The Ideal Diet for Dogs and Cats
"I have just started my two dogs on your meat and veggie diet and of course they think they have 'died and gone to heaven'!" - E.M. Peoria, IL
Ground meat or chicken, ground veggies, a few supplements and... voila! You have a totally natural, complete diet for your dog or cat.
- Defrost ground meat or chicken
- Add water & mix in ground veggies
- Sprinkle supplements
Dogs and cats evolved eating a natural diet consisting mainly of fresh protein sources. That is a fact. Pet food companies have done their best to convince us that the only way our pets can stay healthy is by feeding them the "balanced diet" that they themselves manufacture - dividing our pets diets into "dry" food and "wet" food.
Of course, many of us don't have the time to prepare our own meals, let alone meals for our pets. It is definitely worth reading the following information to better understand how we can improve their lives with proper nutrition.
Along with the following recipe ideas, both cats and dogs can (and should) be given raw bones (chicken or turkey necks, wings and backs). Bones must be given raw, cooked bones should NEVER be fed, since when cooked they become brittle and can splinter.
The following will yield approximately 1 cup of food (1/2 lb.)
75% - 6 ounces (3/4 cup) coarse-ground or chopped meat, raw or cooked. A variety of meats, poultry and fish (organic is better) should be rotated: Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Turkey, Rabbit, Venison and their organ meats. Salmon, Sardines, Smelt and other whole fish. Ground meat mixes better with the vegetables. Chopped meat is also excellent.
25% - 2 ounces (1/4 cup) ground, mixed vegetables, raw or cooked. Any and all of the following vegetables can be used. Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Greens (Dandelion, Kale, Swiss Chard, Parsley), Peas, Pumpkin, Sprouts, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Turnips. Optional Ingredients: Whole eggs (including shell) Alfalfa, Kelp, Barley or Wheat Grass, Garlic, Chlorella, Spirulina Also fruits and nuts. Apples, Pears, Bananas, Walnuts, Almonds, Sunflower seeds. Add purified water (especially if you are going to freeze).
A good vitamin/mineral supplement, digestive enzymes and a little bit of fish oil (omega 3's) on a daily basis will complete the ideal diet! Here are some age-specific suggestions: It is best to add the supplements just prior to feeding.
ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS Vitamin/mineral
Dr Goodpet's Maximum Protection Formula for adult dogs and cats (age 2 - 7 years), Optimum Growth Formula for puppies, kittens and lactating or pregnant females or Golden Age Formula for older pets (age 8 and up) add 1 level teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight.
Dr Goodpet's Canine or Feline Digestive Enzymes for all dogs, cats, puppies and kittens add ½ teaspoon per cup of food.
Omega 3's and 6's - Dr Goodpet's Bena Fish Oil for all dogs, cats, puppies and kittens add 1 softgel per day to their diet and watch their coats get smoother and shinier as if by magic!
All vegetables must be put through a food processor or blender or chopped finely to be broken down to bite size chunks. Dogs and cats do not digest large pieces of vegetables easily.
Adding fish oil is preferable to vegetable oils as these are not as readily absorbed. Use fish oil made from whole small fish as fish liver oil contains too much non-soluble vitamin A. Any product you use should be pure oil guaranteed not to contain PCB's or other pollutants.
Caution! It may cause your pet an upset stomach if you change their diet suddenly, so take some time and start by mixing in the new ingredients with their usual diet. Mix in smaller and smaller amounts of the commercial diet and within a few days you will be feeding a new, more nutritionally balanced diet. Even if you decide not to go raw, it's still much healthier if you can add supplements and prepare as much of your pet's food as possible.
Figure out how much food you need to make. If your dog weighs 50 lbs., he will eat about 1 lb. daily (morning and evening 1/2 lb. each). If your cat weighs 7 lbs., she will eat about 4 oz. daily (2 servings, 2 oz. each)
Mix meat, veggies, water and supplements thoroughly. Should you feel it necessary, add Grapefruit Seed Extract to the mixture. This will eliminate any bacteria in the food. As humans, we are much more vulnerable to these bacteria than our pet's are!
Take a meal out the night before to thaw. Put it in the refrigerator and the next day it is ready to eat. If you feed twice daily, divide the meal in half. Once the food is thawed, feed ½ in the morning and ½ in the evening.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst's "Give Your Dog a Bone", Kymythy R. Schultze's, "The Ultimate Diet" , Ann Martin's "Food Pets Die For" and Pat McKay's "Reigning Cats and Dogs" are all good books that contain more information regarding raw food diets.
The following is a reprint from
HEALTHY PETS - NATURALLY
By Russell Swift, DVM
At the recent American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Conference, I discovered that I am not the only one questioning the use of grains in commercial and home-prepared pet foods. Grains, such as oats, wheat, rice, barley, etc, are composed mostly of complex carbohydrates. They also contain some protein, fiber, B-vitamins and trace minerals.
However, they are NOT part of the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. In the true natural setting, grains hardly exist at all. Wild grains are much smaller than our hybridized domestic varieties. This means that even a mouse or other prey animal is not going to find much of its nutrition from grains. Therefore, the argument that "dogs and cats eat animals that have grains in their digestive tracts" doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Prey animals that live near farms or other "civilized" areas are likely to have access to grains. This is not a truly wild diet.
What other clues do we have that grains are not necessary for carnivores?
1) Dogs and cats do not have dietary requirements for complex carbohydrates.
2) Grains must be cooked or sprouted and thoroughly chewed to be digested Carnivores do not chew much at all.
3) The other nutrients in grains are readily available from other dietary ingredients. For example, B-vitamins are found in organ meats and trace minerals come from bones and vegetables. (Unfortunately, modern farming has striped many trace minerals from produce and supplementation is usually best.)
Why have grains become so "ingrained" in pet feeding? To the best of my knowledge, grains were mainly introduced by the pet food industry.
The high carbohydrate content provides CHEAP calories. In addition, grains assist in binding ingredients. We have become so used to feeding grains to dogs and cats that most of us get nervous when we decide not to use them. I know people who have been "grain-free" feeding and doing very well. My own cat is one example.
What are the negative effects? I believe that carnivores cannot maintain long-term production of the quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly digest and utilize the carbohydrates. In addition, the proteins in grains are less digestive than animal proteins. As a result, the immune system becomes irritated and weakened by the invasion of foreign, non-nutritive protein and carbohydrate particles. Allergies and other chronic immune problems may develop. The pet's pancreas will do its best to keep up with the demand for amylase. What does this pancreatic stress do over a long time? I don't know, but it cannot be good. I suspect that dental calculus may be another problem promoted by grain consumption.
Currently, I am making grains optional in my general feeding recipes. I am going "grainless" in more pets as I explore this area. I recommend trying to feed without grains if your pet is not improving on your current protocol.