Diet - Royal Oak Cavaliers

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Raw diet information

WHAT YOU FEED IN THE RAW DIET... Ground meat with bones is a safe and easy way to get the bone content into the diet. You can supplement with raw meaty bones for chewing and eating. Most people feed chicken or turkey wings, necks, backs or carcasses. These pieces consist of bone, cartilage, fat and a little bit of flesh. The optimal RMB is 50% meat to 50% bone and about 10 to 15% fat. Large animal bones such beef, bison, etc., are only good for chewing and are generally the least nutritious as they can't actually be eaten but some of the better products have large animal bones ground in. Neck bones from many animals are generally very good. It is important to try and feed variety, so try to incorporate other meaty bones (beef, lamb, pork, ostrich) during the week.
Are bones dangerous? Perhaps. ALWAYS SUPERVISE WHEN SMALLER OR MORE EDIBLE BONES ARE OFFERED. However,dogs have evolved to eat bones and it is rare that a problem might arise. Although some dogs have had obstructions or died consuming bones, dogs have also died from the ingestion of tennis balls, ropes, sticks, socks, plastic bags, rocks, toys, gloves, belts, cooked bones and processed foods. Most of the deaths that have occurred from consuming raw bones have been related to competitive eating,possessiveness and excessive hunger. Many dogs display ravenous eating behaviors because they have never been fed anything that even closely resembles "real food". If in doubt, present the first RMB to your dog after s/he has already had some food, and then supervise the RMB feeding. If fed raw, meaty bones are soft and chewable. It is NOT recommended that cooked bones be fed, as they become brittle and do have the potential to splinter. If you prefer to NOT feed whole RMB, have a dog that is missing teeth who does not eat carefully, or has difficulty digesting whole bones,then it is recommended that the RMB be ground. The same benefits will be obtained.

OFFAL (organ meats) are a small part of the raw diet, about 10 - 15%. They should be fresh, raw and include liver, kidney, heart, brain, tripe [stomach]... In its raw state it is nutritionally valuable food with first class protein, essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.

MEAT & FISH Any muscle meat fed ground or in chunks, is acceptable such as beef, lamb, rabbit, deer... An all meat and 'no bone' diet has the potential for disaster, however a meal of pure meat is fine now and again. Fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) can also form a part of the weekly diet. If a lot of fish is fed, then the whole fish should be used and vitamin E must be supplemented. 
VEGETABLES should form about 30% of the overall diet. Use any vegetable (with the exception of onions and white potatoes) such as dark green leafy, beet, broccoli, spinach, celery, cabbage family, capsicum, and/or fruits such as tomato, apple, oranges, pears, mangoes and banana. The wider the variety the better, as each contributes to a full spectrum of nutrients. Besides vitamins and 'health protective' nutrients, the indigestible fiber in vegetables also helps to mimic hide and hair that would be consumed in an evolutionary diet. Fruits should be fed when over-ripened where they provide non-complex carbohydrates or simple sugars as opposed to the slow releasing energy from the complex carbohydrates. The bulk of the vegies used should consist of 'low glycemic,' green leafy vegetables and ripe fruit. 'Low glycemics' are foods, which do not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Vegetables must be processed before they become nutritionally beneficial to your dog. This does not involve cooking, but does require a food processor, blender or grinder that will be able to totally crush the vegetable and fruit matter. Once prepared it can be fed as a 'soup', 'patty' or 'cake', depending on the amount of juice and pulp content of the mix. Never hesitate to occasionally feed left over cooked vegtables.

HEALTHY OILS The raw diet requires that health promoting oils be included as a source of omega3 and omega6 essential fatty acids. These oils are vital for your dog's health. Flax oil/ground flax seed or salmon oil can be fed almost every day. You can also use need cod liver oil several times per week and you may also wish to include evening primrose or borage oil once a week or so. Amounts of these healthy oils will vary with an individual's requirements. When feeding these oils, appropriate antioxidants must also be used - such as vitamin E. These healthy oils must be kept refrigerated or frozen in order to maintain their integrity. Ordinary vegetable oils from the supermarket are not recommended. 

YOGURT & EGGS The dog, in an evolutionary sense, does not require dairy foods; however, high quality yogurt or kefir contains essential bacteria for bowel health and for general health. You will need to find a sugarless brand from the health store or make your own. Eggs are a cheap source of top quality protein, vitamin A, minerals - and if free range they also contain good amounts of fatty acids. The entire egg - shell and all is fed. Egg yolks are excellent 'skin food'.

AN OPTIONAL REQUIREMENT - GRAIN? The short and simple answer is that grains did NOT figure as part of our dogs [or cats] evolutionary diet. On that basis, grain is not biologically appropriate for our pets. The only way grains may be used in the diet is when they are freshly sprouted and then processed along with the other vegetable matter.

VITAMINS Are vitamins essential? No...but to move your dog into the optimal health category ... Yes! These may include vitamin E and along with some kelp and alfalfa. Kelp and alfalfa are excellent 'supplemental foods' that supply a vast array of quality vitamins and minerals, some excellent products are available such as Solid Gold Sea Meal. With the exception of vitamin E, these vitamins can be frozen.

HOW MUCH TO FEED? The amounts required will depend on the age, activity level and metabolism of your dog. The average dog can be fed approximately 60% raw meaty bones patties of the widest variety of sources possible. The other 40% of the diet would consist of pure meat meals, fish, fruit/vegetables, eggs, offal, plus supplements and a very small percentage of table scraps - because we have a hard time saying "no".

ABOUT BACTERIA A dog's immune system is designed to handle bacteria such as Salmonella, E.Coli and Campylobacter jejuni. It is much more adept at this than the human body. While cooking foods may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins that result from the bacteria. If dogs are fed nothing but heat sterilized food, you are depriving them of the opportunity to develop an immune response to these and many other organisms. Handling raw foods for your dog requires the same care as your 'human' food does. Raw food will spoil if left unrefrigerated for an extended period of time, so excess food not eaten, should be refrigerated for the next feeding or discarded. Keep raw meat separate from other foods; wash working surfaces, utensils and hands with hot soapy water after each feeding. Simple!
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