Vegan Recipes For Carnivores

Carol asks…

Any Recipes For Puppies?

I am getting a rottweiler puppy, I’ve done some research on puppy food and dog food and the things I have found are shocking so I am going to feed my puppy homemade food so could you provide me with;

Good puppy recipes
Good kong recipes
Websites for puppy recipes
Good healthy food companies (like BARF (Don’t be fooled by the name))

Much appreciated!

yummy answers:

Vegetarian/vegan diets are healthy for people, but dogs are carnivores by nature. Dogs are a subspecies of the Grey Wolf (they share 99.8% of their DNA with them) and there are wild dogs, too. They are all part of the carnivora order and dogs’ digestive tracts have not evolved despite being fed commercial food for awhile; their short digestive tracts, their enzymes’ inability to break down carbs, lack of grinding molars, longer snouts, etc. All suggest a need for meat.

If you’re going to prepare meals yourself, the best thing to do is to cater to your dog’s carnivorous instinct. Dry food will always have some carbs because it needs to be binded into kibbles and canned food is pretty pricy to feed alone. Some dry food brands I like (high meat protein for kibble, ingredients passed fit for human consumption, no generic ingredients, no artificial additives, etc.):
Orijen
Evo
Back to Basics
Acana

Good wet food brands (all human grade meat, with some thickeners, low carb content in some Weruva formulas, and vitamins/minerals):
Ziwipeak
Evo
Nature’s Variety Instinct
Merrick Before Grain
By Nature 95% Meat
Weruva

If I go into detail about what to avoid, etc., this answer won’t fit, so here are some lists:
What to avoid:
- Ingredients not passed fit for human consumption (not listed on ingredient list; must ask the company, look in FAQs, etc.)
- Generic meat products like animal fat and chicken by-product meal
- Vegetable protein boosters like corn gluten and potato protein high up on an ingredient list
- Cheap fillers such as corn gluten and brewers rice (aka “floor sweepings”)
- Low meat content (the first ingredient should be a named meat and if it’s a fresh meat, it should be followed by a meat meal because fresh meats have a lot of water content so they drop down the ingredient list after processing; this is only if we’re talking kibble; canned food usually only contains fresh meats)
- Artificial additives (preservatives such as BHT and ethoxyquin — email the company to confirm that both manufacturers AND suppliers do not use ethoxyquin to preserve fish meals because it isn’t listed on ingredient lists — dyes, flavors, menadione, propylene glycol)

Pluses:
- Independently manufactured
- Hormone & antibiotic free meats
- Wild caught fish

I recommend DogFoodAdvisor.com (dog food reviews) for people who are just getting started. DogFoodChat.com has a great kibble/can forum, too.If your puppy is a large breed puppy, it is important to feed a diet low in calcium/phosphorous until he/she is finished growing. Feed large breed puppy formulas or formulas with similar calcium/phosphorous levels. The old school claim is that it’s really high protein that causes fast growth and joint problems in large breed puppies, but that’s been debunked, along with the claim that high protein puts stress on kidneys. Many vets do not learn much about proper pet nutrition, besides seminars hosted by the crappy and popular brands.

BARF is a type of raw diet. I’m not a fan because it calls for a bunch of useless fruits/veggies. Dogs are not equipped to break down the cell walls of plant matter and accessing the nutrients themselves. Plus, BARF’s meat source is raw meaty bones, which make great chews, but are too high in bone to use in meals. And then they ask you to grind the meat, destroying all the dental benefits dogs get from tearing and chewing.

I do believe raw is the best, although I don’t feed it because I don’t have the time to prepare meals and all commercial raw diets I’ve looked at are ridiculously expensive, with weird meat:bone ratios (I feed a mix of the kibble/canned foods I listed above). If I had the time, though, I would go with Prey Model over BARF. The guidelines, which can be altered to fit your dog’s individual needs, call for around 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ (with 5% being liver; kidney’s pretty important, too) at 2-3% of your dog’s ideal adult body weight (some dogs require less, some more). This diet models a dog’s prey in the wild, although whole prey is great to feed, too (just harder to find). PreyModelRaw.com is a good site with information on getting started and adjusting your dog to this diet. DogFoodChat.com has a great raw forum.

Most raw feeders I know order in bulk from human meat supply companies so they get most of their items at under $1 per lb and exotic meats like llama, emu, elk, etc. At under $2 per lb. They also post on Craigslist for free meat (they accept freezer burned products) and also buy their chest freezers on Craigslist for cheap prices. They also befriend butchers, hunters, etc. For free game meats.

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