|Have Fun...Keep it Simple !|
|Written by Martin Lieberman|
|Friday, 19 October 2007|
When it comes to feeding dogs why do some people make it so difficult?
I started feeding my own dogs after WW11 and nothing has changed, not a
thing! Cooked or raw, all wholesome foods work well. If you are looking
for "Complete and Balanced" let me know if you find it.
Every dry food is allegedly Complete and Balanced . Some are much better than others but yet they are all complete and balanced. As long as twenty five years ago, all dry foods were complete and balanced yet most have been modified several times. I guess the doctors of nutrition think consumers fell off a Turnip truck.
In spite of the countless ingredient changes, both adding and subtracting components, all dry foods were & are Complete and Balanced. Do you find this perplexing? If the food was initially Complete & Balanced perhaps after the improvement it should be referred to as much more Complete & Balanced.
Now to move on to raw feeding. In 1993 Ian Billinhurst wrote Give Your Dog A Bone. Much can be learned from this book. I feel great admiration when a veterinarian or anyone goes against convention. However, the book contains some poorly thought out feeding strategies. Issues like k9 constipation, wounds in the oral cavity and weight loss are frequently caused by the barf ideology. The over use of Chicken.....not exactly a species appropriate food for a canid. However, the books ultimate error is on page 19. Dr. Billinghurst lists many reasons not to cook a dogs food. He claims enzymes are destroyed by cooking. Vitamins, minerals & proteins are destroyed by cooking. (I guess we humans may want to start chewing on raw offal). These Barf notions do not hold up to historical scrutiny. People as well as their dogs have lived to ripe old ages on cooked food. The big picture separates the Barf hype from the gospel.
First & foremost, I would ask Dr. Billinghurst what is the first responsibility of food? Perhaps his answer would be calories. Which I would agree with. I would then ask Dr. Billinghurst does raw food have the calories of cooked? The answer should be absolutely not. Cooked food is considerably higher in calories and as a result is a more important vehicle in supporting life. In truth, you & your kennel may feed all the vitamins, minerals & enzymes you desire but without adequate calories both you and your dogs will die.
The prisoners at the infamous French Penal colony known as Devil's Island were kept on a diet predicated on calories. Prisoners survived decades on bread and water, some survived & lived to be eventually released. This is an extreme example! However, in my view all diets should be predicated on calories before other issues are addressed.
Often times we get telephone calls or visits from people owning dogs that are drawn very fine. Frequently on Billinghurst type diets. In all fairness to Dr. Billinghurst, this is not always the fault of the diet. Sometimes people are less than coachable and sometimes it is a lack of calories. This is where a good high calorie dry dog food shines. Especially when the dry matter dog food is integrated with cooked vegetables and raw tripe or other uncooked or cooked meats.
Keep it simple & have fun feeding your dogs !!!
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