With caring for your dog, we all want to do the best job we can. Sometimes this causes us to overthink things and even do too much for them even if it is not beneficial to them. A good example is giving treats and overfeeding. We do these things because we want to show them we love them.
Over the 35 plus years I have spent owning, breeding and caring for dogs, I have tried every possible conceivable thing when it comes to dog care. These tips are from my own experiences and I suggest trying them yourself and see if it works for your dog. Every dog is different and some dogs have special needs so please be aware of this when trying these tips.
When I was eight, I remember feeding Pal Meaty bites and a can of Chum to my dad’s hunting dogs. Later we would cook meat and rice for them because the food had to be cooked, right? As time passed on I moved to feeding raw meaty bones and eventually come to the conclusion of feeding both raw meaty bones and a high quality grain free dry dog food, like we at Stay Loyal Dog Food recommend.
Sometimes, less is more. By not cooking, you get more out of it. So if you do cook for your dog, maybe consider gradually changing to raw. Healthy dogs have a very acidic stomach that can deal with any bacteria on fresh/almost fresh meat. The cooking process only takes away from the raw meat and also dries the bone out causing it to splinter when chewed, which is not good.
Another area where less is more is regarding feeding your dog on the ground instead of with dog bowls. I remember when we would wash all the dog bowls clean every day. We used to think the dogs had to eat out of clean bowls only. Well not anymore!
This paradigm shift happened many years ago when I was on a hunting trip. At that time I was talking to a farmer who was feeding his working kelpies. The farmer was just throwing the dog food on the ground. Me, being the smart arse I was said, “Can’t you afford bowls?” He laughed and explained that he had bowls but the dogs just looked healthier and got sick less when he stopped using them.
These days I just throw the food on the ground and let my dogs eat off the ground. Yes there is dirt and bacteria on the ground. That’s how they get MORE. I believe they get minerals from the dirt and also beneficial bacteria which possibly help prevent allergies. I have come to this assumption after reading scientific studies on humans which showed that kids who were allowed to play in the dirt when growing up have a much lesser tendency to get allergies than the kids who were not allowed to play in the dirt. Possibly the same may go for dogs that get to eat off the ground rather than out of a clean bowl. They ingest the beneficial bacteria which keep their immune system working properly.
Sprinkling their dry food around on the ground is also a fun game for your dog and forces them to use their nose and eat a little slower. If you choose to try this technique please make sure you are not putting the food on a toxic waste dump. The ground should be free of chemicals and such. If you are unsure about how chemical free your ground is best stick to bowls.
The amount of food you feed. Funnily enough, less can be more here as well. If your dog is overweight, feeding less will make your dog live longer. In fact in a scientific study, dogs kept at a lean healthy weight lived 2 years, on average, longer than their overweight littermates. You can see what a lean healthy condition for your dog is by clicking here.
Treats and toys. Less is more here as well. I can’t think of a better treat for your dog than a nice meaty lamb shank or cow leg bone cut long ways down the middle so your dog can access the nutritious marrow in the centre. There are a lot of “treats” and “toys” on the market today most are unhealthy grain based “treats” that don’t do anything for your dog’s health. Bones are healthy, natural and do a great job of cleaning your dog’s teeth. Next time you want to treat your dog, give it a nice meaty raw bone to chew on.
To conclude, I would like to say that there are areas where more can be beneficial as well. There is nothing wrong with caring more for your dog. The best way to do this is with less food and treats and more walks. Because every breed and dog is different, read this article, to discover how much exercise is best for your dog. I don’t need to go through the benefits of walking your dog however let’s just say it will benefit both you and your dog.