Of the three Dog Snobs, both BusyBee and Potnoodle are vegetarian. Both also happen to feed their dogs raw. In today’s entry, we discuss what it’s like being a vegetarian who is frequently elbow deep in animal carcass.
BusyBee: As a nearly lifelong vegetarian, if you had told me before Mr. T that I would be feeding my dog a raw diet, I would have laughed in your face….and probably shuddered just thinking about it. As a kid, I wouldn’t even touch the dinner plates after a meal if meat had been on them (ok fine, maybe it was partially a ploy to get out of doing the dishes), but I seriously was grossed out even thinking about or seeing meat. When I got Mr. T, we started on a high quality kibble and although he seemingly enjoyed it, it became evident over time that he was having some pretty bad reactions to the food he was eating. After over a year of constant vet visits for sores, rashes, UTIs, and hair loss (not to mention wicked dog farts), I finally took the plunge and started raw. I had it in my mind that I would just give him pre-made patties because that wouldn’t require me actually handling the meat. What I hadn’t planned on was how into meal planning I would actually get, so less than a month after starting raw, I found myself trolling the internet looking for whole animals, joining a local raw feeder co-op, and breaking down his meals in my kitchen sink. My parents still can’t believe I’m doing this, and quite frankly, neither can I.
Potnoodle: Meat is weird. We can all agree on that right? I mean… why is gnawing on connective tissue considered a normal thing to do? Unfortunately, for dogs, it is a normal (species appropriate) thing to do. Because of this, I’ve been chopping up deer bits in my backyard for longer than I care to think of. I bag up kidney and tripe and nothing nice like it is my job. I get really into planning it out and I have the highscore at freezer tetris. I buy goat on the hoof and butcher it myself, all in my backyard (though I let other people handle the actual killing…) All because my first poodle has bad teeth. That’s right… no gastrointestinal issues caused the switch. My dogs had great coat on a high quality grain free diet. It’s all about the teeth for me, though of course there have been secondary improvements. I have no plans of going back, I’ll be covered in various bloody debris for the rest of my days.
Things We Never Thought We Would Do
1. Break down whole animals
Seriously. Gloves on, handling large chunks of raw meat and breaking it down into meal-sized portions. Who are we? Why are we doing this? Tofu never required so much work. Once, Potnoodle made the mistake of answering her door while in the middle of organ bagging day. The good news is, she no longer sees any Jehovah’s Witnesses
2. Devote an entire freezer to raw meat
Prior to dogs, our freezers were full of Morningstar Farms veggie products and ice cream. Now, they resemble carefully stocked meat lockers. BusyBee still gets a little weirded out whenever she opens her freezer and sees little bunny foo foo peering back at her. Potnoodle wasn’t joking about having the high score at freezer tetris, it truly is an art and not one she feels should be taken for granted.
3. Casually watch our dogs devour their raw
Watching a dog go to town on a whole rabbit is quite a sight, and frankly one that we never thought we would be ok doing. However, it really doesn’t even faze us anymore, so much so that the other day BusyBee traumatized a neighbor who came over to say “hi” and caught Mr. T with bunny feet literally dangling from his mouth. While the neighbor gagged and probably flashed back to Thumper from Bambi, BusyBee wasn’t even disturbed.
4. Examine our dog’s poop with such interest.
On kibble, it can basically be taken for granted that a dog’s poop should look the same day in and day out. Not so on raw food. Too loose? More bone. Dog constipated? More meat or add some tripe. Weird color? Back off the bone. It’s like working in a CSI lab, minus the murder.
5.Spending more time planning our dog’s menu than our own.
Balance over time, it’s a raw feeding mantra. So often, our dog’s diet is planned weeks ahead. Meanwhile, Potnoodle has been known to eat peanut butter sandwiches for multiple meals a day and BusyBee has failed at every attempt she has made to track her own food intake or plan menus even a few days in advance.
Do you feed raw? Are you a vegetarian? Share below!