Whoa, Pure Jeevan's Back?!

2016 update: Aha, you noticed?! Welcome. Yes, we wanted to bring the site back online again, mainly because it's so packed with articles and information. It will be a work in progress for some time, as we changed web platforms and all sorts of tech stuff. So, a lot of links are hard-coded to old Wordpress-style links... just awful. But, in time we'll get all of it back in shape. For now, enjoy clicking around and reading!

Jim here... Many people write to us asking whether we own pets and, if so, whether they are raw, too. Well, I wish I had a straight answer for you, but I think the answer is better told via a dedicated blog post.

As I'm writing this, part of me is tempted to include this post in our "My Raw Story" series. You see, Julia (pictured above) had some serious health issues just after we adopted her from a local rescue shelter, and we're still relatively early-on in our attempt to understand and reverse these issues.

Dobermans basically come in blacks, reds, blues, and fawns. The wikipedia explains rather clearly that "the blue color is a diluted black, and the fawn color is a diluted red." "The Jooge" (as she's affectionately known around here) is a blue doberman, a variant of the Doberman breed that is susceptible to (prone to, really) genetic skin issues. I understand the fawns, also "diluted" also experience these problems.

We've always been fond of Dobys, by the way, as our first dog was a red Dobe named Christabel. Christabel was none other than the best dog ever. She lived a charmed life for 15 long years, nearly unheard of for a Doberman! For any of you who have lost a beloved pet, you know how hard it is to go through that. It's still tough to deal with sometimes, actually.

But, in time, we decided that we wanted to welcome another puppy into our home. When we eventually found a rescue shelter, KDcat had her pick of the litter. She and Julia bonded quickly -- both possessing a frenetic energy in their young souls. So we opened our home to this crazy dog and KDcat promptly named her "Julia" (after the Beatles tune of the same name).

Next step:? the dreaded vet. We first noted a problem after she received her initial vaccinations. I'll conveniently avoid the whole issue of "should you vaccinate your dogs " here. Wendi and I aren't huge fans of vaccinations (for people or dogs), but for various rather complicated reasons we did have her vaccinated. That seemed to trigger an unfortunate immune response of an awful rash and then substantial hair loss. I'll save the rash pictures, but here's one of the poor girl's back not long after this:

We eventually hooked up with a local holistic vet, a man who'd even written books on holistic dog care. He advised a raw diet for The Jooge. Imagine that! He also advised against bagged food as well as anything containing grains.

At first, "raw" for The Jooge meant a whole lot of stuff that most raw vegan humans find rather disgusting -- things like raw chicken wings (yes, dogs CAN eat chicken wings, as long as they're raw!), raw meat, and various other raw animal parts. It was rather off-putting, even for me, at times, to rise every morning and butcher up a bowl or raw meat for her. However, I should note that, for The Jooge, I'm fairly certain she thought she'd died and gone to doggy heaven.

In time, her coat became visibly improved. She now looks nearly cured of this condition!

Later, we were reading Ani Phyo's book, in which she described a raw vegan diet that her dog (Kanga, I think) seems to thrive on. We thought, "Hey, if Kanga's doing so well, maybe the Jooge would like this, too." Besides, it would give us an opportunity to use many of our own scraps in a less wasteful way.

So, we tried making the pate recipe in Ani's book, and then played around with it over the following weeks and months, tweaking it to Joogie's taste. Essentially, it's a food processor mixture of nuts, seeds, and various veggies (lots of greens, her favorites), as well as salt and spices. We then serve it drizzled with olive oil. She seems to *love* it, and licks the bowl clean each day.

Physically, she still looks great, her coat is healthy, her eyes healthy, her energy levels high (too high sometimes). We do "supplement" with dog bones, as the chewing and calcium are good for a dog's teeth an bones. But, aside from the bones, Joogie's a raw vegan these days -- and loving it!

Ever tried raw diets with your pets?

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On April 10, 2009, Karri wrote:

Thank you for a great and inspiring story!
My daughter (16) has also been feeding our 3 dogs a raw diet, using the recipe from Ani's book. Their coats look shinier, and they LOVE their food!

On April 10, 2009, RAWbino wrote:

Good-Morning Wendi Dee! ;)
We have two dogs, a Cantel, and a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and they both or on a Raw Food Diet.
Every morning I make my hubby and I each a Green Lemonade for breakfast, then I take the all of the left over pulp in the back of the juicer and put it in my food processor with a raw chicken breast and wha-la they have breakfast at champions! Ever since switching them to a raw food diet, they are more energenic and their fur coats are gorgious! They do get raw bones to exercise their jaws and clean their teeth.

On April 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Yeah, it's interesting with dogs. Because we can't communicate verbally with them to see how they feel, we have to learn to listen to them in other ways. One such way is by observing their overall health. I have to say, just like you've seen, our dog looks and acts great. So, I know she's healthy. Her appetite is pretty strong, too, so I know she loves what she's getting. It's not like she eats it reluctantly... She really seems to enjoy it -- maybe not as much as the raw steaks, but definitely quite a lot.

On April 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Oh yeah, pulp! I forgot to mention that we also do that. Well, not the chicken part... But, our dog also loves the pulp. Apple is her favorite, though she'll pretty much eat any kind offered to her.

On April 10, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

Thanks Jim, excellent article! I never thought about adding the raw "pate" mix to our shih-tzu's diet of raw meat, but I think we'll try it!

Yes, I totally agree with your information. My husband actually was the one 4 years ago that told me "wolves eat raw meat and don't have fleas" so to get rid of a bad flea infestation with our dogs after we'd taken in a couple rescue puppies that were covered in fleas for a few weeks, well suffice, we got rid of the fleas and our dogs have never been healthier!

They eat ground hamburger or chicken everyday! Also I buy them organic grain free treats and Innova EVO kibble as they like to nibble throughout the day while we're at work. I wrote a "how to" about how we feed our pets too on eHow if anyone would like that. The title is "How to Free Your Pooch from Fleas, Naturally". I'd put the link here but don't want to break any blog rules. :)

The funny thing at the market is (at least the gals at the checkout are always amused when I tell them) I buy all this fruit and veggies for us to eat and all the butcher meat for the dogs! LOL

On April 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

For raw pet protocols, there are many books and web sites out there that outline such things. Google the "BARF" diet, for starters. For raw *vegan* pet foods, there aren't as many resources. But, we experiment on our own with various recipes.

On April 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Sure, respond with the link. I'd like to take a look.

I know what you mean about the grocery store experiences. When Joogie was on all raw meat, I always felt a little funny buying so much produce and meat together. Whenever someone heard the meat was for the dog, they usually reacted with a bit of shock. I think they thought it was wasteful or something to be spending so much money on a pet.

On April 10, 2009, BillionaireWoman wrote:

I just wanted to say that although I don't have a pet at the moment, when I do get one, I will definitely consider feeding them raw. I would love to keep it raw vegan with maybe some bones (my previous dog once brought home the remaining bones of a deer who died in the woods, the previous winter. So to me, that seems kind of normal to include).

Thanks so much for sharing your story. One dog at a time, we'll figure things out. :)

On April 11, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

The reason some of the clerks would question me was because I would buy so much organic fruits and vegetables but then they'd see the ground market beef, and wondered why I'd buy such high quality other foods yet the cheapest meat. Mind you these were typically the clerks who saw me often, the more mature clerks.

Here's the link to the article Jim, thanks - its a short read:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4788682_pooch-fleas-nat...
Thanks!
sheila

On April 11, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

Yes after my hubby had first told me of his knowledge of the wolves, I did some raw pet food research and the BARF diet came up. Then I talked with our local pet shop owner and found he preferred and sold raw meat and bones, treats without grain, etc. It was a sudden wealth of knowledge, sort of like when I "fell into" raw foods! LOL Sometimes when open up just a little bit to a new way of thinking we're granted a landslide of it. :)

On April 12, 2009, Errigal_lass wrote:

That is marvelous in what you are doing to help Jooge with the raw diet. My Airedale has been a raw foodist, (but not all the time)...........she seems to thrive on it when done 100% and her energy levels are astounding for an 8 year old. She adores her green smoothies that she does get every day. She loves everything that I eat, and when I am in the kitchen becomes quite a nuisance as she wants me to share.....EVERYTHING! This is all taken with a great sense of humor and much joy.......She and I are quite happy! And oh, when the garden is in full bloom watching her pull tomatoes and green beans (her favorites from the garden)off the vines.........I am in heaven knowing that this is what was meant to be!

When she discovered she could pull green tomatoes off the vines, she would throw them up high in the air and watch them bounce on the ground with the biggest grin on her face, then pounce on it again and throw and watch it bounce..........and after it split open she devoured it!

Another time, she grabbed a corn ear off the counter and I found her outside (I always leave my back door open) at the top of the hill husking the entire ear and then eat it! (This I do not recommend as they throw up the corn cob late at night waking you up to having to clean up). My dog Naoise has taught me to keep my counters clean and everything out of her reach.........I have lost many an avocado!!

Isn't it wonderful to have our canine friends around to enjoy?

On April 13, 2009, katrinka wrote:

all the raw dog comments are usually after feeding the larger dogs. Does anyone have experience with a 6 lb. dog like my Maltese? He eats alot of fresh food bits and a vegan lunch (eats 3x/day) but his am. and pm. meals are a home-cooked (organic) meat and vegetable mix. He gets only 1/3 cup of the mixture per meal so you can see there is not much margin for playing with his calorie allotment or for error with his nutrition. He has never been sick at 10 months, so far, but I would like to eliminate the meat cooking in the house. My raw food husband goes either way. Wally loves his cooked food and his green smoothie and carrot juice, too. What to do.

On May 11, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Joogie update: After a few months of raw veganism, we noticed that Jooge started to just poke around at her meals, less enthusiastic than she used to be about them. As a result of this, we noticed her growing a bit thinner (and she already runs on the thin side). So, we decided to see if reintroducing some meat chunks into her otherwise raw vegan bowl might spur her appetite a bit -- and boy did it! So, what I've been doing is: A few days per week, I'll get some cubed stew meat and stir it in (raw) with her other raw vegan mix. Every time I do this, she eats the entire bowl of food! Her weight is back up now, and I suppose for now I'll just do this for her every other day or so. So, the experiment continues...

On September 8, 2009, Natasha wrote:

Jim, have you tried adding some other animal protein sources ( like organic eggs or dairy ) to Joogie's diet first? I'm myself a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I tried being a strict vegan before but it didn't turn out so well. Specially now that I'm pregnant I do add a little bit off dairy and eggs to my otherwise vegan diet. Anyway, I have a pack of five fury kids - all rescues, and I was thinking of making them vegetarians too. They are all different breeds. I already know that raw diet is the best thing for dogs, but unfortunately I can't afford all that raw meat and chicken for them. Plus, my hubby who just recently became a vegetarian, is finding it very hard to conrtol his cornivorous urges every time I bring steak or chicken home and start preparing it for the doggies. That's why I really want to try putting them on the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. I was wondering if you tried it before with Joogie and if you knew any good sources where I can get a well balanced recipes that are easy enough to prepare - I won't have much time once my baby is here.

On September 9, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Hi Natasha-- I haven't experimented much with other animal protein for The Jooge. Maybe I should sometime. I'm sure you can Google lacto-ovo pet recipes, though, if you want to explore that. Honestly, I'm actually not real thrilled with the meat thing. The Jooge is in heaven, of course. But, I wish there were a good way to get her the nourishment she needs without purchasing meat. There's a karmic aspect to it that I'm personally uncomfortable with, yet I still do it -- and that bothers me. If I had 5 adoptees (wow!), and they could survive on normal dry food, I'd probably go that way, if only for the expense of it all (although I definitely applaud your desire to provide them with the best diet available!). Joogie is kind of a special needs dog. Without raw, she'll lose her coat. I'm sure this will be an ever-evolving subject in our household.

On September 10, 2009, Natasha wrote:

Thank you Jim. I'm on the same page with you about the "karmic aspect". B.t.w. my youngest also has some skin issues. She's almost one yr old, pitt - border collie mix. I've noticed a huge difference when she eats raw meat. The grayish, dull arears of her coat dissapear and turn into healthy and shiny black. The shedding also stops. But like I mentioned before it's almost impossible to have steak in our house. I used to cook their meals but the smell was "killing" my husband - he wanted to eat it too! lol So now I just cook ground beef in water ( makes good beef broth) and add that mix of both to their dry food. Two of the kids ( the finicky ones ) are not to crazy about it. I'm going to research on lacto - ovo diets more. I just don't believe that the dry or canned processed ( pardon me ) crap can ever replace the nutrients from the natural sources.

On May 14, 2010, Amalia Cruz wrote:

Hi there
I have a blue doberman also. He is about 4 yrs old now and has lost the hair on his back. I was wondering if you could share with me the foods and amounts you gave your pup to help correct her disorder. Our vet told us to try melatonin but that hasn't worked any. Thanks for your help

On May 14, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

Well, Ani Phyo's book gives amounts for the pate. We also fed her a good deal of raw meats. For example, she really loved raw chicken wings. I'd usually give her 2-3 of them at a meal (depending on the size of the wings). It it was red meat, I'd usually give her a half pound or so, as memory serves. But, a lot of that would depend on your dog's metabolism, appetite, weight, etc. Sometimes we'd mix the meat in with the nut pate. She seemed to like that a lot. Our dog had a HUGE appetite, and always remained very thin. At 4 years old, your dog is a full adult, and may not require as much. Just play it by ear & see what happens. But, a raw diet definitely worked for ours. Good luck!

On June 20, 2010, carmelita wrote:

i have a mini daschund, black tan. now he is going 8months, and im sure he has a same problem like your dog too. i tried to put AMITRAZ, to his whole body. like my vet said, but until now im failed to cure him. can you give me some tips how can i help my loving dog to get a shiny and have a good skin. im from philippines. and i know you can help me.. plz.. thanks