Over the last twenty or so years, I have witnessed a significant improvement in the health of many animals coming to my veterinary clinic with chronic health problems with a simple change from processed (dried, tinned or ‘dog roll’) pet food, to fresh, raw food. However, due to the lack of supply of whole, fresh carcasses in a suburban environment, it is up to us pet owners to supply as close an approximation as we can to the whole carcass diet cats and dogs would naturally eat. This is a much easier process than most people may initially imagine, and the results can be surprisingly beneficial.
Dogs with itchy skin conditions can improve within a month or so of changing from a diet of processed pet food to a diet consisting of fresh meat, bones, vegetables and fruit with a correct balance of fish oil, and kelp. Natural diet is a mainstay of holistic veterinary (and human) treatment for many degenerative conditions such as autoimmunity and cancer, combined with herbs, homoeopathics and other therapies. There are now many clinical trials which have shown this to be the case.
Tinned foods contain cooked meat, and cooking destroys much of the useful nutrients in meat for carnivorous animals.
Most commercial dried foods (even premium brands) may contain 25% to 60% carbohydrate. The carbohydrate component is usually present as rice or corn meal. The carbohydrate in dried food makes the food less expensive to manufacture, and gives it a long shelf life. Veterinary physiology text books tell us that dogs and cats should have no more than 3% to 5% carbohydrate in their diet, because any more than this reduces the liver glycogen metabolism, thus reducing the detoxification of chemicals and toxins from the liver and fat stores.
Full liver metabolism, which can only happen with a very low, or no, carbohydrate diet, will therefore reduce the likelihood of degenerative conditions such as autoimmune or infectious disease, liver and kidney disease, arthritis and cancer. It has been shown scientifically that cats are much more likely to suffer diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, bladder stones and hepatitis if their diet contains dried commercial food. It has been shown scientifically that puppies are more likely to develop hip dysplasia on a diet containing carbohydrate.
Dogs are omnivores and cats are carnivores. They obtain their essential nutrients from the raw meat, bone, sinew, offal and fermented vegetable gut contents of the carcasses they eat, plus dogs also eat a lot of dropped, rotting fruit, berries, dung and leaf litter from the jungle floor.
We can easily add the ‘jungle floor litter’ and ‘carcass gut contents’ in the form of kelp, alfalfa powder or spirulina (to add trace elements), a quarter to a heaped teaspoon depending on size of cat/dog.
Fresh, real food will provide essential nutrients in a more useable form for the animal than as separate additives artificially incorporated into heated and pressurised processed food.
The easiest and most economical raw meaty bones for dogs are chicken wings, lamb necks, ox tails or roo tails.
For cats, raw chicken necks and lamb cutlets are the most popular.
Fish oil, 1 to 6 g depending on animal size, is needed for the essential omega 3 fatty acids.
Alternatively, feed tinned or fresh fish, such as raw white bait, two or three times a week.
Eggs are fine (complete with crushed shell for dogs) to give whole, raw or cooked, 2-3 times a week.
Basically, any you eat are fine for animals, except onions and spring onions. Ideally raw, pulped or grated veges and herbs are ideal – carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, peas, beetroot, squash, parsley, cress, sprouts, coriander, basil, dill.
Vegetables can be pulped raw, or cooked. The pulp left over from your juicer is great animal food.
Cats may eat mashed pumpkin or sweet potato with cheese or sour cream, roast potatoes or pumpkin, stir fried vegetables, mashed banana, yoghurt or soup.
Remember cats can tolerate 10% fat diets, so feel free to add cheese, eggs, fatty meat off cuts and other fatty foods to taste for cats.
Many of us lead busy lives, so make it all fit with the household routine. Keep a dog bowl on the counter and put in all left-over fruit, vegetable and salad scraps – apple cores, tomato and carrot tops or left over salad, yoghurt or cracked eggs from the fridge. Go around the garden and gather herbs, nasturtiums, dandelions or over ripe fruit from the fruit bowl – strawberries, melon, bananas, apples, pears.
Then add kelp and fish or fish oil and some raw meat and raw bones.
You will find this natural diet will be cheaper than commercial food, even paying for the fish, kelp and oil.
Your pet will feel more included in the family having “human food” and will be happier and healthier.
It is a joy seeing your pet’s healthy, nurturing diet manifest easily from the household kitchen routine!
If you require more information, I have written an 80 page, inexpensive, easy to read and follow book to give you all the information you need to feed your pet to great health.
Here is the link which you can print out to order the book from me, or see sales outlets in WA in the “Clare’s Book” section of my website - https://clare-middle.squarespace.com/clares-books/ .
If you require very detailed information on feeding dogs, especially if you are a dog breeder who raises puppies, you may like to download this excellent 350 page ebook by Mogens Eliasans called “Raw Food for Dogs”, available through this link –
http://k9joy.com/RawFoodForDogs/index.php?camp=5234_campaign (there is an underscore after ‘5234)
These are the basic diets for healthy animals that have no serious illness, although the diet may be highly beneficial for some conditions such as allergy, skin disease, mild arthritis etc.
If in any doubt about your pet's health, seek veterinary advise.
This is 350g food - enough for a 15kg dog for one day.
1. Raw meaty bones appropriate for chewing ability of dog - 100g
eg a raw chicken wing, back or frame;2 or 3 raw chicken necks; half a raw turkey neck; a portion of raw turkey wing, raw lamb neck parts, raw lamb flaps, raw roo tail part, raw goat meaty bones
2. Raw meat - 150g
eg raw roo meat (no preservative), raw chicken/turkey thigh, lamb/beef/goat/camel/pork/rabbit or other raw minced, diced or whole meat pieces
3. Offal - 30g
eg chicken or turkey gizzard/giblets; lamb/mutton/pork/beef kidney/liver/heart/brain/trotters/ trachea/green tripe; dried liver treats
4. Raw vege/fruit pulp left over from juicing or share your smoothie! - 50g
eg carrot, apple, pear, kale, cucumber, spinach, parsley, mint, ginger, mango, melon, tomato, capsicum, berries
and/or - lightly steamed/roasted/slow cooked veges eg pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs/spices (turmeric, rosemary etc) in a teaspoon coconut oil
5. Fish oil - Either
two (2) fish oil capsules or a teaspoonful cod liver oil - 2g
canned sardine/pilchard/mackerel - 10g
6. A teaspoon flax seed meal/oat bran/coconut crunch - 5g
7. Half teaspoon kelp/spirulina/chlorella/alfalfa/sprouted grain or grass - 3g
8. A teaspoon apple cider vinegar/kimchi/sauerkraut/other fermented food
9. Once or twice a week – a raw egg (can include shell), a dessertspoonful of plain yoghurt or cottage cheese or small piece mature cheese
This diet provides about 7 to 10% raw bone, which provides the correct calcium:phosphorous ratio as in an ancestral diet.
Puppies require about 15% of their diet to be raw bone, and pregnant and lactating female dogs need at least this, depending on litter size. To make sure you are providing enough calcium to a lactating mother dog, give extra easy to assimilate natural calcium containing food such as yohurt and cottage cheese.
If your dog cannot eat whole raw bone, mince it raw and provide alternative appropriate daily chewing to keep teeth clean.
If you suspect your dog has food allergies, then use only one type of meat and offal that your dog has never been fed, or a protein you know is suitable.
You may need to decrease or increase the total weight of food for your dog depending on his metabolism – you should be able to easily count 6 ribs!
If you can’t, your dog is overweight.
If you can count more that 6 ribs, your dog is underweight.
This is 120g food – enough for a 5kg cat for one day
1. One raw chicken neck - 20g
about 20% of diet will provide 7 to 10% bone in diet which provides correct calcium:phosphorous; (or other raw meat on bone which the cat can chew at least a dozen times to clean teeth, manages safely and easily, and is similar to natural prey eg rabbit, quail, turkey, lamb neck piece)
2. Raw meat - 80g
any raw meat eg roo, lamb, beef, turkey, chicken etc; (ideally in chunks to encourage chewing, ideally fatty meat as cats need about 10% raw fat in their diet, unless cat is overweight)
3. Raw offal - 10g
eg liver, kidney, heart, brain, trachea, lung , tripe 10g; (if you or your cat don’t like using offal, then feed dried liver treats and use cod liver oil instead of fish oil)
4. Fish product - 5g
or one fish oil capsule if your cat is allergic to fish
5. Egg, yoghurt, cheese, any veg/fruit your cat may like - 5g
6. One pinch of spirulina/chlorella or provide fresh catnip etc
7. OPTIONAL – digestive enzyme tablet or pinch of powder
© Clare Middle 2015