One of our readers asked about a raw food diet for dogs. Generally, we recommend a balanced and high quality commercial diet as a mainstay of a canine diet. It is difficult to achieve the same balance of nutrients in home-made diets. Furthermore, feeding raw meat on a regular basis carries with it a risk of introducing bacterial and parasitic diseases.
In a home-made dog diet, it would be preferable to cook the meat (but not the bones!), or use very fresh or fresh-frozen raw meat. The general rule is, if you wouldn't eat the meat, then you shouldn't feed it to your pet either! It is preferable not to feed uncooked offal to pets as there is a greater risk of passing on infectious diseases. The diet should have a greater proportion of meat and a smaller proportion of a carbohydrates, such as rice, potato or pasta. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots can also be added. Remember there are certain fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, avocados and onions that are toxic to our pets.
Raw bones are great for helping keep our canine and feline friends' teeth clean. Cooked bones should never be fed to pets. If the pet doesn't eat the bone within a day, the bone should be discarded as if left out, it will dry out and become brittle. Raw bones should again be very fresh or fresh-frozen and the pet should be supervised while eating them.
A general guideline is to feed your dog about 2 % of its' body weight in food per day. So a 20kg dog would receive 200g of food a day, preferably split into 2 meals. This should be adjusted according to the individual, for example, overweight dog should receive about 1 to 1.5% of its' body weight.
Again, most of us vets recommend feeding a high quality commercial food as a main component of the pet's diet to ensure that the diet is balanced.
What type of diet do you feed your pet? Share with us in the comments!