So, dogs chew their food, right? They produce the same enzymes as we do and are taught from their mothers to chew 12 times before swallowing…NOT! Ever watch a healthy dog eat? Seconds! It takes them seconds to eat, and even then, it usually takes longer watching them lick the bowl. Their teeth are designed to rip meat off the bone and swallow it as fast as they can. In nature, they would be sharing the meal (or kill) with pack mates, so everyone is out for themselves. It’s not like that anymore, nor could you imagine Fifi killing anything at all.
Well, the truth is that their digestive tract still works in the same way, and even though it’s many generations later, they still eat meat, swallow fast, and don’t share their food well with others. So, there are a few things I’d like you to be aware of. Even though anyone in my household could interrupt my dogs eating without an issue, it is strongly advised that you should be able to do that yourself if necessary, you of course, being the alpha. Our dogs knew where they were positioned in the family pack and knew where they stand. They are dogs, and remember, you invited them into your home to share your life, and in return, they share theirs with you.
Your pets should always have a keen interest in the food you feed, they should be eager and focused on feeding time. The food should disappear in a heartbeat, do not leave food down all day, as they are not grazers. Look at their teeth; they are not flat grinding plates, but rather sharp instruments. The digestion starts quickly in the mouth, but the stomachs’ enzymatic process does the real work. Proper digestion is acknowledged (yep, here we go) by the texture, consistency, and color of the stool. Garbage in; garbage out. If they leave food in the bowl, you’re feeding either a food of no interest to them or you’re feeding too much volume of it. Dogs with regular or excessive gas are symptomatic of this as well. You can determine this again, by the stool.
Many say that “variety is the spice of life”. I agree and as many of us enjoy a great variety in our diets. It would be nice and healthy for us to incorporate a variety of different foods into our pets’ diet as well. Even though once we’ve found a great diet for our pets, we know it’s easy to get lazy and just feed them that. Knowing that variety is also a very healthy method of maintaining a more vibrant and healthy immune system by periodically challenging it. How can you incorporate variety?
Think of the food you are choosing to feed as a base diet. Incorporate fresh meat and rotate the meat as well. I believe raw meat is the best, but if that gives you the cooties, then cook it to whatever level you’re comfortable with. Keep it simple, do not add stress to your life or your dogs by worrying about the meat. Add fresh greens, vegetables, eggs, and what I love the best; leftovers. Limit the volume of the “added” stuff ranging between ¼ to ½ of that meal. This way you won’t disrupt their systems too much, yet awaken some other aspect of them. Never feed them directly from the table, rather incorporate the “other” into their meals at their normal feeding times. Your leftovers will vary thereby stimulating their digestive tract and immune system regularly. Please, when including leftovers, do not include spicy items or highly seasoned items, keep it bland.
If you believe your dog’s digestion is not all it should be, there are several recommendations I have been telling thousands of concerned pet caregivers over the years with great success.
· Cutting back on the chosen diet you are currently feeding and include and increase the “added” foods mentioned above. Notice the stool size and consistency. Integrate the added foods gradually.
· Cut back on the existing diet volume and add an enzyme product (such as our UNLEASH) and include some cooked brown rice or oatmeal. Do not increase the total amount of foods from what they have been accustomed to.
· Change the diet to a brand you believe through your research (not marketing nonsense, watch out for the ones that make you choke up in tears) is better. How would you know? Compare feeding guidelines, the better the food, the less they recommend you to feed (by body weight).
It’s not that complicated, would you go day after day with a digestion issue and not change something? Would you allow your child to periodically experience reoccurring diarrhea or vomiting? So, why do so many people continue feeding inferior diets to their dogs until something blows up? Many seem not to have a problem visiting the vet once a month on a regular basis, if you see your vet more than you see your pediatrician or your GP, you may want to think about what was written here.
Be smart, they rely on us to take care of them and regardless, they usually return it with an over abundance of love. Allow them to love us more, in vibrant health and longevity.