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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. 

Last month, in “Let’s Talk about Sugar and Dogs” we addressed many of the questions people ask about carbohydrates. We talked about the different types of carbohydrates, which ones are best to feed, which diets have and/or need carbohydrates, and how the different carbohydrates can affect certain health conditions.

For any dog, the best diets are homemade, either cooked or raw. Raw is probably the most beneficial, as it can be served with NO carbohydrates. This is because the raw bone in the diet acts as the ‘fiber’ needed to provide firm stools. For more information on a raw diet, I would refer to my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”. A raw diet is fed in two meals per day. One meal is raw meaty bones and the other meal is a mix of muscle meat, a bit of organ meat and eggs and yogurt.

This month, we include home cooked low sugar diets and include several low glycemic recipes that benefit the health conditions we spoke about last month, which included epilepsy, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. We also discuss additional health issues including cancer, arthritis, allergies and yeast overgrowth and offer recipes to help with these conditions.

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

It is also good to know that diets high in carbohydrates (sugar) can affect fertility in dogs, both males and females. High sugar content in the diet can affect hormones in an adverse way, that lowers sperm count and a females ability to get pregnant. For more on that:  https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/causes-of-infertility-in-dogs/

The recipes listed below are low-glycemic and reduced fat recipes. While these recipes are good for any dog for their best long-term health, they are especially beneficial for dogs with Epilepsy, hypothyroidism and diabetes.

The amount to feed is approximately 2% to 3% of the dog’s body weight.* If you do not have a food scale to weigh out the food, one pound of food equals approximately two cups.

100 lb. dog = 2 lb. to 3 lb. daily, or two meals of 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. each

75 lb. dog = 1-1/2 lb. to 2-3/4 lb. daily or two meals of 12 oz. to 18 oz. each

50 lb. dog = 1 lb. to 1-1/2 lb. daily, or two meals of 8 oz. to 12 oz. each

25 lb. dog = 8 oz. to 12 oz. daily, or two meals of 4 oz. to 6 oz. each

*Smaller dogs often have higher metabolisms, and *may* (not always) need more than the 2% to 3% of their body weight and often do better with three smaller meals a day, especially toy breeds.

*Puppies under the age of six months require three to four meals per day and they need a bit more calcium; about 1500 mg per pound of food served while they are growing. Puppies will eat about 10% of their body weight at 8 weeks of age or 2% to 3% of their anticipated adult weight.

For all home cooked diets, you MUST add in Calcium at 900 mg. per pound of food served. Other recommended supplements include EPA fish oil capsules at one capsule (180 EPA/120 DHA) per twenty to thirty pounds of body weight daily. Do NOT add minerals, as the variety in the diet will provide all the needed minerals. However, adding in vitamins, such as vitamin E and vitamin B complex, is recommended.

For diet changes, probiotics and digestive enzymes are helpful. Berte’s Immune Blend contains vitamin C, vitamin E, B complex, enzymes and probiotics. For a daily vitamin blend without enzymes and probiotics, there is also Berte’s Daily Blend. This vitamin blend contains kelp and alfalfa, which provide trace minerals.

Do not overcook the meat! To retain more of the nutrients, lightly cook the meat.

The sample diets below will feed one meal for a 100 lb. dog, two meals for a 50 lb. dog, or four meals for a 25 lb. dog.

Sample Diet One:

  • 1 lb. low fat hamburger
  • 4 oz. beef liver or kidney
  • 1 or 2 egg whites, no yolks, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled broccoli
  • 1/2 cup cooked yellow crookneck squash
  • 4 oz. nonfat milk yogurt

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add yogurt.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Two:

  • 1 lb. white meat chicken with no skin
  • 4 oz. of chicken liver
  • 1 or 2 egg whites, no yolk, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled Spinach
  • 1/2 cup cooked cabbage
  • 4 oz. nonfat Cottage Cheese

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add cottage cheese.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Three:

  • 1 lb. beef heart, cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz. of pork or beef liver
  • 1 or 2 egg whites, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 4 oz. nonfat Yogurt

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add yogurt.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Four:

  • One 16 oz. can of Mackerel or Salmon, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 egg whites, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup Kale or other dark leafy green
  • 4 oz. nonfat Cottage Cheese

Cook vegetables and eggs (no need to cook the canned fish, it is already cooked) and mix. You do NOT need to add calcium to this recipe as mackerel, salmon or sardines, already contain soft, steamed bones for calcium content.

To this, add:

Dogs with cancer, arthritis and allergies also benefit greatly when they eat a low glycemic diet, however for these diseases, higher amounts of fat are better.

Cancer

Cancer cells use sugar found in the body for energy. Therefore, elimination of high glycemic foods is important. Additionally, it is very important to ensure the diet consists of high quality animal protein and fat sources. Higher fat is recommended to maintain weight and help with energy. More information on Nutrition for Dogs with Cancer and diets for dogs with cancer can be found in this newsletter: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/cancer-diet/

Arthritis

A primary concern with dogs that have arthritis is managing their pain. Inflammation causes pain, so it is important to do what you can to reduce inflammation. Carbohydrates can aggravate inflammation, especially grains and vegetables from the nightshade family of vegetables. These include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant.

By avoiding these foods, you can help keep your dog’s inflammation down, which helps manage their pain. Another way to help reduce stress on the joints and the inflammation that accompanies this excess stress is to make sure your dog is lean and maintains a healthy weight. The sugar content in grains and starches are high in calories and can cause weight gain and aggravate inflammation. Avoiding grains and starchy vegetables helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, so additional stress on sore joints can be avoided.

Commercial dog foods can be very high in grains and starches. These foods can aggravate your dog’s arthritic condition and cause your dog to gain weight.

Some supplements that are very beneficial for reducing inflammation and helping to manage pain are:

EPA fish oil: The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil help control inflammation.

Yucca Intensive: An herbal tincture made from fresh yucca that contains saponins. Saponins are a natural steroid that helps reduce inflammation and pain. Yucca should be given at one drop per ten pounds of body weight, twice daily WITH meals. (Do not give this supplement on an empty stomach!)

Willow Bark: This is a natural form of aspirin and contains the whole herb. It is thought to be safer to use for dogs, and like Yucca, MUST be given with food! You can use this supplement as needed, rather than daily.

Home cooking provides a more nutritious way of controlling what your dog eats. With the recipe suggestions offered here, you have a basis for a balanced diet (calcium to phosphorus ratio and the amounts of animal protein and fat), but you can choose the ingredients that best suit your dog. Never forget about the importance of variety! Dogs require a balance of amino acids and nutrients. This can only come by offering the widest variety of proteins and foods your dog can tolerate. Feeding the same thing repeatedly can result in not only more allergy issues, but also nutrient deficiencies.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help with skin and coat and can help reduce inflammation in red, itchy skin.

DMG liquid (Dimethylglycine) can also help with skin and allergy conditions. It can help support the immune system and helps ‘regulate’ the reactions to allergic substances.

Yeast Overgrowth

Low sugar diets also help combat topical yeast problems in dogs, most commonly found on the skin (feet and near the anus) and the ears. Antibiotic use can kill off and deplete the beneficial bacteria in the body. This beneficial bacterium naturally fights off yeast. When this bacterium is depleted, it provides an environment for yeast to grow. Some of the symptoms that arise with yeast overgrowth mimic allergy symptoms. As a result, the two issues can ‘ping-pong’ back and forth. A visit to your Veterinarian is the best way to determine if your dog has a yeast problem. A skin culture can be done to determine whether the problem is yeast or allergies. It is very important to know what the real issue is so it can be treated properly.

If it is determined your dog is suffering from yeast, adding a probiotic powder to your dog’s diet helps fight yeast overgrowth by adding back in to the body the healthy level of good bacteria needed. Another way to fight yeast overgrowth is to offer frequent baths with an oatmeal based shampoo and rinse with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Olive leaf Extract and Yeast and Fungal tincture are also helpful in combating yeast issues.

For more reading on yeast problems, go here: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/scratching-and-itching-could-it-be-yeast/

Incontinence

Incontinence is the leaking of urine. Chronic conditions can lead to rashes, irritation and urinary tract infections. It is thought that grains and starches may aggravate incontinence in spayed females and senior dogs. Removing grains from the diet can alleviate the problem and sometimes completely stop the incontinence without having to resort to prescription medications. The herbal tincture blend, Kidni Care, can help strengthen and tone urinary tract muscles.

For more information on incontinence and diet, see Aunt Jeni’s article:

http://www.auntjeni.com/pdf%20files/Incontinence.pdf

A natural diet that offers variety is very helpful for all these conditions. Cooked diets can be made in large batches, packaged into meal-sized portions, and frozen for later use. Feeding amounts are the same as they were previously listed.

The amount to feed is approximately 2% to 3% of the dog’s body weight.

100 lb. dog = 2 lb. to 3 lb. daily, or two meals of 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. each

75 lb. dog = 1-1/2 lb. to 2-3/4 lb. daily or two meals of 12 oz. to 18 oz. each

50 lb. dog = 1 lb. to 1-1/2 lb. daily, or two meals of 8 oz. to 12 oz. each

25 lb. dog = 8 oz. to 12 oz. daily, or two meals of 4 oz. to 6 oz. each

One cup is approximately 8 ounces, or 1/2 pound. Some dogs will do well on two meals a day; others may need three or four smaller meals a day.

As mentioned earlier, do not overcook the meat! To retain more of the nutrients, it is best to lightly cook the meat. Butter can be used for cooking to add flavor and palatability. If you are using butter, unsalted is best for dogs with kidney or heart problems.

The sample diets below will feed one meal for a 100 lb. dog, two meals for a 50 lb. dog, or four meals for a 25 lb. dog.

Sample Diet One:

  • 1 lb. regular hamburger
  • 4 oz. beef liver or kidney, cook with small amount of butter
  • 1 or 2 eggs, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled broccoli
  • 1/2 cup cooked yellow crookneck squash
  • 4 oz. whole milk yogurt

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add yogurt.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Two:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 4 oz. of chicken liver, cook with small amount of butter
  • 1 or 2 eggs, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled Spinach
  • 1/2 cup cooked cabbage
  • 4 oz. Cottage Cheese

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add cottage cheese.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Three:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 4 oz. of pork or beef liver, cook with small amount of butter
  • 1 or 2 eggs, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup steamed or boiled Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 4 oz. Whole Milk Yogurt

Cook meat, eggs, vegetables, and mix. When cooled, add yogurt.

To this, add:

Sample Diet Four:

  • 1 can 16 oz. Mackerel or Salmon
  • 1 or 2 eggs, scrambled or soft boiled
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup Kale or other dark leafy green
  • 4 oz. Cottage Cheese

Cook vegetables and eggs (no need to cook the canned fish, it is already cooked) and mix. No calcium is needed as mackerel, salmon or sardines already contain soft, steamed bones for calcium content.

To this, add:

Conclusion

While carbohydrates (sugar) are not necessary in a dog’s diet, they can be useful when you are dealing with certain health conditions. Carbohydrates are used in home cooked diets for the sole purpose of adding fiber to the diet. In dogs with certain liver or renal issues, carbohydrates are needed to add calories, absorb ammonia, and reduce phosphorus in the diet.

However, using too many carbohydrates can cause larger and smellier stools, produce gas, and cause unnecessary weight gain. Because carbohydrates convert to sugar, they can also adversely affect dogs with epilepsy, diabetes, and hypothyroid conditions, as well as dogs with cancer, arthritis, allergies, yeast issues and incontinence.

It is important to know these variables so you can make the best, most informed, decisions on whether carbohydrates can help or hinder your dog’s health. It is not a question of whether carbohydrates are good or bad. It is about making the best decision for your dog based on their individual needs.

If you find this two-part article helpful and would like more information, we recommend Lew Olson’s recently published book, ‘Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs’. This book is an easy read with more great information on diet and supplement recommendations for the various health conditions discussed in these two articles.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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