Slightly grisly subject this evening, which is probably best served to a reduced Friday-blog-post audience...
Whilst researching canine diet, following some of The Boy Wonder's interesting food issues, we rediscovered the BARF approach...Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
The diet is based on the theory that dogs, fairly recently evolved from wolves (a mere 15,000 years or so ago) would historically have eaten raw food, primarily meat and bones...moreover the arguments in support of this idea suggest that they need this diet in order to be healthy, both physically, and perhaps psychologically.
A modern dried dog food does have a reasonably strong scientific base...but it was paid for by the companies that want to sell you the dog food.
Having thought about this a little bit recently, I've found I have some strong opinions.
In a pub a couple of weeks ago, I found some dog biscuits in my pocket, and offered them around. Nobody wanted one, but someone suggested I try one, so I did.
Now, I'm not a foodie by any means...but oh my word, it was dull...dry, flaky, tasteless and utterly dull.
It made me realise that we basically take a day's nutrients (simplified and dumbed down to the point of blandness), and turn them into something resembling Ryvita...if offered a diet of dry Ryvita and nothing else, for the rest of your life - how many of you would happily accept that?
And yet that's what we impose on our "best friends"!
I concede that the idea of sourcing and handling raw meat and bones every day is somewhat unappealing...but there are ways and means.
Whilst researching suppliers, which are dotted around the country, I found a place that looked interesting...decidedly un-corporate, a nice feel to them ethically, and very reasonably priced.,,and importantly, they supply a pre-prepared (and locally sourced) product...ranging from raw, ground chicken, beef and pork, to a variety of meat mixed with vegetables and fish oil, and a variety of bones and natural raw treats.
So I when I looked them up and discovered to my great surprise that their single small warehouse unit is located around 150m from where I'm now working every day, I took it as a significant omen!
Today I popped round there on my way home to collect these frozen chicken necks, which we will use as a supplementary snack for The Treacle Spongebob.
And here in the freezer is a couple of weeks worth of raw chicken, pork, and duck.
It only cost around £20, so it's not really that expensive...if we could get away with spending only £40 each at Sainsbury's every month, we'd be minted!
So it only seems fair to spend a little more and give The Big Dog a diet that he can get excited about.
By all accounts, dogs are almost immediately noticeably healthier on such a diet, with glossier coats and a more satisfied demeanour.
We shall see...if nothing else, I hope Robin will enjoy some lovely raw meat over coming weeks.
We have a kilo of ground chicken defrosting in the fridge...
...the great experiment starts tomorrow!