Nutrition has always been of great interest to me.
Ever since I got hooked on horseback riding at the age of 5, I was curious to find out what horses eat in the wild, what they are fed on farms and what they should really be getting fed in order to lead healthy lives. I try to stay up to date on research into equine nutrition in order to be able to provide the best for my two horses. When I got my Beagle, Coco, I knew I had a lot of reading to do in order to truly understand the most nutritious foods to feed her. Since dogs are mainly carnivores, I had to expand my knowledge of equine nutrition to include all kinds of proteins from other animal meat. The book by Monica Segal, K-9 Kitchen Your Dogs’ Diet: The Truth Behind The Hype, was an excellent read for the topic of canine nutrition. After finishing the book, I did not feel like I had to go much further in my research. Monica Segal was very thorough in explaining the difference between feeding a raw diet, a mixed diet of cooked and raw and a processed diet (dog food from the grocery store). She explained the pros and cons of each and was very clear to address that each diet should be tailored to the individual dog.
What was invaluable was her nutritional analysis of the different grains, vegetables, fruits and meats that can be fed to dogs. She also included an important analysis of the minerals and vitamins that need to be balanced in our dogs’ diets and the potential dangerous interactions that these minerals and vitamins can have with each other.
While Ms. Segal is a proponent of feeding a raw diet, she is clearly looking out for the best interest of the individual dog. She recommends trying different protein sources, slowly introducing new vegetables and monitoring how your dog reacts. Raw, meaty bones are a topic that comes up quite a bit in her book, because of the myth that bones are bad for dogs. Ms. Segal is quick to clarify that cooked bones are very dangerous and should never be fed to dogs, however raw bones with meat on them are an excellent source of nutrition, with the added benefit of exercising the dogs’ jaws and satisfying their urge to chew. I found it very helpful that she included several recipes along with their nutritional content. These recipes helped me to gauge whether or not I had the time and means to provide a raw and/or cooked diet for Coco.
With my crazy schedule of work, teaching horseback riding and graduate school, I have decided that it is best for me to stick with the Turkey and Chicken EVO that I have been feeding Coco. When my life settles down a little bit and I have time to cook for MYSELF, let alone my dog, I will definitely try some of the recipes that Ms. Segal has provided and embark on the journey of a combination raw/cooked diet for Coco.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in canine nutrition and getting some answers to the plethora of myths that surround what you can feed safely your dog.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a question or can recommend other books or resources I should check out!
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