Proper Nutrition For Your Canine Companion
What should you be feeding your dog for optimal health and vitality? Many of us today, myself included, are very conscious of what we eat and read labels with a passion. We do not want chemical preservatives or unpronounceable ingredients in our food. If we do not want certain ingredients for ourselves then shouldn’t we be as careful about the ingredients in our pets food?
Dogs are one of the carnivores in the order canidae. All members of this order have the same basic characteristics: a jaw that moves only up and down (not up/down/side to side like us), large canine teeth designed to hold prey and then rip and tear flesh, molars are flat and designed to crush bone, saliva that only lubricates (our saliva has digestive properties), a short digestive tract (ours is much longer), a very acidic stomach. All of these characteristics make the order canidae ideally suited for consuming other animals.
Humans are the only species on planet earth that intentionally cook their food. Everyone else gets all their nutrition from eating their biologically appropriate food raw. It therefore stands to reason that our dogs should also be eating their food raw and be as close to their natural diet as possible.
Advantages and Benefits of a Species Appropriate Raw Diet
Fresh Breath – Strong Teeth – Ideal Weight – Strong Bones – Reduced Odor –
Thick Glossy Coat – Firm Muscle Tone – Healthy Digestion – Focused Energy
and Reduced Stools
High in Protein: For strength and endurance.
High in Natural Nutrients: Vital nutrients are not destroyed and remain in a natural state for best nutrition.
High Palatability/Digestibility: Optimum nourishment through the whole digestive system leads to less food intake, more food getting digested which results in smaller, less stinky stools.
Low Carbohydrate and Starches: Carbohydrates are hard on a pet’s digestion and high doses are not needed in a carnivore’s diet. All dry food is at least 50% carbohydrate of some sort. Grain free does not equate to carbohydrate free.
Complete and Balanced Diet: A balanced ratio of protein, fat, bone, organs, and vitamins for optimum health.
High Moisture Content: Hydration maintains healthy kidney and urinary tract function. Carnivores have a low thirst drive since most of their moisture is gotten from their prey.
Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 & 6): Fatty acids keep pet’s skin and coat healthy.
Natural Fat Content: Fat is a natural energy booster
Providing a Raw Diet for our Canine Companions
Now, most of us are not going to go out and hunt food for our dogs (if you do save all the organs, freeze them for at least 2 weeks and feed them to your dog). However, you can still feed your dog a species appropriate diet, either by making your own or feeding a commercially prepared food. For myself, sourcing, mixing, preparing takes more time and energy than I have to spare. Being sure I get all the proper ingredients including vitamins and minerals gives me too much anxiety. It is almost impossible in this country to source all the organs, including blood, you want in order to duplicate a carcass. For those folks who do make their own, great. For the rest of us, purchasing a diet that is already made and complete works best. If you do make your own, having some complete diet on hand is always good in case you run out of your food or just want to make sure you have covered all your bases.
In order to produce a dry dog food, any dry dog food, it must have the ingredients cooked at very high temperature, 3 times, to make a slurry that then goes through a machine that forms it into same sized pellets and dries it. Vitamins, minerals, fat are added to conform to proper nutrition and make the food palatable. The food is then sold to a distributor who holds it in a warehouse until they sell it to a retail store who sets it on a shelf until it sells or expires. The food you purchase may have been produced many months before you take it home. If you then buy a large bag and keep it open the nutritional integrity of the food is degrading daily.
Why We Feed Raw
John and I have been feeding a raw diet to our dogs and cats for 20 years. We never need to take them to the vet to have their teeth cleaned. It is like the difference between eating an apple, a natural raw food and breakfast cereal, a man made carbohydrate and chemical laden food product. The former keeps your teeth clean while the later sticks to your teeth promoting plaque.
We rarely bath the dogs because the naturally occurring oils in their skin keep their coats healthy and shiny. Carbohydrates cause a dull coat that holds dirt and odors.
You will almost never have to have anal glands expressed (something very common for small dogs) because their stools are firmer and express the anal glands naturally (by the dog having to push harder the way nature intended).
Their energy is more even and focused, not the roller coaster energy provided by simple carbohydrates.
At Two Bears we carry and feed 3 brands of complete raw frozen diet for dogs. Performance Dog, Vital Essentials and Red Rock Raw.
All foods are made to order so the time from when we place an order to when you feed it to your dog is only a few months at the most. Food goes directly from the manufacturer to our freezers.
Is it more costly than dry food? Yes, but the overall health advantages of fewer and less costly vet visits far outweigh the upfront cost of an improved optimal diet.
Please contact us for more information on how to get your dog (or cat) started on a raw meat diet and the foods we feed and sell .