Feeding Options

What About Home Cooking?
About Commercial Kibble
Some Facts and Research
So, What Are The Options?

What Should I Feed My Dog?

Your dog's well-being is dependent on the nutrition it receives. Most dogs will eat any food that is presented to them, so please choose carefully what you are feeding your companion. Her health and well-being are dependent on the choices you make. I hope that these pages will guide you to the appropriate choice for your lifestyle.

What About Home Cooking?

I believe that home cooking for your dog is the ideal choice. It allows flexibility and purity that commercial foods cannot. You choose the ingredients, so you are in control of the quality of the food your dog receives. Home cooking for your dog is not as time consuming as many people believe. It takes no more than 30 minutes a week to prepare food for a large dog. Most people who provide home cooked meals for their dogs report a tremendous increase in their dogs' well-being: glowing coats, vibrant good health and contentment, and a decrease in veterinary visits.

And Commercial Kibble?

Home cooking is not for everyone, so thank goodness there are some good quality kibbles available. (See below for links.) Many commercial dog foods, however, are far from an ideal diet, and can be dangerous to your dog’s health and well-being. According to Natura Pet Products, most commercial dog food contains preservatives, fillers, low quality meats of unknown origin, and even rendered dogs and cats. The combination of poor nutrition, toxic chemicals, and the breakdown products of diseased or dying animals has lead veterinary nutrition experts to suggest that we may be poisoning our animals with commerical pet food -- leading to shorter life spans, chronic diseases,and other health problems.

What About Home Cooking?
About Commercial Kibble
Some Facts and Research
So, What Are The Options?
List of Kibbles With Human Grade Ingredients

Some Facts About Commercial Kibble

The definitions of ingredients in pet foods (in most states) is dictated by the regulations of The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).They set guidelines and definitions for animal feed, including pet foods. It publishes a guide that includes a wealth of information. For instance, did you know that a pet food maker can change the ingredients in a particular food and NOT tell any one? They do not have to change the ingredient list or nutritional content on the bag to accurately show the change for SIX MONTHS! This is so the manufacturers can use up the bags they already have.

In her article, "What¹s Really for Dinner? The Truth About Commercial Pet Food" in The Animals’ Agenda, Nov/Dec 1996 Tina Perry points out that more than 95 percent of US companion animals derive their nutritional needs from a single source: processed pet food. Pet food manufacturers have learned to make a mixture of inedible scraps, fortify it with artificial vitamins and minerals, and preserve it so that it can sit on the shelf for more than a year. The meats are often chicken heads, feet, and intestines, cow brains, tongues, esophagi, and other products unsuitable for human consumption. She goes on to elaborate on other ingredients commonly found in commercial dog food.

James Morris and Quinton Rogers, professors with Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of California at Davis Veterinary School of Medicine, assert that there is virtually no information on the bioavailability of nutrients for companion animals in many of the common dietary ingredients used in pet foods.

In February 1990, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer John Eckhouse wrote an exposé entitled"How Dogs and Cats Get Recycled into Pet Food" in which he reported that euthanized companion animals were found in pet foods. Although pet food company executives and the National Renderers Association vehemently denied the report, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA confirmed the story. The pets serve a viable purpose by providing foodstuff for the animal feed chain, said Lea McGovern, chief of the FDA¹s animal feed safety branch.

Although manufacturers claim that millions of companion animals can thrive on a diet consisting of nothing by commercial pet food, research and an increasing number of veterinarians implicate processed pet food as a source of disease or as an exacerbating agent for a number of degenerative diseases.

After extensive research, the Animal Protection Institute (API) published a Pet Food Investigative Reportto educate companion animal care givers about pet food ingredients, ingredient definitions, labeling, and dietary ailments resulting from processed commercial pet food, including the most commonly known brands.

The following articles are about what
goes into commercial dog food.

Has Dogfood Really Gone to the Dogs?
by Sharon Henley. Another good article on what really goes into many commercial dog and cat foods.

A Look Inside a Rendering Plant
Earth Island Journal offers another look at rendering plants,
and the dangers to our canine companions.

Food not Fit for a Pet by Wendell O. Belfield DVM.
Dr. Belfield discusses the “negative effects that commercial pet food has on animals.” From Earth Island Journal.

Mary Ellen R. Lunde provides a listing of the top five ingredients of a number of dog foods, very good descriptions and explanations about the ingredients and information about how to contact the manufacturers. If the product uses ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT as a preservative it is also shown. The list includes:
- Adult dry dog food
- Premium and Super-premium brands; no supermarket kibbles
- Address, phone #, e-mail and web site info, where available
The main ingredients are defined, and Ms. Lunde outlines what she feeds her dogs, and why.

An analysis of about 29 different brands of kibble,
including the recommended daily feeding amount and the cost per day based on this amount, and ingredients has been compiled by the people who make TLC dog food.

What About Home Cooking?
About Commercial Kibble
Some Facts and Research

So, What Are The Options?

So What Are The Options?

Natural Health for Dogs & Cats,
Second Edition By Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M, Ph.D. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn.
This is the most dog-eared book in my kitchen. The recipes are wonderful, as is the philosophy.The updated version of this comprehensive guide to natural health care for pets was published in 1995. The discussions, treatments, and modalities contained in the book reflect the holistic medicine that veterinarians Richard H. and Susan Pitcairn have applied to the animals they have treated for many years. Their approach is one that promotes chemical-free nutrition, treatment, and natural healing for pets.

Hot Pursuit’s Approach to Canine Nutrition explains their philosophy on nutrition based on Dr. Pitcairn’s Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. These guys are Jack Russell Terrier lovers and breeders. Their page has lots of other interesting information, too.

Give your Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst, is full of information, recipes, nutritional information, and more. Dr. Billinghurst’s premise is that healthy dogs, including his own, are dogs who are fed a no-nonsense, economical, and natural diet comprised mainly of raw meaty bones. Ian Billinghurst's views are revolutionary, and he doesn't pull his punches.

Give your Dog a Bone can be purchased by calling 1-800-241-9111 x505.

Bones of Contention. Andrea Madley's article on the safety and benefits of feeding raw bones.

Dr. Tom Lonsdale B.Vet.Med. MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon is a spokesman for The Raw Meaty Bones Lobby Group. This group has gradually coalesced from veterinarians working in clinical practice throughout Australia. The concerns that unite the group are the wide range and severity of diseases affecting domestic dogs and cats all of which can be directly attributed to the feeding of artificial foods. Dr. Ian Billinghurst is part of the Raw Meaty Bones Lobby group along with Dr. Lonsdale and others.
Their Raw Meaty Bones Pages include information on feeding raw chicken wings, diets, the pet food industry, and more.