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Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year from The Dogs Choice – have a prosperous and fulfilling 2016

Happy New Year 2016

At this time of year we are all talking about getting more exercise and eating more healthily but what about our pets?

Why not start your dogs year on a fantastic, natural diet. What could be better than what your dog would choose for themselves? You will be amazed how much your dog will appreciate and respond to a natural raw food diet.

Great quality products & very competitive prices at The Dogs Choice

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Fruit and vegetables for dogs

Fruit and vegetables for dogs, good and bad

There is a lot of discussion about vegetables in dog food – some think it’s not essential, others think it is – you can choose for yourself on the information provided below –

Personally I give my dog vegetables and fruit – however you can choose to add a handful of veg every now and again to your dogs food or buy complete food which has the vegetables and fruit added – I personally prefer to add my own veg/fruit, that way I can control the variety. Chop finely or blend the vegetables in a food processor as this is the easiest way for a dog to digest them. And remember veg is only approximately 15% of their diet so if you are preparing them yourself it does not have to be 15% of every meal – it can be done over a period of time; I feed veg once/twice a week over a day or two.

85% muscle meat, meaty bones, sinew, ligaments, fat, this includes heart, liver, kidney organ meat, this includes (the amount of bone can vary – my dogs stools are best on about 20%)

The easiest and rough guide is 70% meat and bone, 30% Organ meat and veg/fruit, eggs

Vegetables can be fed raw (chopped finely) or very lightly steamed.

Whichever way you choose is fine and we have a selection of both minces and complete meals in our online shop.

Good Veg & Bad Veg

Below is a quick list of Fruit and vegetables for dogs – Do not feed those in RED,

Mushrooms, Apple Seeds, Onions and Chives

Sharon Fruit (Persimmions), Peaches, and Plum – pips and stones can cause blockages, in fact any fruit stone is not good – the fruit is fine just not the stones

Avocado, Macadamia nuts, Chocolate, Salt, Sugar, Coffee, Corn on the Cob

Grapes including raisins, currants, sultanas etc.

Scroll down to see the properties of the veg and fruit if you wish to carry on reading

Can dogs eat vegetables?

Dogs have actually eaten vegetation throughout their evolution! Therefore, vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables should form part of the domestic dogs’ diet.

Dogs will naturally eat grass to aid digestion, in the wild this would also incorporate wild berries and other nutritious plants, they need vegetables because they contain many important health promoting nutrients.

The fibre your dog obtains from raw vegetables includes both soluble and insoluble fibre as well as many other nutrients. Lots of those nutrients are the ones that have been found to be in short supply in the modern dog’s “civilized” diet. This includes difficult to obtain omega 3 essential fatty acids, most of a dog’s vitamin needs, masses of enzymes and various anti-aging factors, including antioxidants.

Use chopped as a healthy titbit treat or chop finely and add to food – my boy performs all sorts of tricks for a piece of apple, carrot or a blueberry and my daughters dog loves to munch on a chunk of celery or carrot!

Peas

These can be added right to your dog’s food, frozen or thawed. Peas are a good source of the B vitamin Thiamine, phosphorous, and potassium.

Brussels sprouts are rich in fibre and vitamins, and they also boast cancer-fighting properties that can benefit your cat or dog as much as they benefit you. You can feed Brussels sprouts to your pet as a snack raw or cooked

Broccoli and Cabbage family
Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It is full of vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, calcium and fibre. It is also a good source of chromium. Like other members of the cabbage family, broccoli has demonstrated remarkable anticancer effects. Broccoli contains several important phytochemicals ( these are responsible for the green colour in plants) and other organoleptic properties, (these are the aspects of food or other substances that an individual experiences via the senses—including taste, sight, smell, and touch; such as the deep purple of blueberries and the smell of garlic.): beta carotene, and over thirty-three cancer preventative compounds.

Spinach
Spinach contains twice as much iron as most other greens. Like other chlorophyll and carotene -containing vegetables, it is a rich source of antioxidants. Besides beta-carotene, it also supplies two other carotenes. Spinach has long had a reputation of being very high in nutrients. It is a good source of fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B6 and K.

Celery
Celery is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron, as well as vitamins A, B, C.     It is especially potent as an anti-tumour agent. It is said to decrease nervousness, and is used as an acid neutralizer.

Carrot
The carrot is the king of the vegetables. It is the richest source of pro-vitamin A carotenes among commonly consumed vegetables. But unlike vitamin A, beta carotene and other carotenes in carrots do not cause toxicity. Beta carotene is also a powerful antioxidant. Carrots also contain vitamins B, C, D, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. Carrots have repeatedly shown to nourish the optic nerve and significantly improve eyesight.

Red Pepper
These are an excellent source of many essential nutrients. By weight, red peppers have three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. Moreover, red peppers are a very good source of beta carotene, and they offer a good amount of fibre and vitamin B6. Because red pepper stimulates circulation and enhances blood flow, it is considered food for the circulatory system and as a digestive aid. Red peppers are one of few foods that contain lycopene that may help prevent various forms of cancer.

Green Beans make a fantastic low calorie and filling snack. A great source of natural plant fibre and high in: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.

Bok Choy contains calcium for healthy, strong bones and teeth, and is good for the heart while protecting against cancer. This low calorie veggie is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and potassium. What is bok choy? It’s a type of Chinese cabbage with thick white or green stems filled with water and green leafy tops.

Pumpkin is a low calorie food rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fibre, potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. About one cup of cooked pumpkin contains 3 grams of filling fibre

Sweet potatoes. Heart-healthy and easy on the digestive tract, sweet potatoes contain more nutrients than white potatoes (cooked). They are great for weight management and contribute to lowering blood pressure. High in fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-vitamins..

Can dogs eat fruit?

Yes it is true, dogs can and do eat fruit. Wild dogs – domestic dogs, they all do it! Dogs are omnivores and they can eat almost anything.

Fruits consist of mostly water, secondly to that; the major nutrient in fruit is soluble carbohydrate. That is simple sugars or energy foods. Fruit also contains lots of fibre. It is also full of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants.

Two nutrients present in most raw fruits, vitamin A as carotene and vitamin C, make fruit a valuable food for your dog. The enzymes present in raw fruit, also make it important as part of your dog’s diet, particularly if your dog is past middle age and showing the beginnings of degenerative disease.

Is it essential that dogs eat fruit?
No. All of the nutrients present in fruit can be obtained from other sources. However, by adding fruit to the diet, you can ensure a wide variety of healthy foods. This gives the greatest chance of providing a balanced diet with plenty of longevity and immune system promoting nutrients. Any fruit can be fed to dogs, however tropical fruits are a particularly valuable food as they contain lots of antioxidants. Scientists have discovered that the enzymes and antioxidants present in fruit, many of which have not yet been identified, keep the skin and indeed the whole body free of degeneration and old age diseases.

Whole Apple – please note there s questions on whether to feed pips (see below)
Unpeeled apples are especially high in non-pro-vitamin A carotenes and pectin. Pectin is a remarkable type of fibre that has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects. Due to its gel forming fibre, it can improve the intestinal muscle’s ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Pectin also binds to and eliminates toxins in the gut. Apples are also rich in beta carotene and vitamin C as well as several B complex vitamins including vitamin B6, folic acid and lots of potassium.

Whole Pear – please note there s questions on whether to feed pips (see below)
Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble fibre, including pectin, which makes them useful in toning the intestines. Fresh pears contain potassium, which is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and carbohydrate metabolism. Pears also contain Vitamin C. An important antioxidant, Vitamin C is essential for helping prevent free radical damage.

Watermelon is made up of 92% water. Therefore, it’s excellent for hydration and skin! Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fibre, potassium, and magnesium.

Whole Grapefruit – peeled
Grapefruit is a good source of, water soluble fibres, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. Grapefruit, like other citrus fruits has been shown to exert some anticancer effects in both human and animal studies. Grapefruit pectin has been shown to possess similar cholesterol lowering action to other fruit with pectin. The whole fruit contains more pectin than the juice. Recently, grapefruit has been shown to normalise the percentage of red blood cells per volume of blood. Grapefruit seeds are well known as an anti-fungal agent in that their consumption kills many different types of parasites and assists the body in producing beneficial bacteria. A biologically active natural ingredient found in the seeds kills strep, staph, salmonella, e.coli, Candida, herpes, influenza, parasites, fungi and traveller’s diarrhoea, and is used as an antibiotic, anti fungal, antiprotozoan and antiviral.

Whole Orange – peeled
Everyone knows that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they have more to offer nutritionally than just this nutrient. One orange contains generous levels of folic acid, potassium, and thiamine, as well as some calcium and magnesium. Making oranges a valuable aid in strengthening the immune system, supporting connective tissues, and promoting overall good health. Oranges have been shown to protect against cancer, and fight viral infections.

SUPPLEMENTS

WHOLE EGG
Eggs are absolutely brilliant nutrition for your dog. Eggs are a whole food, and often regarded as being the perfect protein source. It is the one against which all other proteins are measured. Eggs contain a full complement of minerals, including excellent levels of calcium (mostly in the yolk), all the vitamins except vitamin C and a range of high quality saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the nutrient lecithin and the whole range of enzymes and other longevity factors always present in raw foods. The shell is removed in order to balance the calcium requirements in a natural diet. Egg yolks are an essential food for a dog with skin problems. They contain sulphur containing amino acids, biotin, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and zinc.

FLAX SEED
Flaxseed has been used for more than 10,000 years. The oil of the seed is a rich source of Essential Fatty Acids. These are essential nutrients that the body can’t produce itself. The only way to obtain these nutrients is through diet. EFAs are polyunsaturated fats, which are considered “good” fats.

Flaxseed contains bioactive compounds called lignans, which have been proven to prevent cancer.

GARLIC
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic and often called nature’s wonder drug. There is no doubt that garlic does confer some health advantages. Garlic has been found to have effective antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of both bacteria and fungi. It gives a good solid boost to the immune system. Garlic is a health building and disease preventing herb. It is rich in potassium, zinc, vitamins A and C, and selenium. It also contains calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1 and some iron.

KELP
Kelp contains over 60 minerals and elements, 21 amino acids and simple and complex carbohydrates, which promotes glandular health, especially the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands. Kelp supplies a natural source of iodine and acts as an antibiotic to kill germs.

ALFALFA
Alfalfa helps the body assimilate protein, calcium and other nutrients. This sprout is a body cleanser, infection fighter and natural deodorizer. It is the richest land source of trace minerals and contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B and D. Alfalfa also contains bioflavonoid, and eight digestive enzymes to promote proper assimilation of foods.

Cod Liver Oil – Natural
An excellent source of vitamin A and D and the omega-3 fatty acids. It has been proven to be an excellent source for improving coat quality.

Vitamin E
Important vitamin’s main function in the diet and in the body is as a potent antioxidant.

Zinc Oxide
This ingredient is important to promote good hair coat and promotes optimal growth and better activity levels.

Manganese Oxide
This micro-mineral functions as a component of several cell enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions. Benefits in the diet include increased growth, aids in reproduction and helps to balance lipid metabolism.

DO NOT FEED

Red avoid completely

Black – awareness is requires

Mushrooms – Just as the wrong mushroom can be fatal to humans, the same applies to dogs. Don’t mess with them.

Onions and chives – No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, within other foods), onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your pet (it’s poisonous for dogs, and it’s even worse for cats). They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause anaemia and damage red blood cells.

Grapes inc raisins, currants, sultanas etc – This is one that lots of dog owners are unaware of. Grapes contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. We’ve heard stories of dogs dying from only a handful of grapes so do not feed your dog this toxic food.

Apple Seeds – The casing of apple seeds are toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested. This is really only an issue if a large amount was eaten and the seed were chewed up by the dog, causing it to enter its blood stream. But to play it safe, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.

Persimmons, peaches, and plums – pips and stones can cause blockages

Avocado – Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

Macadamia nuts – These contain a toxin that can inhibit locomotor activity, resulting in weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors as well as possible damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscle systems.

Chocolate – You’ve probably heard this before, but chocolate is a definite NO for your dog. And it’s not just about caffeine, which is enough to harm your dog by itself, but theobromine and theophylline, which can be toxic, cause panting, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and damage your dog’s heart and nervous systems.

Salt – Just like salt isn’t the healthiest thing for humans, it’s even less healthy for dogs. Too much of it can lead to an imbalance in electrolyte levels, dehydration and potentially diarrhoea.

Sugar – This applies to any food containing sugar. Make sure you check the ingredient label for human foods – corn syrup (which is a less expensive form of sugar or glucose) is found in just about everything these days. Too much sugar for your dog can lead to dental issues, obesity, and even diabetes.

 

Citrus oil extracts – Can cause vomiting.

Coffee – Not sure why you would give your dog coffee, but pretty much the same applies here as to chocolate. This is essentially poisonous for your dog if ingested.

Corn on the cob– This is a sure way to get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog. Additionally, too much corn kernels can upset the digestive tract as well so be cautious to not feed too much.

Baked potatoes – A plain baked potato is okay to feed your dog but honestly it is not something that should be done frequently and should never include any toppings. A few slices of cooked baked potato can make a great treat for a patient dog at a meal time though.

White rice and pasta – White rice and pasta are frequently referred to as a potential meal for a dog with an upset stomach. Generally boiled white chicken and white rice are used to help firm up stools as well as nourish a dog that is having trouble getting any nutrition from food as a result of illness.

 

 

 

 

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Introducing Raw Food to Your Dog

If you are changing from a dried food diet to raw I suggest start gently by choosing 1 protein – either tripe or chicken mince is a good starter – check their stools and if they look ok, introduce another protein – repeat this process every 1 or 2 weeks or so still checking stools, until he/she is receiving a balanced variety.

Raw Food for Puppy

It is quite common for a dog to have loose stools on the changeover, this usually only lasts a short while and things begin to firm up in no time. You will notice that on raw your dog does not defecate as much as on commercial, this is due to most of the food is utilised and the waste product is less. Every bit of goodness is being processed and used by your dog – fantastic!

Puppies can be fed raw straight from weaning and can progress to fish/wings/carcass etc from 6 -8 weeks. Minces and minced carcass are similar to the regurgitated food they would get from their mothers in the wild. Build slowly onto chunkier meats and soft bone – meaty chicken ribs, necks or wings are good to build their jaw strength.

Puppies can be fed raw

For puppies – Chicken wings should have the wing tip cut off at the third joint, as, should the puppy be tempted to swallow it whole, the double joint of the wing is a major choking hazard for pups.

Puppies cut teeth between 4 & 6 months so, good meaty bones of a suitable size are fantastic for them to gnaw on.