By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer
By now you should know that feeding kibbles to dogs is not a healthy choice. There are better choices that you can make to provide a healthier and more nutritional diet for your dog.
You may ask the following questions:
- Why is my dog’s diet so important?
- Why do I have to consider any changes in my dog’s diet?
- What is the point of making any changes to my dog’s diet?
- Isn’t it complicated?
- Would it cost more?
- Do I have to spend extra time on my dog’s food preparation?
The reality is with some simple education you will be able to make this change and know what you are doing and why.
Your dog’s diet should be important because your dog relies on you for everything in his life including his diet. He depends on you to provide a diet that he deserves. No one can make that choice and provide for your dog other than you. You have made a choice of bringing him to your life, not him. He has no choice but to comply with your decisions. Your dog needs to eat a food that nature had it planned for him. He depends on that natural food to survive and live a better life.
This subject should matter to you because by learning this part of your dog’s life not only you will understand about diet in general but it will make you a better and healthier human being that can make a big difference in yours, you family and your dog’s life. By educating yourself about general diet you are able to make healthier choices in life.
You need to understand and accept this simple fact that your dog is an animal and a carnivore. Animal’s diet is somewhat different than a human diet. They cannot be fed human food or even processed food. It simply does not sit well with your dog’s digestive system.
By making some changes in understanding what you need to feed your dog and the way you provide that food to your dog, you will not only keep him healthier and happier, you can make him balanced mentally and physically when it comes to his life.
If you are worried about the cost, you need not to worry. Mainly because not only you will not get your dog sick anymore where you will save money on vet visits but your dog will not have to go through feeling ill and stress again, which you cannot put a price on that.
The new diet is not complicated as long as it makes sense to you and as I have said before, yes, the new form of your dog’s diet is more time consuming than just opening a bag of kibble, but your dog is for sure worth that extra time it takes to keep him healthy and happy.
So, let’s get started on simple understanding of your dog’s diet.
All animals depend on different diets to stay alive and healthy. Sharks for instance, depend on anything that they can catch but their main diet is fish. Lion’s eat meat. Birds eat bugs. Cows are grass eaters but, do you realize that cows are domesticated animal like dogs are? Some of the foods that humans eat today, like grains, corns, rice and dairies are human made for human consumption and not for animal diet and were discovered with the help of domesticated animals.
Domesticated animals including dogs do not have a diet like wild animals do either. Domesticated animals diet has changed radically throughout centuries. Therefore today, dogs need to have a different diet system which kibble does not provide, no matter how much the food companies try to add ingredients to it, simply because the method is wrong and it is not what the nature has intended.
The fact is every species and every type of animal has a different diet. Dog’s diet is a simple as their own being. Kibble at some point made sense but as it became profitable, it grew even larger and the companies learned that not only they can train the dogs but their owners to buy their cheap to produce, un-healthy product as long as dogs were surviving and not dying rapidly or as long as it was not reported as such.
Dogs need to eat a balanced, natural, un-processed diet which in reality the kibble does not provide. A balanced diet for a dog is simple which contains; water, protein in form of unprocessed, natural meat, fresh green vegetables and supplements like oils, vitamins and minerals. Simple. That is it.
This is an easier formula than what you may have read on the label of your dog’s kibble bag or what you have been informed. Why is it so simple? Because you are comparing it to a human diet or because you thought the formulas, ingredients and directions of a bag of food are made of science. That is the point of the big food companies. They make it complicated so dog owners have to believe and trust them blindly where in reality the ingredients and the formulas of each bag of food are almost the same and there is no real magic to it because after all it is processed.
So the first thing you need to learn is fresh. The meat and the vegetables need to be fresh and contain natural juices and moistures unlike dog kibble which are super dry and lacking any moisture. Fresh supplements mean adding the supplements in room temperature and in the last minute of serving the food when it is more beneficial for the body to make use of them. Fresh means not processed with kibble or any additives, preservatives, hormones and colours.
Here is the simple formula of a dog diet:
Protein + vegetables + Supplements = Healthy, balanced diet for dogs
This formula is somewhat different for puppies because puppies need carbs. So, here is the formula for the puppies:
Protein + vegetables + carb + Supplements = Healthy, balanced diet for puppies
So, here is a breakdown on the ingredients that your dog needs to take in.
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is an organic compound otherwise known as the building blocks of life. Protein is stored in muscles and organs, and the body utilizes it to build and repair tissues, as well as for the production of enzymes and hormones.
Protein also makes it possible for blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient”, meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it.
A lack of protein can cause loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, as well as weakening of the heart and respiratory system.
Your dog will benefit if it gets different varieties of proteins.
It is suggested for a dog to be provided with green, leafy vegetables. Benefits of green vegetable for dogs are:
- Helps with digestion
- Is antioxidants
- Vegetables contain vitamins, carbohydrates and are rich in fiber.
- Leafy greens that contain beta-carotene, such as collard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard, contribute to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues.
Starch and Carbohydrate:
Starch is considered not essential for a healthy canine diet. Dogs don’t have grain requirements in their diet like: corn, wheat, barley, soy, rice. Starch is not species appropriate ingredient.
Dogs simply don’t need any starchy ingredients — at all. It is hard on dog’s kidney and liver to process.
But also carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs, especially vegetable source carbs. in reasonable amounts, they can actually provide a practical source of energy especially for puppies.
Too much carbs can create inflammation in dog’s body. Yet surprisingly, “bad carbs” like corn, wheat, barley, soy and rice represent the dominant ingredient found in most dry dog foods (kibbles).
There are few supplements that you need to add and some you can add to your dog’s diet depending on the need or age. These supplements can include: omega 3’s, vitamins, Minerals and probiotics.
The supplements can help your dog to get adequate amounts of essential nutrients and are also beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. They also can help to boost energy, lose or manage weight, improve performance and many others.
That’s about it. There is just one other simple things that you need to know which you’ll learn. You may need to add some carbs in your puppy’s diet as they need to grow and put on weight or even adults who need to put on some weight.
Most holistic vets will suggest feeding your dog either raw diet or cooked diet. We have chosen and also suggest cooked diet. We and many of our clients who have followed this diet have been very successful with the results.
Personally, our dog Jonah, had food allergy when he was young and conventional vets had suggested us to try expensive prescription vet foods (kibble & can) rather than finding out the real source of the problem while Jonah was struggling and was in a major stress. He used to lick himself, chew his body, scratch and had diarrhea at all times. This made us to want to learn more about dog diet so we could help Jonah.
After meeting with several vets from holistic fields we learned that his allergy not only had to do with what protein he was on but also what kind of diet his body was taking in. We were feeding him commercial, processed, full of chemicals, un-natural, full of preservatives, garbage food. His body had no choice but to refuse it.
We understood one simple concept. You are what you eat. We had to give him clean, balanced food so his body would not only react, but heal itself and restore all the damage that was done by bad diet. Remember, he was brought up and raised by garbage food so his body was reacting to all the junk that was taking in. In his case his body was giving lots of warnings (licking, scratching…), but in most cases dogs don’t show in that obvious ways.
Most of the times dogs have bad, unhealthy, undigested, smelly, runny stool which dog owners feel is normal and it is OK for the dog to have a stool like that. The reality is it is not normal for a dog to be skinny, having bulky, unhealthy stools on a regular basis.
We are proud to say that right after we set Jonah on his new home cooked diet, not only he healed, but he also thrived. His energy level has increased in a healthy way. His food allergy issue is completely gone and is forgotten. He can eat everything and his body does not react to anything and if somehow, sometime he eats something un-healthy, his body has the ability to heal and take care of it.
We highly recommend this diet to all dogs that are on kibble. Your dog may be surviving but he needs to be thriving.
For more information we are also posting the following videos to help you learn even more.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.jonahsark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saro-boghozian.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]