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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 08-01-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Griffens playing with toy

There has been much written recently on canine brain function and cognition. I have even seen supplements on the market to ‘improve your dog’s brain function and memory’. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the ingredients in these products useful, nor have I seen good research behind the ingredients.

It is difficult to ascertain if a dog’s memory or dementia problems are the same or similar as those in humans. A variety of things can cause dementia-like symptom in dogs. These can include poor diet, anxiety, stress, illness, pain and difficulty in sleeping. The first thing to do if you suspect your dog is having memory or cognition issues is to have a complete veterinarian check-up. This would include full blood work, parasite check, urinalysis and a complete hands-on examination that includes checking for pain or other physical symptoms or issues that may be causing odd or unusual behavior.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Below is a list of the Veterinary criteria for diagnosing canine dementia when physical examinations and lab work results are all normal:

 

  • Disorientation – changes in spatial awareness, loss of ability to navigate around familiar obstacles, wandering behavior.
  • Interaction changes – decreased interest in social interactions, petting, greeting, dependent or ‘clingy’ behaviors.
  • Sleep/Wake cycle changes – restlessness or frequent waking during the night, increased sleep during daytime hours.
  • House soiling – no longer lets owner know when it needs to go outside, indoor elimination, incontinence.

 

  • Activity level changes – decreased exploration and response to things, people, sounds around the house, decreased grooming, decreased appetite; increased anxiety, including restlessness, agitation, and/or separation distress.

https://indoorpet.osu.edu/dogs/aging_pets/cds

A few studies have been done with oils and dogs and one study proclaimed coconut oil improved cognition. However, the same study used not only coconut oil in the dog’s diet, but also fish oil and corn oil. So, which of the oils proclaimed to do the trick and improve cognition? Additionally, the oils were used with a dry dog food, which lacks fresh nutrients and fresh fats, which are essential in a dog’s diet.  Dry dog foods contain poor animal protein sources and are high in carbohydrates which are detrimental to a dog’s health. This is because carbohydrates are very difficult for a dog to digest and can cause digestive issues.  Carbohydrates also convert to sugars which promote inflammation, tartar, tooth decay and tooth infection.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0049510

puppy dog face

Another study with dogs showed that medium chained triglycerides (MCT oil) along with arginine (an amino acid) helped somewhat with cognition. However, these tests were run by a pet food company using laboratory dogs, and again, the dogs were fed a dry dog food. This caused me to ask how valuable or nutritious the dry dog food might be, as maybe the addition of any supplement or oil might be helpful. Additionally, the increased attention these dogs may have received during the study may have also helped their cognition as mental stimulation and exercise helps increase memory and alertness in both dogs and people.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/dietary-supplementation-with-mediumchain-tag-has-longlasting-cognitionenhancing-effects-in-aged-dogs/0E84D6219DA529EF107DF1E6636598BC

In humans, MCT oil has been used with some mild success, as the idea is, that high doses of MCT oil release ketones which help with memory. However, the results were not long term and the MCT oil were administered at high doses. Such high levels couldn’t be obtained by plain coconut oil or other MCT oils – at least not without using several tablespoons daily. Most of these studies were stopped due to gastrointestinal issues with the participants, and caution is given not to use these high doses if renal problems or diabetes is present. In dogs, the issue of pancreatitis becomes a factor. Also, MCT oils are very high in calories – about 115 calories per teaspoon – so imagine the calorie and fat load in several tablespoons daily.

https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2013/oct/coconut-oil-for-canine-cognitive-dysfunction-great-or-no-30953

The difficulty with trying to load dogs with fats (including MCT oils) is that this often results in pancreatitis. While humans may decide to try a ketone diet, trying it with dogs it is a completely different matter. Remember, dogs are carnivores, and even the NRC (Nutrition Research Council), the ‘gold standard for measuring and developing nutritional needs for dogs’ states dogs have no need for carbohydrates (grains, fruits, vegetables) and receive no nutritional benefits from them. What dogs DO need, are animal-based foods such as meat, organ meat such as kidney and liver, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, fat (found in all of these animal-based foods), and calcium. In raw diets, the calcium is in the bone, and in home-made diets, we add 900 mg of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate per pound of food served. Dogs normally – in the diets they need – would eat a high protein, medium fat diet. To raise the calorie levels with fat means the dog would eat LESS protein (amino acids, which they need for organ health, skin, coat and immunity) and higher fat ratios. However, this would cause weight gain, gas, intestinal distress and possible pancreatitis. They do NOT benefit from this diet, and this is why it also doesn’t work for them in some of the suggested cancer diets I have seen on the internet. However, a home-made diet or raw diet will provide most of the nutrients that pet food companies and supplement companies recommend for good cognition and brain health. A good fresh food diet will provide the most help in restoring some cognition, and if fed early on, offer the best chance for good cognition through the dog’s life.

Mental and physical stimulus is also very important for senior dogs with cognition issues. Don’t forget to walk your dog often.  Make sure they get to go to parks to play and enroll them in dog classes. Our senior dogs also need to go out to urinate often as seniors dogs are more prone to urinary tract infections, which can cause a systemic infection which are very painful and also affect their ability to think clearly. Senior dogs often ask to go out less often due to arthritis pain, but remember, they do need to go out OFTEN – even if they aren’t asking to go out!

There are a few supplements that can help in SOME cases, but not all. Dementia and confusion can be caused by variety of issues and physical problems such as infections, liver and renal problems, and tumors, so it is very important to start with a full veterinarian work up that includes a complete blood panel and urinalysis. If all those areas are clear, then it MIGHT be helpful to try some supplements. However I would start by feeding your dog a fresh diet, raw or home cooked, to insure your dog is getting the highest quality nutrients.

Some supplements that may help include:

’Acetyl L-carnitine’ is used for a variety of mental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, age-related memory loss, late-life depression, thinking problems related to alcoholism, and thinking problems related to Lyme disease. It is also used for Down syndrome, poor circulation in the brain, cataracts, nerve pain due to diabetes, nerve pain due to drugs used in the treatment of AIDS, and facial paralysis.” Acetyl L-Carnitine also helps support the heart. I have seen several treats sold for pets that contain L-carnitine, however, it is Acetyl L-carnitine that seems to produce the best results.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-834/acetyl-l-carnitine

Fish oil. This is for the omega 3, mainly DHA, which helps brain function. Fish oil capsules (for the integrity of the omega 3) work best. I have also seen something called Gold DHA, which is made from algae. But to date, studies have shown it is not as effective as DHA from fish. Omega 3 is harder to find in the diet as it is located mostly in fish. But Fish Oil capsules (superior to bottled oils, as it is fragile and can be destroyed by heat, light or oxygen) contain good amounts of EPA and DHA and should be given daily. EPA and DHA also help with immunity and good skin and coat, and are renal, heart and liver protective.

I would also include B complex vitamins, including B12, vitamin E and vitamin D3. D3 is also thought to help with brain function and mental clarity. You can find all 3 of these, plus vitamins A and C, in the Berte’s Immune Blend or Berte’s Daily Blend. B vitamins help with neuro transmission in the brain and vitamin E is a great anti-oxidant.

dogs and horseSo, to recap all I have said here, don’t count on a commercial pet food to handle or maintain good mental cognition in your dog. Many commercial pet foods use flax oil instead of omega 3 fish oil, which dogs can’t convert to a usable form (dogs must have animal-based sources of omega 3 – fish oils) and the pet food and supplement industry often use the wrong kind of carnitine – L-carnitine instead of Acetyl L-carnitine.

It is important to remember that the most important element in providing your dog the best nutritional value is a fresh food diet, raw or home-cooked! At the very least, if you must feed kibble, add fresh animal protein to your dog’s kibble – up to 50% of the diet if you can – with fresh foods such as ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken or pork), organ meat (liver and kidney), eggs and yogurt. Secondly, be sure to add fish oil capsules, the Berte’s Immune Blend (for the anti-oxidants such as E and C, for the D3, and especially the B complex). And lastly, if you notice cognitive loss in your dog and a medical evaluation shows no health issues, try Acetyl L-Carnitine and B-12. B-Naturals now carries Berte’s Brain Power Pack, which contains Acetyl L-Carnitine, Berte’s Immune Blend, Fish Oil Capsules, and Liquid B Complex with B12.

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 07-01-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

There has been a lot of articles, discussions and questions about taurine and dogs in the last year. Let’s take a look at taurine, what is it, what it does, what foods contain taurine, and is your dog getting enough its diet?

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid.  Amino acids are the ‘building blocks’ of proteins. While taurine is a non-essential amino acid, it is more of a ‘conditionally’ essential amino acid that is ESSENTIAL to our health. While humans and dogs can make smaller amounts of taurine in their bodies, it is not enough, so we have to get the additional taurine we need from the food in our diet. This smaller amount is synthesized endogenously in the liver from methionine and cysteine, which are two other amino acids. Not all proteins are equal and taurine is found mainly in animal-based proteins. Some plant proteins contain methionine and cysteine and can produce smaller amounts of taurine. Science has shown as humans and dogs age, we have less ability to make taurine in our bodies. This is why senior dogs need MORE animal-based protein.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

What does Taurine do?

Taurine is thought to help with insulin regulation which is helpful for those with, or prone to, diabetes. It can reverse some cardiac issues, help with renal disease, reduce seizures in some cases, help with fatty liver disease, and appears to help with fat burning and weight loss. The more important of these for dogs, is that it helps with heart health and integrity, and can help prevent some renal disease and deterioration. It is also important for liver health as it helps reverse fatty liver.

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/6/The-Forgotten-Longevity-Benefits-of-Taurine/Page-01

It has also shown to help prevent retinal damage and helps with problems of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for both dogs and people.

Symptoms of taurine deficiency in dogs include:

  • Excessive panting when not exercising
  • Collapsing or fainting
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain during urination
  • Generalized pelvic and abdominal pain
  • Moderate to severe blindness

https://wagwalking.com/condition/taurine-deficiency

What Food Sources contain Taurine that are best for my Dog?

Scallops and Mussels contain the highest amount of Taurine, but neither of these food sources are sensible or economical to include in your dog’s diet. The next highest meats for Taurine are dark meat turkey and chicken, followed by Pork, Lamb and Beef. Milk and milk products (yogurt, cottage cheese) are relatively low in Taurine and eggs, while they are abundant in all other amino acids, they contain very little taurine.

For more information on taurine amounts, check out this link:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813349/

It is also important to know that cooking foods reduces the amount of taurine, but it also depends on the amount of water used when cooking. Fried and baked meat retained more taurine. If you are cooking your dog’s food, I would advise keeping any meat juices and liquid as most of the lost taurine will be in the juices.  Because high temperature cooking destroys most of the amino acids, if you do feed a dry dog food, I suggest adding some fresh meat to their diet, either lightly cooked or raw.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12864905

Are There Foods That Can Block Taurine in the Body?

The honest answer is, yes and no. There are no specific foods that block the uptake of taurine – at least from what is known to date – but certain foods CAN stop taurine from being absorbed due to fiber content. Dogs have a short and simple digestive tract and it is not designed to ferment food. In dogs, food stays in the stomach a long time and then shoots through the intestines quickly. In people, it is the opposite. Food remains in the stomach for a short time and then lingers in our complex intestinal tract for a much longer period of time. Food in both species – humans and dogs – processes and break down food in the stomach, and then the results are sent to the small intestine to absorb the nutrients. Dogs labor with fiber and it can block important nutrients from being absorbed. Some foods, especially grains, legumes and spinach contain high amounts of phytates. Phytic acid can block iron, zinc and calcium from being absorbed. This may also affect taurine, but more research is needed. Since dry dog food needs about 40% of these carbohydrates to maintain shelf life, I would be particularly concerned if that many carbohydrates were in my dog’s diet. Again, I would substitute some of the commercial food with fresh dark meat turkey, chicken, pork, beef or lamb to reduce the amount of carbohydrates and to insure more Taurine is added to the diet. In the 60’s and early 70’s many dogs suffered zinc deficiencies due to high phytate containing foods in dog food. (See chapter History of Dog Food, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”.

http://marinretrieverclub.com/dog-dying-congestive-heart-failure/

How Do I Know if My Dog’s Diet has Enough Taurine?

If you suspect your dog may be low in taurine (see symptoms above), your veterinarian can check for a deficiency with a blood test. I would advise this if you recognize any symptoms in your dog that were listed above. Otherwise, I would suggest that you feed your dog a diet that is rich in taurine. How can you do that?

If you are feeding a raw or home-cooked diet, make sure you rotate proteins – at least 4 different proteins a week – and be sure to use dark meat turkey or chicken, pork, beef and lamb.  I mentioned earlier that dairy products and eggs contain very little taurine, but they are still good to add because they contain other good and important nutrients. If you cook your dog’s diet, keep the juices and try baking the meat rather than cooking with water (crock pot or boiling).

If you do feed a commercial dog food, whether it is canned or kibble, I would suggest substituting some of the commercial food with whole animal-based proteins such as dark meat turkey or chicken, beef, pork or lamb to insure enough taurine is getting into your dog’s diet. Avoid legumes, peas, spinach and high amounts of grains as these block the uptake of important minerals.

You can also add taurine to your dog’s diet, and also more importantly, to your cats diet. B-Naturals is about to add a Taurine supplement to their website, so stay posted!  It is a powder form and mixes easily with any food type. You can’t really overdose with taurine.  It is safe to add to any diet and helps the liver, eyes and heart, and helps with glucose maintenance for diabetes.

If your dog has heart issues, I recommend adding these supplements:

 

We are coming into the heat of summer!
Please keep your dogs cool!
Watch their feet on hot pavement as they can blister easily!
And keep them indoors during Firework season!
Melatonin, Adaptil collars and Thunder Shirts can help with anxious or nervous dogs.
Happy 4th of July to my American Friends! Enjoy these lovely summer days with your dogs!

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Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Summertime brings sunshine, beautiful flowers, and for all of us dog lovers, green lawns with regrettably, yellow and brown spots. How does this happen, and what can we do about it?

 

There are a host of products on the market used as additives or supplements to add to your dog’s food that claim to magically change your dog’s urine so it will not burn the grass. Unfortunately, this is impossible. It is not the pH or acidity of urine that kills the grass. Plus, you can’t change pH with diet effectively even if it was the cause – but it is NOT the cause).

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

 

Why does urine cause the grass to die? It is important to understand exactly what it is in dog urine. It contains some minerals and proteins, but it consists of urea (ammonia) and sodium (salt). Both ammonia and salt kill grass and any vegetation. There is NO way to remove these from your dog’s urine, at least not without killing your dog. The fact is, urine burns grass, whether from dogs, cats, people or any mammal. The only solution is to water the areas where you dogs eliminate daily. And even at that, there may still be some damage. Using small sprinklers or just hosing it down for several minutes is the most effective deterrent for lawn damage.

 

Another important topic is weed killers. NEVER use these on your lawn when you have dogs or cats. Most weed killers use chemicals that literally grow the plant to death, and many of these can cause lymphoma in dogs.

 

“A six-year study from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine linked lawn pesticides to canine malignant lymphoma (CML). Based on questionnaire results from dog owners, the study found ‘specifically, the use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70% higher risk of CML. Risk was also higher in those reporting use of self-applied insect growth regulators.’”

 

Another study found that weed killers that use 2-4-D herbicides are linked to bladder cancer in some breeds:

 

“A 2013 study concluded 2,4-D herbicides and other lawn chemicals make the risk of canine bladder cancer ‘significantly higher’. Certain breeds, including Beagles, Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers are more susceptible due to a genetic predisposition to bladder cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267855/

Exposure to the chemicals can come from ingestion, inhalation, or contact with skin, and the amount of time needed to restrict pets from a sprayed area has not been determined.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23584031

So remember, keep your lawns watered, and please DO NOT use weed killers anywhere where you dogs can come in contact with them, either by breathing the fumes or walking where it has been applied. Sad news for those who love a lush lawn of San Augustine or Kentucky Blue grass, I know, but your pet will live longer and healthier!

And please, for those pesky brown spots on the lawn, don’t spend your time and money giving your dog a supplement to change their urine.  It won’t work! Water, water and water the areas daily!

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 04-30-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

I finally took the time to research Cannabidiol oil (CBD) as to its effectiveness, specific to dogs. I have seen numerous claims on the internet (and HEY, if you see it on the internet, it must be true, right?) that it helps with pain, arthritis, cancer, seizures, anxiety, inflammation pain, and more.

 

I found one article that claimed it did all this, and that it also helps with pancreatitis and kills bacteria in dogs. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, in fact, it is too good to be true. When I inspected the resources listed, I found the bulk of the studies were done in vitro. That means, in essence, cannabidiol oil was used on affected cells in a petri dish in a laboratory and the cells used were mice cells, NOT canine or human cells. It is encouraging that CBD oil may work that way, but there is still a long way to go to have it work orally. Some mice were injected with the oil with some good results, but again, it is via injection, not taken orally.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

 

Another article stated that CBD oil was effective via injection for seizures, however in dogs, the liver removed all the good properties (first pass) and the anti-seizure property was lost if used alone. It did seem to help if it was given with other anti-seizure traditional seizure medications.

 

“To date, no report has appeared that states CBD possesses antiepileptic or anticonvulsant activity in humans or animals upon oral administration when it is the only drug administered.”

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20255001_Pharmacokinetics_of_cannabidiol_in_dogs

 

 

Another website lists the potential side effects of CBD and recommends that you let your veterinarian know your dog is using CBD if they show any of the following symptoms:

 

  • Dry Mouth:Your dog can’t tell you if they have dry mouth but it’s safe to say they might increase their water intake. Additionally, increased thirst could also be a sign of other serious problems, such as antifreeze or rodenticide poisoning, or conditions like diabetes.
  • Tremors:Human patients with Parkinson’s disease have reported increased tremors at high doses of CBD. Tremors of any kind should be cause for concern in a dog.
  • Low Blood Pressure:If your vet notices low blood pressure during your next wellness visit, let them know that you have been giving your dog CBD. Until then, check whether your dog seems overly tired or lethargic.
  • Lightheadedness:Your dog won’t tell you if they’re feeling lightheaded, but they might seem disoriented or dizzy.
  • Drowsiness:Pay attention to your dog’s sleeping patterns to see if there’s any change.

 

https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/what-to-know-if-you-want-to-give-your-dog-cbd-cannabidiol

 

This same website goes on to say this about THC and dogs:

 

“It’s not that vets think marijuana products, either THC or CBD, are a panacea to all health problems for dogs and other animals. Instead, the lack of solid information about these drugs has created an unregulated environment where many pet owners are simply running the experiments themselves, sometimes with dangerous consequences. 

Dr. Diana Thomé is at least one vet who said she has seen more animals with marijuana (THC) toxicity. “Our clients come in almost daily asking us about the use of marijuana,” she explained to congress, “Legally, I can’t tell them anything … other than to say I can’t advise them to use it.”

Without study, vets can’t say whether it’s safe to give any amount of THC or CBD to certain dogs, what it might treat effectively, what the suggested dosage might be, or any other information that could help reduce preventable harm. “

Do NOT give your dog any cannabis products with THC!

 

“The veterinary community has long known that cannabis — specifically the chemical THC that gives users their high — is toxic to pets. Dogs appear to be even more susceptible, Pawlowski says, because they have more cannabinoid receptors.”

 

“However, veterinarians and researchers can’t determine the level of toxicity because cannabis still is listed as a Class 1 drug, which restricts its use even by researchers. What they do know is that cannabis can damage the neurological system in pets and can sometimes be fatal, and they fear they are just seeing the start of the problems.”

 

https://www.thecannabist.co/2017/08/28/dog-cat-marijuana-overdose/86845/

 

If you opt to use CBD oil for your pet, make sure IT IS LESS than .03 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

 

https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/cases-of-pets-ingesting-pot-increasing-vet-clinic-1.3904430#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=twitter&_gsc=m3u7oaN

 

 

However, this isn’t all bad news. While there has been little research done to date on CBD oil (Hemp oil, WITHOUT THC), Colorado State University has started specific research just for dogs. They are currently accepting dogs that have at least two seizures a month and dogs with canine arthritis. This is excellent news, and hopefully soon we will know what types of CBD oil will work (or not) for dogs and how much to give them.

 

https://collegian.com/2017/12/csus-veterinary-teaching-hospital-researches-cannabinoid-use-to-treat-canine-diseases/

 

CSU recently finished their trial on osteoarthritis in dogs, and we are awaiting their results.

 

They also have a trial going on for Cannabidiol and Epilepsy:

 

http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/vth/veterinarians/clinical-trials/Pages/efficacy-of-cannabidiol-for-the-treatment-of-epilepsy-in-dogs.aspx

 

So what you may read on miracles of CBD is only anecdotal to date. Research has not shown it to be the miracle fix, but more research is being explored. PLEASE do your research before trying CBD oil. If you choose to use it, make sure the oil is pure, organic and contains no or VERY LITTLE THC! Be VERY careful not to overdose! I might recommend using the brand CSU is using, as it is tested and safe:

 

http://www.appliedbasicscience.com

 

While the research doesn’t support the stories we have heard about the miracle of CBD oil in dogs, I will continue to be optimistic that the research that is being continued will show CBD oil to be helpful in some areas and that maybe they will be able to produce it in a manner that is more specifically helpful to dogs.

 

Past research with mice and rats does not always transfer over to dogs (or even people), so the results of the trials that are specific to dogs should bring us better answers! If you decide to go ahead and use it, please research it very carefully. Make sure the product is free of THC and let your veterinarian know immediately if your dog shows any of the side effects I listed above.

 

We are now into May! A great time of the year for fun outdoor activities with your dog. I always recommend long walks daily, and don’t forget to sign up for a Rally class, Nose Work class or the new Trick dog classes! While I always advocate for the best fresh food diet for your dog, don’t forget to exercise their physical bodies, but their brains as well!

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 04-01-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

A confusing issue for many dog owners is the topic of high cholesterol in their dog’s blood panel results. This is an issue that cannot and should not be confused with the meaning of high cholesterol and its dangers in people. Today, people are concerned about reducing fat in their diets, exercising, keeping their weight down and taking medications to reduce cholesterol levels because cholesterol levels bring about very specific health risks. People want to reduce their chances of developing plaque in their arteries so they can keep their heart healthy.

For dogs, high cholesterol has a very different meaning! Dogs are carnivores and their digestive tracts are designed to eat plenty of animal fat. They need large amounts of animal fat to meet their physical needs for both energy and endurance. Dogs don’t develop plaque in their arteries; nor do they suffer harmful effects on their hearts from a high fat diet. Dogs can become obese from a diet that is too high in fat, from over feeding, or from getting little or no exercise. However, the fat does not affect their arteries or heart as it does in people, as we are omnivores. This does not mean we shouldn’t pay attention to high cholesterol readings in our dogs as they can give us good clues to other metabolic issues that may need further attention. Specific problems that can be the result of high cholesterol in a dog’s blood work can include:

Hypothyroidism

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

The thyroid gland helps in numerous ways, including hormone regulation and metabolism. When the thyroid isn’t working well, it can cause elevations in cholesterol, lipase, ALT, and cause a low white blood cell count. A thyroid panel blood test can show if the thyroid is low and medication can often bring these numbers back to the normal ranges.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/40602.htm

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2097&aid=449

Diabetes

This disease can cause issues with fat metabolism, resulting in high cholesterol, among other elevated blood panel results, such as glucose.

http://www.essortment.com/canine-diabetes-symptoms-26793.html

Cushing’s Disease

This is when the adrenal gland is producing too much cortisol (cortisone). A high level of cortisol (which can also be caused by long term steroid use) creates dysfunction in processing fats. Due to this, dogs with Cushing’s disease (and long term steroid use) are more prone to pancreatitis.

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/cushings.html

Hyperlipidemia

Sometimes a high triglyceride count will be seen with high cholesterol. A few breeds, most commonly Miniature Schnauzers, have a genetic tendency to lipidosis or hyperlipidemia.

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=189&A=2660&S=0

All of these problems can show symptoms of skin problems, poor immune systems, weight issues and a more problematic issue of pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is not caused by fat intake, but rather by issues that create an inflamed pancreas. Some of these health problems can be resolved with medication, but if they cannot, a low fat diet is needed. Here is a home cooked diet for dogs prone to pancreatitis:

http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/pancreatitis/

Another diet that is low in sugar, which is well suited for any of the above conditions, but especially diabetes or Cushing’s disease can be found at: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/low-glycemic/

More information on these health issues, along with other diet information can be found in my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”.

It is very important to have yearly wellness checks on your dogs. These annual checks should include both annual blood work and a urinalysis. It is also important to know what the blood values mean in relationship to dogs. While many may mean the same things, there are some differences due to canine physiology and their nutritional needs as carnivores!puppies in pen Brussels Griffen in the Sun

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Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 
  1. Horse and Puppies How can I be sure the diet is balanced?

That answer is easy enough! Just make sure to add 900 milligrams of calcium to the diet.  You can use carbonate, calcium citrate or ½ teaspoon of ground eggshells per pound of food fed to your home-cooked meals.  Design the recipes to be at least 75% animal-based protein and 25% low-sugar (low-glycemic) cooked and mashed carbohydrates.

For raw diets, feed half the diet in raw meaty bones and half in animal protein with a slight amount of liver or kidney added.

  1. How much cooked or raw food should I feed my dog daily?

For adult dogs, we feed 2% to 3% of their body weight daily. For puppies, we feed 5% to 10% of their body weight daily and feed multiple meals (3-4) per day until age 4 to 6 months.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video
  1. Are all meat types safe for my dog or are there some I should avoid?

Most meats are fine for dogs. I use USDA approved meats or pre-made frozen raw diets. However, there are a few exceptions. One of these includes pork. Pork is fine for dogs, but it does need to be frozen hard for three weeks to kill the trichinosis parasite. ALL meat suppliers in the United States do this before it ever hits the grocery shelves, so there is no problem with store-bought pork. HOWEVER, there are some meats that cannot be fed.  You CANNOT feed dogs raw wild boar or bear as these can contain the trichinosis parasite.  If you choose to feed these meats, you MUST make sure they have been hard-frozen for at least 3 weeks prior to feeding OR they MUST be fully cooked. Also, salmon from the Northwest must be cooked before feeding due to flukes that they can sometimes harbor. Just cook first or offer canned salmon, which is fine because it has been cooked prior to canning. When feeding venison, avoid the spine and the head (brain).

  1. What are the benefits of feeding a raw or home cooked diet?

The benefits are really wonderful! The first is smaller and less odor stools. The second is a lack of, or VERY LITTLE, tooth decay, plaque or tartar. Tartar is caused by carbohydrates (grains, starches and fruit). Third, there is NO DOGGY ODOR! This simply goes away on fresh food diets! Lastly, you will find your dog has better muscling and far less fat!

  1. How do I start a raw or home cooked diet?

The first thing is to get good directions and recipes. My book is a good way to start, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. It contains detailed directions and recipes. Or you can purchase my excellent videos! There are 3 of them. One is on Home Cooked Meals. It is $60 and contains lists, ideas, recipes and videos to help you prepare meals. The second is on Raw Diets, also $60. This video will help you with recipes and instructions on buying and preparing food for adults, puppies and toy breeds. Also available is my full seminar video for $199, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. This video not only includes the Home Cooked and Raw Diet Videos, but also has a chapter on the History of Dog Food, History of Feeding Dogs, Anatomy and Digestion of the Dog, Use of Supplements and How to Understand them, and two bonus chapters on Feeding Dogs with Cancer and Feeding Dogs with Renal Disease. These videos are on the Teachable site and there for you to use and view as long as you would like! The videos will help give you the confidence and courage to proceed and make sure you are successful!

I would also like to suggest you join K9Nutrition on Facebook where I, and several others, are available to help you with all your individual questions and concerns.

Once you get started, you will find out in a very short time how easy it is AND how fast you start to see the rewards! YOUR DOG will appreciate because fresh food is far tastier and healthier and they LOVE the variety! You will enjoy the smaller stools, no doggy odor, less vet visits and a calmer and more athletic dog! So GET STARTED TODAY!

Texas Yellow Flower

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 03-02-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn!
Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos!

Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition

and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets!

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 02-01-2018
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

A common complaint and frequent source of frustration for many dog owners is when their dogs experience symptoms of itching, scratching, face rubbing and ear shaking with a discharge. They often try bathing their dogs with special shampoos, they change their food, they check for fleas, and finally make an appointment to visit their veterinarian. If the symptoms continue, pet owners then tend to head off to a Veterinarian who specializes in Dermatology. This vet visit typically starts with a variety of allergy tests and results in treatments using antibiotics, anti-histamines and steroids. Unfortunately, this cycle can continue for years. Test results often point to various foods such as beef or chicken, corn, carrots or wheat, and might pinpoint dust mites, grasses, ragweed, or other oddities that are either not in your neighborhood or to things too prevalent to get rid of. So, now what do you do?

First, it is important to note that food allergies are rare in dogs. It takes prolonged exposure (feeding) to particular foods to develop food allergies. This can happen when your dog is on a ‘fixed’ diet where it has eaten the same food – maybe the same protein daily – for an extensive period of time. This most commonly occurs when fed a commercial dry dog food diet or a cooked or raw diet that has been restricted to just one or two proteins day after day for a long time. Food allergies are not found in puppies and generally not seen in dogs until after two years of age.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

So are allergy tests worth it? Can they detect just exactly what allergies your dog might have? Research shows they do not. When dogs were tested and found to be high in IgE levels, often they didn’t itch, but dogs with lower IgE levels did.

http://www.2ndchance.info/allergytest-Roque2010.pdf

This research found results from allergy tests in dogs was MARGINAL:

http://www.2ndchance.info/allergytest-Patterson2005.pdf

Click this link to read Dr. Ron Hines full article on allergies and allergy testing, and why he finds them not useful.

http://www.2ndchance.info/allergytesting.htm

Tufts University says, “As it turns out, food allergies are not as common as many pet food companies and websites may like for you to think. And while food allergies are one possible cause for your dog’s itchy skin and ear infections or your cat’s diarrhea, there are many more likely causes which may have nothing to do with the food”. They go on to say “while allergies are often identified as the culprit for itching or gastrointestinal problems, it is most often caused by something else.”

They state the most common cause of itching is fleas, followed next by environmental allergies. They mention pollen, dust mites and grasses. Unfortunately, these are found everywhere.

The article goes on to say, “One of the most frustrating things about food allergies is that there really isn’t an easy test. While many tests – using blood, saliva, and even hair – that can be performed by a veterinarian or purchased by a pet owner online (and even sometimes shockingly, through a Groupon!) advertise that they can diagnose food allergies or “sensitivities”, there is no proof that they work.”

http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/

Further, this article states, “In fact, multiple studies, (including this one just published – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023317300230) have shown that these kinds of tests are not very helpful in diagnosing food allergies, despite their widespread use for this purpose. Research results presented at a veterinary dermatology (skin) conference even showed that some tests ‘diagnosed’ plain water and stuffed animal ‘fur’ as having food allergies.”

And I will say unequivocally, that SALIVA and HAIR tests DO NOT WORK. Neither of these can detect nor diagnose allergies. Some of these will say they detect ‘food intolerances”, but that is untrue. Food intolerances are specific to too much fat or fiber in the diet and can be easily resolved by taking a closer look at the diet and adjusting it.

Why do some dogs get food allergies – or more commonly environmental allergies – at all, while others do not? It is because some dog’s bodies incorrectly respond to something normal in the environment. The body perceives it as harmful and therefore responds by attacking it. While the symptoms of this response tend to show up in hives, itching, itchy feet and ears, and weepy eyes, food allergies are far less likely to be the cause. It has everything to do with the state of that particular dog’s immune system. Some dogs are born with a poor immune system that could be the result of a variety of factors. It could be that the puppy came from a puppy mill or a puppy’s mom was not fed properly during pregnancy. Maybe the puppy was fed a poor diet when it was young or didn’t get enough good socialization or exercise. It could also be the result of health issues that required early surgery and anesthesia. All of these could lead to a compromised immune system.

The first step in trying to find out what might be causing your dog’s itching is to do a skin culture and sensitivity test at your veterinarian’s office. This is when your veterinarian takes a skin scraping from the affected areas and sends it to a laboratory to culture. This test determines if bacteria or yeast is present on the skin and it is the most accurate way to see WHAT bacteria is present (or yeast) so the CORRECT antibiotic can be given, ifs needed. Please be aware that antibiotic use can cause yeast to grow, so it is very important to give probiotics in-between antibiotic doses, two to three times daily.

If your dog has diarrhea, check to see if your dog has too much fat or too much fiber it its diet. It is also important to determine if your dog just doesn’t do well on a dry commercial food diet. These diets are very high in carbohydrates and fiber and can be irritating to many dogs.

While most of the articles talk about a food elimination diet, I think it is more effective to improve your dog’s current diet. This in turn will also help support your dog’s immune system more effectively.

Some ways to improve your dog’s diet would be to add some fresh food to a current kibble diet:

https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/mixing-fresh-food-with-kibble/

Taking it one step further, you could change your dog’s diet to a home-cooked diet. Changing to this diet offers fresh foods which provide more nutrients and allows you to have control over ALL the ingredients you feed. This way you know exactly what your dog is eating.

https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/cooked-diet/

Lastly, if you don’t have the time or the energy to cook, you can also offer your dog a raw diet which offers the highest level of nutrients. You can either purchase pre-made raw diets or you can make your own.

https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/raw-diet/

Whether you choose to add fresh foods to a commercial kibble diet, home-cook your dog’s meals or feed a raw diet to your dog, you can find great detailed information and recipes on all these variations of diets in my book ‘Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs’. My book also includes the history of feeding dogs, the history of dog food, and the anatomy and digestive needs of canines.

I also have videos available with complete instructions on making both homemade and raw diets. These videos give you the information and education you need to proceed with confidence. You can find these here:

https://rawandnaturalnutritionfordogs.teachable.com

To enhance and improve your dog’s diet, I recommend adding Fish oil capsules at one 1000 mg capsule per 10-20 pounds of body weight. The Omega 3 found in fish oil is wonderful for the coat and skin, it helps support the immune system, protects the heart and kidneys and fights inflammation.

Another supplement I suggest is adding the Berte’s Immune Blend to your dog’s diet. This supplement contains vitamins A, B complex, C, D3 and vitamin E, all of which help support a good immune system. It also contains probiotics, which help fight yeast overgrowth.

In cases of severe inflammation and itching, the Yucca Intensive can help. It contains saponins, which can help fight inflammation and some intestinal problems. Be sure to give one drop per 10 pounds of body weight WITH FOOD. And NEVER mix with steroids or other NSAIDs.

Bathe your dog weekly with a mild shampoo. Rinse with a solution of 1/4 WHITE vinegar and 3/4 water. This solution will help kill yeast on the skin. Use Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe on affected areas during the week. The witch hazel kills the bacteria and yeast and the aloe helps cool and heal the affected areas. For feet

, you can use a human athlete’s foot spray once or twice a day. All of these contain yeast controlling ingredients that are safe to use on your dog’s feet.

I hope you found this article helpful. Always see a veterinarian to pursue the right diagnosis for your dog’s itching and coat problems. The RIGHT diagnosis will bring the right treatment to help your dog heal and return to normal. Improving your dog’s diet will enhance recovery and help support your dog’s immune system.

Don’t forget! Exercise such as walking, throwing a ball, obedience or rally classes, as well as barn hurt or nose work classes all help to stimulate your dog’s brain. This in turn, helps the immune system. Keep your dog’s coat and skin clean and don’t forget to wash the bedding and anywhere else your dog sleeps or hangs out! All of these things will make for a happier and healthier dog!

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Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

 

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn!

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos!

Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition

And preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets!

 

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If you want to have a complete understanding about Canine Nutrition, which includes the history of feeding dogs and a solid explanation of canine anatomy and digestion, you can now take Lew’s complete 3-hour on-line course video on “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs!” This complete on-line video course also includes all the information you need to easily plan and prepare both Raw and Home-Cooked diets for you dogs. It includes recipes and instructions, along with details on what supplies you’ll need and how to economically shop for the recipe ingredients. The cost for this all-inclusive on-line course video is $199!

Sign up today and it also includes a bonus membership to the ‘Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs’ discussion Facebook Page, which is open only to those who have enrolled into this full-length course. This discussion page talks about all aspects of canine nutrition, answers questions on raw and home-cooked diets and explores your questions and issues about canine health and nutrition.

If you prefer to focus on just the specifics of feeding either a Raw Diet or a Home-Cooked Diets, you can also purchase Lew’s separate on-line videos for preparing these diets.  Each of these videos include recipes and instructions on preparation and include details on supplies you will need and how to shop for the ingredients you need.  These on-line videos include everything you need to easily prepare Raw or Home-Cooked diets for your dog at home! The on-line videos these specific diets are $60 each.

It doesn’t end here.  Stay tuned!  There is more to come!  Upcoming course videos include topics relating to Kidney problems, Pancreatitis diets, Cancer prevention and Liver diets!

Sign up Today at https://rawandnaturalnutritionfordogs.teachable.com.

You will certainly be ‘In-the-Know’ and your dogs will thank you!

 

Part II of January’s Newsletter

B-Naturals Newsletter Reference by Topic – 2018

As an added bonus to start out the New Year, we realized it is always nice to have an easy reference source by topic at your fingertips so you can find the information you need and want for your dog. So, as Part II of this month’s newsletter, we’ve provided a recap to this information for you. All of the following newsletter are linked to the Newsletter page of the B-Naturals website.

History of Dog Food

Canine Diet and Diet Health – Resources

Canine Diet – General Information

Canine Diets – Specific

Raw Diets

Cooked Diets:  Low-Glycemic

Mixed Diets – Fresh and Kibble

Vegetarian Diets

Feeding Performance Dogs

Feeding Senior Dogs

Feeding Toy Breeds

Diet, Pregnancy and Fertility

Puppy Rearing, Whelping and Feeding

Canine Diets – Ingredient Components

Protein

Fats

Carbohydrates

Supplements

Supplements General

Vitamins and Minerals

Enzymes and Probiotics

Herbs

Canine Health Issues and Diseases

General Information

Addison’s and Cushing’s Disease

Allergies

Arthritis and Joint Problems

Bladder, Crystal, Stone and Incontinence Issues

Blood Work and Blood Values

Cancer

Canine Influenza

Diabetes

Digestion and Gastric Problems

Epilepsy

Heart

Heartworm:

Immune System

Kidney

Leptospirosis

Liver

Muscular Dystrophy

Pain Management

Pancreatitis

Stress and Anxiety:

Thyroid

Tick-borne Diseases

 

 

Everyone at B-Naturals thanks you for your continued patronage and support!

We wish each of you a very Happy and Safe New Year!

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Filed Under (Dog Nutrition) by B-Naturals.com on 12-01-2017
Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. 

Brussells Griffen PupsI thought this matter had been settled! However, I recently ran into a couple of articles arguing that dogs were omnivores. This idea has perplexed me for years. Internally, regardless of how differently dogs look from the outside, they have all the characteristics of carnivores. Dogs have a hinged jaw that moves up and down – not side to side, and sharp pointed teeth – not flat molars. Their teeth and jaw are meant to rip and tear meat.  They are not meant to chew, grind and pulverize grains and grasses. They have a short and simple digestive tract, whereas omnivores have a longer, more complex digestive tract. Opposite of omnivores, food stays in a dog’s stomach longer and then passes quickly through its short digestive tract. Omnivores pass food to their intestines more quickly and then the food stays in their intestines longer.

I can only wonder what the motive is for claiming dogs can equally subsist on plant and animal-based foods. Could it perhaps be motivated by the pet food industry? After all, commercial pet food companies subsist on using high amounts of carbohydrates such as grains, potatoes and legumes. This is because these ingredients are necessary for maintaining a longer shelf life.  Diets made from meat and fat would surely rot quickly in a bag.

One frequently seen argument is that years of eating plant materials, starches, grains and cereals have changed dogs into omnivores. But that isn’t how evolution works, at least not in thousands, or even tens of thousands of years. Simply changing the diet of a species doesn’t change them from a carnivore to an omnivore or an omnivore to an herbivore.

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Two Rottweilers StandingGenetics can cause appearance changes quickly, such as short ears to long, floppy ears or small almond eyes to round eyes and even long legs to short dwarfism legs. However, changing the internal digestive tract of an animal would take hundreds of thousands of years to change. If this could occur, many of the non-adaptive members of the species would die off. Spontaneous mutation can make small, more instant changes, but again, it would take hundreds – or in reality – thousands of years to change the entire digestive system of the species, which in this case, would include the structure of the jaws and teeth, the complexity of the digestive tract, and the enzymes needed to digest a standard omnivore diet of grains and grasses.

Recent studies have shown that dogs have more of an ability to digest starches than wolves, and both are classified in the same species. Several have taken this to mean dogs are now omnivores. But the addition of more starch enzymes copied in the pancreas, doesn’t help with dogs, or wolves, as they have no amylase in their saliva. Starch digestion starches in the mouth to help with digestion further when it reaches the stomach and then the small intestine. And even then, dogs have a short and simple digestive tract which makes the passing of the high-fiber found in starch difficult to pass and process. Because dogs have a short intestinal tract, they can’t ferment food well, so food is not further broken down in the large intestine. As a result, high-fiber diets produce large, foul smelling stools in dogs and it wastes their energy trying to digest the large mass of food, which is foreign to a carnivore’s digestive tract.

I have seen the claim that wolves eat the stomach contents of their prey in the wild. This too is incorrect. Dr. David Mech followed wolves for years to observe their habitat, hunting patterns and how they have adapted. He found that wolves consumed all their prey except the skull, which is too hard to consume, and the stomach contents, which are bitter and full of gastric juices and bile. Further studies have also shown this to be true. “Wolves do not feed on the contents of the rumen; so this, along with the larger unbreakable bones and some of the hide, are often the only things remaining when wolves and associated scavengers are done.”

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/1923S.full

Further, dogs are in the same species as wolves. They can interbreed and their DNA is so close it can’t be distinguished when they interbreed:

“Wolves (canis lupus), coyotes (canis latrans), and domestic dogs (canis familiaris) are closely-related species. All three can interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring – wolfdogs, coywolves, and coydogs.

Through DNA analysis, scientists have established that the wolf is the ancestor of the dog. Dogs and wolves are so closely related that DNA analysis cannot distinguish a wolf from a dog or a wolfdog hybrid.”

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/wolves-coyotes-and-dogs/

Certainly there are some odd carnivores. One of which is the Giant Panda, which eats mostly bamboo. Through mutation, they have a gene that causes them to find meat repulsive. As a result, they are left to eat massive amounts of bamboo to survive. They lack energy due to the lack of animal protein and have to consume each other’s feces to maintain bacteria in their gut. They do possess one crushing molar which is important for starch digestion. Dogs do not have any flat molars so they are unable to fully pulverize plant materials to help with digestion. Additionally, dogs do not produce any amylase in their saliva which is needed to start the digestion of starches.

“Genome sequencing of the giant panda suggests that the dietary switch could have initiated from the loss of the sole T1R1/T1R3 umami taste receptor, resulting from two frameshift mutations within the T1R1 exons.[69] Umami taste corresponds to high levels of glutamate as found in meat, and may have thus altered the food choice of the giant panda.[70).” Furthermore, they do poorly on this diet: “However, the giant panda still has the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes, [59] and thus derives little energy and little protein from consumption of bamboo. Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut. [60][61] Pandas are born with sterile intestines, and require bacteria obtained from their mother’s feces to digest vegetation. [62] The giant panda is a “highly specialized” animal with “unique adaptations”, and has lived in bamboo forests for millions of years. [50] The average giant panda eats as much as 9 to 14 kilograms (20 to 30 pounds) of bamboo shoots a day to compensate for the limited energy content of its diet. Ingestion of such a large quantity of material is possible because of the rapid passage of large amounts of indigestible plant material through the short, straight digestive tract. [63][64] It is also noted, however, that such rapid passage of digesta limits the potential of microbial digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, [63] limiting alternative forms of digestion. Given this voluminous diet, the giant panda defecates up to 40 times a day. [65] The limited energy input imposed on it by its diet has affected the panda’s behavior. The giant panda tends to limit its social interactions and avoids steeply sloping terrain to limit its energy expenditures. [66]”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_panda

Dogs simply don’t fit the odd mutation found in pandas. Dogs are carnivores, and through domestication as humans have taken them as pets, they have been subjected to what we feed them. This, however, has not changed them from carnivores to omnivores. It has simply forced them to survive on what was provided to them. Often, as humans seem fit to do, we place animals in categories that make the most sense to us at the time. We rationalize what we feed them by designating them as ‘omnivores’ or ‘omnivorous’ or ‘scavengers’. We make these terms up to fit our perception of reality. And pet food companies jump on these terms to justify the ingredients in their dog food.

There are differences in carnivores. Takes cats for example.  They are ‘obligate carnivores’. Cats must have meat to survive as they need things found in meat that carbohydrates (plants) can’t provide. This includes vitamin A. They cannot convert beta carotene to a usable form. They also need taurine, which is not found in plants. Arginine, which is only found in meat, is an amino acid essential to cats. Without it, they can die!

Dogs are similar. They can convert beta carotene, however, not efficiently. Only 50% or less. Dogs must also have taurine or they can die from heart failure. Dogs must also have an animal-based form of vitamin D, known as D3, as they can’t use plant-based calcium. It is worthless to them. Additionally, dogs must get iron from animal sources. They can’t use it from plants or supplements. Additionally, dogs must have arginine from meat sources daily or they can become ill and die. Lastly, dogs cannot convert omega 3 fatty acids from plant-based oils. They must have animal-based oils which are found in fish-based oils (already converted) to be effective.

https://www.dsm.com/markets/anh/en_US/Compendium/companion_animals/vitamin_A.html

https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/the-importance-of-vitamin-d3-in-your-dogs-diet/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7241223

“However, in mammals, ALA is not efficiently converted to EPA and DHA. The conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA is believed to be <10% in humans, [19, 20] and also is believed to be rather limited in dogs [21, 22] and cats. [23, 24] Therefore, when supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is a more potent and efficient source of EPA and DHA as compared with products rich in ALA such as flaxseed, linseed, or canola oil. Supplementation of ALA does have benefits, especially in management of dermatologic disease, [2] but different omega-3 fatty acids have different effects on the body and on disease.”

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.12033/full

So yes, dogs need meat and they need it daily! There is no evidence proving dogs need carbohydrates or that they are designed to consume them or use them. In fact the National Research Council which determines what dogs need nutritionally, states dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates. None! What dogs need are animal proteins and fat and the amino acids, minerals and vitamins provided by them.

Rotties sleepingSo really? Is there any question on whether or not dogs are carnivores? There shouldn’t be! Everything they need for nutrition is found in animal-based foods. Nothing of what they need is found in plant-based foods or carbohydrates. Their anatomy is distinct in having all the characteristics found in carnivores!

If you would like more information on how to make home-prepared meals for your dog that are nutritious and contain animal meat and protein, then my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs” is exactly what you need! It has easy, simple-to-follow instructions on preparing either raw meals with bones (yes, these are safe if fed raw!) or home cooked meals with minimal low-sugar carbohydrates (which are only added to help form stools). This is not difficult and your dog will appreciate you so much for it!

A great companion supplement to add to your dog’s diet is the Berte’s Immune Blend. This supplement contains animal-sourced vitamin A and D3, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes. It is a great supplement for supporting your dog’s immune-system. Another good addition is the Berte’s EPA Fish Oil Capsules. Omega 3 fatty acids are also great for the immune system and they are renal, liver and heart protective and great for healthy skin and a glowing coat!

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