Real food

Good Saturday morning all; first a little update on my face.  It is slowly, very slowly healing.  I made my first outing into the public on Thursday; I took Elsa and Luke down to Greenwich for some social time.  My face is pretty scary to look at so when people stopped to talk, and they did it was a bit awkward when they finally looked up from the dogs at me.   Oh well it can only get better right?  And I must get out.

I have been asked to discuss "real food" by several people recently.  I have done a great deal of writing and speaking to people who are interested in the subject of feeding real food.  The term "people food" is what many who are trying to keep us on the dog food train use.  I hate the term and do not use it, it is simply real food; when they feed it to elephants and monkeys in the zoos do they call it people food?

I understand that it can be a scary thought, the dog food companies have done their job well of making us feel like we just can't.  We have been brainwashed into thinking that the big dog food companies know best.  These companies put everything our dogs need into their dry little kibbles for us to feed and have our dogs thrive; how could we possibly do any better?  As far as dog food is concerned there is a huge variance in quality; for me the bigger the company the lesser the quality.  So if you stay feeding dog food, do your research and buy the best that you can.

As for real food or "people food" as most call it, it's easy to feed your dog better than most dog foods just by feeding real to start with.  Dogs are carnivores so most of their food should come from an animal based protein.  Dogs don't care if it is the expensive cut or the lower priced tough stuff; in fact I always by the lower priced stuff for my guys.  I feed chicken, beef, pork, eggs, cheese, organ meat and fish.  I also give them vegetables, finely chopped or parboiled.  A small percentage of their meal is vegetables, sometimes I add fruit like dried cranberries, blueberries, apple, banana or orange juice.  I use to have an orange tree in the yard so would sneak some in; many dogs are not fans of citrus fruit.

There is a wonderful book that I highly recommend.  Raw and natural nutrition by Lew Olson.  This book takes away the mystery of feeding real food to your dog but does not focus on one way of feeding.  The book offers help for supplementing real food into dog food, feeding cooked meals and raw.  I cannot recommend the book enough for those who are hesitant about taking the "real food" step.

When you consider the lack of nutrition in much of the dog food that is available out there; feeding real food not only makes sense but is much easier than people think.  It has been the objective of the dog food companies to make us feel like we cannot compete with them.  We not only can compete, we can far exceed the quality of food that we feed our dogs compared to dry dog food.  I collect eggshells and grind them for calcium in the dog's food which is pretty much a free source considering I would normally just throw them out.    I buy cottage cheese at Costco; the big tubs and add this to their food.  I also give them plain organic goat yogurt and lots of other things.

Variety is important; just like for us it is the easiest way get the most nutrition that you can.  So many people these days, even Veterinarians will tell you to feed one food and don't give any "people food" to your dog.  This is not only misleading but entirely wrong.  If I am having a turkey sandwich with cheese and arugula for lunch I will almost always share.  I like my dogs to be able to eat anything.  On my recent trip across the country I had my guys on strictly dog food; it was something that I had to do.  Now home again I am getting them back on track with real food and once I find a good protein source other than the grocery store I will plug in the deep freeze and stock up.

Buy the book; it makes taking that first step to better nutrition much less scary.