How to Feed Naturally
Dogs are meat eaters and they thrive on it. Their teeth, their acidic gut and short, rapid digestive system are that of a meat eater and studies show they are healthier when they are fed fresh meat.
Less wee and poo
Reduction in Skin, Gut, Joint, Ear and Eye Issues, and a lush, soft coat - everything is made of protein - muscles, joints, bones and organs, skin, hair and even the oil on hair that give it it's shine A big, lush coat requires around 35% of the protein your dog eats!
Increased muscle muss and easier weight control
Better teeth and fresher breath - 95% of dogs suffer gum disease by 2 years. 95% are dry fed!
Fresh meat-fed dogs are clinically proven to be significantly healthier than dry fed dogs.
How To Feed
Adult dogs require 2.5% of their body weight per day in fresh food. Pups need more. So a 7kg adult Westie will require 175g of fresh dog food per day, whereas a 20kg boxer will require 500g.
Cost varies from €3.30/kg for fresh ready meals delivered to your door to as little as €1-€2/kg for minced meat bags. For the 20kg boxer, this will cost you between €5 - €12 a week. Raw meals arrive frozen. You will need a freezer! The price of a freezer these days can be as little as one bag of premium dry food!
Introduce raw food slowly to get them used to it, a bit of raw mixed into their normal food first meal, a bit more the next. Half a teaspoon day one, full teaspoon the next etc. You may get a couple of days of gunky poo as they bad stuff comes out of them.
The best dog diet is based on 5:1:1 (5 parts meat including a bit of bone, 1 part organ meat, 1 part veg - a bag of green beans, peas and carrots from Lidl / Aldi! ). You can add brown rice or potato to bulk it up. And yes you can just make it yourself, very easily! Just mix it all together and bag it up to suit the size of your dog.
Optional Extras - raw eggs (whole inc. shell), kelp powder / gluten free brewers yeast, essential fatty oils (cod liver / salmon for skin and coat condition), fresh garlic, chopped (little bits are fine).
Feed fresh, raw meaty bones twice a week – chicken wings and turkey necks are cheap and great.
Eat Me Mix: A mix of herbs and spices to support good digestion, providing a host of vitamins, minerals, pre and probiotics to promote the healthy function of the skin, heart, liver, kidneys, blood and digestive systems, combined with natural anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic actions.
Can I get it Wrong?
You won’t. I mean how much protein did you have last week? How much calcium did you give your kid? Exactly, no idea either. If you vary up their ingredients now and again you will get balance over time, and that’s what a balanced diet relates to. Relax. Take a breath and jump. You can work out the finer points later.
Commercial pet food was only developed about 50 years ago. We know processed food is bad for humans. Is it not reasonable that the same should apply to dogs? Are we to believe that dry pet food manufacturers have managed to succeed where human food manufacturers have failed?!
Dry food is full of salt which rots the kidneys of dogs and cats worldwide, hence they are 7 times more likely to suffer kidney disease than us.
Dry food fuels poor behaviour because it is high in easily digested carbs which fuel high blood sugar and insulin levels, long since linked to poor behaviour in children; it’s full of chemicals - have a look at the back of that packet, if you can’t pronounce it don’t feed it!; it has a low vitamin B content (the mind soothing vitamins) which are very sensitive to long storage times.
The concept of a “complete” meal is absolute nutritional rubbish. It is marketing guff that convinces you that what’s inside the wrapper is all they need so you buy more and finally it suggests that you might get it wrong if you don’t buy a “product”. If NASA hasn’t invented a complete meal yet you can be pretty sure your dog hasn’t had one yet either.
“Virtually all pet foods contain unsubstantiated claims for safety, completeness and balance that no human food in the world would ever be able to”
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins (2007), once Director of Technical Affairs at Hills Pet Nutrition
Isn’t it Dangerous?
Dogs as scavenging carnivores are not susceptible to Salmonella and E.coli in the same way we are. It simply wouldn’t suit his lifestyle. Think of the dog that gets a nice meaty bone, eats half it, buries it and digs it up a week later for a chew. With saliva laced with lysozyme, and stomach acids of pH 1 their systems are extremely hostile to bacteria. Your dog is a raw meat eating machine! So don’t worry about him.
That said raw-fed dogs can and do pass some level of these baddies in their faeces. You therefore need to be hygenic around your dog’s feeding and toilet area. Wash surfaces down after meal preparation and pick up poo. Job done.
Dogs can eat and digest bones of many types, as long as they are raw, not cooked. Cooked bones are brittle and prone to splintering, but raw bones are soft and flexible. They are also nature’s powerhouse store of minerals in perfect proportion for the needs of a carnivore.
You do need to be willing to make a commitment to change to raw feeding and stick with it. However it is actually quite easy and relatively inexpensive. The question is what cost, in both financial and time terms, is your pet’s good health worth?
In addition, don’t judge what you feed your dog by human standards, they do not care what it looks like or mostly even how it tastes – why do you think dogs enjoy raiding rubbish bins so much! When considering a holistic approach to our hounds, we must always look at the whole life costs – a good diet will result in much lower vet bills longer term.
There are some listed in our links, including the likes of www.carnivorekellys.ie who are promoted by Dogs First.