• First Basenji's

    I borrowed a copy of Veronica Tudor-William's Basenjis, the Barkless Dog (reprint edition, from 1966) through my inter-library loan system. It's a fascinating document, to be sure.

    She has a chapter entitled "Hints on feeding." I was very curious to see her detailed recommendations from a time before commercial dog food was taken for granted. Here's an excerpt:

    Adult dogs and bitches in normal health.

    About 4 oz. meat, preferably raw, and some dry biscuits about 8 a.m.

    About 4 oz. meat with a handful of biscuit scalded with boiling gravy, fed cool or cold, at 6 p.m. About 1/4 - 1/2 pint of milk a day can be given with advantage, and small quantities of vegetables (carrots, swedes, cauliflower and green, NEVER potatoes) can be added. Adult Basenjis must be kept slim and muscular, though nicely covered with no bones showing, and the amount of biscuit should be regulated so as to keep to this ideal. Pet dogs often do better on one rather larger meal once a day.

    I'm curious about a few details here.

    What's in a British "biscuit"?

    Why "NEVER potatoes"? Potatoes are common in a lot of commercial kibble, even high quality ones. Is she concerned about the starch content and potential for fattening a dog that should be kept lean? Or is there some other rationale?

    Does anyone here give milk to their dogs? It's not something I've ever thought about adding to my dogs' diets, but I'm curious as to what "advantages" it offers.

  • I think biscuit in this sense is the hard, dry, unsweetened bread. More like hardtack than the soft chewy American biscuit.

    The only thing I know about potatoes is that the green on the skin is toxic to dogs. I do not know that from anything other than "someone told me" so I'd research that. 🙂

  • IMO, a premium quality food would be the best to feed any animal.

  • True, Sharron, a high quality food that has all the nutrients needed would probably have thrilled Tudor-Williams!

  • I feed Kahirah a raw meat diet: 80% meat/10% bone/ 10% organs. Her coat is so soft and teeth so white I just love it. I started with my Lab over 3 years ago with much success even my vet says my girls look great.

  • There are some of us over here who still feed as Veronica Tudor Williams advised!! (Fewer and fewer now I must admit!) I actually nowadays feed a variation but at once I rigidly kept to her advice (probably because we were usually then fostering 'of the Congo' dogs for Veronica).

    The 'biscuit' was a wholemeal type of dog biscuit (kibble, I think you call it - I stand to be corrected).

    I've never fed my Basenjis on potatoes purely because Veronica said no, all those years ago. Actually it's one of the things I never questioned (perhaps because I never eat potatoes myself!!) Actually potatoes can in certain circumstances be poisonous but I'm not sure if they are still so if cooked).

    My Basenjis have milk too but usually only at shows when they refuse anything else. I give them a milky flavoured drink too after their meals as they only drink water during the day if they are unwell or it's very hot and then only very small amounts.

    Not meaning to jump in your post, Curlytails, but while we're on food, does pumpkin freeze? This is the only time of the year that I can purchase pumpkins here so I thought I'd buy some and cook and freeze them.

  • First Basenji's

    Patty, she does present an enviable pedigree history in that book. You must be quite proud to have such a connection to Basenji breed foundation. 🙂

    When I say kibble, I mean pretty specifically commercially manufactured, dry crunchy dog food in little, mostly uniform pellets. Which is something most dog owners practically take for granted right now! That's why it's fascinating for me to see what was recommended before kibble was the presumed diet for most dogs. I love the DIY home-cooked approach, though the necessity of time means I can't usually offer that to my dogs.

    I think potatoes with green skins are considered poisonous (as mentioned above!). I cook plenty of sweet potato for my dogs (baked, then scraped out of the skin and mixed into meals). I read somewhere that they're qualitatively different carbohydrate sources though.

    I haven't had consistent success with my basenji and raw meat. She does well with fowl (I've given her turkey, chicken, duck with success), though she still has trouble with bone – like with drumsticks she'll give up about halfway through, though she'll pull off all the meat. She just turns her nose up at red meats like beef or lamb. I don't know if those smell too "gamey" for her or what. Haven't tried raw rabbit... Because she doesn't get raw meat on a regular basis, I haven't balanced out the proportion of meat/organ/bone. If I ever get a grinder (and more time), that's something I'll look into -- though at the same time, I've been moving towards less meat in my own diet!

  • –-Raw meat give my Keoki diarrhea, so it is a very special treat and only in very small amounts. No way I'd try to give him a raw diet! What a mess that'd be, LOL.

    And Patty -- YES, Pumpkin freezes just fine. I cook and freeze pumpkin for my own cooking purposes every year!

  • Thank you - I'll buy several now then - pumpkins are usually only popular here as the time comes up to Halloween and so difficult to obtain at other times.

    I've never had any diarrhea trouble with raw meat, in fact it seems to firm up the poo - I suppose the stomachs adapt to what they're mostly fed.

  • Raw meat should not cause diarrhea, i give puppies as young as 7 weeks raw chicken wings. 🙂

    The latest research isn't finding that dogs fed raw are statistically healthier than those on kibble. I think they aren't looking hard enough. 🙂 But they also found none of the dire warnings vets issues.

    Here is the thing… it takes thousands of years for animals to change on a molecular basis that would prevent dogs from being able to use and eat raw food. Dogs ate wildlife, rats, mice, rabbits, whatever, until really less than 100 years. They are still pretty much exactly biologically like wolves.

    You want to feed high quality kibble, I don't agree with "raw only" folks you are hurting your dog. But I do think raw is wonderful and I'll continue to feed raw.


    Potato poisonings among people and dogs have occurred. Solanum alkaloids can be found in green sprouts and green potato skins, which occurs when the tubers are exposed to sunlight during growth or after harvest. The relatively rare occurrence of actual poisoning is due to several factors: solanine is poorly absorbed; it is mostly hydrolyzed into less toxic solanidinel; and the metabolites are quickly eliminated. Note that cooked, mashed potatoes are fine for dogs, actually quite nutritious and digestible.

  • Patty, if you roast the pumpkins and freeze the pulp they keep, according to 'experts' approximately six months. The smaller pumpkins may be more work, but I like them better. They don't have the strings in them the large pumpkins do. And they don't turn into mush as easily. They stay a little firmer.

    My boxer could not handle the raw diet, but I tried the others on it and they did great. It's very expensive though and you really have to think out your plans if you travel or have a busy life.

  • Nom, if you buy in bulk and freeze, raw isn't really expensive. I can get chicken backs at about 29 cents a pound!

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