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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fresh, Raw and Whole Food For Your Dog's Health - What to Select, Preparation, Mistakes to Avoid





In this article understand what whole, fresh, raw foods are good for your dog;
How to prepare and feed these foods to your dog;
Mistakes to avoid making.

Fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, healthy oils, herbs and spices offer our dogs digestible, nutrient rich food without the dangerous ingredients, additives, toxins and carcinogens found in many pet store food products.

My dogs get homemade cooked dog food in the morning and early evening and then, later in the evening they get their bowl of fresh food. It is best not to mix fresh fruit and fresh vegetables with your dog;s main protein meal - I will discuss the reason for that further below.


Feeding your dog fresh whole foods as part of a balanced diet can have a profoundly positive affect on a dog's overall health and can be a great aid in avoiding, treating and remedying many health issues - for example periodontal problems and GI tract problems.

Protein

Meat is a rich source of protein, amino acids and contains many nutrients necessary for the health of dogs. Protein is the primary and species appropriate food for a dog. Dogs can survive without carbohydrates but they cannot survive without protein and fat in their diet. Organically raised, pasture fed chemical free (no antibiotics, no growth hormones, none GMO grain feed, etc) raised is always a better choice than meat coming from farms that use antibiotics, steroids, pesticide and herbicide, GMO feed. Some people like to feed their dog raw meat, while others prefer to provide their dog with cooked meat. I feed my dogs cooked meat rather than raw meat. My dogs also eat hard cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and fish on a daily basis.

Appropriate and Safe Protein Sources for Dogs

Lean red muscle and organ meat such as:
Beef

Bison
Lamb

Venison, etc.
- grass fed, pasture raised preferred

Poultry such as:
Chicken
Duck

Emu
Turkey, etc.

- free range, antibiotic-free, hormone-free

Fish (wild or wild-caught) in particular fatty fish such as:
Anchovies
Salmon
Sardines
Shad
Smelt
Mackerel
For more information on appropriate fish, and how to select the best options you can go here.

You can also add other forms of protein such as:

Eggs - free-range, organic
Raw - make sure you wash the eggshell before cracking open
Cooked

Dairy - organic
Cottage Cheese or Quark
Hard Cheese such as cheddar cheese, mozzarella for example
Goats milk
Kefir   
Yogurt

Seeds - organic
Chia or saba chia seeds - whole or ground
Flax Seeds (brown or golden, use ground flax seed as opposed to whole flax seed)
Hemp seed
Sesame seed
Pumpkin Seeds (best if pulverized or ground)

Tree Nuts - organic, only, fresh not stale in small amounts.

Almonds 
Cashews
For information on seeds and nuts that pose serious danger to a dog's health read here.

There are some facts that you need to be aware of when it comes to whole food protein...

Dairy products…Just like with people, some dogs are lactose intolerant. None of my dogs have any adverse reaction to cheese or yogurt. Yogurt is a good source of protein and also a source of acidophilus which helps to prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive track. Plain yogurt or yogurt with natural fruit sweetened with honey is best. Yogurt sweetened with sugar is alright but your dog does not require sugar. Yogurt sweetened with artificial sweeteners should be avoided. Xylitol is especially dangerous for dogs and can result in liver damage.

Raw eggs…My dog's get raw organic eggs - the entire egg (shell, egg white and egg yolk). Some people advise that dogs should not be given raw eggs due to the chance of salmonella poisoning. A dog’s stomach acids are stronger than a human’s and a dog produces more bile than a human does. While dogs are better at fighting salmonella than humans, dogs still get salmonella poisoning, but they can tolerate higher levels of salmonella than we can. Wash egg shell's thoroughly prior to use. Also, it is important to note that eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). Bioten deficiency can lead to hair and coat problems. Avoiding bioten deficiency is simple - make sure you always  give your dog the egg white, and egg yolk.

Peanuts and other nuts Aflatoxins grow mainly on grains but they also grow on legumes - like peanuts, walnuts and pecans. Aflatoxins cause liver cancer. This is one reason why you will hear some people say do not give your dogs nuts. While there are some nuts that you should never give your dogs (like walnuts and macadamia nuts). If you want to give your dog peanuts or almonds make sure you use organic, human food-grade fresh nuts, never give your dog stale nuts. I have treated dogs for aflatoxicosis - it is a very serious condition.

Too much protein? Yes, the ongoing debate about how much protein is too much for a dog’s diet. While I think it is best to provide a variety of foods to dogs, I think we need to fixate less on worrying about too much protein and be more concerned about the quality of the protein. In particular the protein source in kibble! Ingesting and processing high quality protein does not strain and damage a dog’s organs the way poor quality protein does. This is one reason why you need to be mindful of the protein source in the kibble you feed your dog. If you would like to learn a little more about this subject you can click here

Fruits and Vegetables
Many people think that giving a dog fruit and/or vegetables will give the dog diarrhea. In actual fact high quality soluble fiber helps prevent diarrhea and constipation. 
 
Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion thereby delaying the emptying of the stomach and makes a dog feel full, which helps control hunger and weight. Slower stomach emptying can also have a beneficial affect on controlling blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which helps control diabetes. Apples, oranges, pears, berries, cucumbers, celery, and carrots are examples of fruits and vegetables that provide soluble fibers.

Insoluble fibers are gastrointestinal tract (GI Tract) friendly as they have a laxative effect, add bulk to the diet and help prevent constipation. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the GI tract primarily intact speeding up the passage of food and waste. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, fruit, and root vegetable skins are examples of fruits and vegetables that provide unsoluble fibers. 

As noted above, fruit and veggies contain a lot of good soluble and unsoluble fibre, but they are also rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and are naturally low in fat while being filling.  

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables also plays an important role in:
  • Helping to boost the immune system;
  • Helping the body eliminate toxins;
  • Keeping organs, eyes, teeth etc. healthy;
  • Preventing colon cancer;
  • Reducing the risk of developing heart and vascular problems, stroke and cancer;
  • Reducing the risk of inflamed anal glands (which result in ‘scudding’, burst glands and discharge);
  • Aiding in good oral health;
If your dog is overweight one of the best ways to help it to lose weight is to add veggies to the dog’s diet. The herb turmeric can also help as can coconut oil. While delivering great quality nutrients they also help:
  • Keep weight under control - thereby reducing risk of:
  • Diabetes, and:
  • Stress on joints. 
  • Inflammation of joints is another contributing factor to the onset of cancer. 
These are just a few of the many benefits that fruits and veggies offer to our dog’s health.

In the wild, dogs eat pre-digested fruits and vegetables when the consume the digestive organs of herbaceous prey, as well they also consume some plants, fruits, vegetables to self-heal and boost their immune systems. Grass is one such example.
  
The fruits and vegetables that I give to me dogs on a daily basis vary a little depending on the season, for instance watermelon in the summer and oranges in the winter. The following provides a partial list of fruits and vegetables that are good for dogs. You can use fresh, canned or frozen fruit. If you are going to give your dog canned fruit, make sure it is packed in juice not syrup - sugar is not good for dogs. You can use fresh, canned, frozen and/or cooked veggies.

Fruit that is Safe & Beneficial for Dog's to Consume
The following is a partial list...

Apples (remove the seeds)
Apricots
Avocado - in small amounts daily is fine for most dogs. Avocados contain persin - a fungicidal toxin. When a dog is fed large amounts of the fruit vomiting and diarrhea can result from overdose of persin.  The pit of the avocado is toxic to dogs and should never be consumed by dogs. My dogs get avocado every day.

Bananas
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cantaloupe
Canary Melon
Cherries (remove the pit)
Clementines
Cranberries
Coconut (fresh or dry non sweetened, shredded)
Grapefruit
Goji Berries (if your dog is on medications check for drug interactions)

Honeydew Melon
Kiwi
Mangos (remove the pit)
Nectarines (remove the pit)
Oranges
Papaya
Peaches (remove the pit)
Pears (remove the seeds)

Persimmons
Pineapple
Plums

Pomegranate
Raspberries
Strawberries
Thimbleberries
Tomatoes
Watermelon

Yuzu fruit

Vegetables that are Safe & Beneficial for Dog's to Consume
 

Alfalfa Sprouts
Asparagus
Anise
Broccoli 

Broccoli Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celery

Clover sprouts
Chicory
Cucumber
Kelp, Chlorella, Marine Phytoplankton, Spirulina

Leafy greens - beet greens, green or red leaf lettuce, frizzy lettuce, kale, radicchio, romaine, spinach, cilantro, dandelion, parsley
Tomatoes
Squash - various types, summer and winter squash
Sweet Peppers - green, yellow, orange and red, purple, etc.
Mushrooms - Chaga, Maitake, Shiitake, Reishi and several others. Please note many other types of mushrooms are toxic to dogs, just as they are to people.

Pumpkin
Okra

Zucchini

Roots Vegetables
Beets 
Carrots
Parsnips
Potatoes 

Rutabaga
Turnip
Sweet Potatoes
Yams

How To Feed Your Dog Fruits and Veggies…
Preparation to Ensure Maximum Absorption of Nutrients from Fresh Fruit and 
Vegetables

In order to make sure your dog gets the full benefit of nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables you need to understand a little about the difference between a dog's and a human's GI Tract...

Optimizing The Absorption of Nutrients...
  • Dogs have a shorter intestine than humans, this means that food moves through the dogs GI  tract faster than it moves through a humans GI Tract; To ensure that your dog's digestive system has the opportunity to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from vegetables and fruit it is important (especially with vegetables which have a tougher cell wall structure) to help the dog's GI tract by breaking down the vegetable's (or fruit's) cell-walls before you feed it to your dog;
    • You can breakdown the cell walls by choosing one of the following method's...
      1. Finely chop fruit and vegetables - either by hand or with a food processor;

      2. Lightly steam vegetables, or
      3. Freeze the vegetables or fruit first, thaw and then give them to your dog;
    • Make a smoothie as per the example just below.
    • By choosing one of these four methods to breakdown the food's cell-wall you:
      • Perform the first stage of digestion, so your dog's GI tract has the opportunity to absorb nutrients properly, and; 
      • You greatly reduce the chance of your dog choking on a hard piece of vegetable.


The photo above is a freshly pureed batch of fruits and vegetables for my own dogs. I make a large batch to last about 20 days. I package and freeze the puree into daily portions

Most fruit has a softer cell wall than vegetables;
  • You don't have to chop berries such as blackberries and raspberries;
    • But you should cut most other fruit up in smaller pieces, and:
    • Harder fruits like apples and pineapples are best if chopped finely; 
  •  If you are giving your dog frozen fruit:
    •  You should chop the fruit up to avoid a choking hazard;  
    • I add fresh finely minced ginger and ground cinnamon, and sometimes mint, fresh apples, pears - toss the mixture into the food processor and blend the 3 or 4 items together.
Make a Smoothie for Your Dog
  
Green Leafy Smoothie
If you want to give your dog fresh leafy greens - such as romaine, kale, spinach, beet greens, etc. you can...
  • Chop the greens either by hand or in a food processor and mix a little into your dog's food, or;
  • You can toss the greens into a blender with some homemade chicken stock and make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day...
    • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs;
    • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup;
    • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup;
    • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup.
Fruit Smoothie 
If you want to give your dog fresh or frozen fruit in a nutrient rich smoothie...
  • Toss the fruit into a blender with some kefir or yogurt or use homemade chicken stock to make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day...
    • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs;
    • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup;
    • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup;
    • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup.
Do's and Don't s:
 

Don't...
  1. Don’t give your dog produce that is going bad - moldy, rotting, slimy, you can make your dog very ill.
  2. Don't mix fresh whole or coarsely cut fruit and veggies with a main protein meal.
    1. You CAN add fruit and vegetables to a main protein meal if you do one or a combination of the following -
      1. Finely chop, mince the fruit or veggies before adding to the meal;
      2. Steam the fruit or veggies before adding to the meal;
      3. Use thawed frozen fruit or veggies.
Do...
  1. Wash the food item to remove dirt, contaminates, and as much pesticide/herbicide as can be removed if the produce is not organic.
  2. As mentioned above do cut/chop/shred fresh vegetables into small pieces - a food processor is great for finely chopping fruits and veggies.
  3. Finely chopped or minced fruit and vegetables::
    1.  Can be properly digested. 
      1.  As explained further above a dog cannot properly digest uncut, whole fruit and vegetables .
    2. Larger pieces of vegetables and hard fruit pose a choking hazard.
      1. An example -
        1.  Zoey my 12 lb Pomeranian once got a piece of cauliflower caught in his airway - completely blocked;
        2. Zoey quickly became unconscious and if I had not known how to and did not administer the Heimlich manoeuvre and mouth to mouth resuscitation he would have died in front of my eyes.
  4. When you introduce new fruits and veggies to your dog's diet it is best to introduce each new food one at a time. If there is any kind of negative reaction, such as stomach upset or allergies you will be able to pinpoint the culprit. None of my dogs have any allergies to fruits and veggies.
Herbs
People have used herbs and spices to add flavour to food and to treat ailments for thousands of years. So it should not be surprising that there are many herbs and spices that are good for our dog's health. Herbs and spices can boost the  immune system and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to name just a few benefits. If you would like to find out more about herbs and spices you can add to your dog's diet click here. Herbs such as Turmeric and/or Curcumin can also help your dog loss weight and maintain a healthy weight.


Grains

Grains are not part of a dog's natural diet, here are some important points to note...
  • I recommend removing all grains from your dog's diet (including any pre-prepared processed products that contains grains - i.e. grain-in dry dog food or grain-in treats);
  • There are some dog's that after being on one or more dry dog foods - acquire an auto-immune response  which creates a food sensitivity to many foods that should not normally adversely effect a dog;
    • In some such cases one of the only food items the dog can still tolerate are grains such as rice.
    • If you must keep grain in your dog's diet:
      • Make sure that you only provide your dog with human quality grains.
      • If the grains are not human grade they can contain aflatoxins
      • Aflatoxins cause liver cancer. 
      • Grain that is sold for bird and livestock feed, grain that is used in most commercially manufactured dry and wet dog food is animal feed grade and is not screened for aflatoxins. Always cook the grains. 
  • Grains absorb liquid, so ingesting uncooked or grains that have not been pre-soaked can lead to swelling and bursting of the stomach…dangerous at the least, lethal at worst.
If you have to use grains in your dog's diet try using quinoa - its not actually a grain, and it is nutritionally dense. If you must use grains use organic grains such as …
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Bulgur
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal - steel cut
  • Pot Barley
Grains can be completely replaced by (for example) substituting a combination of sweet potato, squash etc. as demonstrated in this recipe for homemade dog food.

Fats
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are very important for the overall health of a dog. However the intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 must be balanced correctly. The ratio should be in the range of 2:1 for Omega-3 to Omega-6. An out-of-balance ratio can disrupt the balance of pro and anti-inflammatory agents in the body and brain resulting in chronic inflammation and elevation of the risk of health issues such allergies, arthritis and diabetes and can adversely effect behaviour.  To read more about the importance of Omega Fatty Acids, what is a balanced intake and what are good as opposed to poor or dangerous sources of these vital nutrients you can read this article.

Removing Commercially Manufactured Kibble From Your Dog’s Diet

If you are thinking of completely removing commercially manufactured kibble from your dog’s diet you need to now a few things first. To make sure your dog gets a well balanced diet (without kibble) you need to include the following food stuffs in the right amounts:
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates (from starchy roots such as sweat potatoes or from grains)
  • Fruits and veggies…you can also include herbs
  • Fats
  • Minerals such as calcium, you may also need to add vitamins such as A, B complex and E and enzymes depending on the type of food you make.
If you would like to learn more about making your own dog food you can try these simple to make recipes for nutritious homemade dog food.  


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40 comments:

  1. This is a thoroughly researched and intelligent article for anyone considering upgrading the food their dogs eat. It should be recommended by veterinarians knowledgeable about canine nutrition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am feeding a raw dehydrated food to my dog and it has the veggies and fruit with the protein. Is that bad. NRG Salmon is the name. Now I'm worried

      Delete
    2. Provided the veggies and fruit are prepared as per the article above there is no issue mixing with protein. However you do have an issue with NRG Salmon as it contains oatmeal. Oatmeal is a grain which is not an appropriate food for a dog. It is used in the NRG to save NRG money - it is not included for the health of your dog. Also you should check with NRG to make sure that the salmon is wild caught. If the salmon is instead farm fish sourced you have another big health issue to deal with. This article explains the issues with farm fish http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2014/06/how-to-choose-good-omega-3-fish-oil-for.html

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for this article! I am in the process of switching my dogs over to fresh food, and I will be referring to this article a lot. I love the picture of all of your dog's bowls lined up. So cute. What lucky dogs you have!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm confused as to exactly what is included in their "fresh food" that you give them later in the evening. I see the recipe for the homemade food and the homemade treats, but not the fresh food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fruits, veggies/fresh herbs, garlic, aloe vera juice, rooibus tea, yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut.

      Herbs & Spices Are Good For Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/herbs-and-spices-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Garlic For Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation and Use, Safe Dosage
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Rooibos Tea for Dogs - Immune System Health, Cancer Inhibitor, Allergy Mediator and free of oxalic acid.
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      Foods Rich in Probiotics - Beneficial for Your Dog
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/foods-rich-in-probiotics-beneficial-for.html

      Flax, coconut oil, fish, turmeric, papaya, cinnamon, olive oil etc. is provided with their dog food.

      Delete
  4. So excited about this site ! Karen could I get your help in setting up a real food diet for my 2 goldens ? My big guy is 9 and has titanium knees and also fatty tumors that we check. He has had a surgery for removal of some of them a couple years ago. He is my baby and pride and joy. My other baby I rescued at 2 months old and he is 2. He had a very hard life as a baby and is finally becoming the trusting boy he should be...they do remember !9 year old does well on human food...sensitive stomach to dog kibble and baby was on Blue Buffalo and kept getting yeast in his ears. As soon as I took them off that ears were fine...now on Science Diet but I like the idea of cooking for them and I am sure I could join in and eat right with them. Sounds very healthy. We would love to hear from you ...thank you Anne and the Boyz.....dameyouanyway@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great Advise.
    I currently make my dog's meals. I usually combine the veggies with cooked chicken - Should I just give her chicken in AM and veggies in PM?
    I am confused by your section on the absorption of nutrients.
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the veggies are cooked you can serve them with the chicken. If they are raw serve them as a separate meal :>)

      Delete
  6. Thank you for this very comprehensive, helpful article. I did note one error. Under the section FATS, you say that the proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 1:2, which I believe is backwards. In your article Omega Fatty Acids for Dogs, as well as elsewhere, I've seen the ratio noted 2:1 (even 3:1) Omega 3 to Omega 6. Since the ratio balance is critical not only for good health, but safety and not causing a health problem, I thought it was important to mention this so that you could make the correction. Given the breadth and depth of information you cover on your blog, I imagine people see it as credible and place total trust in what they read. For the reader who only reads this article, they will get the ratio wrong, and I know none of us would want that.

    Thanks for your great work! Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shawn, indeed I did make a typo! It is corrected now thanks to your observation ❀ᵔᴥᵔ❀ thank you very much, woof and cheers, Karen

      Delete
  7. How about raw diet? Commercial raw food meal all have fruits and veggies mixed in? Is it still better to separate protein from veggies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fruit and veggies found in commercially prepared raw food has already been flash frozen or cooked. The meat is raw.

      Delete
  8. Thank you! There's so much to read here, and it's what I've been looking for. Both my dogs have issues that I think could be solved by improving their diet. My vet is NO help. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jacquelyn,

      I think it would be helpful for you to go to my index page of articles as this will allow you to view articles by category - i.e. Dog Food - Kibble, a series of articles on real food and herbs, health care, illness, etc. :>)
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/p/index-of-articles.html

      The reason why your veterinarian was of no help is explained here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/conventional-practitioners-of-modern.html

      Cheers, K

      Delete
    2. p.s. it is sad but most veterinarians that have 'Nutrition Experts' in their office don't know anything about diet, real nutrition and preventative strategies. Many such veterinarian offices sell http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/is-prescription-dog-cat-food-sold-in.html and their nutritionists have no problem with it. Its shocking really :<(

      Delete
  9. I've tried feeding my rescue raw veggies and fruits but she really doesn't seem to go for it at all - ive found adding a little chicken stock (made specifically for the dogs) seems to get her to eat some if she's really hungry but sometimes even that doesnt work - how do introduce whole foods into her diet in a way that would actually get her to eat it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To get her interested in veggies - You can lightly steam the veggies, or finely chop fresh veggies - drizzle some olive oil on top with some grated cheese or cottage cheese.

      To get her interested in fruit you can try this http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/dairy-products-cheese-kefir-yogurt-are.html

      You can also make homemade food with fruit and veggies included http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

      I bet she will be interested in these options!

      Delete
    2. Yes, she does eat cooked fruit and veggies - but I can't motivate her to eat raw foods. I tried adding yogurt to the mix and she ate the yogurt and left the rest :( - I'm sure she'll do the same thing with grated cheese. She can be a but stubborn with food - she was severely underweight when I found her and even though she had also just given birth to a litter refused to eat certain foods (fruit, veggies, grains)

      She still needs to put on weight and unfortunately I Also live in a vegetarian household so it's hard for me to incorporate meat into her diet as much as I'd like to. I'm lucky to have friends that will cook a few meat based meals for her when we visit during the week and keep my supplied with regular chicken stock. A lot of dogs here in India are vegetarian but I'm not sure if that's the way to go.

      Thanks,
      Aditi

      Delete
    3. Hi Aditi,

      She is a smart girl :>) It's a good thing that she refused grains as they are a big trigger for health issues in dogs. I am vegetarian as well, but I do cook chicken for my dogs :)

      If she is eating cooked fruit and veggies that is great! As you read in the article above it is best to perform the first part of the digestive process for veggies particularly - by lightly cooking them of flash freezing them.

      Delete
    4. Hi Aditi, regarding green coconut shell as a dental chew...

      Cautions:
      - OK if your pup is not an aggressive-hasty chewer and will not try to swallow chunks that she could choke on;
      -as long as the coconut is organic...as if not the shell may have a high-content of pesticide residue.

      By the way, Coconut oil is very good for dogs http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

      Delete
  10. I have been feeding species appropriate raw food diets to my pets for almost fifty years now. The "species appropriate diet" for carnivores includes raw meat, eggs, canned sardines or salmon, ground bones or bonemeal supplement, organ meats, and a small amount of pureed vegetables (optional), No carnivore should be eating sweetened yogurt or legumes (which are starches). The reason nutritionists warn against feeding raw eggs is to avoid biotin deficency, not salmonella poisoning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Partially true Erel, however...

      Real yogurt or kefir (no sweeteners, other additives or fillers) have many health benefits to offer dogs. http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/dairy-products-cheese-kefir-yogurt-are.html

      Raw eggs receive a caution for two reasons - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella, although the chance of contamination for your dog is low as a dog’s stomach acids are very strong and dog’s also produce a lot of bile. You can cook the eggs to avoid this issue. Due to the avidin it is best not to give eggs every day, but a couple of times a week is fine.

      The species appropriate diet can also include other healthful supplements - herbs such as turmeric http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html additional omega-3 fatty acids.

      Dogs can also benefit from foods that help to repel insects and parasites http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/foods-that-help-your-dogcat-naturally.html

      Another very important point to consider when feeding raw is the source of the meat. If the meat is obtained from animals that are fed GMO corn, antibiotics, growth hormones etc. the raw diet can be very compromised.

      There are many things to consider when putting together a good raw diet.

      Delete
    2. Also interesting - some dogs will pick their own wild berries, juniper berries, apples, and in the case of a vegetable garden - their own vegetables - tomatoes, peppers etc. I have ten dogs - different breeds and sizes and many of them, in addition to eating grass (the blade, not the seed) will pick their own fruit in the meadow portions of my trails. They do this not having been shown to do so, but instead naturally on their own. The species appropriate diet is not so narrowly defined as some would have it expressed.

      Delete
  11. Great article thank you, my norwegian elkhound is ten years old, and gaining weight, so I have cut the amount of kibble and add mackeral, fish or chicken to his feed but having read your article I think I should omit the kibble and feed him twice a day one protein meal and one veg/fruit meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you could omit the kibble and give him a better alternative that will help him lose and maintain a healthy weight.

      You could use a better kibble such as Orijen's gain-free products and feed him less while adding real veg/fruit to his diet;

      Or much more healthful for him...

      Use this homemade grain-free recipe which will also support weight loss and weight management http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

      You should also add coconut oil and turmeric to his diet as both will aid weight loss and management along with providing many other health benefits to him...
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  12. This is such a wonderful resource! I was wondering, what fruits and veggies can I dry-out as Chewy-Treats(if any)?? Thank you so much for all of the Information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynna, if you have a dehydrator you can do apples, pears, berries, banana for a start. Veggies - sweet potato, carrot, and other root veggies. You could also try dehydrated tomatoes :>)

      Delete
  13. I found this when i was looking up what was okay to give my dog...can i give my dog garlic?? Onions, Garlic, Chives - can cause the destruction of red blood cells known as Heinz body anemia, a form of hemolytic anemia. No clear quantity has been established as to the onset of the anemia. But for garlic, if your dog consumes the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of garlic for every 10 pounds of their weight (1 teaspoon for a 10 pound dog) it can destroy red blood cells. Poisonous reaction can result from raw, cooked or dried onions, garlic, chives, including those included in powdered or dehydrated forms.
    Read more at http://www.dogheirs.com/dogheirs/posts/141-toxic-foods-for-dogs-fruits-vegetables-and-nuts#GfMh9Qhee7OMUOmj.99

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article that you read regarding garlic on Dogheirs contains incorrect information. Read my article on Garlic - it thoroughly explains why garlic does NOT have the same toxic value as onions - and my dogs are living breathing 100% healthy proof as are my client's dogs. There is a lot of incorrect information on this topic out there - initiated and propagated by those that lack knowledge and simply parrot the false assumptions voiced by other. Read my article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Delete
  14. Karen, on behalf of my husband and I, our dog Bella, and "natural pet parents", just want to say a big THANK YOU for your wonderful website and sharing your knowledge! I wanted to get your thoughts on something if you have time! Bella eats a home cooked diet, and while she absolutely LOVES vegetables, when it comes to fruits, she just won't eat them...at all! We've tried your suggestions as well making a purees of fruits to mix in with her meals, all with no success. If she even detects (or suspects, lol!) fruit puree has been mixed into her meals, she will walk away and not touch her food!

    I did some searching around and found a couple companies that make Organic freeze dried fruit powders, which are just 100% fruit, nothing added. I ordered a sample size of Organic Banana powder, mixed it in with her food, and Viola!...Bella loved it! So now I'm thinking about ordering more flavors like like blueberry, cranberry, apple, pear, etc; then mixing them together, and figuring out how much to give her with each meal. However, these fruit powders are NOT cheap, so before ordering, I wanted your opinion on if you think this would be a good way for Bella to get fruits in her diet. Thanks so much, and again thank you for such a wonderful site, I know you work very hard on!! ;) ~Cynthia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cynthia - the good organic fruit powders retain their nutrients and their Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) so yes that would be a great way of - tricking miss Bella into; getting the benefits of fruit :>)

      Delete
  15. Would it be alright to combine fruits and vegetables with my dogs dry food or would it be to difficult to determine how much I can put?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is OK provided that you prepare the vegetables and fruit as I have instructed in the article above - when not prepared as noted the absorption of nutrients from the main food - in your case dry kibble - can be seriously hampered leading to health issues.

      Amount - 15% to 20% veggies max to dry kibble in a combined meal.

      Delete
  16. if i make a smoothie out of raw fruits and veggies i still cant mix with the dogs food correct? only if its lightly steamed? and if i add powdered superfoods can they be added to protein mea,l or given separate also?

    ReplyDelete
  17. i feed my miniature schnauzer a New Zealand brand of food called K9 Natural which is dehydrated meat and veges that is formed into pellets that you add warm water to. He also eats most fruits and veges as snacks, loves mandarin segments, and crunching up raw carrots (which go straight through him, now I understand why). Do you think this diet is balanced? Raw food diets are very popular, but we don't have space in the freezer for all the meat you need. After reading these articles i am keen to add garlic to his diet too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. K9 is a good product - but no not completely balanced.

      Delete
  18. Do you have raw dog food and treat recipes you can post? I am looking to start my dogs on a raw diet but am unsure where to start... (I have 3 shelties.) ...

    Also, do you have any advise/ natural remedies to get rid of dog lice? I think all 3 of them have it but am afraid to give them the chemical drops my vet recommended...

    ReplyDelete

Note -

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Nutraceuticals and Alternative Medicines:

When choosing to use any of the items or protocols in the article above, it is your responsibility to ensure safe use of the item/protocol. Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines all have drug interactions, most have health issue contradictions, some have side effects. Use of substances and protocols are your responsibility. Prior to use of any substance or protocol make sure you do your research - check for all cautions, contradictions,interactions, side effects. If in doubt do not use the substance or protocol. If the substance, or protocol is contradicted for your animal do not use. If your animal has an underlying condition you are not aware of substances may conflict with that condition.

2.0 The Real Meaning of Holistic…

Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’. It is important to keep in mind that the supplement industry is just as unethical as BigPharma, the Food and Pet Food Industry, and unfortunately many veterinarians.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (i.e. an herb) you are using a natural substance, this is not synonymous with holistic.

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that - overall health, and wellbeing.

Please do not expect a natural substance to miraculously remedy a health or behavioral situation. A natural substance may be used to treat symptoms. However, if the factors causing the underlying issue are not properly identified, analyzed and addressed you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach that identifies root cause, seeks to remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues, and builds a complete, and detailed approach to immediate treatment, remedy, and maintenance of long-term health = holistic.

I offer extensive consultation services - Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness and Holistic Behavioral, for people that are serious about looking after their dogs and cats holistically. If you want to engage my services you can contact me via email or phone.

If you are looking for additional free advice, please refer back to the articles on my site, do not contact me via email or phone - personalized service is for my clients / patients only.

3.0
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Questions may be answered if, and when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen
the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

Canada, U.S.A. North America
1-613-926-5536 (off)
1-613-293-3707 (cell)

Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, UK, UAE, Scandinavian Countries, South America, Central America and elsewhere around the world
00-1-613-926-5536 (off)
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