To ensure the best nutrition for your dog, put him on a raw dog food diet. In this diet, food is fed in its natural state, allowing it to provide the correct nutrients your dog needs. It is a great diet for growing dogs (puppies) and dogs that need to maintain good health (adult dogs, pregnant dogs, older dogs, dogs with diseases.) When fed in proper portions, raw food will give your dog the best diet it could possibly have. This means it will be healthier for longer.
So why does this matter to me as a trainer? Because diet has a huge effect on behavior! Just like with people, if you fill a dog up on preservatives, colorings and additives it can lead to anxiety, hyperactive behavior and even aggression.
That is why diet matters to me both for myself and for my dogs.
A raw dog food diet which contains the proper nutrients for your dog should be comprised of raw meats, raw meaty bones, vegetables, and fruit. Raw meats provide protein, which is important for a dog’s health and immune system. Raw meaty bones, on the other hand, provide calcium and phosphorous, which growing dogs need to help their bones develop and pregnant dogs need in order to help their developing pups build strong bones.
The nutrients and vitamins your dog derives from vegetables include Vitamins A, B, C, and K. These vitamins help your dog’s sensory organs – eye sight is one example. Apart from this, however, a raw dog food diet which contains vegetables helps your dog digestion by providing it with lots of fiber.
Fiber helps clean out your dog’s system by ensuring regular bowel movement. This is good because toxins are flushed out of your dog’s body regularly, and it also prepares your dog’s system for optimal digestion of the future foods it will ingest.
Two other foods that you should include in your raw dog food diet are fruit and liver. Fruit pumps your dog with lots of vitamin C which will help keep their immune system up. They also contain anti-oxidants, which will help your dog fight off free radicals which can cause cancer and aging. Berries are particularly good sources of anti-oxidants.
Liver, on the other hand, gives your dog essential nutrients like iron, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin B12, all of which your dog needs to maintain its strength, and keep it’s body lean.
The raw dog food diet provides your dog with all the vitamins and minerals it needs at each stage of life. In fact, when fed in the right proportions, you won’t need to give your dogs vitamin supplements.
But how do you determine how much of each type of food to feed your dog? How can you tell if your dog is indeed getting all the nutrients it needs? Are there signs that can confirm if your dog is thriving on a raw food diet?
Well if you want a full guide to get you through the learning phase of how to feed raw correctly, I recommend the book, Give Your Dog A Bone by Dr Ian Billinghurst. Find a complete list of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs, and learn how to spot deficiencies. This book also discusses the dog food pyramid, and tells you how much of each type of food to meet the various needs of growing and grown puppies, as well as big dogs and small dogs alike.