DOES YOUR DOG EAT JUNK FOOD?

© Rosamund Walters

The feeding of the majority of dogs has altered considerably over the last 40 to 50 years. This change has resulted in a deterioration in their quality of life and unfortunately has shortened the lives of many dogs. Pollution and emotional upsets also contribute to ill health. All these problems can be greatly reduced if their diet consists of a wide variety of fresh foods.

Historically dogs found their own food without much help from humans. They knew exactly what they required in order to keep healthy, otherwise if this had not been the case the canine race would now be extinct.  Their diet consisted of raw food - bones, eggs, fish, muscle meat, organ meats, vegetables and herbs. The only cooked food would have been grains and scraps provided by their owners.

In recent years manufactured food has gradually become the norm, with the result that the health and life expectancy of thousands of dogs has been on the decline. Dog food manufacturers have generally not recognised that, although different breeds have been developed in the recent past, their digestive systems are just the same as they were thousands of years ago. Digestive systems, bones, muscles, organs, etc, are having great difficulty in adjusting to these new types of food, which are foreign to their systems.  Cooked food also does damage and lowers the threshold of allergic resistance, leading to arthritic, digestive and skin problems in young and old dogs.

The supermarket shelves are full of dry or tinned convenience foods for dogs. These are what I call ‘canine junk food'.  No animal can remain healthy when fed a diet of that type of food every day. Owners usually buy the same brand and flavour, so the dog gets no variety and therefore the diet is not balanced. Also the value of the vitamins, minerals and essential oils added to the processed food, in an attempt to replace the original qualities of fresh unprocessed food, are destroyed by high temperatures used during the manufacturing process. All food cooked over 84ºC kills the enzymes and depletes its nutritional value.

The way forward then is to feed a ‘Natural Diet’.  At the same time owners should be aware that unless food is sensibly selected the diet might not always be a success.  Reasonably priced organically grown food is available  - and ‘Food State’ supplements (that compensate for deficiencies in the food) contain  vitamins and minerals are now on the market. These supplements are free from chemicals, and are easily and efficiently absorbed by the dog’s digestive system, as the body recognizes them as a food.

How then should you feed your dog? 

Try to reproduce as closely as possible food that the ancestors of our present day dogs would have eaten in the wild.  A hundred years ago there was no degradation of farmland and as dogs had plenty of freedom to roam in their neighbouring countryside they would have been able to select  healthy foods- meat, herbs and grasses. 

Below is a short list of foods that should be fed to a healthy, active dog.  Puppies need different diets and dogs with various ailments and diseases will require modified diets. Try to feed raw food and only cook when absolutely necessary.

 

Raw Knuckle Bones   

Never cook bones, as they splinter and become highly dangerous.

 

Raw Muscle Meats

Muscle meats - beef, chicken, lamb, poultry and rabbit.

 

 Raw Organ Meats           

 Heart, kidney and liver.  Try to feed only organic liver. The liver is the filtering organ of the body and many toxins reside there before leaving the body. Farm animals fed organically are free from hormones and antibiotics etc produce healthy organs.

 

Eggs                              

Yolks only. Raw egg whites should not be fed.  There is a substance called avadin in raw eggs whites that bonds to the vitamin biotin – a member of the B complex family. Therefore biotin cannot be absorbed and in the long run could cause a deficiency. 

 

Vegetables

All vegetables except potatoes must be feed raw. Wash all vegetables thoroughly and put through the juicer. Feed the pulp and add a little of the juice. The juice contains valuable enzymes that makes a healthy drink for owners too!!  If raw vegetables are refused, steam for five minutes and then break them down in a food processor.  Dogs usually prefer slightly warm food, so steaming can be a sensible option.

 

Fruit

Fruit is usually a great favourite.  Apples, bananas and pears are acceptable.

 

Cooked food                 

All grains, millet flakes, oats, rice, also potatoes.

 

Steamed Food

Fish.

 

I hope the feeding programme and supplements suggested above will help to keep the present and future generations of dogs healthy. A number of dogs, of all breeds, have benefited greatly from the above regime and many of them have been restored to health, often after months and years of ill health.

 

© Rosamund Walters

e-mail : llandyssil@mid-wales.net