Entries Tagged 'Dog Food' ↓

Commercial Raw Dog Food: What To Look Out For

Commercial raw dog food is a convenient alternative to homemade raw food. It is available as freeze dried or dehydrated raw dog food. These are specially formulated raw meats, vegetables and fruits, where moisture has been removed by freezing or dehydration. You only need to rehydrate with water prior to feeding to your dog.

Make sure you choose a commercial raw dog food that is balanced. Always check the label to ensure that the formulation is “nutritionally complete” or “a complete diet” for all dogs/puppies.

Characteristics of high quality, commercial raw food for dogs Continue reading →

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

By nature, dogs are carnivores that are designed to eat raw meat. This is also true for other carnivores such as cats, tigers, lions, bears and wolves.

I remember the numerous times when my cat proudly brought back a dead rat in her mouth or my dog ate a dead bird in the garden. Yet, neither my cat nor dog had any ill effects.

can dogs eat raw meat, raw meat diet for dogs
(Photo by: hennasabel)

Is raw meat good for dogs? Continue reading →

Raw Food Diet For Dogs

For thousand of years, dogs thrive on raw meat in the wild. Dogs are virtually domesticated wolves. So if you think of wolves, they hunt and eat various parts of a prey: muscle meat, organ meat, meaty bone and guts (which contain grains or greens)…  all raw, just like nature intended.

Why feed raw food diet to dogs

Dogs are designed to eat unprocessed foods. Feeding a raw food diet is nothing new as it resembles a canine ancestral diet.

Raw food contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids.  Cooking, heat or high processing destroys/alters these nutrients, rendering them unavailable or toxic to a dog’s health.

Benefits of raw food diet for dogs Continue reading →

High Fluoride Levels In Commercial Dog Food

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a test on 10 popular dog food brands for fluoride levels and found 8 of them contain 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Agency’s maximum allowable in drinking water for humans.

Health effect of fluoride on dogs

The effects of high fluoride levels on dogs are not known as no safe amount of fluoride for pets has been determined. However, people who consume too much fluoride tend to have mottled teeth, weakened bones, reproductive and developmental system damage, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption and bone cancer.

Three studies have shown that 6- to 8-year old boys who drink fluoridated tap water are more at risk of developing bone cancer (osteosarcoma).  This is worrying as dogs are 10 times more susceptible to bone cancer than humans. High fluoride levels can potentially increase the risk of canine osteosarcoma, a common type of cancer in dogs.

Sources of fluoride in commercial dog food

The EWG has identified bone meal and animal byproducts as sources of fluoride in commercial dog foods in the 8 dog food brands. It defines animal and bone meal as “ground bones cooked with steam, dried and mashed to make a cheap dog food filler”.

Dogs are also exposed to fluoride in drinking water. If they are fed commercial dog food only, they can easily over consume fluoride. The combination of fluoride from water and pet food can cause potential health problems in the long term.

What you can do

Pet health, food and products come under lax regulations or standards. The FDA is doing very little to protect our pets. You minimise fluoride health risks by feeding your dog with home cooked food. If cooking is not an option, choose commercial dog food without bone meal, animal byproducts and additives. Check out my previous post: What’s the best pet food?

Source: The Environmental Working Group – http://www.ewg.org/book/export/html/27364

Dog Raw Food Diet: Is It Safe?

I asked Dr Andrew Jones, author of Veterinary Secrets Revealed for his opinion about raw food diet for dogs. Here’s what he has to say…

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The Raw Food Question… is it safe?

How should you feed it?

Do I recommend giving it?

My short answer: Raw Food is healthy for your pet.

Salmonella and E. Coli are not a well documented health concern for your pet. Pets have short intestinal tracts which digest food quickly, before bacteria have time to multiply.

Pets also have very acidic stomachs, which kill many bacteria.

When preparing raw food, wash your hands and counters well. Always use common sense when preparing, feeding and storing raw food. Pre-packaged frozen raw food is an easier way to start. Look for brands such as “Bravo Blends” – simply feed 1 lb of food for every 50 lbs of dog.

For thousands of millennia, our canine and feline companions have subsisted on diets of raw meats and human dinner scraps. Around 60 years ago, pet foods began growing in popularity, supplanting the more natural diets of our dogs and cats. The past 10 years, however, have seen a rise in the raw food diets.

Dog raw food diet, barf dog food,barf diet for dogs

BARF Diet

One popular raw diet is the BARF model, an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (or Bones And Raw Food). The
BARF diet which includes non-meats and numerous supplements was designed for pets and wild animals by Dr Ian Billinghurst.

Billinghurst claimed that commercial kibble does not allow domestic animals to thrive, as their ancestors did on a wild, raw diet.

The Whole Prey Diet

This diet simulates the proportions of an actual prey animal in a pet’s diet. This includes organ meat heads, fur (and feathers and scales), skin, muscle, and bone, without supplements.
Others feed a diet largely composed of as wide a variety of meats and butchers’ scraps as possible, and table scraps as supplements. Feeding these diets is relatively simple.

Health Benefits

Most pet owners notice improvements in one or more qualities of their companions.

These include:
-shinier haircoat
-eliminated “dog” odor
-better body muscle to fat ratios
-cleaner teeth and breath
-decreased itching
-normalized energy levels
-improved urinary tract health
-better resistance to infections
-increased mobility with a decrease in arthritis pain
-decreased allergy symptoms
-little to no hairballs in cats
-lower stool volume

Most pet owner report lower Veterinary fees (less visits to see me!) and much lower costs feeding their pets.

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I’ve never fed my dogs a raw food diet. I’m keen to hear from pet owners who feed raw food to their dogs. Feel free to leave your comments below.

What’s the best pet food?

best pet food, best dog food, best cat food

There’s so much confusion about the best pet food to feed your dog. More so after the last major pet food recall in March 2007.

I’ve always fed my dogs homemade food. That’s probably why most of them have lived long, past the age of 14 years old.

I asked Dr Andrew Jones, a veterinary and author of Veterinary Secrets Revealed, about his thoughts about what the best pet food is. Here’s what he has to say…

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Death by Diet
by Dr Andrew Jones, author of Veterinary Secrets Revealed

Dog and cat food is a pretty controversial topic.

What is best to feed?

Is it safe?

Raw…Good or Bad?

There are a tonne of opinions out there, so I’d like to add a little common sense.

First..

Diet is KEY to your dog and cat’s health. Of all the things that you do to PREVENT disease, the food that you feed them is MOST important.

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Is ‘Veterinary Approved’ Food the Best?
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No

The medical diets have their place for specific diseases, such as dissolving urinary crystals, BUT they are not the best diets for the long term health of your pet.

Most of the commercial dog and cat foods have a carbohydrate ( such as corn) as the first ingredient.

Huh?

Can you imagine yourself staying healthy by living off of ground corn?

Or How about your cat- she is an obligate carnivore meaning she NEEDS animal protein to survive.

YET so many of the diets have CARBS as the first ingredient.

WHY?

….they are CHEAP.

It comes down to the almighty dollar.

It’s a lot less expensive to make pet food with carbohydrates as the first ingredient, than animal protein.

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So WHAT can you do?
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Make some of your pet’s food at home.

At least once a week I make Lewis a stew-
1/2 meat, 1/4 vegetables, and 1/4 carbohydrate.

Feed some Raw- I give Lewis pre-packaged frozen Raw patties once or twice a week.

In feeding commercial kibble follow these guidelines:

1. Ingredients are listed in descending order. The first ingredient should be an animal based protein.

2. When selecting a commercial food for your animal companion, make sure the label has an “AAFCO guarantee,” preferably one that references “feeding tests” or “feeding protocols” rather than Nutrient Profiles.

3. Avoid foods that list by-products. (Avoid Meat, Bone, Fish and Chicken Meal). These rendered products are the most inexpensive sources of animal protein. They are not a reliable source of nutrition for your animal.

4. Avoid those that list the food fractions – i.e. wheat middlings or corn gluten instead of the whole grain. These ingredients are leftovers from the human food processing and don’t provide the best nutrition.

5. Avoid generic or store brands. These may be repackaged rejects from the big manufacturers, and generally contain cheaper and poorer quality ingredients.

6. Check the expiration date to ensure freshness. When you open a bag of dry food, give it a sniff – if it smells rancid, return it immediately.

7. Look for natural preservatives. These include Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Vitamin E and mixed tocopherols. Avoid ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT and propylene glycol.

8. Avoid foods with artificial flavor enhancers, such as phosphoric acid.

9. Avoid artificial colors. These include azo, azo dyes, and sodium nitrite.

10. Essential fatty acids must be added – of utmost importance for allergies, arthritis and cancer prevention.

11. Additional antioxidants, such as Vit E, Vit C and flavonoids.

12. Select natural brands. These are usually better than most. Several brands are now preserved with Vitamins C and E instead of chemical preservatives (such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propyl gallate). While synthetic preservatives
may still be present, the amounts will be less.

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Home cooked food is the best dog food for liver health and longevity

It is a mad jungle out there when it comes to selling pet food. Seeing the number of brands, the different types of sales pitches adopted by marketers and the fancy names with tongue twisting ingredients printed on labels, it appears the focus is on attracting buyers and grabbing a share of the whopping $ 11 billion pie..

In addition, each manufacturer launches numerous types of pet food under one brand. There are moist, semi moist and dry dog foods. Their use of terminology, like ‘premium’, ‘super-premium’, and ‘gourmet’ are mere nomenclatures since they hardly mean any thing. Even though the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regulates what must be printed on the labels. The warnings are all mentioned in small print and therefore do not serve to warn the consumers adequately.

Apart from checking the nutritional adequacy and information about the manufacturer, you should focus on the ingredient list. Ethoxyquin is one of the most common preservatives used in dog food. This is used to prevent fats from turning rancid. There is verifiable evidence that there is a connection between Ethoxyquin and the accumulation of protoporphyrin IX and the elevation in liver related enzymes that can ultimately cause liver disease in dogs.

Some times dog owners indulge in over-feeding their dogs under the mistaken belief that the dog is hungry. Even a so called ‘light diet’ can lead to obesity in dogs if the calorie intake is more than recommended. Obesity can directly cause liver and heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, skin disorders and cancer exposing the dog to a higher risk.

Diet plays an important role in liver health. It is one of the major reasons behind many diseases in cats too, including the feline liver disease. Instead of waiting for symptoms of liver disease in dogs or cats to surface, it is highly recommended that you be proactive and feed your dog with a healthy and nutritional diet to maintain health.

A huge majority of commercial foods contain toxins that destroy the immune system and gradually kill your dog as you feed him. Dogs are basically meat eaters. Meat based dog food may appear to be the best to provide the required proportions of proteins and other substances needed by the animal. Manufacturers, however, use synthetic additives and preservatives to increase shelf life, which can be detrimental to the health of your dog.

It is not only the type of food but also the quantity that makes a difference. The age, weight and breed of your pet are key aspects that determine the amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that the dog requires every day. The level of activity is another factor for arriving at the calorie intake. Your veterinarian is the best person to suggest where and how to source this information.

As much as possible feed your dog home cooked food, raw meat and a natural diet that is free from toxins. The purpose of a natural diet is to boost the immune system and help the liver to regenerate its cells so that it can function to its fullest capacity. A toxin free diet is the key to longevity and liver health.

The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food Revealed!

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