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Dog Food The Natural Way

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If you`ve been feeding your dog a commercially-prepared food and wish to switch to a natural diet, it`s important to know how the change will affect your dog`s life

If you've been feeding your dog a commercially-prepared food and wish to switch to a natural diet, it's important to know how the change will affect your dog's life.

It's common for dogs to experience withdrawal from commercially-prepared dog food. This withdrawal is from drugs and addictive substances in the dog food. Thus it's necessary to add the natural diet gradually. In the beginning your dog's body will start to be overloaded with toxins that have been stored in the fat, glands and liver. This is often referred to as a "healing crisis." The dog may require supplementation to remove these toxins from the body and boost the immune system. This is an excellent time to put your dog on a liver cleanse (milk thistle and dandelion are good choices) to help clean the toxins out.

The natural diet can begin with cutting 50 percent of commercially-prepared food out of the dog's diet. In its place add fresh vegetables, brown rice and a protein source, such as raw certified organic meat, whey protein powder or even lightly cooked organic meat. Non-certified-organic meat may be used, but only lean cuts because toxins are generally stored in the fat and organ meats. Toxins such as antibiotics, artificial hormones, genetically altered feeds, inoculations and pesticides/herbicides are found in this meat. However it's still better than commercially-prepared dog food. You may want to continue feeding this way for a couple of months. Your dog will need some supplementation for the liver throughout the entire process.

The next phase involves cutting the amount of commercially-prepared dog food in half again and feeding this amount at the dog's morning meal in combination with the natural diet. (Commercially-prepared dog food makes up half the morning meal.) The dog's dinner would thus consist wholly of the natural diet. Continue this process for another month.

Finally your dog's diet will consist of only the natural food.

Diet Building Blocks

Here is a short list of building blocks to help you construct your dog's diet:

  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes (cooked or raw)
  • Yam/sweet potato (cooked or raw)
  • Barley
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables (except onion which can be toxic to dogs.)
  • Whey protein powder or soy protein powder (if the dog is not allergic.)
  • Lean/certified organic meat served raw if possible (Cooking denatures the protein rendering it unusable.)
  • Beans and lentils, best when combined with the digestive enzyme bromelain (available in health food stores.)
  • Nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, almonds, sunflowei seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  • Free-range organic eggs are good; any others have beer sprayed with pesticides before reaching the consumer These pesticides soak right through the permeable eggshell.
  • Raw bones are often suggested. Although this should be a healthy source of calcium for your dog, there are pesticides stored in marrow. Organic bones are preferable Monitor your dog closely if you are feeding raw bones, as pieces can sometimes break off that are large or sharp and become lodged in the digestive tract. Another way to use bones is to boil them as you would for soup and feed the dog the broth as flavoring.

Non-certified-organic meats such as fish, pork, chicken and organ meats are so contaminated that they're not safe for consumption:

  • Fish has toxic levels of mercury.
  • Pigs are kept in the most unsanitary conditions of any domesticated animal and many are genetically altered with a human gene.
  • Chicken is possibly the most polluted meat on earth because of the dirty, small cages in which they are kept and the vast quantities of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides they are exposed to in their short lives (approximately six weeks, due to hormone-induced rapid growth.)
  • Organs are where the animal stores toxins.

Therefore if you can't buy certified-organic, you should choose beef or lamb, which are somewhat better.

These tips should provide a starting point for changing your dog's diet to a natural one. There are many useful resources out here for pet owners to access and many different opinions about what nutrition is best for a dog.

It is important to remember that you know your own dog best. Ensure that it continues to exhibit signs of good health such as a healthy weight, normal energy levels (for your dog), a stable personality and healthy eyes, skin and coat. With these guidelines you should be able to feed it for optimal nutrition. A healthy dog is a happy dog!

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