But I have made an effort. I've bought marrow bones for them instead of rawhides, I buy a few various smoked or slightly cooked bones from local pet stores, let them eat the meat and take them away (eating cooked bones is a HUGE no-no!). I also bought a dehydrator, as you know, to make jerky treats for the dogs. Mike thinks it's absolutely disgusting, which some of it is. We don't allow the bones on the bed because they're still meaty but the pups absolutely love ripping off the meat and licking out the marrow. It seriously keeps them entertained for hours. When I first gave them a marrow bone, I have them eat it outside - my apartment is entirely carpeted and I can't risk them staining it. After the meat comes off, the bones are allowed inside. I have a huge balcony that I can block off since they're leashed when we go downstairs and they just go to town.
Lately, the idea of raw feeding has grown more and more inside my head. I've done my research - I've figured out how much of each type of meat the dogs need to eat a day, I've even started pricing out how much it costs to feed the dogs a day in kibble ($0.70 for both) vs how much it would cost to feed the dogs a day in raw meat ($1.40 for both). Needless to say, unless I can find cheaper sources, it'll be awhile before I can convince Mike we should take the leap.
But Mike has been out of town the past few days and while the cat's away the mice will play, right?
We started out with beef knuckles (yum?) These particular ones I bought frozen from a local pet store and thawed out the day before giving to them. We have The Ginger again so she got in on the action! I was worried how the dogs would react with sharing but they did remarkably well. (In the beginning at least!)
After awhile, they started to get possessive of the knuckles and started growling at each other if they looked at each other wrong. I learned from my trainer last year that this type of aggression, as long as it doesn't progress, is fine - they're telling the other dogs to back off of their food.
They did still share though and have been taking turns chewing on it.
The next night I bought some ox tails at the grocery store. In the picture below, Ares was chewing on a super tiny bit of tail and swallowed it whole! You can see his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth while he worked it down.
I gave Ares another, really big piece and he and Luna spent a good 30 minutes chewing their bones. Ginger also ate hers whole immediately so I don't have any pictures of her eating her raw bone.
Eventually, Luna gave up completely on her bone. Her mouth was tired! Poor Ginger though, when Luna gave up, Ginger tried to get it to eat the rest and Luna went right back to it and took it from her! Luna did let Ares have it and I took it away from him.
When they had dinner, I gave them a smaller portion than they would normally get to account for their appetizer. Also, as with their regular food and bones, I make sure that they will let me come up and take the food from them or their mouths. Ares has always let me, but Luna had to be taught. It's really important to make sure your dog isn't going to bite you if he has food! (We had a dog growing up that did that! And poor us as kids, thought it was great fun to play in Webster's food!)
Coming up next: adventures with green tripe. (Blegh!)