Common sense beats science
Dog nutrition is not rocket science. Or at least, it wasn’t when I was at school. I believe our dogs would be better off if the way we view feeding them was based more on common sense than on science, whether that be rocket science or nutrition science.
Let’s go back in time with one of our favourite dogs. The Spaniel. Prior to the late 1600s when they were divided into water and land breeds, there was just one Spaniel. Believed to have originated in Spain, one theory has it that the Spaniel arrived in England when Caesar invaded in either 54 or 55 BC. (He invaded us twice the naughty man). By that reckoning then, the Spaniel is over 2,000 years old.
Then again, another theory is that the original Spaniel was introduced from Spain by the Celts back in 900 BC. That would make it approaching 3,000 years old. Either way, both were a very long time before commercial dog food became a twinkle in the eye of its creator, James Spratt.
Since that time, spaniels have come and gone. We’ve had and lost the Alpine Spaniel, English Water Spaniel, Norfolk Spaniel and the Toy Trawler Spaniel. But we’ve gained the English Springer Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Field Spaniel, the Tibetan Spaniel and more varieties of spaniel than you could possibly throw sticks for.
Having established that the Spaniel is at least 2,000 years old, that leaves us with a problem. Let’s take just one of those aforementioned breeds. Let’s take the English Cocker Spaniel. The Cocker is descended from those original spaniels. At what point we’re not exactly sure, but it was certainly a very long time ago. Back then, all spaniels were categorized as one. Springer, Cocker and Sussex Spaniels would all have come from the same litter. They were categorized as being one or the other purely by their size. So Cockers existed prior to 1600. They simply weren’t called Cocker Spaniels at the time.
But here’s the problem. We are constantly being told that commercial dog food is the only way to feed our constant canine companions. That only highly processed dog food can provide your dog with all the nutrients he or she requires. That feeding your dog proper food, the kind of food I as a canine nutritionist recommend, is bad for your best friend.
So what then made the English Cocker Spaniel the dog breed we know and love today? We know that commercial dog food is less than 170 years old. We know that the highly intelligent, robust and durable Cocker existed way before then. But what did it eat? What did the dog use for nutrition?
Spaniels ate proper food
Well, it ate the kind of food I champion as a canine nutritionist. It ate proper food. Human food if you like. Except of course, I’ve long-since argued that it’s not really human food at all. In reality, people are eating dog food. No matter, that’s what produced the English Cocker Spaniel. Fresh, natural whole foods, and almost certainly a combination of cooked and raw food.
In those days dog nutrition came from what we today erroneously call ‘people food’. It would have been the same food eaten by a dog’s human companions. Generally the parts of a prey animal the humans preferred not to eat, together with fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs surplus to human requirements. These would have been supplemented by whatever small mammals the dog was able to catch, further augmented by bones and whatever foodstuffs it could scavenge.
Not only did dog nutrition come from the same food we human beings ate, dogs were healthier on it too. Many of today’s modern canine health problems simply didn’t exist back then. They are a by-product of unhealthy commercial dog food. Because it stands to reason that dogs were not designed to exist on the likes of dry dog biscuit. Nothing is more foreign to an animal than kibble. Nothing is more unnatural than the highly processed ingredients used in commercial dog food. Ingredients such as sawdust. And yes, as alarming as it might be to some, there’s a healthy helping of sawdust in most bowls of commercial dog food!
Make proper food for your Spaniel
As a dog nutritionist, I’ve made it my mission to turn back the clock to what I believe were more enlightened times. I would like today’s English Cocker Spaniel to eat as well as did his or her ancestors. I would like your dog to eat proper food. Natural and healthy food the way my mother used to make for my dogs when I was growing up. That’s what my Healthy Dog Diet Plans are all about. Helping today’s dog parents make better food choices for their best friends.
Your dog is arguably the best and most loyal friend you are ever going to have. Please don’t sell that loyalty short. Feed your dog proper nutrition, proper food, and ensure that he or she will be part of your life for as long as possible!