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A selection of fruits and vegetables that I use...



Our dogs are fed fresh wholesome foods which include beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb and heart, brown rice, bones, fruit, vegetables, rolled oats, herbs, garlic, honey and healthy oils. We even have our own free range chickens so our dogs can enjoy the odd egg or two. I appreciate though that not everyone has the time to feed such a diet, subsequently my puppies are weaned on both a raw diet and a complete dried biscuit 'Burns'. This is a natural, Hypo-Allergenic, holistic complete home cooked pet food, and I strongly recommend if you are going to feed a complete diet then 'Burns' is the finest complete food available on the market. I have tried others (James Wellbeloved ) but I really feel in my opinion that 'Burns' is superior.


Home cooked diet


A biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists of whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs wild ancestors. The food fed contains the same balance and type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors. This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other “foods” that will mimic that which those wild ancestors ate.


Visualizing your dogs diet


The simplest way to do this for starters is to imagine a dogs diet as an animal. A prey animal perhaps. Most of the animal is made up of meat and bones. The amount of meat to bone is close to 50/50. Perhaps a little more meat than bone overall, but not overly much. (If you need to visualize a specific animal for the exercise, try using a rabbit perhaps). Then you have some organs. Imagine the amount of organs compared to the bones. It is a much smaller percentage of the whole animal then the bones and meat. Now the vegetable matter. In the animal’s stomach and intestines there will be things like grasses, herbs, berries, seeds and so forth. Lots of leafy green vegetable matter all pulped up. Again though, it is a smaller percentage than the amount of bones and meat. I also add cooked brown rice.


Now visualize those three things making up the animal-meat/bones, organs, and vegetable matter. The prey animal is also a ‘whole animal’ and includes the things most people don’t buy commercially such as eyes and brain etc (things higher in omega 3’s). To emulate this, we can include things like kelp/alfalfa and flax/fish oil. In its stomach along with all those vegetables, it will also have some enzymes and bacteria. This is where things like probiotics (e.g. yoghurt) can be used .So here we have the basic animal that forms the foundation of the diet.


The basic diet


The basic diet includes at least one meal a day of raw meaty bones, and may include a second meal of ground meat mixed with pulped vegetables, brown rice and fruits, sometimes fish and eggs, perhaps some organ meat, and supplements. Some owners feed the meat/veggie mix every day, while others only occasionally. The ground meat is mixed with the veggies and supplements to ensure that the dogs eat them, as most would prefer just to eat the meat and bones. There is a lot of flexibility.


The veggie mix may contain some fruits as well, or ripe fruit can be offered separately to dogs that enjoy it. Veggies must be pulped (grating will not do) to break down the cell walls so that dogs can digest them. Wild canines would get their veggie matter already partially digested from the stomachs of their pray. Ideally, the mixture has both above and below ground vegetables. Leafy green vegetables are particularly important. Almost any kind of fruit or vegetable can be added to the mix. Use a variety of vegetables and always include at least 3 or 4 in each mixture. Any ripe fruit can be added, bananas, plums, peaches, pears, berries and such. Garlic is a healthy addition and I add it to most batches. Fresh ginger is also a good addition.


Eggs are fed often, either as a protein source to mix with the vegetables, or added to the rest of the meal. There is no more perfect food than eggs. Eggs are normally fed raw.


Dairy products are probably not a natural food for canines, although many dog owners use yoghurt on a regular basis. Yoghurt or a probiotic helps establish good bacteria in the gut and aids digestion. Cottage or Ricotta cheeses are also popular with some people.


Supplements are used to help ensure optimum nutrition and health, although not everyone uses them. Finely ground Alfalfa and Kelp can be mixed half and half and kept in a shaker can. I also use unprocessed organic apple cider vinegar. The Alfalfa mixture and the apple cider vinegar contain many additional vitamins and minerals. Salmon oil is used to add Omega 3’s, and I also use Flax Seed oil daily. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are also used. I also feed on a daily basis as an extra supplement, Evening Primrose oil and vitamin E. Extra Vitamin B and C are given as well and as these are water soluble any access is flushed away from the body.


Before you begin you should take the time to read one or more books on this subject. Anyone interested in feeding a homemade diet to their dogs can check out some of the excellent websites that are available. With the help of the following books (all of which I recommend that you purchase and read), you will have the information you need to begin feeding such a diet.


  • Home prepared dog and cat diets - The healthy alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM,PhD
  • Canine Nutrition by Lowell Ackerman, D.V.M
  • The complete herbal handbook for dogs and cats by Juliette de Baracli Levy
  • The Barf diet by Dr Ian Billinghurst (this is my bible)
  • Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr Ian Billinghurst
  • Grow Your Pups with Bones by Dr Ian Billinghurst
  • Raw Meaty Bones by Tom Lonsdale
  • Natural Nutrition For Dogs And Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze
  • Food Pets Die For by Anne N. Martin (this book reveals the shocking truth about some pet-foods and their ingredients)
  • Protect Your Pet by Anne n. Martin