Discover how to nurture your pet dog or cat's health and well-being, naturally. With posts from resident Earth-Doggy Miyuki, Miss Purrrfect Monique, and Holistic Vet Dr Renee, along with adventures in living a natural green life.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Homemade Dog Food - The Green Wolf's Natural Diet
Sunshiney greetings today from Dr Renee, your online Holistic Vet!Today I am inspired by Miyuki to write this post on the physical and mental benefits of providing your pet with a natural diet.
I was watching our Earth Doggy guard our chickens this morning; one of her favourite activities as it means she can opportunistically scavenge in the chook pen for scraps, poo, and all things delightful (at least to a canine, and, as it turns out, a toddling human baby!).It appears that one of the benefits of providing your pet (and your human family members...) with a homemade diet true to their natural make-up is a strong gut and robust immune system that is resistant to pathogens and disease.
Our healthy chooks foraging for their daily greens.
If you were to put a small child in a room with a banana and a bunny, it is likely they would eat the banana and play with the bunny.If you were to do the same with a cat or dog, I can guarantee they would make a very different choice.Our pet dogs and cats are instinctively carnivores.They need animal tissues, including meat, organs and bones, in their diet in order to thrive.
Raw meaty bones for a healthy pet.
A dog in the wild would likely keep a "food diary" that reads like this:
Monday – Feeling energetic today, might go hunt down some prey.Ooh, that’s a tasty deer, I’ll go round up the pack and hunt him down.Stalk, target, run, chase, catch, success!Yum, tasty innards, wow, yummy digested grass and stuff in the tummy, mmmm, a bit of spleen and liver, okay, full now, let’s cache this and come back tomorrow.
Tuesday – Woohoo, still have yummy deer to eat today, mmmm, scrape some meat off his bones, yum, kidneys, oooh and a little bit of fat.Woah, full again, need a drink, will come back tomorrow to finish him off.
Wednesday – Yay! Still have deer to eat.Ooh, raw, meaty bones to chew, yum, yum, yum, oh and some tendons and a bit of sinew, soooo good, I’m in heaven. And my teeth feel so clean!
Friday – Argh, finished that deer off yesterday, what to eat today?Oh look, a bird’s nest, yum, I love raw eggs, and look, some berries on the ground over here, might snavel them up before anyone else finds them, oooh, and some horse poo, yippee!!
Saturday – Slim pickings today, oh hang on, just spotted a little bird, might chase him down and eat him, stalk, target, run, chase, catch, success!Yummy, quail!So gourmet, not so keen on all those feathers though.
Sunday – Not much around today, feeling a bit lazy, might just chew a bit of grass then lie down here and have a little rest.Mmmm, gentle breeze, warm sunshine, comfy grass, ahhhhh, bliss.
Miyuki and her old friend Chevi basking in the Winter sunshine.
Dogs, if left to their own devices, naturally eat quite a varied diet, consisting of raw animal flesh, raw meaty bones, some plant matter (mostly in the form of the stomach contents of their prey), and some scavenged or foraged fresh or decaying animal or plant material.What's more, the actual act of hunting prey and devouring the catch provides much mental and physical activity that is lacking in the modern dog’s dietary habits.Now the question is how do we mimic this for the modern urban dog?How can we simply and practically provide our pets with a fresh, natural diet, that provides mental stimulation as well as physical nourishment, without sending them out to hunt down their own rabbits?
Miyuki & Chevi sniffing out rabbit trails at the back of our local sand dunes.
The answer is quite simple – look to Mother Nature.Provide your pet with raw animal flesh, including organ meats, raw bones, and some plant matter presented in a ‘pre-digested’ form, ie. pulped or blended.
Miyuki's blended vegie ration.
If possible let them scavenge and forage in the garden/compost heap/chicken pen and great outdoors for fresh grasses, rotting berries, and the occasional meal of horse poo, or provide pots of fresh grasses and herbs around the home.And rather than serving your pet's meal neatly in a bowl everyday, make use of feeding toys like Kongs or the West Paw Tux and Nina Ottosson puzzle toys, and food foraging games, to make the procurement of food more challenging and exciting.
What's more, there are a few differences in feeding pet dogs and pet cats, as their nutritional requirements and preferences do differ slightly.Miss Monique has been harassing me trying to sit on my laptop whilst typing this, so I think she is suggesting she may write a post on Natural Feline Diets, including her suggestions for Homemade Cat Food soon...
Monique with the catch of the day.
I strongly believe that for optimal health every species should follow their natural diet, that is, the diet Mother Nature intended that species to eat, or as close as possible to that.In an urban situation, it is rather unpractical to allow your cat to prey on mice and small birds for their daily ration, or to send your canine friend out to hunt for rabbits.We can, however, mimic their natural diet in order to provide them with the essential building blocks they need to live a long, healthy life.This is one of our many responsibilities as pet guardians.
Another one of our responsibities (cleaning up poop!) is much easier on a raw diet!
If you would like more information on formulating a natural diet for your dog or cat, or how to make feeding time more interesting for your pet, please visit me over at Roar Kingdom - your online holistic veterinary service.