Diet and Nutrition

1 2 3All Timber Ridge puppies begin on a raw food diet of cut up chicken necks and fruit and veggie puree. I understand that to many the raw diet can seem like unnecessary and messy work when there are so many kibble choices in the grocery and pet food stores with the words healthy, balanced, and complete scrawled across the bags. However, just like processed human foods there are synthetic additives, fillers, sugars, and natural flavorings that could be anything from dyes, preservatives, and solvents to chemicals that increase craving. Artificial and natural flavorings can contain 50 to 100 ingredients. I eat whole foods, and I want the same for my dog, which is why I strongly recommend raw, a balanced diet of varied proteins and vegetables. It’s harder, it’s messier, and it requires a bit more thought than scooping kibble out of a bag each morning, but your dog will be happier, healthier, and will likely live longer with fewer, if any, allergies, kidney and liver issues, and with stronger joints and bones. Please read Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy Schultze in your puppy packet or get a copy of Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson. Other excellent books on dog nutrition are Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats by Beth Taylor and Karen Shaw Becker, DVM, See Spot Live Longer by Steve Brown.

If the idea of whole foods for your dog is too overwhelming or if you are totally against having meat in your house, take time to research quality kibbles such as Merrick’s Raw Infused, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, or Call of the Wild, and consider supplementing with bones and raw eggs. (Never feed your dog cooked chicken or turkey legs as the bones can splinter and cause choking or internal damage.) And watch your dog’s weight. Kibble diets are higher in sugars than raw and can cause weight grain, even if you exercise your dog daily. Your dog’s rib cage (just as your own) shouldn’t be hidden by a layer of fat.

A healthy weight for a female shouldnt exceed 60 lbs at 1 year and 75 lbs at 2 years; healthy weight for a male shouldnt exceed 70 lbs at 1 year and 85 lbs at 2 years.

Please contact me with questions or advice on a raw food diet. I welcome discussion as I understand how confusing nutrition can seem when there are so many dog foods available and veterinarians with conflicting opinions. Doreen Metcalf: 207-602-8521

Posted in Health.