Diesel Dogs - Health & Nutrition for K9's
We take a NATURAL approach to caring for our dogs. This means as few chemicals as possible and a RAW/BARF diet. A RAW diet means we feed uncooked, muscle meat, bones, and organs. The BARF aspect of the diet means that we occasionally feed some fruits and vegetables.
A RAW/BARF diet offers the best possible natural nutrition for our canines. A varied natural diet allows the best possible digestible and absorbable nutrients our dogs could eat. A raw diet is the best way to boost the immune system, increase healing capabilities, reduce health risks, and can improve ongoing conditions. There is no better way to feed your dog in our opinion, the benefits are amazing.
Always freeze your raw meats for 72 hrs or longer before being fed, especially fresh fish. The freezing process helps to reduce any chances of a parasite surviving to harm the dogs. Food born parasites are very minimal, but unwanted none the less. Food born pathogens live between 40-140 degrees. Most raw foods are fed below that temperature and a fast metabolism accompanied with a short digestive tract virtually eliminates potential hazards.
There are many things that you can feed your canine, but lets start with the things to avoid feeding your dog. Do not feed weight bearing beef bones. These bones are fairly dense and can cause damage to the dogs teeth. Do Not feed onions, grapes, or raisins as they can be toxic to the liver and kidneys. Also be aware not to over feed Garlic, it has many advantages but use in smaller amounts. Common sense also tells us not to feed things like alcohol, chocolate, certain plants, and dairy. Do not cook meats or bones, bones become dry and brittle when cooked and can break becoming sharp resulting in possible injury. The canine digestive system is not designed for cooked foods, It's harder for them to breakdown. Heat in the cooking process also reduces the nutritional value. Most nuts are also not a good idea for our dogs, however almonds and cashews are ok in small portions. You should never feed seeds or pits of fruit. It's also best not to feed the skins of most vegetables and some fruit. Avocado skins are toxic while their meat is very nutritious and some dogs are sensitive to sweet potato skins causing gas and diarrhea. Best not to chance it and just avoid with most.
In feeding our dogs a prey model RAW diet we have many options that give them a well rounded, balanced diet. Just about any portion of beef can be fed, just remember the warning on weight bearing bones. You can feed whole or parts of chicken, turkey, rabbit, duck, pork, quail, pheasant, deer, goose, goat, lamb, elk, bison, moose, kangaroo, ostrich, emu, and whole fish. Just avoid fresh salmon and remember the freezing rule. Liver, kidney, heart, spleen, and lung can be feed from any of these species to fulfill the organ requirements of the diet.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods or BARF is similar to prey model raw in the choices of raw meats, bones, and organs. Accept this model contains some vegetables, fruits, and some variations along the way. There is a large amount of nutrition available in this model of raw feeding. The best types of vegetables for our canines are of the leafy green variety, but not limited to only those. Spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, celery, peas, avocado, asparagus, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are all great choice and acceptable nutrition for our K9's. With some of these vegetables it is best to steam or boil for best digestion, also remember no skins and seeds/pits. Apple, apricot, banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, mango, oranges, pear, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon are all acceptable fruits for your dogs diet. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet carrying an entire amino acid profile, they are also acceptable for dogs shell and all. Again almonds and cashews are the only acceptable nuts that can be fed.
Over farming, pesticides, insecticides, polluted soil are all issues that effect our food sources, even the dogs. Due to this at times the dogs may need some supplemental nutrition. To help this process, a good multi vitamin & mineral supplement may be needed. We also suggest the use of RAW ORGANIC LOCAL Honey, Cinnamon(Ceylon), Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother, and Coconut oil. These are some of the most antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral products naturally found in nature and they are also very nutritious. You will find many recommendations on line for dosages, in our opinion, it is always best to start with less and add more if need be. That being said a 1/2 tablespoon daily has always been a good starting point for us and easy to adjust from there. Seameal, salmon oil, and COD liver oil are supplements that we have seen good results from. The fish oil is high in Omega's three & nine which great for the joints, coat, nails, and hormonal functions as well.
A good rule of thumb to obtain a balanced diet is to feed the following ratios 80/10/10. That is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 10% organ which 5% should be liver, leaving 5% to other organ meat. Within this breakdown it is best to have three different protein sources for the dogs. This helps them to fulfill their daily intake of various vitamins and minerals. The suggested daily intake of RAW for canines is 2-3% of their weight daily. We find that this is a good starting point to learn your dog and what they need nutritionally. With our particular style of dog we find that feeding among 3-8% is best. The reason behind this is the amount of muscle and activity level of our dogs are much higher than most, meaning they need more energy for fuel and recovery purposes. Here is a simple link that will help you to determine the proper amount to feed www.raw4dogs.com/calculate.htm
When starting your raw diet be patient and remember less is always more. There is a detox period in the beginning, this is the removal of kibble induced toxins. Do not panic or worry, its natural and will clear itself up soon. Before starting on RAW it's best to fast your dog for 24-48 hrs before to help prepare their system in the change of nutrition. Fasting helps to remove and eliminate toxins as well as rest the organs from the digestion process. Some dogs take more time to adjust than others, just stick to the guidelines and everything will be fine!
Feeding frequency and time all falls dependant on the person serving the meals. You can feed the entire meal once a day, twice, or even three times within the day. It all comes down to personnel beliefs and what is the most accommodating to you. Feeding once a day allows a bit more freedom, but gives the dogs all the food at one sitting. This can be a bit much for dogs new to RAW and older pets, you may want to consider smaller meals spread out. For younger dogs and pups we suggest 2-3 feedings a day. The nutrient requirements for a pup is greater than that of an older bigger dog and they use up a good amount of energy among play and development. Feeding twice a day also seems to calm the dogs down some, putting something in their belly relaxes them. There is no scientific research that says what feeding schedule suits the dogs best, however there are studies that say older dogs that eat more frequently have less digestive issues as they age. Potentially from the smaller amounts of food to be digested at one time and the work load over time by the body.
You now have the basics for a RAW diet and how we feed our canine athletes. Be patient, be consistent, and if you need anything do not hesitate to ask!!!
Now about HEALTH!
At Diesel Dogs we believe in Health Testing our canines through the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and PennHip. OFA offers many different certifications from hips/elbows, thyroid, cardiac and patella. PennHip only does hips. Both are great, and we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that people look into these intsitutions and invest in some sort of testing before they EVER consider breeding.
There are NO SMOKE and MIRRORS at Diesel Dogs. All of our dogs that are of age and have been health tested and can be found in the OFA database. A link to the OFA and PennHip website can be found on our LINKS page! Go check out our dogs!
Just because you health test your canines does not GARAUNTEE anything. For years and years people in this community have neglected to test and be honest about the many genetic problems found within the breed. We are simply stepping up to the plate and HONESTLY taking a look at the health of our animals.
Our Goal is to one day be 5-7 generations deep in our own yard with health tested dogs that we have produced. Our theory is that this is the ONLY way to see CONSISTENT results!