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Archive for the ‘Labradoodle Health’ Category
The Whole dog Journal just came out with their 2009 dry food lists. They do such an excellent job with their research, and they do not accept advertisements. The most important statement they made, in my personal opinion, is that “dry food is not the healthiest diet for your dog”. Kibble is a convenience food. Because it is convenient, most families do want to feed dry food. The very thing that makes it convenient, makes it a less nutritious option. Dry food stores for a long time. It is easy to buy in bulk and have the meals pre planned. And if you buy into the marketing aspect, the bags certainly look as though they contain a glorious diet! Fresh vegetables are not all that fresh by the time they are dried and stored for a long time. I do use kibble for when I am in a hurry, a quick meal, bedtime treat, etc. I do not advocate using dry foods for the bulk of a dog’s diet. The dry foods I recommend are: Orijen and EVO. Neither have grains. Fresh grains are so easy to prepare (oats, millet, brown rice, and barley). I also us Sojo European dog food. This is a quick oat mix with appropriate calcium/phosphorous balance, and it is easy to prepare a home made diet (either raw or cooked) with this mix. The mix can be soaked overnight in chicken broth or water and served the following day. I personally do not feed raw meat straight from the fridge. I freeze it first or buy frozen prepared. I know that freezing does not kill all bacteria, but it does lower the bacteria. I’m cautious. And I’m new to the whole raw food diet. I do not think it is for every dog and I do think that cautions always need to be in place. We always feed raw veggies and lots of yogurt and kefir with live cultures. I feed eggs, whole grains and whatever we have left over that doesn’t have onions or raisins.Â
Next to home made is the fresh frozen variety. I use Primal and Nature’s Variety. They come in frozen patties and it is extremely convenient. I just thaw the night before and serve. The bone is ground in the fresh frozen so the calcium/phosphorous balance is naturally provided. Primal is 70% meat/bone and 30% veggies. I really like this ratio. I prefer fresh frozen over kibble. I also order fresh frozen from A Place For Paws. My dogs go nuts over the tripe they offer. European dogs are known to thrive in health on tripe. It is rather gross to deal with, but once you are used to the texture (and you have a supply of latex exam gloves) it will be very easy. I am a vegetarian and have been most of my adult life, so if I can do this, anyone can! My dogs also love the beef and bones option offered by this company. I mix it with the tripe. And, of course, when I find a good buy on meat at the grocery store, I stock up and freeze it. Â I look like a meat loving addict with my cart at the store. I buy liver and add it to veggies and grains to make them more appealing.Â
Sound like a lot of work? It is more complicated than purchasing a 30 lb bag of kibble. And it is actually more affordable than a really good kibble. It can become second nature to prepare meals when you prepare your own. If you do opt for the kibble method, I suggest rotating among the premium brands. There is probably not a single prepared food that is best for life. Just like humans, our canine companions have diverse nutritional needs and desires. I recommend not relying on the claims made by the maker of a particular brand. The dog food industry is big business and there are few regulations in place to protect consumers. I always prefer human products. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I would suggest you read “Food Pets Die For” by Ann Martin. She has done extensive investigation about the pet food industry. Her detailed research is very enlightening. I also suggest that people subscribe to the Whole Dog Journal. They do comprehensive research in regards to nutrition and positive training. Their Â best foods list is a must for all dog lovers. They do personal investigations of the companies they recommend.