dog on a scale

A Breeder’s Note on Canine Obesity

Fat dogs are NOT FUNNY! (And new laws will be coming out that will confiscate your dog if they are underfed, just as if your dog was found emaciated!) Keep in mind, an obese dog is at as great a risk of death as a dog that is undernourished.

Paleolithic: period in history was populated by a pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer society.

Paleo diet for pets: The principles of the diet are that it includes only fresh whole foods, and as much raw food as possible, but raw in a way that mimics the natural canine diet. For example, raw meat is a food that dogs, cats, and humans of that period ate a lot of. They didn’t eat a ton of fruits and vegetables (except for certain wild canines like foxes and coyotes, who did and do eat a lot of fruit). Today’s Paleo diet for dogs calls for fruits and veggies to be in a digestible form, which means a pulverize/pureed form. (Dr. Jene Hofve, DVM)

Over-eating is a problem for most family dogs. Many people are unaccustomed to the Paleo lifesyle for dogs that have been leaving kibble out of free-feeding since their dogs came to joint their family., which is like leaving the dinner bell on “constant ring”. Paleo by nature, dogs shouldn’t be “FREE-FEEDING.” They are are not grazing animals like cows! Dogs are carnivores! (and herbivores…they DO graze, and eat the stomach contents of their herbivore prey!) Not only does free-feeding of high carb food contribute to obese dogs, but can cause bloat, excessive drooling, and other gastric upset.

Kibble is DRY in the stomach, so fluids from other parts of the body are often absorbed into the stomach, potential casing your pet to become dehydrated quickly. Many of our pets live in a constant mild dehydration. Canines require a diet of 70% moisture. (Kibble only provides about 12%)

Over-eating on non-Paleo Dog food (loaded with carbs) also causes obesity, which brings with it the same unhealthy things that Americans suffer: it takes its toll on bones, ligaments, and organs and teeth. Being bored, anxious, or depressed can also cause our dogs to over-eat. It’s important for our companion animals to have regular stimulation, playtime and exercise. Dogs in multi-animal homes may also over-eat because they’re territorial and want to keep others from getting their food.

Internal parasites and some other health conditions can also be exhibited with the symptom of overeating, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, pancreatitis, IBD, pituitary gland tumors, or in ability to digest or absorb food due to the poorly functioning digestive system. Some medications and drugs, like steroid,s can also cause overeating. It’s better to reach for natural, anti-inflammatory help sooner than later.

Paleo dogs are designed to eat RAW MEAT AND RAW BONES. They are designed to get their macro/micro nutrients through prey animals, and they are also designed to get their calcium requirements (which is also needed to balance the phosphorous in their meat) and dental needs taken care of from gnawing on and bone crushing raw bones. When our Paleo dogs are not getting the nutrients they’re supposed to, they will eat more of what they ARE getting in effort to make up from what they are NOT getting. A recent article by Dogs Naturally Magazine inferred that about 80% of dogs are overweight or obese in the US.

Bottom Line: Feed a species appropriate raw diet to your Paleo Dogs and Paleo Cats. Give them love and care, exercise and a safe environment.

It’s a privilege to share our homes with loving animals that are part of our family. May your pet begin to THRIVE, instead of just “survive” on processed kibble that is not at all what they were designed, buy nature, to eat. I truly believe we’ve let our dogs “survive” on kibble, simply because they “can”, but the result is shorter lives and the multiple forms of disease we consider “normal” now. In countries like Australia where owners feed a predominately Raw/Paleo diet, dogs live 50% longer than those in the US.

To read more about raw diet and receive easy, concise information, visit this page:

Although pet owners are moving in DROVES to raw diet, people who refuse to feed a species appropriate diet, should at LEAST stick to a LOW TEMPERATURE BAKED food such as Weight Maintenance Formula, formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, holistic veterinarian.  If cost is an issue, at least consider feeding ½ raw and ½ kibble. Feed the raw diet in the morning, and the kibble meal in the evening between 4-6 pm.

I recommend BARF World’s multi-mix patties because they were formulated by the veterinarian who literally “wrote the book” on species appropriate raw feeding (Dr. Ian Billinghurst, DVM) in the book,“Give your Dog a Bone.” I like that the meaty bones are ground, and the veggies and fruits are in a pulverized, easy to digest form. The patties are convenient and easy to feed for the busy pet owner who does not have hours on end of time to shop for the raw food, hours and hours to mix and store it, and the room to store it. I also don’t like the various ‘raw diet’ found in “rolls” in pet boutiques…they are loaded with sugar and carbs and add the same “dead”, non-species appropriate ingredients that modern kibbles are going to. They then just make it soft and call it “RAW.”  I also don’t like the “freeze-dried” raw diets. Technically, they are dry foods, like kibble, as they are exposed to high drying temperatures.  My dogs never like them, and they do no ‘rehydrate’ well at all.

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