80% of a dogs immunity is regulated from their gut. This means that what we feed our dogs is so important for their overall health and immunity to disease. What we feed our dogs also impacts them physically, mentally and behaviourally as it does in humans so it is important as dog owners that we feed the absolute best food to our dogs so they are as healthy as they can be.
Generally pet food isn't regulated as well as human food which is why it's important to read the ingredients and understand what you are feeding your dog and what that food is made up of.
Walking into a pet shop and seeing a ton of bags and boxes of different pet foods all claiming to be 'healthy', 'nutritious', 'breed specific' and more can be daunting and naturally, we just trust what the label says and generally go for the most well known or cheaper brand. After all, if the only difference is the price then why go for the more expensive brand where the cheaper one does the same right?
Sadly if you take some time to study dog nutrition and then apply that into researching the ingredients in some of the dog food sold in pet shops you would be shocked to find out that a lot of the ingredients are simply not needed and are mainly there to 'fill' the food and not beneficial to your dogs at all. Some even include things that are actually unhealthy to be feeding your dog and can actually be a factor in a dogs immunity, health and behavioural problems.
Now I've spoken plenty of times on what to look for in dog food and why on our Facebook page and if you are a client of our we will have gone through nutrition with you in one of our early sessions to make sure you are feeding your dog the best food you possibly can. Any of our clients will also know we are huge advocates for raw feeding and this is what I am going to talk about today.
When you cook food, it looses some of its nutrients on the process. The more you cook it, the more it looses it natural nutritional values. This makes dry food generally the lowest in nutritional value followed by wet food and then raw food being the best in nutritional quality.
This is because raw food contains all of the natural nutrients as it is in it’s most natural form; raw!
It's essentially like comparing home cooked food to microwave ready meals, they're still decent but they're never as good as the home cooked food and always contain a lot of added extra's for preservation and flavouring.
Raw feeding means you know exactly what is going into your dog, how much and means you can adjust what you're feeding to exactly what your dog needs. In ready made foods, there is nothing you can do to change the actual composition of the food and so can't take anything out if you need to. With raw food you generally get a basic mix of meat, veg and basic supplements and then you add anything else extra if your dog needs it.
This is especially good if you have a dog with allergies, older dogs or dogs with particular illnesses that can be triggered by certain foods.
For example, our older boy Kalle has suspected lung cancer, quite bad arthritis and also has quite bad allergies triggered by food and pollen. It is especially important for him to be on a bland flavour like duck or rabbit and we add things like turmeric for his joints, honey for his allergies and steer clear from any foods that could contain grains or artificial additives to help him to feel better. After having Kalle for 6 months he was sadly given 6 months to live, this was nearly 2 years ago and a huge factor into his good health now is due to that diet change!
Now let's bust some myths on raw feeding!