Those of us who feed our dogs a raw diet that includes bones believe that this is the healthiest, most natural diet dogs can eat. But not everyone is comfortable feeding such a diet to their dogs. Here are directions for feeding your dog a cooked diet, or a diet that includes raw meat but no bones. Your dog will still benefit from a variety of fresh foods in proper proportions, regardless of how theyfre prepared. It takes a little more work to ensure that a cooked diet that does not include bone meets all of your dogfs nutritional needs. Wefll explain how much calcium, and in which form, youfll need to add to his diet.
including ground meat
Many of us would like to feed our dogs a biologically appropriate raw diet, but lack the time and experience to ensure that the menu is complete and balanced. Frozen commercial diets are the answer. Despite what many makers of conventional canned or dry pet foods would have you believe, raw diets for dogs are not a modern fad, but a return to the dog’s not-so-distant past.
Every two weeks I faithfully fill the pill organizers for my Boxer, Tyler. He receives a number of supplements, some for general nutrition and well-being, and some specific to his particular health challenges, including Addison’s disease. I’m not the only one performing this ritual. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, about nine percent of all dogs receive vitamins regularly; perhaps an even greater percentage of WDJ readers give supplements to their canine companions.
Thanks so much for “Fine Tuning” in your September issue. As usual, you covered topics I’m coping with every day. My one-year-old Golden, Midas, might as well be “Hannah” in disguise: he gets aroused by exactly the same things. Now I don’t feel so bad, knowing even Editor Nancy Kerns needed Pat Miller’s tips! …
We’ve always said that a home-prepared diet, comprised of fresh, wholesome foods, is ideal for all dogs. We recognize that many people can’t or won’t shop for and prepare their dogs’ food; they may not shop for and prepare their own! This is why we review the best-quality commercial dry and canned foods every year. However, a growing number of brave folks want to realize the benefits of homemade food for their dogs.
We frequently write about kibble and canned dog food, but have neglected some of the less common (but no less worthy) types of commercial foods. Here’s a look at commercial products that make it easy to feed a home-prepared diet. In our reviews of dry and canned foods, we make specific recommendations for selecting products for your dog. We’re not going to do this here; instead, we simply want to inform you about these alternatives to conventional kibble and canned food, and describe the differences between them.
People who are interested in feeding a home-prepared diet to their dogs often delay the transition as they grapple with various concerns. Frequently, they have come to believe the claims that a home-prepared diet offers dogs superior nutrition and can result in increased health and vigor . . . but they are still beset by fears that their dogs will suffer a broken tooth or perforated intestines caused by eating raw bone fragments.
Canines have eaten raw for a whole lot longer than they've eaten cooked foods! It's difficult for us to understand, in the face of this one fact, how any dog guardians (much less thousands of veterinarians) could deny that raw food diets are healthful for dogs. But is it really best for ALL dogs? Actually, there are exceptions.
There are thousands of dog guardians who feed their dogs homemade BARF-based diets, buying all the ingredients and preparing their dogs’ meals from scratch. People who utilize home-prepared diets are happy to discuss the many benefits of this feeding method for their dogs, including clean, tartar-free teeth; fresh breath; strong bones, muscles, and joints; a glossy coat; a healthy amount of energy and a balanced temperament; and overall vibrant good health. For all the people who have made the leap to a homemade, meat-based diet for their dogs, however, there are many more who would like to make the change, but who are intimidated by the challenge of “getting it just right.” Some are afraid of failing to present their dogs with a balanced array of nutrients; others fear bacterial contamination from handling raw meats.