Optimal Nutrition for Dogs? Raw Foods, or Processed Foods?
Some of Kristen's Toy Poodles, Silly & Charlie
By: Kristen Hall
In my work as a breeder, herbalist and nutritional therapy advocate,
many folks have written to me asking What is the best diet for my
dog or puppy?
Those of you who have been with us a while know that I believe that
our Life's Abundance foods are absolutely the best commercial diet
available on the market today.
You've heard me get on my soap box about preservatives & actual
ingredients, and you've heard me talk about what this food has done
for my own Toy Poodle dogs.
But I keep hearing about the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw
Foods), so I thought I should look into it a little more and let you
know what I found.
I first heard about feeding our pets this way when I was researching a
better quality food for my Toy Poodles. I never did get into BARF,
mostly because I was not convinced that it was nutritionally adequate.
I did home-cook for my Poodles, but stopped doing that
when I found the Life's Abundance foods for the same reason.
I just didn't feel qualified to formulate a nutritionally adequate diet.
I know the basics of good nutrition for pets, but formulating a diet is
a great deal more complicated than that.
So I did some research and found a number of websites with TONS
of information and testimonials about what a BARF diet can do for your pet.
Personally, I loved the idea of feeding the Poodles raw chicken necks,
if for no other reason than I thought the extra meat & calcium would
be good for my Mamas & their babies. And, I thought they would
enjoy chewing those nice bones with all that juicy raw meat. So I
bought some chicken necks last weekend. Instead of their
usual evening meal, I gave each of the Poodles a raw chicken neck.
Now, you must understand that the meat must be raw, meaty bones.
You must NEVER give dogs (or any pets for that matter) cooked
meat with bones. The bones become brittle during the cooking
process and can easily splinter, causing all kinds of problems
ranging from choking to death, scratched up throats, damaged
intestines and all sorts of horrible things. According to advocates
of the BARF system, uncooked, raw meaty bones are flexible and
pliable enough for the pets to chew them up properly and assimilate
the protein and calcium in a way that cannot be done with cooked
meat or commercially processed foods. It is also a great workout for
teeth and gums, both of which tend to be a problem in Toy Poodles,
especially the older Poodles.
Well, you know me? I'm always up for a new idea, so I thought I'd
give it a try.
Most of my Poodles looked at me in dismay, wondering what that thing
was in their dish instead of their usual dinner. Three (out of 18) Poodles
actually ate the chicken necks and really seemed to enjoy
them with no problems or negative effects. The others recoiled in
shocked horror at the thought of eating "whatever that is" in their dish.
(No, I am NOT kidding.)
Just to ensure that it wasn't just pickiness on their part, I left them with
the chicken necks and skipped their usual dinner, on the theory that
when they got hungry enough, they would get past the strangeness
of this new food and dig in. This usually works when I have tried
what they considered odd additions to their regular food.
Wrong! The remaining 15 Toy Poodles all said they would rather go
hungry, thank you very much and the bones were still in the dishes,
untouched, a couple of hours later when it was time for their evening run.
Lucky, our walking food disposal of a Dalmatian, eventually ate all
15 chicken necks. She had absolutely no trouble eating through the
bones and had a wonderful time, probably because she loved the taste
and the idea that she was eating the Poodles' dinner!
Apparently, this is a great diet for big dogs, but I am here to tell you
that my Poodles were neither amused nor impressed with the change in diet.
Now I KNOW there are Toy Poodles out there who are thriving on
the BARF system. But mine are not among them. SO, as appealing
as the web pages and testimonials make this diet seem, it was just not
workable for my Toy Poodles.
Personally, we're sticking to what works for us, and that is Life's Abundance.
Be that as it may, you may want to look into the BARF concept a
little more closely yourself.
Take a look, if this way of feeding appeals to you and if you do try it,
be sure to give an appropriate supplement such as our Advanced
Daily Supplement and/or the truly excellent Omega RX capsules.
Remember, folks, I am not a veterinarian, nor am I an animal/canine
nutrition specialist. I am just a Toy Poodle breeder who puts a lot of
thought into what I feed my Poodles, how it is made and from what
it is made. SO take a look at these sites and tell me what you think.
And if you are feeding a raw foods diet, or you wind up trying it, let
me know. I would love to hear how it works for you.
Kristen recommends & Feeds her Toy Poodles
only one Brand of Food..... Life's Abundance
The best thing you can do to help your pet live the Longest and
Healthiest Life possible is provide them with a Quality Premium food.
Do your precious pet a big time favor and check out
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