Raw Food Diet For Dogs

A raw food diet for dogs is the purest and most biologically correct nutrition you can give to your best dog buddy.

Raw dog food is packed with living enzymes and nutrients that is unmatched by any other kind of diet for domesticated pets. Commercially sold kibbles and even homemade food for dogs involve either dog allergens or chemical ingredients, or cooking the food which inevitably destroys most of the essential enzymes and nutrients in the otherwise healthy raw food.

The dangerous chemicals and additives found in most commercial kibbles can produce a huge negative effect on the health of pets over time, associated with many chronic health conditions including allergies, skin and coat problems.

Raw food diet for dogsHistorical background on raw dog food

A raw dog food diet is a species-appropriate type of feeding method for dogs based on the fact that domestic dogs, much like their wolf ancestors, are biologically designed to eat and thrive on a raw diet of fresh meat, bone, and animal organs. Genetically, dogs and wolves share about 99.8 percent of both their mDNA sequence, meaning they also share identical digestive systems requiring the same kind of raw food diet for the carnivorous canine.

In fact, sled dogs and dog-racing greyhounds already eat a raw food diet for dogs to reach their optimal state of health for maximum daily performance. A more recent idea of extending this kind of raw feeding practice to the home/ family pet was proposed by Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian in 1993. He developed certain raw feeding diet suggestions and called this the BARF diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or “Bones And Raw Food.”

Billinghurst contended that grain-based commercial dog food is harmful to dogs’ health, and suggested that your canine friends (adult dogs regardless of gender, age, breed, or size) eat only raw bones, raw flesh (meat), and raw fruit and vegetable scraps. This is the canine species’ natural evolutionary diet before they became domesticated pets.

Common health benefits of a raw food diet for dogs

The following are the most commonly reported canine health benefits of feeding raw dog food according to its advocates:

  • Elimination/ prevention of food allergies (most commonly coming from chemical substances and grain/wheat allergens
  • Detoxification from the chemicals and harmful additives found in “kibbles” or other commercial dog foods
  • Much improved digestive health (help for dog digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), and other types of digestive imbalances)
  • Healthier skin and shinier coats
  • Cleaner teeth/ better dental health
  • Higher energy levels
  • Smaller stools (lesser waste matter)
  • Prolonged life span

Have a look at our Baz enjoying a meaty bone!

Raw food diet for dogsPotential health risks of feeding dogs a raw food diet

On the other hand, many mainstream veterinarians as well as the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) have expressed some disagreement with this practice. Several studies documented in veterinary journals have published the risks of feeding dogs raw dog food which include:

  • Exposure to bad bacteria found in raw meat (a potential threat to both dog and human health)
  • Unbalanced high-protein diet which may possibly be detrimental to dogs’ life and health if given for extended periods of time
  • The potential to choke the dog, break its teeth, or cause internal puncture wounds when feeding it hard, whole bones

Although the raw food diet for dogs movement remains controversial, more and more people are supporting it as it emphasizes the feeding of raw all-natural food for dogs including raw fresh meat, bones, and nutritious fruits and vegetables. With proper sanitation as well as careful preparation, raw dog food could do wonders to the health of your dog.


Why Your Labrador Requires Vitamins And Minerals

Understanding Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are complex organic compounds. They are not nutrients in themselves, but they are necessary to ensure that the nutrients can be digested in to the body.

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If your Labrador is thriving, there is no need to change his diet

There are thirteen major vitamins contained in a wide variety of foods. Some are absorbed from the gut, along with fat (fat-soluble), and can be stored in the body. These are vitamins A, D, E and K. The B complex vitamins (eight vitamins) and vitamin C are water soluble. They are not stored in the body in significant amount, so daily in take is required. They are excreted in the urine, so deficiencies may result during excessive water loss, such as diarrhoea. Some vitamins are produced in the animals body e.g. vitamin K is produced by intestinal bacteria.

The processing and storage of food decreases decreases its active vitamin content. However, pet food manufactures compensate for this by adding vitamins to their products.

Mineral Are inorganic substances that form less than one percent of body weight, but they are essential for correct growth and body function. They also form complex reactions among themselves, meaning excesses or imbalances may have a knock-on effect on other minerals. They include macrominerals e.g. calcium, phosphorus and sodium – they are required in one part per hundred in the diet, for example ten grams per kilogram of diet, and microminerals such as selenium, iodine and zinc which are required one part per million – e.g. one milligram per kilogram of diet.


Why Your Labrador Requires Carbohydrates

Understanding Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient for dogs. However, they are useful in the diet, as once certain types of soluble carbohydrates (such as alpha monosaccharides or polysaccharides) are broken down during digestion, they become glucose and are readily absorbed and used as energy. Although the break down products of protein and fats are also stored as glucose, the provision of carbohydrates is a more economical way of obtaining glucose.

Another type of carbohydrate – beta monosaccharides or polysaccharides, such as cellulose –  are not easily absorbed, as the dog does not have the necessary digestive microbes in the gut in the same quantity that herbaceous animals, such as cows do. However, in appropriate amounts they can help with the action and health of the gut – producing a softer, bulkier stool that is easy to pass.

In addition they are useful in special diets used by obese dogs by reducing the absorption of other nutrients while still filling the dog’s stomach and making him feel full. Carbohydrates are contained in rice, potatoes and cereals.


Why Your Labrador Requires Fats

Understanding Fats & Oils

Fats are made up of chains of fatty acids and other components – sometimes referred to as lipids. There are two main types of dietary fat:

Saturated fats – which contain cholesterol, which is needed to support and repair the walls of body cells.

Unsaturated fats – which contain three types of essential fatty acids that are needed by the Labrador (and all dogs) One of these – linoleic acid or omega 6 can be used to make a certain amount of the other two – linolenic acid or omega 3 and arachidonic acid, which is only found in animal fats and is also an omega 6.

Fats that solidify at room temperature, such as lard and butter, are lower in unsaturated fatty acids; those that are liquid at room temperature such as corn oil or linseed oil, are higher in unsaturated fatty acids. Fish oil is particularly rich in omega 3 and recent research suggests it is beneficial when appropriately added to a dog’s diet. The appropriate ratio of one fat type to another is as important as the total amount of fat in a diet to keep your dog healthy.

Why Dog’s Need Fats & Oils

Fat is a major source of energy and weight, for fat produces twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. It helps the body absorb and transport certain vitamins; it is essential in the manufacture of some hormones and therefore for reproduction and pregnancy. It helps form the cell walls, provides insulation and maintains skin health. Through sebum secretion, it protects the coat hairs and waterproofs them.


Why Your Labrador Requires Protein

Understanding Protein

As you probably know there are many different types of protein; some are suitable for the diet and some are not. The waste products from protein digestion are converted in the dog’s liver and then excreted by the kidneys.

DSC00290Proteins are made up of chains of smaller components called amino acids. The dog requires ten different types of these amino acids in the diet. These are called essential amino acids, as they either cannot be made within the dog’s body from other sources, or not at a rate quick enough to meet the daily requirement. The most suitable dietary proteins are those that are made up of amino acids that most closely match the dog’s daily essential amino acid requirement. Where there is a close amino acid match, called a high biological value (HBV) protein, the dog will need less of this food to meet his daily requirements. Also, the waste products of protein digestion are kept to a minimum. This tends to reduce this work load on the liver and kidneys.

HBV proteins are usually more expensive to feed: for example, cooked eggs, fishmeal and in some meats. In contrast, lower biological value proteins, such as wheat, corn or soybean and more economical to buy. Note – milk is a HBV food but adult dog’s usually lack the enzyme to digest it.

Why Dog’s Need Protein 

Dog’s like humans require protein for growth and repair of body tissues and organs (including skin) it provides strength and flexibility in muscles, tendons and cartilage and aids the formation of lubricants.

It forms the essential components of the blood, immunity and hormone systems. Proteins are also needed for the transportation of other nutrients around the body.




Can dogs drink milk?

Well, it depends on your dog’s specific chemistry…
Some dogs enjoy a dairy treat with no apparent problems, whilst others experience a range of intestinal symptoms in changing severity, such as wind, pain, diarrhoea or vomiting. So…..

….Can dogs drink milk?

It basically depends on how your dog digests lactose. You may have heard of lactose intolerance in humans. Lactose is a nutrient found in milk comprising of two sugar molecules chemically bonded together. This is where the problem arises for dogs, as in order to be digested the lactose must be first broken down into basic sugars.
It is essential for your dog to produce its own lactase enzyme to digest the lactose found in milk, and dog’s can not reliably do this. If you notice loose stools or your dog develops gas after consuming dairy products, then he’s probably lactose intolerant. Do not experiment with puppies or seniors by giving them cows’ milk at such a vulnerable life stage.

Can dogs drink milk?Lactose is present in varying amounts in dairy products. Fresh milk contains an approximate percentage of 5% lactose. Chedder cheese contains less than 2%. Typically the more fat in the product, the less lactose. Small amounts of cheese are actually a good snack for your dog if well tolerated, although it can be high in calories. Cottage cheese and yoghurt (fermented or cultured dairy products) are easier on your dogs’ gut as the fermentation process breaks down the lactose.

Lactose free milk was created for humans that are lactose intolerant, or have a sensitivity to it – it was not created for dogs! Actually we are the only species that drinks another species’ milk.
In rare circumstances a dog may have an allergy to a milk protein.

Can dogs drink milk from other sources than a dairy cow?

If you are looking to try your dog on something different to drink as an occasional indulgence, there are milk treats which you can give your dog such as TopLife formula, available is some supermarkets.This is specifically formulated for dogs from goats’ milk – which can be far easier to digest than cows’ milk. However there is no evidence that a dog needs to drink milk after they’re a newborn puppy.

Can dogs drink milk?Puppies will drink their mother’s milk, but once they’ve weaned themselves they no longer need milk of any sort. Weaning can start from the age of 3 weeks and usually complete by the age of 7 weeks. For orphans or puppies whose mothers reject them, you can purchase a puppy milk replacer suitable for the first few months of life. Puppy milk is easily digestible and can also benefit convalescing dogs, nursing mothers and senior dogs. Puppy milk will boost their immune systems and provide readily available nutrition. Discuss with your Vet if you are considering giving your dog puppy milk replacer.

Can dogs drink milk…? The answer is that they do not need to drink milk as it is not a natural food for them. The digestion of milk depends on a dogs varying ability to produce lactase to breakdown the lactose found in milk and may risk some bad side effects. A dog will receive all of it’s nutrition from dog food. Treats can be in the form of specially made dog biscuits or dog chews.