What are Dogs Designed to Eat?
Dr. Ian Billinghurst, B.V.Sc.(Hons), BSc.Agr., Dip.Ed.
“There are many reasons why the commercial pet foods have never been close to a dog’s natural diet. Those reasons include the fact that they are based on grain, and that they are cooked.”
DID YOU KNOW THAT…?
Our canine companions have been eating a raw food diet – naturally & instinctively – for thousands of years.
Commercial pet food companies have only been around for about 60 years.
Many of today’s diseases surfaced since the advent of the processed, grain-based commercial pet foods.
What are Dogs Designed to Eat?
In 1993 dogs & wolves were officially designated as the same species: canis lupus. Their gastrointestinal systems are identical – uniquely designed to digest entire prey – bones & all!
Their stomach environment is acidic (pH1) – able to dissolve raw meat & bones, and to deal with food-borne bacteria that would overwhelm a human whose stomach is alkaline (pH4).
Digestion begins in the stomach (carnivores’ mouths have no digestive enzymes or “grinding’ teeth). Grains (rice, corn, etc.) and carbs (potato, etc.) are considered ‘foreign objects’ by the body, and are not readily assimilated. Fats (not grains) are your dog’s natural energy source.
Their intestiminal tract is much shorter than a human’s. Digestion of the raw food takes place quickly (4-5 hours) – thus avoiding putrefaction. (Cooked, grain-based food can take up to 15 hours to digest!).
Anatomically, their teeth and jaws are built to pierce and rip (skin/flesh) and crush/shear (bone). Being stalkers of prey, their eyes are set toward the front of the skull (typical of carnivores) rather than at the sides (like their herbivore prey).
For over 16 years now, we have been successfully feeding a whole, raw food diet to our cat, our dogs, and 1000′s (the numbers continue to grow) of healthy, satisfied cats and dogs. The health benefits are truly amazing! Many vets now agree!
Switching to Raw
Most dogs make the change from canned/dry foods to the raw prey diet with eagerness & ease. Dogs who have been ‘kibble’-fed most of their lives, or dogs with ‘easily upset’ stomachs often benefit from having the raw food introduced gradually. Raw tripe is good transition meat – 99.9% of dogs LOVE the taste & SMELL! It contains ‘friendly’ herbivore bacteria & enzymes that aid digestion & help clean teeth.
APPROXIMATE FOOD RATIOS
(when in doubt, think ‘prey’ proportions)
• muscle meat 65-75% including the flesh, skin, fat, connective tissues
• veggies (crushed/juiced) 1-25% (Some feed raw green tripe – stomach – instead)
• organs (heart, liver, spleen, lung etc.) 5-10%
• bones include approx. 10-15% consumable bone – necks/carcass – to balance the phosphorus in the meats. For tooth-cleaning and gum massage: include some large meaty knuckles
Once your pet is switched over completely, it’s important to introduce a variety of foods. For example, in a typical week you might feed: 1-2 days Tripe; 3-4 days of chicken with bone (or other white meats); 1-2 days of red meats. In addition to these proteins, you may also add crushed veggies, oils, & supplements, and BONES (recreation and/or necks or carcasses.)
THIS IS A ‘START CHART’
- Once you are feeling an all-raw diet, you can adjust these amounts to suit your dog’s level of activity and needs.
- You should be able to “feel” but not “see” your dog’s ribs. Ask us to show you the “rib test”.
- PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR DOG GET OVERWEIGHT.
This feeding chart is a rough guideline for an active adult dog at 2.5% of weight calculations.*
Puppies: 5-10% (depending on breed/size) of their body weight/day. Feed 3 x’s a day.
Adults: 2-3% of their body weight/day. Feed once a day.
*NOTE: SOME DOGS HAVE PROBLEMS WITH HIGH PURINE DIETS (DALMATIONS, ETC.) ASK US.
Feeding a Raw Prey Diet: Some of the Benefits
• Your pet will have fresher breath, cleaner teeth, less stool, no ‘doggy odour’. Raw Fed Dogs Don’t ‘Stink’!
• Puppies: steady growth rates – no quick ‘spurts’. Excellent jaw/neck/shoulder development (raw bone chewing)
• No more hot spots, fleas, ear infections, or flaky skin. Reduced arthritic symptoms. Increased energy.
• Boosted immune system – increased health can lead to lowered (or no) vet bills!
• Feed Raw… as Nature Intended. Your dog will LOVE you for it.