Primal for Pets
I have three dogs – well, only two are really mine, but I take care of my brother’s dog a lot (and he takes care of mine) so they are really a pack, a unit, in fact. Anyway, his dog Lucy is a Weimeraner, and my dog Blue is an American Pit Bull Terrier, and last but not least there is Boo, the Apricot Toy Poodle. They are our canine kids.
When I discovered the paleo/primal way of eating for humans I started to think about the proper diet for our pets. After all, I’m pretty sure that wolves, from whom domesticated dogs evolved, did not start out eating store bought kibble. So, I started researching what an appropriate diet would be for our pups, and discovered from various sources – among them Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple – that dogs are meant to eat raw meat, raw meaty bones, and raw organs. They do not ingest grains of any sort, or vegetables, although they will occasionally eat fruit that has fallen from the tree. Wolves will even shake out the stomach contents of their prey before eating it. Now, I’m not saying your dog won’t eat these things – if I left a loaf of bread within reach (back when I ate such things), Lucy would devour it, but it’s not optimal nutrition for a canine.
I believe that if we feed our dogs properly they can lead long and healthy lives and that the cost of feeding them properly will be offset by what you save in veterinary bills. Just a thought…
Update: Lucy lived to be 15 years old which is pretty incredible since Weimeraners have an average of a 12 year lifespan. I’m pretty certain she would have lived a lot longer if she hadn’t had a back injury when she was a young dog that ended up impeding her ability to control her bladder as she got older and caused some neuropathy in her rear extremities.