Natural Dog Food
Natural Dog Food is best way to keep your pet healthy and help them achieve their genetic potential. Feeding your Great Dane the wrong food can cause illness, and many people believe that feeding the right foods can actually act like medicine.
Natural dog foods contain no chemically derived flavors, colors, or preservatives. The AAFCO defines "natural" as coming from natural sources. Natural dog foods do not have artifical chemicals or artifical preservatives, but they can still have things like wheat gluten because it does come from a natural source.
A diet rich in fatty food can lead to pancreatitis, obesity, and digestive problems.
Feeding your Great Dane doesn't have to be a complicated process, but knowing what dog's need to stay healthy hlep you make the right decisions about how to meet your dog's nutritional needs and keep him from suffering nutritional deficiencies or excess. A well-balanced, nutritional diet should result in an energetic dog with a shiny coat and supple skin, free of digestive problems.
The BARF Diet
BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food
A Biologically Appropriate diet for a dog is one consisting of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs' wild ancestors. The food must contain such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meats, vegetable and fruit materials combined in precisely the correct balance just as Mother Nature intended.
Some people choose to feed their dogs the BARF (bones and raw food) diet. This diet consists of raw meat, raw bones, and finely ground raw vegetables and fruit. Proponents say the diet retains a high level of nutrients and enzymes, and it keeps dogs healthier. The diet is free of preservatives, and chewing on raw bones gives dogs a vigorous and engaging activity as well as a thorough dental cleaning. (Never feed your dog cooked bones, especially poultry bones, which can splinter and cause internal injury if swallowed.) Some vets believe the BARF diet is a superior diet to commercially prepared dog food; others are not sure the BARF diet is a good idea for pet dogs.
Raw meat is nutritionally superior to cooked meat because it contains a full array of special proteins, live bacteria, and enzymes that are destroyed by heat. These proteins and probiotics are necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Pros of BARF Diet
Cons of BARF Diet
If you do decide this is the diet for your dog, here are some tips: Don't give raw Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Beans, Turnip and Cabbage to the dog food diet, they cause intestinal gas, which you should avoid. Sambal, Onions, Peppers, Tomato, Spinach, and Cucumbers are also to be avoided in the dog food; they don't digest very well.
Photo courtesy of 1 of our Loyal Readers the Great Dane "Daisy"
Feeding Your Great Dane
Good Nutrition is essential to the health of your Great Dane. Your Great Dane will grow as much in one year as many humans do in eighteen years. When a dog's bones and tissues are forming this quickly, it is important that the dog receive the proper nutrients in the proper amounts, and she receives the right combinations for each stage of growth.
Danes must have a good diet if they are to achieve their genetic potential. Without a good diet Great Danes cannot attain their huge size and impressive musculature. Dogs that are neglected nutritionally may also suffer in their mental development. Since your dog will have to depend on you for what it eats, it is important that you understand what is needed by your Dane and why.
Rapidly growing dogs, if fed a diet too high in protein, may put on muscle and tissue faster than their skeletal structures can grow to support the weight. Excesses and imbalances of calcium and phosphorus can lead to bone growth abnormalities in Danes. The other extreme, a diet too low in protein, is just as bad. Without sufficient protein for the muscles and tissues to develop, the Dane can remain spindly and lack the typical physique of the "Apollo of Dogdom".
When to Feed
Great Danes do best on a schedule, so start during puppyhood. Small, frequent feedings usually help to prevent bloat. It is also advisable to add a small amount of water to kibble and let it sit and expand before feeding it.
Young puppies need to be fed about four times a day with a quality food. As they grow older, the number of feedings can drop to three and finally to two as they approach adulthood.
Tip: When you first bring your pup home, continue feeding the same brand food as the breeder. This will help reduce the transition stress that begins when your puppy leaves the only home it has ever known.
The terms "natural" and "organic" have specific meanings, as defined by AAFCO, which regulats how pet food is made, and the USDA, which define show organic foods can be labeled. Dog food claiming to be "organic" or "made with organic ingredients" must contain a certain percentage - 100 percent and at least 70 percent, respectively - of USDA-certified organic ingredients grown with no chemicals or pesticides. The farms that grow the ingredients must be certified organic by one of the 97 national and international USDA-accredited agent.
Foods that allow the regulations bear the green logo on their labels.
Some people enjoy cooking for their dogs and believe that a homemade diet of meat, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is superior to a commercially prepared diet. Processed dog food is a relatively new phenomenon, and nutrition scientists do not yet fully understand the subtle differences that may exist between the absorption of nutrients in fresh food and the absorption of nutrients cooked out of a food than sprayed back on.
Some people also believe that the extremely high heat and pressure that are used to produce extruded dog food may actually alter the protein structure in the meat used to make dry food.
A basic formula for a homemade diet is 50 percent protein such as beef, chicken or turkey; 25 percent grain such as rice or oatmeal; and 25 percent vegetables, ground so your dog can digest them. This formula can comprise a large variety of foods. Most proponents of homemade diets also recommend using supplements of certain vitamins, minerals, and flaxseed or other oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Your vet or a homemade diet reference book can help you decide what supplements to use and in what amounts. You can also get cook books that have homemade recipes for your Great Danes. Here is a website that has a list of natural dog food recipes http://www.puppies-or-dogs.com/dog-food-recipes.html
A successful homemade diet is well balanced containing just the right mixture of food to provide a dog with essential nutrients. Here is a suggested homemade recipe that provide a full days worth of necessary nutrients. Feed one cup by volume per day per 35 pounds of dog or 15 pound of puppy (5 to 24 months old). Extremely active dogs will require more.
The Elements of Good Canine Nutrition
There are eight components or elements that make up a sound nutritional feeding program for your Great Dane. If any one of these elements is neglected or ignored, your dog's diet cannot be described as either sound or balanced. These elements are: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, owner knowledge, and owner consistency.
Resources: Great Danes by Joe Stahlkuppe Barron's Books and Dogs USA Magazine
Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Recipe for a medium to large-sized dog:
Recipe for a small to mid-sized dog:
Basic Canine Three-Part Combo
Click Here for it has a ton of Natural Dog Food Recipes
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By Kristen Leigh Bell, the author of Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals (Findhorn Press, 2002)
Here, are five popular essential oils that Bell uses frequently. But they are just the beginning of any exploration of canine aromatherapy. Be sure to consult a qualified aromatherapist, herbalist or a veterinarian familiar with essential oils to ensure you are diluting the oils properly and using them safely.
Ingredients To Watch Out For
If you want to avoid deceptively marketed "all-natural" products you will need to do a bit of sleuthing. Keep an eye out for commonly used words on packaging and in ingredients lists.
~Kittys Corner~I have a Female Great Dane and her name is Kitty. She will be 2 in July '10. Her mother is a Blue Dane and her dad is a Black Dane. This is a picture of her here and there are lots of pictures of her on this website. This space is called Kittys Corner because when ever I am at my computer working (which is most of the time) Kitty is laying or sitting beside me with her head on my lap. So I made her a corner so she can voice what is going on in her world. ~Enjoy~
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