What constitutes a healthy diet for a dog?

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Offline thedoc

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What constitutes a healthy diet for a dog?
« on: 09/04/2013 00:30:00 »
Michael Sherren  asked the Naked Scientists:
I am, yet another one of those humans that have decided to spend their lives with dogs.  Stemming from my experiences,  a love and insufferable passion was created.  Proudly, I am one of very few people still relying on dogs in 2013 for a meal at the end of the day.  Until recently, almost all populations relied on dogs for their existence and bettering their chances of survival.

I have boarding kennels in South Africa and am now making and selling a raw dog food believing it to be the best nutrition for my dogs, and other dogs alike.

I have questioned whether kibble (dry dog food) was the best thing for my dogs.  I came across a raw diet pioneered (as far as I know) by Dr. Ian Billinghurst.  It's called the B.A.R.F (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet and is basically doing it's best to recreate the diet in which dogs or the Canine species thrived on for many thousands of years before 'now'.  A mere 70 years ago the popular kibble was designed and has since taken over the world when it comes to feeding pets.  I'm sure you've already ascertained that it's worth billions.   -1,2 Billion Rand here in S.A. alone.  So there's a lot of money connected to this question, no need to explain to you how that can flirt with the truth.

Trying to keep it as short as possible:

With the gradual break up of the canine species, some living in areas of the world where say, fish, was a predominant part of their diet, i.e. Husky's or Alaskan Malamutes or, rats, for  little Yorkshire Terriers.  But surely a grain rich, highly processed food with a shelf life of a year can't be best thing for these animals.  It's very convenient for owners and highly marketable.

Am I missing something?

Could this industry be spending more on marketing, promoting and swaying vets and 'vets to be' that kibble is what dogs thrive on?  Not all vets, but most advise against feeding a dog raw food.  

Without going in to the actual components of the diet, but as a principle, surely it makes sense that a sudden introduction to a different source of food can't be that good, or certainly not the best environment for my best friends?  Surely 70 is a tiny part of the dogs life when it's system has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years?

I would hugely appreciate your opinion on this subject.

Fond Regards,

Michael Sherren

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/04/2013 00:30:00 by _system »


Offline menageriemanor

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Re: What constitutes a healthy diet for a dog?
« Reply #1 on: 10/04/2013 13:33:40 »
I agree that dogs do better on fresh and relatively natural diet.  The problem is, it is a lot more work, to balance a diet and very gory.  Most people aren't prepared to make the effort.  A plain mince and table scraps is what most people see as reasonable.  No attempt to balance diet.  Most people are horrified by the thought of hacking up offal for themselves, let alone their dogs.  I think you'll find those besotted with dogs and not the dressup handbag dogs, do make the effort. 

The ave owner isn't aware that some bones can be dangerous, in size, and how butchers chop them up.  It's hard enough to get them to NOT FEED COOKED BONES. 

Then, too, you will find a lot of vets earn good money from being stockists of 'quality' and specialist dry and tinned food.  I suggest you join pet forum, a UK forum with some amazing and helpful owners of BARF/raw food eating dogs. They also have members from U S , Oz, Holland, France and Spain.  Not sure about anywhere in Africa. They even have a What's In the Bowl Today? thread, which would make the ave city dwelling, not that doggy person, faint.

You can find out about some places that mince whole dead chickens, unplucked, etc.  Really get into serious discussions with real enthusiasts.  Perhaps they will give you heads up, on other things to sell.  antler chews are very popular, if there is a deer farm near you.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2013 13:36:42 by menageriemanor »