I’m an advocate of optimal nutrition for dogs. Because I am a trainer and work with dogs, hands on, everyday, I can tell you that nutrition directly effects behavior.
When I have to peel a dog off of my head, and then find out they are on some kibble that is high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, well we tend to talk about nutrition and appropriate food for a dog before we start working on behaviors.
You can’t work with an emotionally unstable animal, that has to be balanced first. Emotional stability has many components, nutrition is one of them.
Try eating corn dogs and cotton candy for six weeks straight, and then let’s talk about how you feel. Let’s talk about how others enjoy being around you. Let’s talk about your attitude in general. Lets talk about your ability to focus and concentrate. My guess is, our conversation won’t be roses. Just a hunch.
Some commercial kibbles are worth using, most commercial kibbles are not. You really have to read, stay current, and ask questions. Just for your own edification, here is the HISTORY of commercial dog food.
Commercial dog food companies have some of the best marketing and advertising firms behind them. Their strategies are awesome, and as a business person I applaud them. BUT, it does not mean what they are selling is appropriate for your dog, or even mildly healthy. That is a fact.
I started to feed a raw diet to my dogs in 2002. We started with commercial raw, then moved to carcass feeding and some commercial raw. Now we do a true rotation diet. Carcass and raw meaty bones a few times a week, some mixed ground meat with offal, organ meats, some ground bone, and a little veggie/fruit. And then sometimes whatever we are eating if it doesn’t have a lot of spice in it, and a commercial raw freeze dried complete meal on super busy days. After all of these years I have gotten to a point where it is fairly intuitive what my dogs need on a given day, so it doesn’t feel as big of a thing as it did in the beginning. It’s a process like literally everything else, and for me, I believe worth it.
What takes most people by surprise is HOW LONG it takes to feed. If you’re use to watching a dog gulp down a bowl of kibble in seconds, then raw feeding might seem like an eternity. A dog has to negotiate the carcass part, and work through the meat, fat, tendons, cartilage, and bone. During this process they work all of their teeth for their intended purpose. It’s slow and beautiful to watch. Raw Meaty Bones is a book worth reading!
GUIDELINE – adjust as needed, this is only a guide – make sure their food is balanced
PUPPIES 4-9 weeks – 3-5 small meals a day – this is the supplement, mamas milk is the real nutrition
PUPPIES 9 weeks – 8 months or so – 10% of their body weight in raw a day
ADOLESCENTS to YOUNG ADULT – 3-5% of their body weight in raw a day
ADULT 3-6ish years – 1.5 – 3% of their body weight in raw a day
SENIORS – 1-2% of their body weight in raw a day
Nancy, happy feeding!