September Success Stories: Yoshi (Labrador)

27th September 2022 5 min read

Guest Blog: Lynne Boeng

' I started reading up on raw feeding, it was a minefield out there. I wasn't ready to go full on raw but wanted to stop feeding kibble.'

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Yoshi's Story

Our raw feeding's been 2 years.

Call me an accidental raw feeder. It never occurred to me to feed raw although growing up, my dogs were fed cooked or leftover scraps. Yoshi came into our lives in March 2018. I was in charge of behaviour & training, not nutrition. After 1 ½ years, the morning pukes started and became more frequent, sometimes 6-8 times a month. It was always bile, sometimes with grass.

Vet: “He could have picked up something" (possible, he's a Labrador after all). "Hunger pukes" (okay, give him a snack before bedtime). But with bedtime snacks and no scavenging, the bile pukes did not stop or lessen (despite swapping a few times to various "high quality" kibble). He was perfectly fine but I didn't like the idea of him not sleeping through the night, waking up to patches of vomit (looking back, I had no idea about gut health, microbiome, etc).

I started reading up on raw feeding, it was a minefield out there. I wasn't ready to go full on raw but wanted to stop feeding kibble. So I switched to freshly cooked while I poured over raw feeding groups/forums, websites, books. (I wished Dr Conor Brady's Feeding Dogs: Dry or Raw? The Science Behind the Debate, had been published then). I still wasn't 100% sure when I started raw feeding. I was feeding completes or 80/10/10 only while I continued to learn. Lockdown was a blessing in disguise. People had more time to answer my silly questions. I also watched online videos posted by canine nutritionists and holistic vets. Everyday was and still is a school day!

Within months, the bile pukes stopped. There were a few instances of vomit (not bile) I could tell it was something that didn't agree with him, eg too much bone. However, I still had minimal knowledge of the various raw food brands out there and whatever I bought was very much price driven.

All was going well until Yoshi experienced pancreatitis attack. I had no idea it was pancreatitis! The vet could not tell as the attack was over but an experienced raw feeder with pancreatic dogs recognised the symptoms after I listed out everything and patiently explained to me that I had unknowingly fed him too much high fat content (dog mum guilt!!). Another learning curve...I went back to basics, starting with lamb tripe, then low fat proteins as well as understanding more of the different brands out there, especially source of protein. Here's where our relationship with Paleo Ridge started, it came highly recommended.

I fed mostly Paleo Ridge after the pancreatitis episode for a few months, with low fat proteins and slowly building up fat content. I kept a food diary so I could always refer back if fat % didn't agree with him. Till today, breakfast is always high fat mixed with low fat protein, and dinner is usually low fat. There have been no more acute attacks (fingers/paws crossed). Paleo Ridge products are always in our shopping basket to help balance out fat content.

2 years on…

  • I learnt to read nutritional content on labels
  • I understand why the same protein could be priced differently
  • Quality brands lists out specific protein parts or organs used
  • More confident in DIY feeding, able to nail down raw meaty bone % with perfect poops
  • Still keep a food diary so I could refer back if something didn't agree with him
  • Best of all, vet visits related to vomiting are long gone! Whenever he’s at the vet for something else, it’s always “such a lean Labrador”, “ he’s got amazing teeth”, “ he’s four?? I thought he’s only a year old!”

His food bowls are what I call ugly bowls (not Instagram worthy) but at least I know I'm getting it right!

Further Reading