Natures Recipe Dog Food Guided by best intentions and shifting a nutritional trend from humans to companion animals, many owners choose to cook and formulate food for their dogs, but is this a good practice?
In an effort to provide a “natural diet” we forget that, in nature, wild canids eat almost all parts of their prey, including small bones, internal organs and the guts with their content. Free-range dogs routinely feed on animals, but they also consume vegetables frequently, particularly fruits in the fall and the plant-filled gastric and intestinal contents of the herbivores they consume. Thus they obtain all the necessary nutrients for their maintenance.
Are we at home capable of emulating the nature and instinct of our dogs? Some homemade diets do not necessarily do direct harm, but be careful that others do. Let’s review the possible consequences below: Among the main harmful effects are dental or gum problems caused by the lack of hard food or food that leaves too much residue.
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Also obesity and malnutrition, or rather malnutrition, are the order of the day. Nutritional deficiencies are very frequent problems presented by those animals whose owners thought that a homemade diet was the best option for them. For example, eating fresh or raw meat, as we have already pointed out in other entries, constitutes not only a risk in terms of bacterial or parasitic contamination, but it alters bone metabolism because it constitutes a good source of protein but it is very poor in minerals and favors an imbalance in the adequate calcium / phosphorus ratio, which will irremediably cause osteoarticular changes in the animal.
You should not make the mistake of thinking that to cook your diet all you have to do is add a little vegetable or rice to the meat, plus a multivitamin supplement and give it yogurt for dessert that provides calcium to provide optimal nutrition that ” have everything ”. Balancing your diet is a little more complex than all of that.
There are specific recommendations according to the FEDIAF www.fediaf.org (The European Pet Food Industry Federation) regarding the maximum and minimum amounts of nutrients for animals at different stages of their life; growth, maintenance and reproduction. Do we know and can we calculate these amounts if we feed our dog a homemade diet? Are we capable of calculating the amount of calcium necessary for a growing puppy without exceeding and damaging the metabolism of other minerals and its joint health? do the same with sodium ?, with zinc ?, with vitamin A ?, with optimal levels of protein, carbohydrates and fats?
The answer is definitely no. We cannot meet the minimum established standards. Especially worrisome is the case of puppies, as it is an important stage in the life of a dog in which proper development must be promoted. It is very difficult to achieve a nutritionally balanced and adequate diet at a desirable growth rate based on your final size when you reach adult size.
Some ingredients can even be dangerous for dogs. Excessive ingestion of fatty foods in dogs can cause pancreatitis, even from a single, sudden intake. Let’s not forget either that dairy products cause digestive disturbances due to lactose intolerance that canines present.
As for sweets or homemade pastries, they are not without dangers either. Both sugar and sweeteners are harmful to dogs, not to mention chocolate that is toxic to them. Nor should we ignore that, depending on the stage and lifestyle of our dog, their diet should not be the same. How will we adapt it properly?
Let’s do our dog a favor, feed them what our expert nutritionist or veterinarian recommends according to their needs, a diet whose digestibility, quality and bioavailability of ingredients are known and adapted to him. Dogs are neither nutritionists nor owners. If we want to do something healthy for them, in addition to providing them with a balanced diet, let’s take them for a walk.