HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
Lew Olson and B-Natural's would like to say 'Thank You' to all of
Improving nutrition for our dogs is a common goal we all share. The best way to achieve this is by feeding fresh foods to your dog. With the New Year coming, I will present some ideas to help achieve these goals for the New year.
The most frequently asked questions I receive are about how to balance home prepared meals for dogs. So in this newsletter, I will recap three types of feeding; raw diet, home cooked and mixing kibble with fresh foods. Feeding a dog isn’t restricted to one method. While dog food companies may have you believe that their food is the only safe and complete method for full nutrition, there are a variety of ways to feed your dog, and the best method is to use fresh ingredients.
Dogs need to eat about 2% to 3% of their body weight daily in food. Puppies need more, from 5% to 10% of their body weight, due to growth. These percentages can change slightly, due to the metabolism and activity level of each dog.
Calcium ratio is important. Commercial dog foods provide this balance, so we don’t need to add calcium to store bought pet food. In raw diets, we feed a diet of approximately 40% to 50% raw meaty bones, which provides the correct calcium needs. In homemade diets, we add calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, at 900 mg per pound of food served. When fresh food is added to dry dog food, you can add up to 50% of fresh food without worrying about adding more calcium.
Raw diets are easy to prepare, as there is no cooking involved. You will need a freezer, a good pair of meat scissors, storage containers and freezer bags. I feed raw food in two meals. One meal is muscle meat, with additions of about 5% organ meat (liver or kidney), yogurt or cottage cheese and eggs. The other meal is raw meaty bones, often comprised of chicken necks, chicken backs, chicken leg quarters (for larger dogs), turkey necks, pork ribs, pork neck bones, pork tails, lamb ribs and canned mackerel, salmon or sardines.
Variety is important in any diet, as each protein provides a different array of amino acids. Using a variety insures a better spectrum of nutrients. I use no carbohydrates in my raw diet (dogs have no requirement for them), but you may add small amounts of fully cooked or pureed vegetables if you desire.
For complete recipes and instructions: https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/raw-diet/
The biggest error I see in home cooked meals is giving too little animal protein. A home cooked diet needs to be about 75% animal protein. For the rest of the diet, use vegetables. The vegetables really don’t offer much nutrition value to dogs, *but* they do add fiber, which helps keep the stools firm. Good vegetable choices include (cooked) zucchini, broccoli, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, green beans, and for dogs without sugar issues, sweet potato, white potatoes and carrots.
Good meat sources include ground beef, chicken, pork or lamb, as well as beef , pork, lamb, turkey or chicken hearts (considered a muscle meat, not an organ meat) or any variety of these meat choices. White fish is also good, as well as canned mackerel, salmon or sardines. You may also use dairy choices of plain yogurt or cottage cheese and eggs.
For more details on recipes and preparation: https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/cooked-diet/
For dogs that have issues with sugar (yeast problems, diabetes, allergies, etc):
Mixing Kibble and Fresh Food
Some people aren’t quite ready to go to home cooked or raw, but want to begin offering better quality foods with their commercial dog food. An easy start is to add fresh food to your dog’s commercial diet. Since dog food is already high in carbohydrates (for shelf life and inexpensive ingredients) I suggest only adding animal proteins and fat to commercial foods . You may feed up to 50% of the diet in fresh food without needing to add calcium. These foods can include meat (cooked or raw), eggs, plain yogurt or cottage and canned fish, such as mackerel, salmon or sardines.
You may also feed raw meaty bones, but when starting, feed these separate in one meal, away from dry dog food. It is thought that these foods (raw bones and kibble) may compete for digestion in the gastric juices in the stomach. However, you can add any of the above foods in the first paragraph with kibble.
The same supplements are needed for each of these diets. The only exception is calcium carbonate or citrate, for the home cooked meals.
The most important addition would be EPA Fish Oil Capsules. The omega 3 fatty acids found in animal based oils such as fish oil offer renal, heart and liver protection. Omega 3 oils are also good for skin and coat health and they improve and support the immune system. And in neonates and newborns, it helps with eye and brain development. It is best to use capsules rather than bottled fish oils, as light, heat and air destroy the fragile omega 3 fatty acids rather quickly. Recommended dose is one capsule per 20 lbs of body weight daily. That dose can be increased in certain health conditions and to improve skin and coat.
The next important group of nutrients includes the vitamins C, E and B complex. Vitamin C and B complex are water soluble and easily destroyed in storage (i.e., commercial pet food) and cooking. Vitamin E works together with omega 3 fatty acids, and is also an antioxidant (as is vitamin C).
You can find these three vitamins in the Bertes Daily Blend, along with kelp and alfalfa, which offer a rich source of trace minerals. This product comes in a powder and is easily applied to raw, home cooked or commercial foods. It contains flavoring with chicken liver that makes it appealing to dogs.
A third group of supplements are useful for digestion. The two main components are probiotics and enzymes. Probiotics are a blend of beneficial bacteria that help keep the good bacteria thriving in the digestive tract. These help prevent gas and assist in digestion. Enzymes help to predigest fats and proteins in the digestive tract. They also help with better utilization of the food and assist dogs who may have trouble with diarrhea or loose stools.
Bertes Ultra Probiotic Powder is an excellent blend of good flora and fauna and can be easily applied to any food choice. The Bertes Zymes are an animal based enzyme capsule, which can be given whole or opened and applied to food. The Bertes Zymes is helpful for dogs that have trouble digesting fats, or suffer indigestion.
And, if you want both the vitamins and probiotics and enzymes, the Bertes Immune Blend has vitamins C, E and B complex, as well as probiotics and enzymes. While this product is useful for dogs with specific health problems, it is also a good choice for healthy dogs at half dose. The Bertes Immune Blend comes in a powder form, which is also easily applied to any type of food.
May your holiday season be joyous and your dogs be well fed!
Copyright Lew Olson 2009
You must be logged in to post a comment.