We are what we eat, and so are our dogs.
What’s the worst thing about owning a dog? Be honest. It’s picking up s*1t every day of its life, right? When I talk to people who don’t have dogs, they really don’t understand why we do it. If they have kids, they can kind of understand but they will often say they couldn’t do what they do for their kids for an animal. It’s often a deciding issue for people getting dogs, parents refusing to give into their kids’ demands because they know picking up dog poop will be a chore too far.
But picking up dog poop is how it’s got to be if you want to benefit from the fun and friendship of (a canine) your pet. I only wish everyone who owned a dog understood this.
We are quite lucky on this front – well, as lucky as you can get given the topic at hand. Kaya is on a fresh raw food diet, (which means mostly meat) Carnivores process meat more efficiently than other foods. Without getting too technical, this simply means that what she consumes is mostly utilised in the body, which in turn results in less waste outside of the body!. Good news for us! I don’t want to be too graphic on this subject, but if you’ve stuck with me this far, you’re interested and the fact is, Kaya’s poops are more solid and a lot smaller than the poops of other non raw fed dogs of a similar size. The same thing is true of our grain free products.
Before I got Kaya, I wasn’t aware of raw feeding. I just thought, like millions of others, that dog food came in a bag or a tin. After some research, I chose to put Kaya on a fresh food diet. Dogs are a subspecies of the wolf and so the idea that they could eat fresh meat sounded very plausible. Kaya's condition is without question. Almost everyone we meet comments on the quality of Kaya’s coat and how amazing she looks. She listens and she learns. I have no doubt that the food she eats has a major role to play here. Her focus and temperament helped by a steady energy flow resulting from a species appropriate diet.
Some people are put off by the ‘rawness’ of the meat, but it’s no different to handling raw meat for human consumption. Variety is the spice of life, so we try to vary the type of protein we give her in her diet. This helps avoid nutritional deficits. We use pork, beef, duck, lamb, venison, rabbit and fish in our mixes. It generally comes in 1kg blocks and can be easily portioned and stored at home. When it comes to knowing how much you need to feed your dog, an adult maintenance guide is 2.5% of body weight per day. Quantities for pups are a little more difficult to calculate but nothing too taxing. We usually feed Kaya twice a day but we mix it up a little too and often change her feeding times, keeping her on her toes!
Some fresh feeders will have a purge day where they don't feed the animal for a day so they burn all the excess energy from their food that they might not otherwise use up. The other extreme of this is a gorge meal, where you give them as much as they can eat in one sitting. This is not something you can try with dry food as kibble will expand once in the dogs stomach. The thinking behind the gorge meal is that it replicates (for a short period anyhow) how they eat in the wild. Think of Planet Earth, or any of the wildlife documentaries you have seen, how often do you see animals hunt for days before making a kill and filling their bellies and then it could be another three or four days before they eat. Fasting is also becoming popular more with humans too
That said, fresh feeding is not for everyone. That's fine but the least you can do for your dog or cat is to eliminate kibbled foods of unnecessary fillers such as maize, wheat and rice and any other derivatives of these. One of the most popular products in the shop is a grain-free dry food. This food provides dogs with good quantities of meat both fresh and dry without unnecessary grains to bulk it up.
As with all things, it takes time to change a habit, for both you and your dog, but it’s not complicated. If you think it is something you would be interested in, I can talk you through the process. I have transitioned hundreds of dogs and guided their owners through the whole process. If going fresh isn’t for you, we also have a great selection of grain-free products to consider. So, pop in to see myself and Kaya anytime for a chat.