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I have two pups, Mason (Shih Tzu) and Brooklyn (Standard Poodle).  I wouldn’t eat or feed McDonald’s everyday to my human children, so why would I feed bagged Kibble to my pups?  Kibble hasn’t been around for very long.  Dogs were fed “table food” before the invention of Kibble and were much healthier.

I feed a natural diet to my pups with an occasional Kibble treat (grain-free holistic Kibble such as Orijen).  My pups also like ice cubes, sweet potatoes, and sometimes fruit.  I occasionally utilize one of the raw food co-ops here in Phoenix and order case lots or ground foods.  They are fed pork neck bones, whole chickens, pork ribs, whole tilapia, dehydrated lamb lung as treats, beef heart, lamb and turkey necks, etc…

Dogs can process these foods without the worry of illness.  Their stomach acid can handle the bacteria and the nutrition is optimal for dogs.  After all, dogs lick their butts, drink from the toilet, and sometimes eat poop.  I know some people are skeptical and fearful and it is interesting to watch a Chihuahua eat a cornish hen, but get over your fear for the benefit of your pets.  Cats love T-bones!

Here is additional information:

There is a lot of talk in the dog world these days about ALL-NATURAL DIETS (AN). The purpose of this article is to explain what these diets are and the reasons why I feel everyone should consider feeding their dog a natural diet. I will also explain what I feed the dogs in my own kennel.

All-natural diets are also called RAW DIETS or BARF DIETS (BF). The BF came to this country from Dr. Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian that has written two books that I sell on natural diets. The common theme of these diets is that they feed raw human grade ingredients. While the actual contents will vary in some cases, depending on the health needs of a particular dog, the quality of the food products does not change. Everything is raw and human grade ingredient. This means that the meat that I feed is good enough for my family to eat. The vegetables come from the produce department of our local grocery store.

An all-natural diet begins with species appropriate nutrition. In the case of our dogs, which are carnivores, this means meat, bones and the vegetable matter that is found in the stomach of prey animals that are killed.

Many people mistakenly feel they must feed pets cooked food. They are wrong. Dogs and cats have stomachs that are designed to eat raw food. That’s why a dog can eat an old dead animal or fish and live through it. Many Vets seem to forget this very important fact. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from pet owners whose Vets warn against feeding all natural because of a concern over getting sick. The fact is this is BAD INFORMATION. If you keep your food fresh there are no concerns.

The digestive system of domesticated dogs is not designed to eat processed or cooked food. Obviously wild animals do not cook their food. Cooked food or commercial dog food takes longer for dogs to digest than raw diets. In addition, the heat used to actually cook the food destroys enzymes and anti-oxidants.

In 1932 Francis Pottenger M.D. did experiments with cats. He fed one group of cats a raw diet and a second different group a cooked diet. By the third generation, those cats that were fed a cooked diet could no longer reproduce. They suffered from skin problems, skeletal deformities, behavioral problems and organ malfunctions.

The cats that were fed a raw diet thrived and reproduce easily. When the first and second generation cooked food cats were put back on a raw diet it took 4 generations for those cats to recover from the effects of the cooked food.

Why These all-natural Products:

Foods to Avoid:

1-Chocolate

2-Do not feed a dog any sugar. Sugar increases a dog’s chances of getting cancer. Sugar is made when dogs eat things like sugar beets, molasses, grains or dairy products

3-Dogs do not require any grain in their diet; they have no nutritional need for it. Carbohydrates from grain are simply not needed. Our pets get their energy from fats and protein. Grains break down into sugar which can grow yeast, produce mucous and may contribute to a multitude of problems including skin allergies, cancer, digestive upsets and skeletal disorders to name just a few.

4-Do not feed any kind of yeast. This includes brewers yeast. Yeast increases problems with allergies. Our pets have no need for yeast.

5-Do not feed dogs milk or dairy products. Dairy products turn into lactose in a dog’s body. Lactose is sugar – this only causes problems with allergies.

6-Do not feed unhealthy treats (the store-bought biscuits). Never feed cooked bones, this includes steak bones. Cooking bones makes them brittle and they then splinter when eaten.

Here are Some General Rules to Keep in Mind on Feeding your Dog all-natural:

1-Do not free feed the dog. Pick up uneaten food between meals (only leave the food down for 20 minutes)

2-Serve food at room temperature

3-Do not microwave your pet’s food or store it with aluminum foil

4-Give your dog FRESH WATER daily – wash his water dish with bleach water on a regular basis. If you would not drink from a water dish then it’s too dirty for your dog to drink

5-Do not over-exercise after you feed your dog.

6-Keep your dog thin

7-Store your oils in the fridge and shake before you feed.

8-Stop feeding bones several days before a bitch whelps. This helps soften stools and increases lactation

The Amounts we Feed:

I will begin this section by saying that it is a good idea to fast a dog that is over a year every now and then. Some do it once a week – we used to do this but don’t anymore.

We do not do this with puppies, lactating bitches or pregnant bitches. Fasting dogs helps clean out their system. Some feel it is a very healthy thing to get in the habit of doing. Fasting is a normal occurrence for carnivores. Fasting enables the energy used to digest food to be used for other things in the body. It’s important to remember to make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water on fast day.

Before I talk about the amounts that I feed I will say that it is also not critical for the dogs to be fed exactly the same amount and type of food every day. In nature wild dogs do not eat exactly 5 cups of food every day.

So with this in mind I will begin the process of determining the amount to feed each dog by looking at the condition of the respective dog. Overweight dogs obviously get less food than very thin dogs which need more food.

The amount of exercise a dog gets will determine the amount of food it needs. For example, a dog that lives in an outside yard and runs the fence all day is obviously going to require more food than a 10 year old couch potato who seldom goes out for a walk. So it’s almost impossible to say that you feed a 6 month old dog this much food or an adult male GSD this amount of food.

As a rule, American’s over feed their dogs and keep them too fat. A thin dog is a healthy dog. A thin dog has less skeletal problems (i.e. dysplasia) than an overweight dog.

In the winter we will always feed our outside dogs more food then we feed the same dog in the summer.

With all of these variables it’s impossible for me to tell someone how much to feed their dog. If I cant see the dog, see how it lives I can’t say how much to feed it.

With this in mind I will feed an adult male GSD 1 1/2 pounds up to 3 pounds food per day. Some dogs just get chicken leg quarters (from Wall Mart), 400 units of vitamin E and salmon oil. At times during the week we will add in raw eggs, mackeral, sardines and the various ingredients listed above. I try and mix it up to keep it interesting for the dogs. I really think they like this.

Understanding “Natural” and “Organic”
From Pet Age, July 2005, page 32.

The terms “natural” and “organic” often are used interchangeably, but they have differing regulatory meanings.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials defines “natural” as “a feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources… not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts that might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.” Synthetic nutrients such as vitamins also are permissible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines “organic” as “grown, raised or produced without chemical pesticides, irradiation, genetic modification, cloning, hormones or antibiotics.” The regulations also detail the methods and practices that can be used in producing and handling organic crops and livestock. For example, livestock must have access to the outdoors.

The USDA’s National Organic Program breaks organic products down into the following labeling categories:

  • 100 percent organic. Product must contain only organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).
  • Organic. Product must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).
  • Made with organic. Product must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients.

Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients cannot use the term “organic” other than to identify the specific ingredients that are organically produced in the ingredients statement.

http://leerburg.com/diet.htm?set=1

One of the first things you will notice
about dogs being fed the BARF DIET™
is better quality of life!

Living Enzymes are proteins found in raw foods which help the body function. Enzymes are only beneficial to the body if they are living. Once food is cooked or processed, it no longer contains living enzymes. Foods without living enzymes put stress on the pancreas to produce the necessary proteins to function. Living Enzymes in a raw diet restore, repair, and maintain health. Animals replenish their enzymes systems by eating raw unprocessed foods. Our convenient patties retain their living enzymes along with phyto-chemicals, antioxidants, and unprocessed amino acids. Your pet’s long term health depends upon these factors, to ensure a long and healthy lifespan.

Healthy Teeth & Breath
Your pet will have much-improved breath, minimal tartar buildup, and beautifully clean and healthy teeth; all without having to visit the pet dentist or brushing the teeth. In addition, periodontal disease that is so prevalent with pets fed grain-based diets is almost nonexistent.

Healthy Skin & Coat
This can be one of the first changes you will notice when you start feeding the BARF DIET™. If those persistent skin problems suddenly disappear or improve, and you no longer need vet visits, medicated washes, antibiotics, cortisone shots and cortisone tablets, it has to mean that the natural, healthy, and raw diet is supplying nutrients that other diets are missing. It really is hard to ignore the deeply colored, lustrous, thick and healthy coat!

Optimum Immune System
The BARF DIET™ normalizes and strengthens the immune system. The immune system is a wonder of creation. Because the BARF DIET™ contains a good balance of essential fatty acids and other immune normalizing and strengthening nutrients, it reduces inflammatory conditions and waves good-bye to infections.

Enhanced Digestion & Absorption of Nutrients
Living enzymes break down and utilize food to maximize the digestive system’s effectiveness.

Degenerative Disease
Pet owners that switch their older pets to the BARF DIET™ usually find that whatever degenerative disease their pet has contracted, becomes less of a problem. Our raw diet is not a wonder drug, but it has reversed many aggravating degenerative conditions and has given relief to a variety of diseases. One has to only review the various testimonials to see the dramatic changes that a biologically appropriate diet can make. Even arthritic conditions are improved and you can expect to see greater mobility in your pet. This is part of the reason so many older pets have a new lease on life when switched to the BARF DIET™.

Stool Volume & Odor
Reduced stool volume and odor is a sign of an improved and healthy digestion cycle. The BARF DIET™ is more readily absorbed, than grain fed diets, in the digestive system and the result is less stool volume and odor. Odorous stools are a result of improper or incomplete digestion of nutrients.

Healthy, Lean Body Mass
By feeding the BARF DIET™, your pet will lose unwanted fat and gain that much desired increase in muscle mass. This not only makes your pet look better, it increases your pet’s metabolic rate, its activity levels and its healthy life span. The effect will be more rapid if you combine the BARF DIET™ with some normal exercise.

http://www.barfworld.com/html/barf_diet/barfdiet_benefits.shtml

The Honest Kitchen – Dehydrated Human Grade Ingredients

What Makes Our Pet Food Different?

Here’s what makes our foods and our company, a little bit different from the rest!

Minimal Processing By using a gentle dehydration process, we are able to maintain the integrity of our core ingredients. Our fresh raw produce is harvested at the peak of its ripeness, then washed and trimmed to size. Then, it’s dehydrated below 104°F using warm air to gently blow away the moisture in a slow process that takes several hours. Our produce is still considered ‘raw’ after dehydration is complete. Our fresh raw meats and white fish undergo gentle steaming at 140°F to 165°F, to eliminate pathogens without irradiation. We then carefully evaporate the moisture using dehydration, which leaves more nutrients intact than harsh cooking, canning or extrusion. The meats leave the dehydration process at about 125°F. The entire process (including steaming) takes about 45 minutes. Our salmon is freeze-dried in a flash process that removes the moisture under vacuum. Our potatoes and grains are flash heated (and rolled in the case of our grains) to help break down the cellulose, which aids in digestion. They are then gently dehydrated to remove the moisture.Human-Grade Ingredients and Production – from farm to bowl All our ingredients are chosen directly form the human food chain – this is a requirement for entry into the human food facility where our products are made. Each of our diets are carefully blended to encompass a broad array of amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help achieve and maintain optimum health. Production occurs in a FDA inspected human food facility right here in in the USA, alongside products such as breakfast cereals and beverage mixes for human consumption. Learn more about the ways we control the quality of our raw ingredients and finished products.Whole Food Ingredients from Suppliers Who Care All chickens are not created equal; while some have never seen the light of day, ours are free range.Read more about our sustainably raised, free-range chicken from Petaluma Farms right here in California. We choose suppliers who care, because we care. Many ingredients are carefully sourced from farms in their ‘native’ countries, such as Fair-trade Organic Quinoa from Bolivia, Sweet Potatoes from their native Peru and Bananas from the Philippines. We’re also a proud member of Green America, whose mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. You can read a bit about where each of our ingredients comes from, here.
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