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.
2016 is bringing exciting new developments in probiotics research. In the past few years there has been a change in the importance given to the study of how the beneficial bacteria that live in and on the body of humans and animals can determine the status of health. No longer are probiotics considered something you need only to restore beneficial bacteria after antibiotic treatment or maybe when you have diarrhea. Today there is a large body of evidence showing that we need to incorporate beneficial bacteria as part of routine health care, as well as considering them part of our nutrition. Some researchers have even concluded that the bacteria population in our bodies is SO important and has such impact on our health that we should consider them not just bacteria, but an ORGAN. Without these bacteria you cannot live. Literally. What is being learned is that medical science missed the boat on probiotics and have not been using this important, possibly critical, tool to improve health, support recovery and fight disease. Until now.
Since the early 1980’s, Nature’s Farmacy, Inc. has literally pioneered the search to understand how probiotics work in canines, felines and carnivores. We have been accompanied on this journey by the greatest customers any business could hope to have. Thru the years, our customers have been willing to give us their trust and help us go down the path to find better and safer ways to feed dogs and cats. They were willing to give us the feedback we needed to determine effective ways to use Probiotics in our animals. Our mission began in an effort to find a way to reduce bloat and gastric dilatation volvulus in dogs. Having owned, shown and bred Great Danes for the last 48 years, we had a vested interest in finding safer ways to manage our dogs in regards to gastric problems or emergencies. This was our initial goal. It became obvious from the beginning of our business in working with these products, that probiotics and enzymes had great potential to improve the health in our animals in so many ways. We have worked all these years to bring recognition to the benefits of probiotics to dogs and cats, and even humans. Only in recent years have others begun to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that has accumulated.
What are “probiotics”? The word PRO-biotics was “coined” to mean FOR LIFE, in contrast to ANTI-biotics, which means AGAINST life. It is indeed a good term; because without the microbes we call probiotics, there would not BE life in people, animals and all breathing things. Without these good bacteria known also as microbes, the body cannot digest food, fight bad microbes, yeast, fungi or maintain the pH that allows the body to function in a healthy range.
The DOGZYMES® brand name covers a line of very unique and one-of-a-kind products that are based on our experience and expertise in using probiotics and enzymes and in blending nutritional products. DOGZYMES® products are produced from organic and human grade ingredients. We use the best ingredients available, only from the USA and a few countries known for safe, ecologically sound sources. With our experience we can produce products that make those ingredients do their job better than other products. We guarantee their performance to your satisfaction.
Fifteen years ago developed a new probiotic product line that is a culmination of all our years of work in canine probiotic research. More powerful, more compatible to the canine, feline or equine and more stable in storage, these products have features that are special to protect the GI tract from the danger of bloat or any other health problem related to incorrect diet or abnormal gut function. Our new DOGZYMES PROBIOTIC MAX is the most powerful protection you can buy for your animal, bar none. These products now can better manage bloat, gas, negative pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, fungi, and help strengthen the immune system, allow superior absorption of nutrients, and have a guaranteed 2-year shelf life. We are expanding the resource providers behind our formulas, and their professional expertise and guidance is in place to provide our customers this service.
Bloat is only one issue where probiotics and enzymes have important value. Whether your concern is bloat, allergies, itching, poor coats, ear and urinary tract infections, yeast infections, antibiotic side effects, stress or trauma, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, fading puppies, gas and digestion difficulties, poor appetites, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, excessive grass eating, post-surgical problems, skeletal problems, acutely or chronically, most all the things we deal with in dogs or cats, we can confidently say that the foundation for prevention or recovery starts with probiotic and enzyme supplementation. Customer feedback has been invaluable to help connect the dots in figuring out how to supplement and alter feeding methods to end problems, not just medicate to manage symptoms. If you feed kibble with probiotics “added”, you are NOT adequately protected with sufficient probiotics, especially with higher risk animals. Grass, dirt, stone and stool eating are all symptoms of a dog that is trying to correct gut abnormalities and needs probiotics and enzymes to do so.
For the sake of time and space, this will not be a “microbiology class”. I will, however list some FACTS. If you have never used or investigated probiotic/enzyme products before, you need to know that the foundation of your dog’s health is nutrition and absorption. Even the immune system is dependent on nutrition. We are finally getting around to admitting this in human health. What you feed yourself or your dog WILL determine the quality of health and life. When the gut works correctly, every other part of the body benefits. You cannot trick or cheat the body. If you have to use medications or drugs, and you have bad nutrition, even the medications can’t do their best work. If the good bacteria and working enzymes are not in high supply in the gut, then food cannot be well used or even tolerated: When at a dog show or other stressful event or situation, thousands of you have seen the dramatic dog’s improvement from “show diarrhea” after using DOGZYMES Canine Paste. DOGZYMES Probiotic formulas are made to disrupt gas production and bring it under control fast. Please understand there has been very limited research to prove or disprove the benefit of using probiotics in controlling bloat cases until recently. In other species there is direct, definitive research to show that probiotics are unquestionably valuable in bloat management. We have tried for unsuccessfully for years to get funding for dog bloat studies relating to using probiotics. We keep trying. We can tell you this: There is definitely a relationship between decreased digestive problems (including bloat) when using our probiotics daily in feeding programs.
Probiotics are beneficial and necessary for every stage of life from birth to old age. Probiotics are crucial during times of COMPROMISED health, but our customers have learned that the best time to use our probiotics is during OPTIMUM health. DOGZYMES fed as a maintenance product is the best way to PREVENT a health crisis. We learned years ago that dogs fed any commercial feeds, even the SUPER premium brands, need probiotic support, especially one with the powerful enzyme activity of DOGZYMES. This insures better digestion of highly processed grain/carbohydrate/fiber loaded diets and prevents poorly digested ingredients from becoming allergens. If you feed a NATURAL, RAW or homemade diet, you might assume that adding a probiotic is unnecessary. This is not the case. Unless the dog is actually eating the intestinal tract of the prey or living in the wild, there is no source of beneficial bacteria or enzymes in any way. Optimum health exists when the body and its systems operate in harmony. The body needs Probiotics to do this. The body can stand great demands for long periods, but not forever; something has to give. If the nutrition that fuels the system is wrong and the ability to break down the fuel is compromised, the body breaks down. Probiotics, enzymes and optimum natural food are essential to make all species flourish.
A lot of people think that adding a little yogurt will do the job. This is far from the truth, as one teaspoon of our DOGZYMES Digestive Enhancer is equivalent to 70 – eight ounce containers of yogurt. So adding yogurt sprays on kibble, adding a little yogurt to your dog’s raw diet or supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus alone is not sufficient protection. Lactobacillus is only one of many of the important species of bacteria needed in the gut. Probiotics and Prebiotics added to dog foods fall far short in supplying enough of either.
We are committed to better understanding the NATURAL ways to feed our pet carnivores. They ARE still carnivores, regardless of what anybody tells you. Their brains might be domesticated, but their digestive systems are still able to go out and hunt and survive just like they did thousands of years ago. You cannot make the digestive system of the carnivore bend to fit the processed, grain inclusive diets of today. We MUST MAKE THE DIET FIT THE NEEDS OF THE CARNIVORE. There is simply no other way to reduce health problems. Much is written by many “experts” and many self-proclaimed experts, and many books on the subject are conflicting. We offer a feeding program with a simple, common sense approach to use whole and/or raw food. It is not rocket science! It is easy to do, easy to get the ingredients and often costs far less than “holistic” or a wild type of dog food. If you want to know more, ask for our User Friendly Home Made Diet. Our consultants will work hand in hand with you, make suggestions, evaluate the results or even suggest alternatives. We are pleased to report our customers see high rates of success and see happy, healthy dogs again. It is definitely worth trying a more natural program with real whole food, top quality probiotics and natural food based supplements from the DOGZYMES line.
In human nutritional research there is overwhelming proof that raw fruits and vegetables are essential. Antioxidant pills do not work. WHOLE FOOD IS NECESSARY. Just adding vitamins and minerals in processed food is not the answer. Antioxidants come from raw, fresh food, period. It is exciting to see some new research in antioxidant needs in dogs. Science cannot duplicate the way our food supplies antioxidants. These are called “micronutrients” and are the subject of great amounts of proven research showing that the body needs high levels of these daily to fight diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arterial disease. Raw fruits and vegetables correct our immune systems, allow our DNA to repair, and slow down aging. Simply increasing raw fruit and vegetable intake does all this for people because it dramatically increases antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. If you slow down the damage, you slow down disease. No question about it. All of this is true whether you have 2 or 4 legs. It works the same way. We’d love to help you keep your animals healthy and living long, comfortable lives.
A Systemic Yeast Infection in dogs is a condition that occurs when yeast builds up in a dog’s body. This condition starts in the digestive system and is caused by a pH imbalance. During this imbalance harmful yeast that are normally present multiply rapidly and systemically invade the body. During periods of pH imbalance and yeast invasion, more toxins are excreted from a dog’s lymph nodes causing excessive itchiness. The dogs will then lick or scratch these “hot spots”. Although some dogs with systemic yeast infections may not exhibit any outward signs at all, most dogs will exhibit one or more of these symptoms:
• Yeasty ears (redness and/or dark gunk)
• Abnormal body odor
• Licking or chewing of feet, legs, groin, tail-head
• Excessive Itchiness
• Pustules on the body (hives/pimples)
• Redness, staining between toes
• Oily yet flaky skin
The Yeast genus has over 1500 species and new strains are discovered every day. Some of these species are beneficial and some are detrimental to Canines. Unfortunately, when testing for a yeast infection, those with limited microbiological backgrounds quickly assume these infections are all caused by the Candida albicans species of yeast. When Candida albicans is not found, they disregard Yeast Invasion as a cause for the symptoms and blame these symptoms on non-existent allergies or fleas. In most cases they simply use antibiotics. Antibiotics will kill all beneficial bacteria in the gut prolonging the pH imbalance and the yeast infection.
At Nature’s Farmacy we have been assisting breeders and owners with animals suffering from systemic yeast infections since 1984. Our approach is simple: Start at the source and work from the inside out. Most systemic yeast infections start from feeding grain based dog foods. Grain ferments in a dog’s stomach causing pH levels to change and create an environment that is more hospitable to negative yeast and bacteria than beneficial yeast and bacteria. Aside from the pH level, a healthy Canine digestive system is a perfect environment for negative yeast. Once the fermentation process causes pH imbalance, negative yeast will quickly begin to thrive and cause a rapid, systemic yeast infection. Simple diet changes, such as switching to a raw diet (link to diet) or feeding a grain free dog food and grain free treats, will eliminate the cause of the infection and allow recovery to begin. Remaining on a grain based dog food or feeding grain based treats will allow bad yeast to continue to thrive and can hinder or halt recovery. Most pathogenic yeast species thrive on carbohydrates and sugars. It is a common misconception that dogs use carbohydrates for energy so most dog foods contain them. Dogs actually will naturally use high quality fats, like those found in meat, for energy. A carbohydrate/sugar free diet is a must for dogs recovering from systemic yeast infections. Removing carbohydrates and sugars from the dog’s diet will make the food supply of most pathogenic species of yeast more scarce which will help to discourage new colonies and weaken existing ones so they can be more easily purged. Unfortunately, very few commercially available processed dog foods meet these requirements. There are no standards for the quality of dog food (as dogs are not food producing animals) and they can contain very poor quality ingredients. It is much easier and usually cheaper to feed a modified raw diet that consists of meat and vegetables. Feeding a homemade diet isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think and you will have peace of mind of knowing that your dog’s food meets human quality standards. You can learn how to feed your dog a diet of fresh, real food by reading Nature’s Farmacy’s free User Friendly Diet For Dogs and cats With Yeast Infections. Please feel free to contact one of our qualified dieticians for assistance.
The second step is to crowd out the negative bacteria. A dog’s body has a limited amount of space for colonizing yeast and bacteria. Bombarding the animal’s body with beneficial bacteria and yeast cultures will crowd out the negative ones and in many cases, even consume them. Crowding out the negative bacteria and yeast with positive species will also help to speed the correcting of the pH levels as more digestion-friendly species begin to colonize and start competing for food and physical room. To jump-start purging of systemic yeast pathogens and pH correction, you will need a microbial product with high counts colony forming units of beneficial species of both bacteria and yeast, such as Nature’s Farmacy DOGZYMES Digestive Enhancer or Liquid Dispersible Digestive Enhancer. Initially, we recommend feeding double the usual suggested feeding rate to ensure colonization during this critical jump-start period. After the systemic yeast infection has been purged you may return to the normal suggested rate.
A useful third step is to kill the yeast in the skin. The medium chain fatty acids in our Organic Hawaiian Coconut Oil (Caprylic, Capric, and Lauric Acid) all work together to kill most common types of systemic yeast. In fact, many common prescription treatments for yeast infections are derived from coconut oil. The medium chain fatty acids travel throughout the skin killing systemic yeast that the Digestive Enhancer has pushed out of the inner body leaving nowhere for the yeast to thrive.
The fourth step is to treat the external outbreaks of systemic yeast infections. In standard veterinary practice, most of the time this is the first or only part treated. Treating external symptoms without treating the underlying cause rarely works and symptoms quickly return when topical treatment is stopped. Please understand that topical treatments are only intended to provide relief for the animal’s symptoms. For topical outbreaks of most species systemic yeast, bacteria, or other fungi, we have found success using our topical bacteriocin, Clora-Care. The active ingredient in Clora-Care, Ambicin N, discriminates between harmful bacteria and healthy skin which allows the product to be gentle on the dog and aggressive on negative bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Clora-Care can kill negative pathogens and provide relief in as little as 15 seconds and can hold its killing power for up to 12 hours. Please note that Clora-Care will leave a harmless, temporary blue hue to the skin and hair. When treating “yeasty ears” it is important to clean them before applying Clora-Care. Use Nature’s Farmacy Easy Ear (An all Natural Essential Oil Blend) to thoroughly clean all debris from the ear. Easy Ear is formulated to gently lift the debris from the inner and outer ear. It removes the earwax while nurturing the ear skin to promote faster healing.
It is important to understand that there are no shortcuts when dealing with a systemic yeast infection. Failure to remove the source of the infection can prolong it indefinitely. Many dogs may never be able to return to a typical commercial diet of grain/carbohydrate based dog food without experiencing a recurrence of yeast invasion.
People prefer to not bring this question up, but believe it or not, it is commonly asked anyway.
Stool eating may be caused by one or more of several different things.
- Learned behavior from mom. Mom cleans the puppies and the pen and the puppies imitate mom as they are growing up and continue the behavior almost from birth. This behavior is very tough to break and requires training.
- The dog doing the stool eating is deficient in something…
- Probiotics or Enzymes that they are trying to recover from the stool. For one reason or another the dog needs more probiotics and enzymes to help digest their food and they try to make use of what is sloughed off in the stool. If this is the case use either Dogzymes Digestive Enhancer or Dogzymes Probiotic Max.
- This is often seen in growing puppies, they are not getting enough usable protein in their diet. If this is the case they need more meat in their diet. There are any number of reasons causing this, most commonly due to the lack of usable meat protein in commercial kibbles however some raw diets that focus on too much bone will cause the same problem. For help with this see our user friendly Homemade Diet Card.
- Trace Minerals or Vitamins. Some dogs may be deficient in vitamins or trace minerals and again, they are trying to recover these from what is lost in the stool. In this case a good quality Vitamin/Mineral supplement like Dogzymes Ultimate or Dogzymes Complete will take care of the problem.
- The dog whose stool is being eaten is not digesting or absorbing their meals properly. This usually happens with older dogs who need help processing their food but it may also happen if you have a dog who has been on antibiotics or other medication for a while. If you notice a dog or dogs specifically eating a certain dogs stool, then this dog needs help. This dog needs to be on either the Dogzymes Digestive Enhancer or the Dogzymes Probiotic Max.