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Dog Food - Which Diet is Best for Dogs?


Why The Food You Give Your Dog Matters!

If you're like most dog owners, you probably assume that commercial dog foods with brand names that are easily identifiable - Purina, Iams, Pedigree, etc. - must be good for your pets, right? After all, millions of pet owners buy them and feed them to their beloved pets, and surely they wouldn't all give their dogs something harmful. Unfortunately, this may just be the case.

Now, before I get any further along, let me make it clear that I am not a veterinarian. I do, however, have a science background and education, and I've had more dogs in my care in one year than most people will have in a lifetime. As an observant and naturally curious person, I've paid close attention in the past 20 years to the general health of my pets and those I've had in my care through a rescue shelter I was involved with for several of those years. I've also picked the brains of several top vets in my state in my quest to get to the heart of the matter concerning the best dog diet.

What has become abundantly clear is that one type of diet stands well above all others in terms of fostering good health and long life. More on that later...

I've seen dogs fed commercial foods, both wet and dry, from the cheapest brands to the so-called "premium" brands. I've also seen dogs who were fed vegan or vegetarian diets, as well as those fed raw meat and bones (known popularly as the BARF Diet). While individual dogs will do just fine on any of these widely divergent diets, what I've looked for are general trends in population subsets. How do these 10 dogs fare in their lifetimes when they eat cheap kibble every day? How about those 12 dogs who are getting a vegetarian diet all the time? And what happens to those 25 dogs who are being given a raw meat and bones diet? These are the types of questions I've asked as I've dealt with large numbers of dogs and their owners or keepers over the years.

These have in no way been controlled experiments, and I would never attempt to pass them off as authoritative or as adhering to any strict interpretation of the scientific method. In other words, take my conclusions with a large grain of salt. I'm really just out to get the wheels turning in the minds of all dog lovers who read these words.

After all of this careful observation and tracking, clear patterns have emerged time and time again...

Dogs that eat commercial kibble or wet food have lots of health problems later in life and tend to die youngest. This is even true when they've been fed "premium" dog foods, sadly.

Dogs that are fed vegetarian diets do better, but must be given large amounts of alternative protein sources to make up for the lack of it in standard vegetarian fare. A purely vegetarian diet is difficult to provide that will satisfy a canine's basic nutritional needs, but it is healthier and leads to slightly longer lifespans than any commercial brand diet.

Without any doubt (based on what I've seen over many years and hundreds of dogs), the best possible diet to feed your dogs is raw meat and bones with an occasional slop made up of vegetables, fruits, and organ meat. I've seen clear and compelling evidence that this diet leads to three amazing results: much better overall health, excellent dental health, and longer lifespans.

Countless times, I've seen dogs with repeating, nagging health issues (obesity, allergies, etc.) turn completely around on a raw meat and bones diet. And it doesn't take long to see how much whiter and cleaner their teeth become. This is actually very important (dental health), because a growing number of vets suspect a link between the bacteria produced by poor dental hygiene and internal complications as dogs age. Because dogs have to crunch through raw chicken, beef, or pork bones daily, they get and keep very clean teeth in short order.

It still amazes me to hear the feedback from a dog owner who has converted to the raw meat and bones diet. Virtually without fail, they all become true believers. In some cases, the improvement in their dogs is nothing short of startling.

A common fear voiced by many owners is the worry over the bones getting caught in their dog's throat or splintering and cutting them internally. This is a common misconception that actually does apply to COOKED bones. Never give your dog a cooked bone (especially chicken bones)! Raw bones, however, are no more of a threat than any other mouthful of food your dog chews. I have yet to deal with even one case of a dog on this diet having any kind of serious problem with the bones (out of hundreds).

Yes, handling raw meat and bones requires a commitment many are uncomfortable with. You have to get over the 'yuckiness' and embrace the benefits to your dogs! Another issue is finding a good source of affordable products. It's a good idea to locate a chicken processing plant nearby. They will often sell chicken cages (breast bones and related parts). Chicken cages are ideal because they provide a good balance of meat and bone - not too much of either in proportion to the other.

However, you should not always feed chicken. Mix things up to vary their protein sources a bit. Get some pork and some beef now and then to keep things lively and to provide your dogs with important nutrional elements that the chicken alone probably isn't providing. And don't forget to mix up a slop of green veggies, carrots, apples, bananas, and some raw livers or hearts at least twice a month. [*Note: have your pet checked for allergic reactions to any of those ingredients before trying this for the first time. Adjust accordingly.]

This is the main idea behind the success of the raw meat and bones diet: it comes closest to simulating the exact types of foods dogs ate all during their evolution. Think about it. Did dogs eat processed commercial food from bags or cans? Did they grow and harvest vegetables, fruits, and grains? Did they dine on cooked meats? Of course not! They evolved eating prey the pack took down and scavenging the carcasses of former kills. All raw!

You might be wondering, given this evolutionary perspective, why I'm suggesting that you prepare and feed a veggie-fruit slop every now and then. Good question! It's a bit unsettling to ponder, but consider the state of the prey (or dead bodies) that dogs ate all those years they were evolving. The animals they ate also ate, and more often than not, that meant their stomachs contained undigested vegetables, fruits, and other plant matter. The dogs dining on them didn't ignore that stuff - it got eaten along with everything else that could be stripped from the body.

So you see, this diet works because it mimics what dogs naturally fed on for tens of thousands of years. It really is that simple. There's nothing deep or esoteric about it at all.

Just try it. Take this challenge: give your dogs a raw meat and bones diet for 60 days. Try to find a meat and bones source that is close to a 50/50 meat-bone ratio (chicken breast cages from a processing plant are great, but you can also try pork necks or beef ribs from any grocery store). If you go the pork or beef route, give your pet plenty of time to wear down the raw bones. Chicken bones are soft and easily chewed up, but pork and beef bones take much longer. If you don't see any noticeable improvements - healthier coat, more energy, better teeth, excellent blood work-ups - go back to his former diet.

If you do take the challenge, I'm betting you'll be fairly amazed and continue. About 90% of those I know who've tried it stick with it. Give it 60 days. Isn't a healthier, happier dog who lives longer worth it?

John Schwartz has written extensively about dog health issues, safe dog products, and humane dog training practices. He is a passionate advocate for ethical dog adoptions and promotes spay and neuter education. His website can be found at http://www.puppies-dogs-supplies.com


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Fri. September / 20 / 2019

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Feeding your pets these people foods can be 'toxic'  AOL

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Pet Care Community Shares Power of Pets During Capitol Hill Fly-In  Pet Age

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Russell Wilson Speaks Out on Why More Domestic Violence Shelters Need to Be Pet-Friendly  PEOPLE.com

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Holden reps bill targets those who pass off pets as service animals  MetroWest Daily News

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Store ponies up treats for pets Saturday | Local News  Gillette News Record

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Pet Detective: Newmarket medium tracks down missing pets  Seacoastonline.com

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Pets on the Plaza: Meet Cash - 47abc  WMDT

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SMVHS Pets of the Week: Cabi, Cherry  Santa Maria Times

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Bahamas evacuees reuniting with lost pets  msnNOW

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Why the Pet Technology Boom is a Precursor to IoT  Business.com

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Pets of the Week for Sept. 19  Chico Enterprise-Record

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Humane society provides programs to help low-income pet owners  KIRO Seattle

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Pets for adoption | Entertainment  Arizona Daily Star

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High school senior raises funds for Pets for Vets in Ridgefield  The Ridgefield Press

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Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Shadow, Rusty, & Cinnamon  SweetwaterNOW.com

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Pet-sitting business gives jobs to people with autism  WLS-TV

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Over 400 pets at Humane Society  KWQC-TV6

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Pets central in domestic violence campaign  VeterinaryPracticeNews.com

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A Comprehensive Guide to Traveling With Your Pet in Almost Every Kind of Vehicle  POPSUGAR

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Saving Pets: Atlanta Program Lends Hand To Low-Income Animal Owners | 90.1 FM WABE  WABE 90.1 FM

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Pet Paradise launches new program to help homeless pets  Jacksonville Business Journal

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All Pets Puppy Picks Week 4: Liberty vs. Philip Barbour  WBOY.com

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Speaking of Pets: Here's what to do when you get a new cat  Vail Daily News

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Pets Lifeline breaks ground on new Sonoma animal rescue center  Sonoma Index-Tribune

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WCFA Pets Needing People  Mesquite Local News

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Vets see increase in pets suffering from marijuana toxicity  CBS17.com

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NJ pets in need: Sept. 16, 2019  NJ.com

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Chewy Still Wins Pet Parents’ Hearts, But Investors? That’s Another Story  Forbes

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South Bay Pets of the Week: Plum, Bucky, Squishy and Kiba are ready for adoption  The Daily Breeze

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Free microchip clinic to be held for Durham County pets  WTVD-TV

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Pets of the Week  Valdosta Daily Times

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Pet grooming now permitted in commercial zones  Greenville Daily Reflector

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Pet cat tests positive for rabies  6 On Your Side

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State vet recommends pet owners take precautions against EEE  WPRI.com

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KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Zeus  KCBD

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Pet Adoption Surge Offers Another Boon for Animal Health Stocks  Yahoo Finance

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Hospitality House wants to open its doors to pet owners  The Union of Grass Valley

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Using CBD Oil for Pet Health  Press Herald

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Coldwell Banker partnering with local shelters on pet adoption event  Long Island Business News

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ETX veterinarian weighs in on CBD oil for pets  KLTV

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Pet Profile: Sugar gliders Ana and Moana  GazetteNET

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A third of pet owners prefer their animals to their children, survey finds  Fox News

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Pet Peeves: Tips for keeping older dogs active  WZZM13.com

You may wonder what exercises might be beneficial for your aging furry friend and if there were any other tips for helping senior dogs remain active.


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Weekend catio tour highlights pet safety  Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

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How heart worm disease can be spread in pets  fox42kptm.com

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How Many Pets Does Kylie Jenner Have?  Showbiz Cheat Sheet

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5 Surprising Dog-Friendly Places You Can Bring Your Pet in New York City  PEOPLE.com

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Need to make tough decisions about your pet? A veterinary social worker can help.  The Washington Post

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Are rescues wrong to transport these pets? - dvm360
Are rescues wrong to transport these pets?  dvm360

The veterinary community should look closer at the legal, financial, and human and animal health effects of interstate and international animal transportation.


Sippican School welcomes new library pets - Sippican Week
Sippican School welcomes new library pets  Sippican Week

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A third of pet owners prefer pets to their children, new study has found - countryliving.com
A third of pet owners prefer pets to their children, new study has found  countryliving.com

It's no surprise that our pets quickly become part of the family, but now a new study has revealed that a third of pet owners actually admit to preferring their ...


Tractor Supply to host pet treat tasting event - Daily Journal Online
Tractor Supply to host pet treat tasting event  Daily Journal Online

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Pet Talk - Vaccines are Key: Protect Your Pet from Rabies - courierjournal
Pet Talk - Vaccines are Key: Protect Your Pet from Rabies  courierjournal

Rabies is a deadly disease that can harm pets, wildlife, and people. Luckily, thanks to modern medicine, it is also easily preventable through vaccinations and ...


LIVE: Pet Connection: Meet Stella - KVRR
LIVE: Pet Connection: Meet Stella  KVRR

Just like the iconic scene with Marlon Brando in “Streetcar Named Desire,” Stella could make you holler her name to the heavens — and that's because people ...


Vets fear anti-vax pet owners are putting their animals' health at risk - CNN
Vets fear anti-vax pet owners are putting their animals' health at risk  CNN

More pet owners are failing to vaccinate their animals, new figures show, with a UK animal charity describing the growing problem as a "ticking time bomb" for ...


Meet our cutest pet contest finalists | Pets - STLtoday.com
Meet our cutest pet contest finalists | Pets  STLtoday.com

ST. LOUIS — We received almost 1,200 entries in our 11th annual cutest pet contest, presented this year by Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa. Now, the Post-Dispatch staff ...


Passing off pet as service animal would cost owners - Boston 25 News
Passing off pet as service animal would cost owners  Boston 25 News

BOSTON - Ellen Leigh was out with her *service* dog, Ricky, last month, when another dog wearing a working-dog vest tried to bite him, forcing the duo to quickly ...


Frantic search for missing pup raises questions about Hawaii’s lost pet laws - Hawaii News Now
Frantic search for missing pup raises questions about Hawaii’s lost pet laws  Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A frantic search for a missing golden retriever named Mele is raising questions about laws meant to protect stray ...


Craziest Things Celebrities Do for Their Pets: Lisa Vanderpump, Mariah Carey and More - Us Weekly
Craziest Things Celebrities Do for Their Pets: Lisa Vanderpump, Mariah Carey and More  Us Weekly

Lisa Vanderpump, Mariah Carey and other celebrities have done some crazy things for their pets — watch!


Community Veterans can find a pre-screened pet this Friday Ryan Garza 9:03 PM, Sep - KRIS Corpus Christi News
Community Veterans can find a pre-screened pet this Friday Ryan Garza 9:03 PM, Sep  KRIS Corpus Christi News

The Corpus Christi Vet Center and Corpus Christi Animal Care Services (CCACS) are teaming up for "Pets for Vets."


The hot new trend in Bitcoin Maximalism is...eating house pets? - Yahoo Finance
The hot new trend in Bitcoin Maximalism is...eating house pets?  Yahoo Finance

If your first reaction to seeing a bichon-frise mincing sweetly up the sidewalk is, “mmm, that would pair well with the Sauvignon blanc,” you ought to consider ...


Davidson County Meals on Wheels for Pets has critical need for pet food donations - WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro
Davidson County Meals on Wheels for Pets has critical need for pet food donations  WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Carolyn Partin spends her morning sitting on her porch. Her cats know that's the place to find her when they want food, but among five ...


Weekend reads: The best cities for pets, ranked - The Daily Briefing
Weekend reads: The best cities for pets, ranked  The Daily Briefing

How to focus in an overstimulated world, clues into why this woman has suffered from UTIs for nearly five decades, and more.


Muscle Shoals businessman donates pet rescue kits to fire department - Times Daily
Muscle Shoals businessman donates pet rescue kits to fire department  Times Daily

MUSCLE SHOALS — It's more common than you'd think: A home catches fire and pets are overcome by smoke inhalation.


One Third of Pet-Owning Parents Prefer Their Furry Friends over Their Kids, Survey Finds - PEOPLE.com
One Third of Pet-Owning Parents Prefer Their Furry Friends over Their Kids, Survey Finds  PEOPLE.com

A survey from I and Love and You found that 34% of pet-owning parents said their pet was their favorite child.


Pets of the Week: Schnauzers Brody and Maggie need homes - MLive.com
Pets of the Week: Schnauzers Brody and Maggie need homes  MLive.com

A pair of schnauzers named Brody and Maggie need homes.


Adopt-A-Pet: Martin and Moose - WCJB
Adopt-A-Pet: Martin and Moose  WCJB

Meet Martin and Moose! These two-month-old kitten brothers are looking for a forever home. They are only 2 of a 7-kitten litter!


Local News Leon County families receiving voter registration letters for their pets Stephanie Rank 5:30 - WTXL ABC 27
Local News Leon County families receiving voter registration letters for their pets Stephanie Rank 5:30  WTXL ABC 27

The next time you check the mail you could find a voter registration letter for your pet. It's happening to families in Leon County.


Adopting a pet? Ask yourself these questions first - NBC News
Adopting a pet? Ask yourself these questions first  NBC News

Thinking about getting a dog or cat? Before you bring that fur baby to their furever home, ask yourself these 10 questions.


A third of parents prefer their pets over their kids - New York Post
A third of parents prefer their pets over their kids  New York Post

Using a panel of 2000 pet owners, results found that 34 percent of parents prefer their furry friends to their own flesh and blood.


Is organic dog food worth the expense? - Mic
Is organic dog food worth the expense?  Mic

I have five pets. Judge me all you want, but I revel comfortably in the pet-hoarding queer stereotype. When it comes to food, I pay more attention to my pets' ...


Synchrony Financial bets on Americans' growing obsession with their pets - CNBC
Synchrony Financial bets on Americans' growing obsession with their pets  CNBC

Synchrony Financial is betting on the billion dollar pet-financing market through CareCredit.


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