K-9 Dietary Information
Please note that the below information is intended only as a guideline. We cannot be held liable for any health issues arising from the advice given below.
FOODS THAT ARE SAFE AND/OR BENEFICIAL TO DOGS
Raw Green (NOT white) Tripe
Raw chicken, beef, ostrich and camel meat
Raw, pure peanut butter (ensure you choose one with no added salt or sugar. We recommend Meridian, which is also eco-friendly as it does not contain palm oil)
Cheese, if you know your dog isn't lactose intolerant (feed in small amounts and choose low- or reduced-fat varieties such as cottage cheese)
Natural Yoghurt (ensure it has no added sugar and no sweeteners)
Eggs (raw or boiled) (feed no more than once a week; eggs are a good source of protein)
Banana, peeled & chopped into food (full of amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and fibre; good for active and older dogs)
Won't raw meat and bones make my dog sick?
Generally speaking, no. You can't harm a dog by feeding it what it's designed to eat. Dogs are carnivores: predators and scavengers. Your dog may occasionally suffer from an upset stomach, just as we humans do, from eating something that doesn't agree with him but a raw diet, in and of itself, is not going to make him sick. We speak from experience: all our dogs have been fed a pure raw diet and their health and vitality speaks for itself.
So I shouldn't feed my dog anything from the "Foods Best Avoided" list? What if he gets into the bins or picks up something from outside?
The "Foods Best Avoided" list is a guide. Just as not all humans react to certain foods, not all dogs do, either. But why take the risk when you know that some foods can be deadly for dogs? As an example, avocados are on the "Do Not Feed" list. However, many people have gardens with avocado trees and their dogs will scavenge from the fallen fruit - usually with no ill effect. Knowing what can harm your dog means that you can take steps to mitigate the risks. It also means that if your dog has ingested something from the above list, you can watch for symptoms and take timely action. Keep all foods stored out of reach of your dog. If he doesn't need to come into the kitchen or pantry, train him to stay out.
Why is Raw Green Tripe so important for my dog?
Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. Ruminants have four-chambered stomachs, consisting of the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum. The animal swallows barely-chewed food which is then slightly broken down in the rumen and reticulum and promptly sent back to the mouth for more chewing. The food then passes into the abomasum where it is further broken down by gastric juices, amino acids and digestive enzymes. What this means is that the digestive process of a ruminant is akin to a fermentation process, with good bacteria aiding in the digestion of the hay, grasses and grains. Tripe is produced from the abomasum. Because of the way the abomasum works, it provides your dog with not only natural digestive enzymes but also amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. The enzymes are also highly effective for cleaning a K-9's teeth. In addition, green tripe is a great source of probiotics thanks to the large numbers of micro-organisms present in the digestive tract.
Green tripe should not be confused with white tripe (right), which is for human consumption. Tripe for humans goes through a cleaning process that effectively removes all of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that make it so good for your dog. After all of the stomach contents are taken out, it is washed and then bleached to give it the snowy white color you see in the package. You can buy white tripe at any supermarket or grocery store - but it won't contain the nutrients your dog needs.
Because green tripe is such a gentle food, it is frequently used to introduce young puppies to a raw diet. It can also be used in conjunction with probiotics to help treat dogs suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease or even just a sensitive stomach. It is highly-palatable and has very low phosphorus levels, meaning that it is an excellent food for dogs suffering from Chronic Renal Failure.
FOODS BEST AVOIDED OR FATAL TO DOGS
Alcohol (damage to nervous system, breathing problems, coma, death)
Avocado (diarrhoea, vomiting, and heart congestion)
Bacon, salami & any other cured/processed meats (full of salt, sugar, fat, nitrates & nitrites - bad for humans, worse for dogs)
Caffeine, in any form (heart palpitations, fits & bleeding, death)
Chocolate (damage to the heart & nervous system, seizures, death)
Grapes & Raisins (kidney failure: starts with repeated vomiting)
"Human" food (bread, cakes, biscuits (cookies) or sweets)
"Human" medicine (certain ingredients are fatal to dogs)
Macadamia Nuts (poisoning: muscle tremors, paralysis, vomiting)
Milk & dairy products (many dogs are lactose intolerant) (diarrhoea, severe allergic reactions)
Onions, Garlic & Chives (destruction of red blood cells leading to anaemia)
Persimmons, peaches & plums (cyanide poisoning from seeds/pits)
Raw salmon & trout (salmon/fish poisoning: death if not treated)
Sugar / salt (or sugary/salty foods) (diabetes / sodium ion poisoning)
Sweets (candy), gum & baked goods (xylitol poisoning: increased insulin, lowered blood sugar levels leading to liver failure; vomiting, lethargy, seizures, death)
Feed two or three smaller meals a day, rather than one large one. This decreases the likelihood of your dog contracting Bloat / GDV;
Have set feeding times (these don't have to be rigid) and remove the feeding bowl once the dog has eaten, or after 15 minutes if they have left the food untouched. Don't leave your dog's food bowl out for her to keep returning to as (1) dogs, unlike cats, will gorge and continue eating even when full and (2) it can encourage food aggression as it gives her something to be protective over;
Ensure the dog always has fresh water to hand. Change the water regularly and ensure that the bowl is full and in the shade if you are going out and leaving your dog behind for any length of time. Carry a drinking bowl and a large bottle of water with you if your dog travels in the car with you a lot, and ensure you fill it before leaving the dog alone (with car windows cracked for plenty of air).
Unless you and guests to your house don't mind your dog/s begging for scraps, don't feed them at the table or whilst you are eating. Put any scraps that are safe for them to have in their bowl/s after you have finished eating.
Green Tripe, for K-9 consumption
White Tripe, for human consumption
And finally: just how large or lean should my dog be?