What does your dog eat? I usually cringe when someone asks that, I shut my mouth, and tip toe away. People are always so passionate about what they feed their dog and I have seen way too many nasty arguments and name calling when someone asks that one simple question. My one exception would be if you are feeding your dog Old Roy or Dog Chow or some other really cheap, bad, food, I would probably chime in.
So what do I feed my dog? The answer is simple, I feed them everything. I honestly don't think my dogs have the exact same meal on any 2 back to back days. In 2001 I had the pleasure of attending a week long camp hosted by Wendy Volhard and it really opened my eyes. I learned about training, homeopathy, herbals, and nutrition. Something she said I have never forgotten, "before kibble dogs ate table scraps and even Newfoundlands lived into their 20's". Wendy was the first to have a dehydrated food mix where you could add in what you wanted, so that began my journey into raw meats.
Within a few weeks I noticed lots of changes in my dogs. Their coat was thicker, shiny and soft, they had more energy, and their toe nails grew like crazy! I had to cut them once a week which I do to this day. Even the vet noticed a difference in them. My old boy Joshua lived to be 17 and his senior blood work was that of a young dog.
I know so many of you work and I had a full time job and rarely got done before 6 PM. Making these elaborate meals with all the vitamins and supplements for your dog, when you barely had time to feed yourself, takes its toll. That is why "what I feed my dog" has evolved over many years and changed often. Not only was time an issue, but I had gotten a puppy who would not even look at raw meats.......crazy, right? But the one thing that never changed was my desire and determination to feed my dogs the best I possibly could. When my dog Tegan was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 it crushed me beyond belief. I mean how could this be? I do everything right.....best diet, no vaccines, lots of exercise, and on and on. The first thing my holistic vet told me was to get the book "The Dog Cancer Survival Guide" and change her diet. "What I feed my dog" changed yet again. I learned about foods that are "cancer friendly" like red peppers and kale. I learned even more about supplements that help deter cancer growth. What I feed today is what I learned through that journey with cancer because I want to never have to go through that again.
Dont get me wrong, I still use kibble, but I use what I consider to be one the best out there. I even have to buy my kibble at a local store because it is something I dont sell. However, that is just one very small part of my dogs diet. Honestly I am a waste in the morning and dont want to have to think, especially if I have not had a few cups of coffee in me yet. So in the morning the dogs get some kibble and I also give them 1/2 a can each of a great quality canned food with various meat sources, again something I dont sell in the store. I add in some Kin + Kin raw coconut, Kin + Kind turmeric, K9 ImmuniStat (chock full of mushrooms), and any meats I may have left over in the fridge from the night before.
Dinner gets more elaborate, but honestly only takes me about 5-8 minutes to prepare. I used to use & sell Honest Kitchen dehydrated mix but then I met the owner of Healthy Dogma. When she could even tell me the names of the farmers where she buys her ingredients I was sold. Don't get me wrong, Honest Kitchen is a great food, but I always worried about some of the ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and peas which are not in a cancer friendly diet. Healthy Dogma is in my mind a purer food with fewer ingredients and when you hydrate it you can see the chunks of veggies and chicken in it. In the Healthy Dogma base mix I add in Greek yogurt, turmeric, Nordic Naturals Omega 3 fish oil, diced red pepper, chopped kale (or broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprout), and minced berries (whatever is on sale at the store, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries). I usually cut up a pepper and the kale when I get it home from the store and keep it in a container in the fridge so it is always ready to go. Lastly I add in a meat or other protein source. My dogs love scrambled eggs, chicken, sardines, any kind of baked fresh fish, Stella & Chewy's patties and meal mixers, or sometimes I will just open up another can of dog food and toss that in. I just got in the new Benny Bully's meal mixer so am excited to try that.
I have rambled on too long, but hopefully I have you thinking about things you may be able to do better with your dogs diet. Just like with people, a dogs nutrition is very important. I am always around to talk with you more and give you some ideas for new meals. If you want to try the Healthy Dogma foods, I do have them in small cup sizes that are perfect for a trial or for those of us who travel to dog shows and don't want to pack large bags of food.