I was, from an early age, into food. Not because I liked it, but the opposite, I was picky and made the connection between living beings and meat. From then on, I delved into nutrition deeply and read everything from well known nurtritionists so I could continue dancing professionally yet eat well without consuming anything that had animal parts....I became a vegan. I was also lactose intolerant so was fortunate as my family couldn't understand my unwillingness to consume any animal products.
This is not to convince you to become vegan, but to make you understand that I undertook the study of nutrition deeply and as much, if not more, than a nutritionist and this included my dogs.
Back then I don't recall pet food , it may very well have existed, I believe there was packaged dog food in the early 50's but we made our pet food; I undertook this. I would buy good pieces of lean meat, and add some dark green veggies and red veggies. Sometimes, a clean raw egg, all in the blender and feed it to my Dachshund, Katryna. This is many, many years ago and she died when I was 19 and for 13 years had no dogs as my lifestyle was such I couldn't have one. When my Mexican husband, my children and I moved to florida from Mexico because of the 8.1 earthquake that killed over 30,000 people in 1985, I had a culture shock. In Mexico, I would go every Saturday, I was working Mum, to the Tianguis, the open markets, and buy the freshest food you can imagine. It was picked early in the pre dawn hours and the veggies tasted like heaven! tomatoes, peppers, corn, spinach had real FLAVOUR! I eat a tomato here and it tastes like garbage. I didn't want my children eating any type of typical american diet so started growing my own veggies, bought fruit trees, went out of my way to shop organic when it was still uncommon in Florida. Then I bought my first house, which I made sure had a large, beautiful garden and fenced it and adopted 3 dogs, in 95, 97, A Catahoula, Teddy Bear, a Dalmatian, Daisy Bear and a Basset, Saffron. Eventually I began a Basset rescue and that is where I knew how important nutrition was. I knew it was important, but bringing home half dead dogs and making them whole through the power of healthy food was reinforcement for my beliefs. I have never drunk milk, eaten flesh, I had 3 babies,ate tons of vegetables and fruit smoothies and never had anemia or any problems and look 35 when I am considerably older than that. I have beautiful skin, a slim figure, long, silky hair with little grey....I am 64 and will post recent pics.
So my quest for finding a recipe that would keep my dogs healthy began. I spent years studying, modifying the diets but the following are essential to your dogs' health. Dog's are omnivores, not carnivores like felines. Cats cannot be on a meat free diet, it would kill them. Dogs, like humans are alike in many ways. Millions of years of domesticating them has changed them from their very distant ancestors , the wolves. I know many people follow Cesar Millan who continuously makes reference of dogs as being wolves, The man is a buffoon. He has no education, his programs are not what they actually are. He taunts dogs into being aggressive but, more than anything, he is continuously saying dogs are wolves! They are not! There are tremendous differences between dogs and wolves so forget about that notion. We have , basically, created dogs. They are the only species which have roundabout 350 known breeds. No other species has this much diversity nor domesticity.
We will consider kibble, tinned dog food, raw diet and homemade food plus supplements and HEALTHY treats for your dogs.
I do use kibble as a base; must be organic, holistic, non grain. Life's Abundance has many kibble for different life stages and is the one I now use to feed my pregnant and nursing mothers and my puppies. I mix it with a can of puppy food and add yoghurt, I make my own in a dehydrator, very easy to do. I put probiotics, diatomaceous earth, coconut or wild salmon oil, Brewer's yeast and give vitamins specifically for pregnant females. You can feed your baby the same thing and switch to Life's Abundance small kibble for adults with the toppings. Feed twice a day. A little snack in the middle of the day is a good idea because tiny dogs can become hypoglicemic quickly.
SNACKS: Life's Abundance has very good nutritional and balanced treats which should be used to reward good behaviour. I give my dogs romaine lettuce, kale, apple slices, bananas, carrots, broccoli, all organic and raw, as treats. Healthy and not fattening.
DIARRHEA: If you suspect your little darling has eaten something and the diarrhea is really bad, go to the veterinarian. If he/she has diarrhea but is happy and playing stop regular food immediately for 12-24 hours, give .02 from a insulin type syringe. your pharmacy will give you one as long as it hasn't a needle, of Immodium and then a whole syringe of clear Pedialyte every half hour. Immodium every 4 hours. After the 24 hours, you can feed him/her rice with chicken and hopefully will clear up. Immodium is something you should always have on hand.
CONSTIPATION: I always have a tin of unsweetened pumpkin. Just give a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on the dog's size directly or mixed in food. If there is no blockage, it will work. If your dog is prone to constipation you should cut down on the kibble and give more veggies.
COPROPHAGIA: Means eating poop. There are many reasons why dogs do this. Mothers keep their babies' area clean by consuming the waste, Puppies in puppymills/pet shops are very prone to doing this because they are clean animals and , since the puppymillers don't care to clean up, the dog is forced to do it and it's the only way he/she knows how. A lack of certain minerals is another reason. I have often found giving a small piece , say a 1/4 of a banana, helps. So how do you fix it? If you walk your dog, then just say a stern "NO" and pick it up. You are controlling your dog with the lead. If your dog goes in your yard, then either go out with him , do the same as walking but pick it up immediately. Give a good vitamin supplement and do try the banana. You can also buy unsweetened , crushed pineapple and put a teaspoon for a Bolo, more for a bigger dog, in their food. Theoretically, it makes poop unpalatable which makes no sense to me as I would never find poop palatable but then I am not a dog; however, it works. If you have cats then you know cat poop is like chocolate truffles are to you!! Yummy! The reason is felines are true carnivores, dogs are omnivores, like us so cat food is full of protein. Add a little meat or chicken to your dog's diet and keep litter box unreachable.
CPR: Please avail yourself of the classes given teaching you basic CPR for your pets, and learn the Heimlich maneuver for them. Both are free and good to know.
BUFO TOADS: in Florida we have this species that comes from Africa and somehow got here and just procreated. They are not frogs! Please do not kill frogs, frogs are essential to the environment and eat bug but BUFO TOADS secrete a very poisonous liquid on their back when confronted by danger, a dog, for example. I have no idea how far the BUFO TOADS have gotten to but if your dogs licks it, the smaller the dog the shorter the time you have to save its life. Get a hose and put it SIDEWAYS near the open mouth so the poison goes out and not into your dog. When a dog licks a toad, you have 20 minutes to act, do the above and then rush to the veterinarian. Symptoms include walking like a drunken person, and throwing up. Whether your dog has or has not, licked a Bufo Toad, do the above to get the poison out of his/her system. Avoid having puddles of water, water fountains on the ground, etc. These Toads love water but are highly dangerous to dogs, deadly in fact.
I will share more with you but for now I think this is enough. Next time I will talk about the benefits of Colloidol Silver, which I make myself and other natural herbs which are good for both you and your dog.