The Secrets of Healthy and Natural Dog Food
I won’t feed my dog canned or processed dog food. I want to know what’s going into his tummy and I want him to have the best natural foods to ward off disease and keep him young-looking, active and healthy.
I’ve been feeding my dog this natural diet since I got him 12 years ago and he’s still so bright and lively that people still think he’s a puppy. They can’t believe it when I tell them how old he really is.
I feed my dog twice a day. I give him a carbohydrate meal in the afternoon for energy, and a raw meat meal just before bed for protein. It’s good to separate these meals because when mixed, these two types of food can cause gas.
Puppies will also need a breakfast. Consider splitting the carbohydrate meal into two portions and giving one first thing in the morning if you have a little one that’s just been weaned.
My dog is a small terrier. You’ll need to scale these portions up to satisfy a bigger dog.
Oats for energy
The carbohydrate meal consists of one cup of raw porridge oats. I soak these overnight in cold water to soften them and mix in two teaspoons of wheat bran for extra roughage. I serve them up with a splash of corn oil, a sprinkle of desiccated coconut and a pinch of brewer’s yeast.
These garnishes add vitamins and minerals that will make your dog buzz with vitality. Once a week, add a raw egg yolk.
As an alternative to oats, two cups of cooked brown rice will make a nice change.
Raw meat for raw power
Meat is the key to athletic vitality and I give my dog a handful of raw, cubed beef for his meat meal. I stay away from mince as this contains a lot of air and this can make a dog vomit. In larger dogs it may even cause bloat.
For variety, I sometimes use chicken or pork, always raw and always in good sized chunks as these will build strength in the dog’s abdomen as it uses its stomach muscles to squeeze the bowel to aid digestion of bulky material.
To the meat, I add a teaspoon of raw, grated zucchini and a teaspoon of raw, grated carrot. This gives roughage and vitamins. Occasionally I substitute raw, grated cabbage for the carrot.
I also give a codliver oil capsule and an evening primrose oil capsule twice a week for extra omega 3 fatty acids. Once a week, I add a chunk of raw liver to the meat.
Calcium for teeth & bones
All this raw meat contains a lot of phosphorous, and to balance this, you need to give your dog a good source of calcium.
Some people recommend raw bones for this. Never use cooked bones as these can splinter very easily and hurt your dog’s insides.
Raw bones will keep his teeth strong as he crunches them up, but dogs can sometimes have trouble passing the fragments, especially smaller breeds. If you want to go with bones, I recommend grinding them finely and adding them to the meat meal.
Personally I prefer powdered egg-shell for calcium because it’s easier to make: collect the shells of eggs rather than throwing them out, and dry them on a tray. When you have a big pile, crush them to fragments with your fingers and pulp them in a food grinder. It only takes a few minutes to get a very fine powder. Half a teaspoon a day is plenty for a large dog.
Eating hard bones will help to keep your dog’s teeth clean, but if you don’t give bones, you can give your dog rawhide chews as a treat, or very hard biscuits instead.
The fast way to super health
Crucial to any dog’s health is a day of rest, and by that I don’t mean a day without walks – I mean a day without food!
When I tell people this, at first, some of them think it’s cruel, but then I tell them that dogs in the wild never get to eat every day. Their bodies are designed not only to go without food for short periods but also to take advantage of them. They get rid of all kinds of toxins when they’re not eating. Safari Parks and Zoos know how to care for their carnivores and they certainly don’t feed them every day.
On his fasting day, your dog may want to eat grass, but don’t worry, he’s not starving. Carnivores eat grass to make themselves vomit and clear out their stomachs. It’s a sign of good health. If you can, let your dog have access to long grass on his rest day so that he can do this.
Always make sure a fasting dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and never fast a puppy under 8 months old.
Natural foods are a great way to boost your dog’s health and energy, but they are not a substitute for a long walk every day and good veterinary care. When your dog is unwell, go to see a vet as soon as possible.
Also, always make sure that his annual vaccinations are up to date and give regular worming medication. These vital medicines won’t harm your best friend, but will protect him from painful and possibly life-threatening conditions.
Follow these guidelines and your dog will live a long, healthy and happy life.