A Natural Diet Improves Your Dog’s Health

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A Natural Diet Improves Your Dog’s Health

A Natural Diet Will Improve Your Dog’s Health
by: Brigitte Smith

natural diet for dogs
It goes without saying that your dog needs suitable nutrition to remain healthy. But just what is suitable nutrition for your dog?

It’s difficult to know just what natural dog food is, because vets and pet food manufacturers often have vastly differing views on what is appropriate nutrition for your dog.

Why are commercially prepared foods routinely recommended as part of an adequate, or good, diet for your dog? – particularly in view of the fact that commercial pet food manufacturers are motivated in large part (or wholly) by profits.

You may be in a position where your vet or perhaps the dog breeder you purchased your dog from may approve of commercially prepared foods as your dog’s sole diet.

natural diet for dogsMany experts in dog nutrition, however, tend to prefer a largely natural diet for dogs, which is invariably comprised of meat and bones. Raw is preferable to cooked, as some of the minerals are definitely lost in the cooking process.

There are very, very few commercial dog food manufacturers that produce nutrient-rich food for pets. And of the few that do have some nutritive value, they’re not the brands you’ll find in your supermarket, or even in most pet stores or veterinarians.

All dogs must obtain reasonable nutrition from their food to maintain excellent health and performance. The main nutrients required by your dog are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Vitamin or mineral deficiency in dogs fed a commercially manufactured diet today is not widely publicized. But then again, the slosh and dried formula which are readily available from your vet or the local supermarket are definitely not your dog’s natural diet.

If ever your dog was left to fend for itself in the wild (assuming it could manage to adapt, that is), s/he would choose to eat raw meat. One of the reasons why meat, and especially bones, are so good, is the chewing action and the teeth cleaning function which the bones perform. Of course, there are also commercially prepared substitutes which can also effectively clean your dog’s teeth and satisfy his/her need to chew. Some of these are better than others. There are some very good treats that can help clean your dog’s teeth.

natural diet for dogsA lesser known fact is that to feed your dog only meat (with no bones and no cereals or other carbohydrate source) may result in quite severe deficiencies: your dog could become lethargic, and sick. It is said that even death has been known to occur from an all meat diet. But what about dogs in the wild, I hear you ask? Isn’t meat a dog’s natural diet? Isn’t that what you just said, Brigitte? Well, yes and no: in the wild dogs eat the whole of their prey, not simply muscle meat – they thus obtain vegetable matter from the digestive tract of their prey, and calcium from the bones. In addition, wild dogs will occasionally add to their diet with plants, fruit and berries.

Most dogs relish some raw fruit and vegetables in their diet, so long as they’re used to eating those types of foods. A dog who has been fed commercially prepared dog food all of its life won’t be used to the taste of fresh food, so may well turn up his/her nose if you introduce such healthy food later in life. But do persevere – you could try hand feeding pieces of carrot or apple to begin with. And if your dog is still very young, all the better. Start as you intend to go on – feed your puppy some raw fruit and vegetables from time to time – natural dog food.

Remember, though, meat should be the staple of your dog’s diet. Preferably raw meat – natural dog food. But certainly not over processed food that barely looks or smells like fresh meat any more.

Your dog’s health will benefit!

(c) 2007, Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs

About The Author
Brigitte Smith is the author of HealthierDogs.com and HealthyHappyDogs.com. For more information on healthy food for dogs, click here.

For some specific dog food reviews, and more on natural dog food, click on the hyperlinks to go to other helpful articles here in the Healthier Dogs site.

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About Brigitte Smith

Brigitte Smith is an entrepreneur with a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle. Brigitte is passionate about holistic health alternatives for dogs, most of which are today suffering foreshortened lifespans in the wake of a lifetime diet of commercial pet food, and further contributed to by unnecessary over-vaccination and chemicals and poisons applied topically and internally. http://HealthierDogs.com is one of Brigitte's sites dedicated to dog health, and in particular dog food reviews.

10 thoughts on “A Natural Diet Improves Your Dog’s Health

  1. VELUZ

    Dog owners must be careful with their pets diet .There is an increasing concern among dog owners to put their dogs on a healthier diet program because of obesity issue, and many reports, which suggest that commercial dog food, are unhealthy for dogs.natural diet for dogs

  2. Miyako

    Hi Brigitte,

    Hope all is well with you and your canine friends. My dog Hannah and I are doing very well.

    Yesterday, I bought some raw bones with bone marrow intact, and some meat still clinging to the bone. Well, the shine in Hannah’s eyes when I offered it to her was just priceless. She tackled it with great pleasure and anticipation of tasty things to come. To see her so happy and getting so much joy out of a raw bone brings a big smile in my face. It was not like this at the beginning when she came home with me from a shelter almost a year and half ago.

    She was eleven years old and had lost many homes due to, according to the shelter people, her unruliness. She was an escape artist and never came when called. She had been hit by a car at least once. And she had been in fights with other dogs many times. I agree that she would be a difficult dog to keep in a city. She needs to run free everyday, and fortunately, she can get it here in her new home. So, she is thriving. She now comes when called; well, mostly.

    But it took over a year to get here. Her health was another problem. Four months after adoption, she was diagnosed with a liver disease. This is when I started to look into dog foods closely, because I did not like the ingredients of the special liver diet my vets recommended. It was mostly soy beans !! Wild wolves, for example, does not eat soy beans ! They do not eat cooked foods, either !!!

    So, with an encouragement from a friend who was feeding her dog natural raw food, I decided to switch to raw food also. I bet Hannah had been fed commercial dry and wet foods only. She did not want to eat raw food at first. I had to coax her into eating it. But it did not take long before she discovered that she liked it. And I introduced the raw food slowly, increasing the amount slowly over a 3 – 4 weeks period to avoid drastic detox simptoms. Since then, I have learned that some dogs can do it overnight, and some dogs are better off doing it slowly.

    With raw food and milk thistle to help restore her liver, Hannah has not been to a vet since that first visit. So, I pay no vet bills. Some people might say that the raw foods are more expensive than commercial dry and wet dog foods, but I am saving all kinds of money on vet and medication bills. I know from my own experience with my last dog how expensive they can be.

    I also make her treats myself. Just boil organ meats in water and cut them up in bite size. As you know, organ meats are very inexpensive, and dogs just love these treats.

    So, wouldn’t you say that I am saving a lot of grief and money overall ?? And, I have a very happy and healthy 12-year old dog who runs in the woods hours every day. I don’t think that the shelter people would recognize her today. They might even think she is dead by now.

    But she’s not only alive and well, but I have reduced my vet bills to NONE !!!

    With a happy smile,

    Miyako and Hannah

  3. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Miyako,

    Nice to hear from you again.

    I love to hear stories like yours!

    You’re absolutely right – feeding raw doesn’t work out more expensive than commercial dog foods at all.

    And when you think about it – pet owners should be happy to spend a little extra if raw food does actually cost more upfront, because how on earth do the pet food manufacturers keep the cost of their products so low – lower than raw food, when they’ve got all those production and advertising costs to cover? – It absolutely proves that those foods are FULL of rubbish. Or they’d never be able to afford to sell them cheaper than the natural, raw food.

    You’re doing a fantastic job with Hannah, Miyako. Well done!

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  4. Prema Auset

    Hi Bridgitte,
    I actually have an emergency question. I sometimes dog-sit for my neighbor across the street. After research and observing symptoms, i realized her dog has yeast/candida in her system. She is constantly shaking her ears and it frustrates the hell out of me to watch. I don’t know if my neighbor is truly doing everything she possibly can to heal her dog, but instead of getting frustrated and mad and speaking to her like she’s stupid, i decided to take the matter into my own hands. One night i sprayed an unspecific amount of apple cider vinegar diluted in water on her coat and in her ears. As usual, she attempted to shake it this off in an agitated way, but more than usual. She began to have slight seizures (but was not paralyzed) on and off for the next 15-20 minutes. I called an emergency vet. center and they sadly would not even give me “on the spot” advice in an emergency without paying a whopping $100 dollars. By the time i got there (10-15 minutes) the dog seemed to be back to normal, but i was and am still concerned that i may need to do something else.I explained that i did not have the money and asked if the vet could just pop her head out and give me some quick advice. The “money-hungry” wench had no compassion and would not come out. I didn’t tell my neighbor cause i didn’t want her to worry and I figured the vet would not be available anyway. I know the vet is just gonna give her some immune-suppressing pharmaceutical drug that in the long run may make her worse. I only like to deal in holistic natural remedies. She didn’t ingest any of this (except a capful in her water)which she didn’t react to. Can u please help me- i’m desperate and nowone wants to help! Until i get to her vet, can u suggest something? I don’t mean to demand anything, but could u please respond to this email A.S.A.P. I’m so worried! Help!

  5. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Prema,

    Sorry for the delay. I don’t check these comments to see whether there are urgent questions. As I’m sure you’d appreciate, only a vet should be consulted in an emergency. There’s an article about Internet vet advicehere.

    That whole experience must have been extremely frightening.

    I really have no idea what could possibly have caused the seizures, or whether it had anything to do with the cider vinegar you sprayed on the dog.

    One word to the wary, though – no matter how much you disagree with how your neighbor is caring for her dog (or not), and no matter how much you prefer holistic methods over drugs (as I do), you really should not impose your preferences on your neighbor without her knowing.

    Why don’t you try suggesting these alternatives to her? Or ask her permission to try certain things on her dog?

    I just hate to imagine how you would have felt, and how your neighbor would have felt, if something you did to the dog caused (or even appeared to cause) a major ongoing problem for the dog, or worse.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  6. Rick

    Hi Brigitte ,

    My Misty and I , don’t have a regular set time , to eat ,but , We do always eat together { at the same time } . It may be noon , 2:00 pm , 6:00 pm , 10:00 pm ,etc. . She , as I’ve told You before { I don’t know , if You ever got My reply , last year } , is an Australian Shepherd / Queensland Heeler . She had a very bad allergy , to corn , which took , going through about 22 brands , of dry dog food , to find this out . She used to chew herself , scratch , endlessly , ’til I finally discovered “California Natural” Dog Food . It has only 3 basic ingredients ; lamb , or chicken & rice , and , sunflower oil . She stopped all the chewing , and , scratching , and , all her hair grew back , on Her belly . She will be 12 years old , May 1st , but , thinks She’s 1 year old .

    p.s. I also give Her , a little of what-ever meat , I am having , cut-up , and , put over Her dry food .

    Thanks , for all Your great info , in Your newsletters .

    Rick

  7. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Rick,

    I certainly remember hearing from you previously, but I don’t remember you telling me about trying 22 brands of food before discovering the allergy to corn. That must have been an awful time for Misty, and you.

    I’m so glad you’ve now found a great food that’s working for Misty. It sounds as if you’re doing all the right things for her.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  8. madeline v

    Organix dog food (and cat food both by Castor and Pollux) is an excellent option and worth looking into. I’ve tried Fllint River Ranch and Life’s Abundance and have to say this is better than both. My dogs stools are firmer; one of my dogs no longer throws up during car rides, and my Persian cat never throws up after eating– always used to if I gave him more than a small handful.
    Please consider this as a recommendation and not push others as they also try to make a sale.
    Both my Cavaliers are also on Vitalmix vitamins as well.

  9. mj

    Prema Auset
    You have to tell the owner of the dog what you did and let them decide what to do. You should pay for the vet visit as it is your fault the dog went into seizures. I can’t belive you would not tell the owner. Are you a vet? Were you asked to help? You should be locked up! Pluse $100 is not a lot for a emergency visit I’ve payed more for my dog. It’s nothing compared to piece of mind.

  10. Tania

    I found this site and it’s pretty good, sold me on raw food anyway I didn’t realize how unnatural eating pre packaged foods was, I guess it’s common sense really, wolves didn’t exactly buy from the store. Even if your dog is a chihuahua I’m sure it’s better to feed raw?

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