So today, my final dog nutrition part IV in the series is all about what’s on Roxy’s menu! Up to now you have learned about why processed pet food is unhealthy and what other options are available? And also how to approach buying non-processed dog food.
How I created the best dog nutrition menu for Roxy.
If you have read through my previous 3 dog nutrition blogs, you will not be surprised that my primary choice for Roxy is raw food. This is because dogs’ digestion systems are designed to deal with it safely and efficiently. Raw food is also my first pick, because it provides superior nourishment to cooking the nutrients out of the food. High quality fresh frozen raw food purchased from my trusted pet specialist is balanced with the right proportions of muscle, bone and organs for needed for optimal dog digestion. That way, I can be sure I’ve got the correct ratios.
And, surprisingly, it can be the least expensive, except for maybe home-cooked meals. But feeding home-cooked meals to your dog requires much more planning. You must buy and formulate the right nutritional ratios of all the ingredients. If you select, buy, apportion and then cook the food, you will spend more time and effort. It’s simpler to buy the fresh frozen food from your local dog food expert as I do for Roxy.
Why also serve freeze-dried or air-dried raw food?
This all being said, I also wanted Roxy to be able to digest something other than fresh frozen raw food. So I have included the freeze-dried Stella and Chewy and the air-dried Ziwi Peak raw foods in her diet for the following reasons:
Dog nutrition part iv, final installment of this series: Establishing a backup menu
Ensure your dog can digest other sources of nutrition during emergencies and road trips.
Be prepared for emergencies:
In August 2003, we experienced a complete electrical power grid blackout in the north-eastern region of North America. If a similar blackout happened again during hot summer months, Roxy’s frozen fresh raw food would go bad. And without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to cook meals for me, my husband or Roxy. You get the picture.
So serving Roxy some Ziwi Peak air-dried raw dog food and Stella and Chewy freeze-dried raw dog food on a regular basis ensures she can digest these foods in an emergency. This avoids the potential issues of introducing her to new food during an emergency situation.
Plan for road trips:A featured topic in this part iv of my dog nutrition series:
We love to take Roxy on weekend or week-long road trips. And, depending on where we are staying, I can more conveniently serve Stella and Chewy freeze-dried raw dog food or Ziwi Peak air-dried raw dog food , rather than frozen fresh raw food. Because we don’t bring frozen raw food, we avoid the extra steps in arranging freezer storage for her meals during transportation and at the destination, making travel more relaxing. Plus, if we are on the move over meal times, I can easily serve her Ziwi Peak at a highway rest stop. This air-dried raw food comes with a scoop, and you can simply portion out the appropriate serving (as is), and place it in a bowl. It’s as easy as scooping kibble! On the highway, I can’t use Stella and Chewy, because (like all freeze-dried raw dog food), it requires that you mix water into the serving.
So these two alternative raw options that I serve Roxy will permit you to continue providing optimal dog nutrition to your dog while on vacation.
Avoids any concerns about adding supplements to fresh raw food.
Early on in my quest for the best dog nutrition for Roxy, I had decided to combine the B.A.R.F. and Prey method approach, ensuring I didn’t omit nutrients in her diet. I did try various natural supplements that Ms. Schiavone at Barkside Bistro recommended, but unfortunately, Roxy gained weight. This happened because these supplements added calories to her required serving portions of her daily frozen raw meat patties.
Adding these supplements meant I had to experiment for a period of time to get the right ratio of food to supplements to keep Roxy’s weight stable. Otherwise, she would begin gaining weight again, and this could happen quickly! I discovered the weight outcome to be much more predictable with measured serving portions of freeze-dried Stella and Chewy, or air-dried Ziwi Peak. And I knew that her fresh frozen raw food, plus these products gave Roxy a fully balanced nutritious diet. This beat continuing to adjust supplement portions.
In this final nutrition blog, Dog Nutrition Part IV, learn what Roxy eats every day….
What do I serve Roxy on a daily basis?
For breakfast, I feed her 1/2 her daily serving of Ziwi Peak, and for dinner I feed her 1/2 of her daily serving of fresh raw food.
When I learned about the high quality nutrition in freeze-dried raw dog food, I switched Roxy from processed kibble to Stella and Chewy when she was 3 years old. Then, in 2014, when she was 8, my research led me to switch to a combination of fresh raw and Ziwi Peak. But I still wanted to ensure she could continue to digest Stella and Chewy as a backup.
So every 4 weeks or so, I replace her breakfast meal with 1/2 of Roxy’s daily serving of Stella and Chewy (2.5 patties – hydrated). And then she gets her normal 1/2 daily serving of the fresh raw food for dinner.
Watch the video below: This is Roxy now at 14 years old! She still has it!
Maybe it’s her genetics. Maybe it’s her nutrition.
This video was taken on Roxy’s 14th birthday this month—at the end of the day!!
I planned to take this video on Roxy’s birthday for part iv of my dog nutrition series. She runs like this two to three times a day! This allows you to witness what a senior dog can look like after (nearly) a lifetime of eating non-processed dog food.
As you can see, Roxy is one energetic, healthy 14 year old dog! She is definitely in top physical condition. Yes, her genetics likely played a big part in her health. But I believe that feeding her only fresh frozen and other forms of raw food for over 8 years provided her with superior nutrition over processed food. It has allowed her to thrive early on and now in her senior years. Go Roxy!
To sum up my final Part IV of my dog nutrition series…..
By now you should you understand why processed pet food is unhealthy. And you have learned about non-processed dog food alternatives and how to approach buying raw options. You continued this journey all the way through to discover what’s on Roxy’s menu. So now you can place your dog on the path of a healthy non-processed dog food diet too! It’s never too late!
Footnote: Please note that I am not a certified dog nutritionist. The advice I write about in this series about dog nutrition is based on my personal research in my quest to serve the healthiest food possible to my dog Roxy. As a result, I have been coaching countless clients during the past 15 years with the knowledge I have gained not only about nutrition but also in respect to all the other aspects that I discuss in my blog.
Yours in better dog care, Judy.
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