Raw Dog Food Diet

Many people believe that a raw dog food diet is unhealthy for their pet. What you choose to feed your pet is entirely up to you, so we’ll just list of few of the many benefits of a raw dog food diet and you can make up your own mind.

When dogs are fed a diet of raw foods, they usually build up a stronger immune system which allows them to recover more quickly from ailments and illnesses. Owners who have had their dogs on raw food diets for a while notice that their pets now have more energy when playing or exercising and their overall health and appearance improved in a very short time.

Changing to a raw dog food diet also means there is less risk of the dog being exposed to unhealthy ingredients in most manufactured dog foods. Raw food diets don’t contain artificial colorings, flavorings, meat “by-products”, or chemical preservatives.

A raw food diet is often considered healthier and safer than commercial dog foods which often lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to be healthy.

Most veterinarians we have spoken with agree that a raw food diet is good for a dog but they advise against completely changing your dog’s diet in one fell swoop. You should start by gradually introducing raw foods to your dog. In the beginning start by feeding your dog a smaller amount of commercially manufactured dog food, adding a little raw food mixed with it. Continue adding more raw food and less manufactured food every couple of days until the dog’s food is entirely comprised of the raw foods. This allows your dog to get used to the new diet without upsetting its system.

Don’t be frightened if you notice some changes in your dog’s appearance after switching to a raw dog food diet. This is normal and as your dog becomes adjusted to its new diet, it will begin to look and act healthier. In the beginning weeks you may see more shedding of hair, more wax buildup in the ears, possibly a slight skin rash, and often the dog will have loose, soft stools.

If these changes become extreme and continue for some time, you should consult your vet in case your dog has an allergy to something in its new food diet.

The key to changing to any raw dog food diet is balance. Your dog’s diet should include a tasty and healthy combination of meat along with fruits and vegetables. It isn’t wise to feed your dog only one type of food like raw beef.

We also recommend that you consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. If you’re not knowledgeable about what constitutes a healthy raw dog food diet, call your vet or ask friends who have changed their pet’s diets to all raw, natural foods.

Healthy Dog Food Ingredients

It is an axiom (a generally accepted idea or proposition assumed to be true) that using healthy dog food ingredients will result in healthy dog foods. It is also true that feeding dogs healthy food enhances their quality of life by reducing illnesses, improving the coat and teeth, and providing healthy energy for their bodies.

But no matter how healthy the ingredients are in a specific dog food, if a dog’s health doesn’t improve with a particular type of food, then it is not the right diet for that dog. Many dogs are allergic to certain types of protein or other ingredients used in the manufacture of dog food, and if your dog seems to have more health issues after changing to what you believe to be a healthier dog food, you’ll need to experiment with a few other dog food brands or recipes.

Luckily, most quality dog foods also come in smaller packages, negating the need to buy large bags and waste money if your dog can’t or won’t eat the new food.

Some signs that your dog needs to change its diet are excessive flatulence, frequent ear infections, licking the top of its paws too much, and frequent vomiting or diarrhea. If this is happening to your dog, try changing the type of protein used in its food and see if the symptoms disappear or at least improve.

A dog’s stomach will often attack unfamiliar ingredients, so a new food may not be accepted right away and often can cause diarrhea. Don’t buy a new brand or type of dog food at the first sign of these problems. Continue feeding your dog the same food for a least a week or two before deciding to try something new.

Dogs can also develop allergies to foods they eat too often, so it’s a good idea to feed your pet several foods that contain different protein sources to help it maintain a balanced diet.

Dogs are omnivores, and like humans their bodies were designed to obtain nutrients from both meat and vegetables. The reality is that pet dogs receive most of their nutrients from protein sources, so when choosing a dog food, the quality of the protein is the most important ingredient. As a general rule. three of the first five ingredients listed on the label should be protein sources.

Don’t choose dog foods containing “meat byproducts” or any with labels listing “animal protein” as a principal ingredient. These two ingredients usually don’t include muscle meat from which dogs receive most of their protein. Look for dog foods with labels listing specific ingredients like chicken and turkey. If your dog has food allergies you can choose a food containing proteins like duck, venison or rabbit.

Dogs are not able to efficiently digest corn, wheat, white rice or soy. Instead choose dog foods with whole vegetable ingredients like carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes. There are some dog foods that also include fruits like apples, and grains like oats and barley. Grain-free foods are also available that substitute potatoes in place of the grains.

Other healthy dog food ingredients include pumpkin (which helps soothe a dog’s upset stomach), cottage cheese which provides healthy bacteria, and eggs which are a healthy protein source.

There is no one dog food that’s right for every single dog, but some foods are definitely higher in quality than others. Compare labels on the dog food you now feed your pet with other brands available wherever you shop for dog food.

Depending on where you live and where you shop, you may need to visit your local pet store to find a healthy dog food.

Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes

Dogs need to consume a lot of protein to remain healthy. If you’ve decided that you want your dog to be a vegetarian, you may want to try these vegetarian dog food recipes to be sure you’re feeding your pet a healthy diet.

You should understand that vegetables alone will not supply the protein your dog needs to be healthy and hearty. To provide the missing protein and still maintain a vegetarian diet, include beans, dairy products, eggs or protein supplements in your dog’s vegetarian diet.

For a hearty and delicious Vegetable Stew, prepare this recipe for your dog:

Heat up a small amount of olive oil and a little garlic in a saucepan. Cut into slices the following vegetables: one large sweet pepper, one medium zucchini, one medium yellow squash, one medium eggplant, and one potato.

Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 40 minutes, adding a small amount of oregano or basil.

Let the stew cool before serving it to your dog. You can also add shredded cheese, beans, a raw egg or a protein supplement to make sure your dog is receiving a suitable amount of protein.

This is another vegetarian dog food recipe any dog should find appetizing:
Mix one cup of quick-cooking oats, 1/4 cup of soy flour or soy milk powder, 1/4 cup of wheat bran, one tablespoon of soy lechithin, one tablespoon of yeast, one tablespoon of wheat germ, one tablespoon of ground sunflower seeds, 1/4 tablespoon of molasses, one teaspoon of ground flax seed, and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil.

Soak all the ingredients in hot water for 20 minutes before serving to your dog. This is an easy meal to make in advance and keep refrigerated or frozen for a quick and healthy daily meal for your dog. If you have a large dog you’ll need to double the recipe. Ground pinto beans can also be added for additional protein.

This is a recipe for a Vegetarian Chowder your dog is sure to love:

Thoroughly cook two red potatoes in two cups of water, adding two tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of garlic. Remove the potatoes from the water. Add three cups of fresh corn to the water and cook for five minutes. Add to the corn 3/4 cup of cooked kidney beans and the potato water you set aside. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the corn is tender. Blend the red potatoes with 3/4 of a cup of milk in a blender or food processor and add it to the simmering chowder.

Vegetarian Dog Food Cookies:
Mash a cup of peas, green beans, squash, zucchini, and carrots. Add one egg, 1/3 cup applesauce, a cup of cooked rice and a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast.

Drop a teaspoonful of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. These delicious doggy cookies can be stored in your refrigerator or freezer and given to your dog as a treat at any time.

A recipe for Yummy Veggie Biscuits:
Mix three cups of parsley and 1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. In a separate bowl mix 2 and 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour, two tablespoons of bran and two teaspoons of baking powder. Combine this mixture with the vegetables. Add one-half to one cup of water and mix well until the dough is moist but not wet. Knead the dough and roll it out.

Use a cookie cutter to create cookies in any shape you want, then bake them on a cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This is a healthy and delicious treat for your dog.

We sincerely hope your dog will love these vegetarian dog food recipes.

Best Organic Dog Foods

Increasingly more pet owners are searching for the best organic dog foods to feed their pets; foods that will provide their dog with quality nutrients without chemical additives. Some pet food companies are now meeting those needs by including high quality ingredients in their dog foods.

Buying organic dog food isn’t as easy as buying commercial dog food on the store shelves. Organic dog food (as well as organic foods for humans) cannot contain the synthetic chemicals that most commercially prepared dog foods use to preserve the food and lengthen shelf life.

If you choose to feed your pet organic food, it’s important to distinguish exactly what the labeling on the organic dog food means. To be labeled “organic,” a dog food must contain 95 percent organic ingredients. If the label reads, “Made with organic ingredients,” it must contain 70 percent organic ingredients. If every ingredient in the food is completely organic, the label will say, “100 percent organic ingredients.”

If you are as careful reading the labels on dog food as you are when reading the labels on your own food, you may notice the claim “made with human-grade ingredients.” However, there is no standard for what “human grade” means, which is an indication that the pet food can contain almost anything that could be construed as “human ingredients,” including chemicals. Any company can use this claim no matter what is in the food.

Organic standards are enforced by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), but these standards are not as strictly regulated as human organic labels are, so companies can break the rules without getting in trouble.

A good source for checking on which dog foods are truly organic, log on to Consumerreports.org and search on “organic pet foods” to find out which organic pet food products contain the best ingredients.

Several commercially available dog food brands do provide organic options. These brands are more expensive but they provide higher quality nutrients so your dog won’t be lacking in the necessary vitamins and minerals, and you can be sure you’re feeding your pet the best organic dry food available in the marketplace. Some of the best organic dog foods are listed below.

* Natural Balance provides an organic option consisting of natural chicken, oats, millet, barley, carrots, cranberry, potatoes, peas, spinach, tomato and parsley, all from organic sources. There are several varieties of this brand and my own dog’s favorite is the Synergy mix that contains salmon.

* Natura brand produces Innova, which also provides Karma organic dog food. This quality pet food is made from free-range organic chicken, organic grains such as rice, oats, barley and rye, and organic fruits and vegetables like beets, carrots, broccoli and cranberries. The food is packaged compostable and biodegradable material.

* Newman’s Own manufactures several varieties of organic wet dog food, dry dog food and treats for both dogs and cats. These contain natural chicken, brown rice, peas, kelp, barley, soy meal, oats, carrots and parsley. They do not contain fertilizers, steroids or artificial flavoring.

* Castor and Pollux manufactures an organic dog food made from organic chicken, brown rice, barley, peas, carrots and apples. Their Organix pet food is made with organic turkey, chicken liver, potatoes, carrots and garlic. They also have a puppy formula for owners who want to start their new pets on organic foods from the beginning of their lives.

Like human organic foods, organic foods for pets are more expensive but there are some significant benefits to feeding a dog organic dry food. Dog’s bodies weren’t designed to remove the toxins that are used in producing most commercial dog foods, and these toxins can put a pet at an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer and may also lead to liver and kidney damage.

Feeding your pet a diet of the best organic dog foods you can afford can help in reducing the risk of your pet developing one of these serious diseases.