February 20, 2009
Posted By The Staff at Dr. Harvey's
Our friend, CeliaSue Hecht, authors a terrific blog called Travel, She Wrote has written a great and funny post about her dog Cici’s top picks based on “drool factor”.
Guess what she picked as her favorite treat?
You can read about what Cici likes best on CeliaSue’s Blog,
Travel, She Wrote
February 10, 2009
Posted By Dr. Harvey
Why Natural Dog Food?
I know fresh is best. I know dogs don’t need, and are in fact harmed by, preservatives; coloring agents, synthetic ingredients, artificial flavorings and dyes that are added to commercial dog foods.
A truly holistic approach to natural dog food is to avoid all commercial foods. These are foods that you can buy in supermarkets, discount stores, big commercial pet stores and sometimes from your own veterinarian. ALL of these foods contain chemicals that should never be given to any dog. These substances will, over time cause liver toxicity and overload and begin the breakdown of the body’s immune system and the weakening of organ function. Many of these brands read all-natural dog food or holistic dog food on the bag. But it is what is inside the bag that matters to the life of your companion.
Even People Who Believe That They are Doing it Right…
I have spoken to literally thousands of guardians. Everyone wants to know what to do. They want to know how to feed their dog the right way.
“What should I feed my dog?”
My answer is always the same.
“Feed fresh, feed natural, avoid chemicals,preservatives, dyes and any artificial additives.”
The comeback is often the same.
" I feed kibble, but it has no preservatives. It’s holistic kibble. It’s expensive and holistic. it says so on the bag."
I take a deep breath.
My next question is “Does it contain meat?”
“Yes, of course it says chicken as its first ingredient.”
Then I have to ask, “If it has meat how can it stay in that bag at room temperature without going bad?”
“Doesn’t it have to have a preservative if there meat in it?”
“Well, yes I guess so.”
“ Would you leave meat on the counter, out of the refrigerator, for days and expect it to stay fresh? Of, course you wouldn’t. Meat needs to be kept very cold and even if you do that, it only fresh for a few days. You would not feed meat to your family that had been in the refrigerator for a week! If it is at room temperature it NEEDS a preservative or it would be rancid.”
Light bulb moment.
JUST BECAUSE THE BAG SAYS ALL- NATURAL DOG FOOD, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS PRESERVATIVE OR CHEMICAL FREE!
The Holistic Dog Food Approach
Natural dog food should be holistic dog food. This means it should allow for a variety of meats, oils and unrefined carbohydrates that provide vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids and amino acids as a foundation for a strong immune system, without the addition of preservatives, dyes or synthetic ingredients.
More importantly, holistic dog food should look at the whole dog. In a holistic approach a dog’s size, age, weight, breed, life experience, environment, lifestyle, living quarters and guardian must be considered. Yes, all of this should be considered when making a truly holistic dog food. Additionally one must consider that the diet has to be made from totally natural food sources and from this we formulate a diet and nutritional profile that reflects the individual needs of each dog and that is the holistic dog food approach. We have to consider that each animal is an individual and that is the most important aspect of a truly holistic approach.
All Natural Dog Food can be:
- Entirely Homemade – sometimes complicated and can be very time consuming
- Partially Homemade- Mixed with an all-natural Pre-Mix- very easy to prepare
- Commercial Raw- frozen or freeze-dried protein without additives- can be expensive
There are a many dog foods available today that do consider holistic principles, but too many are labeled as all-natural or holistic dog foods and they are far from it. All-natural means that ALL of the ingredients must come from nature. That means that any synthetic ingredient should not be included in the list of ingredients.
Avoid any food that has by-products or ingredients with chemical names that you can’t pronounce. Stay as close to nature as possible.
Buyer Beware-THINK, READ, UNDERSTAND
Don’t be fooled. Today fortunately, information about holistic nutrition is readily available to us all through the internet and other sources. And although not everything we read on the web is true or responsible, there is a great deal of good information and armed with this information and a big dose of common sense we can make better decisions for our companion animals. We can inform ourselves and help to give a better life to our companions with truly all-natural dog food and holistic dog food diets. READ, READ, READ. Read labels, read ingredient lists and look for quality. It makes a big difference in the life of your companion dog. Find the best all-natural dog food available.
Holistic Veterinary Medicine
Pharmaceuticals should be avoided if possible. Of course under certain circumstances, there may be a need for drugs. There are situations when there is an acute illness that requires immediate pharmaceutical intervention. But the regular use of drugs can damage the natural immunity of a dog and can lead to multiple issues including allergic reactions and a multitude of problems with body function. Holistic veterinarians often offer alternative treatments such as acupuncture, herbal medicine or chiropractic, as possible treatment modalities.
The Answer-Feed Truly All-Natural Dog Food
Try it for a month. See the difference in your companion when you switch to an all natural dog food diet. Try a holistic dog food approach. While it may take a few more minutes a day to give your companion the very best, the benefits for their long-term health far out way the small amount of extra time required. I KNOW you will be happy you switched and your companion will be happy and healthier and will thank you in all the ways that our companions do!