The critical factor missing from your dog's diet is a simple secret you are about to learn. Whether you feed canned or dry dog food, table scraps, raw meat, BARF, or take the veterinarian's nutritional advice, no one has told you this!
WOLF KNOWS DOG FOOD!
by Barbara J. Andrews Publisher TheDogPlace.org
Wolf knows how to survive and when he eats is the secret I'm about to share with you. Do you read dog food labels, watch dog food commercials, change brands or stick to one dog food?
Do you worry about bloat (gastric torsion) in your big dog or hyperactivity in your toy dog? What about itching, rashes, poor coats? Do you adhere to a feeding schedule and never vary dog food brands because you were told that changes (meat scraps, vegetables, or table food) upsets the dog's digestive system? Baloney! No pun intended.
Would Wolf say that his domestic cousins must eat the same dog food at the same time every day?
Wolf eats ten pounds of fresh meat and never bloats!
He eats insects, fish, rodents, birds, eggs, herbs, grasses, vegetables, and fruit. How is wolf different than your dog?
Before I share Wolf's secret, let me point out the obvious. No one cooks for the wild dog! He eats only raw food and the predigested stomach contents of his prey. He is a carnivore, a meat-eater. Whether you listen to old-time breeders or dog food companies is up to you but common sense says that dogs need fresh fruit, vegetables (carrots and stuff) and raw meat. Not carbohydrates! He wouldn't touch an ear of corn if he was starving. Ah, I see you nodding in agreement.
Carnivores eat meat. In the natural scheme of things, carnivores must chase and kill their prey. Since the first fish grew legs and crawled onto land, no carnivore has had dog food handed to him in a stainless steel bowl!
Here's how it works... Carnivores eat herbivores; animals that just walk or hop around eating readily available food. They don't have to be smart to find and eat vegetation. Carnivores have to be smarter because they must stalk and catch herbivores. Man was once a dumb herbivore before he discovered meat and evolved into an omnivore. But that's another story.
The wild dog runs down his prey. Luck, not an alarm clock, determines when and what he eats. If he’s strong and cunning and has four good legs, he eats. If not, he goes hungry until he gets smarter, stronger, and faster.
If he hasn’t eaten for a while and he comes across a meal just lying there in his path, he will eat it because he is also a scavenger. He eats carrion, i.e. left-over or buried meat from a previous hunt. Just like your dog would if you let him! He instinctively knows there are healthy enzymes in decaying meat. Sorry 'bout that, but the bacteria that develop in naturally decomposing meat help the wolf/dog's digestive and immune system.
His digestive system is fueled by the adrenaline generated by catching or doing battle with his prey, and finally, gastric juices flowing, he settles down to defend, shred, and gulp a meal of fresh meat. Finding bird eggs isn't near as challenging but he won't turn them down. Ditto for your dog.
Don’ t take my word for it. Think. What does a carnivore do? Chase prey. Catch Prey. Eat. Sleep. Play and Procreate. Become Restless. Hungry. Repeat.
When To Feed Your Dog
What does your dog do? Just prior to feeding time or whenever he perceives food is about to be available, he goes through some sort of “chase” behavior. Your dog will become restless, then increasingly active. He jumps up and down in the kennel or at the kitchen counter. If you have several dogs, they will “chase” and then “kill” their toys. Your house dogs or kennel pack will instinctively assemble for the hunt and become vocal with excitement. All dogs, unless totally spoiled (food down all day, etc). will exhibit chase and catch behavior.
We turn our Akitas into 1/2 acre paddocks where on a good day, they might actually scare up a rabbit or a field mouse. Dogs in the adjoining paddocks become jealous and excited and run as hard as the lucky dog that gets to chase real game. They come in panting, tired, anxious to get back in their runs or in the house where, like a real “pack” they catch their breath and then “wolf” down whatever is in those shiny bowls.
Domestic dogs rarely get gastric juices flowing as does a wolf that chases a caribou. They won’t get the adrenaline levels up as much as a Coyote who just fought Eagle over the remains of Wolf’s kill. But make no mistake, there's a world of difference in the physiological reactions to chasing and catching dinner as opposed to being roused from the sofa and called to a plate of dry dog food.
You don’t have to be a vet to understand that one way is healthy while the other leads to physical, mental, and digestive stagnation.
Give your dogs the best of both worlds. All dogs have a little bit of Wolf in their genes and chasing dinner makes it taste better! Let them browse the (untreated) yard for certain herbs and grasses. Encourage your dog to engage in the ageless ritual of pre-feasting exercise even if it's just throwing a ball for him or doing an Obedience or Agility routine. Dogs are programmed to work for a meal. Let them receive all the benefits of FOOD!
Give your dog fresh fruit; love apples, grapes, even citrus, Then give him fresh meat! Belly full of real food, then let him sleep. Just like a wolf...
Exercise your dogs before feeding. (Never, ever, after eating or drinking a large quantify of water.) Now you know the wolf's secrete and with permission, you can share it.
reprinted with permission ShowSight Magazine - August 2000