For this blog post I asked my good friend Amanda Baur to share Whats in the Dish?
I've received instruction on feeding dogs since I got my own competition obedience partner when I was a teenager. He had all kinds of digestive issues and I had no clue what to do for him except for what I was told - feed the exact same thing day in and day out. Never, ever give him "people food" or switch anything up in his diet at all. I have no idea if things would be different for him if I'd fed him like I feed now, but I do think he'd be at least a little better off.
We are constantly changing, growing, and learning. Maybe 20 more years from now, I'll look back on today and think I could've done better. I actually really hope that's true because that will mean we've kept learning how to do better by our dogs!
My name is Amanda Baur. I got my first dog of my own, Ozzie, at 16 and started training immediately. My family already had dogs and trained, so it was the next obvious step. I currently have 3 dogs: Murphy, a twelve year old terrier mix; Seven, a six year old Border Collie x Whippet; and Circa, a 8 month old Border Collie x Whippet. I've trained and competed in various dog sports for about 24 years - obedience, rally, flyball, disc, and most recently dock diving.
What does my training background have to do with diet? Everything.
After feeding Ozzie kibble for his entire life as instructed, I decided I wanted a big change when I got Murphy and went partial raw. When I brought Seven home we went full raw. I read and researched a lot and talked to people around me with healthy, competitive dogs. I really felt like I was doing what was best. Murphy was thriving, but Seven was thin and a super picky eater. Although very athletic, she stayed on the brink of being too thin almost constantly. No matter how much fatty cuts, tripe, bone broth, etc.
I began adding grain inclusive dehydrated foods to their raw to combat this. It helped Seven a little. But she still would skip meals and stayed pretty thin. She'd lose energy in competition quickly. She had no reserve. When she was almost five years old I added kibble to her diet for the first time in her life. It changed her. She now does not struggle at all with her weight and has a much better appetite. We were again a partial raw household.
During all of this time, I started reading more and learning more about the importance of variety and we kept things changed up as much as possible. When I brought my youngest home this year, he started with mostly kibble and we've added more raw and other variety over time. All three of my dogs do very well on the diet we've settled on for now.
What is their diet? "Lazy" kibble only meals? Yup!
Fun raw prep with exotic meats at times? Of course!
What's on sale? Hell yes!
Fruit and veggies added in too! Sometimes what I'm eating.
We rotate a couple of kibble brands and several different proteins. What's pictured here is just a drop in the bucket of the variety we use in addition to our kibble.
What is my main goal? Feed healthy, but don't obsess over it! I love training!!! I love spending time with my dogs doing fun stuff or just lounging together on the recliner. I stopped obsessing. We both enjoy what they eat and I no longer wrench my back carrying a 50 lb box of duck necks to the bathtub to thaw. I save my back for tugging games and throwing plastic toys into a pool!
Nutrition is important. But if I had to choose a raw prep day or a day training and playing with my dogs, I'm always going to choose to spend time with them.