Natural Wellness/ Raw Food
what is a species appropriate diet ?
A diet that would be eaten naturally (wild) given free choice
Some animals are more scavenger like humans ,pigs, bears etc considered omnivorous .Dogs although carnivores by design also have the ability to consume a variety of food group. A scavenger,us dogs have an ability to eat a more diverse diet without running the risk of starvation even though it may not meet our nutritional needs we can survive long periods of time on it.
When we look at our canine friends teeth we can see that they are sharp they move up and down and were designed to tear flesh . They have a very short digestive tract that was designed to process a mostly prey diet. They do not have molars designed for breaking down veggies in their mouth .Very few animal species were designed to eat grain.
Cows on the other hand have mostly molars and they have 2 stomachs and a long digestive tract this makes the animal able to absorb most of the nutrition from grass and other vegetation . The cellulose in veggies when not partially cooked or ground will pass through your dog undigested. One only has to look at a raw carrot or corn feed to a dog - it will be expelled very much like what it when in like.
Options for feeding your dog
Any diet is only as good as its ingredients. Homemade diets have a great advantage over commercial diets in that they are made of fresh ingredients and minimally processed. There are some excellent commercial diets, particularly the fresh-frozen varieties, but excellent diets are more expensive than brands with fillers and additives. Many people find that, by buying in bulk, it can cost less to feed a homemade diet than a commercial food. Conventional veterinary journals contain many case reports of inappropriately balanced home prepared diets, which is why many vets reject al home prepared diets. If you choose to prepare your own diet, remember the importance of supplements, and consider having your diet reviewed by a veterinary nutritionist. A varied diet helps to provide the best balance of nutrients. Pets with food allergies or other problems may need to have a restricted number of food items in their diet. Most of our foods are grown on soils that have been intensively farmed for generations. You can avoid the problem of nutrient depletion by feeding only organically sourced food from soils enriched with trace nutrients, but many of us won’t find this practical. A good alternative is to supplement the diet with a whole food vitamin and mineral supplement. Most pets benefit from supplementation with an omega fatty acid source, like fish oil, as well.
Our dogs and cats have evolved to eat raw meat, including raw bones. However, it is understandable to be hesitant about feeding raw meat and bones. You shouldn’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If your local vet is extremely opposed to raw feeding, it may be difficult to persevere in a raw diet. The major potential hazard of raw feeding is increased exposure to pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella. All dogs carry Salmonella-even kibble feed.This is not a big problem for a healthy dog, as their acidic digestive tract eliminates most pathogenic bacteria. It is a concern if people have poor hygiene in handling raw meat; all bowls and prep surfaces must be washed well with hot soapy water. . As always, you need to educate yourself, so that you feel secure in your choice. There are many books and websites as well that will help you provide a balanced raw diet to your dog. I would be happy to recommend a few-
If the people can not feed raw, or the animal can not tolerate raw, there are cooked frozen diets as the next best alternative.This needs a supplement of calcium that raw feeders can avoid with ground bone or meaty bones.
Canned diets( human grade food) retain nutrients fairly well, though they are heat processed.
Dehydrated and freeze dried diets retain more nutrients than kibbled food. However they are dry-we need moisture
The extrusion process of kibbling makes food more digestible, but it does destroy nutrients, which are then sprayed back on the food. All will lose nutrients as soon as they are exposed to air. This is why it is important to roll the package up tightly after removing food. Dry food should never be stored loose in plastic containers, as chemicals can leach from non-food grade plastic into the food, and any plastic can absorb some of the nutrients. Stainless steel is acceptable, but must be kept securely closed
kibble dog food-
The first and biggest problem with kibble is it is dry- All animals are 90% moisture.So eating something that is consistently dry creates dehydration -chronic dehydration puts strain on the kidneys liver and all of the organs in our body..Kibble also requires some kind of binder to hold the ingredients together . This includes grain,like wheat,corn soya rice,or starches like potato, sweet potato - legumes.
Even high quality grain can cause allergies when consumed over a continuous period. This type of food source also converts to sugar- sugar feeds yeast and bacteria.
Most kibble is cooked at an extremely high temperature under extreme pressure this basically kills bacteria,it also kills any of the nutrients - A pre-mix must be added to bring it up to standards considered nutritionally complete in the pet food industry- A premix consists of minerals, vitamins and preservatives- they are synthetically made .Most of the pre mixes added to dog food originated in India and China-They are formed from rocks and chemicals are used to break the substance down-
Some other concerns about kibble are in regards to the protein choices -many types and conditions of animals go into a meat meal based diet . These animals were not fit for human consumption.Some dog food is definitely better than other -If you are going to feed Kibble please insure that you are adding probiotics and other things to this diet including a bone broth fresh veggies and cooked or raw food- table scraps are completely acceptable providing they are something you would eat yourself except for high fat gravy bread highly processed foods.
Some raw feeder's just meat -some just meat and veggies- some feed everything- Most raw pet stores employee should have some knowledge and can help you get started, - Nutritional vets can cost a bit more so use them for gathering information and adjusting your pet nutritional needs- read the packaging and visit the websites - Most raw food companies are very willing to aid you
The key points to remember with a raw diet are:
- Balance over time
- The calcium and phosphorus ratio should be 1:1. Meats are high in phosphorus, bones are high in calcium and whole prey, fish, eggs and tripe have a balanced ratio.
- Organ meat should not exceed 15% of the diet. Feed liver once a week (or several small servings per week) and try to find an organic source if possible because the liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the body.
- Feel free to feed ‘weird and icky things’ such as chicken feet, beef trachea, tails, lung, kidney, testicles and pizzles. Beef trachea, trim, chicken and turkey feet are loaded in natural chondroitin and glucosamine which help to build healthy joints.
- If feeding pork or salmon, be certain to freeze the meat for two weeks before feeding to reduce the small risk of parasites.
- NEVER feed cooked bones of any type. Raw bones are soft enough to bend and digest easily. For optimal safety, meal times should always be supervised.
- NOt all of use have endless money to spend on our dogs food so buy the best you can- I always promote organic but also realize that many of us don't have that option-
Try to find grass fed animals that are not given hormones or medications if possible. Younger animals in general will have accumulated fewer toxins to pass on to your dog.
WHAT TO FEED
One common concern with raw feeding is that it is not ‘complete and balanced’. This is untrue for two reasons. First, nobody knows what complete and balanced is, so it is difficult to make this claim. Second, balance can occur over time: every meal does not need to be completely balanced as long as the nutritional needs of the dog are met over the long run. You don’t calculate the exact percentages of protein and carbohydrates, and the exact amount of vitamins and minerals in each of your meals, and you don’t have to do it with your dog’s meals. If you are prudent, then it will balance out over time.
The majority of my dogs’ diet (about 40%) is raw, meaty bones (RMB). This can include chicken backs, wings and necks (or even whole carcasses), lamb necks, pork necks, turkey necks, ox tails, beef ribs, turkey tails; any meaty bone that can be completely consumed by your dog. If you are feeding meatier meals (turkey or lamb necks), feed about 50% RMB, if your choices are bonier (chicken backs, pork necks, wings or ribs), feed about 30% RMB.
Large, weight bearing bones such as marrow and knuckle bones are not considered RMB’s if the dog is not able to consume the bone. These can be given as a recreational bone - they can break teeth and the softer joints can cause impaction or blockages.(bone broth is an excellent addition to everyone's diet-and can be added to your dogs food) I do find beef neck bones to be a wonderful recreational bone for my dogs.
Raw fish (preferable whole) can be fed for one or two meals per week. You may also opt to feed fish oil. This supplementation is necessary if the meat you feed is not grass-fed because grain-fed animals lack Omega-3 fatty acids which protect the dog’s joints and immune system. Flax seed oil also contains a good amount of Omega 3 but it is plant based and some dogs do not do well on it. It has also been linked to reproductive issues. Organic butter or Omega-3 eggs might be a good, safe alternative.(commercial eggs should have the shell removed) I also supplement some canned sardines /salmon
Raw offal (organ meat -kidney, liver and (heart, although some consider it a muscle meat) from a variety of meat sources should be fed for one or two meals per week or 10-15 % to of the diet. Some dogs do not tolerate offal well, so it may be best to divide it up and feed a little each day to avoid loose stools-be very careful with puppies
Raw green tripe should be fed two or more meals per week ( find green tripe, not the bleached human stuff: it is very stinky, but very nutritious). Tripe is a perfect balance of calcium to phosphorus (1:1), is rich in digestive enzymes and Lactobacillus Acidophilus, vitamin B, and contains the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic in the proper ratio. Tripe from grass-fed animals is preferred
Raw muscle meat from a variety of sources should be fed several times per week. You can feed heart as a muscle meat but not exclusively.
Raw eggs with shells (a perfect ratio of phosphorous to calcium) should be fed about two or more times per week. Whole eggs have a balanced ratio of calcium and phosphorus. You might have heard that raw egg whites contain a protein that binds with biotin and that is true. To avoid deficiencies, feed the entire egg yolk and all. The yolks are where most of the nutrition is found anyway. Egg yolks are an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, iron, folate, vitamins A, E and B6. It is best to feed Omega-3 or free-range eggs. If you buy your eggs commercially, they are likely sprayed with wax and other chemicals to improve their appearance. These chemicals are harmful for your dog so if you can not find fresh farm eggs, feed commercial eggs without the shell and count them as a meat meal.
probiotics- goat yoghourt .Keifers, apple cider vinegar, fermented veggies -good for everyone including the dog-I feed my dogs daily probotics in many forms and green tripe a few times a week-
Fruits and vegetables can be beneficial as supplemental feeding. Vegetables must first be run through a juicer or food processor or lightly steamed. Dogs will not get the entire nutritional value from the vegetables if they are not first physically broken down. Dark green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin B. Ripened fruits are more easily digested by dogs and are also packed with vitamins. winter squash is my preferred orange veggie. I do limit my fruits consumption- however many dogs do enjoy them. I do give my dogs berries when in season
nutritional herbs/greens -such as-sprouts- dandelion leaf, nettle, spirulina / cholrella and alfalfa which are high in vitamins and minerals.
Grains/Starches (in my opinion) are not a natural part of the dog’s diet and I rarely feed them to my dogs. Some dogs do have the ability to digest some grain content and it might not be too harmful to include a small amount of grains for an extremely active dog. Puppies may benefit from the extra calories and carbs. and some dogs seem to tolerate this well- but they can contribute to allergies and yeasts. Millet is high in fat and very easily digested. It is my first choice but other grains may be tolerated as well
WHEN TO FEED
Most people feed their dogs twice per day. I feed once a day and twice a day and some days not at all. Dogs are not omnivores and are built for periods of gorging and fasting. I like to fast my dogs once a week because the majority of immune function is in the gut. If the dog’s digestive system is continually digesting meals, there is no time for house cleaning and the dog’s immune system will suffer. Once a week, I turn my dogs out with a nice beef neck bone to chew on or give them some fruit and that is their fast day. The exception is puppies under six months of age who eat three times per day in my house.As you can see, raw feeding is quite simple. If it still seems complicated, try to visualize a rabbit or cow whole, before it gets cut up and put into plastic containers. Try to feed your dog the rough percentage of bone, meat and organ meat that would occur naturally in this animal. This is what we strive to recreate for our dogs with raw feeding.Remember to feed a variety of meats, not just different parts of a chicken or turkey. Try deer, pork, rabbit, goat, duck, turkey, beef, moose, a variety of fish and any other meat that you can get your hands on. When feeding wild caught game please remember to freeze it for a few weeks first.
HOW MUCH TO FEED -I feed 8-10% for puppies until 6 months depending on the size of dog- then slowly start to decrease this amount
As a starting point give your dog about 2 to 3 percent of his ideal adult weight. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more and if your dog is more of a couch-potato, you may need to feed a little less. The best way to tell if you are feeding the right amount is to run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, but not see them, your dog is at a good weigh.. When puppies are four to six months old, they will require a great deal of food and a good amount of calcium as they are building their adult teeth. 60% RMB at this age. Do not let puppies get too thin at this important age as their energy demands are tremendous when cutting new teeth. Overall, raw feeding is quite easy and there are only a few guidelines to follow. With time, you will become more comfortable with your dog’s new diet and you will start to see the results in the form of better coats, cleaner teeth, fresher breath and fewer health issues.
Supplements- can be very important in balancing your dogs needs there are plenty to consider -nuts and seeds- probiotics -greens -fish oils coconut oil-vitamin E would be an example of something not always found in food so a few ground nuts or seeds will give a natural source -so for those that don't eat a well balanced diet these are things to keep in mind-
Bone Raw Feeding
Raw feeding has a few guidelines that must be followed and the most important one is balancing the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the diet. Meat is very high in phosphorus. The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in the body’s utilization of carbohydrates and fats and in the synthesis of protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is also crucial for the production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy. Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also assists in the contraction of muscles, in the functioning of kidneys, in maintaining the regularity of the heartbeat, and in nerve conduction. Bone is high in calcium. In addition to its widely known role in bone structure, calcium is used to help control muscle and nerve function, as well as to manage acid/base balance in the blood stream. Dogs need a balance between the amount of phosphorus and calcium they get in their daily diets. In dogs, the calcium:phosphorus ratio should be about 1.2 to 1.5:1 although a range of 1:1 to 2.5: 1 is sufficient. That means that dogs should consume a little more calcium than they do phosphorus..”Overall, balancing calcium and phosphorus isn’t all that difficult, as long as dogs receive plenty of bone. In general, any bone content over 10% is plenty although you shouldn’t exceed 25% because dogs need other nutrients too.
Never feed your dogs onions, chocolate,raisins /grapes/Bread/sweets
The Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a dirt cheap way to control external and internal parasites in your dog.- it has many wonderful properties
Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic, safe substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Crushed to a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the particles resemble bits of broken glass. Diatomaceous Earth is deadly to any insect yet completely harmless to animals.
Diatomaceous Earth’s mode of action for insect and parasite control is strictly mechanical. The microscopically sharp edges contact the insect or parasite, and pierce their protective coating, so they soon dehydrate and die. The larvae is affected in the same way.
Internal parasites can be controlled by giving Diatomaceous Earth internally. It is very important to note that it must be food grade – the earth used in gardens and pool filters can damage your dog. Diatomaceous Earth can eliminate roundworms, whip worms, pin worms, and hookworms within seven days of being fed daily. To be most effective, Diatomaceous Earth should be fed for at least 30 days, to catch all newly hatching eggs or the cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach.
Another use for Diatomaceous Earth is the control of external parasites and flies. This is achieved by dusting your dog with Diatomacous Earth, along with his bedding area and surrounding carpeted areas.
Diatomaceous Earth has also been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses, organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Given this, Diatomaceous Earth is very useful as a detox solution, digestive aid and colon cleanser..
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Make sure it’s well mixed in his food -also contains trace minerals
Puppies less than 10 lbs. – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Puppies 10 to 19 lbs. – 2 teaspoons
Dogs 20 to 50 lbs. – 1 to 1.5 tablespoons
Dogs 50+ lbs. – 2 tablespoons
*Humans – 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons daily (1 tbsp. AM, 1 tbsp. PM)-
Flea control- Being proactive and preventative . I have rarely had to worry about fleas by feeding my dog a species appropriate diet with supplement like garlic and cider vinegar and keeping proactive. - here are some simple solutions that may help you -Inside the home- vacuum your house ,and your pets area often - -Borax can be sprinkled in your carpets wait 20 minutes -then vacuum.(put a flea collar in the bag)
Groom your pet often
Bathing is important but can also dry their skin -Any soap left on your dog for more than 5 minutes will kill fleas, but citrus soaps work best. I use dr bronners castle soaps 1-10 parts and add essential oils
There are many different herbal flea control applications you can purchase - you can also spray your dogs with a spray bottle blended with water oils like cedar mint etc before going for a romp in a field or before a walk-
Homemade Flea Powder Recipe: Ingredients:
1 cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
1/2 cup Neem Powder
1/2 cup Yarrow Powder
20 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil*or any other oil I have mentioned *Leave out the essential oil if using for cats.
Mix all ingredients together and put in a shaker top container. I used a mason jar with a shaker top lid (I got my mason jar shaker top lid at Christmas Tree Shop, but you could make your own by drilling holes in a regular mason jar lid).
Apply from head to tail along your pets spine in dry conditions. Brush your pets fur going the opposite direction so the powder comes in contact with the skin. Avoid the eyes and nose. Rub the powder on the belly and legs. Try to get the flea powder on as much skin as you can.
I have found that brushing the fur in the opposite direction and applying the flea powder with a cosmetic puff works really well. I also found the fleas seem to like the tail, the area right above the tail and the belly/groin area so I made sure to pay extra attention to those areas to get them well covered. SOME DOGS FIND THIS DRYING AND ITCHY BUT THIS METHOD WILL WORK VERY QUICKLY -so bath after a few days-
How often to apply flea powder?
To use this as a general repellent (with no serious flea infestation), applying once a month during active flea season (end of spring/summer) is sufficient. If the pet gets a bath or gets wet, it will need to be reapplied.
Cedar or Eucalyptus trees planted in your yard will deter fleas. Placing the boughs of either, or cedar shavings in a pillow case tucked in their bed will also deter them.-Many herbs that have strong smells.-
Also herbs in pots.There are many herbal sprays made with essential oils like peppermint- eucalyptus-cedar -citronella- all of these do a great job of keeping fleas away- You can spray on your dog will also keep ticks away.
Chemicals are not healthy and all pesticides are absorbed into the skin-trying a more natural approach is healthier for everyone , -
except taken from Dog natural Magazine and Dr. Karen Becker web sites (both have a wealth of information I would