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diet and nutrition

Diet and nutrition are often overlooked in our pets. The overwhelming majority of dog owners feed their dogs a kibble diet. It has become a social norm to feed kibble due to the massive advertising budgets of companies like Purina, Iams, Blue Buffalo, etc. They would lead you to believe that anything other than kibble can make your dog sick, which couldn’t be further from the truth. 

In this blog I will outline the diet that I feed my dog, Scarlet, and detail the reasoning behind each part of her diet. The goal of this blog is not to convert you into a raw diet only believer, but to give you a new perspective on the dietary flexibility dogs can have. You will notice that many of these supplements come from the Volhard brand. I am not a sponsor or affiliate of the Volhard brand, and I don’t receive any money from purchases.  

For reference, Scarlet is an 8 year old, altered (spayed), female beagle. Her weight ranges between 23-24 pounds which is an ideal weight for her, and she is considered to be an active dog. These are the components that make up Scarlet’s diet.

  1. Protein source 

Most days this protein source is ground turkey. Throughout the week we will substitute 80/20 ground beef, or full fat greek yogurt as protein sources. Based on her weight, she gets 1/3rd cup, twice a day. The average, healthy dog can digest raw meat with no issues. 

  1. Volhard Rescue Diet

The Volhard Rescue Diet is a dehydrated foundation base mix that supports the liver, kidney, heart, lungs, stomach, and digestive tract. This is a powder supplement that gets mixed in with the raw meat and some water to hydrate the mix. Scarlet used to be on Volhard’s NDF2 diet, but switched over to the Rescue diet last year for health reasons. The biggest reason for the switch is because the Rescue diet has been shown to promote anti-inflammatory processes in the body. This is ideal for older dogs, or dogs (like Scarlet) who suffer from degenerative diseases like IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease). 

  1. Adored Beast Fido’s Flora Probiotic Supplement

Just like with humans, a daily probiotic helps to keep dogs regular, and bolster their immune systems. A probiotic can also help dogs that are currently on antibiotics. This specific brand remains unaltered by antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat intestinal upset. Because antibiotics completely devastate the microbiome in the gut, a probiotic can reintroduce good bacteria during this process which will help with the recovery process and make your dog feel better. This supplement is in powder form.

  1.  Atlas 5-in-1 Canine Joint & Wellness Supplement

Because Scarlet suffers from IVDD, she benefits from being on a joint supplement. This brand is well known and loved throughout the sport and working dog worlds. This supplement is in powder form. 

  1. Bone Broth

Bone broth is a nutrient dense liquid made by simmering the bones and connective tissues of animals. Bone broth offers many benefits for dogs (and felines and humans!), but the reason we give this to Scarlet is because of benefits to joint health. Bone broth is rich in collagen which can help strengthen joints and aid in joint problems like arthritis. We make our own bone broth maybe once per month using a pressure cooker. 

other recommended supplements

For those that feed kibble diets, which is most, I would recommend adding two supplements which can make a big difference in your dog’s health. Scarlet ate a kibble diet for 3 or 4 years, and towards the end of that run we started her with these two supplements and noticed a big enough difference that we decided to switch to a completely raw diet. 

  1. Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes help maintain a healthy microbiome. They are formulated to help break food down into a more digestible form so that nutrients are more readily absorbed.

2. Endurance

Endurance is a nutritional supplement that contains dehydrated, cold-pressed amino acids, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Because of the way kibble is made, dogs have trouble getting everything out of it as it passes through their systems. Endurance gives the dog what they are missing from the kibble.

in summary

Scarlet’s diet is complex and isn’t the most budget friendly, but we have chosen this diet to give her the best quality of life possible. I don’t expect anybody to go out tomorrow and completely change their dog’s diet, but I would hope that this has given you a different perspective on canine nutrition!