugh and cry with you and support you.
The "Beagle Die-Hards" understand, really we do. We get it, it's not easy, but it is possible and it is more rewarding than anyone could ever put into words.
That is the simple little secret, a relationship, a healthy relationship of love and understanding.
It's an experience, a Beagle experience............and it's magical.
A very exciting start to our Beagle in Mind initiative. A week-end of learning how to use all those traits that so many see as flaws to your benefit in training your beautiful Beagle babes.
We have a fantastic line-up of a talk and training by Kieron Piper - Animal behaviourist.
A little bit about Kieron:
For more information about the week-end or to book please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ALTERNATIVE HEALING & BLOG DISCLAIMER
Alternative healing articles and any other advice featured in this blog do not claim to replace any conventional veterinary treatment. This is an educational blog for Beagle owners to read about alternative options that we as Beagle owners have tried ourselves and seen positive outcomes. We do not post anything we have not experienced positively and will never endorse anything in which we do not believe through positive experience.
Kinesiology and other healing modalities do not diagnose, cure or prescribe, as these activities are the prerogative of veterinarians. Kinesiology may provide a different, energy-based approach to allergy support, and potentially allow for a reduction in the use of corticosteroids. As a kinesiologist, I believe that allergies, just like other ailments, may have an emotional and/or mental aspect which is worth addressing. As such, this modality represents a valid complementary therapy to veterinary care.