Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by iheartsammy, Jul 19, 2006.
what are some supplements I should use when feeding a raw diet? do I even need supplements?
If you are feeding a good variety of food sources and are making sure your dog is getting a balanced diet, you shouldn't need much in the way of supps. I have a problem with ours eating fish, so I supp with fish oil and vitamin E, to get the omegas that would otherwise be missing without the fish in their diet.
Thanks, that's what I thought but wasn't 100% sure!
Yep, no supplements needed in a balanced diet unless if your dog has a health problem to be addressed. Two of my dogs get chicken feet every day for natural glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation, and one also gets a liquid glucosamine supplement in addition. I do also give those two dogs fish oil pills because they are anti-inflammatory. They get all that because one has arthritis and the other has hip dysplasia.
Also, if you can't feed fish high in omega 3's (salmon, trout, etc.) and aren't feeding grass-fed meats (grain-fed are lacking in O3s) then you should supplement with fish oil. However, if your dog is eating one or both of those then fish oil isn't needed.
One thing that comes to mind is kelp/seaweed, for its iodine content. Many raw diets come up short unless they are supplemented.
Other nutrients to look out for are the B vitamin complex, vitamin E and zinc.
With a little creativity you can tweak a home prepared diet to include food sources for pretty much all of them though.
I disagree. I don't believe that a well prepared natural diet needs supplements unless if for health reasons.
And I don't think they need kelp or seaweed. Where would dogs get that in the wild?
I believe nature knows what's best.
Not trying to start a debate (but I probably just did ... sorry ).
I agree with Wiggle,
I like Red Cell for canines. You can find it at any feed store. Makes the coats shiny and is good for your dog. Just add to the food. Most dogs love it!
Sorry, Wiggle Butt, that's not an assumption or opinion, it's a fact. I'm a huge advocate of raw feeding myself, but I also recognize the limitations we face when attempting to imitate what a dog would eat "in the wild".
Dogs "in the wild" eat a vastly different diet than domestic dogs. The prey animals they consume have access to a much wider variety of food with a completely different nutrient content than the mostly factory farmed chickens, turkeys, sheep, cows etc. raised for slaughter.
On top of that, wild dogs consume pretty much all of their prey, not just select pieces. They consume things like the brains (in which omega 3 fatty acids are concentrated), the thyroid glands (where as much as 75% of the body's iodine is stored), blood (which is high in calcium and iron) and other tissues that provide various nutrients.
You can't copy that simply by buying a variety of meats and bones at the grocery store, since many of the nutritious organs and tissues are removed long before the carcass (or parts of it) hit the shelf.
It's not possible to truly recreate that type of diet unless you harvested wild prey and fed it to the dog in its entirety, or raised it yourself, providing all the required nutrients in large enough quantities.
Especially iodine is an important trace mineral, since it is relatively rare. Ultimately it was the introduction of iodized salt that eliminated iodine deficiency in people, something that was not possible before its introduction - and this is not a recent development, iodine deficiency has been described as far back as 5000 years ago in ancient China.
Anyone who raises livestock is aware of the necessity of making iodized salt blocks available to the animals to avoid deficiency. The only exceptions are pretty much coastal areas where iodine from the oceans is in abundant enough supply in the soil and the animals consume vegetation grown in this soil.
It's not a good idea to pick and choose and simply ignore the characteristics of what a wild animal would eat, leaving gaps in what we feed.
Yes, nature knows best, but leave it to humans to not see the whole picture and thus deliver completely different results.