Growing your puppy correctly
There can be many benefits of feeding a raw biologically appropriate diet to your dogs, but the first and most obvious benefit is in the words 'biologically appropriate' (BA)
By feeding your dog a BA raw diet, you are supporting and fueling a system that functions best when it is processing food matter that this species was actually designed to process.
A puppy grows so rapidly that there is very little time to ensure that the foundations of health which are laid down in puppyhood will be good enough to see him through life.
When we feed commercial food, to a growing pup, we could very easily compromise the natural growth rate.
Why does this happen? Isn't that just hype?
................Well no it's not just hype, it is a scientific fact.
So why and how could a commercial diet cause damage to a growing puppy?
To understand this a little more we have to look more closely at the way a puppy might process a commercial diet and then compare that with the way he would process a BA raw diet.
We must look at what is available to the puppy from either diet; and in what form it is presented and we must then look at the science behind the digestion of either diet and the impact it could have.
All food provides fuel and energy, even the dreaded commercial.
The huge advantage of feeding a BA raw diet to your pup is that it will contain little or no carbohydrates. The pup's energy source will come from protein from meat and fat.
When a pup is fed a commercial diet its energy source will probably include a lot of carbohydrates
When a pup is fed a BA raw diet, the protein is from meat and fat instead of carbohydrates, this slows the growth rate down to normal, and does not put excess strain and pressure on growing joints from a body mass that has grown too heavy for its support system - ie the dog's bones.
Pups who are fed a lot of carbohydrates on the other hand may well become fat and too heavy for their bones, this could cause damage and deformaties.
A BA raw diet contains fewer calories ounce for ounce than commercial brands of dog food.
So what else is important?
Your puppy's bone growth is influenced by the amount or more specifically the ratio between his Calcium & Phosphorus intake and the source of these...........
Again........we are back to those two words ''biologically appropriate'' When your pup is fed his own species appropriate diet which has been biologically designed by Mother Nature specifically for his individual species, the work is done for us.
A diet made up of raw meat and bones including all the vital elements and fed in the recommeded breakdown;
70-80%meat:10-20% bones:10% organ meat
........ comes with maths included, the calcium/phosphorus ratio present in our prey model, or the prey we are 'building' using all the important parts, is correct and more forgiving if we feed a little more of this, or a little more of that.
Many owners feed this diet their own way and that is absolutely fine. Some stick to the 'text book' recommendation of only 10% bone, some opt for the higher end of the scale and feed 20% or more.
As with anything too much of a good thing is never good. A bone consumption in a raw diet that exceeds 25% could again disrupt the balance of nutrients sufficiently enough for this to have an effect on your dog's health.
Again the meat content can be maipulated, with plenty of room for manouever within the allowed 70-80%.
The ratio of organ meat however should be observed and the 'text book' recommendation of 10% should be followed. The reason for this is organ meats, especially liver if fed in larger quantities can upset the balance of Calcium to Phosphorus in your pup's system. Liver is very high in Phosphorus, amongst other things and contains much more than ordinary meat. See HERE to read more about Liver.
When we feed our puppy with a commercial brand of food anything which has been added to that concoction will also be cooked at very high temperatures, effectively reducing its potency and added to this, it will probably not come from great natural and useable source, like the calcium and phosphorus which occurs in a raw diet....................
Some guy in a white coat somewhere - who thinks that it's fine to feed our carnivores on carbs will also have no problem estimating the artificial addition of minerals to the mix. Suddenly the white coats have replaced Mother Nature...........suddenly our dogs are suffering............
So now not only does your puppy have to suffer artificial food, he now also has to deal with artificial extras !
In many cases the carnivore cannot process and efficiently digest the source of the energy (ie carbs) in commercial dog food - regardless of this it is still used - do you really trust that the source of mineral added to the concoction is going to be any better?.................
Minerals fed in correct balance are an extremely important part of your pup's nutritional requirements for growth rate to remain correct.
Minerals, fed in the wrong balance or wrong presentation can have a catastrophic effect on growing bones.
A BA raw diet provides all the minerals required by your pup to grow, but let's focus on two very important ones associated with growth :
Calcium & Phosphorus
Nutritional requirements and biological systems work best when they are in harmony with one another......not at odds.
The defficiency or over adundance of one vital element can very often affect another.
When Calcium and Phosphorus are sourced from a BA raw diet, the dog's system completely embraces the presentation; the growth of the pup's bones fuelled by energy sourced from the protein of raw meat..... that same meat providing natural phosphurus and the inclusion of raw bone providing calcium, we create a growth system that is correct and sound.
Phosphorus is found in abundance in organ meat and in much lower quantities in muscle meats. Phosphorus directly assists your pup's bone growth and is responsible for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Calcium is found in abundance is raw bone, bone also contains a little phosphorus, the meatier the bone, the more phosphorus is present. By feeding the less meaty bones, you are providing more calcium.
Here you can see the approximate Calcium and Phospohrus levels of several BA raw food products.
|100g meat, raw & boneless||Calcium||Phosphorus|
|Minced beef (20% fat)||18 mg||158 mg|
|Minced beef (10% fat)||12 mg||184 mg|
|Minced turkey (7% fat)||21 mg||193 mg|
|Dark chicken meat & skin||11 mg||136 mg|
|Chicken breast without skin||5 mg||210 mg|
|Minced lamb|| 16 mg||157 mg|
|100g raw green tripe||100 mg||130 mg|
|100g organs, raw|
|Beef heart||7 mg||212 mg|
|Chicken liver||8 mg||297 mg|
|Beef liver||5 mg||387 mg|
|Beef kidney||13 mg||257 mg|
|Raw meaty bones|
|Chicken necks without skin||890-1580 mg||500-1415 mg|
|Chicken backs with skin||740-1300 mg||480-970 mg|
|Chicken wings with skin||620-1150 mg||430-660 mg|
|Chicken legs with skin||770-1990 mg||540-690 mg|
|Whole chicken||723 mg||456 mg|
|Turkey necks||1190-2590 mg||670-1390 mg|
|Rabbit, whole no skin||500-800 mg||370-690 mg|
|2 large no including shell 100 g||53 mg||191 mg|
|Egg yolks 2 large 34 g||44 mg|| 133 mg|
|Egg whites 2 large 66 g||5 mg||10 mg|
By keeping your dog's raw diet inside the acceptable breakdown -
70-80% meat : 10-20% bone: 10% organ meat
The Calcium and Phosphorus ratios will work themselves out, provided you do not feed extreme amounts of egg, fish or organ meats, which could disrupt the natural balance this diet achieves.
See HERE for recommendations on how often to feed them.
When we feed commercially, we are taking the chance that the manufacturer has estimated the quantities of these vital minerals correctly and the source of them is something your puppy can actually process efficiently.
Also it is aparently very difficult to obtain a true picture when a chemical analysis is made of commercial dog foods. This is because the results will show the mineral levels present - regardless of their source and how useful and obtainable they actually are to the dog. If he cannot process and digest enough of the minerals which appear to be correct in analysis, he risks a defficiency of one or the other and the relationship between the calcium and phosphprus and the very important job they do in growing your pup's bone and muscle growth will be compromised.
If calcium levels are too high, especially in large breed puppies bone growth is affected. Deformaties such as Hip Dysplasia can occcur.
If Phosphorus levels are too high then Calcium levels will become too low, this will result in the puppy drawing Calcium from it's own bones, which could result in bones breaking very easily.