Gone are the days of your average vet recommending fresh butcher bones for your dogs good health or raw food such as egg on their dogfood for healthy skin and coat but these are things I remember hearing even on dogfood commercials as a little child. Now, your average dogfood goes through many steps and processes before it is rendered the dry kibble we commonly refer to as dogfood. When food is in its unadulterated form, it is truly "wholesome"meaning "intact" and "unprocessed". Most people may have heard that the more processed a food is,the more vital nutrients are lost due to the many steps of precessing. The very first step of processing is to cut, chop , grind or otherwise break open and breakdown the food whether it be meat, grains, fruits or vegetables. This begins the process of losing vital nutrients through oxidation (caused by simple exposure to oxygen). A simple example of this would be to observe what happens when you take a bite of an apple and then leave the apple on the counter for an hour. When you return the apple has turned brown where it has been bitten. This is because of oxidation that has begun through the breaking open of the food. The vital nutrients such as enzymes,vitamins, minerals, amino acids (protein building blocks) and fatty acids are now dying. Previously the nutrients were "vital" or living. Living nutrients are active, effective for their purpose, and readily absorbed. Dead nutrients are not nearly as effective and are taxing and burdensome (burning much energy) to the body to try to utilize. Life begets life. Death begets death (degeneration). Now imagine if that apple was fully processed being peeled, cut, chopped,ground, pulverized and then cooked down. You now have apple sauce but little, if any vital and living nutrients to equip, build,and protect the body and immune system. It is the same for grains and meats. For this reason many foods are fortified which means that some and often most, of the vital nutrients that have been lost or stripped out during the steps of processing, need to be replaced. Man's attempt at this is to add things like vitamins and minerals to the processed food. Unfortunately, these necessary nutrients are no longer natural (as in nutrients as they are found in nature in their natural form and context) but rather, they are usually formulated by chemists in laboratories and are synthetic or greatly altered. This has been abundantly demonstrated by science as well as common observation, to be very ineffective in building and maintaining good health. As the old jingle says, "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature!" Where we live, there is much wildlife including coyotes and foxes. In all my years I have never seen or heard of a single one of them catching its prey and then processing and cooking it over a bonfire before eating it. Rather a dog will catch its prey, say a rabbit, eat maybe half of it and then bury the other half. Then he may come back two days later and eat the half he had buried, complete with maggots!! Why does this not make these dogs sick? Well, one important fact is that a dog's digestive system, even beginning with his teeth, are very different from ours. Dogs are created with systems that digest much faster and that have a much higher level of hydrochloric and stomach acid in their guts for the purpose of breaking down their foods and destroying unwanted bacteria, etc. Wild dogs, rarely if ever, are found to have diabetes, cancer, hip dysplasia or renal failure. Why are these and so many other diseases rampant among domesticated dogs?? I submit the obvious. Wild dogs live on completely raw diets therefore the nutrients in their food are vital, living active and effective. There are vital differences in necessary nutrients depending on their sources, origins and processing, if any. There are primarily two kinds of minerals for example: organic and inorganic (or elemental). There are many wonderful raw foods out there being sold for dogs. Some are frozen which preserves almost all the vital nutrients. Others are freeze dried. If I simply google "best raw dog foods" I will find several very good foods. Some people even learn to make their own healthy dogfoods. Dogs will always fare better when fed their ancestral diet! If you have several dogs and cannot afford to feed them a completely raw dogfood, they should still benefit greatly if given supplements of raw food into their diets daily. The soil, rocks and such are the sources of inorganic or elemental minerals. Plants and the creatures that eat them contain organic minerals.( Raw meat also has raw or organic minerals and nutrients.) Plants, through their root systems,draw up elemental, inorganic minerals from the soil then through the process of photosynthesis, change them to organic minerals. (It is interesting to note that some minerals that can be abundant in their inorganic sources such as arsenic, can be very deadly, yet in their organic form are not. Tomatoes are abundant in arsenic!) Living bodies and systems readily recognize and utilize organic nutrients. Be mindful of this fact: Just because a package lists nutrients contained therein, does not mean those nutrients are compatible, organic and readily absorbable. Furthermore, I have never known of a dog pulling down stalks of grain, picking off the heads of grain and eating them. Dogs systems are not designed to eat grains however grains are generally not expensive and are cheap fillers. I believe the source of many allergy symptoms or mysterious symptoms of poor health come from this incompatibility. Time and again I have seen even serious symptoms of poor health in dogs, clear up and self correct, simply by feeding them foods that are compatible with their systems and needs. It never ceases to amaze me! Occasionally, dogs eat vegetation and therefore vegetables usually present no problem. Just as with people, dogs who return to the Garden of Eden, so to speak, can reap tremendous health benefits and greatly increase their immunity. I find it an interesting parallel that in the world of nursing infants. Science has proven the numerous and amazing health benefits for babies who are breastfed as opposed to those that are not. This is undoubtedly because mothers milk is raw, unprocessed and unpasteurized (cooked) so all its nutrients are vital, living, effective and intact. Try as they might, chemists and scientists cannot outdo the Creators plan and design. Even the best formulas cannot come close. Over 70 organic minerals have been shown to have purpose and benefit to the body however the average baby formula contains approximately 10 minerals and these are not organic or natural. The nutrients are often synthetic or compromised by processing rendering them burdensome to the body and this greatly compromises their effectiveness. For these reasons, we use fresh, filtered goats milk from the farm if ever a pup needs replacement milk. You may be interested in googling "The Tale of Two Calves" for another example. We don't give tap water to our dogs as the city or county must add many chemicals to help prevent parasites in the water. However, these chemicals are not always safe and some have been shown to have dangerous, cumulative effects in many over time. For example, strong links between fluoride and thyroid problems have been found. Truly pure water such as distilled or reverse osmosis water is our choice. Most filtration systems only filter out certain chemicals and often many are not filtered out at all. We encourage people to find out exactly what is in their water and just what chemicals their filtration systems promise to filter out. The medical oath and rule of medicine "First, do no harm" oft quoted comes from Hippacrates, the great physician and father of medicine . We like to research facts and pros and cons of anything we put into our dogs whether it be food or medicine of any kind. Let us all strive for this with the sincerest love of our pets moving us to research, consider sources, and make choices with their highest good always in mind.
Please note: I draw my views from my studies,research, schooling and years of personal experience as well as educated observation. We believe each pet owner is responsible to take the time and effort to research and study about the benefits and risks of everything they put into or apply to pets and make the most educated decisions with the best interest of their pet in mind.