Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fresh, Raw and Whole Food For Your Dog's Health - What to Select, Preparation, Mistakes to Avoid

Fresh, ran and whole food for your dog's health
In this article: whole, fresh, raw foods are good for your dog;
How to prepare and feed these foods to your dog;
Mistakes to avoid making.

Fresh whole foods including muscle meat and organs, eggs, dairy, leafy green, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, herbs and spices offer our dogs digestible, nutrient rich food without the dangerous ingredients, additives, toxins and carcinogens in highly processed pet food.

A fresh whole food diet (raw or gently cooked), is the primary foundation of support for a dog's overall health and longevity.


Animal protein, muscle meat and organ is the primary component of a dog's and cat's species appropriate diet. My dogs and cats, are on a raw diet. I have the majority of my client dogs on raw diets. I have some of my client dogs on a gently cooked and fresh food diet. For most dogs the best diet is a raw diet. A gently cooked diet is necessary for some specific health issues and conditions (temporary or long-term).

Fresh whole foods for dogs, appropriate animal protein sources for dogs

Appropriate and Safe Animal Protein and Raw Meaty Bones for Dogs

Ruminant and Small Prey muscle meat and organ such as:

And other ruminant meats. 
Don't use carnivore meats.
For best nutritional value choose grass fed, pasture raised or organic sourced animal protein.

Poultry such as:

Turkey, etc.

- free range, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GMO-free, pastured or organic preferred.

Fish (wild-caught) in particular fatty fish such as:
For more information on appropriate fish, and how to select the best options you can go here.
Shellfish (wild-caught):
Green Lipped Mussels
Note that shellfish must be cooked/steamed for 8 to 10 minutes before served to your dog or cat. Never give your dog or cat raw shellfish. Shellfish is a supplemental food, it is not a main dietary component.

Eggs - free-range, non-GMO or organic
Raw - make sure you wash the eggshell before cracking open

Dairy - sourced from pastured, grass-fed or organic source dairy
Cottage Cheese or Quark
Hard Cheese such as cheddar cheese, mozzarella for example
Goats milk

Non Load-bearing Raw Meaty Bones (RMB):
For example:
Poultry - backs, frames, heads, feet, necks 
Ribs - lamb, goat, pork
Raw meaty bone type and size must be selected to suit the individual dog's size and requirements. Always be present when your dog is consuming ram meaty bones.
Raw, fresh seeds and nuts for dogs

Appropriate and Safe Seeds and Tree Nuts  - a source of fats, essential minerals and vitamins:
Seeds - raw, organic
Chia or saba chia seeds - whole or ground
Flax Seeds (brown or golden, use ground flax seed as opposed to whole flax seed)
Hemp seed
Sesame seed
Pumpkin Seeds (best if pulverized or ground)
You can find out more here.

Tree Nuts - raw, organic, only, fresh not stale in small amounts.
Coconut (fresh or dry non sweetened, shredded)
Note, don't give your dog peanuts or peanut butter.
For information on seeds and nuts that pose serious danger to a dog's health read here.

There are some facts that you need to be aware of when it comes to whole food protein...

Animal Protein
The primary component in a dog's species appropriate diet IS animal protein. Read more about that here.
Dairy products 
Just like with people, some dogs are lactose intolerant Yogurt is a good source of protein and also a source of acidophilus which helps to prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive track. Plain yogurt or yogurt with natural fruit sweetened with honey is best. Yogurt sweetened with sugar is alright but your dog does not require sugar. Yogurt sweetened with artificial sweeteners should be avoided. Xylitol is especially dangerous for dogs and can result in liver damage.

Raw eggs 
My dogs get raw organic free-range pasture sourced raw eggs. Learn more about adding eggs to your dog's diet in this article. It's important to note that eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). Biotin deficiency can lead to hair and coat problems. Avoiding biotin deficiency is simple - make sure you always  give your dog the egg white, and egg yolk, find out more in this article.

Fruits and Vegetables
Many people think that vegetables, dark leafy greens and fruit will cause a dog to experience diarrhea. In actual fact high quality soluble fiber helps prevent diarrhea and constipation. 
Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion thereby delaying the emptying of the stomach and makes a dog feel full, which helps control hunger and weight. Slower stomach emptying can also have a beneficial affect on controlling blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which helps control diabetes. Apples, oranges, pears, berries, cucumbers, celery, and carrots are examples of fruits and vegetables that provide soluble fibers.

Insoluble fibers are gastrointestinal tract (GI Tract) friendly as they have a laxative effect, add bulk to the diet and help prevent constipation. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the GI tract primarily intact speeding up the passage of food and waste. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, fruit, and root vegetable skins are examples of fruits and vegetables that provide insoluble fibers. 

As noted above, fruit and veggies contain a lot of good soluble and insoluble fiber, but they are also rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and are naturally low in fat while being filling.  

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables also plays an important role in:
  • Helping to boost the immune system
  • Helping the body eliminate toxins
  • Keeping organs, eyes, teeth etc. healthy
  • Support joint health;
  • Preventing colon cancer
  • Reducing the risk of developing heart and vascular problems, stroke and cancer
  • Reducing the risk of inflamed anal glands (which result in ‘scudding’, burst glands and discharge)
  • Aiding in good oral health
If your dog is overweight support metabolic health with a species appropriate diet. Include plant materials to suit your dog's individual requirements to support overall health and reduce risk of:
  • Diabetes
  • Stress on joints
  • Inflammation of joints is another contributing factor to the onset of cancer

In the wild, dogs eat pre-digested fruits and vegetables when the consume the digestive organs of herbaceous prey, as well they also consume some plants, fruits, vegetables to self-heal and boost their immune systems. Grass is one such example.
The fruits and vegetables that I give to me dogs on a daily basis vary a little depending on the season, for instance watermelon in the summer and oranges in the winter. The following provides a partial list of fruits and vegetables that are good for dogs. You can use fresh, or frozen fruit. I do not recommend using canned fruit or vegetable unless you have an emergency. If you are going to give your dog canned fruit, make sure it is packed in juice not syrup - sugar is not good for dogs. You can use fresh, of fresh-frozen and/or cooked veggies.

Fruit that is Safe & Beneficial for Dogs to Consume
The following is a partial list
Acai berry
Apples (remove the seeds)

Black current
Cactus fruit (prickly pear)
Canary Melon
Cherries (remove the pit)
Dragon fruit
Golden berry
Goji Berry (if your dog is on medications check for drug interactions)
Honeydew Melon
Korean melon
Mango (remove the pit)
Nectarines (remove the pit)
Passion fruit
Peaches (remove the pit)
Pears (remove the seeds)

Red current
Santa claus melon

Yuzu fruit

Vegetables that are Safe & Beneficial for Dogs to Consume
The following is a partial list:

Broccoli Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts

Clover sprouts

Green beans
Kelp, Chlorella, Marine Phytoplankton, Spirulina
Leafy greens - beet greens, green or red leaf lettuce, frizzy lettuce, kale, radicchio, romaine, spinach, cilantro, dandelion, parsley
Squash - various types of winter squash.
Sweet Peppers - green, yellow, orange and red, purple, etc.
Mushrooms - Chaga, Maitake, Shiitake, Reishi and other dog-safe mushrooms. Please note many other types of mushrooms are toxic to dogs, just as they are to people.



Roots Vegetables 
The following is a partial list:

Fennel (bulb and greens)

How To Feed Your Dog Fruits and Veggies
Preparation to Ensure Maximum Absorption of Nutrients from Fresh Fruit and 

In order to make sure your dog gets the full benefit of nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables you need to understand a little about the difference between a dog's and a human's GI Tract.

Optimizing The Absorption of Nutrients
  • Dogs have a shorter intestine than humans, this means that food moves through the dogs GI  tract faster than it moves through a humans GI Tract; To ensure that your dog's digestive system has the opportunity to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from vegetables and fruit it is important (especially with vegetables which have a tougher cell wall structure) to help the dog's GI tract by breaking down the vegetable's (or fruit's) cell-walls before you feed it to your dog.
    • You can breakdown the cell walls by choosing one of the following methods:
      1. Finely chop fruit and vegetables - either by hand or with a food processor

      2. Lightly steam vegetables 
      3. Freeze the vegetables or fruit first, thaw and then give them to your dog
    • Make a smoothie as per the example further below.
    • By choosing one of these four methods to breakdown the food's cell-wall you:
      • Perform the first stage of digestion, so your dog's GI tract has the opportunity to absorb nutrients properly
      • You greatly reduce the chance of your dog choking on a hard piece of vegetable

The photo above is a freshly pureed batch of fruits and vegetables for my own dogs. I make a large batch to last about 20 days. I package and freeze the puree into daily portions

Some fruit has a softer cell wall than vegetables;
  • You don't have to chop berries such as blackberries and raspberries
    • But you should cut most other fruit up in smaller pieces
    • Harder fruit like apples and pineapples are best if chopped finely 
    Make a Smoothie for Your Dog
    Green Leafy Smoothie
    If you want to give your dog fresh leafy greens - such as romaine, kale, spinach, beet greens, etc:
    • Chop the greens either by hand or in a food processor and mix a little into your dog's food
    • You can toss the greens into a blender with some homemade chicken stock and make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day
    • General Guideline:
      • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs
      • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup
      • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup
      • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup
      • Every dog has his / her own metabolic rate, and unique needs, so keep in-mind that above is a general guideline - some dogs may thrive with less and others with more
    Fruit Smoothie 
    If you want to give your dog fresh or frozen fruit in a nutrient rich smoothie:
    • Toss the fruit into a blender with some kefir or yogurt or use homemade chicken stock to make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day:
      • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs
      • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup
      • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup
      • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup
    Do's and Don't s:

    1. Don’t give your dog produce that is going bad - moldy, rotting, slimy, you can make your dog very ill
    2. Don't mix fresh whole or coarsely cut fruit and veggies with a main protein meal
      1. You CAN add fruit and vegetables to a main protein meal if you do one or a combination of the following:
        1. Finely chop, mince the fruit or veggies before adding to the meal
        2. Steam the fruit or veggies before adding to the meal
        3. Use thawed frozen fruit or veggies
    1. Wash the food item to remove dirt, contaminates, and as much pesticide/herbicide as can be removed if the produce is not organic
    2. As mentioned above do cut/chop/shred fresh vegetables into small pieces - a food processor is great for finely chopping fruits and veggies
    3. Finely chopped or minced fruit and vegetables::
      1.  Can be properly digested
        1.  As explained further above a dog cannot properly digest uncut, whole fruit and vegetables
      2. Larger pieces of vegetables and hard fruit pose a choking hazard
        1. An example:
          1.  Zoey my 12 lb Pomeranian once got a piece of cauliflower caught in his airway - completely blocked
          2. Zoey quickly became unconscious and if I had not known how to and did not administer the Heimlich maneuver and mouth to mouth resuscitation he would have died in front of my eyes
    4. When you introduce new fruits and veggies to your dog's diet it is best to introduce each new food one at a time. If there is any kind of negative reaction, such as stomach upset or allergies you will be able to pinpoint the culprit. 
    People have used herbs and spices to add flavor to food and to treat ailments for thousands of years. So it should not be surprising that there are many herbs and spices that are good for our dog's health. Herbs and spices can boost the  immune system and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to name just a few benefits. If you would like to find out more about herbs and spices you can add to your dog's diet click here. Herbs such as Turmeric and/or Curcumin can also help your dog lose and maintain a healthy weight.

    Grains, Starchy Seeds, Starchy Root Vegetables

    Grains and other starchy carbohydrates are not part of a dog's natural diet. I recommend removing all starchy carbohydrates for the diet, these include:
    Grains and other starchy carbohydrates should be completely replaced by (for example) substituting with appropriate plant materials from the list further below, as demonstrated in this recipe for homemade dog food.

    Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are very important for the overall health of a dog. However the intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 must be balanced correctly. The ratio should be in the range of 2:1 for Omega-3 to Omega-6. An out-of-balance ratio can disrupt the balance of pro and anti-inflammatory agents in the body and brain resulting in chronic inflammation and elevation of the risk of health issues such allergies, arthritis and diabetes and can adversely effect behavior.  To read more about the importance of Omega Fatty Acids, what is a balanced intake and what are good as opposed to poor or dangerous sources of these vital nutrients you can read this article.

    Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

    Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

    Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
    🌿 Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ• 🐈
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    Menu of Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
    For more information go here. 
    ✅  Maintain Health, and;
    ✅  Address Health Issues and Conditions:
    ✓ Treatment and Remedy 
     Pre-Surgery holistic support protocols
     Post-Surgery holistic healing protocols
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    ✅  Custom Designed Whole Food Diets - raw or gently cooked, and;
    ✅  Advice and Recommendation: 
    ✓ Premade Diets - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried 
    ✓ Supplemental Fresh Foods - raw, gently cooked
    ✓ Super foods
    ✓ Treats - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, gently cooked
    ✓ Herbs 
    ✓ Alternative Medicines

    Menu of Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•
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    In-person Sessions - available locally
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    ✓   Obedience Training
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    Affiliations to Companies
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    Contact me

    Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld 


    1. This is a thoroughly researched and intelligent article for anyone considering upgrading the food their dogs eat. It should be recommended by veterinarians knowledgeable about canine nutrition!

      1. I am feeding a raw dehydrated food to my dog and it has the veggies and fruit with the protein. Is that bad. NRG Salmon is the name. Now I'm worried

      2. Provided the veggies and fruit are prepared as per the article above there is no issue mixing with protein. However you do have an issue with NRG Salmon as it contains oatmeal. Oatmeal is a grain which is not an appropriate food for a dog. It is used in the NRG to save NRG money - it is not included for the health of your dog. Also you should check with NRG to make sure that the salmon is wild caught. If the salmon is instead farm fish sourced you have another big health issue to deal with. This article explains the issues with farm fish

    2. Thank you so much for this article! I am in the process of switching my dogs over to fresh food, and I will be referring to this article a lot. I love the picture of all of your dog's bowls lined up. So cute. What lucky dogs you have!

    3. I'm confused as to exactly what is included in their "fresh food" that you give them later in the evening. I see the recipe for the homemade food and the homemade treats, but not the fresh food.

      1. Fruits, veggies/fresh herbs, garlic, aloe vera juice, rooibus tea, yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut.

        Herbs & Spices Are Good For Your Dog’s Health

        Garlic For Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation and Use, Safe Dosage

        Rooibos Tea for Dogs - Immune System Health, Cancer Inhibitor, Allergy Mediator and free of oxalic acid.

        Foods Rich in Probiotics - Beneficial for Your Dog

        Flax, coconut oil, fish, turmeric, papaya, cinnamon, olive oil etc. is provided with their dog food.

    4. So excited about this site ! Karen could I get your help in setting up a real food diet for my 2 goldens ? My big guy is 9 and has titanium knees and also fatty tumors that we check. He has had a surgery for removal of some of them a couple years ago. He is my baby and pride and joy. My other baby I rescued at 2 months old and he is 2. He had a very hard life as a baby and is finally becoming the trusting boy he should be...they do remember !9 year old does well on human food...sensitive stomach to dog kibble and baby was on Blue Buffalo and kept getting yeast in his ears. As soon as I took them off that ears were on Science Diet but I like the idea of cooking for them and I am sure I could join in and eat right with them. Sounds very healthy. We would love to hear from you ...thank you Anne and the

    5. Great Advise.
      I currently make my dog's meals. I usually combine the veggies with cooked chicken - Should I just give her chicken in AM and veggies in PM?
      I am confused by your section on the absorption of nutrients.

      1. If the veggies are cooked you can serve them with the chicken. If they are raw serve them as a separate meal :>)

    6. Thank you for this very comprehensive, helpful article. I did note one error. Under the section FATS, you say that the proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 1:2, which I believe is backwards. In your article Omega Fatty Acids for Dogs, as well as elsewhere, I've seen the ratio noted 2:1 (even 3:1) Omega 3 to Omega 6. Since the ratio balance is critical not only for good health, but safety and not causing a health problem, I thought it was important to mention this so that you could make the correction. Given the breadth and depth of information you cover on your blog, I imagine people see it as credible and place total trust in what they read. For the reader who only reads this article, they will get the ratio wrong, and I know none of us would want that.

      Thanks for your great work! Keep it up.

      1. Hi Shawn, indeed I did make a typo! It is corrected now thanks to your observation ❀α΅”α΄₯α΅”❀ thank you very much, woof and cheers, Karen

    7. How about raw diet? Commercial raw food meal all have fruits and veggies mixed in? Is it still better to separate protein from veggies?

      1. The fruit and veggies found in commercially prepared raw food has already been flash frozen or cooked. The meat is raw.

    8. Thank you! There's so much to read here, and it's what I've been looking for. Both my dogs have issues that I think could be solved by improving their diet. My vet is NO help. :-)

      1. Hi Jacquelyn,

        I think it would be helpful for you to go to my index page of articles as this will allow you to view articles by category - i.e. Dog Food - Kibble, a series of articles on real food and herbs, health care, illness, etc. :>)

        The reason why your veterinarian was of no help is explained here

        Cheers, K

      2. p.s. it is sad but most veterinarians that have 'Nutrition Experts' in their office don't know anything about diet, real nutrition and preventative strategies. Many such veterinarian offices sell and their nutritionists have no problem with it. Its shocking really :<(

    9. I've tried feeding my rescue raw veggies and fruits but she really doesn't seem to go for it at all - ive found adding a little chicken stock (made specifically for the dogs) seems to get her to eat some if she's really hungry but sometimes even that doesnt work - how do introduce whole foods into her diet in a way that would actually get her to eat it

      1. To get her interested in veggies - You can lightly steam the veggies, or finely chop fresh veggies - drizzle some olive oil on top with some grated cheese or cottage cheese.

        To get her interested in fruit you can try this

        You can also make homemade food with fruit and veggies included

        I bet she will be interested in these options!

      2. Yes, she does eat cooked fruit and veggies - but I can't motivate her to eat raw foods. I tried adding yogurt to the mix and she ate the yogurt and left the rest :( - I'm sure she'll do the same thing with grated cheese. She can be a but stubborn with food - she was severely underweight when I found her and even though she had also just given birth to a litter refused to eat certain foods (fruit, veggies, grains)

        She still needs to put on weight and unfortunately I Also live in a vegetarian household so it's hard for me to incorporate meat into her diet as much as I'd like to. I'm lucky to have friends that will cook a few meat based meals for her when we visit during the week and keep my supplied with regular chicken stock. A lot of dogs here in India are vegetarian but I'm not sure if that's the way to go.


      3. Hi Aditi,

        She is a smart girl :>) It's a good thing that she refused grains as they are a big trigger for health issues in dogs. I am vegetarian as well, but I do cook chicken for my dogs :)

        If she is eating cooked fruit and veggies that is great! As you read in the article above it is best to perform the first part of the digestive process for veggies particularly - by lightly cooking them of flash freezing them.

      4. Hi Aditi, regarding green coconut shell as a dental chew...

        - OK if your pup is not an aggressive-hasty chewer and will not try to swallow chunks that she could choke on;
        -as long as the coconut is if not the shell may have a high-content of pesticide residue.

        By the way, Coconut oil is very good for dogs

    10. I have been feeding species appropriate raw food diets to my pets for almost fifty years now. The "species appropriate diet" for carnivores includes raw meat, eggs, canned sardines or salmon, ground bones or bonemeal supplement, organ meats, and a small amount of pureed vegetables (optional), No carnivore should be eating sweetened yogurt or legumes (which are starches). The reason nutritionists warn against feeding raw eggs is to avoid biotin deficency, not salmonella poisoning.

      1. Partially true Erel, however...

        Real yogurt or kefir (no sweeteners, other additives or fillers) have many health benefits to offer dogs.

        Raw eggs receive a caution for two reasons - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella, although the chance of contamination for your dog is low as a dog’s stomach acids are very strong and dog’s also produce a lot of bile. You can cook the eggs to avoid this issue. Due to the avidin it is best not to give eggs every day, but a couple of times a week is fine.

        The species appropriate diet can also include other healthful supplements - herbs such as turmeric additional omega-3 fatty acids.

        Dogs can also benefit from foods that help to repel insects and parasites

        Another very important point to consider when feeding raw is the source of the meat. If the meat is obtained from animals that are fed GMO corn, antibiotics, growth hormones etc. the raw diet can be very compromised.

        There are many things to consider when putting together a good raw diet.

      2. Also interesting - some dogs will pick their own wild berries, juniper berries, apples, and in the case of a vegetable garden - their own vegetables - tomatoes, peppers etc. I have ten dogs - different breeds and sizes and many of them, in addition to eating grass (the blade, not the seed) will pick their own fruit in the meadow portions of my trails. They do this not having been shown to do so, but instead naturally on their own. The species appropriate diet is not so narrowly defined as some would have it expressed.

    11. Great article thank you, my norwegian elkhound is ten years old, and gaining weight, so I have cut the amount of kibble and add mackeral, fish or chicken to his feed but having read your article I think I should omit the kibble and feed him twice a day one protein meal and one veg/fruit meal.

      1. Yes you could omit the kibble and give him a better alternative that will help him lose and maintain a healthy weight.

        You could use a better kibble such as Orijen's gain-free products and feed him less while adding real veg/fruit to his diet;

        Or much more healthful for him...

        Use this homemade grain-free recipe which will also support weight loss and weight management

        You should also add coconut oil and turmeric to his diet as both will aid weight loss and management along with providing many other health benefits to him...

        Cheers, Karen

    12. This is such a wonderful resource! I was wondering, what fruits and veggies can I dry-out as Chewy-Treats(if any)?? Thank you so much for all of the Information!

      1. Hi Lynna, if you have a dehydrator you can do apples, pears, berries, banana for a start. Veggies - sweet potato, carrot, and other root veggies. You could also try dehydrated tomatoes :>)

    13. I found this when i was looking up what was okay to give my dog...can i give my dog garlic?? Onions, Garlic, Chives - can cause the destruction of red blood cells known as Heinz body anemia, a form of hemolytic anemia. No clear quantity has been established as to the onset of the anemia. But for garlic, if your dog consumes the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of garlic for every 10 pounds of their weight (1 teaspoon for a 10 pound dog) it can destroy red blood cells. Poisonous reaction can result from raw, cooked or dried onions, garlic, chives, including those included in powdered or dehydrated forms.

      1. The article that you read regarding garlic on Dogheirs contains incorrect information. Read my article on Garlic - it thoroughly explains why garlic does NOT have the same toxic value as onions - and my dogs are living breathing 100% healthy proof as are my client's dogs. There is a lot of incorrect information on this topic out there - initiated and propagated by those that lack knowledge and simply parrot the false assumptions voiced by other. Read my article

    14. Karen, on behalf of my husband and I, our dog Bella, and "natural pet parents", just want to say a big THANK YOU for your wonderful website and sharing your knowledge! I wanted to get your thoughts on something if you have time! Bella eats a home cooked diet, and while she absolutely LOVES vegetables, when it comes to fruits, she just won't eat all! We've tried your suggestions as well making a purees of fruits to mix in with her meals, all with no success. If she even detects (or suspects, lol!) fruit puree has been mixed into her meals, she will walk away and not touch her food!

      I did some searching around and found a couple companies that make Organic freeze dried fruit powders, which are just 100% fruit, nothing added. I ordered a sample size of Organic Banana powder, mixed it in with her food, and Viola!...Bella loved it! So now I'm thinking about ordering more flavors like like blueberry, cranberry, apple, pear, etc; then mixing them together, and figuring out how much to give her with each meal. However, these fruit powders are NOT cheap, so before ordering, I wanted your opinion on if you think this would be a good way for Bella to get fruits in her diet. Thanks so much, and again thank you for such a wonderful site, I know you work very hard on!! ;) ~Cynthia

      1. Hi Cynthia - the good organic fruit powders retain their nutrients and their Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) so yes that would be a great way of - tricking miss Bella into; getting the benefits of fruit :>)

    15. Would it be alright to combine fruits and vegetables with my dogs dry food or would it be to difficult to determine how much I can put?

      1. Yes it is OK provided that you prepare the vegetables and fruit as I have instructed in the article above - when not prepared as noted the absorption of nutrients from the main food - in your case dry kibble - can be seriously hampered leading to health issues.

        Amount - 15% to 20% veggies max to dry kibble in a combined meal.

    16. if i make a smoothie out of raw fruits and veggies i still cant mix with the dogs food correct? only if its lightly steamed? and if i add powdered superfoods can they be added to protein mea,l or given separate also?

    17. i feed my miniature schnauzer a New Zealand brand of food called K9 Natural which is dehydrated meat and veges that is formed into pellets that you add warm water to. He also eats most fruits and veges as snacks, loves mandarin segments, and crunching up raw carrots (which go straight through him, now I understand why). Do you think this diet is balanced? Raw food diets are very popular, but we don't have space in the freezer for all the meat you need. After reading these articles i am keen to add garlic to his diet too.

      1. K9 is a good product - but no not completely balanced.

    18. Do you have raw dog food and treat recipes you can post? I am looking to start my dogs on a raw diet but am unsure where to start... (I have 3 shelties.) ...

      Also, do you have any advise/ natural remedies to get rid of dog lice? I think all 3 of them have it but am afraid to give them the chemical drops my vet recommended...


    Important Note

    1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

    Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

    Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

    Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

    If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

    2.0 Definition of Holistic…

    Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

    If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

    Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

    Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


    "relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

    "Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

    Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

    3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

    A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

    Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

    4.0 Leave a Comment

    I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

    I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

    Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

    Karen Rosenfeld
    Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
    Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
    Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats