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When it comes to feeding your dog, it’s so hard to know what’s right, what’s wrong and what will be the best choice to keep them healthy and happy.
To help with your decision making, we have complied some really helpful information with regards to different styles of feeding to consider for your best friend!
Raw feeding consists of feeding your dog raw meat including muscle meat, bones and offal, simulating a natural diet. A large range of proteins can be utilised, including beef, chicken, roo, lamb, pork and horse, whilst eggs can be added for calcium and further protein (check out our video here), along with oily fish such as sardines and salmon.
Vege’s can be included in the diet too, but they should be blended for improved digestion, and additions such as coconut oil, natural yoghurt and turmeric paste can assist with your dog’s coat, gut and joints.
If you are keen to start out raw feeding but are a bit overwhelmed with the whole concept, you may opt to begin with a BARF style feed. Meaning ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food’ that has been pre-prepared (easy-peasy!) Options such as Dr. B’s Genuine Aussie Raw BARF can be found in the freezer section of some pet stores and provide a whole raw diet for your dog with very little effort involved!
- PREY MODEL RAW
Prey model raw is a little more hands on, and strives on providing a diet simulating a natural prey diet of a canine. This model is based on 1-3% (depending on needs of weight loss, maintenance or gain) of your dog’s IDEAL body weight at an 80:10:5:5 ratio system including protein, bone liver and other offal.
When purchasing meat, aim for human grade or preservative and additive free pet mince.
There are many fact sheets, spread sheets and apps to make simplify the process (and make it a lot less scary!)
Fact sheets and spread sheets: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rawfeedingaustralia/files/
A high quality kibble can also be included with above feeding methods if required, especially if you are just switching over to raw, it’s best to do it slowly. Benefits of this feeding style can include but is not limited to improvements in weight, arthritis, allergies and diabetes… and best of all a happy and healthy pooch!
Kibble or dry food is one of the most common food types given to dogs. It’s simple, convenient and tasty! However, just like us mere humans who would happily eat a serving of Macca’s every other night, it’s probably not the best choice for our insides, and it is the same for our canine friends!
When looking for a good quality kibble, look for choices that contain one or more single proteins (eg. chicken meal, lamb meal – not poultry meal or meat) and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Digestibility is important, with low digestibility foods leading to gas, loose stools and an increased volume to meet the needs of energy requirements.
Understanding labelling can be difficult enough on human food, so here are some really helpful tips when purchasing commercial food for your furry friends:
- Chicken dog food = named meat is the main ingredient and contains at least 25%
- Chicken dinner = named meat is not the main ingredient but contains at least 25%
- Dog food with chicken = contains 5-25% named meat
- Chicken and beef = contains 25% of combined ingredients, and at least 5% each of named meats.
- Dog food with chicken flavour = detectable amounts with no minimum percentage and can include meal, by-product or broth, etc.
Ref: Pet Food Association Australia (2011) Satndards, Labelling, Marketing and Nutrition, 5812, 19-21
Some highly rated dry food choices include:
Meals for Mutts
For more information, visit: http://www.petfoodreviews.com.au/dry-dog-food/best-dry-dog-food/
Most of all, ensure which ever diet you choose is complete and balanced with proteins, vitamins and minerals!
With a complete and balanced diet, you will have a completely happy pooch!