Article by Diana Thurbon
NATURAL FOOD FOR DOGS
A healthy diet for dogs is simple. It does not require a lot of cooking or fiddling about.
Feed Your Dog From These Food Groups
RAW MEAT: Beef, Chicken, Mutton, and Fish - do not feed only one type of meat to your dog Try and mix it up and keep to lean meat.
Meat alone is not a good diet for a dog. Even the dingo will eat some fur, bones and the stomach and contents. Meat contains NO calcium and a tiny amount of B vitamins and minerals. The minerals are in the bones.
CEREALS : Puppy or dog biscuits, human biscuits like Rye Vita.These supply a crunchy texture to the dog’s meal that the dog enjoys. It also adds a new flavour to its meal. Biscuits are a concentrated balanced food source, which can be the entire meal if nothing else is available or when physical demands require it. But remember it is concentrated so it is very fattening to under-active dogs. If kept airtight it will last, stay fresh, is readily available and is a reasonably cheap dog food for large breeds. Added to your dogs diet of meat, vegetables, rice and raw bones. ‘Biscuits’ are a well-balanced tasty treat for your dog Some dogs won’t eat biscuit – if they need the carbs all dogs love rice.
.PUPPIES :At 4-5 months of age when a puppy is shedding baby teeth biscuits may be too hard, it’s gums may be too tender to crunch up the dog biscuits. It helps if you soak some of the puppy biscuits to soften them while it is teething.
EGGS: Egg improves the coat and is a good source of protein; vitamins D and B12, iron, chlorine, biotin and sulphur. Eggs can be fed whole and raw. Eggs can also be fed with the white removed. i.e. yolks only! One or two eggs mixed with the meal once ot twice a week is good for your dog’s coat and a very good protein and vitamin source. (Raw egg white contains an enzyme that destroys the biotin in the yolk, cooking the egg destroys the enzyme! However, eggs contain a lot of biotin in the yolk. This compensates for biotin lost from the white if fed raw.
CARBOHYDRATES: Rice – brown or white ; pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, and pumpkin. These are filling and provide extra energy to the dog. Cooked Rice & Pasta or Potatoes for dogs are a high-energy food sources. They bulk up their dinner without large amounts of meat or fat.
Carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, and pasta etc ), are all suitable diets for an active adult dog.
VEGETABLES: Green vegetables such as peas, spinach, broccoli, beans; carrots, pumpkin and cauliflower. Minced fine and added to other food or lightly cooked and chopped. Dogs often adore raw broccoli. These add Vitamin A and most of the B group vitamins.
The easiest way to arrange the vegetables for your dog, is when you prepare your own vegetables add an extra portion to the pot for the dog. Adjust the amount according to the dog’s size.
Vegetables are cheap and also a good bulking food for large and overweight dogs. Another vegetable many dogs adore are green beans. My dog eats them frozen as a summer treat!
LIVE ENZYMES : Most dogs do not need this supplement. These increase the ability of the dog, to digest food and absorb it. The overall condition of the dog will improve, especially breeds prone to digestion ailments. Dogs, which are convalescing after surgery or illness and have been on antibiotics would also benefit. Enzymes fed aily, mixed with the dog’s dinner no harm if they are not needed.
RAW BONES: It is very important for every single dog to have at least one meal per week replaced with fresh raw meaty bones. Bones are a natural source of calcium and energy, but they must be RAW.
Out of the above only the bones also clean the teeth and keep the dog contented. When bones are raw, the dog can grind up, digest and absorb them.It is also the easiest way to keep your pets teeth and gums healthy while also avoiding painful and expensive dental treatment. Grinding on marrow bones and knucklebones is fun. In excessive quantities bones cause constipation. Too many bones in the diet will cause white, hard and dry faeces. By cooking bones you destroy the nutritional benefits of bones and cause them to become hard and brittle. This is when bones become a problem to your dog’s health. It not only makes them indigestible but also there is a risk of perforation through the bowel wall causing injury to organs and the risk of infection from contaminated bowel contents.
In the wild, no one cooks the carcass that a dog has hunted for food. So don’t feed your dog any cooked bones! Raw Bones can safely be fed to your dog as a whole meal 2-3 days per week. Vary the types of bones, as it will be healthier for your dog. i.e.: pork, chicken carcasses, lamb, beef and rabbit.
COD LIVER OIL: Only limited amounts, as the vitamins it contains are fat-soluble and can be stored. An excess of vitamin A can become a serious problem. 1 teaspoon a day is safe – half that for small dogs. Good for dogs with lung infections – especially repeat infections. Only give more if for a short period and when advised by your veterinarian, or myself.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Most dogs fed natural foods do not need extra vitamins and minerals. They are only occasionally needed - i.e.: working farm dogs, breeding / lactating bitches, malnourished dogs, ill dogs, and bottle fed young puppies..
If you are feeding a diet containing meat, vegetables, rice, raw bones and dry dog biscuits then a healthy dog will not require any additional vitamins.
Diana Thurbon Naturopath/Hebalist B.A. Research and Information Science, Ass Dip Soc. Science, Ass Dip Herbal Med, Dip. Counseling,. Senior Fellow AANMP.
16 Sep 2010
Last Update: 6 Feb 2011
Article/Information supplied by Diana Thurbon
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.