The fourth article in a five part series by Steve Hutchins. Steve explains why he feeds his dogs a natural diet.
By now some of you may be wondering about the value of feeding commercially prepared foods to your dog at all!
You may have heard about natural feeding but what is it all about?
Well I suppose it is a practical and common-sense method of feeding dogs in the way that nature intended, which helps to promote a long and healthy life.
If we look back some years to when dogs were mainly fed on table scraps and supplemented their own diet by scavenging, consider the overall health and general fitness of the dog and ask yourself the questions:
- Did you visit the vet as many times as you do now?
- Did your dog have so many ailments and medical problems?
- How much did your dog cost you in respect of both food and veterinary care?
Taking aside inflation, if you had the statistics you would be horrified. However cost is not necessarily the issue here. The priority should be the overall health, well being and welfare of your dog.
In the previous articles, I talked about the many and various highly processed dog foods available in today's market, which at the very least is confusing.
I personally have now returned to a natural feeding diet for my dogs: i.e. raw meat and bones, tripe, turkey necks, chicken, fresh vegetables and fruit, etc., coupled with biscuit.
The result was a phenomenal change in the condition of my dogs in a matter of weeks:
- General condition, coat & pelt were vastly improved.
- Health, vigour and vitality were drastically increased.
- Stools were minimal as virtually all food was being ‘used’ by the dog.
- Feed costs were drastically reduced.
- Far fewer expensive visits to the vet were required.
The dogs changed from simply being in "good health & ok" into "prime athletes". The most common question I am asked is: What food should I feed to my dog?
We are constantly being brainwashed into believing that we must feed a scientifically balanced commercially prepared dog food to provide the "best" for our dogs.
Dogs achieve a balance over a period of time with different dietary input at each meal. Ask yourself the question: Is every meal that you eat perfectly balanced?
Consider the increasing numbers of problems nowadays:
- Skin allergies and itching
- Runny eyes and sore ears
- Scurfy and smelly coats
- Anal gland problems & Smelly faeces
- Smelly mouths resulting from dental problems
Could the reproductive and growth problems, coupled with an alarming rise in inherited genetic defects so prevalent in today’s dogs also be linked to diet?
It has been clearly seen that those people who feed commercial dog food often have dogs with a whole range of health problems and regularly spend copious amounts of money at the vets, whilst those who feed mostly raw meat, bones, vegetables and scraps have healthy dogs and spend very little time and money at the vets at all.
The bulk of the diet should be raw meaty bones including lamb but especially raw chicken carcasses. The balance of the food should be table scraps, gravy, coupled with pulverised fresh vegetables, fruit, brown wholemeal bread, cereals, potato and pasta. To that we add eggs (complete with shell), vegetable oil, honey, brewers yeast, seaweed/kelp powder, cod liver oil and occasionally liver, kidneys or additional vitamin supplements.
To those of you that panic in sheer horror at the thought of feeding raw chicken complete with the bones. It is only when poultry is cooked that the bones calcify, become brittle and then can splinter and cause problems. When the poultry is fed raw, the bones are soft and easily palatable. The end result, quite apart from the dogs enjoying it, is the intake of extra nutrients and minerals, the abrasion on the teeth keeps the mouth clean and fresh, with significantly less dental problems for both teeth and gums and periodontal disease.
Once a week I also provide a fruit and vegetable meal consisting of raw vegetables and fruit. To this I add Brewers Yeast, a little oil, seaweed kelp, garlic and raw egg, including the shell. A small amount of brown bread can also be added. This is all mixed together with the fruit and vegetables pulverised for easier digestion. If your dog is initially reluctant to eat this combination, add a small amount of tripe to the food and lightly mix then sprinkle a little tripe on the top to encourage.
I feed all my dogs in this manner and will never go back to commercially prepared dog food after seeing the amazing and positive results with my own eyes.
Next in the Series - Feeding Your Dog The Conclusion
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