Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book of the Month

My pick for Book of the Month for February is "Giver Your Dog a Bone" by Dr. Ian Billinghurst. As I've mentioned previously, I feed both of my dogs a raw diet. When you're first starting out it can be very overwhelming as to how to go about it, what you should or should not do, and what exactly do you feed. As with a lot of information on raw feeding that's out there, Billinghurst does go into the "evils" of feeding kibble. While I will never feed my dogs a kibble diet again (although I do use kibble pieces as training treats!), I'm not completely on board with the whole scare tactic method of getting people to feed raw. If you want to feed raw, great! If not, that's your decision. Personally, I like having more control over what my dogs eat. And it's a lot of fun to feed them! Not necessarily fun to bag the meat up every three months, but I get over that!

The author also kind of breaks down the general "food groups" of raw feeding. There's an explanation on raw meaty bones. A description of what part plain meat plays in the diet. Where organ meat fits into the whole scheme of things. And then a discussion on the benefits of also including fruits and vegetables in the diet. If you're not entirely familiar with raw feeding, this is a form of the diet that is more often called the BARF diet. It's still raw feeding, it just also includes fruits and vegetables, with more of an emphasis on the vegetables.

In addition to the different food groups of the diet, he goes into additional constituents that you CAN include if you wish to, how to include them, and in what proportions. The food that fall into this category are grains and legumes, dairy products, eggs, and table scraps.

Additionally Billinghurst talks about the various supplements that you can add to each meal. Things like alfalfa and kelp powder. He explains how different supplements can be beneficial for various different dogs. He also has a general breakdown of the amounts to give supplements in.

There's a general overview towards the end of the book of how to feed a puppy, an adult dog, and an older dog. One of the first question that most people also ask is how much to feed. He talks about this and gives some sample weekly diets.

If you are interested in starting down the road of feeding your dog a raw diet, I would definitely recommend getting and reading this book. Keep it around for future referencing! It's incredibly helpful to have something ready to hand that you can go back to when you have questions crop up.

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