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Dog Nutrition

Nutrition, humans study it, practice it, complain about it, but usually give into the science of it. The same as humans, dogs have their own nutrition charts to follow, different theories, scientific studies and so forth.

Together, let’s look at history, common sense, raw foods, nutrient lists, and what your dog might have to bark about regarding what he is ingesting and thinks he can and cannot eat.

In the beginning there were wild packs of dogs everywhere, and what did they eat anything that they could? Similar to humans survival; dogs depended upon meat from kills, grasses, berries, and other edibles that nature provides. Guess what the great news is? Many millennia later nature is still providing all that we need.

Some History

In Roman history, the Romans wrote about feeding their dogs barley bread soaked in milk along with bones of dead sheep. The wealthy Europeans of the 1800’s would feed their dogs better food than most humans had to eat. Dead horsemeat was oft rounded up from the streets to recycle as dog food to the rich estates on the outskirts of the city. Royalty is legendary for pampering their dogs with all sorts of delicacies from around their countries and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the poor’s dogs had to fend for themselves or starve. Being fed table scraps from a pauper’s diet was not sufficient to keep a dog healthy, and the humans themselves often had their own nutrition problems. Dogs would hunt rats, rabbits, mice, and any other rodent type creature they could sink their teeth.

Other references from the 18th century tell of how in France the French would mix bread crumbs with tiny piece of meat, or mix the liver, heart, blood, or all, with milk or cheese along with bread for feeding dogs. In England, they would also offer meat flavored soups to their canines to add to their dog’s nutrition.

In the mid to late 1800’s a middle class blossomed out of the industrial revolution. They started taking on dogs as house pets and created the enterprise of feeding the household pets that were suddenly in abundance. This new class with its burgeoning wealth had extra money to spend. Noting that the sailor’s biscuits kept well for long periods James Spratt began selling his own recipe of hard biscuit for dogs in London, and soon after took his fare to New York City. It is believed that he started the American dog food business. This places the dog food and kibble industry at only a bit over a 150 years old, and now is a multi-billion dollar business

All the while we know that any farm dog, or for that matter, any dog that can kill something and eat it will do just that. Nothing has changed throughout the centuries. Raw meat does not kill dogs, so it is safe to say with some common sense and diligence a raw foods diet will not either.

Raw Food Stuff 

Let us take a look-see at the raw food diet for canines. First remember our dogs, pals, best friend, comedy actors, were meant to eat real foods such as meats, either cooked or uncooked. Their DNA is not formed only to eat dry cereals concocted by men in white lab coats. These cereal and canned foods may have been keeping our pets alive, but possibly not thriving at optimum levels.

There are many arguments for the benefits of real and raw foods. Sure it is more work, but isn’t their health worth it? It is normal, not abnormal to be feeding your dog, a living food diet; it is thought that it will really boost their immune system and over-all health. All foods contain a risk, dry, wet, or raw they can all contain contaminants or parasites.

There are different types of raw food diets. There are raw meats that you can prepare at home, freeze-dried, and frozen that you can easily thaw and feed your dog.

Raw food diets are foods that are not cooked or sent through a processing plant. Only you can decide what you think is the type of diet for your dog, but it is worth the research effort to read up on a raw foods diet or mix of kibble and raw foods.

Rules of thumb to follow for a raw food diet

1. Before switching make sure your dog has a healthy GI track.

2. Be smart and do not leave meat un-refrigerated for lengthy periods.

3. To be safe simply follow human protocol for food safety. Toss the smelly, or does not seem right meats and foods.

4. Keep it balanced. Correct amount of vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Note medical issues and correlation.

5. Gradual switch over is often recommended to let their GI track adjust. Use new foods as a treat then watch stools to see how the dog is adjusting.

6. Take note of the size and type of bones thrown to your dog. Not all dogs do well with real raw bones.

7. Freezing meats for three days, similar to sushi, can help kill unwanted pathogens.

8. Take notes about what is working and not working with your dog’s systems. Remember to be diligent in observation and note taking to track new diet.

9. Like us humans, most dogs do well with different foods. There is no one size fits all diet.

10. Please read up on raw foods before switching over, and follow veterinary guidelines.

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