Bogas started eating the conventional packaged meat dog’s food since he was very little, even before I met him (you can read more about his story here). He ate many different kinds of the usual “pet biscuits”, from several brands, from the cheapest to the most expensive ones. He never ate extra sugar or dairy, or other industrial processed “human foods”, as he was always part of more simple lifestyles’ environments. Besides that, he always loved and occasionally ate sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, nuts, homemade popcorn and homemade bread.
As I’ve told you on another post, Bogas was always a very energetic dog. He could be quite impatient and demanding. The trips to the vet became very challenging, as soon as he felt forced to go through the checking weight and vaccination processes.
Apart from his extremely enthusiastic personality, he didn’t have any physical serious issue. However, over the years, he, sometimes, whined during the night, with diarrhea. He held back until he was very much in need. Sometimes, he could no longer hold it and so he did it in the bathtub. I remember to be impressed with his kind attitude, although his despair. You can imagine how stressful it was also to us, waking up at dawn and taking him for a walk.
He had always scratched himself a lot, especially right before going out or during other euphoric moments. Although his hair was pretty, he used to lose lots of it. I’ve just assumed that fact as part of a normal dog’s life and I guess it is the reality of many dogs.
His First Skin Crisis
He was about two years old when he got his first skin crisis. He started to bite and scratch himself a lot. The vets did some skin tests on him, which never showed anything special, and gave us countless medical prescriptions. Nothing seemed to work. We went back to the vet, where they told us he was prone to allergies, which took us nowhere.
We, then, put him a dog’s collar, as he already had a big wound at his back. The first time I put it, he got still, really static for a couple of minutes. After that first short impact, the collar became his friend. He may even wag his tail before we put it, it’s really funny.
Because of my particular interest for natural foods, I knew his low quality food could be related to his general issues. However, I didn’t want to dive into the routine of preparing him homemade food, especially meat.
At the same time, I associated his condition to the fact that he enjoyed so much swimming in fountains, rivers, and puddles. So, we avoided any kind of baths for a while. It was a matter of time until he got back to his regular state of being.
Despite that, his hair continued following a lot, he kept scratching himself, as always, he continued having diarrhea once in a while and his personality was still very challenging.
When I and Vasco went living together, we decided we were going to give him better food. At the same time, we felt curious to try and give him dog’s vegan food, as many dogs we knew were doing well on that. We tryed two specific organic dog’s vegan brands for a couple of months and none of those worked, as he couldn’t diggest it properly. We switched to a processed organic meat brand, much higher quality than the one he grew up on, and he went back to his “normal” condition.
A Big Life’s Change
A few months after, he got his second skin crisis, this time a more serious one, biting and scratching himself more than ever. I knew the common vets wouldn’t do anything good and productive. Fortunately, a friend of ours told us about a holistic vet she knew. Once we got there, I really felt the difference. Although Bogas was very stressed, as he was having lots of itching, he was able to calm himself about ten or fifteen minutes after entering the vet’s office. The vet spoke to him in a very peaceful way, never forcing him to anything.
She told us about his enthusiastic personality and how common it was in those types of dogs. I thought I was dreaming. Finally, someone from the “outside world” who deeply understood Bogas.
She assumed his liver needed some cleansing and that his immune system was weak. She prescribed whole supplements, homeopathic remedies, and a completely new diet – raw meat, cooked vegetables, and walnuts.
There it was, a great opportunity for a marvelous change in Bogas’ life and I was finally ready to commit to it. We put everything into practice and, WOW, we have never seen him so happy with any other food as with that one!!!
At the same time, we found out he got fleas, which was really challenging, as we didn’t want to give him any chemical product. We ended up giving him some, just to make it go away, keeping everything else as recommended.
As a complement, I started washing him with oats, as I knew it was good for the skin, which reduced his itching and made his hair look amazingly clean and soft.
After less than two weeks, we started noticing significant gradual changes, and, after four months, he was a new dog. He no longer bit or scratched himself, he gained much thicker, brighter and stronger hair, not falling off so much, and he became more relaxed, although still enthusiast.
After that fantastic experience, with all the good and the bad, he recently had one more temporary skin crisis, although not so serious. This time, his body managed to heal much faster. I assumed that this last crisis happened because we started giving him only meat, almost no vegetables, and no supplements at all, as the result of our activities and buzzy minds. At that time, I was studying for my yoga exam, Vasco was passing through a significative professional change, and we both were switching to a raw vegan diet. Bogas’ behavior is also the absorption of our emotions and attitudes, despite his own characteristics. It’s funny that I have the feeling that he followed us in a detox period, we were all somehow detoxifying.
Following his need for a new diet change, and having changed our own diet into raw with amazing results, we decided to give him high raw as well, substituting the cooked vegetables for raw ones. We followed the proportions that the vet had initially prescribed and we also added a few of his previous supplements. He is better than ever and we are trully happy.
What Bogas Eats
Quantities and Proportions
According to holistic vet advice, Bogas eats twice a day. Each meal has about 600g of meat (with bone) and 300g of vegetables (mostly raw), a total of 1200g of meat and 600g of vegetables per day. These quantities are according to his weight, which is about 26-28 Kilos. This really satisfies him, in terms of flavor and quantity. It keeps him agile, energetic and radiant.
Description of One Meal
Smashed steamed sweet potato (the only cooked food he eats) + grated raw vegetables (ex. carrot, cucumber, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, watercress, arugula, sprouts).
Raw pumpkin and bell pepper puree (blended) or raw pumpkin and (a small piece of) avocado puree (blended) + grated raw vegetables (the same examples above).
A few drops of four homeopathic specific skin remedies (temporary).
One tablespoon of diatomaceous earth, a natural supplement for internal parasites (in every meal).
We, sometimes, add other whole supplements, such as spirulina, chlorella, kelp and wild herbs powder.
Smashing or blending is good to mix the flavors and to help his digestion (we always leave some chunks as well).
Raw meat with bone and without most of the fatty skin – only animals that he could hunt, like chicken, turkey, rabbit, and duck. Bogas doesn’t tolerate well fish and he doesn’t like eating small birds, although he runs after them. It seems to be good to also add a small percentage of animal organs. Although we never gave him eggs, we heard that they might be nutricious for dogs, especially eaten with the shell.
Walnuts as snacks, that he hulls himself, or mixed in each meal.
What Else Do We Do For His Health?
Besides his diet, it is crucial for him to feel free, included, appreciated and validated, as much as possible, despite the social and environmental conditions. Life is a giant connection cycle, in which we choose if we want to resist it or release it.
I and Vasco are very present in his life, as we move towards a lifestyle free of rigid schedules.
We take Bogas with us almost everywhere we go. If, for instance, we go to a small grocery store, he patiently waits for us at the door.
When we travel, he stays in a dog’s hotel, where people seem to treat him well. When this happens, he continues eating exactly the same, as we prepare everything in advance, and they only have to defrost it and feed him. His skin keeps free of chemicals, as we specifically ask them to not give him any bath.
Exercising, Playing, Socializing and Breathing
Bogas visits parks, at least, twice a day. He first walks with a leash and, as soon as we get there, he is free to run, play and socialize with other people and dogs. He had always been very friendly to others, so friendly that he may react to “strangers” as if he knows them for ages. He loves playing with stones, pine cones and balls.
Sometimes, it may happen that the energy between him and another dog may not function so well. In those situations, we call him, he comes to us and we bring his focus of attention to something else. These episodes happened more when he was recovering from his health issues, as his vibration was not so high.
When balanced, Bogas easily attracts good energies. That is reflected in how people react to him in the street, for example. In those particular moments, we feel the privilege to be able to hear those lovely comments about him, that really makes us realize also how people are capable of appreciating life as it is.
Skin and Hair
In order to keep his skin/hair shiny and relieved, we give him a bath once a week, using only water and oat. We first wash him fast with cold water. Then we put an oat mixture all over his body (about 1/2 a cup of oat flakes, blended with some water, till it gets creamy; we may add 1-2 tbsp of baking soda as well). We massage well his skin and comb his hair. Then, we quickly wash him again, with cold water.
If he swims somewhere or gets wet from a puddle of stagnant water, we give him a bath, as soon as he gets home, sometimes using only water, depending on how dirty he is.
We usually comb his hair when we go out. It keeps his toxins moving, it removes “dead” hair and it makes his hair shine. Besides, he loves it!
How Bogas Life’s Change Affected Us?
This is the best lifestyle we could give him so far, knowing that life is a big constant change and adaptation. We feel great that we, at least, have stopped contributing to the toxic pet-food industry. We are happy that we learned so much in the process. We feel closer and closer to Bogas needs and conditions and, therefore, to our own. It’s all about priorities. In any case, we just want to allow Bogas to be naturally happy on his way.