Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Study of Dog Nutrition Ended with Interesting Results

When we got our dog, Mac, 2 1/2 weeks ago we decided that since we have a dog we ought to take good care of him and feed him good foods to keep him as healthy as possible. The day we got him we researched dog food and what we should purchase for him and found out that the first ingredient in a dog food should be a meat such as beef, lamb, or chicken and not corn meal or meat meal. So with this important information we went to purchase dog food and spent 30 minutes looking at labels. Most of the dog food in stores does not contain meat as the first ingredient. After reading every puppy food label there we made a decision and purchased a 20 pound bag.

This Sunday John David did some more pet food research and found this amazing site Pet Grub. This website is about feeding dogs raw meat and vegetables because that is what their bodies are designed for. We read through a lot of the information on the site and decided that we were going to give it a try.

Yesterday Mac didn't touch his breakfast and wouldn't eat it at lunch and his little stomach growled and gurgled all day long. I was worried all afternoon thinking he has eaten something (he is in that stage of putting everything in his mouth) and I felt so bad. Well, when John David got home he decided to try one of the recipes. A puppy needs 3 part protein to 1 part vegetable so he boiled an egg following these instructions: Preparing Eggs. He put green beans in our food processor to puree them and then mixed the green beans and egg and fed them to Mac and after not touching his food all day he ate every last bit of it! And his stomach noises went away! (John David said he must have heard us talking about switching the night before and was holding out for the good stuff!) This morning we gave him chopped raw deer meat and green beans and he ate every bit of that too!

We were a little worried about him getting sick with the transition but it's been almost 24 hours since the first meal and he hasn't gotten sick or shown any sign of sickness!!

As we were researching for the dog and his nutritional needs, I reflected about what little thought I put into our nutritional needs everyday. I take my vitamin and don't fry foods very much and try to avoid most processed foods but I still don't purchase fruits and vegetables regularly and make it a point to eat these good foods. I think it is ironic that we focus so much on our animal's health and nutritional well being and neglect ours, farmers are all about balanced rations for their cattle, horses, chickens and many pet owners care enough to read the labels of their dog foods but we don't even read the labels for our foods, we just order that cheeseburger at McDonalds, or drink a Route 44 Dr. Pepper at Sonic, and can go for days without eating a fresh vegetable or fruit.

So, thanks to our dog, I have really put some thought into our eating habits and plan to do much better at meeting our nutritional needs. In fact, yesterday I started a "sugar fast," meaning I am only drinking water and a glass of unsweetened juice in the morning, I am not eating sweets (candy, cookies, cake) for a least a week. (It's been surprisingly easy for me so far especially considering my sweet tooth!!) Today while I was at the grocery store I stocked up on apples, grapes, yogurt, and grape fruit in an attempt to make small steps to better eating. I plan to add fresh vegetables to our meal plans especially since my husband's Mamaw gave us a steamer for Christmas, perfect to cook the vegetables without removing most of their nutrients! We will also grow a garden this summer to have fresh produce not only for us but also for our dog!

Just take a moment and think about what you put in your body on a daily basis and the things you do not. I think you will be surprised about how you eat, like I was.

So, isn't it interesting how getting a new dog has lead us to take better care of ourselves? I certainly think it is!


Just Me said...

I am so encouraged to see someone else trying to follow a self-health path in eating. My two sisters, mother and I have all decided to encourage and support each other in 2009 towards healthier eating. With that, we have each purchased a copy of "Eat This, Not That" which goes through (and shows pictures for easy reference) supermarket foods, etc, etc. It's amazing what we think is "healthy" and what really isn't. I'm off to Vons tomorrow to talk to the manager to see if I can trade in 15 (yes, 15) boxes of Smart Start cereal I stocked up on during a super sale for something MUCH healthier. Good luck and look forward to reading more about your healthy choices!