Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Can I Feed My Dog Meat Only?

There are a few dog feeders who foolishly require that meat is the single thing a dog should ever be fed. Meat by oneself is completely not enough for a dog. The foremost deficiency in a diet of meat is its lack of calcium. lf the meat is trimmed of fat there is also expected to happen a deficiency in vitality. There are numerous other deficiencies, but none as dramatic as these two.

Meat, nevertheless, is the single most important source of protein fed to dogs. Thousands of tons of horse meat and beef are used each year in producing commercial dog foods. Hundreds of tons more are fed as a supplement to commercial foods or in home-made rations.

When fed as an addition to a balanced commercial food, meat can be added up to 10 percent of the weight of the mixture. When added in any greater amounts it will dilute the commercial food to the extent that the diet will no longer be balanced or adequate. When used as the sole source of protein in a home-made ration, meat should constitute at least 25 percent of the total weight of the diet. However, home-made rations should ever contain more than 75 percent of its weight as meat

All meats except pork can be fed to a dog either cooked or raw, but will usually furnish more nourishment in the raw state. Vitamins are destroyed by the heat of cooking. Fat also is driven out of meat during cooking, and unless it is poured back into the ration, it will become lost as an energy source. The only real justification for feeding a dog cooked meat in a homemade ration is because it is pork, or because the dog does not like raw meat. Dogs having a genuine dislike for raw meat are few and far between.

The nature of the animal from which the meat comes does not seem to be too important where protein is concerned. Nutritionally, most protein"

Vitamin and Mineral Sources - Part 1

This article was written to answer many of the most frequently asked questions on this topic. I hope you find all of this information helpful.

Vegetables: While a few vegetables may serve as natural vitamin sources, most vegetables have little value to a dog. Dogs can only digest about 30 to 50 percent of most of the vegetables eaten by man. Many of these vegetables are practically all water. What roughage they may contain can just as easily be obtained from cereal grains. Vegetables contain too little fat to be of any value as energy sources. Any plant protein they contain is likely to be of low biological value to a dog.

Fruits: Fruits are of even less value to the dog than vegetables are. The main vitamin for which fruits serve as a natural source is vitamin C, a vitamin that is not required in a healthy dog's diet. The healthy dogvitamin C from glucose to meet its MDR.

Other vitamin sources: Several other natural sources of vitamins are available to a dog owner to feed his or her dog. Some of these, like eggs, cheese, bread, and fish, have already been touched upon under other headings.

Of all methods, by far the most accurate and efficient way to provide a dog's requirement for each vitamin when compounding a diet from natural ingredients, is by using a vitamin mix. You must then calculate the exact amount to add that will provide an adequate supply of vitamins.

Mineral Sources: The minerals, like the vitamins, are best balanced in every diet by using a mineral mix in amounts calculated to supply the requirement for each mineral, and balanced to the caloric density of the diet. In natural diets most of the trace minerals are found in adequate amounts in the natural ingredients. It is important that the major miner"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Energy Sources

Originally, dog owners who fed their pets natural ingredients were attempting to replace the natural diet of the dog. Natural ingredients used today are no longer the foods eaten by an animal ''naturally'' in the wild, but have become modifications of those original foodstuffs to more confinement or longer-lasting forms.

The human diet consists of a large selection of such modified natural foods, most of which have been tried for feeding a dog. Besides these human foods, there are still a few natural ingredients available to the dog owner that are not normally considered to be human foods. Examples of such foods are horse meat, hog livers, and bone meal.

Meat is, without question, the most common natural ingredient fed to a dog. It is also the most common source of protein. It is not the only source, however, nor is it the best. Eggs, milk, and plant proteins also make up a large reservoir of protein sources available to dog feeders.

All natural foods containing nutrients are energy sources, since most nutrients can become energy. Some natural foods supply more energy than others and are customarily used as energy sources. These are the foods containing the largest quantities of fats and carbohydrates. Fats are the primary energy source in any diet for a dog. Most meats come with the fat already attached, especially in the chopped and ground varieties. Fats also can be found in nature in the pure form as vegetable oils or as tallow and lard.

Carbohydrates, while not as concentrated an energy source as fats, are lower in cost. Carbohydrates are useful to dilute the protein in high-meat diets or lower the caloric density of diets containing too much fat.

Probably the most universally useful source of energy for a dog is corn oil. Corn oil supplies 9 calories in every gram, 250 calories in every ounce, 124 calories in every tablespoonful, and 62 calories in every teaspoonful. When used as the only fat in a food it also furnishes about ten times the amount of essential fatty acids needed by a dog. Corn oil is inexpensive, easily obtainable, and has a reasonably good keeping quality. Other vegetable oils that can be used satisfactorily as an energy source for a dog are olive oil, peanut oil, safflower oil and soybean oil.

Animal Fats & Carbohydrates For Dogs

Many different sources were used for this article. I hope you find it both interesting and helpful.

Animal Fats: While most animal fats hold just as many calories as vegetable oils, only two hold necessary fatty acids in amounts enough to provide a dog's needs. These are the fat of the pig, commonly called lard, and horse fat. The tallow of beef and mutton should not be used as the sole source of energy for a dog because of their low content of essential fatty acids. Animal fats contain about 126 calories in every tablespoonful.

Cereal grains: One of the major sources of carbohydrates, both for dogs and man, is the cereal grains. The useful carbohydrate in these grains is predominantly starch. Starch can also be purchased in pure form, and contains about 29 calories per tablespoon, or about 464 calories per cup. Other sources of carbohydrate energy from cereal grains can be obtained from dry and cooked breakfast cereals, boiled rice, hominy grits, corn meal, and in the milled form, such as flour. Cereal grain products should never constitute more than about 50 percent of the dry matter of a dog's diet.

Potatoes: Except for the fact that potatoes have more water in them, the amount of carbohydrates in potatoes is almost the same as in the cereal grains. Potatoes can be used interchangeably with those cereals that are fed in the boiled state. Like cereals, potatoes should never constitute more than 50 percent of the dry matter of the diet.

Bread: As a source of carbohydrates in a diet, white or whole wheat bread ranks among the better ''natural'' foods available to a dog feeder. It usually is fortified with vitamins and minerals, is palatable to most dogs, and is always available and inexpensive. Some dog owners who feed their pets natural ingredients insist that bread should be toasted before being fed to a dog. While such a practice makes the slices easier to crumble and mix with the rest of the diet, the starches in bread have already been subjected to cooking and about all toasting does is to enhance the texture of the bread.

Specialty flour products: A carbohydrate source frequently overlooked by a dog owner is the specialty product made from flour noodles, macaroni, and spaghetti. These have an energy content comparable to other cereal grain products. And, like rice and hot cereals, they have the advantage of being able to be added dry to a food, then being cooked after the water has been added. This gives the capability of mixing a large amount of dry food at one time, then adding water and cooking small amounts as it is needed.

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Nutritional Needs For Different Dog Types

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While the first dogs were undoubtedly kept as companions, it probably did not take long to realize the working value of this newly-made friend. Even before the history of dogs was recorded, these pets were helping man for a variety of purposes, mainly to hunt for food. In those days, however, hunting was not a sport, but serious hard work.

Today the dog still helps man in his quest for food, but the nature of the job has taken on a different form. The dog still helps man to hunt, but for a different reason. Whatever the purpose or nature of the job, the performance of work always requires time expenditure of energy. As a consequence, every working dog's primary dietary need is increased energy. Whenever dietary energy is increased, those B-complex vitamins, minerals, and the water necessary for burning the energy must also be increased.

Except for this increased need for energy and the nutrients to burn it, working dogs require most nutrients at no greater levels than non-working dogs. When working dogs eat large quantities of ordinary maintenance dog foods to obtain all of the energy they need, they frequently consume some of the nutrients in excessive amounts. Paradoxically, they may also eat such large quantities that the digestibility of all the nutrients in their diet are adversely affected and some nutrients may actually be obtained in inadequate amounts.

In other cases, a working dog simply cannot, physically, eat all of a food needed to supply its energy needs. In these instances the dog suffers from the lack of total digestible energy, and loses weight. If the condition is allowed to continue, the dog will reduce its activities in order to reduce its caloric demands. If the dog is forced to continue working at the same pace, it will lose weight faster and laster, and eventually work itself to death.

Herd Dogs are the most common working dogs that are fed in the United States. Herd Dogs are dogs that wattle or protect animals use the least amount of extra energy of any of the working dogs. They seldom are required to expend energy in excess of normal activity for any duration of time. Even their short-term expenditures of energy are not very great. The only time herd dogs ever utilize large amounts of energy are when they are rounding up strays, lost or semi-wild animals running at large.

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Dog Nutrition blog

Dog Nutrition blog

Welcome to my Dog Nutrition blog. Here you will find information about dog nutrition.