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A little more on feeding .....

The more informed you have, the better choices you will be able to make for your dog.

Development of the Commercial Pet Food Industry:

Historically, dogs were fed meat, bones, offal and table scraps. During the "Depression" when people were forced to eat these foods themselves; they began to feed their dogs: stock, grain, blood and bone. This led to the development of processed pet food that was mainly cereal based, cooked at very high temperatures with colourants, preservatives and vitamins added.

Public perception of pet food changed, as manufacturers advertised their products, sponsored nutritional lectures for training vets and gave good profit margins to vets who carried their food.

The convenience of feeding commercial products is difficult to beat. The "fast food" industry for dogs has lead to a crisis of diet related health issues, however.

Nutritional Benefits of Liver:

Liver contains more nutrients than any other food. This is why we recommend it eventually form 10% of your dog’s diet. As it is a very “rich” food, it does need to be introduced slowly.

It provides:

* An excellent source of high quality protein.

* Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A (retinol).

* All the B vitamins in abundance (particularly B1, B2, B3, B5 and B12).

* One of the best sources of folate.

* Contains vitamins C, D, E and K in substantial quantities.

* A highly usable form of iron.

* Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium, manganese, selenium (best source of copper).

* The essential fatty acids: both the omega-3 and omega-6 type

* Coenzyme Q10, which is especially important for cardiovascular function.

* A good source of purines - nitrogen containing compounds that serve as precursors of DNA & RNA.

* An unidentified anti-fatigue factor.

Nutritional Benefits of Kidney:

It supplies:

* Good Quality protein.

* Essential fatty acids.

* Many vitamins including the B vitamins, fat soluble: A, D, E and K.

* A rich source of iron and zinc.

Nutritional Benefits of Heart:

It provides:

* An excellent source of protein.

* A good source of B vitamins and some vitamin A.

* Essential fatty acids (must be obtained from the diet), including taurine (helps prevent eye and heart disorders).

Bones and Raw Food (Meat, Fruit, Vegetables) Vs Kibble (Commercial Dry Food):

The only real advantage of kibble is that it easy to serve and does not easily decompose.

* Raw feeding promotes pearly white teeth, healthy gums and sweet breath (no tooth decay, or periodontal disease, therefore no infection on the gums and no bacteria swallowed with every gulp of saliva, this in turns leads to…… reduced chances of heart, kidney and liver disease.)As there is no amylase in dog’s saliva (it commences the digestion of starches) the leftovers of kibble remain on dogs teeth. On not cleaned teeth tartar appears, gum illnesses develop and it opens the way for bacteria which can infect the whole dog. Meat and bones give no leftovers and additionally, eating bones helps the dog to clean its teeth.

* The main ingredient of many kibbles are grains (vegetables are becoming more common) . Proteins from animal sources are 5 times better assimilated by dogs than proteins from plant sources. (Irrespective of whether the plant source is grain or vegetables.)

*Kibble thus also contains carbohydrates unnecessary for the dog. Their digestive system is not designed to breakdown starches. The process of digesting them overloads intestines and raises blood pressure.

* Raw meat consists of about 60% water, kibble does not have any. This means that dogs fed kibble drink more water. This free water dilutes stomach enzymes.

* It also means that to feel full, the dog would have to eat much more than it really needs. With raw food the dog will actually feel full.

* Natural food is almost completely assimilated, so the faeces are smaller than in the case where a dog eats kibble. Raw food faeces are more natural and firm, cleaning the dog’s anal glands; which leaves a nicer smelling dog. The faeces decompose outside in about 2 days (variable with seasonal & weather conditions).

* Every dog has a natural need to tear, bite and tug. When a dog eats bones and meat it can fulfil this need. If not, it will often still fulfil this need at the owner’s expense (chewing the sofa etc).

* The dog that eats meat has a low stomach pH (acidic). This means the dog can drink water from a puddle or eat bad meat, as it’s stomach can handle the bacteria that may be present. The dog that eats kibble does not have such an ability.

* When gnawing bones, a dog’s nose and brain are stimulated. Kibble does not stimulate the dog.

* Although there is a label of ingredients on a kibble bag, the owner can’t control what is in the bag. Feeding raw and meaty bones allows complete control over the dog’s diet.

* Feeding bones and raw food has also been shown to lead to: strong skin pigmentation, healthy coat and skin, less allergies, healthy pancreas and kidneys, less metabolic problems, better immunity, higher energy levels, better concentration with commands, less aggressive and fearful behaviours (meat contains tryptophan - well known for its role in the production of nervous messengers, especially those related to relaxation, restfulness and sleep).

* A raw diet can be cheaper if you buy wisely and may greatly reduce vet bills.

Feeding and Behaviour:

When we are hungry we are easily irritated, excited and nervous. After a meal, when considerable energy from the body is focusing on digestion, you are more relaxed and satisfied. It is similar for dogs. Dogs who eat kibble seldom have a full stomach and can be more excited and overactive.

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