IMPORTANT NOTE: IF your dog has a compromised immune system, please consult a Holistic Veterinarian who specializes in Canine Nutrition for specifics on how to feed fresh, real, living food to your pet. THESE SPECIFICS MUST BE OUTLINED FOR YOU BY A HOLISTIC CANINE NUTRITIONIST if you have a pet with health issues. I can assist you with a list from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association in your state.
Now……Dogs are carnivores……yes, even a Chihuahua!
The domestic dog differs by only 1 percent from a wolf! See the sharp pointed canine teeth they have? Those are for crunching bone and tearing flesh. Their teeth are not flat like a horse or cow, who are omnivores/herbivores…..whatever. Their jaws ONLY move straight up and down (open/close). They cannot move their jaws side to side like a horse chewing hay or a cow chewing its cud. Dogs are wolves……carnivores, their genetics say so. They need MEAT not a bunch of grains. Their systems were designed to eat meat and utilize the nutrients and enzymes from it. OK…now, that we have that cleared up, 😉 there are two schools of thought to feeding raw diets:
Dr. Becker’s in-depth explanation can be read at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/03/17/prey-model-diet-sparks-online-demand-for-wild-game.aspx
1. THE PREY MODEL: has a couple of variations:
- Feeding whole prey (all inner’s included) and nothing else.
- Feeding chunks of meat with some amount of bone, plus organs and eggs.
2. SPECIES APPROPRIATE OR BARF: contain muscle meat, organs, a vegetable/fruit puree, supplements, possibly ground bone, eggs & fish.
Unless you are feeding the whole entire animal, such as a rabbit, that contains everything such as its spleen, brains, pancreas, the blood, and yes, even the fur, it is NOT a complete diet. People who are feeding bony meats and chicken quarters are missing components that provide an essential balanced diet. These components should not be omitted. We need to substitute the specific nutrients that are missing, through vitamins, minerals, organs, eggs, sardines/salmon and oils. Dr. Becker says that she is seeing more and more raw fed dogs coming to her clinic with irreversible damage due to an incomplete raw diet.
As for kibbles, they are cooked at high temperatures killing off most of enzymes and nutrients. Did ya ever wonder how long your kibble sits on a shelf and what kind of preservatives they have to put in it to keep it there for a year or two? What if your dog was lost out in the country, would he run into a corn or wheat field and chow down on the grains OR would he find some road kill or a nest of bunnies and eat that? Hmmmmm 😉
I realized years ago, when I first did research, that most people could not or would not feed raw because of it being time consuming and a little more expensive than high quality kibble. I recently re-researched dry kibble and wrote the “Dog Food Brand Review” so that you could become informed of what the ingredients are in the kibble that you are feeding your dog and maybe change to a better, cleaner food. Of course raw, real, unprocessed food is the best choice, but, let’s face it: it is a commitment and it takes a little time. But, keep an opened mind and maybe consider a combination diet of kibble and raw food!
The following explains how I got to where I am today and why I feed the way I do.
I have been feeding raw food and using a “natural” approach to health for about 20 years now which began in desperation to save our beautiful black, long coated, GSD, Shamrock. She was suffering and literally dying from a sever condition called Enzymatic Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI which we believe was caused by over-inoculations, food. I had to find a way to help her.
I read the book “Food Your Pets Die For” by Anne Martin, and many, many other articles and books. I found out that there were actually COMPANION ANIMALS in my dogs expensive kibble (at that time)! It was then that I determined that I wanted to prepare what went into my dogs body myself. I wanted to have complete control over the ingredients to try and get her as healthy as she could be, considering her condition. Back then, there wasn’t too much out there on the subject of raw feeding. I found two books, “Reining Cats & Dogs” by Pat McKay, and “Natural Nutrition For Cats and Dogs” by Kymythy Schultz and combined the two diets. I also used homeopathy, many different supplements, acupuncture and chiropractics. We had many ups and downs finding the right balance of things for her and had to adjust many, many times, but she survived until she was almost 12 years old!
9 years ago, when we got our new GSD puppy, I was fortunate enough to find a book by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, titled “Real Food For Healthy Dogs & Cats”. I re-formulated parts of my version of a raw diet to hers and have followed it ever since. Book: https://www.amazon.com/Beckers-Real-Food-Healthy-Dogs/dp/0982533128/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469100603&sr=1-1&keywords=real+food+for+healthy+dogs+and+cats
My suggestion is to get Dr. Becker’s book and consider switching your dog to a raw diet. Her diet is basically contains, 75% meat (which is 93% lean muscle meat, 7% fat) organs (heart and liver) and about 25% combination of vegetables and fruit and added vitamin supplements, fish, eggs, and oils. I recommend her diet instead of others, as I do not believe that the others are “complete & balanced”. The Whole Dog Journal also recommends it. Quote: “Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats is the perfect book for those who want simple, clear recipes that meet NRC and AAFCO requirements for both puppies and adult dogs.” Whether choosing her diet to make yourself or a choosing a commercially prepared raw food diet, it will help your dog live a longer healthier life, have a healthier immune system to fight against disease, less allergies, beautiful coats AND lower vet bills!
If you feel you cannot commit to a total raw diet, consider a combination diet of high quality kibble and raw food. It could be in any combination such as kibble in the morning and raw food at night, or raw 3 times per week or raw on the weekends. The point is to feed your dog SOME raw, to give your dogs body what it really needs.
Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance in planning your move to raw or partial raw and kibble meals. I have coached many people in different states and internationally. I’d love to help! :+)
Commercial raw diets are not all the same. They tend to have the same problems as dry dog foods…………cheap ingredients or questionable supplements. They need to contain vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, they MUST be a balanced diet.
There are many raw dog foods on the market today. If you have questions about the quality of a particular raw food that is not listed here, please contact me with the name.
These are just a few:
Steve’s Real Food: www.stevesrealfood.com
Stella & Chewy’s: This food is HPP (High Pressure Pasteurization) If your dog is or has been ill OR if you are afraid to feed raw because of possible bacteria, this is the food for you! From S & C site: ” All product is manufactured using our patented SecureByNature® food safety process. A key feature of that process is High Pressure Processing (HPP). All Stella & Chewy’s products are cold-pressed, using water at pressure equal to that found at the bottom of the ocean (87,000 lbs. per square inch), where harmful bacteria cannot survive.
HPP inactivates pathogens and harmful bacteria without high temperatures. It remains the only recognized process to not use heat as used in pasteurization, chemicals, preservatives, or irradiation, which while effective, can also erode the flavor, texture, color, and nutrition of food.” Frozen Raw Dinner: https://www.stellaandchewys.com/prod…rozen-patties/
Store locator: https://www.stellaandchewys.com/where-to-buy/
ZIWIPEAK: This is a fantastic food, again, GREAT alternative to feeding raw! It is expensive but it is a CONDENSED food so that you actually feed a small amount. 11 pounds ($135.00) will feed a 70 pound dog for approximately 20 days. “ZiwiPeak pet food is a complete, natural balanced real-meat diet prepared with care in New Zealand. All of our natural ingredients are sourced from the green, free range farms and blue, pristine oceans of New Zealand. The twin stage process eliminates pathogenic bacteria, such as e.coli, salmonella and listeria, while protecting the natural nutrition of our ingredients. As a further safety step, our products are mandatory tested and only released for sale after approval by the New Zealand government’s regulatory authorities.
Air-drying is a technique that has been used for centuries to naturally preserve meats. Our modern method stays true to this artisan approach, while eliminating the need for artificial preservatives, salts, sugars or glycerines. Our slow, gentle, twin-stage air-drying process crafts a food that is as nutrient-dense and digestible as a completely raw diet but safe, clean to handle and can store for up to 21 months.
ZiwiPeak Daily Cuisine Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
There is a feeding calculator at the bottom of this page; Our Ingredients | ZiwiPeak
Purchase Ziwi at auto ship price: https://www.chewy.com/ziwipeak-daily-dog-beef-cuisine-air/dp/104801