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.

History of Feeding Part II

History of Feeding (Part II)

By Lew Olson • April 2005 Newsletter
This month we will continue with more excerpts from vintage books on feeding dogs. I have had some requests for recipes and diets from these books, and I will post them in the last article in this series. I do want to remind you that those recipes are not meant to be used. They are simply as a comparison to see some of the methods used at that time.

Please note that I am reproducing these book excerpts to show how people thought and how they approached dog nutrition at the turn of the century. It gives good ‘food for thought’ on current ideas of feeding dogs from that time to the present. Any feedback is welcomed on these articles and I will consider any suggestions for specific areas you would like to see reproduced in this series.

This first excerpt is from The Care and Feeding of Dogs, by Joesphine Z. Rine, 1936, Grosset and Dunlap.
This section addresses the nutritional needs of dogs, their digestive system and the need for variety. (Page 74-76)
“The fact that the dog belongs to the class none as Carnivora should be indicative enough of what he should eat. Carnivora does not mean the ability to digest this part or that part of the meat kingdom. It means specifically flesh devouring; and flesh means meat as distinct from vegetable. Thus, the Carnivora are considered as those endowed by nature with the ability to consume all animal flesh, muscular tissue, glandular organs and every single part.
“The dog’s meat supply may be called perfect only when it includes as great a variety as it is possible to obtain. A man may claim that his dog is as fit as fit can be after a puppy hood of raw beef feeding; or another may hail liver or lamb as the sole reason for his dog’s good condition. Both contenders may be right at that, and both may be wrong, for a case here or there is not proof at all. The dog’s system, no less than the human’s, is a wonderful machine, adapting itself willingly to anything it can get. This, though, should be no indication that we possess the right to tamper with that adapting propensity. Because one or two or even three dogs grow robust upon a single kind of food, is no criterion for the race. Even a single generation is no criterion. Nature is slow to make her demands known and will suffer in silence for years sometimes before giving vent to signs of her displeasure. But that sign will come once her patience is exhausted, and it comes most usually along the lines of reproduction. Nature says emphatically that if conditions are not right for the present generation, there shall be none to follow. That is why the reproductive organs are the first to be affected by adverse conditions of feeding, housing and general care.
“In order to find out with any degree of success whether or not the methods in operation are right or wrong, it is necessary to record the performance of dogs through a long period of time, using not one but several generations as a check. Here is where full production records, including weights and numbers of puppies, the percentage of each litter raised, the age at which some have died, together with the causes therefore, and facts of this nature are the sole means of finding just where we are at. Snap judgments will not do. Nature, herself, acts slowly to give us time, as it were, to correct our methods before the crash comes. Records will serve to show tendencies one way or another so that we may forestall happenings that should not happen.
“Variety of meat does not mean, as one breeder insisted upon interpreting the term, feeding two or three kinds of meat at one meal, or even in a single day. It means rather sensible rotation of beef, heart, liver and fish for instance over a thirty day period, or a weekly menu that provides at least two different kinds of meat within that time.”
This excerpt is from Commonsense and Secrets of Dog-Feeding by R. E. Nicholas, 1905, Toogood & Sons, LTD, South Hampton, England.
He addresses the basic food needs of dogs and his reasoning for this: (Page 12)
“The object of feeding is to supply the animal with the various elements entering into its composition and it is obvious that a diet consisting of the animal body and its products must contain all the constituents required for the growth and maintenance of the animal body and its products. There is no doubt, too, that the intelligence and “life” of an animal depend largely on its proper nourishment. What corn is to the domesticated horse, meat is to the dog, and we cannot rationally expect in dogs fed wholly on farinaceous (starchy foods) foods the highest development of intelligence, courage and endurance, and the liveliness of temperament so greatly to be desired.
“Meat and bones, too, appease hunger more thoroughly than vegetable foods. They stay by a dog longer, and so keep it more contented. Moreover, they tend to produce firmness of muscle and increase of frame with an absence of superfluous fat, while vegetable foods increase the deposition of fat. Dogs fed mainly or entirely on farinaceous foods may put on flesh, but their system becomes weakened and predisposed to disease. Excessive use of farinaceous feeding-stuffs especially of such as contain sugar, impairs fertility, somewhat increases the dangers of parturition (birth) by lowering the vitality of the bitch, and tends to the production of small puppies lacking in stamina, while a nitrogenous diet (animal protein) favours profligacy and the production of healthy, vigorous offspring. It may also be added that vegetable foods need very thorough cooking to rupture their starch-cells, and that on the whole they excite the vital powers and processes to a less degree than do animal foods. This stimulating effect of foods upon the vital functions is a factor of importance in maintaining the best health and condition. The contrast in activity and muscular vigour between carnivorous animals is generally marked, and on the whole, there seems to be no reasonable doubt that a meat diet contributes more than any other ration to the development of strength and energy. The quaint traditional conception that a meat diet inclines dogs to ferocity and ungovernable temper is, or course, absurd. In point of fact, abundance of meat insures complete nourishment, and so tend to make dogs docile and contented.
“Systematic experiments have shown that, while dogs can be kept in perfect health for an indefinite time on meat alone, they cannot exist for long on an exclusive diet of starch, thus furnishing for such as require it incontestable evidence that the still common system of feeding dogs mainly on starchy vegetable products and fresh vegetables invites debility and so opens the door to disease.”
And the last excerpt is from Diet for Dogs, by George Watson Little, DVM, 1929 New York, Robert M McBride and Company. Here is Dr Little’s thoughts on dog nutrition needs:
“Unfortunately education regarding rations for dogs has not progressed so far. Through penury, ignorance, superstition, hearsay and carelessness, the stomach of the large majority of canines have been woefully mistreated. The popular idea that a dog is a sort of an animated garbage can capable of subsisting on foraged odds and ends or the scraps thrown to him is extremely erroneous. To be true some dogs are forced to accommodate themselves to such an existence, but obviously well-bred animals are too delicate to withstand this life for long. Indeed, it is often difficult to make them hardy specimens with undeviating care and attention.
“Many who realize the dog’s stamina and resistance to disease, condition of coat, evenness of disposition, size and other equalities are directly attributable to what he eats do not know the best food for him.
“This is not be to wondered at, for one salesman assures the anxious owner that the dog biscuits he offers are an excellent all-round food while another claims his puppy meal is absolutely the only ration for a dog. A would-be helpful neighbor insists that the dog should never be fed meat, the butcher asserts the animal should receive no vegetables, some prescribe one meal a day while others advocate two or three or even four.”
Dr Little goes on to say: “I always advocate meat for the dogs, the quantity depending on the amount of exercise and the general life which the canine leads. To maintain a canine dietary from which meat or its equivalent is excluded is to ignore the origin of the animal.”
He then states: “To feed a dog only bread stuffs or starchy foods such as dog biscuits and cereals mean ultimate digestive trouble and innumerable other secondary complaints which in turn become serious.”
More Puppy Poetry!!
My human is home!
I am ecstatic I have
Made a puddle
I hate my choke chain
Look, world, they strangle me! Ack
Ack, Ack, Ack, Ack!
Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot-no greater bliss-well,
Maybe catching cats
Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much as I do
The cat is not all
Bad-she fills the litter box
With Tootsie Rolls
Dig under the fence-why?
Because it’s there. Because it’s
There. Because it’s there.
I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.
You may call them fleas,
But they are far more-I call
Them a vocation
My owners’ mood is
Romantic -I lie near their
Feet. I fart a big one.
Quiz Questions
1. The best type of yogurt to feed to dogs is:
A. Fruit on the bottom
B. Blended
C. Plain whole milk
D. With added fruit, honey or jam
2. The odor of green tripe is:
A. Similar to attar of roses
B. Much like a barn yard and will entice you to put a clothes pin on your nose
C. Reminiscent of fresh cut melons
D. Like a new mown lawn
3. Elevated calcium in a blood panel means:
A. Too little calcium in the diet
B. Too much calcium in the diet
C. The water source may contain calcium
D. There is a metabolic disorder in how the dog processes calcium
4. Amylase is an enzyme that helps the body to break down:
A. Proteins
B. Starches
C. Fat
D. Bone spurs
5. Milk thistle is an herb that is helpful for:
A. Support of the liver
B. Arthritis conditions
C. To destroy flukes in salmon from the Pacific NW
D. Thyroid conditions
Answers to Quiz Questions:
Question 1
Answer: C. Plain yogurt is better for dogs because they don’t need the extra sugars found in the flavored kinds. Whole milk yogurt is best for most dogs, as fat is good for dogs, but you may want to use low fat or even fat free if your dog is overweight or has problems digesting fat. If your dog will not eat plain yogurt, it is OK to add a little of your own flavoring, such as honey or jam, but try to limit the amount used.
Question 2
Answer: B. Humans have been known to gag, and some people feed it only outside. Keeping it as cold as possible will help. However, that same odor will entice your dog to either dance in delight, or try to roll in it.
Check out this great story of someone’s first encounter with tripe.
K9Nutrition, Message 57973
Quetion 3
Answer: D. Like most other blood work findings, elevated calcium is pretty much unrelated to calcium intake. The body controls the amounts of everything in the blood, so when something is outside the normal range, it indicates a metabolic or systemic problem of some kind, rarely a nutritional one (and even then it is usually extreme and long term). Elevated calcium is linked to certain kinds of tumors, as well as problems with the parathyroid gland (PTH), which is often affected by kidney disease.
Quesion 4
Answer: B. Amylase is used to digest starches, protease digests proteins, lipase digests fats, and nothing digests bone spurs.
Question 5
Answer: A. Milk thistle (Silymarin) is helpful for liver disorders. However, milk thistle should not be given regularly as a preventative unless the liver is being challenged on an ongoing basis, such as when you give Phenobarbital to prevent seizures.
Contact Me
If you would like to ask me any questions about my products, I would love to hear from you. Please check your return address when you send me email from my web site and try to write me again if you have not heard back from me.
To email: lew@b-naturals.com
To order call toll free: 1-866-368-2728
To fax an order: 1-763-477-9588
Email orders are also accepted
Copyright 2005 Lew Olson, All Rights Reserved

Leave a Comment