What should you feed your dog for optimal health and vitality? Many of us today — myself included — are very conscious of what we eat and read labels with a passion. We do not want chemical preservatives or unpronounceable ingredients in our food. If we do not want certain ingredients for ourselves, then shouldn’t we be as careful about the ingredients in our pet’s food?
Dogs are one of the carnivores in the order Canidae. All members of this order have the same basic characteristics: a jaw that moves only up and down (not up/down/side to side like us), large canine teeth designed to hold prey and then rip and tear flesh, molars are flat and designed to crush bone, saliva that only lubricates (our saliva has digestive properties), a short digestive tract (ours is much longer) and a very acidic stomach. All of these characteristics make the order Canidae ideally suited for consuming other animals. A raw diet for dogs is the best for dog nutrition.
Humans are the only species on Earth that intentionally cook their food. Everything else gets all its nutrition from eating biologically-appropriate food raw. It, therefore, stands to reason that our dogs should also be eating their food raw and be as close to their natural diet as possible.
Two Bears Pet Services has provided professional dog training to the residents of Erie, Colorado and the wider Boulder County area since 1997. We’ve helped countless pet owners understand and communicate with their furry friends so that we can all live in harmony. Today, we’ll look closer at dog nutrition and how raw dog food is the best choice for your canine companion.
Advantages and Benefits of a Raw Diet For Dogs
- Fresh Breath
- Strong Teeth
- Ideal Weight
- Strong Bones
- Reduced Odor
- Thick Glossy Coat
- Firm Muscle Tone
- Healthy Digestion
- Focused Energy
- Reduced Stools
- High in Protein
- For strength
- For endurance.
- High in Natural Nutrients
- Vital nutrients are not destroyed and remain in a natural state for the best nutrition
- High Palatability/Digestibility
- Optimum nourishment through the whole digestive system leads to less food intake, more food getting digested which results in smaller, less stinky stools
- Low Carbohydrates and Starches
- Carbohydrates are hard on a pet’s digestion and high doses are not needed in a carnivore’s diet. All dry food is at least 50% carbohydrate of some sort. Grain-free does not equate to carbohydrate-free.
- Complete and Balanced Diet
- A balanced ratio of protein, fat, bone, organs and vitamins for optimum health
- High Moisture Content
- Hydration maintains healthy kidneys and urinary tract functions
- Carnivores have a low thirst drive since most of their moisture is gotten from their prey
- Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 & 6)
- Fatty acids keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy.
- Natural Fat Content
- Fat is a natural energy booster.
Providing a Raw Diet For Dogs
Now, most of us are not going to go out and hunt food for our dogs (if you do, save all the organs, freeze them for at least two weeks and feed them to your dog). However, you can still feed your dog a species-appropriate diet, either by making your own or feeding a commercially-prepared food. For myself, sourcing, mixing and preparing take more time and energy than I have to spare. Being sure I get all the proper ingredients, including vitamins and minerals, gives me too much anxiety. It is almost impossible in this country to source all the organs, including blood, you want in order to duplicate a carcass. For those folks who do make their own, great. For the rest of us, purchasing a diet that is already made and complete works best. If you do make your own, having some complete diet on hand is always good in case you run out of your food or just want to make sure you have covered all your bases.
In order to produce dry dog food, any dry dog food, the ingredients must be cooked, three times, at very high temperature to make a slurry. The slurry then goes through a machine that forms it into same sized pellets and dries it. Vitamins, minerals and fat are added to conform to proper dog nutrition and make the food palatable. The finished product is then sold to a distributor who holds it in a warehouse until they sell it to a retail store that sets it on a shelf until it sells or expires. The food you purchase may have been produced many months before you take it home. If you then buy a large bag and keep it open the nutritional integrity of the food further degrades.
Why We Feed Raw Dog Food
John and I have been feeding a raw diet for dogs and cats for 21 years. They almost never need to have their teeth cleaned. It is like the difference between eating an apple (a natural raw food) and breakfast cereal (a man-made carbohydrate and chemical-laden food product). The former keeps your teeth clean, while the latter sticks to your teeth promoting plaque.
Our dogs rarely get a bath because the naturally occurring oils in their skin keep their coats healthy and shiny. Carbohydrates cause a dull coat that holds dirt and odors.
You will almost never have to have anal glands expressed (something very common for small dogs) because their stools are firmer and express the anal glands naturally (by the dog having to push harder the way nature intended).
Their energy is more even and focused, not the roller-coaster energy provided by simple carbohydrates.
At Two Bears, we carry and feed three brands of a complete, frozen raw diet for dogs: Performance Dog, Vital Essentials and Top Quality Raw.
All foods are made to order so the time from when we place an order to when you feed it to your dog is only a few weeks at the most. Food goes directly from the manufacturer to our freezers.
Is it more costly than dry food? Yes, but the overall health advantages of fewer and less costly vet visits far outweigh the upfront cost of an improved optimal diet.
Please contact us for more information on how to get your dog (or cat) started on a raw meat diet and the foods we feed and sell.