The debate over what is and what is not healthy food for dogs has been with us for a while now. Holistic vets tend to take the view that fresh is best. That whether you choose to feed your dog home-cooked food or a raw diet, nothing can beat fresh, natural, unprocessed food. As a dog nutritionist I naturally take the same view. I’ve seen what a difference good food can make to the health of man’s best friend.
Fresh is best
As human beings, we’re constantly being advised to eat fresh. Leading health website Healthline states “Real food is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that support heart health, including magnesium and healthy fats. Eating a diet rich in nutritious, unprocessed foods may also help reduce inflammation, which is considered one of the major drivers of heart disease.”
The internet is simply awash with articles telling us that the best way to maintain good health is to eat fresh, healthy food. There is no question that a diet made up of fresh, natural ingredients is the way to go if we want to live long, happy, healthy lives. The thing is, that doesn’t simply apply to us as human beings. It also applies to our companion animals. It applies to our cats. And it most definitely applies to man’s best friend of some 15,000 years, the domestic dog!
Fresh was good for the Tudors
Take the English Toy Spaniel. This playful, intelligent litte dog has been with us in Britain since Tudor times. According to Britannica, the breed “apparently originated in ancient Japan or China. It was favoured by Mary, Queen of Scots, King Charles II (after whom it was named the King Charles Spaniel), and Queen Victoria, as well as by members of the aristocracy.” The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603. So the English Toy Spaniel has been with us a long time.
And who knows how far back in history the breed actually goes? Given that its origins are believed to lie in the ancient Far East, it could conceivably be thousands of years old. The thing is though, this popular little dog didn’t become the dog we know and love today on processed food. While it has its beginnings in 1860, commercial dog food didn’t become popular until after the Second World War. Even then, it didn’t become mainstream until the 1970s.
Fresh natural food
So the English Toy Spaniel became what it is today on fresh natural food. It was bred and developed on proper food. How can I be so certain of that? Because that’s all there was at the time. Because ever since it first came in out of the cold, what we know today as man’s best friend was fed on either raw food, home cooked food or a combination of the two. Food otherwise known as healthy food for dogs. It ate what its human companions ate. Its food was either fed to them raw, or it was home cooked. It was either given to them or it was scavenged. Almost certainly a combination of all of those.
We know that the landed gentry in the Middle Ages employed kennel cooks purely to cook for the dogs on their estates. We even know what they ate. Nourishing stews consisting of vegetables and grains with meat and organ meat. The poor would have fed their dogs much the same. It’s just that there would have been much less of it. It would more likely have been scavenged or consisting of the offcuts of vegetables and parts of animals that humans chose not to eat. Parts such as feet, heads, brains and meaty bones. That and table scraps. Nonetheless, it was still proper, unprocessed, natural food. And infinitely healthier than the commercial dog food that dominates the market today.
Make yours a healthier dog
If you would like a healthier dog, please see my healthy dog diet plans. I have plans for homemade dog food, raw dog food and even a plan for those who simply want to supplement their dog’s commercial diet. I also have plans for grain-free dog food and plant-based dog food.
And if you want a simple starter diet plan for your dog to see how he or she gets on with homemade food, I have a plan for that too.
I’m a canine nutritionist and I help people make healthy food for dogs!