COOKED OR RAW?
This is your choice to feed all raw, partial raw or cooked food. Many like to feed raw beef or lamb or bison but prefer to cook poultry and pork. Venison is debated whether to cook or not because it is possible for venison to contain parasites that could harm dogs and cats. I do not recommend feeding any poultry bones other than the spine or flat breastbone no matter cooked or raw. Rib bones of beef, pork, lamb or bison could all be considered a danger as they can crack and be very sharp shards of bone to swallow and possibly cause blockage or puncture. In the wild, bones are consumed with meat and sometimes hair attached, which cushions the bone pieces to some extent, and provides “roughage” to push bone pieces along. I recommend big joint “knuckle” bones that are round and the dog can grind off small amounts. This chewing provides the added benefit of being the best toothbrush your dog has. If you need help deciding on raw, cooked or a blend, call or email us.
2/3 PROTEINS (or can be changed to 3/4 proteins as needed)
Beef, poultry, pork, lamb, cottage cheese, eggs, bison and venison are usually the proteins used, as they are easily available. Free range, organic is obviously the best (no GMOs or chemicals or antibiotics) but they are expensive and most people cannot take advantage of them. Most buy the same quality protein foods they feed their family. Best to take advantage of sales and stock up in the freezer if possible.
If feeding chicken or turkey, cooking them whole or in parts, I recommend baking as the easiest method to prepare a batch. Tastes better to the dog, I believe than boiled. Pour off extra grease. Freeze extra for use later. Cook all poultry to a well-done stage that makes it easy to debone. Make sure to pull the sharp little rib bones off split breasts and pick out any small bones. If you feed raw or cooked necks we advise that you cut them into easily swallowed pieces to prevent choking.
1/3 GROUND VEGETABLES (or can be changed to 1/4 vegetables as needed)
FROZEN VEGETABLES are easiest to use because they are already cleaned and trimmed and have no waste. Obviously, if you have a garden, your home grown produce is great to use. Organic is best but not an option for everyone due to cost or availability. All vegetables, whether frozen and thawed or fresh, need to be run through the food processor or blender to grind up the cellulose walls to allow the dog to better digest and utilize the nutrients in the plant cells. Store a couple of days worth in the fridge to save time and replenish as needed. Just remember to smell them before use as raw vegetables tend to spoil even faster than many meats. Can be fed either raw or cooked. Or alternate raw and cooked. Whatever your dog likes or seems to be digesting best. Raw would be preferred for most nutritional value.
Another option for vegetables is our CORNUCOPIA. This is a blend of all organic vegetables and fruits in a highly concentrated powder form. Three tablespoons of the powder equals one pound of raw vegetables. One tablespoon of powder equals 5 1/3 ounces of raw vegetables. Mix one tablespoon powder to one tablespoon water and stir in the meat with the supplements. This is very convenient when you are short on time, or run out of frozen veggies, and also because the volume is so much less, it works for dogs that don’t particularly like vegetables. The nutritional value is equal to frozen or fresh.
The meal is made up by volume of 2/3 meat/protein mixed with 1/3 by volume vegetable mix. Or the meal may be adjusted to 3/4 meat mixed with 1/4 vegetables by volume if desired.
The diet can be adjusted if 1/3 vegetable volume seems to be too much fiber for that particular dog. You can adjust the meal from 35% vegetables/ 65% meat to either 30% vegetables/70% meat or 25% vegetables/75% meat according to tolerance of the vegetable fiber. Contact me if any questions on this, especially if you see softer stools. Doesn’t usually happen, but every dog is different.
SUPPLEMENTS AND PROBIOTICS:
PROBIOTICS SUGGESTED: Nature’s Farmacy PROBIOTIC MAX. Use according to label directions for weight unless I have directed you to use a larger amount depending on the dog’s condition. You can also use either of our other DIGESTIVE ENHANCER products, but usually you should start with the strongest formula which is PROBIOTIC MAX. Call if you have questions.
CALCIUM/PHOSPHORUS: Most people are using bone free meats. We have a special calcium product to add to meat that balances correctly the calcium to phosphorus ratio. The product for this is KA CALCIUM. It is simple to use by adding 1/8 teaspoon for each one cup of boneless meat being fed (or eggs). Remember that in this case we are not dosing the DOG, BUT ARE DOSING THE ACTUAL MEAT to achieve the correct balance. So, for example if you are feeding 4 cups of meat, you add 4/8 (which is 1/4 teaspoon) of KA CALCIUM and mix into the meat. Then you use the amount of meat needed for the meal plus the vegetables. It will not matter what size dog you are feeding or how much meat fed because the meat is now balanced after mixing in the KA CALCIUM. Call if any questions.
VITAMINS/OTHER MINERALS/OMEGA 3:
We formulate our vitamin supplement DOGZYMES ULTIMATE to correctly add all the needed vitamins and typical minerals to a home diet, a commercial frozen meat diet or to fortify a dry food. This means it is correctly adding the needed nutrients in the correct balance and ratios. We do the tricky part of balancing the food with our special vitamin product. All you do is provide the food as directed. ULTIMATE is providing major nutrients the diet needs to correctly deliver the nutrition in all diets, whether homemade or purchased. Many raw, frozen meat diets do not add the vitamins needed, although the meat mix may contain ground natural bone, in which case you should not need to add KA CALCIUM. Dogs and cats will also get calcium to some extent from the vegetables, and if you choose to mix cottage cheese or plain yogurt to the meat for protein, you will also be supporting the calcium needs. Call if questions.
HOW MUCH TO FEED?
There is a guideline of how much food in volume to feed a dog. The NRC and AAFCO suggest about 2 to 4 percent daily of the dog’s bodyweight. That means a 100 pound dog would get between 2 and 4 pounds daily. We find this is in the general range for most dogs but it will vary depending on the dog. Four pounds is a lot of food and in general this seems to be a little too much for a dog that is not doing a lot of hard work and exercise. We suggest starting with 2% (2 pounds or 4 cups) daily and if the dog seems still hungry after a couple days, then increase it by a half cup per day until the dog seems more satisfied or starts gaining excess weight. Don’t let the dog get more than about the 4% level and get into overfeeding which could cause problems. There are some dogs that just don’t seem to know when to stop, so you have to be the “food police”. So many things can determine how much food is needed, so we suggest you approach this as a trial amount and if you don’t think the dog is holding weight well, or is getting too heavy, contact us and we will review things and make adjustments to the meals so it works well.
Just a couple of tips to make preparation easier would be using your oven to bake chicken or pork or put in the crockpot. You don’t need to boil it on the stove top as we find the baking or slow cook methods easier and there’s no pot to watch or boil over. Also the meat tastes better. If you combine a package of frozen greens like collard greens with a bag of another frozen vegetable mix such as broccoli/cauliflower, or zucchini, any appropriate combination that fits the dog’s needs, and grind the up in the food processor or blender together, then package them into daily use bags and freeze, you have the vegetable prepared ahead and easy to mix the meal. Frozen vegetables are easy, already cleaned, there is no waste like with fresh vegetables you need to clean, but if you have an organic garden with fresh produce, USE it. That is the best. If you have small dogs and a large jar of our Probiotic Max or Cran Tri C, or Digestive Enhancer Liquid Dissolvable, get a small jar that you open often and keep the large jar closed to prevent humidity from causing clumping. There are many good tips you probably have yourself, so if you have an idea to make this easier, we would love to hear from you and share that with other customers. Your input is always appreciated. Thanks.
DO NOT FEED FOODS:
Chocolate; Onions; Garlic; Xylitol artificial sweetener in gum, candy, cough drops, etc; Avocado; Sugary foods (well, MAYBE a few bites of cookies with no chocolate or chocolate chips or raisins) Alcohol; Coffee and Tea in large quantities; Stimulant drinks like Red Bull; Grapes and raisins; Macadamia nuts; Bones that splinter like chicken legs or chop or steak bones; Persimmon, peach or plum seeds which contain cyanide if chewed and eaten but the peach flesh and plum flesh are fine. Raw egg white which disrupts the absorption of B vitamins; Raw fish like trout, salmon, shad, sturgeon which could carry a parasite that causes illness. Cook the fish and debone if needed; Uncooked bread or yeast doughs; Large amounts of bread; High salt; Getting access to baking powder or baking soda in your pantry which are toxic to dogs; Nutmeg spice is toxic to dogs. Keep all your medications out of reach. Keep phone numbers handy for Poison Control and your veterinary Emergency phone numbers.
Call us at Nature’s Farmacy: 800-733-4981 or Contact us
This is one of the best things you can ever do for your dog. He will show you how much he/she agrees! We are here to guide you anytime you need us.