The basic diet that I follow is taken from "The Complete Handbook for the Dog and Cat", by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. I do try to add a variety when I can (i.e. vegetables in season, meats, dried fruit, etc.). The amounts given here are correct for an average 15-20 lb. Cavalier. Young puppies are of course fed differently. I feed 2 meals a day. A grain meal in the morning and a meat meal in the evening. I feed the grains and meat separately for better digestion.
Cereals need to be soaked to be easily digested. You can measure dry cereal into individual bowls in the morning or night before, cover with water and let it soak until softened. If you can get raw goat milk, it would be even better. Your local 4-H is a good source to find it. Or, you can put several days worth of dry cereal into a container; cover it with water or goat milk, and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for several days this way. As the volume of soaked cereal is different than dry, this would need to be compensated for when serving. All food should be served at room temperature. Never microwave their food!
Vegetables do need a little preparation in that they need to be finely chopped. You can do this in a food processor or you can do this by hand. To save time, I process enough vegetables for the whole week and keep them in a container in the fridge. The veggie's usually go in the meat meal, but you can put them in the cereal if you prefer. Another time saving tip, is that I cut up a large amount of meat and wrap it up into individual serving portions. Then I put them in the freezer. On the days they are to have a meat meal, I take out a serving in the morning to thaw so that it's ready by feeding time in the evening. Always make sure it is completely thawed and never put it in the microwave.
There isn't one absolute way to feed your animals. There's room for a lot of variety in ingredients, as well as to when you have your feedings. Do your research, experiment and do what works for both of you. It may seem overwhelming or a lot of work at first, but once you have a routine, it becomes very quick and is not any more expensive than a high quality dog food.
The following, is what I do for feeding. Again, there is room for a lot of variety and I usually don't measure ingredients exactly, I estimate.
1/3 cup (approx.) dry measure, of Barley Flakes & Oatmeal Flakes combined (not the instant or quick kind) if you cannot find Barley, then you can use all Oat. If cereal is already soaked, then total amount will be about a 1/2 cup or so .
1 T. plain yogurt or cottage cheese
1 tsp. Sunflower, Flax Seed or Olive oil (make sure this is cold pressed) I use non-flavored Cod Liver oil in the winter months.
1 tsp. (approx) local/organic honey (commercial honey doesn't have the nutritional benefits)
1/8 tsp. Special Blend Herbal Supplement (from NaturalRearing.com)
2 walnut halves or a couple of almonds broken into pieces (optional)
1 fig or date cut into chunks (optional)
A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Mix if desired.
3-4 oz. raw meat - I use a mixture of poultry organ parts (no liver) plus other kinds of meat, (beef, chicken, etc.) cut into chunks about the size of a quarter or a little larger so they get a good chewing action. Ground meat is not as desirable as meat chunks, but it is economical.
1 T. Bran
1 tsp. wheat germ
1/4 tsp. organic kelp/seaweed (K-9 has a good one that's inexpensive, or you can use Natural Rearing (NR) Seaweed Mineral Food)
1 NuVet wafer given once daily.
1 T. (approx) grated raw carrot or some other veggie (no white potato). If you use yam, pumpkin or some other kind of hard squash, it should be steamed then mashed or chopped.
1 heaping T. (approx) chopped greens (greens are very important) I use a variety mixed together. Parsley, Cress & Dandelion are very good, but there are many others you can use such as Cilantro, Spinach, Mustard greens, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc.
1 tsp. cold pressed Sunflower, Flax Seed or Olive Oil (Cod Liver oil in winter)
1 T. Green Tripe ( no bleached white tripe from the store!!) I get it from GreenTripe.com (the tripe is optional)
1 raw egg can be given up to 3 times a week (egg is optional) Organic/fresh is best if you can do that.
Mix if desired
A whole carrot makes a nice treat for them after dinner and it's good for their teeth.
About 3-4 times a week I also give a raw meaty bone or cow hoof. (I use the calf ribs & cow hooves from GreenTripe.com or beef bone from the store) Please note that all bones given must be RAW! Cooked bones splinter and should never be given.
Do not feed meat more than 4-5 times a week. I feed meat 4 times a week and on non-meat evenings I use the soaked cereal measurement along with the usual dinner supplements of veggie's and herbs. I will usually alternate, meat day, non-meat day, etc.
Juliette and many others insist that all animals be given one day of fasting. The benefits are many and if you can overcome those big brown eyes, this is a verified method of cleansing the system and is truly better for them in the long run. On the fast, honey mixed with a small amount of fresh grape juice or some vegetable broth or raw goat milk can be given. Use NR Herbal Compound on the evening of the fast. Liquid from soaked Senna Pods can be given before bed to help with the cleansing process. Soak 2-3 pods in 2-4 tablespoons of water in the morning. Let soak all day. Take out the pods and add honey to the liquid to sweeten. If you can't find pods, you can use senna tea. Let the teabag soak in room temperature water all day and sweeten as above. If they don't want to drink the tea themselves, I give it to them with a medicine dropper.
If you can't do a full day of fasting then at least skip the morning meal and make dinner a simple meal of just soaked cereal. Any day can be your fasting day. Sunday is easy for me to remember.
Sometimes you need patience to get them to eat the cereal, but stick to it. If they won't eat the cereal, do not feed meat until they will accept the cereal. Once they figure it out, you shouldn't have a problem. My Cavaliers LOVE all their meals.
Please don't feel guilty if you cannot feed fresh food everyday. Some days are so crazy we just have to settle for some fast food. On those days try to give at least some veggie or fruit mixed in. For those times it's nice to keep an excellent quality dry food on hand. I've found Acana Products to fit the bill. They use all fresh human grade ingredients with no hormones or preservatives.
One thing to remember about Cavaliers, they will always make you think they are starving, even after they have just eaten. Don't be fooled! That's what makes fat Cavaliers. As long as you give them the recommended amounts, whether fresh food or you choose high quality commercial food, and don't give table scraps, they will stay nice and trim. Which is very good for their heart.
As far as vaccines and medical treatment go, we use homeopathic nosode vaccines for Parvovirus, Distemper, Kennel Cough and Heartworm/parasites after the puppy core vaccines have been completed. Rabies is given no more than once every 3 years, and that is only given when absolutely required by law. We use medicinal herbs to treat any illness they may have whenever possible. We follow the vaccination recommendations of Dr. Jean Dodds, which states:
Quote: "The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. This schedule is one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgement and choice."
9 - 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV
14 - 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: New research states that the last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.
20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies - give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or titer. If the client intends NOT to booster after this optional booster or intends to retest titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise.
1 year old
Rabies - give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccnes
"Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request.
I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area or specific kennel.
I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation. Do not vaccinate during times of stress such as: surgery, travel, illness or infection."
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
11561 Salinez Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92843