By Robert Mueller
When I discuss the importance of animal nutrition, I like to make comparisons relative to human nutrition because the end results are the same. In essence, the better we feel; the better we are able to stay active, exercise, focus, and learn.
This same theory holds true for training your dog. It is easy to see the difference that proper nutrition provides for your dog when going through obedience training. A nutritionally advantaged dog will have the energy, stamina, and ability to perform at a higher level than a “fast food” fed dog.
When I say “fast food”, I am referring to commercial kibble and canned food – “fast” and convenient for the owner, but not otherwise so for the animal. A fast food fed dog is one that is expected to thrive on a diet that is formulated for convenience, and utilizes inexpensive ingredients that possess minimal utilization in the digestive process. In my 35+ years in the field of animal nutrition, I’ve found that this is not feasible. In fact a dog that is fed this way will ultimately exhibit symptoms of digestive disorders, skin conditions, allergies, and this leads to degenerative disease.
The advice given to nutrition-minded humans is to eliminate processed foods from your diet – and the same advice holds true for pets.
The philosophy we profess involves feeding a dog that which is biologically appropriate for the species. That means feeding the animals what Mother Nature has designed them to eat, based on the dental structure, their ability to chew, the capability of the digestion system, and organ functions for supplying the digestive enzymes, and pH conditions necessary to consume a raw food diet.
Any diet that restricts the ability to properly digest the food being fed will result in less utilization of nutrients. Heat applied to processed diets severely reduces the nutrient value and alters the chemical structure of several of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The use of lower quality ingredients in heat-processed, commercial pet food also results in longer digestion time which allows for greater fermentation of ingredients in the digestive tract. This inevitably results in the development of toxins in the body, hence the increase of degenerative diseases in our companion animals.
Once the animal is converted to the BARF Diet (which is a much more species-appropriate diet), an automatic period of detoxification will begin. Toxins which have built up in your pet over the years are emitted mainly through the skin, which is the body’s largest organ.
A word to the wise for those that have dogs that have been on a heat-processed dry food diet for a minimum of 5 to 6 years and have experienced a development of allergies and skin conditions: this short period of detoxification can temporarily accentuate their current skin condition. This stage of rehabilitation is temporary as your dog goes through the normal detoxification process. We always give this word of caution to new clients that are trying to eliminate allergies and skin ailments, as it is very important to be patient and allow the BARF diet to do its magic.
What you will undoubtedly end up with is a changed dog in many ways. You will see a major turnaround in any skin conditions after the toxins have been eliminated from the body. This reduction of stress in your pet will also be immediately visible in the activity level and demeanor of the animal. It is no different than when we make positive changes to our own diets and begin to see and feel the difference in our overall health and energy level. When we feel good and get our bodies in tip-top condition, we are then able to function much better.
We may even feel like taking the dust off of our exercise equipment and feel more like engaging in the requirements of staying healthy. When you don’t feel well or if the symptoms of allergies, arthritis and obesity take over, our energy is zapped making it harder to find the energy and motivation to exercise or learn.
Our dogs are no different.
Often times, we hear the dog trainers that we work with tell us how the first step in their training program is to improve the nutrition of the animal and replace their nutrient-lacking diet with a natural healthy dog food… one that is biologically appropriate and offers the animal the proper nutrition necessary to stay alert and active in order to be more open to receive the training their owners are paying for.
An easy way to do that is to convert your dog over to a raw food diet such as the BARF Diet. It will result in a better candidate for training and a happier, healthier animal as a result.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine