Undoubtedly, if you’re reading this site, you spend a good amount of time thinking about what food is best to fuel your body. You’ve probably wondered if you should buy organic, pastured, or grass-fed. You’ve probably even wondered if wheat bad for us. For some, the quest for a healthy diet can take up a good amount of our free time. Between researching, shopping, and cooking food, food in general is a big part of our lives. But, how much thought do we put into the diet of our pets?
A lot of us go to the grocery store and buy a big bag of dog food, or perhaps you’re a bit more discerning and purchase your dog’s food at a specialty pet store. Maybe you’re like me and take it even further by feeding your dog foods that they would have “traditionally” eaten. Do you know that dogs are still 99% genetically similar to wolves? Dogs are simply wolves that resorted to scavenging human garbage rather than hunting. It has only been recently that dogs have started eating kibble.
Dogs are our best friends. They are completely dependent on us for their health and well being, and we also rely on them to help keep us healthy (from walks to stress relief). So why not take a little bit of extra time and research the best diet for your dog? Whether it’s switching to a different brand if kibble that has better ingredients, upgrading to a specialty kibble, or even going raw, there’s always more we could do for our best friend.
What’s my dog’s healthy diet?
I have a large dog and have found that I can feed her a raw diet even on my limited budget by sticking to buying eggs in bulk, meat on sale, and feeding her some of our unwanted veggie scraps (she’s always a bit suspicious of these, but eats them in the end). I typically spend anywhere from $0.99 to $1.30 per pound on her meat and try to stock up when there’s a sale (we buy a lot of turkeys at Thanksgiving). And no, we do not feed her pastured meats and organic veggies… we can’t even afford to feed ourselves like that all the time. But I have found that feeding her the best we can on our budget has improved her teeth, fur, and even her behavior.
Two things to note
If you’re worried about feeding your dog raw because you’ve heard that bones splinter and can choke your dog, please note that cooked bones splinter, raw bones do not. Dogs should never be fed any bones that have been cooked. Chloe gets raw meat and bones. Just be sure to not feed any weight bearing bones from large animals as they are too thick for a dog to break through with their teeth.
A lot of people are also worried about the chances of their dog getting salmonella or some other food borne illness from consuming raw meat. This is not a concern. Dog’s digestive systems are a lot tougher than ours. They can handle raw meat and even meat that has gone a bit bad (this is actually my dog’s favorite pieces of meat). We’ve been known to give our dog a cut of meat that we didn’t cook in time before it turned a bit bad. Pretty much nothing goes to waste in our house.
Take a look at Chloe enjoying her morning snack of a raw egg:
Do you put a lot of thought into what you feed your pets? Let me know in the comments below.
Photograph by Peter Booth from the Vetta Collection/Getty
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