How to Make a Homemade Paleo Diet for your Dog
The Paleo diet is composed of those types of foods our ancestors ate, when Paleolithic man was a hunter and gatherer, before the introduction of grains that came with the development of agriculture. Following the introduction of agriculture, of course, came processed foods, and all of the negative consequences of that type of diet. The foods in a Paleo diet are all natural, fresh, and healthy.
Dogs can benefit from a Paleo diet too. They were not developed to eat grain, and the commercial dog foods have only been in place since the mid-20th century in the U.S. Those commercial processed foods are not keeping your dog as healthy as his ancestors, and anyone who works with dogs will be sure to tell you about the skin, dental, and obesity problems that have all come about since these foods were introduced.
The Paleo diet will keep your dog fit enough to run with the pack. If a wolf on a natural diet can live 20 years, why can´t your dog?
Switch your dog to a Paleo diet. He is ready for a change.
What should make up the Paleo diet for dogs?
The main ingredient in a natural diet for your dog should be that which has been keeping dogs alive for so long—meat and bones. A lot of the founders of the raw diets recommend that dogs only be fed human-quality ingredients. My dogs and I disagree with this. That is not what has been keeping dogs alive for thousands of years.
When Paleolithic humans fed their dogs, it was with those ingredients that people were not going to eat. It should still be that way. There are a lot of great alternative feed sources out there. Chicken necks, chicken feet, beef heart and kidneys, and tripe are all easily available since humans do not eat them. Old laying hens and Coturnix quail that no longer lay can be purchased cheaply if available in your area.
If you live in an area where you cannot get chicken necks and feet, you can still purchase inexpensive chicken wings at the supermarket.
Since dogs are scavengers and will eat almost anything if the opportunity arises, you can feed them almost anything. (If you want to find out a few things that dogs should not be eating you can read another article here.)
So feed your dogs what is natural. That is an ideal Paleolithic diet.
Is it expensive to feed my dog a Paleo diet?
It is actually cheaper to feed your dog a natural Paleo diet than most of the major “premium” dog foods. In fact, if you choose the ingredients carefully and take advantage of inexpensive sources when available, you can feed a Paleo diet for as little as the cheapest dog food at Walmart.
It is not necessary to invest in a big freezer. There are no special requirements to feeding a Paleo diet. I buy available ingredients and feed my dogs this way every week.
To learn more about cheap sources of raw dog food, you can read more here. Be creative. A dog on a natural, Paleo type diet can and should eat everything you provide.
The most natural diet for your dog is:
What should I feed my dog each day?
· Mostly meat and bones. About ¾ of his diet can be provided by bringing home chicken necks, beef scraps from the butcher, and even raw tripe.
· Some organ meat like an occasional piece of liver or kidneys. If you feed chicken backs the organs are attached to the inside of the back and it is not even necessary to worry about buying extra organs.
· Some vegetables, mixed with a few tablespoons of raw yogurt to provide bacteria to aid digestion. (In Paleolithic times, the probiotic most commonly consumed was fecal material. Most people will want to look for an alternative.)
· Fresh fruit. Almost all dogs enjoy fruit.
· Some areas of the world will be deficient and dogs may require some supplements—if there are local street dogs that are healthy and doing fine do not worry about this. (Commercial dog foods will not take this into account and will just provide enough nutrients to keep your dog alive.)
· All dogs benefit from the addition of fish oil and some benefit from other antioxidants like vitamin C.
Can I feed my dog a Paleo diet by just buying a "natural" dog food off the shelf?
No. Most dog foods are made up with grains. They are, after all, cheap fillers, and that is why dog foods were invented in the first place. There may be some diets that are now grain free, but, despite the sloppy labeling, they are not natural, and certainly not what your dog needs to be healthy.
Feeding your dog correctly will take a little effort. If you feed your family boxes of macaroni and cheese and go out for fast food hamburgers you might not consider your dog worth the effort.
How do I switch my dog to a Paleo diet?
Most dogs will take to a Paleo diet right away—after all, it is what dogs want to eat.
Take a raw chicken neck or chicken wing and put it in her bowl when she is hungry. If she does not want to eat raw food, you can cook it in a skillet but do so quickly, and leave the bone and the meat inside the cut raw. The next day, cook the piece of chicken even less, until eventually your dog gets used to eating it raw.
You can do the same thing with organ meat if your dog does not like it. Most dogs enjoy organs raw, and they can even be mixed in with your vegetable mixture if your dog does not want to eat it.
Are you ready to switch your dog to a natural diet like those that have been keeping his ancestors healthy for thousands of years?
Find out what your dog needs, and get to it right away.
© 2014 Dr Mark