Sunday, April 15, 2012

My dog is more PALEO than you

Yes, it's true. My dog Bear is more paleo than you. He eats raw, he eats the bones, and he doesn't gag on chicken liver. So why am i posting dog meals now? Well, just to get you thinking about your best friend. They're getting cancer and fat, just like us - makes you wonder huh? More about that in a sec.
So how did the Crossfit Open go for you. I was a nervous wreck the whole time. I thought the programming was good and the scoring was fair. If you're a data geek, check this post by my friend Mike Deskevich. Bottom line, he checked out various scoring methods and came to the conclusion that the method used is as "fair" as any. Not much movement in athlete placement at bottom and top - where it counts. I was very fortunate to qualify for the Crossfit Games in the 50-54 Master's group. My GF Laurie and I took off to climb in Spain for 10 days the week after the Open and now i'm in serious training/eating mode - as i know many of you are. My diet has evolved over the years, but if you're curious, i'm currently eating 150g P, 120g F, 80 g C per day. That's right - 1/2 my calories are fat and that will increase the closer i get to July.
OK - raw food diets for your dog. Do you know that corn is a primary (top 3) ingredient in most dog foods? Bear gets terrible "hot spots" if fed corn, and maybe your dog doesn't. But what's happening inside him? Let's face it, no one ever saw a wolf run down a corn stalk. This is not canine food (nor is it human food). So, what to do? There are many resources, so study up, just google "dog raw food diet." There are many myths out there, just like with human diet. The biggy is chicken bones. Cooked = No Bueno. Raw = Bring-It. It still freaks me out a bit because Bear pretty much inhales his food. Read up and use your own judgment. Chicken drumsticks are nearly small enough for him to gulp. The turkey drumstick he ate tonite forced him to chew and i felt a lot better about it. The other concern is bacteria, etc. Really? Raw chicken? Yes. I'm feeding Bear all "human grade" food and sure, there is still some risk of nasties in there, but hell, the bacteria in his gut could kick the shit out of Mel Gibson any day of the week. How do i know this? You'd be surprised what a dog wandering thru the woods will eat. Now you're wondering about the cost right? I did my research. Med quality food, like "Blue Buffalo" w/out corn cost $51 for a 30 lb bag. Seriously, that's redonkculous, but it gets worse. Bear eats 3 cups - that's $1.43/day. The "good" stuff, truly w/out any grains, is $32 for 11 lb bag - dog food for crying out loud! That's $2.40/day for Bear. What does raw food cost? Here's what i bought today.

Pork Neck Bones $1.79/lb
Turkey Drumsticks $1.49/lb
Chick Gizzards/Hearts $1.21/lb
Chick Livers $1.24/lb
Avg Cost: 1.43/lb.
As a starting point, your dog should get 1 lb "meat" for every 50 lbs bodyweight. About 10% of that should be organ meat.( I also add olive oil to bring the fat up a bit.) That's about 1.5 lbs for Bear/day at a cost of $2.14/day. So not as expensive as "Top Shelf" dog food and much cheaper than Chemo. So, do a little research, and consider it. Do you really want your dog to be eating the equivalent of Cap'n Crunch? Not my buddy. If paleo is good for you, it's good for your dog.
Good Luck to all the athletes heading to Regionals and to the GAMES!

Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"


  1. I'm glad to hear about the dog food issue and how easy it is to feed them properly. My dog died a few years ago and I swore to myself that when I get another dog (or cat) I will feed them raw foods. The commercial dog food is crap. And these animals are getting very sick on the typical standard American diet.

    As a side note, I won't vaccinate my pets either. They get sick from these as well. It's a one-two punch. Shit for food and then injected with things that will kill them. I won't do that to my pets.

    Love, your cousin, Kristin :-)

  2. our dog eats raw food too; we went from chicken wings (he inhaled them) to chicken backs (confused the first time but then he'd inhale them and then puke them up) to chicken thighs (inhaled)...we've switched him back to the blue buffalo stuff a few times and any time we do he gets sick! he's back to chicken wings now, and sometimes we cut them into smaller pieces or use the meat grinder..and sometimes throw in some pumpkin. he loves it :)

  3. Kristin! :) Sorry to hear about your dog - sure that still hurts. Like in everything else, economics is king, so we shouldn't be surprised about the quality of the food in that industry. I need to read up more on the vaccination issue.. BTW - Bear gets lots of chicken eggs too! You're set!
    @krys - thanks for your comment! I read that chicken wings are for "advanced eaters". Dogs learn to inhale their food because they're fed kibble shit right out of the gate which barely needs to be chewed. If i feed Bear chicken drumsticks, i cut them up into even 1" chunks to make sure he doesn't give those bones back ;-) I hope others chime in with their experiences, good and bad. Cheers. Steve

  4. I have two dogs that have been raw fed since 8wks. Dr. Tom Lonsdale is a great resource as well as Googling raw fed dogs.

  5. Thanks! I think this would be the link.

  6. Jill Cody (Klement)April 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Hey Steve, I showed your blog to my husband and he immediately wants are dogs to be paleo. I, be the cautious one, want to ease into it as one of our dogs in diabetic (not from being overweight, he is and has always been very lean, muscular and active), we walk our dogs every day and I am always cautious when we change up their diets. I need to google around and find out more, but can you tell me, does bear get Veggies too with his bones? and if so, what type and do you give them to him raw as well? thanks Steve! Good luck with your training.

  7. Hi Jill - Bear only gets some table scraps these days- the ends of apple cores, strawberries, lettuce. However, all i've read says it's not necessary at all. I've also noticed that vegetables tend to go right thru him. Remember though, they need animal fats and organs to balance things out. I would read up and go for it. It took Bear about 1 meal to adjust - meaning i just switched him over cold turkey.
    Good luck!

  8. Steve, you mentioned you cut the chicken drum sticks into 1 inch chunks. What do you use to cut through the bones?

  9. Just a big knife - but it's a hassle. I almost bought one of those really big chopping knives (cleaver) but then i realized i was defeating the purpose - which is to let your dog chew on bones. So now, i just buy turkey drumsticks. WAY to big to swallow whole and about $1 each. This morning Bear had one of those, 1 egg, and chicken liver.

  10. Do you crush up the egg shell, or just give Bear the egg whole?

  11. I give him the whole egg Colleen - less work and more entertaining :)

  12. How do you warm it up before feeding it to Bear?

    My cat loves beef, to warm it up I cut it into 1 inch rectangles, and put it in a ziplock bag then dunk it in warm water (so the blood doesn't run out, she won't eat it if it's not bloody)

    But that way I go through a lot of ziplock bags... even if I wash it with hot soapy water, it smells dirty after a few days...

  13. June - Bear is lucky if his food is not frozen. Cats are far more picky.

  14. Wow!!! Cool !! Will try it with mine asap. Thanks. :)

  15. I have been practicing the Paleo lifestyle for about 2 years now. Recently I got back from deployment and while there I decided multiple things. One of them was that my dogs would eat paleo when I returned home. I have, with a little planning, done just that (they pretty much eat whatever we eat) and have been so much better for it. My question is this: why does it need to be raw? Paleo doesn't really = raw. Thanks

  16. Hi Angela - good question. The primary answer is "BONES". Your dog should primarily be eating meat, bones, cartilage, fats, and organs (about 10% of total). If that's mostly what you eat, COOL. My dog mostly easts turkey, chicken, some pork/red meat, liver/gizzards/hearts/kidneys, eggs, and heavy cream. ALL of the turkey/chicken includes bones. The pork includes bones. You never want to give your dog cooked bones because that dries them out and makes them brittle - which increases risk of ingesting splintered bones. SO, if your dog is eating mostly meat with bones (should be), then it must be raw. It's worked out great for Bear. Good luck! Steve

  17. Yep, I agree. I have been feeding my cat raw food too, but mostly chicken and fish as she can choke with bigger bones. And not all part of chicken you can fed to a cat.

  18. Steve,
    What would you recommend feeding a small breed dog for paleo? I have two miniature dachshunds and one is ten months old, the other five years old. I so far tried giving them sweet potatoes, apple, baby carrots, they love all that! I gave them raw eggs but they refuse to eat the shell haha! I am afraid to give them bones bc they are inhaling the raw food so far.... and very excited to be eating the whole food! What type of bones or raw meat would be safe to give a small dog that weighs between 8-10 pounds?
    Laura Lee-New Paleo Girl 1-1-13 and Lupus Warrior:)