I really do tire of the phrase “It’s only a dog” or “You think your dog is more important than my kids”.
Well to me it’s not only a dog and yes my dogs are more important to me than your kids. As a matter of fact my dogs likely have better nutrition than your kids and they don’t expect me to buy them the latest and greatest over-priced electronic gadgets. Get over yourselves, we dog people do exist and we aren’t going away.
I am indeed one of those people who has a true love for dogs and do not have a pang in my ovaries to be fertilised (right at this moment there is a dog in my lap doing his utmost to derail me from the task at hand). And that’s really why I started this blog, I know there are others out there just like me and they are searching for means and resources to give their dogs not just a good life, but a great life.
It was the death of little Kalvin that inspired me to do a blog and yes I have been a touch slack lately, sorry. He was the wee fella who belonged to my friend Kerri. Kerri had so many questions and I just thought there are a lot more Kerri’s out there.
Hours, days spent searching the net, looking for resources, people, groups, books, to help me in my endeavours for improving my dogs health and well being. I was pushed to do this by a former vet, who was a pit bull owner and told me he’d never feed his dog a meaty bone, “bones are dangerous”, when asked what he thought and knew about RAW FEEDING. I never tire of it and continue daily to share information on my business Facebook page Lead the Way GTA Dog Services.
Being an advocate for raw feeding, feeding whole fresh foods, does not make me a snob to the other food varieties available out there, I just encourage people to add some fresh food to their pets bowl as often as they can. My guys love blueberries (antioxidants) and pineapple (digestive enzymes), not in large quantities but I’ll throw them some morsels. There are resources out there for kibble and canned food feeders that present you with information on the ingredients and the products and can help you scan through your options much quicker than standing in the pet store, getting varicose veins, reading all the labels. Yorkie Talk, a group I am a member of, has so many people who love to slam all the folk out there trying to provide good honest information to the general public, because they believe in Hills, Purina or Royal Canin (bleuch tooey sawdust) as their vets carry them and recommend them. I on the other hand appreciate that these folks, just like me, want to provide good information to our fellow dog and pet owners. Do your research don’t be fooled.
Speaking of fooled, a couple of fellas have recently released a film called PET FOOLED which I do strongly recommend you rent or buy or view in some method Pet Fooled.
Back to where I was, looking at ingredients on a label, you want the greater percentage of ingredients to be whole meat or fish, the rule I tell my kibble buying friends is if the first four ingredients are not whole meat or fish, fresh food ingredients you would eat yourself and know the benefits of, skip it. The other thing to look for are fillers, stay away from beet pulp, rice hulls, corn gluten meal, soy “anything”, brewers rice and natural flavours. These are all indicators of your pet basically eating a big plate of products their digestive systems aren’t designed to eat. Never buy a food that has an unidentified “meat” ingredient, many companies get “meat” ingredients from dead or diseased animals, past due meats thrown out by your local grocery stores and left overs from human food production. These are all processed by rendering companies and sold to pet food companies as “meat by product” because they are truly unidentifiable.
Companies and people are out there are telling us, just as dogs have evolved from wolves, their digestive systems have evolved to eating corn, soy, wheat and by products of the food industry such as pea fibre and beet pulp, things I fondly refer to as CRAP.
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) did a great documentary called Pet Food A Dog’s Breakfast. This show actually cooked up a batch of gunk in cans and sent it to be AAFCO tested and it passed for pet food. Another recommended watch for the curious pet owner.
Oh ya, the RESOURCES I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, Dog Food Advisor and Reviews.com – Dog food reviews have taken the time to look at what’s available in the marketplace, research the ingredients, gimmicks, claims by companies and highlight, for us the consumer, the better choices available. I highly recommend a perusal of these sites as they explain their process and how they came to the results, giving you the guidelines to use when you shop for your pets food. Think of it this way, when your parents gave birth to you did they take classes in how to feed and nourish your baby? No, they used common sense, I eat like a champ and I never once studied human nutrition, we know what to stay away from, don’t eat Mcd’s and BK every day, get some fruit and veg into your diet and I’m not talking about the distilled fermented stuff you buy at the liquor store, although they are a great addition to any meal, wink wink…..
The kibbles I always recommend to friends who shy away from feeding a balanced raw meal or balanced home prepared meal for their dogs are Orijen and Acana. I like the ingredient list, I like where the products are sourced from.
Don’t get fooled by gimmicks and food marketing trickery, I call BULLSHIT on those.
Try and work out the needs of your dogs diet for growth, for joint health and apply common sense. Puppies require lots of protein and vitamins for growth, elderly dogs require the same and also joint health support. I’ve seen so many foods marketed to older dogs with lower protein. You need to feed protein to feed their muscles and keep them functioning, so do not be fooled by the marketing ploys of breed specific dog foods, size and age specific dog food. In the raw feeding world, the basic rule of thumb is 80% muscle meat 10% bone and 10% organ meats 5% of which must be liver. The amount of food is 2-3% of the dogs weight, for a puppy you would feed 2-3% of expected adult weight or 6-10% of the current weight. There is no change to what you are feeding except how you choose which proteins etc. you prefer to feed. Tufty ate the same food as Teegy when he was a puppy, just a lot more of it and more frequent meals.
People say to me all the time, my dog loves their food, I don’t need to change anything. Did your mum feed you dried corn flakes for every meal of every day, the hell she did. You had rib day and salad day and breakfast for dinner day (having flashbacks of the gorgeous juicy ham ribs I used to get in Scotland as a kid). So what do I add to my dogs food? Well there are several studies happening around the world, as I type, into cancer in pets and balanced diets to feed, here are a couple KetoPet and Long Living Pets. Information from these show that adding an amount of fresh foods such as cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens and berries can help reduce disease in our pets. Rodney Habib has become a huge pet advocate since discovering his dog had cancer and has made the study of pet nutrition his life, someone on a Facebook feed the other day referred to him as Rawdney, some raw fed humour.
At the end of the day, you make the choices for your pets as you see fit, but never think you cannot question your vet. I sure did because I wasn’t comfortable with what I was hearing. When your vet recommends a diet or a food, ask why, ask what studies they have to show it works ask how much nutrition education they received. It’s your pet after all, your loved one, you foot the bills at the end of the day. If I am buying something, I tend to research the begeezus out of all the available options before making my choices, why should your dogs food be any different.
Just remember, in humans diet has a great co-relation to our health, the same applies to our dogs!
Here are the first 10 ingredients from currently available dog kibble:
“Fresh goat (5%), fresh wild boar (5%), fresh venison (5%), fresh arctic char (5%), fresh duck (5%), fresh wild boar liver (5%), fresh duck liver (5%), fresh mutton (4%), fresh steelhead trout (4%), fresh wild boar kidney (4%)”
“Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Flaxseed, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor”
WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?