Think about this: When dogs ran wild -and still do, in the form of foxes and wolves- there was nobody to open cans for them. No neatly packaged kibbles, no biscuits. When canines are hungry they search for meat. Raw meat. Dogs are designed to eat a raw diet, with their tearing teeth and specialized digestive system. In zoos, where experts provide the diet for captive canines, the animals are served raw food made to replicate what they would eat in the wild. And for good reason– many professional animal handlers agree that a raw diet is best for dogs, even domestic ones. So how can we go about feeding Fido an optimum diet, short of throwing fresh steaks into his bowl?
Start with meat. Good red beef, chopped or ground– it doesn’t have to be the leanest cut, as dogs need some fat in their diet every day. Meat alone provides plenty of protein but not a complete serving of vitamins, so it’s a good idea to add a selection of slightly-steamed veggies. Some veggies, such as carrots, may be used raw if they are finely grated. Fresh peas are a treat that many dogs love. You may occasionally add a raw egg to the mixture. If fleas are a concern, stir in some brewer’s yeast which is a surprisingly effective repellent when eaten– it makes your dog’s skin smell offensive to fleas and ticks.
Good meats to serve raw are beef and lamb. Never serve your pet raw pork or chicken, though, as these are quite prone to bacteria. Only make enough raw food for one to three days at a time and keep the unused portions in the fridge where they will remain clean and safe. Most dogs do not appreciate cold food, so let it come to room temperature before serving.
If you’ve been feeding your dog commercially prepared, canned food it may take a while for him to adjust to the new diet. If this is the case, try weaning him off the canned stuff by only offering the new raw food and only when he is very hungry. Chances are good that your pooch will love raw food from bite one, however. The benefits to a raw food diet for your dog will be evident shortly as you observe your pet’s increasing energy and bright eyes. It also feels good to know exactly what your dog is dining on– and always add that ‘secret ingredient’, love.
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