I just read this recent post on dog nutrition and what may be lacking in their homemade meals…
What do you think about this article?
Hi Nosh –
I read the recent article about the study released on the UC Davis press release page and I have a lot of questions about this study and issues with the findings. For anyone who wants to read the original press release: news(dot)ucdavis(dot)edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10666. Also, I’m going to apologize ahead of time because this is going to get kind of “ranty” (not toward you, but toward the study and subsequent articles).
1) I would like to see these “200 recipes” they analyzed. Where were they coming from? I know some were formulated by veterinarians, but what about the rest? I’ve come across many recipes on websites, in forums, even published in books by unqualified individuals that are horribly unbalanced. In fact, I recently came across a commercially prepared cooked food being sold as “complete and balanced” that only contained meat and no calcium!
2) They reported that even some of the recipes formulated by veterinarians had a least one deficiency. What does this tell us about the nutrition-related education that vets receive? That it’s inadequate! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to feed a person and it shouldn’t take one to feed a dog either. It’s not that complicated.
3) This study is not taking into consideration the main philosophy of homemade diets: Balance over time. Is each meal that you eat 100% balanced with every vitamin, mineral and amino acid your body requires? Does each meal you eat have the ideal fat to protein to carbohydrate ratio? What about the ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio? I doubt it! People eat varied diets, for this reason we receive all the nutrients we need by eating a variety of healthy foods. People that eat a varied healthy don’t don’t require synthetic vitamin/mineral supplements and, in fact, it is advised not to take multivitamins unless absolutely necessary as synthetic vitamins are linked to a myriad of health issues. Why should a dog’s diet be any different? Most people that feed homemade diets don’t worry about making each meal 100% balanced – they feed a variety of fresh and species-appropriate foods and over the course of a few days or a week everything balances out (as with people) and the dog receives all the nutrients it needs. Yes, there does need to be some basic understanding of a dog’s nutrient requirements, however variety is the most important thing.
I can say this – I have fed my dogs a homemade diet for about two years now. I don’t use any synthetic vitamins and minerals. My dogs are healthier than ever. I had bloodwork done on two of my dogs after they had been on homemade for about 6 months to test for nutrient deficiencies and they had none. I have ran a full nutrient analysis on some of my recipes using the USDA’s nutrient database and found that my recipes exceed the AAFCO’s nutrient requirements for growth and reproduction (the more stringent of the two nutrient requirements). For those that don’t have the knowledge to create a balanced homemade diet from scratch, there are several pre-mixes on the market designed to make a homemade diet complete and balanced. My favorite is “See Spot Liver Longer Dinner Mix.”
This study and press release is nothing short of a scare tactic designed to steer pet owners toward commercial foods. They could very well have chosen numerous obviously unbalanced recipes from questionable sources for the study. The problem here is the vets, not homemade food. They need to become educated in how to instruct their clients to make balanced and healthy homemade meals for their animals. To have that level of education and not able to make a balanced meal for a dog is inexcusable and just plain sad. They recommend that only recipes formulated by veterinary nutritionists are used. Really? Do mothers need to spend 8 years in college and then do a nutritional residency before being able to feed their child? What a joke.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Hound Dog Mom.
I’d like to think that people are bright enough to make homemade meals for dogs which are nutritious for them but most people can’t make nutritious meals for themselves. We have epidemic proportions of people who are so sick themselves, they can’t think straight.
I’ve never known a Vet who knew anything about nutrition, but then again, I’ve never asked one. They are just like human medical advisors who give out ridiculous information based on statistics from big pharma studies.
HDM, can you recommend a book on making homemade meals for dogs which you feel is *The Bible* for nutrition for dogs? I would like to own one. Thanks a bunch.
Please don’t limit yourself to only one book on raw feeding. Just as no single food is perfect, no single book is perfect either.
Do you have book suggestions, Patty?
I’d appreciate your favorite book list…..
I agree with Patty that there’s no book that will tell you everything – I personally like to read many books and articles and take bits and pieces that I like from each and implement them into my feeding plan. However, if I had to pick an overall favorite book it would be “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown. It’s an especially great book for those new to homemade diets.
Thanks HDM…I’ll put it on my list immediately !
Steve Brown’s book is also my favorite. So far, Karen Becker’s is my second.
Becker’s recipe book lists the nutrient analysis of the recipes also. “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” 3rd edition by Beth Taylor/Karen Becker.
Thanks, Becker’s book seems to be out of print? Maybe I can find it at the used book store.
Dr. Becker’s book can be found on her website: shop(dot)mercola(dot)com – it’s $17.95. Last time I checked it was on Amazon as well.
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