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.
Toy Breed Dogs and Home-Cooked Diets
In the March 2013 B-Naturals newsletter, I wrote an article on feeding toy breed dogs a raw diet. Many of you who have toy breed dogs may not want to feed a raw diet, or may not be ready to feed raw, so this month's newsletter discusses feeding home cooked diets for your little ones!
Most of the principles for feeding a raw diet to toy breeds apply to cooked diets, but there are some differences. While larger dogs need to be fed two meals per day, the small and toy breeds need to be fed three or four meals per day. This is because they have higher metabolisms and you want to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Additionally, while the standard amount to feed larger dogs is 2% to 3% of their body weight daily, puppies and active adults may need to eat as much as 5% to 10% of their body weight daily.
Variety is just as important with the small and toy breeds as it is for the larger dogs. You want to offer as much of a variety as possible. I recommend feeding at least four different proteins weekly. These can include beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, wild game, and canned fish packed in water (mackerel, salmon or sardines). You can also include eggs and yogurt for protein sources for added variety. Ensuring you are offering a wide variety of different proteins ensures your dog will get the full spectrum of amino acids needed. If you restrict the diet to one or two proteins, it can lead to the development of allergies. Exposure to a fixed diet without enough variety also limits vital nutrients such as amino acids, minerals and vitamins, and can create boredom or a lack of enthusiasm for the meals.
A home cooked diet should contain at least 75% protein sources, with the remaining 25% of the diet made up of low glycemic (low sugar) vegetables. Vegetables are used in the home-cooked diet for fiber, which assists in creating firm stools. Good choices for the vegetable portion include summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash), broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens and cabbage.
Cook the meat lightly. Over-cooking the meat at high temperatures can deplete many of the nutrients needed. Additionally, dogs cannot digest raw vegetables so these must be completely cooked and then pulverized, or you can freeze and thaw them, which turns them into a puree.
Mix the lightly cooked meat together with your cooked and mashed or frozen and thawed vegetables. You can add a bit of yogurt or mashed hard-boiled egg for more variety, if desired.
Because home-cooked diets do not contain raw meaty bones (RMB), you MUST remember to add calcium to each meal. The recommended dose is 900 mg of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate per pound of food served.
It is easy to prepare the meals in advance. Simply freeze them into one or two ounce portions and mark by protein source. These can be taken out of the freezer the night before to thaw for the next day. If you forget to take food out to thaw, having some canned mackerel, salmon or sardines on hand comes in handy!
If you travel with your dog, it is easy to take frozen meals along with you. Just keep them in a cooler with ice. You can also freeze meals in plastic ice cube trays, but be sure to measure the amount and keep the food covered in the refrigerator or freezer. Having canned fish on hand for trips is also convenient.
As long as you are providing the suggested variety of protein, this diet is mostly complete. I do, however, recommend adding one EPA fish oil capsule per 10 pounds of body weight. If the dog weighs less than ten pounds, use half a capsule and store the remainder in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for the next day. Additionally, I recommend the Berte's Immune Blend as it contains the needed vitamins A, D, E, C and B vitamins, plus probiotics and digestive enzymes. The dosage for toy breeds is 1/16 teaspoon twice daily. For dogs over ten pounds, the dose would be 1/8 teaspoon twice daily.
Feeding a fresh food diet to your toy breed dogs offers more in the nutrients they need for good health. It also offers more palatability, which will delight your dogs and make them look forward to meal time! Bone appetite!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!
Please be safe this 4th of July holiday.
Keep all your dogs and cats indoors during the fireworks.
If your dog struggles with the fear and stress from the loud noises,
sometimes giving 1 to 3 mg of melatonin a half hour before the
celebrations begin can help calm them.
For dogs with more anxiety issues,
a Thunder Shirt or coat can help a dog feel more secure.
Until next month,
enjoy the warm summer weather
Keep your dogs hydrated and cool!