Can a bad choice in diet for your dog really have an impact? Yes, it absolutely can. On the rare occasion a dog may live a reasonably long life seemingly unaffected by a poor quality kibble diet, but this is not the common result. Feeding your dog a poor quality kibble is the equivalent of you eating nothing but fast food; You are going to eventually develop illness and disease and have a low quality of life due to the poor state of your health as a direct result of your diet. Perhaps if dogs lived 50-100 years we would see more of the same decline in them due to poor diet as we see in ourselves. Sure, you may be fine at first while eating your diet of cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes - but eventually, you'll pay the price. Our dogs pay the price, too.
A real food diet is exactly how it sounds, it is a diet that consists of only real food - raw, cooked or a combination of both - and contains no junk ingredients, harmful additives or preservatives. A real food diet is full of living nutrition, living enzymes and species appropriate foods that promote health, disease-resistance and longevity. The two examples of a real food diet are a raw food diet and a homemade dog food diet. While both diets require that you take your dog's nutrition into your own hands and lose the convenience of commercial kibble, they will inevitably change your dog's life for the better.
WHY SHOULD I SWITCH MY DOG TO A REAL FOOD DIET?
Real food promotes health in our dogs the same way a healthy diet affects us. If we eat lean protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy grains and stay away from junk and fast food we will find ourselves feeling better, looking better, getting sick less often and living longer. The same goes for our dogs! A diet high in protein, low in carbohydrates and containing no grains is how dogs can get strong, live longer and feel better.
Dogs are carnivores. While they can and will eat grains and vegetables, they are biologically designed to eat the same diet as their ancestor, the wolf. Dogs are scientifically classified as carnivores, and there is a reason for that. Experts in biology, zoology and taxonomy have their copious amounts of research and evidence supporting the dogs classification as a carnivore. You can learn more about what makes the dog a carnivore by reading my article on the topic, click here.
SHOULD I FEED A RAW FOOD DIET OR A HOMEMADE DOG FOOD DIET?
Whether you choose to feed a raw food diet or a homemade dog food diet is entirely up to you. Whatever diet you are most comfortable with, and can provide easily and efficiently, is the one you should go with.
A raw food diet consists of feeding your dog raw meat, raw bones and raw organs. This is the most species appropriate option for your dog. Carnivores and omnivores have been eating this type of diet for millions of years, and dogs really thrive on a raw diet. You can learn more about raw feeding and the amazing benefits by my reading my article: The Incredible Raw Food Diet for Dogs.
A homemade dog food diet is not as species appropriate as a raw food diet due to the cooking of most ingredients and the high inclusion of carbohydrates, but it is absolutely superior to a commercial kibble diet. Cooking destroys nutrients and kills enzymes, which is why a balanced homemade dog food diet must contain a whole food multivitamin and use as many raw ingredients as possible. A homemade diet contains real food, high moisture content and absolutely no junk fillers. Real food promotes real health. Ideally, the most species appropriate homemade dog food contains no grains, is high in protein and has a medium to high carbohydrate content. You can learn more about the benefits of a homemade dog food diet here: The Benefits of a Homemade Dog Food Diet for Dogs.
WHAT ABOUT HIGH QUALITY WHOLE FOOD KIBBLES?
There are some excellent, nutritious, high quality kibble formulas on the market, that absolutely are the next best option if you choose not to feed homemade food or raw food. While the level of nutrition and the benefits of a real food diet are not present in kibble; A grain-free, junk-free, whole food kibble can be an excellent diet option. I am not saying that dogs cannot live a long and healthy life on kibble, but a real food diet consisting of fresh, whole ingredients will always be superior to kibble based on quality of food and nutrient density. If you decide to feed kibble, make yourself familiar with common dangerous ingredients lurking in commercial pet food.
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
Keep learning, do your research, consult with experts and make the decision to change your dog's life with a real food diet.
Here are some more resources to help_ you make an informed decision and make the switch to a raw food or homemade dog food diet.
- The Incredible Raw Food Diet for Dogs
- Frequently Asked Questions About Raw Feeding
- The Benefits of a Homemade Diet for Dogs
- Wolves and Dogs: Raw Feeding for Dogs
- A Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs
- The Healthy Canine: Grain-free Homemade Dog Food Recipes
- The Truth About Pet Food: Bad Ingredients
- The Importance of Nutrition for our Dogs
Join the real food revolution!
If you enjoy K9 Instinct's articles, you will love getting our weekly Newsletter! It's totally free, and you will get lots of great exclusive content delivered directly to your inbox! You won't want to miss out on all the free advice and recipes!