The key to creating wellness in your dog is to offer a feeding regime with variety and utilizing seasonal fresh produce as the cycles and vibrations of Mother Nature intended. In the wild a pack of dogs either migrate with their preferred food source or they remained within their territory and fed upon different species and therefore had a diversity of nutrients in their diet. When you use seasonal veggies in your Dog's meals you are optimizing their health as you would your own, because seasonal produce is at it's best in it's intended natural season cycle. We are lucky that we have a Butcher's market place that we can purchase a variety of fresh, good quality meat products to offer the diversity of eating habits a dog would experience in the wild. As dog's don't hunt their own meals down in a humanized lifestyle, a smart feeding regime of reduced fat and calorie meals accompanied by exercise, are necessary for good health, or an array of health problems may arise. Doggie-licious supports hormone, chemical and cruelty free human grade produce where available for your dog's meals and we have found that if their meal portions are reasonable for the size of your dog, exercise pattern, optimum individual weight, and guidance from your Veterinarian of your dog's personal requirements, in our own experiences this healthy eating routine still puts change in your back pocket at the end of the week. And after establishing a feeding routine for your dog/s you'll find that preparing your dogs raw meal is actually more convenient than buying commercial foods that are marketed towards our busy lifestyles and ultimately the 'back pocket' of the commercial food company as there is very little nutrition being provided for you dog, and in the long term creating medical problems that could have been avoided. In our opinion once you start a new raw feeding regime and you see the results in your companion's overall condition, stamina, and happiness in life and persistence to let you know "It's Dinner Time", it will inspire and empower you to keep up the good work. Hey, you just might experience some amazing changes in your dog's wellbeing or any ailments which have begun to creep into their lives which you previously had put down to average age or just not recognizing the changes until change was made. Just remember to use dog safe ingredients and if you suspect any sensitivities or specific allergies talk to your Vet about your dog's specific, individual needs. Check ingredients labels, we still check the ingredients labels of even the simplest things like oats for example, to make sure it's 100% oats! If you see an additive investigate what it is so you inform yourself about what goes into your little mate.
Carrots can be fed raw to keep your dog busy during the day or lightly steamed, either can also be chopped in the food processor to mix as part of the meal.
Peeled Sweet Potato lightly steamed and chopped in the processor.
Green Beans Fresh and in season from your local grower or from your own veggie garden is our most favorite way to feed fresh greens to our doggies, you can also grow them in planters if your restricted with space, some dogs do like to pick their own beans though when your not home to help them, so just keep this in mind when you fence your veggie patch or choose the planter pot size. Frozen are convenient, thaw as needed, and both ways fresh or frozen can be chopped in your processor and added to their meals.
Pumpkin our favorite way to add pumpkin to the meal is to steam then mash or puree, there is no need to add milk or butter as some dogs are lactose intolerant and it's also high in calories
As for adding these veggie suggestions to your Dog's meals, you can try adding them individually and gradually, or you can mix a combination together and feed mixed through the meal, in our home we found that out of our four doggies, Jordan and Lucy had no hesitation from word go, and of the two terriers, BJ has always loved eating fruit and veggies, Buddy gave me puppy dog eyes once or twice, then never looked back. All our dogs would have no hesitation to eat a bowl of blitzed veggies that they are given, and Lucy in particular has been known to help Leanne mow down the baby lettuce or snow peas in the fenced veggie patch while we are off baking your fresh bickies. lol.
Puppy Porridge with Fruit & Yogurt
(makes medium size Dog portion)
Ingredients: 1/3 cup rolled oats 1/2 an apple diced & seeds removed small spoon of natural yogurt 1 cup water
Method: Place oats and water in a small saucepan, bring to a gentle boil stirring regularly as you turn it down and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly and absords and reduces. Allow to cool, stir through diced, seeded apple, pour into your Doggies' bowl and add small spoon of yogurt on top.
Please Note: When fed raw, oats are best soaked for 24 hrs for water absorbtion this opens up the grain for better digestion, alternatively allow them to simmer and absorb the water you added so they don't swell in your Dog's tummy. (We find quick oats the best)
Please Note: yogurt you buy can produce gas in some animals, and mixed with fruit can also have this effect. To reduce this you may prefer to make your own yogurt at home. If you do buy yoghurt be sure to purchase the pure yoghurt with no added sugars sweetened fruits etc.
Pure natural raw honey drizzled over porridge, contains the enzymes amylase and invertase aid the digestive process, and it acts as a wonderful tonic for a stressed dog. RAW honey is best, as it has been digested by the bee all its goodness can be easily digested by your doggie, honey that is NOT raw has usually been heated, killing off any nutritional value.
Fibre/ Fillers Rolled Oats
Rolled Oats are fantastic as an aid to weight management for your Dog, to add to their meal routine as they help to make their tummy feel full on a reduced portion size meal. They also help to regulate stools and your dog may go from small, hard, smelly stools to a soft but well formed stool as they are a good source of soluble fibre. Oats are also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. When fed raw, oats are best soaked for 24 hrs for water absorbtion before adding to their dinner, this opens up the grain for better digestion.
Grains/ Fibre Brown Rice
Brown Rice can be cooked in water or our favorite, adding it to a pot of poached chicken breast or thigh fillets so it may absorb and cook in the natural stock. Whether the chicken starts off as your dinner or their's, this way not only helps reduce water consumption, it's irresistible for them. Can also choose cooked beef or veggie stock. Doggie-licious supports Biodynamic brown rice.
What Meats Should I Feed: The following information has been sourced from VETS ALL NATURAL Dr Bruce Syme - please see www.vetsallnatural.com.au for additional information relating to meat choices for your dogs. Kangaroo - Nutritionally, kangaroo meat is superior to all the farmed meats. It is low in fat (3 - 4%), high in protein, and high in vitamins and minerals. Because kangaroo is not farmed, the meat is naturally free range, and organic. Kangaroos graze a very wide variety of pastures, wild grasses, shrubs and trees, and as a result of this variety, they have excellent health, and their meat has a wide array of macro and micro nutrients.
Lean Prime/ Human Grade Beef Mince - Nutritionally, beef can be quite good, if it is raised naturally on pasture. It has good amounts of protein, and can have quite high fat content (14%+), however if not pasture raised this fat level can be much higher in grain fed beef. Grain fed beef is primarily destined for human consumption, but concerns on its use as pet food relate back to the unnatural diet fed (high grain, little if any pasture), and the significant use of antibiotics in the grain ration (to prevent several illnesses that relate to the unnatural feeding style). It is also common practice in many countries, to use hormones and growth promoters to accelerate feed conversion efficiency and finishing.
Chicken - There is no doubt that wild chickens would be an ideal prey for both cats and dogs. A wild (organic) chicken would also provide excellent nutrition, as do their eggs. Nutritionally, chicken mince is highly questionable. It can be very high in fat (18%+), and even higher in pet minces, where additional skin and fat often makes up a proportion of the mix. Of greatest concern is the diets that these chickens are fed. The man made pellets and crumbles that the birds are raised on are geared to maximise growth rate, and meat yield, from breast and thigh cuts.
Lamb - Lamb shanks are a common choice for a good meaty bone. Nutritionally, lamb is very good. It does have high fat content, much like beef, but it is all pasture grown, under good conditions, and the meat is of high quality. Lamb is farmed much like beef, but can have a tendency to have higher residual chemical levels, due to the higher requirement for chemical drenching to control intestinal worms in young sheep. Lamb is very much an ideal prey animal for dogs, and this is evident from the large stock losses attributed to foxes and wild dogs.
Organ Meats - Liver, Kidney, Heart (offal) - Offal is the collective term used for organ meats, like liver, kidney, heart, lung etc. Offal is very rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and ideally, should make up about 20% of a dog or cats meat intake. As a general rule, offal meats should be purchased from your local butcher, and be HC grade, as the organs are often home to various parasites, and HC grade organ meats have had additional inspection processes applied to ensure they are free of parasites.
Rabbit - Rabbit would have to be one of the most suitable all round meat sources for both dogs and cats. Wild rabbit is very similar to kangaroo, in the sense that it is a free range, organic meat, low in fat, and high in nutritional value. It is an ideally suited prey source, and has historically been a favourite prey animal of both dogs and cats. Until recently, wild rabbit has been widely available in Australia, having bred into plague proportions in this country, and is considered vermin in agricultural circles (an introduced species that breeds prolifically, competes with both farm animals and native species, and is highly destructive to the natural habitat). However, the recent introduction of Calici virus has decimated the rabbit population, and supply of rabbit meat has largely been replaced with farmed rabbit, which unfortunately, falls victim to all the same problems as intensively farmed chickens and pigs (un-natural housing in cages, man made diets etc).
Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons). Vets All Natural P/L. Castlemaine, Victoria.
Other Great Ideas
Black Strap Molasses
High in nutrients and low in calories, just drizzle a little over your Dog's dinners a couple of times a week , don't be too heavy handed until they start licking the spoon.
Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. Make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. Boiled eggs are an easy way to cook in bulk to prepare the week in advance, and we love to add scrambled eggs or omeletes to our other prepared meal ideas.
The following references are just some good sites that explain why perhaps you should consider choosing organic where available and possible. We will continue to add good references as we find them. Enjoy reading :)