Swap to Raw Diet

Our Process of Swap Over to Raw Diet - Alfoxton Changeover
We commenced feeding our adult Aussie dogs with the VAN muesli in December 2012 and mixing this with the Chicken and Vegie roll - the dogs were doing very well on this, their coats in particular became thicker and very glossy - one big thing was also the improvement in the droppings, especially how the poo no longer smells like the squished vet dry food - what goes in one end does come out the other!

The muesli was easy to prepare - just a case of mixing one cup of dry ingredient with just over one cup of water and letting this sit for a few hours. The muesli then expands as it absorbs the water and then is ready to serve - we found this amount was enough to share between three dogs for each meal.

Puppies

At the end of January 2013 we also started weaning the 'M' Litter of four pups on the VAN puppy diet. We mixed the muesli with eggs and yoghurt for 2 meals and then with mince for the other two meals. It was very easy to handle and the pups thrived. Again we found the poo remained fairly solid and no strong smell. One big advantage was we noticed the mother dog would continue to clean up after the puppies even after they were weaned. Pups from this litter went home with families in March and we asked that they consider continuing to use the VAN.

Roo Food

In February 2013, we had contact with a retired butcher who has taken up as a local kangaroo eradicator. He is able to provide a regular supply of kangaroo mince - So now all our Aussies Dogs are being fed the muesli and roo meat. The mince we have access to is 100% kangaroo so unlike many of the pet shops there is no added beef or horsemeat to the mix. The big advantage to roo meat is that it is completely organic - as the roo is wild grazing and can choose his own feeding whereas farmed animals will often be fed grains which may contain chemicals or processed feeds.

Training Classes

We have now had a few others in the training class start to run this feed program with their own dogs and the reports are very positive. Most dogs seem to adjust to the food within about a week, but once they get used to the change they seem to be very keen on the raw diet, even the dogs that were not previously enthusiastic eaters. One of our Team has a dog that is always on a diet to keep his weight down; they have found it much easier to keep his weight under control.

Puppy Rearing

We now wean and raise all our puppies on a Raw Diet. Currently that is about 8 litters to date. First start feeding pups at 3 weeks, initially starting with some beef mince and before the fourth week we are mixing the Puppy VAN at about 50/50 with the mince then once a day some yoghurt, a splash of oil and an egg around 6 weeks of age we start giving some large chunks of meaty bones for the pups to rip into about 3 times a week. Pups respond very well to a Raw Diet and we find the adults continue to clean up the puppy droppings until pups are perhaps 6-7 weeks old. We now find we don’t need to conduct out first worming of pups until around 5-6 weeks old instead of what is recommended by the manufacturers which is every two weeks from two weeks.

Cost Comparison

As far as cost went, my first impression was that it was going to cost a great deal more, however the 15kg bag of VAN Adult Muesli cost about $150 delivered, however it lasted four dogs nearly two months and my dogs are being fed twice a day due to the amount of exercise as well as Keeda being pregnant. So perhaps with the traditional commercial foods I could reduce the costs of feeding slightly however I feel the improvement to the dogs is worth it.

Overall Impression

We are very impressed with the condition of all the dogs. Although our breed are usually dogs with lovely thick coats and no of skin problems. We still felt the dog’s coats had improved.

We particularly notice that, the droppings are now dark and fibrous and no noticeable smell. Much easier to pick up the poo as there are solid lumps and no squishy landmines to negotiate. There have been a few clients with dogs who were very fussy eater and difficult to maintain their weight. When we recommended trying the VAN they have reported back that the dogs are enthusiastic for their VAN dinner and a noticeable improvement in their coats. However you can expect that some dogs will take a week or so to accept. Consider with human kids - they would happily eat the chips and hamburgers every day and will turn their nose up at salad... but once the dogs are used to the healthy (sugar free) diet they are happy to eat.

We have also had a couple of the Alfoxton Aussies with weight trouble (need a Jenny Craig diet), they have changed their dogs diet over to the VAN weight loss program and found that it has been easier for them to keep control over their dogs weight without feeling they have to starve the fur kids.

There is no question now as to what is best - we now recommend the VAN to everyone and believe that this provides a much better diet for our own dogs.