dog food bowlOptimum Diet basically means a diet that meets "all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all organs and systems of a healthy body to perform in harmonious unison" (Mary L. Wulff-Tilford author of "All You Ever Wanted To Know About Herbs and For Pets").

More often than not, we choose pet-foods that appeal to u, pet owners, rather than what our pets really need. Pet owners are easily convinced by statements in pet-food products and this is what pet-food manufacturers play on.

Domesticated dogs are carnivores. They are descended from wolves. At least most scientists agree. Therefore, they are carnivores and naturally get optimum nutrition from eating various kinds of meat and meat by products.

What’s good for you may not be good for your dog?

With the advent of pet-foods, pet owners are scrambling to get their hands on pet food products wit promises of meeting a pet’s nutritional needs and a well balanced diet. But, like most commercial products today, these are mostly just marketing ploys. What seems good for us humans may not be good for our pets, simply because we’re different species, and therefore, have different physiological functions and different physiological needs.

Differences between carnivores and omnivores

Dogs, as said before are carnivores. They have a different physiological make up than omnivores.

Teeth – just compare your pet’s teeth to your own. Their teeth are sharp and are designed to tear out meat and flesh. Look at yours, they are designed to bite and chew on both meat and plant matter.

Digestive system – our digestive systems are also designed differently. Dogs have a highly elastic stomach designed to hold large quantities of meat, bone, organs, and hide. Their stomachs are simple, with an undeveloped caecum. They have a relatively short foregut and a short, smooth, unsacculated colon.

This means food passes through quickly. Vegetable and plant matter, however, needs time to sit and ferment. This equates to longer, sacculated colons, larger and longer small intestines, and occasionally the presence of a caecum. Dogs have none of these, but have the shorter foregut and hindgut consistent with carnivorous animals.

Thus, dogs do not have the necessary enzymes to deal with plant matter. Feeding dogs with plant matter unecessarily complicates its digestion process and places extra strain on their pancreas. Dogs also do not have the bacteria that breakdown cellulose and starch and cellulose.

Therefore nutrients in plant matter are not made available to them. Therefore manufacturers resort to creating supplements containing high amount of synthetic vitamins for your dog or putting in higher amounts of vitamins in their pet-foods than a dog really needs.

Health problems

Experts say that processed foods have depleted the natural vitality and immune systems of our pet dogs. Carnivores, like dogs, need raw red meat daily to meet their daily nutrient requirements. Lack in raw red meet can lead to serious health products.

Skin and coat problems -Animals need at least 30% raw fat. Skin and coat problems are a direct result of a lack of raw animal fat in the diet.

Digestive upsets, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath – Manufacturers sometimes resort to using heavily preserved fats used in restaurants to make up for the animal fat that animals really need. These causes a lot of health problems for pets.

Pet owners sometimes forget that dogs do not need their food cooked like we humans do. Dogs’ digestive systems are designed to handle bacteria well, that’s why they are not susceptible to salmonella, parasites, or e-coli and other bacteria as we humans are.

When food is heated or cooked, enzymes in the food are significantly lowered and thus complications in your dog’s digestion happens. In the wild, wolves seek out foods that provide their nutritional needs. That’s why when they eat, they take on they stomach, liver and pancreas of animals first because these provide the enzymes that they need.

A multiple digestive enzyme should contain, pancreatin, lipase, oxbile, pepsin, betain, hydrochloric acid (HCL), bromelain, papain, amylase and protease. If these are not included in your dog’t then an enzyme with similar contents should supplement each meal.

Variety in "natural" dog food

Pet-food manufacturers are constantly trying to convince us that variety in pet-foods is bad for the animal’s health. But there is no truth to this claim. Manufacturers, more often than not, design their pet-foods in such as way that it would be hard for any pet to change from one brand to another.

This time, our pets share a similar fate with us if they eat the same thing every single meal, every single day. We would be be greatly deprived of nutrients that our bodies need. Especially if we eat processed foods. Same thing with our dogs. If we feed them processed dog food every time, then they would also be deprived of the necessary nutrients needed by their bodies to function well.

Common sense dictates that there not a single food that contains all the necessary nutrients needed by our bodies. Feeding our dogs raw chicken meat and bones today, for instance, then raw lamb meat and bones (and few organs every other day) will not cause any problems in a dog’s digestion. And, as mentioned before, dogs are carnivores, so feeding them cooked grain food will just not be beneficial to them, like some people believe they do.

Dogs need optimal nutrition which can only be supplied by natural food. And this is something that no amount of corporate marketing can change.