belgian ears belgian eyes
Home      Belgian Shepherds       Blackbelly Sheep      Blog       Contact Intention Hill Logo
matti sibling photo savannah half-sibling savannah-sar sar-jairam herding

Dogs
History and Standards
Available Dogs
Puppies
Health Records

Groenendael
Chittaprasad Jairam du Volant

Tervuren
Aanandi
"Pinkie" Ashwini
"Devi" Bhagavathi
Christa
Carmella
Dior
Dru
Gabbit
Jahnu
"Savannah"

Tervuren (Co-owned)
"Radha" Cantata
"Brodie" Bajrang

Rescues
Kylie's Shambhavi Rose

Litters
Basquelaine 'A' of Intention Hill
'B' of Intention Hill
'C' of Intention Hill
'D' of Intention Hill

Intentions
Litter Plans

Healthcare & Research
Cancer (Artemisinin and Other Info)
Raw Feeding
Vaccinations
Early Spay & Neuter
Parasites & Remedies

Training
SAR Articles
Recommended Reading
Accomplished Belgians
Resources

Breeders of
Working Belgians

Groenendael
Tervuren
Malinois
Laeknois

©2016 Tracy Wessel

Intention Hill

Promote Your Page Too

 

Vetary

Website Award
Vetary has analyzed top Belgian Tervuren breeders and cross referenced positive social mention data with top analytics platforms. Your site was a clear winner with U.S. pet owners over the last 12 months. For context, Vetary awards breeders with best-in-class online buzz, content, visuals, and most importantly, a strong cause and devotion toward their breed of dogs.

Health & Research - Raw Feeding

Principals of Feeding the Canine
by Tracy Wessel
©2013 Tracy Wessel

This document overviews important information regarding feeding your Belgian. Over the years, dogs in general have experienced an increase in the prevalence of allergies and auto-immune disorders. There will probably be debate over the causes for years to come, ranging from vaccination/over-vaccination to commercially prepared dog foods, to the environment. In any case, my goal is to provide the least toxic environment for myself and my dogs, to treat toxic symptoms in my dogs, to prevent re-occurrence of toxicity, and to raise genetically healthy dogs – a genetically healthy dog will produce healthier stock.

Disclaimer: This document is not meant to replace the recommendation of a veterinarian who has examined your dog. I am not a veterinarian.

There was a time in history when man never considered basing the canine diet on corn, potatoes, oats nor rice. Many years ago, dogs ate table scraps. Many basque shepherds would feed their dogs scraps, or pieces of deceased sheep. Somewhere along the line, convenience and “science” won the minds of man, and kibbles were created. Economy created fillers that would require less food and bring a greater feeling of fullness to the dog. Dogs used to live to be upwards of 14 years of age. Now it is more a rare thing than the norm.

My dogs are fed based on a prey model. Any modification to that is based on requirements to maintain a dog with some medical condition. There are many websites and books available to you, should you choose to feed a homemade or raw diet. There are also resources which will rate commercially prepared foods, should you choose to feed them.

It is important to recognize that dogs, though listed as carnivores, are in fact omnivores. They are also part scavenger. Feeding your dog nothing but meat and bones will not be sufficient.

Also note that supplementing should be done with care. Some veterinarians advise feeding dogs a daily human vitamin. High levels of Vitamin D and other components have been shown to be dangerous to dogs. Much is not known about the metabolism of vitamins and minerals in dogs. Therefore, I supplement only about 2x per week. I use Eniva Vibe, which I order online, and am a distributor for. I prefer bio-available liquid vitamins and there are others on the market, some available at better natural foods stores, and others available online. Sample recipes will follow the books and website links. The samples below are just that – samples. I change and adjust as other meat sources are available, or as I learn more, and encourage you to do the same. You may find the practices of one person do not work well for your dog.

Cautions in the Raw Diet
Dogs can die from a raw diet. They can die from a kibble diet too. Here are some precautions in your raw feeding diet:

Numerous dogs have died eating neck bones, chicken necks, turkey necks and backs. Please choose bones which have no sharp edges. Please choose to feed body parts that your dog will CHEW. Some dogs swallow their food whole. I address this with one of my dogs by feeding him a body part which encases the bone in muscle and skin – I feed him chicken thighs. Or he gets ground meat with bone, or a large bone source that is separate from his ground meats. Dogs that will swallow bones whole, or swallow sharp pieces, can rip the esophagus – the item rips the esophagus on the way down –and often again on the way up. This is fatal. It happens in the wild as well. Do not prevent your dog from eating grass – often they will do this to encase a large piece of bone in a web of grass, to be later regurgitated. This could save your dogs’ life.

Books
Give Your Dog A Bone, by Ian Billinghurst
Raw Meaty Bones, by Tom Lonsdale
Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats, by Dr. Pitcairn

Websites
http://www.barfworld.com

http://www.rawmeatybones.com

http://www.drpitcairn.com

http://dogaware.com
I must comment on this site. Mary Strauss started this site under a different URL (which was later bought by a dog food company). She has done extensive research and information and resource gathering for the benefit of us all, most of this out of dedication to raising awareness and saving dogs’ lives. Please visit her site to expand your knowledge base. She has extensive dietary recommendations for a variety of serious illnesses in dogs. She also lists other books and sites that you may find invaluable.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com
This site ranks commercially prepared dog foods, both grain-free, frozen/canned raw, dehydrated raw, etc.

http://leerburg.com/diet2.htm
Leerburg sample menus for raw feeding

http://leerburg.com/feedpups.htm
Leerburg sample menus for puppies

Today’s Diet at Intention Hill
My feeding practices have changed over the years, and I expect they could again. I began feeding homemade food in the early 90’s by following Dr. Pitcairn’s menus. His menus contained more grain at that time, but were met with rice or oatmeal. I began this practice as I had a Vizsla that would not eat whatever kibble I purchased, and was eating rocks and dirt.

I later learned of the books of Ian Billinghurst and Tom Lonsdale. I made my way through their diets, and then a very weighed and measured diet with my rescue who had Renal Disease. With this dog, I followed the advice of gathered information on Mary Strauss’ site (http://www.dogaware.com) and through the K9 Kidney lists on Yahoo. One of those lists had an excel spreadsheet which calculate the phosphorous and calcium ratio for me so I could carefully feed this dog. I still find this tool useful.

Over time, through my work in Search and Rescue, I have paid close attention to the contents of the scat of coyotes, wolves and bears. I have relaxed my feeding regime to include far less supplementation, and far more variety whenever possible. This has been fairly easy in Montana, as I live in a rural area and have befriended a fantastic butcher. My dogs have game trim in the Autumn and early Winter, and have beef, goat and lamb the rest of the year. I occasionally get them chicken and rabbit through barter or the grocery store.

When feeding a raw diet, growing pups need 5-10% of their body weight in food daily, as opposed to adult dogs that should consume 2-3% of their body weight daily. This all varies with the activitylevel and metabolism of your dog, and the protein source. If you are feeding high fat beef, you will find you need less meat than if you are feeding rabbit or lean venison. You have to feel your dog's ribs routinely. Never assume they are doing great beneath all that hair. You should be able to feel the ribs easily. On an intact Belgian under the age of 5, you may agonize over how lean they are. This is typical of high energy dogs that are slow to mature. Do not let your puppy get too fat!! Either cut back portions or trim skin and fat from the meat you are feeding.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is your dewormer – puppies start at 1 tsp per day, working up to 1 TBS/day for adults. I feed only 2-3x per week in deep cold Winters, and daily in worm season. I will also add wormwood to the diet 2-3x/week during worm season. Additional natural anthelmintics include pumpkin seed (ground or whole) and garlic. There is more information about parasite prevention and treatement in here.

Puppies will eat 3-4 times per day, reducing to 1x/day for the adult dog. In the Belgian Shepherd, an unaltered dog will probably need 2 feedings per day up until the 3rd birthday depending on activity level, metabolism, etc. Their weight will tell you, though I've found my once per day dogs gain weight more easily than those fed more times per day. That being said, feeding one very large meal per day to keep weight on the young dog could be an invitation to bloat. Unlike wild canids, the domestic dog has been cultivated to exhibit an imbalance of certain traits in order to be successful at man’s chosen tasks. This can create dogs of hyper levels of activity, rendering them quite difficult to keep weight on. Male Belgians can seem emaciated until they reach 4-5 years old. One has to weigh the nature of each dog to choose the best course in diet. All of my dogs, two and older, are currently fed once per day.

Tthe natural metabolism of the dog must be honored at some point, to maintain a healthy dog. Therefore the adult dog that can maintain weight on a reasonable single feeding per day should have just a morning feeding.

SAR Dogs/highly active dogs. Dogs that participate in extreme levels of activities should have an additional feeding following the activity, but only after cooling off. My dogs have an extra feeding after any search exercise beyond two hours long.

Notes on Summer
Some dogs are more tolerant of heat than others. Savannah is not very tolerant unless fed Vertex in Summer. Vertex is a very useful supplement for hard working dogs, pregnant/lactating dogs. Jai gets Vertex all year, as in Winter he is Skijoring. I also give them Power Boost during/after hard work to recover electrolytes, carbs and minerals. I see a vast improvement in stamina and heat tolerance with these supplements. I have also used PowerBoost as my electrolyte replacement during any GI illness for the dogs.

Butchers
Take advantage of local butchers and stock up on volumes of meats and bones. But do freeze the meat for 10 days. This will reduce the likelihood of parasites being spread to your dog. Also do not feed Salmon and be very cautious during spawning season as flukes are deadly to dogs.

Here is a sample weekly diet for a PUPPY

Monday
Meal 1
Ground Beef, Beef Suet, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp)

Meal 2
Ground Beef, Beef Suet, Goat Milk, DE (1 tsp) (if the puppy is still nursing the second feeding with DE will be helpful as they are very prone to round worms when nursing. If not nursing, 1x/day is sufficient)

Meal 3
Raw Egg, Goat Milk, (no egg shells for puppies, unless ground), vegetable or fruit (lightly cooked peas and carrots, smashed or cubed, blueberries, diced apple, chopped cooked greens, etc.

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Can stuff a Kong with repeat of Meal 1 or 2

Tuesday
Meal 1
Ground Chicken or Turkey, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp) (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal), green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 2
Ground Chicken or Turkey, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp) (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal) (if the puppy is still nursing the second feeding with DE will be helpful as they are very prone to round worms when nursing. If not nursing, 1x/day is sufficient)

Meal 3
Ground chicken/turkey Cottage Cheese, (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal) green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Almond Butter (no added ingredients, just ground nut), ground chicken, cottage cheese

Wednesday
Meal 1
Ground Beef, Beef Liver, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp)

Meal 2
Ground Beef, Goat Milk, DE (1 tsp) (if the puppy is still nursing the second feeding with DE will be helpful as they are very prone to round worms when nursing. If not nursing, 1x/day is sufficient)

Meal 3
Beef Heart, Goat Milk or cottage cheese

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Chopped green tripe

Thursday
Meal 1
Ground Chicken or Turkey, whole pieces of chicken gizzards and hearts, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp) (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal)

Meal 2
Ground Chicken or Turkey, Chicken livers (must have been frozen) Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp) (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal) (if the puppy is still nursing the second feeding with DE will be helpful as they are very prone to round worms when nursing. If not nursing, 1x/day is sufficient)

Meal 3
Cooked rice (basmati, jasmine, white), ground chicken/turkey Cottage Cheese, (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal) green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine), Nutritional Yeast, Kelp

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Almond Butter (no added ingredients, just ground nut), ground chicken, cottage cheese Ground Beef, Beef Suet, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp)

Friday
Meal 1 Ground Beef, Goat Milk, DE (1tsp)

Meal 2
Beef heart, cottage cheese (if the puppy is still nursing the second feeding with DE will be helpful as they are very prone to round worms when nursing. If not nursing, 1x/day is sufficient)

Meal 3
Cooked rice (basmati, jasmine, white), beef liver Cottage Cheese, (omit cottage cheese if the poultry has ground bone, ground egg shell or bone meal) green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Almond Butter (no added ingredients, just ground nut), ground chicken, cottage cheese Ground Beef, Beef Suet, Cottage Cheese, DE (1 tsp)

Saturday
Meal 1
Whole chicken wing (2) or thigh (1)

Meal 2
Whole pieces of chicken gizzard/heart, chicken liver, green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 3
Cooked rice (basmati, jasmine, white), hard boiled eggs (no shells for puppies), DE

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Goat Milk, whole pieces of Ezekiel sprouted bread, original

Sunday
Meal 1
Beef Marrow bone (about 1-2 inch piece), Ground beef, DE

Meal 2
Beef liver, cottage cheese, green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 3
eggs (with shells), green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine)

Meal 4
(If no longer nursing) Goat Milk, ground beef

Here is a sample weekly diet for a DOG

Monday
Meal 1
Chicken Leg Quarter or 2 Leg Thighs, ½ piece of Ezekiel sprouted bread (original), one egg with shell, DE (1 TBS)

Tuesday
Meal 1 Chicken Leg Quarter or 2 Leg Thighs, whole pieces of chicken gizzard/heart and liver, DE (1 TBS) Meal 2 3 TBS cottage cheese with wormwood

Wednesday
Meal 1 Chicken Leg Quarter or 2 Leg Thighs, green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine , DE (1 TBS)

Thursday
Meal 1 Beef knuckle bone, beef suet, beef heart and liver, cottage cheese, Eniva VIBE + Taurine, DE (1 TBS)

Friday
Meal 1 Green Tripe

Meal 2 Rice (white, basmati, jasmine), eggs with shell, DE

Saturday
Meal 1 Large meaty bone, Beef Liver

Meal 2 Rice (white, basmati, jasmine), hard boiled egg, no shell (will have had large dose of calcium in morning and may be constipated, so no shell), Nutritional Yeast, kelp, DE

Sunday
Meal 1 Cottage cheese, beef suet, green smoothy (vegetables/fruit in blender - peas and carrots, blueberries, diced apple, chopped greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Liquid vitamin + Taurine , DE