Balance, Variety & Moderation
When we cook for ourselves and our family, we follow three fundamental principles of nutrition. We don’t have to think about them, the chances are we’ve never been taught them, but we follow them all the same. As professors Marion Nestle and Malden C Nesheim say in their best selling book Feed Your Pet Right, “it is extremely difficult to induce a nutritional deficiency in animals – or people – who follow those principles.”
Those principles are Balance, Variety & Moderation, and the key to their success is that you have to follow all three principles at the same time. You do that for yourself and your family. There is no reason why you can’t do the same for your dog.
Balance entails getting all the nutrients required by your dog into his or her diet and in the right proportions. Those nutrients are obtain by balancing the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, whole grains, calcium and supplemental herbs and spices.
Variety, as the word suggests, necessitates getting as much variety as possible into your dog’s diet. The more varied the diet, the wider the range of nutrients you give your best friend, the healthier his or her diet is likely to be. Different protein sources offer different nutritional benefits, just as do different fruits and different vegetables. Add them all together and you get a complete range of vitamins and minerals without artificial supplementation with man-made, chemical-based and unnatural supplements.
Moderation entails feeding just the right amount so that your dog maintains a healthy weight taking into account his or her age, lifestyle, overall health and activity level.
The commercial dog food industry does not like being reminded of the fact that mass produced commercial dog food is little more than 150 years old. Even then, prior to the end of the Second World War some 70 years ago, most dogs in the UK were home fed to a greater or lesser extent.
For hundreds and in the case of some breeds, thousands of years, dogs flourished and breeds were developed and improved on homemade food using the principles of Balance, Variety and Moderation.
The Afghan Hound, the Akita Inu, the Alaskan Malamute, the Basenji, the Chow Chow, the Lhasa Apso, the Pekinese and the Saluki, all are thousands of years old. Many of our favourite modern breeds are hundreds of years old. Every one of them was selectively bred and enhanced, not with commercial dog food, but with homemade dog food by owners and breeders who followed those three basic principles of nutrition.
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