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Hermanus Animal Welfare | Diet and Feeding for your Pet

Diets and Feeding

While some dogs manage to do alright on commercial food, most dogs and cats suffer from many ailments such as itchy skin, eczema, digestive problems, ear infections, diabetes, teeth and gum disease, smelly breath and dog coat, and serious illnesses such as diabetes, cancer etc. Please read up and do your own research. Many of us are not told it is the commercial food we are feeding are animals - In the end you may just want to stay with kibbles/pellets as it is the easiest - but that is not a reason to knock the alternative methods.

There is a lot of information on the internet (raw meaty diets or meat and veggie diets etc) and we suggest you do some research for yourself, or a vet who is open minded about alternative feeding. Many dogs have allergies and some do not do well with pellets as can be allergic to the grain or other ingredients in commercial pet food. (Even rice can be an allergen.) Pilchards, Raw ostrich mince, very lightly cooked (pink inside) chicken chunks, raw stinky tripe can all be fed with hot water poured over and with some cooked veggies or some pellets if you prefer. Liver is good but small amounts not more than 3 times a week.

Big RAW chunky meaty bones are very good. Bones should always be RAW please and not cooked from a braai or the long shank bones of lamb – these are very hard and can splinter and chip dog's teeth. The bones from the hip and knee joints of large animals are good gnawing chewing bones. Raw pink bones are also fine when feeding them the chicken chunks. Dogs love to rip and tear – you do not need to cut up chunks into small bits. Do remember that dogs up until 60 years ago ate this way and dogs in the wild eat only raw meat, tripe from animals innards and the half digested stomach veggie contents.

What is important for a dog's coat are omega 3 oils which are found in fish and fish oil available in health food shops. Please do not buy these oils in pharmacies - they are not the correct oils. A good make is The Real Thing fish oil. If you can find good quality cod liver oil in health shops a SMALL amount in the diet is also good. Alternatively please feed your dog pilchards, even if canned (make sure not mixed with GMO corn and soya – these are not good additives). Rinse off the tomato sauce in canned pilchards if plain is not available. Sometimes the best canned fish is found in the cat food area of your supermarket. Dose of oil can be about 2-5 tsp every few days (depending on size). Commercial pellets DO NOT contain digestible omega 3 oils. Vegetable oils are not sufficient for a dog, and flax seed oil is not recommended.