Raw feeding your dog is not just a matter of feeding it meat or fish. There are many other foods that can be fed to your canine companion which do not contain any animal products whatsoever. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. You may have heard of raw milk being considered as one such food for dogs but there are so many different types of raw foods available today that it would take too long to list them all here!
So what’s the point?
Well, if you’re looking for something quick and easy to feed your pet then raw meaty bones might be right up your alley. If you want to give your dog a healthy alternative to its regular food then raw food diets could be exactly what you need.
There are several reasons why it is better to feed your dog a raw diet rather than the usual dry kibble. One reason is because it contains more nutrients. Another reason is that raw meaty bones are less likely to cause health problems than those made from processed meats. Some of these benefits are:
More vitamins and minerals – Raw meaty bone supplements provide a good source of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. They also contain protein and amino acids which are essential for proper growth and development.
Prevents allergies – dry dog food, especially the kind that contains chicken, eggs or other meat by-products that have been highly processed, can cause your dog to develop an allergy to it. Dogs are also unable to digest these ingredients as well as they would be able to digest raw meat and bones
Gets rid of constant hunger – Dogs are naturally hunters and as such, their stomachs are designed to deal with periods of feast and famine. Most dry dog foods need to be eaten at least once every day or else the dog will get hungry, even if only for a few hours. This can be very inconvenient for owners who work all day and don’t have time to feed their dog. Meats can be left for several hours and even days before they go off and can also act as a appetite whenever the dog gets hungry between meals.
Prevents transparency in the bones – One of the most common health problems among dogs is osteoporosis, which occurs when there is a decrease in the minerals in the bones. Dry food promotes this problem as it absorbs the minerals from the bones as they are broken down and excreted. It also makes the bones more likely to break.
There are other reasons for feeding your dog a raw diet, but these are some of the major ones.
So, how exactly do you make raw food diet for your dog?
Well it’s easier than you think. All you need are some good quality meats such as lamb, beef and chicken (or even rabbit or venison) and you’re ready to go. Don’t be put off by the price of these meats either as they aren’t any more expensive than the dry food you were buying your dog anyway!
How much meat should you give your dog?
This is a difficult question to answer because every dog is different. Large dogs will need more than small dogs and very active dogs will need more than those that do not get much exercise. You can also judge the amount of meat to give your dog by its weight which you should be able to find on the packaging of its regular food.
One of the problems with feeding your dog raw meat is the clean-up. To prevent this from becoming a major chore, you will need to invest in a set of sturdy plastic forks and knives which you should keep in a container in your freezer at all times (along with the meats). Whenever your dog has eaten its meal, give it five or ten minutes before clearing up as otherwise the meat is likely to end up being smeared all over your kitchen floor!
You should also keep a small plastic container of meat in the fridge at all times for those times when your dog doesn’t quite clear its plate. You can quickly throw down a portion of meat to finish off whatever it has left which will stop the other residents in your home from scoffing it.
It is also worth considering having two containers of meat in the freezer so that if you forget to defrost one, you have a back-up.
Remember, when you are preparing these meats for your dog, ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER TOUCHING THE MEAT. You don’t know where the animals have been or what has been done to them before they arrived at the store and you do not want to take the chance of passing any possible bacteria onto your dog.
When considering what meats to feed your dog, it is probably best to stick with the conventional meats that you find in your grocery store. These have been specially bred to be eaten by humans and so are unlikely to carry any diseases that could harm your dog. Wild meats such as venison or rabbit, while they contain less fat and can be fed in greater quantities, could well carry diseases and parasites which can easily be passed on to dogs.
Dogs are naturally carnivores and although certain foods can be mixed into their diet, these should only ever be considered as a supplement and not a replacement for meat.
As a general guide, a grown Labrador will require around two pounds of meat each day. This can be fed to them in a number of meals during the day or mixed with some of the other foods listed below and provided in a large solid block that they have to work at throughout the day.
Meat is not the only food that you can feed your dog. Eggs are also extremely good for them and contain many nutrients that help their muscles grow and their organs function correctly. Boiled eggs can be fed to them as is, although the shells should be crushed before giving them to your dog to avoid any possible choking. Hard boiled eggs should be mashed up before feeding.
Meat that has been cooked until it is crumbling can also be given to your dog although again it must not be fed anything that could possibly choke your dog if swallowed whole. This cooked meat can also be mixed with some of the other foods listed here.
You can also feed your dog some of the human foods that you eat. Bread, crackers and pasta are all completely fine to feed as snacks but do not give them anything that could be sticky or hard to digest.
Cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas and sweetcorn can also make good snacks as well as being healthy. The only thing to avoid is garlic as this can be toxic to dogs.
Mash up some fruit for your dog. Apples, pears, bananas and peaches are all good, you can even feed them a little of your ice cream now and again!
You should always bear in mind that feeding your dog people food should be seen as nothing more than a treat. Their main food should always be a good quality dry dog food that has been specially formulated for their daily needs.
There are lots of people that believe a raw food diet for dogs is the best way to keep them fit and healthy. Others are convinced tinned food is the way to go. Some even give their dogs ordinary people food in small quantities.
Whether you’re feeding your dog cooked, canned or raw food, you must always remember that they are carnivores and their bodies have not evolved to process an all vegetarian diet. Feeding a dog carbohydrates is not unnatural, but feeding them an all carbohydrate diet is sure to cause problems with their health at some point.
Carbohydrates are absorbed quickly and give a burst of energy, however they do not last, which means the dog’s system is constantly needing to process more carbs. The same is true of processed food.
Carbohydrates also tend to give off a lot of waste, which has to be cleaned from the dog’s system on a regular basis. The cleaner the diet, the cleaner the waste and the less likely your dog is to suffer any ill-health.
So if you want to keep your dog in optimum health for as long as possible, then give them as natural a diet as you can.
It has been said that by feeding your dog properly you will become the ‘alpha’ of the pack. The rest of the pack being all the other dogs and people in the world that your dog interacts with on a daily basis.
You becoming the ‘alpha’ means that your dog will respect your decisions and not challenge you as much as it would another dog in the pack.
Your dog will trust you and rely on you completely for its food, love and care.
You can even teach it to sit, stay, roll over and all those other things they do on TV!
Of course some people are firmly against this sort of thing. To them, a dog is a dog and should not be given human-like responsibilities or emotions. They believe that a dog will only do what it is taught to do.
If this describes you, then there is no need to worry. You can still succeed in training your dog without getting all Old Yeller on it!
As with so many things in life, the key to successful dog training is consistency. You cannot punish one day and reward the next and expect your dog to learn anything.
You also should not try to teach your dog more than you can be bothered to follow through with. If you only have time to walk the dog once daily, then that is all you should try to teach it.
The other important thing is to keep things fun for your dog. This is not supposed to be a chore and if your dog perceives it as such, then you will have a sullen, depressed dog on your hands and no one wants that!
You need to remember that training needs to be done in short bursts of 5-10 minutes at a time, with the occasional longer 20 minute lecture thrown in for good measure.
If your dog begins to show signs of stress or fatigue then you need to stop and let it rest.
Also never begin training immediately after feeding your dog, or it will have a full belly and not be paying as much attention.
Finally, remember to reward your dog. Even if it gets something wrong, you can always praise the hell out of it for trying.
Trust me, it really doesn’t need to know the difference!
Your home and what it may contain
People often refer to a house as a ‘Home’.
In reality, this is a misnomer for the sake of a rhyme.
Your home is not a building. It does not have four walls, or a roof. It has no doors or windows.
A home is created by the people in it. The relationships you have with your family and friends, the inside jokes, the laughter and so on. These all come together to make a home. A place where you feel secure and happy.
The building itself is just a place you keep all your stuff!
If you are a dog however, you do not have the capacity to create such abstract concepts or ideas. Your home is nothing more than four walls and a roof.
So when I say “your home”, I’m talking about the actual building or dwelling, rather than the idea of one.
As such, the place you live in will contain anything that can be found there.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Energy intake, growth rate and body composition of young Labrador Retrievers and Miniature Schnauzers fed different dietary levels of vitamin A (T Brenten, PJ Morris, C Salt, J Raila, B Kohn… – … journal of nutrition, 2014 – cambridge.org)
- A commercial grain-free diet does not decrease plasma amino acids and taurine status but increases bile acid excretion when fed to Labrador Retrievers (RA Donadelli, JG Pezzali, PM Oba… – Translational Animal …, 2020 – academic.oup.com)
- Beriberi and other food-deficiency diseases in Newfoundland and Labrador (WR Aykroyd – Epidemiology & Infection, 1930 – cambridge.org)
- Heat energy recapture and recycle and its new applications (GA Labrador – US Patent 8,051,637, 2011 – Google Patents)
- Effect of Inclusion of Probiotics Consortium in the Diets on Growth, Digestibility of Nutrients and Blood Parameters in Labrador Dogs (DS Mandhotra, APS Sethi, H Panwar… – … of Animal Nutrition, 2017 – indianjournals.com)
- Response of Atlantic puffins to a decline in capelin abundance at the Gannet Islands, Labrador (SM Baillie, IL Jones – Waterbirds, 2004 – BioOne)
- Optimisation and validation of analytical methods for the simultaneous extraction of antioxidants: Application to the analysis of tomato sauces (MJ Motilva, A Macià, MP Romero, A Labrador… – Food chemistry, 2014 – Elsevier)