When any living creature is primarily fed a diet which is not appropriate for its species, illness can and usually does result.
In its natural state, a wild dog makes a kill of a herbage-eating prey.
When to Feed
It was my horses who first taught me that it's best not to stick to a rigid feeding time schedule. I used to feed the horses at the same times every day without fail. Then one day I was late home for some reason. The horses had gotten so worked up over their food being late that they'd been galloping up and down along the fence, slithering and sliding in the mud from earlier rain. One beautiful filly had crashed into the gate, and I found her entangled and horribly mangled, hurting and distressed.
Creatures of habit, or who are conditioned to expect things to always be the same, enslave their carers, and are vulnerable to stress if their schedule is interrupted. I transferred the knowledge gained from this experience to my dogs.
How Much to Feed
Cobberdogs are not generally a gluttonous breed and will not eat more than what they need. If he's hungry, give him more, if he leaves some, give him less.
The needs increase of growing puppies during their rapid growth period then wanes once they are mature. One size does not fit all. If he's getting too fat feed him less. Too thin, feed him more.
Their appetite varies from day to day just like our own does. If he doesn't want his yogurt today, don't assume that he doesn't like yogurt, take it away and offer it to him again tomorrow or the day after.
The physiology of the dog is quite different to that of humans. Dogs are built for 'feast and famine' and the human concept of 'three balanced meals a day' does not apply. Essential nutrients may be spread over the course of a week or so.
A healthy dog is hungry at meal times.
I often hear the canine species' biologically appropriate diet referred to as a raw diet. But I prefer to call it a fresh food diet because it doesn't have to be all raw.
This is a list of some of the foods that are fed to Rutland dogs and puppies over the course of a week- VARIETY IS THE KEY to optimum nutrition.
RAW MEATY BONES are excellent for dogs. Rutland puppies start to enjoy chewing on big raw meaty bones when they're only a few weeks old. Vets are always amazed at Rutland dogs' sparkling white strong teeth even into old age. I don't recommend marrow bones. They are abrasive and wear down a dog's teeth or at best, chip the enamel.
Clementine was 16 yrs old when the photo below was taken.
NO cooked bones - ever - Cooking bones changes their molecular structure in such a way that the dog's digestive system can no longer dissolve the bone. It is then brittle and can splinter inside the dog, and cause horrendous injury even resulting in death. You may get away with it a hundred times - but is it really worth the risk?
COOKED MASHED PUMPKIN, fresh or canned is excellent for diarrhea provided there is no bacterial or viral infection causing the problem. It's good to try first before rushing off to the vet.
COLD PRESSED FLAX SEED OIL is fabulous for skin and coat, and is a natural anti‐inflammatory. It contains the essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids that most other oils do not have.
One Tablespoon for a large adult dog, or a teaspoonful for a little dog or puppy, given two or three times a week provides essential Omegas and boosts the immune system.
Did you know that a hard boiled egg each other day is a natural anti-inflammatory for you and your dog?
BOILING OR SCRAMBLING EGGS FOR THE FAMILY?
Just pop an extra one in for your dog. Easy Peasy!
GOT SOME TOAST OR CRUSTS LEFT OVER FROM BREAKFAST? OR KIDS HAVE LEFT THEIR VEGGIES?
Don't bin it. Give it to your dog! Easy!
Diseases like diabetes, liver and kidney failure, pancreatitis, allergies, sensitive stomachs and addisons are pandemic in all dogs now as succeeding generations become weaker, with weakened immune systems similar to humans, since convenience 'foods' saturated with chemicals, carcinogenic food dyes and preservatives have replaced wholesome fresh foods. Genetic engineering of food crops which are added to commercially manufactured human and pet food and toxic agricultural pesticides also combine to make up silent killers and destroyers of good health.
What I learned: Pet food labeling legislation is slack! "Natural" doesn't necessarily mean what we may think. That 'plump chicken' on the packet could be feathers and ground up claws and beaks - it's not illegal to represent it that way. 'Meatmeal' can be rendered down road kill, or even deceased animals sent from laboratories or vet clinics to commercial dry food companies that render it down into a powder which can then legally be called 'meatmeal'. Ghastly, but true.
Pet food which has listed as ingredients, Corn, Wheat, or Grains. Wheat and Corn and their by-products are known triggers for skin problems, hot spots and allergic reactions in dogs.