I thought at some point I should include in my blog, a sample of what my dog Glee’na eats.  It seems to fit, considering out of the two of us, she’s much more food driven than I.  As well, this site is named after her and thus, she deserves a shout out.

Recently I switched Glee’na’s diet from a high quality kibble to a raw meat/steamed vegetable diet.  It was sort of accidental how it happened, but I’m very happy with it and I’m not sure I would go back to dry dog food again (unless of course we’re traveling).

Really it all started in June when Glee’na had knee surgery and I needed to prepare both her and I for her recovery which is ~18 weeks (but because she is a big dog, it’s more like 24 weeks).  This means assisting her up the stairs, keeping her on a leash whenever we’re outside, walks that are no longer than 20 minutes long, twice weekly rehab swims and once monthly vet visits.  She is doing very well and so far her scar is healing as expected.  Going back a bit further, before her surgery, I had to get her weight down as she was 10 lbs over what was healthy.  The poor girl couldn’t do much though, so it was a challenge.

Part of this challenge included reducing her caloric intake, but not starving her.  I started to mix up pumpkin mix with peas and beans (both high in protein), swiss chard or spinach, and apples or blueberries.  I found myself looking forward to doing this every Sunday and realized that I loved preparing her food.  I felt much more in control of her diet and I liked that I knew exactly what she was getting.  Plus she thought it was awesome, because she loves fresh vegetables.  At this time I mixed this concoction with her kibble (the kibble amount was reduced by 1/3), but I wanted to eliminate that as well.

I researched the raw food/vegetable/fruit diet for about a month and kind of got nowhere.  There is so much conflicting information online and everyone has their opinions.  I read everything from it being the end-all diet to a slow, deadly poison.  I was pretty frustrated too, because her vet wasn’t offering anything information either.  I realized during that process how entrenched we are in the “Kibble World”.  I hadn’t really noticed that before and I was shocked that I hadn’t given it much thought until this point.  What was I feeding my dog and was it really better than whole food?  Logically, of course it wasn’t.  YES, it was waaaaaay more convenient, but certainly processed food has NEVER been healthier than the real deal… think Kraft Dinner, etc.  It dawned on me, that it was like feeding her really healthy organic cereal, instead of oatmeal… or something like that.  Anyway, you’re following right?

As it always happens, I finally found a knowledgeable person (named Helga) who kindly took a few hours to phone me up and explain everything to me.  I took 4 pages of notes and rewrote the really messy parts after we hung up.  She too has a Rottweiler, who is similar in stature to Glee’na (Glee’na is very barrel-chested, as she is a German rotti, rather than an American one) and so she was able to offer everything from portion size to important supplements.  Plus she pointed me in the direction of a reasonably priced meat distributor, that wasn’t going to break the bank.

Today Glee’na is a very excited, well fed doggie.  The transition was seamless (some dogs experience the runs, etc), she loves her food THAT MUCH MORE, she has more energy than before (which is hard to believe) and her poops are much, much smaller (plus they break down within a couple of days… bye bye needless waste).  Finally, the diet is exactly the same cost as her kibble and I am assured that I’m providing the best food for her.  Everything is still organic and grain-fed, and of course that makes me happy too.

Happy Glee’na, happy mama.