Love is in the air this month as we celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th. Most people automatically think that this holiday is only for those with a significant other in their life, but that's not true at all.
As a pet owner, you know firsthand that the love between our furry children and us is very real. Our dogs are always happy to shower us with all the love and kisses we need to make a bad day better. They are always very patient and are often more forgiving than a spouse or lover when we've done something wrong.
So don't leave your pooch out of the fun this Valentine's Day – do something extra nice to show them how much you care. A scrumptious treat, an extra long head rub, or a quiet stroll outside are some of the best ways to show your dog some love.
Another great way to show your dog you care is to read this week's Raw Knowledge article, which covers a very important topic – your dog's health. Often times we try to blame our pet's health issues on breeding, old age, and just plain old dumb luck. While in some instances this is may be true, sometimes we simply need to take a closer look at what we are feeding our pets.
Amber Keiper and the rest of the BARF World Team
P.S. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we'd like to invite you to share the love of proper pet nutrition with your friends and family by gifting them a FREE sample of the BARF Diet. Please visit www.barfworld.com/sharethelove to learn more.
Important Dates to Remember
Don't Blame the Dog - Proper Pet Nutrition is Our ResponsibilityBy Robert Mueller
We hear it all the time; "We are what we eat". You may have even observed this many times yourself, especially after the holidays. If you eat poor-quality foods over a long period of time, you may begin to feel sluggish, depressed, and often times will even experience some weight gain.
I propose we change this common catchphrase to also relate to our pets. Something like, "We are what we eat and our pets are what they are made to eat". If you think about it, it's true. Our beloved animal companions are only allowed to eat what we decide to put in front of them. If they are made to eat a poor diet similar to one that we feed ourselves, it is no wonder that many of our nation's population of pets will often exhibit a sluggish, depressed, overweight existence.
Proper Pet Nutrition Is Our ResponsibilityWe know from our own experience the kind of damage that continuous ingestion of pre-packaged, highly processed foods has on our bodies. This is no different for our pets. There are detrimental effects that may result from feeding highly processed kibble and canned food diets, which are loaded with indigestible ingredients, preservatives, fats sprays and artificial flavors.
Take a look at the ingredients list on your pet's current brand of dog food. Are there meals, by-products, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors? If so, it may be time to start looking for a better food for your pet. While we may choose (despite our best interests) to continue to eat this way, our pets have an unfair disadvantage, as they must consume whatever we choose for them to eat.
Listen to Your Pet's "Body Language" for Signs of Optimal NutritonOkay, I'll admit you that a dog can't speak English, Spanish or any other human language, but that shouldn't stop us from "asking" our pets what their nutritional needs are. We must instead listen to what our pets are saying with their "body language".
Feeding your pet an inferior quality diet that is not biologically appropriate for them can have long-term ramifications. A dog is a carnivore that has been partially-converted by nature to eat as an omnivore and forcefully trained by man to survive on a grain-based diet.
A dog possesses the necessary physiological equipment to digest and utilize meat or grain ingredients. The question is - which is better for the dog? To answer this, you must ask the dog himself.
As you can see, the dental structure of the dog is designed to rip and tear flesh, not grind down grain ingredients like a cow or a horse.
Long-term ingestion of grain ingredients will overstress the dog's digestive system and harbor a larger amount of undesirable toxins to build up in the body. This is because it stays in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for a much longer period of time before being utilized or eliminated. Why? Because it takes longer for the dog's digestive system to break down the foreign matter, which means that the ingested grains must stay in the digestive tract for much longer than normal.
The proof of this digestive difference is also in the stool of the animal. The difference in consistency and volume of a dog's stool that has been fed a raw, meat-based diet and that of a dog fed a dry, grain-based kibble diet is significant.
Dogs fed a raw diet tend to have smaller, more compact stools that are less odorous. Their owners also note that their dog's stools are of a gray, ash-like color. This is a result of maximum nutrient absorption of the diet by the animal. The dog's body better digests a raw diet so all that really remains in the stool are ash and fiber.
Make the Right Choice For Your Pet's Long-Term Health
A biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet is much different from kibble and canned food diets. A BARF diet is completely raw and never exposed to any heat processing (cooking). For your dog this means that all the enzymes, vitamins, and micronutrients found in the whole food ingredients are kept as close to their natural state as possible. Also, the proteins in a BARF diet have not been denatured by heat processing as they are fed in a raw state.
Here is a list of some of the benefits we have seen from feeding dogs a BARF diet:
Here's what's included: