Avalon Great Danes

Our Feeding Program

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Here at Avalon we believe in feeding raw and natural foods to our Danes.
This plan is for people who are just beginning to learn natural feeding or for those who find other recipes too complicated or expensive. This diet uses grocery store foods and although organic foods are best for them, we recoginize it is not easy to find these foods and they are expensive. We realize this diet is not "rocket science" formulation, but it will deliver far more nutritious and usable food elememnts than any processed commercial product. Raw is preferred in doing this program, but if the dog refuses to eat some things raw, then try that item cooked for variety in the diet. The protein in this kind of diet is high quality and easily digested, therefore far less will be undigested to trigger allergies.This diet is low in grains and is formulated to copy nature as much as possible considering the ingredients available to us today and the time constraints of our daily lives. Carnivores ( which your pet IS ) need protein, fat ( They are a little different from people ) plant carbohydrates and very little grain. They need fruits and vegetables and "green" stuff just like we do. Studies show that dogs do not convert complex carbos to energy for daily needs. They use fat for 80% of their direct energy needs. Carbs make them fat and elevate sugar levels, just like in us. Watch out for "lite" foods for this reason. For puppies and pregnant bitches, you may add extra bone meal.The couch potato dog, the working dog, or the old timer all usually do much better when fed naturally. We find that an extra dose of the Fastrack used during diet transitions usually keeps the digestive tract and bowel stable and the transition smooth.
This diet is very flexible.
PORTION: Start the dog with about the same volume of food consumed prior to beginning this diet. Watch the dog's condition for a week and if you see undesired weight gain, cut the portions by 1/4 until you reach maintenance level. We recommend 2 to 3 feedings daily if possible. If you make a mistake one day-don't freak out- just straighten things out the next day. Stuff happens.
This diet recommends a 50-50 protein to carbo/veggies mixtue for all dogs. But 2/3 protein to 1/3 carbo/veggies for growing coat, working, showing, energy-consuming lifestyle. This is not absolutely necessary, but the extra protein and fat provide support for these demands. When stress and demands stop, go back to the 50-50 recommendations.
An important part of using this diet is to rotate the foods during the week. Providing a broader nutritional base is important to more closely duplicate a natural diet and meet the body's needs. Add bone meal when feeding meat without bones in it. You do not need the extra bone meal if the dog is consuming bones in the meal. Use 2-3 Tablespoons per pound of bonesless meat. When feeding a preganancey or fast growing puppies that may need a little more to cover their needs, add extra bone meal to the food at 2 teaspoons per cup of  food mix.
If you are freaking at the thought of putting raw food in your pet's mouth, start with meat cooked rare and work you way up to raw and be brave. One very important reason to feed Fastrack every meal is to keep good bacteria levels high should a bad bacteria get into the food. When good bacteria levels are correct, bad bacteria are kept in check. Isn't Mother Nature amazing!! For those of you who are apprehensive in starting this feeding program, you can email us at avalongreatdanes@hotmail.com or call us at 843-670-3301. We will be glad to help you out getting started on this GREAT diet. So take a deep breath and relax. If you can feed your family and yourself, you can do this.
MEAT & PROTEINS                              
Raw or rare beef (hamburger or other) can be cooked. Raw or rare venison. Raw poultry necks and backs bone included are safe bones. Poultry wings, legs, thighs, raw or ground or cooked ( cooked must be deboned). Raw or cooked lamb deboned except for raw joint bones.Cottage cheese ( natural type not the no fat brand ), Sardines, tuna, smelt, mackerel, salmon ( fellet big fish because of bones). Eggs with or without the shells. Organs- liver, kidney, heart, raw tripe, gizzards ( feed about 3 time weekly if possible )
Brown rice ( cooked well done ). Old fashioned 5 min. oatmeal. Pasta, noodles ( occasional and if dog is wheat tolerant ). Potato (white occasional ). Sweet potato ( cooked or ground raw ). Barley. Any of the organic grains are fine ( cooked). White rice ( occasionally, cooked, not to be fed full time ).
When feeding raw veggies and fruits, grind, pulp or mash them in a processor or chopper. Once use to them, you can try feeding whole if you are rushed for time. Try and feed raw veggies at least three times a week. Cooked veggies don't need grinding. Raw is preferable because of the valuable enzymes and vitamin / minerals. Cooked works if the dog doesn't tolerate raw. raw is always better. Most do fine with raw.
Apples, pears, cantalope, oranges, apricots, peaches, Bananas, pineapple, cherries, watermelon, payaya, mango, most fruits we commonly use. peas, carrots, zucchini, collards, broccoli, green bean, winter squash, summer squash, cauliflower, kale, various greens ( except spinach only occasionally), sweet corn ( occasionally ), legumes, tomatoes ( don't overdo ) cabbage, parsley, garlic ( don't go crazy with it ) NO ONIONS! and NO GRAPES!
Rice should always be soft cooked but not like glue. A huge time saver is to BAKE the rice in the oven. Put water, rice, seasoning, veggies or meat ( for flavor only ) in a baking pan and prepare in quantity. Experiment to see how long it takes your size pan to cook thoroughly. Raw oatmeal may be ground or softened with hot water, or cooked, or softened with cool water. "Test drive" cooking other grains as they don't all need the same cooking time. You can portion into freezer bags for later use to save time. Buy foods on sale when possible. Frozen veggies are fine as long as you are adding extra enzymes ( Fastrack or Juice Plus capsules ) to the diet. Even frozen veggies and fruit need to be thoroughly washed just as other produce. Put in a colander, thaw, wash before chopping or processing. Add herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, etc. Use fresh veggies if picked ripe. The riper the better. Frozen veggies and fruit are considered nutritionally superior to the usual fresh produce on the grocery store shelves because it is picked much riper and processed immedialety. Fresh produce is picked under-ripe and has not developed it's nutrients fully and suffers losses while being transported and displayed also. The whole idea of this diet is to make it fit your lifestyle so you CAN do a homemade plan. If it becomes too difficult, just make it work. There are many other diet ideas that are much more complicated and need to be specifically followed. Because this diet adds supplements, we can "SHORT CUT" a bit. If you continue this diet long-term, as most do, it is simple and reassuring to have bloodwork done periocicaly to monitor your dog's nutritional status if you have concerns or if the animal has a health problem. Talk to your vet about doing this. This is something many people do routinely anyway.
Use red meat for at least 50% of the protein during a week. If you dog can't tolerate all the different meat / proteins listed, eliminate the problem protein. For example, if chicken causes your dog problems, eliminate the chicken and substitute another meat. This diet can be used the same as prescription dog food products by eliminationg what the dog can't tolerate or lowering protein or fat. Avoid sugar, excess salt, preservatiives, propylene glycol, MSG and other unidentifiable items. If your dog has a yeast problem eliminate the grain until the condition is gone. When feeding bones, raw is best, because the bones are made brittle by cooking. Consider safety when you feed any bones to your dogs. They benefit greatly from raw bones and are a very important source of nutrition. Nothing is better for healthy teeth. If you have questions about anything you want to feed, get in touch with us.
1. Fastrack probiotic ( high count multiple good bacteria and enzymes ) Necessary to keep good bacteria levels and ensure enzyme activity. This also is Natures "way" of protecting the GI tract from bad bacteria growth.
2. Organic bone meal as follows: 3 TBSP per 4 cups food mix, 2 TBSP per 2 cups of food mix, 1/2 TBSP per 1 cup of food mix, 1 TSP per 1/2 cup of food mix.
3. Ester-C (non acidic) vitamin C: We give 1500 mg to our adult danes and 500 to 1000mg to our pups.
4. Kelp: 1 TSP per 25# weight, up to 3 TSP maxumum daily
5. Cod Liver Oil: 2 to 3 capsules per day
6: Vitamin E 400 I.U. 2 per day
7. Brewers Yeast: 4 per day
8. Flax Seed oil and Ground Flax Seed: 1000 mg and 2 TBSP per day
9. Juice Plus: For the dogs that won't eat their veggies and fruits or your time is limited, or you are traveling with your dog. I just bring the capsules and add to the meat and the Fastrack. This provides my Great Danes with the nutrition of the raw veggies and fruits in a great easy form to carry. They get these at home also to greatly boost the intake of a broad range of antioxidents and nutrients known to help prevent diseases like cancer. 
We buy most of our supplements from Nature's Farmacy.(Bone Meal, Fastrack, Kelp, Juice Plus, etc.) You can email them for a list of their products at jeanette@naturesfarmacy.com They also offer free consultations and information.
We buy some of the supplements from grocery stores (Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Food Lion, etc.) like Vit.E, Cod liver oil, brewers yeast, Ester-C, Flax Seed Oil, etc.
This is a diet I hope you consider. It works great for us and we could not be happier with the health of our Great Danes. All puppies will be started on this diet. It is our hope and we highly stress the need for this diet to contuine when one of our puppies go to live in their new home.