Dog nutrition can seem overwhelming – there is so much choice out there from complete foods, the barf diet and raw foods.
Many of the common diseases, poor behaviours, infections, poor digestion and toxins seen in today’s dog’s could be eradicated by feeding natural, raw diets and good nutrition. By educating people on changing their dog’s diets to their natural Carnivore requirements they will be healthier, live longer and the environment we live in will be cleaner without the toxins littering our streets of waste from dogs fed processed diets.
Dogs are Carnivores. Their teeth are designed to puncture, rip and tear skin and muscle and crunch on bones. Their intestines are designed and able to eat raw meat and bones. Unlike Omnivores and Herbivores, dogs do not have amylase, an enzyme that breaks down sugars, in their saliva. The relative inability to convert plant based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids into EPA and DHA is also a strong indication of their Carnivore status.
A dogs pH Level is pH1 which means that with such strong stomach acids the natural bacteria found in raw meat will not cause any harm to your dog as nothing can really survive. If concerned, freezing the bones for 24 hours will kill off any surface bacteria. The bones can be defrosted but it is perfectly safe to feed animals frozen bones.
By taking away the natural need for raw bones and meat and feeding a processed diet our dogs can lose vital nutrients for their immune and nervous systems. Their digestion will be poor. Their teeth and bone joints will not be as healthy, and the general health and wellbeing will go into decline meaning more expensive trips to the vets and probably a much lesser life span.
Some of the common minor health problems you may see in a dog as a result of being fed from a processed pet food diet for the entirety of its life can include dry or greasy skin, poor digestion, gum disease and tooth decay and ear infections. Some of the more serious and potentially life threatening include organ failure, cancer and Bloat (twisted gut).
Many types of commercial pet food hold absolutely no nutritional value and are just a very unhealthy mix of corn kernels, cereal, fat, colouring, flavourings and preservatives so it is not surprising that we see so many unhealthy dogs.
One of the main ingredients in most commercially processed foods is cereal which holds no nutritional value, and can lower the immune system causing illness and disease. It can cause restless behaviour issues, scavenging for more nutritious foods, wheat allergies such as skin, ear and hair infections, sores and hair loss and as so little energy is required to digest wheat and grains the animal can be left with excessive energy. It can cause digestion problems including dehydration, leading to organ failure of the liver and kidneys. Cereals stick to the teeth and gums which can quickly lead to bacteria and therefore mouth and tooth decay and gum disease. It also can cause excess gas forming in the gut causing bloat or twisting of the gut, which can be fatal in a matter of hours.
You will often see “Meat and Animal Derivatives” in the ingredients of pet food – these can include low quality protein and is normally animal waste from slaughter houses not fit for human consumption. Likewise “Vegetable Derivatives” are another ingredient you may notice. These are anything that is not classed as a cereal and can even include waste from human food preparation such as dust, ash and charcoal. Whilst going through the manufacturing process at high temperatures all nutritional benefits are lost and will act only as a fibre source.
Many of the commercial treats given to dogs contain high amounts of sugar. This can cause tooth decay and gum disease which can cause the animal pain and can lead to aggression. Sugar also feeds bacteria, viruses and disease so can make sick animals even sicker.
A commercially prepared food can last approximately two years and still be relatively safe to eat. With over 4,000 manmade chemicals used to preserve pet foods it is no wonder so many pets are becoming sick.
One of the most common is E110 Sunset Yellow. This is linked to rhinitis (runny nose), allergies, nasal congestion, hives, hyperactivity, kidney tumours, nausea, indigestion, increased tumours and ADHD.
Raw bones contain natural minerals including Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium. These all help to encourage the digestive system to prepare the correct digestive enzymes needed to break down the raw sterile meat and bones being fed and of course are essential for healthy bone growth and healthy flexible joints.
Chewing on bones sends happy serotonin chemicals flooding to the brain which helps dogs relax and feel emotionally balanced. It will also make them sleep and be calmer due to the extra energy used when chewing. Processed foods contain high amounts of sugars, preservatives, colourings and chemicals all of which can unsettle their nervous system making them unbalanced, reactive, anxious and unable to relax. Dogs that are fed raw are much calmer, balanced, restful and sleep better as their body is not full of artificial chemicals and sugars. It takes more energy to digest raw meaty bones and processed food so their excess energy is used in the correct way meaning a more relaxed and calm animal.
If you have always fed a complete or processed diet and switch over to a raw diet you many notice, temporarily, something that is often referred to as the healing crisis. As detoxification takes place the toxins will start flood through the bloodstream in order to be eliminated through the liver and kidneys. This can cause the animal to feel unwell for a couple of days depending on the amount of toxins that were in the body. This can be seen as the animal being slightly agitated or aggressive, they may sleep more, they may not want to do the normal things like go for a walk and may seem a little depressed. They may drink more, urinate or defecate more than usual, and may suffer from nausea. These are all signs that their body is ridding itself of toxins. Once the toxins have been eliminated and replaced by the correct nutrients you will find the animal looks and feels much better in themselves and the mood swings and temporary misbehaviour should disappear altogether.
The body is made up of several organ systems which work together to keep the body healthy. Clinical Canine Massage can help maintain homeostasis between these different systems, providing both physiological and psychological benefits to your dog and can help prevent and reduce mobility issues. It promotes circulation of blood, lymph, nutrients and oxygen around the body and helps strengthen the immune system. It can also reduce stress and anxiety by releasing natural endorphins and helping your dog relax. Combined with a natural and healthy diet, Clinical Canine Massage is extremely effective in keeping your dog in balance.
If you would like to find out more about how Canine Massage can benefit your dog please get in touch today.
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Tel: 07800 512069