I found that she is not made of money – but she knows how to feed with her budget. She feeds deer meat. She does this because there is a deer meat processing plant within her driving range. She gets their throw away – which is actually the most nutritious for dogs – real, real inexpensively. I think that is worth looking into – we can live in an area and be totally unaware there is a deer meat processing plant nearby. Deer hunters would know. Mary picks up a hundred pounds at a time. She gets hearts, tongues, liver – all the GOOD stuff – inexpensive. She also gets esophagus (the windpipe, Mary says, is very high in natural glucosamine very good for the dog’s joint maintenance). I might add that it is now a fad diet with many mixed martial arts fighters – the wild animal organ meats. Of course I have written many times about the higher nutritional value of wild meat – including deer meat. Kershner has showed me how he feeds over 50 dogs (give or take) deer meat stew – and he learned that from Don Mayfield. I took that and studied it and found it was even more beneficial than they probably realized. When we commercialize (by breeding for produce and feeding hormones and chemical supplements) meat (cattle) – we significantly dissipate the nutrition. As I have oft mentioned – wild meat can have from three to as much as (believe it) TEN TIMES the amount of carnitine as commercially grown beef (as just one example of the difference). KV Pet Supply (telephone for catalog 402-367-6047) sells a series of products made from deer titled “KV Bucks”. These are Biohive skin & coat, puppy formula, hip and joint formula, and longevity formula. A condensation of the ingredients are:
• Deer placenta which is rich in natural nutrient and growth factors including strengthening the skin.
• Deer antler velvet which is rich in collagen and uronic acid especially good for skin regeneration, growth and repair for the wounded dog and for the healthy skin of the conformation show dog.
• Deer sinew combined with deer antler velvet and green lipped mussel – natural and highly effective sources of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, essential components of all connective tissue also very effective in the repair of regenerate damaged or depleted joint tissue.
• Deer blood which is very rich in absorbable iron and also contains Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1 and IGF-2).
• Deer tail which is excellent for pain management in the wounded animal.
I found an interesting observation in my valued text book – Scott Tinley’s “Wining guide to Sports Endurance – How to Maximize Speed, strength and Stamina”. Tinley walks his research. He is a three-time ironoman world-series champion and for years a marathon and triathlon competitor and his work is studied by world champions. On the subject of amino acids, he does recommend amino acid supplements – but he educates the supplements are overdone. He points out that amino acid supplements provide between 200 to 500 milligrams per serving – but – only one ounce of chicken or beef provides 7,000 milligrams of amino acids. (and I assume he refers to American chemically grown beef and chicken). Go with deer meat, friends. If you have any deer hunter friends or access to a deer processing plant even better – you can obtain nutrients beyond anything you get commercially. At one time I had the “secret” keep including how he fed of – well I forget now – Ronnie Hyde I think (it was confiscated by the government when they confiscated everything I had, this one “lost” and not returned). Anyway a key and “secret” stuff was deer blood and/or free roaming chicken blood. He put them in small plastic baggies and froze them taking one bag out the night before feeding to thaw. In addition to the iron, growth factor, etc. it is very nutritious and said to increase endurance. If you have a commercial grade grinder, grinding the deer bones will give you superior bone minerals including absorbable calcium. Grinding the antlers – probably exaggerated claims – but nevertheless a superior nutrient you can’t find inexpensively commercially. Also the buck’s sexual organs another example of probably exaggerated claims – but the nutrition is on the top scale. For that matter, the cartilage and gristle that everyone scrapes off and throws away – – the flexible, fibrous connective tissue in joints and between and around bones – this is the best natural source of glucosamine chondroitin sulfates. It is fair to say prehistoric humankind, before the advent of easy chair, TV, school buses, cars, automatic dishwashers – etc. – thrived on this bone cartilage. If you can get it from deer hunters or processing plant – it is throw away – and highly nutritious for dogs. Notice green lipped mussel is one of the key ingredients in KV’s formulas listed above. Not to be considered a “super food”, in my opinion, this is a whole food worthy of mention. I consume it myself – along with fish oil. This is a nutritious mussel (they have a green “lip” on the outer edges) ecologically harvested from New Zealand’s mussel farms touted to be excellent for arthritis sufferers and especially for the wounded animal, and also highly nutritious including whole food protein and beneficial lipids. You can get capsules inexpensively from Swanson (cited below). The studies on the benefits for arthritis in humans are conflicting, but for animals positive studies abound. It is not totally known why these mussels provide powerful chemicals that decrease inflammation. The mussels are densely packed with amino acids, fatty acids and minerals – but the reason they are so powerful has not been discovered at the time of this writing. Mary also feed raw fish half cooked or a 1200 mg. fish pill when she can’t afford the fish or get a fish catch (half cooked as her dogs don’t happen to like raw fish and won’t eat the fish raw). In addition to its known multi-benefits, fish oil has recently been found to improve a spectrum of both strength and power even in older women. It is posited that the findings related to elderly women are related to fish oils improvisation of membrane fluidity and the potential effects on nerves conduction velocity and activation of muscles (cited in Nutrition Express Sept 2014). This testing of course is with humans, but it is well documented that bears, eagles, otters – power animals – stay healthy, strong, and powerful on a diet of fish. An important ingredient to Mary’s mix is chicken necks. She get them quite inexpensively at a local grocery store. She gets them before they are cut up and washed (which leaches a lot of nutrition) – she calls them “dirty necks”. She gets forty pounds for $15. She feeds raw eggs two or three times a week from her own free gazing (and that is proven far more nutritious) chickens – shell and all (the shell adds calcium in an absorbable/bioavailable form (far more than the cheap carbonate most calcium supplementation comes from – which is just crushed rock!). Mary said she finds chain store eggs are weaker and give some dogs diarrhea or loose stools. Many don’t realize this – but eggs are considered a whole food super food – for dogs as well as humans. I won’t bore the reader with several pages of all the goodies raw eggs provide – but the primary aspect is that eggs are the perfect protein. Eggs are the metric for measuring protein. Protein is compared to eggs which carry a 100%. Mary also saves money by growing her own veggies and she chops them up all mixed in a one gallon container and freezes them. She chops up her home-grown celery, green beans, cucumber, sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, peas, bell peppers, greens and carrots. Dandelion greens easily grow wild, and are as cheap as you can get (and are consumed by the wild dog) and that is excellent (in addition to providing an excellent source of the needed chlorophyll) – they are very nutritious. Spinach is great and inexpensive when garden grown. Good for the blood, it provides whole food iron, and it is also a good source of vitamin E. Fresh sweet peas are a great source of vitamin C – dogs need only the small amount, but it is real good for them – and – most folks don’t realize sweat peas contain more protein than a whole egg (although vegetable protein – not as complete as an egg). Mash the whole pod, not just the peas. Cucumber and zucchini are also excellent. Of these, I consider raw fresh-picked green beans the most nutritious, valuable, king-of-the-crop. Someone said freezing is nature’s pause button. I agree – great way to preserve nutrients and help with time issues to feed dogs. Cabbage is another nutritious veggie and inexpensive if garden grown. It supports the digestive system of dogs and is shown to help fight cancer. It strengthens the skin. This one imparts more nutrients if lightly cooked.
Onions and hot peppers, some do not realize, are harmful to dogs so of course Mary avoids those. I have also read that raw corn is also bad for dogs – and the corn meal found in cheap commercial dog food is also bad for dogs.. Wild dogs/coyotes/wolves consume a lot of berries, so that should tell us something. Mary drives to local farm picks and picks buckets of blue berries, blackberries, whatever she can get and mixes them all up. Chopped apples is excellent, but leave out the apple seeds these are toxic to the dog. Apple seeds contain a cyanide derivative – same toxin found in rat poison. As a side note – my Mom used to eat the whole apple – and it stuck to me – I still do. She quit eating the seeds late in life because in the national news that year three women died from eating apple seeds. Thing is – they saved them and ate them by the bowl. I still eat the seeds – but only in one apple. I think they are cleansing (in micro portions) as well as highly nutritious. But a dog is much smaller. Grapes and raisins are also hard on a dog’s system. Grapes and raisins can cause rapid renal failure in about 1/3 of dogs. The exact mechanism behind the kidney failure is not known. Doesn’t seem to matter if grapes are seeded or seedless. I have also read that less common but still good to know bad for dogs – chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocados, and artificial sweetners. If you do not feed a puppy raw but wait until the dog is an adult, sometimes an adjustment time is needed for the dog to acclimate. Mary finds that what works for her is to fast the adult dog for one day and then start with 3/4 pound of chicken necks and 3 or 4 oz. of veggie mix (for a 34 – 35 pound dog). She recommends you do not make a switch up to a month before a show. Sometimes the dog’s coat can become dry and brittle for a couple weeks – this is because the dog’s body is detoxing and adapting. Just keep feeding the dog raw and the dog will adapt and eventually have a shiny, glossy – healthy – coat. I set healthy apart as feeding raw is not just about the show dog. It is about superior health. Mary remarks that it is very easy to reduce or put weight on a dog with this diet, only takes 3 – 4 days for either. Mary finds that deer meat in particular will give dogs a thicker, stronger coat and in cold regions will add weight in the winter and it comes off easier in the spring. It is popular with some to feed older dogs chicken leg quarters. She finds older dogs, especially, can have difficulty digesting the bones. Generally the meat to bone ratio of leg quarters is low, says Mary. I would add to that – if it is hard on older dogs – it is not maximal for young dogs. She has found older dogs fed chicken thighs with impacted bones in the gut. She used to grind up 1/4 leg bones in an electric grinder – but found that hard work and hard on the grinder, they don’t last. Chicken necks serve the purpose much better. Bone meal is needed for any dog fed meat protein – if you don’t the dog’s body will leach calcium form its own body. This was proven decades ago in a study done of racing sled dogs fed all meat diets. Their bones lost density and broke easily. They need the bone meal calcium.
A typical bowl of food for one of Mary’s 35# dogs
• 3oz deer meat and /or organ meat • 10oz chicken necks
• 2-3oz veggies • 1tsp. Kelp Help
• 1 1200mg fish oil cap
The Kelp Help deserves honorable mention here. It brought back memories as I used to feed my dogs Norwegian Kelp – and still do myself. Google Kelp Help you’ll find the product is sold by Naturvet (www.naturvet.com – order telephone 1-888-628-8733). Mary began feeding the Norwegian Kelp because she knew wild canines (coyote, wolf etc.) bury their meat for later consumption – and this provides minerals from the soil – although modern soil is not as rich as last century and prior). Kelp Help is Norwegian kelp, said to be one of the richest sources of trace minerals in the world. The nutrition companies are big on vitamins and minerals – but the super essence of trace minerals (they should be only in micro portions – but they are very potent) is not mentioned much. Kelp is the world’s richest source of iodine – the most potent source for strengthening the thyroid and hormonal functional system and hence the immune system. It is especially useful for the over stressed competitive athlete. Kelp Help also contains over 60 essential trace minerals, vitamins and a full complement of amino acids. Trace minerals are essential for proper food digestion and vitamin utilization (and that points to another important aspect of trace mineral – so lacking in the modern diet of humans as well as animals – vitamin supplementation is diluted if the body doesn’t thoroughly assimilate them!). Kelp Help contains the ideal mix of natural omega 3,6, and 9 – fatty acids that result in the ultimate in healthy skin and glossy coat (to make a long story short – this has ramifications for the athlete, not just the show dog – you never see a race horse or Iditarod athlete with a dull coat) and it is fortified with flax seed, fish oil, Rosemary extract, citric acid (that makes the berries go further I posit), vitamin E, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D – google the product and you will see the total host of goodies contained in this iconic product. Norwegian kelp can be called a whole food and a super food. Another super whole food is chia seeds. Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on earth. They are loaded with nutrients and micronutrients that feed the body and the brain, delivering massive quantities of nutrients with very few calories. Calorie for calorie, chia seeds are touted to be one of the best most nutritious food sources. Much of my information on chia seeds comes from authoritynutrition.com and other sources. Chia seeds are densely packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients. Since ancient times, they have been prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy. For that matter, chia is an ancient Mayan word that means “strength.” (cited in authoritynutrition.com). Legend announces that the Mayans used chia seeds for athletic performance. Today recent studies confirm its super food status. Today, most chia seeds in America are imported from the South American plant – the plant grows in very mineral rich South American soil – not the leached soils we now have in the U.S. A recent (but small) study suggests chia seeds can improve performance in humans as much as common sports drinks (dogs cannot assimilate human sports drinks – they can thoroughly assimilate chia seeds). Chia seeds are very high in valued antioxidants. Actually, the antioxidants in chia seeds even protect the fats in the seeds from becoming rancid. I should add that it has been proven that antioxidants from whole foods (like seeds) are far more effective than antioxidants from pharmaceutical supplements – a fact proven by many supportive and large quality studies. Chia seeds feed the friendly bacteria that resides in the internal organs, strengthening the immune system. Chia seeds are 40% fiber and said to be the best source of fiber in the world and in that capacity they contribute to a feeling of fullness when a dog’s feed portions are lowered. Chia seeds are a very rich source of protein. Excellent source of bonebuilding minerals. Very high in omega-3s – gram for gram higher than salmon I read. That is not as significant as it sounds, however, because for one you feed very small portions of the seeds and the omega-3s while densely packed, they are not as absorbent as the form found in fresh fish. As in other super food nutrients – you don’t need much and you shouldn’t feed too much. I recommend a teaspoon. When it comes to super foods, the mighty little raw beet deserve honorable mention. Quite inexpensive if homegrown. Beet juice is a big vogue in the sports athletic world today. Google it you will find piles of information concerning its blood flow and muscle oxygenation properties. Beets contain a very high level of nitrate, a compound that helps regulate blood flow and blood pressure. Beets can actually increase blood flow to the brain and stimulate growth of new blood vessels in exercising athletes. I found an informative article in Runners World (May8, 2013) by contributing writer Alex Hutchinson – he cites studies done and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (and many other athletic journals) by Andy Jones (known as Andy Beetroot in Twitter), at the University of Exter’s School of Sports and Health Science in the United Kingdom. This study was performed on cyclists and involved determining how much and when does beet juice maximize athletic performance (it has long been used by distance runners and cyclist and proven to significantly enhance endurance). The results of the University test concluded that the higher the dose of beet juice, the amount of oxygen required to maintain a given level of exercise decreases proportionately – that is to say, it takes less energy to cycle at the same pace. The peak nitrate level in the body occurred at 2 1/2 hours after ingesting – and it took 12 hours to deplete it. However, there was a caveat to that. With humans, beet juice is well known for causing severe stomach/potty issues. This study concluded that maximal amount of beet juice the athletes could handle and maximize endurance was 500ml (about two cups). It is significant though – that dogs have much stronger stomach acids and they don’t have these digestive issues. To my knowledge though – I know of no one using beet juice (I would go with crushed fresh from the garden beet – leaves and all) for endurance trials with dogs. There is a plethora of read on the healthy benefits of chopped or crushed or juiced beets for dogs (I go with crushed). I have read beets enhance coat and skin strength and the immune system of dogs. Beets contain organic minerals that contribute to calcium uptake and strong bone-building. But I have not read anything about using it for athletic endeavor with dogs. I did not know about it when I conditioned dogs and never used it. I think it can be a new frontier in this respect. It is big in human athletics. As mentioned, beets are one of the world’s best source for organic nitrate (spinach and celery, both of which can be garden grown, also contribute high nitrate – a powerful combination when mixed with beets) – which converts into nitric oxide (I have written much about nitric oxide – actually steroids work by putting the body in a positive nitric state – to make a very long story short). The nitric oxide produced by beets enhances vasodilatation (the capacity of blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow). This reduces the oxygen cost of exercise and increases high intensity tolerance (cited in running.competitor.com). Test after exercise physiology test indicates prolonged time-to-exhaustion results in races and time-trials (cited in the Runners World article). Beets produce very efficient blood flow, muscle oxygenation and contraction, and acts as a powerful neurotransmitter. This has an amazing effect on oxygen uptake – beyond the complete comprehension of why at the time of this writing. Most of the effects of beets on endurance and tolerance to high intensity training comes from the nitric oxide – but that is not the complete answer and there appears to be many synergistic mechanisms at work not completely understood yet. Running.competition announces beet juice is a performance metric because not only does the content theory hypothesize beet juice reduces the oxygen cost of running – it translates into the real world proving it in timetrial testing. It is common with many world class human athletes to stack beetroot juice with caffeine for an extra boost of ergogenic synergy. I recall back in the day some dogmen used caffeine on athletic dogs, but I forget how much. I never tried it on dogs myself. I did find an article in Flex Magazine (May 2014) that dealt with German Volume Training” as promoted in a book titled “The Poliquin Principles’ by Stephane Cazeault. It refers to human weight training – but I like the wording as it applies to this treatise on canine nutrition/conditioning. The article informs us that working very submaximal, to failure on the last three sets, weights is said to be superior in raising the metabolism (hence producing lean) and “the body adapts to the extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted muscle fiber, targeting a group of motor units (nerves that cause muscle fiber to contract) and subjecting them to extensive volume of repeated efforts”. That article also touted stacking caffeine with beetroot. This is very heavy volume weight training and they suggest you only engage it for one month out of a year. The body must rest and adapt – and I say the same is true for the dogs – the heavy loads you can put on a dog for say weight pulling competition – if done super heavy volume – should be followed with a great deal of rest and supersetting alternative avenues. Almost any handler/ coach of athletes canine or human, will agree nutrition is a critical for maximal athletic output – and adaptation/rest. This wording is a bit redundant but it speaks – volumes. Can’t let a section on super food go without the mention of ginger root. this another potent little super food. It also hails from the mineral rich soils of South America (as well as in Mexico) and you can find it in many produce markets. Mary Cullifer tell me you can home grow it as well however – talk about saving money! You can grow it in pots. I won’t bore the reader with pages and pages listing all the healthy benefits of ginger root – Just about everything listed above with kelp and beets etc. It does as well (but not the high nitrates). I consume it myself, but can’t afford it most of the time and never took the time to home grow. If you buy it from produce markets, chose the fresh ginger, not the dried form, it has much higher levels of nutrients.
Again, long list of health benefits but some that stand out – it contains an active protease (a powerful anti-inflammatory) that helps dogs recover quicker from intense workouts. A University of Georgia study found it reduces exercise induced muscle pain inhuman athletes as much as 25%. Holistic vets use it (and I found many studies supporting this) to help dogs suffering from cancer and it is listed (along with beets) as a powerful cancer preventative. What amazes me is many pet owners of yappy little lap dogs – take more time and thought into healthy canine benefits than those who handle athletic dogs. I found many writes by lap dog aficionados, who combine fresh raw beets and ginger – ginger also promotes blood circulation – combined with beets very effective. Finally – the primary role of fresh ginger, to me, is its unique effect on the assimilation of nutrients and – motion sickness – it works for both humans and dogs. It significantly helps dogs who are prone to motion sickness when traveling. With dogs you need very small servings, and spaced out servings as too much causes gas and bloating sometimes nausea in dogs. Humans can tolerate larger servings. Vets suggest small servings twice a week and 30 minutes before traveling (as with all athletic nutrients, I suggest never try anything new before an event – always make sure of your particular dog’s tolerance). Kelp specializes in high grade iodine, chia seeds in dense packed strength enhancing nutrients, beets of course in athletic endurance and intense training tolerance, ginger root in the traveling athlete – and they ALL are dense loaded with trace minerals and health enhancement – and they work synergistically when chopped or mashed in one serving along with carrots, green beans, spinach – etc. Just a little. All of them you only need a little. In addition to the kelp, I used to add a Dog Bloom supplement to my feed for my dogs. I did this after a considerable amount of research. I studied and researched the ingredients of all the primary canine supplements popular at the time. Dog Bloom (vitamin/mineral – and then some supplements), came out on top. The product was successfully used in the greyhound racing industry – which, like racing horses, involves big money – so they settle only for the best. Their advertisement still depicts a racing greyhound. Since I fed the kelp which of itself is about as high in nutrition as any supplement – I only sprinkled half the suggested serving over my feed. I only did this for a dog be ing conditioned as I feel it can be otherwise be overdone in a dog that is fed kelp. Plus I also sprinkled “Super Yeast” – a fortified nutritional yeast product – super food. Dog Bloom points to the importance of proper vitamin and other micronutrient additions to the dog feed. Commercial dog food contains nutrients in the “list of ingredients – but vitamins are very sensitive to heat, moisture, and oxidation (exposure to air), rancidity, mold, contact with a variety of minerals and other ingredients, and length and quality of storage. Most of the vitamin additions listed in commercial dog food containers are done before the feed is heat processed. Processing changes the chemical structure and quality and quantity. The amount of vitamins and nutrients needed varies from one animal to another and differs depending on sedate or athletic – individual supplementing allows you to vary the quantity for a particular animal. Dog Bloom containers can be kept inside the temperature controlled home, thus kept fresh, and sprinkled on the daily serving. High quality, dense supplementation means the athletic dog can be fed smaller servings and the digestion (energy sparing) process minimal. I have visited a litany of dog yards by many now famous breeders and players. I can’t count the number of large bags of commercial dog feed sitting open bag in a barn or shed I didn’t say anything but I saw. Dog Bloom provides its customers with the following suggested menu for feeding raw:
To every 5 pounds of meat add:
• 1/2 oz. dry oatmeal (approx. 3 tablespoons)
• 1-1/2 oz. cooked brown rice approx. 4 tablespoons)
• 1-1/2 oz. tomato juice
• 2-1/2 Dog Bloom KALAC 38 (calcium supplement if you do not feed bone meal or chicken necks)
• 2 tsp. salt (sea salt preferred)
• 5 tsp. DOG BLOOM SUPREME (vit-min supplement – for athletic dogs, or DOG BLOOM VM 250 vit-min for dogs not being conditioned)
• 2-1/2 tsp. XTRABLOOM C (pure powdered Vit C for dogs – espec. conditioned dogs)
• 2-1/2 tsp. XTRABLOOM DIGEST (probiotics – especially for any dog ever had antibiotics)
• 2 oz. chopped greens and veggies (raw or lightly cooked), one egg or cracked beans
Dog Bloom (www.dogbloom.com or telephone ordering 1-800-833-4748) also has available extra mineral supplement (when you feed minerals solitary, not mixed with vitamins, it enhances body absorption – that is why Amway – the best in my view, human vitamin supplement – because they grow their own alfalfa etc. fields and freezedry – not synthetic products – , markets the mineral as a separate pill)), and “Gluco plus” for energy for highly conditioned athletes) and XTRABLOOM WATE (powdered fat for dogs residing in cold weather regions or for the heavily conditioned athlete), XTRABLOOM C # 2 (sodium ascorbate for the heavily conditioned athlete). The XTRABLOOM WATE is important for the dog in training. There are many similarities – and many differences in the human athlete and the canine athlete. One differentiation is that humans use carbohydrates for energy to a far great degree than dogs. The short intestinal system of dogs means they don’t utilize carbs like humans. Dogs use FAT for energy. Fat in the diet does not result in body fat for the dog who is being conditioned like it can for the human athlete. There is an alternative to the dry oatmeal and the cooked brown rice I’d recommend. I got this from my friend Brian Sennikoff (He is president of an Arizona APBT Club and has bred dogs for many generations). Brian feeds raw and has a yard of excellent in demand dogs. I have heard of this from other breeders but never got to try it out myself. It is the pumpkin diet (featured in his magazine “Positively Pitbull – now out of print). He suggests you can reduce your dog’s regular meal plan by 33% and replace it with a 67% volume of canned pumpkin (in the pure form, not the sugar and spiced kind made for pies). So for example if you are feeding 3 cups a day of whatever, feed him 2 cups a day and 1 cup of canned pumpkin. He says his dogs love it and it makes them feel full. It is great for bringing a dog to proper weight if the dog is overweight. I see it as a great way; to strip weight from the dog and for pre-keep, or for the recovering dog. This pumpkin will clean out a dog’s system really good. In those instances I’d use the 1/3 of the diet canned pumpkin diet. For the maintenance diet or for the dog in training, I’d go with a tablespoon of it (or even mix in a bit of dry oatmeal for extra fiber). Pumpkin is very nutritious. An excellent source of potassium (a nutrient that promotes endurance in athletes – and helps push water into the muscles instead of holding fluid in the body – salt keeps the water outside the muscles) – and fiber. Pumpkin is excellent source for strengthening the immune system and is said to help dogs be resistant to cancer and other disease. Pumpkin is especially a remedy for dogs that have constipation or diarrhea or other digestion situations. Pumpkin is a very dense nutrition – couple teaspoons provide all any dog needs. Brian, as mentioned, has many years experience feeding raw.
On the veggies he comments one difference between humans and canines is that dogs have a short digestive system which is not suited to breaking down vegetables. Also, unlike humans, they do not have digestive enzymes in their saliva. Dogs are not true carnivores (meat eaters). Cats are. A cat can survive healthy on nothing more than mice (meat and bones) In the wild a dog consumes wild berries and greens and the stomach contents (already digested) of plant/grass eating animals. So it is good to chop up the raw veggies and provide additional enzymes. And you do not need much quantity of raw veggies – a little goes a long way – too much is hard on a dog. Brian feed both lightly cooked and raw. Dogs have a similarity to humans in this respect – a trade-off respect. Lightly cooking veggies releases nutrients otherwise too dense in fiber to be absorbed by humans or dogs. So for example lightly cooked carrots prove more nutrients to humans as well as dogs. Same with tomatoes (hence tomatoe juice). The trade-off exists in that cooking also destroys some nutrients and enzymes (and whatever we have yet to discover). So for humans and dogs – feeding both raw and lightly cooked – is paramount. Meat is another parallel situation. Dogs digest and absorb raw meat far more thoroughly than humans because their stomach acids are far stronger. A dog’s stomach acids kill more parasites and a dog’s system handles parasites far better than humans. Cooking meat changes the chemical structure of meat, and destroys a number of enzymes and amino acids – including the essential Taurine (In cells, taurine keeps potassium and magnesium inside the cell, while keeping excessive sodium out. In this sense, it works like a diuretic. Because it aids the movement of potassium, sodium, and calcium in and out of the cell, taurine has been used as a dietary supplement for epileptics, as well as for people who have uncontrollable facial twitches. In other words – it is essential – and lacking in the diet of many humans). Boiling destroys as much as 90%)(google this). That is just one aspect of lost nutrition when cooked and straying from nature. In this trade-off – humans need cooked meat especially in today’s commercialized world of overfarming. Roberto Duran got a belly ache from eating raw beef in U.S. before a competition. In his country the beef are fed naturally. Eating raw beef used to be an old school boxing secret nutrient – raw eggs also parenthetically – I used to eat raw eggs myself – way back. We can’t handle the parasites and bacteria, especially in America’s beef today – – dogs can. Wild meat is by far the most nutritious – it also contains more bacteria and parasites. Freezing meat cuts back on parasite content. Freezing also breaks down the veggies to an extent making them more digestible for the dog. Wild hog meat is very high in infectious parasites and bacteria so dogs fed this meat, especially need seasonal de-worming. Mary Cullifer recommends worming three to four times a year (depending on where and how you live). Many dogs (and especially some particular bloodlines) can develop food allergies (with the concomitant dry itchy skin and coat). Brian comments that, like humans, dogs develop allergies more often when one food is consistently fed. Variety in feeding dramatically dilutes allergy tendencies. I mentioned that I used to use Super Yeast. The word super is apropos. I used to eat it as an athletic ergogenic supplement in the 80s and fed it to my dogs. It is indeed a super nutrient. Super yeast is nutritionally fortified nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are very similar. Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of brewing beer. Nutritional yeast is a by-product of making molasses. I stopped it for myself and dogs when someone informed me that it feeds unhealthy – bad – bacteria (causes yeast infection)(candida). Well in doing research for this article, I found that is very wrong. Both brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast , because they are the result of processing, are both “saccharomyces cerevisiae – which is a “deactivated” (not alive) – and therefore impossible for it to activate yeast infection. Candida yeast is a totally different genus (species) and one cannot turn into the other. Sooo – I have just started at the time of this writing continuing my intake of super yeast. I get mine from Swanson Vitamins – and my favorite brand is Twin Lab. I get most of my supplements for Swanson – in this case www.swansonvitamins.com/ twinlab super rich Yeast Plus. Or call 1-800-437-4148, ask for Twin Lab product Super Rich Yeast Plus.
Nutritional yeast provides the full spectrum of protein cell amino acids and is loaded with minerals and trace minerals. It is also a rich source of the important Vitamin B complex – except – it lacks Vitamin B-12 (the blood builder – old school dog men used to supplement with extra B-12). B vitamins strengthen the adrenals and help detox the body – powerful for athletes. B vitamins function to convert carbohydrates to glucose for energy – glucose is the driving force for energy in the muscle, brain, and vital organs – dog or human. Moreover B vits also act as a stimulant for fat and protein metabolism and strengthening the nervous system. With the high protein and phosphorous content, nutritional yeast lacks a balancing calcium and magnesium. Super Yeast is nutritional yeast fortified with extra calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B-12, selenium (a powerful antioxidant enzyme that stimulates the production of all types of white blood cells and enhances the lymphatic system – especially useful after the involvement of antibiotics – selenium helps build the body back strong to fight infection. Selenium also strengthens the thyroid and the whole hormonal system), and possibly the world’s best source of the important chromium in a very biologically active form.. It is also fortified with powerful papain and bomelain enzymes from pineapple and papaya. There exists a litany of benefits derived from just small servings of super Yeast. Animal research studies confirms super Yeast helps fight unfriendly bacterium, especially closridium difficile (causes diarrhea) – striking contrast to what I was told decades ago. Yeah – in contrast, it actually feeds intestinal flora – greatly strengthening the immune system. Super Yeast strongly supports the function of the liver, digestion, nerves and brain. Super Yeast contains a compound called SRF (Skin Respiratory Factor), said to increase healing. It is especially good for recovering from wounds. It is also good for dogs with splotchy, dry skin problems and inflammation. In addition, Super Yeast contains Glucan, which has been shown to improve wound healing by activating maacrophages and promoting growth of skin cells and capillaries. (cited in www.superfood-scientificreseaarch.com). I have long posited that we still have more to learn about food – we don’t have all the answers. So there can be ingredients/aspects to whole foods we have yet to discover. I recently found an intriguing treatise on this in the January 2014 issue of Natural Awakenings ( this little free booklet has been in circulation in 90 U. S. cities and metro areas all across America for 20 years. It educates and touts the benefits of natural healthy living. I consider it a great asset to American citizens). This article titled “Whole Food – Greater Than the Sum of its Parts”, by Margie King, a former corporate attorney-turnedholistic-health and nutrition coach, is on-the-spot, in my view. She cites Annemarie Colbin, PhD., author of “Food and Healing”, who observes that “Western science is obsessed with deconstructing food, researching and analyzing its component parts, repackaging them in pill and powers – and this chemistry-based theory, she maintains and I agree (in part – as you read me you find I suggest a high octane blend of whole food and nutritionally enhanced diets for athletics) has nutritional theory turned upside down. Colbin has been studying and testing and researching natural food for an excess of thirty years. She finds that whole foods, in the same vein as the complex human being, (and I would add the animal being as well) contributes to whole nutrition in a form that is greater than the sum of its parts (that is to say synergistically). Colbin defines whole foods as “those that nature (and I would define that as – God) provides and all the edible parts.” In that context, to her, whole foods are “limited to those comprising one ingredient, such as plants, whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds”. Animal foods in her context become difficult to categorize. Eggs are a whole food, meat cuts are not because they are one part of an animal (so for example a cut of meat is only part of what a wild dog consumes – the wild dog also consumes the stomach contents of grazing animals – etc.). Fish are considered whole food only if you consume the whole fish (rather than a fish oil pill). Whole milk is whole food (if it is not homogenized and pasteurized but straight from the cow – as I used to drink in my formative years – and never got fat and never got sick – before they began this homogenizing). Low-fat dairy is not whole food. Colbin declares “that our bodies know the difference between a whole food and an aggregation of isolated nutrients, and if food has been fragmented, the body realizes it – – – and seeks what is missing.” To me that’s powerful and potent insight. Colbin has found through a variety of studies (including supportive studies) that “while vitamin and mineral supplements can be helpful in treating specific conditions or deficiencies, they nevertheless comprise fragments of food at best and that the body can have difficulty processing these isolated nutrients outside of whole food.” Again I note she does state – can be helpful – and I would observe that our soils are malnourished and the “natural whole foods” are not what they were in centuries past and so I say processed supplements ADDED to whole foods (recognizing the importance of proper balance) is the best act of valor. Margie King cites a Pennsylvania State University study that found “a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (for humans) protects against cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, while studies of antioxidant supplements did not show the same benefits. They hypothesize that this is because whole foods contain a wide range of nutrients and compounds that may act synergistically to protect against diseases. I could personally cite many other supportive studies. Of course they address humans in this context – but the concepts remain for dogs (dogs do not require fruits and veggies in the same manner as humans – but the whole food concept remains), I believe. The wild wolf of Alaska obtains nutrients from the stomach contents of grazing (from nutrient dense unfarmed land) rabbits, elk and moose and deer – and I feel we best emulate that by providing raw fresh fruits and veggies from whole foods. Norwegian kelp, chia seeds, beets, ginger root, Dog Bloom, Super Yeast – all are very potent and dense. You don’t need much and it can be reverse productive if you over feed. I used to add just a teaspoon (or two if dog is being conditioned) of each to the dogs diet. And I engaged in changing up. So I would add those three for a couple weeks – then I’d drop them and add Peak Performance for a couple weeks. For a dog I was conditioning, I’d feed Peak Performance each hard day and Dog Bloom on resting days. That afforded many unexpected returns. I still believe the nutritional tidbits afforded the highest return on the investment.