Dog and Diet
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Charles Fernandez
Posted on: June 14, 2006

My 1-1/2 year old Yorkie (Jessica) has a diet mainly made up of raw food. Morning -- raw chicken with bone. Midday -- raw organ meat or chicken or lamb. Evening -- veggie slurry with canned mackerel. She receives a supplement for dogs in the morning and an oil blend in the evening. Jessica is very healthy and lean. We usually walk her for 30 minutes everyday when the weather is good. Do you have any suggestions as to other supplement she may need to prevent deficiences?

Great to hear you are making homemade food for your dog! However, there are a number of things in your list of dietary components to which I would like raise for discussion:

1. I realise there is an enormous debate surrounding the use of grain in animal diets. In my experience, I have found that most dogs and cats do better when they have a small amount of cooked grain in their diet (ie: slow-cooking oatmeal flakes, barley flakes, etc.) Given you are trying to replicate (as close as possible) the body of a prey animal, the bulk provided by these complex carbohydrates seems to fill the gap usually occupied by the prey animal’s fur or feathers, etc.

2. Organ meat: you do not mention if this is organic or not. As the liver is the depository for all toxins and the site of metabilism for most pharmaceuticals, it is imperative that organ meats be from organically-raised animals. Second, organ meats can be quite rich for some animals and hard to digest. Many animals do best if given organ meats only once a week, but each animal is different. Remember when choosing meat for your dog to keep in mind the size of the prey animal. For instance, it is doubtful that a Yorkie could bring down a lamb, but in the world of available foods, a lamb is a more realistic choice than a cow, yes?

3. I would also question the use of canned mackerel every day. Canned foods usually carry a component of salt (used in the canning process) that can, over the long term be hard on your dog’s kidneys and cardiovascular system. Fish is a good choice, but perhaps a variety over the week (and cooked fresh, not canned) rather than the same fish every day.

4. If possible, you might want to feed your dog vegetables with each meal as they to some extent help with digestion.

5. Given your dog is 1 and 1/2 years old, you no longer need to feed her three times a day as you may have done when she was a puppy. Twice a day is sufficient for most adult dogs and will allow her blood sugar to remain on a stable balance.

6. I assume besides her walk, she has a chance to play and run around outside?

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