The dog in your house is a direct relative of the wolves and other wild dogs. Their nutrition is of up most importance and believe it or not, the bags of food you see in the store are not always the best. Dogs need a balanced diet and many people believe that the only way to give them that is with a good, healthy raw diet. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or the BARF diet, is designed to feed your pet with the up most care and thought taken. If fed correctly, advocates say that this diet will maximize your pet’s health and lifespan. This diet, according to a large number of users, can provide your dog with everything they need in a far more natural way. Users claim that their pet’s allergies quickly begin to subside, their coat looks magnificent, and recurring ear infections all but disappear. The idea behind the raw diet, is to provide dogs with their natural diet, or the things they would eat in the wild. This does not mean to merely feed your dog big chunks of raw meat. Other elements are required for the diet to be truly healthy and balanced.
Where is the protein in a dry diet? I know that many people think by switching to wet food that you get the protein because you can see it. Still not always the case, and wet foods can cause all sorts of teeth issues. So, what proteins do you need for the raw diet? The best protein is a raw meat bone from any animal. Butchers and the meat departments of stores usually have these in abundance. Some farmers who sell meat online or at markets will even have a special deal on the pet bones. If you have a puppy, you will need to make sure that the bones are ground up. Chicken is the best source of meat for health, so make sure that over half of your protein comes from chicken. Furthermore, make sure that when your dog is eating the meat bones, you are present. Protein can also come from raw eggs, and use the shell to let them crunch and clean their teeth. Many BARF diets will tell you that your protein percentages should be closely monitored. You need about a bare minimum of 5%, and a maximum of 20% to be from organ meat. This includes liver, gizzards, heart, and kidney. These meats are very healthy and contain the fats that your dog will need. The rest of the fat your dog needs will come from the skin from the meat, or with the addition of other oils in the recipe. Finally, the rest of the protein comes from the muscle meats. The meat needs to be fresh from the market or frozen. This prevents any bacteria from coming in contact with it and becoming toxic to your dog.
Only twenty to forty percent of your dog’s diet should be from fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables provide the vitamins the dog needs. There are a few fruits and vegetables that you should not use, as they can be harmful to dogs. Those are grapes, raisins, onions, high doses of garlic, raw potatoes, and the pits of fruits. Good options for fruits and vegetables include peas, carrots, celery, squash, bananas, and even apples. There are a lot more but those are the most common.
The internet is the best place to find a variety of recipes. When searching for recipes, please ensure you choose a reputable source. It may also be worth consulting with your vet before commencing the raw diet. Remember that all dogs are unique and different tastes. Just as you do not like eating the same foods, your dog does not either. A lot of people will tell you that changing your dog’s diet should be done gradually. This is true for pre-packaged foods, but not the raw diet. Your dog greatly benefits from having different meals and ingredients. Each vegetable and protein source offers unique benefits and vitamins. If your dog has not been on a raw diet, it is best to slowly switch over because the taste may be different from what they are used to. Start with a recipe that calls for raw ground meat, eggs with the shells, pureed vegetables, and yogurt. Yogurt is a great dairy to add in due to the probiotics in it. Once they seem okay with this mixture, you can make it in bulk, and then add in your meat bones for the rest of the protein requirements.
One huge benefit of using pre-packaged foods is the fact they have the serving size on the bag. Did you know that many dogs are overfed, though, due to those feeding requirements? Obesity is one of the biggest health risks for dogs. Knowing your dog’s weight is very important, from knowing medication dosage to feeding needs. When your dog is a puppy, he or she will be weighed every time they go in for their vaccinations. After your dog becomes an adult, they go in once a year for annual boosters, and a health check. The vet will weigh your dog, and you can ask for that weight. When feeding your dog, you want only two to three percent of their weight for their feeding portion. Your vet will be able to give you a precise feeding guide.
Preparing your own dog’s food can easily take quite a bit of your day. This is not a big deal if you have nothing else to do, but for most, that is not a real option. Use frozen vegetables and fruits that are pre-cut. Make meals in a large batch and freeze individual servings. Use your slow cooker, if you choose to make your own dog food, but not the raw diet, prep it, and leave it! If you need to cut costs, work deals with your butchers or farmers. Buy in bulk and shop in the sales. Meat, vegetables, and fruits can easily be frozen. Then you can add in the perishables, such as cottage cheese or eggs before serving.
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