Many humans have been asking what I feed our dogs, and here is my plan.
Hello to all you amazing pet parents!
You have been asking, "what food should we feed our dogs?" I have been researching and researching. I have been reading every article and blog post I can find for months, even years. I have been listening to vets, retail salespeople and other pet parents, and finally have part of my decision made.
Here are my thoughts so far on feeding our dogs. (I am still researching)
First, I do believe raw feeding is best. There are a phenomenal number of pet parents feeding their pets a raw diet and I see why. For many of us, this is not an option and that includes me, so I am doing the best I can.
Think for a moment about how wolves and coyotes survive.
Dogs, like wolves and coyotes are carnivores. Do you know dogs can not move their jaw side to side? They chew only with their jaw going up and down. They do not grind their food, they chop it. Dogs have pointed teeth for cutting meat into smaller chunks.
Cows for instance and humans, have flat teeth, more for moving sideways and grinding food up, like plants.
From DNA studies, we know dogs evolved directly from timber wolves somewhere around 15,000 years ago. Dogs show unmistakable evidence that its body is optimized to eat meat.
Think about how us humans started feeding dry, baked kibble to our pets decades ago and why. It's easy, right? Grab a big bag at the store and pour some in their dish. Retailers and sadly, many veterinarians love us.
Seriously, how healthy do we believe dry kibble is? (another blog on this later)
Dogs have somehow managed to "evolve" over thousands of years to be able to survive on dry kibble and human left overs.
Dogs adapt and yes, it seems to be working out ok, but what about the health issues we are seeing in our dogs. Is social media pointing out more issues or is the pet food we purchase, over time helping to cause health issues? For instance, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and cancer.
So, what can we do?
My thoughts are here, and this is what I am doing with my dogs.
First, mimic the ancestral diet for dogs as cost effective as you possibly can.
Then, feed as much unprocessed fresh food as possible.
The way I am doing this is, I am still feeding my girls dry kibble daily. I am purchasing the highest quality premium food I can afford.
I have cut back the amount of kibble to about half of what I was feeding, and adding organic streamed carrots and broccoli, some blueberries, along with gently grilled chicken and grass feed beef.
My dogs absolutely love the variety in their diet and think that it is a treat to get the veggies.
However, switch and add slowly. We want to make sure we are not upsetting their digestive system.
If you continue to feed dry kibble, remember that time in the bag, heat, moisture and air are all enemies of dry pet food. So always check the date of expiration on the dog food bag when purchasing, and keep it in an air tight container in a closet or darker area.
This week, I have calls scheduled with two different companies on supplements and food enhancers. As we learn more and more about getting our dogs away from processed food (just like ourselves) we need to make sure they are receiving proper vitamins and nutrients.
Like humans, dogs gut health is a huge impact on their overall health.
As I learn more about probiotics, dog supplements and food enhancers I will be sharing on this blog so please stay tuned. I do plan to add one or more to my girls diet.
Remember, whenever in doubt talk with your vet. The information in this blog is my opinion and my thoughts as I work with and learn from other pet parents, retailers, veterinarians, and groomers. The information here is intended for you to use as a guideline or resource as you decide what is best for your own dog.
The more we learn, the more we can potentially help our pets live longer and healthier.
As always, I recommend you read the ingredient list on your dog food and if you do not know exactly what the ingredients are, I hope you will look them up and see if you want your dog ingesting them.
Here is to healthy and happy dogs. Remember, as long as we are all doing the best we can, with what we can afford, that is exactly the right thing to do.
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Until next time, Happy Memorial Day!
Hand to paw,