Is Your Dog Overweight, Sluggish, or Rashy?

Note Buddy’s fat tummy. He was sluggish and slept a LOT. He whined and sometimes yelped when trying to get up.

By Jean F. Akin

If your dog is having trouble with hot spots/skin rashes, or your vet has told you that your dog is overweight, you might try feeding your pooch raw chicken. We did it, and while I’m no veterinarian, raw chicken made a big difference in our dog’s overall health and well-being.

Note that I am talking about RAW chicken and RAW bones. Your dog should NEVER be given cooked chicken bones—COOKED CHICKEN BONES CAN KILL YOUR DOG because cooked poultry bones splinter when chewed and can lodge in his throat and/or intestines. 

However, fresh, raw chicken with RAW bones not only gives your dog needed natural protein, but a “crunch” which cleans the teeth and offers other nutrients your dog craves.

Oh! Those Disgusting Hot Spots!

Fillers found in most dog foods offer empty calories that can easily add weight to your pup’s waistline, and can cause allergic reactions in your dog’s system which show up in skin rashes and hot spots. Prednisone was the only treatment that helped our Buddy. Sometimes he was on veterinarian prescribed Prednisone three times in a year. He was miserable during those times. So were we.

Sad Cloudy Eyes and Achy Joints

When he was 9 years old, Buddy’s eyes began to get cloudy—which we and our vet saw as the natural effects of age. Buddy was napping more than ever, and would stand up slowly from sleep, stretching and whining—sometimes yelping—as if in pain. The vet suggested that Bud might have Lyme disease. Also, even though we walked together a mile and a quarter a few times a week, Buddy was getting pretty plump around the middle. We fed him his bowl of  store-bought dog food in the morning with fresh water available all day, and we gave him leftover bread crusts at lunch, and meat, vegetable, salad, and potato scraps after dinner. Oh, yes, and popcorn on movie night. With salt…and butter.

One day, I looked down at Buddy, and I had to admit he was a sausage. A sweet, lovable, hairy sausage. I know what you’re thinking: if she hadn’t fed her dog “people food” he wouldn’t have been packing on the pounds. Well, keep reading.

The Quick and Easy Way To Prepare Raw Chicken for Your Dog

A couple of days later, I was talking to my brother on the phone and he told me that he and his wife were feeding their dogs raw chicken. He said his dogs’  eyes had cleared up, their “aches and pains” were minimized, and they were acting more like puppies than senior dogs have any right to. He explained how he measured their portions and suggested we research portions in relation to our own dog’s weight and activity levels for ourselves. We did this, and decided to try raw chicken for Buddy. We went to Walmart, bought a big 10 pound bag of chicken thighs—the cheap stuff is perfectly fine—brought it home and cut all the thighs from all the drumsticks. We placed five thighs and five drumsticks in a plastic Zip-Loc bag: a thigh for each of Buddy’s next 5 breakfasts, a drumstick for each of his next 5 dinners. We put that bag into the frij, and the rest of the chicken we packaged into 5-day portions and placed into plastic bags for the freezer. When we had one day of chicken left in the frij, we would take out the next frozen package to thaw overnight. Buddy’s starting weight was 75/78 pounds.

Once more, I can’t stress this enough: NEVER NEVER allow your dog to crunch on cooked chicken bones! Cooked chicken bones splinter and can lodge in your dog’s throat or intestines, causing choking, bleeding, or death. RAW CHICKEN BONES ONLY, please! This is the safest way to feed your pooch fresh, real protein with no fillers. And it’s SO EASY to prepare! 🙂 

The Changes in Buddy’s Physical Body and His Weight Were Amazing!

The change in Buddy’s physical body and weight was amazing! At 9 years old, his cloudy eyes cleared. His teeth got whiter. He suddenly started rising from his bed like a young dog—no groaning, whining, or yelping in pain. He began to run and scamper again. I mean he was really running and really scampering! His skin cleared up, and in the next 5 years of his life, he had only 3 bouts of hot spots/skin rash. Only 3 in all of those five years. Such a change from the 2 to 3 incidences a year he’d been suffering when on bagged dog food! And his weight dropped quickly to a healthy range. He started his “diet” at 75/78 pounds and leveled off at 63 within a short time of starting his new diet.

Bright eyes, slim waistline.

Bright eyes, slim waistline. A second after we took this picture, Buddy was on his feet and ready to go, even though we weren’t going anywhere at that moment! 🙂

And remember those bread crusts, potato scraps, and leftover salad and cooked veggies we were giving him? We continued to give him those, and to toss him buttered popcorn on movie night!

Buddy is gone now, but he lived to be 14 and 1/2, and the last few years of his life were spent in a lot more activity than we could have ever imagined possible before we heard about raw chicken.

I Can’t Make Medical Claims, but I Can Tell You About Our Experience

Now, as I said, I’m not a veterinarian, so I can’t offer medical advice, but I can tell you about our experience. You need to do the research for your own dog and you need to take responsibility for feeding him adequately and correctly. I can tell you that our veterinarian was very pleased with Buddy’s health when she saw him for his yearly check-up that first year, and she was especially glad to see his waistline again!

Do your research on portion sizes based on the size of your dog. Watch for signs of true hunger—there are no fillers in raw chicken and so you will probably have to play a little with portions to make sure your dog is not suffering hunger.

Your dog may benefit from the raw chicken diet too. Do your research on portion sizes based on the size of your dog. Watch for signs of true hunger—there are no fillers in raw chicken and so you will probably have to play a little with portions to make sure your dog is not suffering hunger. We found that the portions we first read about were too small for Buddy and he grew agitated and started snapping at anything that even looked like food coming towards his face (like our hands when we petted him—ouch!!). You don’t want that, so pay close attention to your dog as you adjust his servings. And don’t forget to make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh water and all your vegetable scraps. Our Buddy LOVED salads—no dressing needed, although he liked salad with dressing too. And there’s really nothing wrong with some good carbohydrates. They should not make up a large portion of your dog’s daily diet, but you don’t want to see your dog waste away to nothing—and feeding your dog nothing but protein and raw vegetables can make him way too thin. A nice slice of wheat bread at noon isn’t going to hurt your pooch, nor some homemade popcorn while he’s watching Lassie films on movie night.

[photos by J.F.A]

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