It is encouraging to witness all the buzz surrounding raw feeding these days, because it demonstrates that many dog owners are questioning the long-accepted norms about how we look after our dogs, and in particular, how we feed them.
Thanks to this raw food revolution, there is a ton of info out there about raw feeding your dog. But it can be a little overwhelming, particularly if you are new to the game. So in this article I plan to bring clarity to the subject as I explain the basics.
First we’ll define the raw diet, within the commonsense framework of the “whole carcass model”. Next, we’ll look at the three major components – muscle meat; raw meaty bones and organ meat. And, finally we’ll talk about how to make up for things that may be missing from the raw foods available to us, in order to provide total balanced nutrition to our dogs.
The Whole Carcass Model
It’s probably accurate to say that, to one degree or another, every approach to raw feeding a dog derives from the whole carcass model. Advocates of this diet accept the premise that in the wild a dog consumes the entire prey; and thus, in raw feeding our dogs, we should seek to provide the same nutritional components that are found in the whole prey. To accomplish this requires going beyond simply feeding the dog whatever raw meat happens to be available at the local store. Continue Reading
As owners, we all should once in a while “take inventory” concerning our German Shepherds, to make sure we are providing him or her with the basic requirements for vibrant health and wellbeing.
I am basing this article on the book, Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (See end of article for details). The term “5 Pillars of Health…” is mine, not the author’s; but these five areas of focus that he discusses at length, concern the key factors impacting the health and wellbeing of your German Shepherd. While we have covered these matters in detail elsewhere on the website, here I’ll review them from Dr Pitcairn’s perspective; one which I find entirely sound, and backed by extensive study and field practice throughout a long professional career.
We’ve pushed up the publishing schedule this month in order to get out our book review of Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats ahead of the book’s release date which is set for March 21!
At 500 pages the newest – and 4th – edition represents a significant makeover from earlier versions. Here I’m giving the briefest overview, or summary, of some key areas of focus of the book, and we’ll provide a link at the bottom for those who’d enjoy seeing the full review. In addition, we’ve arranged a very convenient tie-in with Amazon: To purchase the book – at a great price! – just click the purchase link below.
Micro and Macro?
While most of us will approach a book such as Dr Pitcairn’s Guide’ with a view to some specific benefit to our pets, the author does a good job of broadening the topic in ways that add greater understanding, at the same time resisting the temptation to get off on an overly extended tangent. He keeps things relevant. The reader comes away with practical solutions for improved health for our animals that allow us at the same time to exercise an enhanced level of good stewardship over the environment beyond our immediate surroundings. Continue Reading
In this second of 6 articles featuring the work of Dr Richard Pitcairn, author of the bestselling, Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. we’ll lay the foundations to Pitcairn’s approach to food. With 466 pages, the book covers a range of topics in some depth. In these articles we are taking an overview of key points. So, while space limits the detail we can get into here, I think the articles will serve as a helpful introduction to the important work of a leader in the field of holistic animal care.
Getting on the Right Path
Before diving in to our study, I’d like to make what I think is an important point. I happen to know wonderful, conscientious German Shepherd owners who use a higher grade commercial kibble, and their dogs seem to do fine on it. Others, however, have a GSD with a sensitive system, where no commercial food agrees with them. They’ve had the frustration of an unhappy, sickness-prone dog, and ongoing vet visits, trying to figure out the problem. Such experiences may lead to an owner experimenting with alternative diets. And often this is where they find the help they need as their dogs begin to amend and eventually flourish. Continue Reading
Learning from a World Leader in Holistic Pet Health
In the last post I introduced Dr Richard Pitcairn and his holistic approach to pet care. I was reminded recently of the extent to which he’s influenced a new generation of veterinarians as I read a couple of unrelated articles by holistic veterinary practitioners. Yet both authors cited Pitcairn as instrumental in their shift to a more natural approach to treating animals.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the reach of his book, Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (one of our recommended resources). Originally published in 1982, the book is due out in its fourth edition this March. In addition, in 1992 Pitcairn established the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy, a year-long post-graduate training for veterinarians. By 2013, 500 had been trained in the program. Continue Reading
1“Tell your clients to feed their animals a good commercial pet food and to avoid table scraps” These words, according to Dr Richard Pitcairn summed up the instruction he’d received on pet nutrition for his entire time in veterinary college!
His first job found Pitcairn in a busy practice that handled small and large animals. It soon became clear that the optimistic predictions of great results from an arsenal of drugs and surgical techniques in which he was trained, represented a disconnect from what he was experiencing. In spite of his best efforts, many animal patients failed to show significant improvement.
In search of answers, Pitcairn providentially received an offer to teach in a veterinary college. That move soon led to him resuming his own studies, digging deeper into the science behind veterinary practice. After 5 years, and getting his PhD degree, the answers he was looking for still eluded him. So began a lifetime pattern of reading broadly on matters of health, nutrition and immunity. He’d try out alternate approaches on himself; then with initial successes using a more holistic approach Pitcairn started using homeopathy and healthier, often raw, foods with family members and pets. Continue Reading
Did You Know?
Calcium deficiency is a big problem with commercially-fed dogs; one that contributes to health problems like hip and elbow dysplasia.
A nursing pup gets a good and balanced supply of calcium from his mother’s milk. But once weaned, he depends on his humans to provide it in a form that is easily assimilated and provides nutritional balance.
Commercial food claims to provide sufficient calcium, yet cases of hip and elbow dysplasia, common to domesticated dogs, are not known to wolves in the wild. The difference points to diet. Raw and unprocessed bones are nature’s perfect dietary calcium source. Plus, the meat that comes with them gives the potassium needed to metabolize the calcium. Continue Reading
We recently heard from a Canadian visitor, Des (we have no last name – see Note 1) who wrote us through our Comment box. The first of his two “comments” comprised 700 words. Clearly, Des was passionate about what he had to share! As I read it, It was clear that what he was recounting called for more coverage than the Comment section would afford. From my knowledge of our readers, it would be of interest to many of them.
So was born today’s article; Des’ words along with with some reduction and a few edits; but preserving the essence of what he wrote. The headings and bracketed items are ours.
Observations Before and After Feeding Raw Food to German Shepherd
I’m writing today’s blog post with one objective: To provide you with the information you need in order to make good food choices for your dog. You’ll read about the different types of dog food, ingredients and cost considerations. In addition, you’ll get links to good resources for further reading. Continue Reading