CBD Oils For Dogs Anxiety

Curing My Dogs Anxiety With Hemp Oils

picture of my dog

Last year during the 4th of July the fireworks were an absolute nightmare for my dog. She was going ballistic in the house, barking, hiding, and even peeing on the floor as she tried to understand what all that noise was about. The problem we have is that we are not far from a very large college, college housing, and an extremely festive environment. People were lighting off fireworks that could not have been legal in our city. The sounds were enormous and I don’t blame her a bit for feeling scared and confused.

Fast forward to July 4th 2018 and it was a very different story. Although we still live in the same area and still experienced the same amount of obnoxious explosions going off all night long, her reactions were much different this year thanks to a mixture of Hemp Oils for dogs we were able to give her hours before the fireworks started going off.

anxiety relief for dogs

We mixed the oils into her food and fed her dinner a few hours early. I also made her bed near the TV, put on a movie and turned the volume up to help drown out the outside noise. I laid on the floor with her and rubbed my fingers through her ears comforting her as much as I could to avoid another incident like we experienced last year. It’s amazing how a gentle touch can calm your dog. This all seemed to work well together, however the hemp oil seemed to really be the difference maker. Last year I did everything listed above and still couldn’t keep her anxiety down. This year I provided the same level of comfort and included the hemp oil in her food.

The hemp oil was cheap enough to justify trying it out. I have enough on hand to get her through any other traumatic experience she may encounter. Keeping her anxiety levels down not only protects her put protects my home and furniture. The panic that sets in when her anxiety levels spike creates a situation that literally has her running into things and knocking over pictures and lamps in the living room. Considering she is still just a puppy, I will need to continue to monitor this as she grows. It’s possible that she grows out of it, but if not I ma prepared to feed her hemp oil for any occasion to help relax her and keep panic from setting in.

How A Special Kind Of Touch Can Help Calm & Relax Your Dog

Tellington Touch, or “Ttouch” was developed by animal expert Linda Tellington Jones, who received an honorary doctorate for her work with animals. It was originally a method of training meant for horses but was adapted in the 1980’s for other animals – including our dogs. It’s now used in over 23 countries in homes, training facilities, zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers, and gets incredible results for those who know how to use it!

The Tellington Touch method is meant to strengthen the bond between human and pet while improving behavior and encouraging a willingness to learn in your dog. Though there’s more to the practice than just touch, massage is considered an important tool in achieving the desired results: a bond based on love and trust between you and your pet, and a dog who is confident, eager to learn, and loves to make his human happy! Gentle pressure, when applied correctly, can help you find a calmer, happier dog. If you’d like to try it out with your pet, you can get started trying some of the massages below.

Clouded Leopard Touch

Keep the name of this touch in mind as you practice it. It’s meant to relieve stress and improve your dog’s awareness and confidence. Your hand should rest “as light as a cloud” on your dog’s body, with the fingers slightly curved – like a leopard’s paw. With the weight of your hand in the pads of your fingers, make clockwise circles along your dog’s body.

Ear Touch

The Ear Touches are great for calming your dog – in fact, it’s effective in humans, too! Use one hand to support your dog’s head, and place the other thumb on top of your dogs ear, with the rest of your hand underneath. With gentle pressure, slide your thumb from the base of the ear to the tip. You should cover the whole ear in one or two slides. You can also use clockwise, circular motions with your thumb all over the ear, making one-and-a-quarter circles before moving your thumb.

Body Wrap

The body wrap is another tool used by Ttouch practitioners, but you may know it as the “half-wrap.” This is another method, similar to the Thundershirt, that is known to calm anxious dogs. You can learn more about the body wrap and how to do it yourself by clicking here.

Image Source: Dina Fantegrossi

 

Remember, that some dogs have “no-go” areas where they don’t tolerate touch well. Behaviors like snapping or whining when you touch your dog may also mean that he’s experiencing pain in that area, so you should check for signs of inflammation or wounds.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tellington Touch, or finding a certified practitioner near you, check out the Tellington Touch website.

Why It’s Important To Let Your Dog Sniff During Walks

Getting your dog out the door for daily exercise will always be a step in the right direction when it comes to their health and happiness.  There is a way, however, for your dog to get even more enrichment from their regular walk around the block.

While you’re busy looking at the scenery, your dog’s nose is working overtime. They walk a few feet before stopping to sniff, and then they take a few more steps to find something else worth smelling. It’s tempting to tug on the leash to keep them moving in a forward direction, but a worthwhile dog walk isn’t always measured in miles or minutes. Every now and then, it’s important to let your dog stop and smell the roses…and the fire hydrants, and that bush, and maybe even that fence post way over there.

A Dog’s Sense of Smell

While humans are mostly visual creatures, dogs are all about smells. They have millions more olfactory sensors than humans do, and they even have an extra organ, the vomeronasal organ, on the roof of their mouth for the purpose of processing smells. Their long snouts are ideal for reading “scent mail,” and they learn about the world by putting their nose to anything that seems interesting. Every tree, light pole, and pant leg is potentially covered in informative smells.

You can put your nose to the same tree your dog has been sniffing for the past minute and get nothing but a whiff of woodsy bark, but your dog picks up on a lot more. They can tell another dog recently passed through the area and approximately how long ago they were there. Not only that, they can tell the dog’s gender, what they like to eat, and what kind of mood they were in.

VCA Hospitals writes,

“When in a new territory, a dog can sniff a tree and determine what other dogs live in the neighborhood. They can smell a visitor’s pant-leg and get a good impression of where the person lives and whether he has pets at home.”

The team at Ahimsa Dog Training compares asking a dog to not sniff during a walk to be the same as asking a person to walk around wearing a blindfold. Dogs rely on their noses to tell them important things about the world, and the time they spend on their walks is time spent catching up on the neighborhood news.

The Mental Benefits of Sniffing

All dogs need regular exercise to stay physically healthy. Going on walks is especially important for high-energy dogs. Without somewhere to put their building enthusiasm, their surplus energy bubbles over and turns into unwanted behaviors like chewing and being generally unmanageable. A long walk or run seems like the only way to deplete a young dog’s abundance of energy, but physical exercise isn’t the only way to satisfy their needs. If you really want to tire out your dog, you need to enrich both their body and mind at the same time.

Sniffing a particular scent and then interpreting the accompanying information is the canine version of a mental work out. They won’t be running miles or building up muscles, but being mentally engaged is equally important.

Continental Kennel Club says,

“The effort it takes to sort and identify individual elements of an odor requires a lot of work. It’s a little like us trying to solve a tough logic problem—the required mental energy is tiring.”

Getting your dog to exercise their brain will stave off cognitive decline once they reach old age and keep them from chewing up your shoes when they’re young and eager for entertainment. A walk where they’re allowed to sniff until they’re mentally content is the perfect opportunity to address both your dog’s physical and mental needs.

A Freeing Feeling

Dogs are dependent on their owners, and along with regular meals and a place to call home, that arrangement comes with a good deal of confinement. Their movements are restricted by fences and leashes, they sit when they’re told to sit, they eat what they’re told to eat, and they walk when their owner decides it’s time. They’re even told when they’re allowed to go to the bathroom.

Your four-legged family member has almost no control over their life, and that feeling of constantly being constrained can play its toll on their mental health. Research shows total lack of freedom often leads to stress, anxiety, and depression. According to Pet Dog Trainers of Europe,

“Being able to make choices gives a dog self-confidence and a feeling of self-reliance. If they have no choices at all, they don’t have the possibility to avoid or relieve stress. Studies have shown this can lead to depression and learned helplessness. A dog in this state has ‘shut down’ and no longer makes any attempt to improve his situation.”

It’s not always a bad thing for people to guide their dogs through life. Most of the time, it’s a matter of safety—like not letting your dog run off-leash in an uncontrolled area. There are also situations where a dog’s decision would be inappropriate—like their decision to pee on the couch or rummage through your neighbor’s open garage.

Too much control, however, can negatively affect your dog. A daily walk is your chance to give your dog some slack and let them make decisions on their own. If they want to spend five whole minutes sniffing every inch of a fire hydrant, let them. It’s a small decision in the grand scheme of things, but the chance to choose will do a great deal of good for their mental health. If you spend every step of every walk forcing your dog to heel by your side and making every decision on which way you turn, you could be adding to their stress when you want to be relieving it.

Your Walk Solution

If your dog had their choice all the time, they’d probably zigzag their way through the neighborhood stopping every few feet and going wherever their nose decides to take them. That’s okay sometimes, but even the best pet parents can’t accommodate a long sniff-filled walk every day. If you only have time for a quick trip down the road and back, do your dog a favor and focus on mental enrichment instead of distance traveled. Depending on your dog’s abilities, a 15-minute walk won’t do much to tire them out physically, but that same amount of time spent sniffing and processing scents will satisfy their need for mental enrichment.

Remember, walking the dog is supposed to be about the dog, not you. It’s okay to hurry them along sometimes, and running is better when you’re not stopping every five feet, but don’t underestimate the benefits of a good “sniff walk.”

8 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is In Pain

Chances are, you know your dog’s mannerisms and behaviors pretty darn well, and you can tell when they’re excited, hungry, scared, and the like. But signs of pain can be less obvious, especially if it’s a new symptom and they’re exhibiting a behavior that you’re not used to seeing.

If your pup is showing one or more of the signs below, it’s best to call your vet for a check-up. Whether the issue is minor or major, your loyal companion doesn’t deserve to live in pain any longer than he or she has to. You know your dog best, and if something seems “off,” it’s better to be safe than sorry!

1. Excessive Grooming

Dogs naturally groom their fur, paws, and some personal areas, but if they seem to be doing it constantly or obsessively, it could be a sign that something is hurting. It can also indicate itchy and uncomfortable skin allergies, especially if it’s around the feet, and dogs can even lick or chew themselves raw.

However, this can be a sign of internal pain, too. Katie Finley, a writer and dog trainer, explains:

“Pets will often groom places that are sources of pain in hopes to clean and care for the wound, even if there is no open wound present. Be sure to keep an eye on the area and inspect it gently.”

2. Poor Coat Quality

On the other end of the spectrum, dogs who aren’t feeling well may stop grooming themselves as thoroughly as they used to. This is because something is causing them discomfort, and it’s possible that they can’t reach certain without feeling pain.

3. Heavy or Shallow Panting

Our pups pant for multiple reasons, like to cool down when it’s hot out or after exercise, or even when they’re stressed. But if your pooch starts panting heavily for seemingly no reason, it could be a sign that he is in pain. Likewise, if his panting becomes shallow — as if it’s difficult or hurts to breathe — this symptom should not be ignored. Check out How To Tell If Your Dog’s Panting Isn’t Normal for more information.

4. Inappetence

If your pooch stops eating, especially if she’s usually a chow hound, you should call your vet sooner than later. Inappetence can be the result of anything from an upset tummy, to cancer, to a sore limb that’s making it difficult to enjoy a meal. What’s more, they could be in too much pain to make it over to their food bowl.

5. Avoidance or Aggressiveness

When an animal starts avoiding their loved ones or lashing out in a manner that’s out of character, something is probably wrong. They may avoid being touched because it hurts or is uncomfortable, and they have no other way of letting you know.

6. Inability To Get Comfortable

It’s normal for dogs to circle and even scratch at their bed before laying down and getting cozy. But if your dog keeps spinning, or seems like they cannot settle, they may be hurting and simply can’t find a way to get comfortable.

7. Constipation

Constipation can be a sign of many different issues. One possibility is that it hurts to squat, and another is that going to the bathroom has become painful. Finley says:

“Back and hip pain can lead to constipation in dogs because it can be very uncomfortable to get in the proper squatting position. If you notice your dog suddenly seems constipated or cries out when going to the bathroom, there’s a good chance that they’re in pain. “

8. Behavior Changes

You know your dog’s personality, routine, and habits, so if something seems strange or odd to you — no matter how minor it is — it’s always best to check with the vet. Aside from sudden avoidance, aggressiveness, or obvious limping, some more subtle changes in behavior may include:

  • Avoiding stairs, jumping, or climbing
  • Increased stiffness
  • Arching of the back
  • Different laying positions (for instance, a dog who usually sleeps curled up in his bed may start laying flat on his side if he’s in pain)
  • Slower to move or get up
  • Disinterested in things he used to love (walks, food, greeting you at the door)
  • Accidents in the house (it may be too painful to get up, or it could be something else)
  • Different / odd sounding bark

Dogs of all ages can experience pain for any number of reasons, from illnesses to accidents. It’s likely that at some point in your pup’s life, they’ll get stiff and achy as they age. But if you pay close attention and trust your instincts, you’ll be able to help ease your companion’s discomfort by finding a solution as quickly as possible. After all, they’d do the same for you, and in their own way, they do — by making each day brighter!

How To Get The Most From Your Senior Dog’s Vet Appointment

As our dogs age, their health needs and problems change, too. As your dog approaches his senior years, vet visits are likely to change as a result. Each vet visit is an opportunity to find out how your dog’s health is doing and how you can help him live for many more healthy, happy years. It does take a little bit of preparation, but we’re here to help you get the most from your senior dog’s vet appointment.

When you make the appointment, ask if you should do or bring anything.

You may be asked to bring a urine or fecal sample, or you may be asked to fast your dog for 12 hours before the appointment. They should tell you these things when you make the appointment, but people get busy and may forget, so be sure to ask before you hang up the phone so you don’t wind up needing to come back at a later date or time with the things you need.

Bring medical records and medication, supplement, and vitamin information

This is especially important when you’re seeing a new vet, but it never hurts to bring this information to every appointment. If you have added or changed any supplements or vitamins in your dog’s routine, your vet will need that information.

Know your dog’s diet

Be prepared to answer questions about what, how much, and how often you feed your dog. Your vet may suggest changing your dog’s food to a senior formula, for example, or if your dog is overweight they may suggest that you feed less of what you’re currently feeding.

Bring a mat or a blanket

If your dog has aching, arthritic joints, lying on cold linoleum while you’re waiting to be seen can be painful. Consider bringing a mat or a blanket for him to lie on instead.

Keep your dog leashed while waiting

Even if your dog is calm and friendly at the vet, not every dog is the same. Keeping every dog on a leash helps prevent problems in the waiting room.

Be prepared to answer and ask questions.

Your vet will likely ask you lots of questions about your dog’s recent behavior, and you should be prepared to ask plenty of questions also. A vet appointment shouldn’t be just about examining your dog – it should include a long talk about the current state of his health, how it may change, what changes to look for, and how to keep him healthy as long as possible. Here are some questions you should consider asking at your senior dog’s vet visit.

At what age is my dog considered “senior”?

The old wisdom was that one dog year equaled 7 human years, but that isn’t entirely accurate. A dog is considered “senior” in the last quarter of their life. Since different sizes and breeds of dogs have different average lifespans, the age your dog is considered a senior will vary. Large and giant breeds can be considered senior as young as 6 years old, while toy breeds might not be considered senior until they’re 12. Ask your vet at what age he would consider your dog a senior since senior dogs have different health requirements than adult dogs.

Is there a difference between a senior dog health check and an adult health check?

As your dog ages, your vet may want to order more or different testing for your dog when you come in for appointments. Ask him what to expect going forward.

What health risks are common in senior dogs?

Just like humans, dogs are prone to many health problems as they age. Half of all dogs over the age of 10 will be diagnosed with cancer. Diabetes, kidney, and heart problems are also conditions that can manifest in senior dogs. Your vet may know of diseases that are more common in your breed of dog and what symptoms you should be on the lookout for.

How often should my dog come in?

While many adult dogs are fine with just one vet visit per year, your vet may recommend that your senior dog starts coming in twice a year. If your dog has a chronic health problem, he may need to come in even more frequently than that.

How is my dog’s weight?

Obesity is a big problem in our pets these days, with nearly half the dogs in this country considered overweight. Carrying around a few extra pounds can increase strain on arthritic joints and increase your dog’s likelihood of developing certain diseases, so it’s crucial to know how your dog’s weight is. Also, some diseases can cause weight gain or loss, so it’s important to have a baseline weight on your dog for your vet to notice any fluctuations.

How are my dog’s hips?

Many large and giant breeds are prone to hip dysplasia. The earlier you can catch it, the better you can manage it. If your vet doesn’t specifically check your dog’s hips, ask him to check them out.

Does my dog have arthritis?

As with people, arthritis is a common problem with aging dogs. The pain of arthritis can be managed with things like supplements, medication, and orthopedic dog beds, but you won’t be able to manage your dog’s pain if you aren’t aware that he’s experiencing any.

Is our exercise routine OK?

If your dog is overweight, he may need more exercise. If your dog is slowing down due to arthritis or hip dysplasia, he may need less or gentler exercise.

How is my dog’s diet?

Your vet may recommend that you change your dog’s diet as he ages. Senior dogs may have different nutritional needs than younger dogs, especially if they’re dealing with any chronic illnesses.

Does my dog need supplements?

Based on your dog’s overall health, your vet may recommend supplements such as an omega-3, glucosamine and chondroitin, or a probiotic. Ask your vet about the pros and cons of each supplement before deciding what’s best for your dog.

Do you need a blood, urine, or fecal sample?

Each of these tests will show something different, and your vet may or may not want to run various tests to help determine your dog’s overall health level.

What vaccinations does my dog need, and how often?

On the one hand, senior dogs have weaker immune systems and may need extra protection against certain illnesses. On the other hand, they may already have a lifetime’s worth of immunity from getting vaccinations every year, and the risk of administering additional vaccines (beyond rabies, which is usually mandatory) may outweigh the benefit.

How are his teeth and ears?

80% of dogs over the age of 4 show some level of periodontal disease. Having bad teeth can affect more than just his mouth – bacteria from inflamed gums can enter your dog’s bloodstream and affect his organs, including his heart. Your dog may need a dental cleaning under anesthesia to help remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria to help maintain his oral and overall health. On the other hand, the risk of anesthesia becomes greater as your dog ages, so your vet may not recommend a full cleaning under anesthesia.

Mild to moderate ear infections can go unnoticed by owners, but they can be uncomfortable for your dog, so make sure your vet takes a minute to peek inside his ears to check them out.

Is it normal for him to be slowing down?

Age itself is not a disease. If your dog is slowing down, it is likely a symptom of something else, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. Ask your vet what might be causing your dog to slow down and what you can do about it.

Does my dog have tumors?

Tumors can hide in the craziest places that a pet owner may not notice. Some cancers are quite treatable if caught early, so ask your vet to check your dog thoroughly for tumors while you’re there.

Is it a good idea to add a new pet?

You may think your dog would love to have a friend to keep him company as he ages, but he may develop hearing loss, pain, or other factors that will make your dog less receptive to a new addition. Ask your vet if he thinks your dog would benefit or suffer from a new pet in the household.

How can I improve my dog’s quality of life?

Your vet may have plenty of suggestions on how to improve, or at least maintain, your dog’s overall quality of health.

(H/T: Caring For a Senior Dog, Petcha, Pet Care Rx)

Why does my dog smell like corn chips?

dog on bed

If your dog has never smelled like corn chips then that probably sounds like a completely ridiculous question. She’s finally lost it. But I would bet my bottom dollar that at least half of you thought “YES! Why does my dog smell like corn chips?!”

I have to confess that I secretly kind of like it. My dog is at his most Dorito-y when he first wakes up, and I love our cheesy morning cuddles.

Unfortunately for many dogs that weird smell that I’ve come to love is actually a symptom of an imbalance in the body and it may be causing them significant discomfort. If it’s coupled with  reddish brown discolouration around the paws, armpits, eyes, ears and mouth, then I’m afraid you have a yeasty dog. Probably also a very itchy dog. Poor poppet.

This is an incredibly common ailment among animals fed processed commercial pet foods because these foods literally feed the problem. All dogs produce yeast and it lives in and on the body in even the healthiest of animals. Similar to how there are good bacteria and bad bacteria, yeast is not inherently bad and it makes up a part of your dog’s natural flora. But if things start to go a little off kilter, yeast can get a big too big for its boots and before you know it you have a full blown yeast infection on your hands. If you’ve been unfortunate enough, you may have experienced this personally yourself. It’s not nice (ladies, am I right?).

The reason processed foods contribute to yeast overgrowths in our pets is because they are generally very high in starch. Yes, even the grain free ones. It’s not possible to make a dried dog food without starch. You could end up with a big bag of powder. So while grain free dog foods do often contain higher quality ingredients with less allergens (like wheat), they are usually still around 50% carbohydrates, AKA… you guessed it. Starch. During digestion all of this starch is broken down into sugars. Yeast feeds on sugar.

Feeding your dog a carbohydrate rich, dehydrated and highly processed diet is the fastest way to upset their gut microbiome so that the balance of good and bad bacteria is askew and yeast is given the opportunity to thrive. My number one recommendation to resolve this issue is, of course, to transition them to an animal nutritionist approved homemade fresh diet, which will almost always resolve the problem naturally. If you’re not quite ready for that, I would begin with my free 7 Days to Fresh Food Toolkit, which will give you my top tips for introducing probiotic rich, gut healing fresh nutrients to your dog’s diet.

Arrivederci, nacho-feet.

The post Why does my dog smell like corn chips? appeared first on Clare Kearney // Canine Nutritionist.

Squeezing the Juice – For Your Dog

vegetable-juice-dogs

The single factor that stands between me and glowing skin, a svelte figure and weekly juice cleanses is that my juicer is so bloody annoying to clean. Honestly. I love fresh vegetable juice. It makes me feel like I’ve just had ten coffees and done a yoga retreat. It’s probably mostly psychological, but I love it nonetheless. I used to really struggle with the amount of waste it produced and as much as I told myself I would make dehydrated vegetable pulp crackers, we both know that never happened. Although I did once make raw carrot cakes and they were delicious. But now that I have a dog-come-garbage disposal, I no longer have this issue.

Raw vegetable pulp from my juicer is my absolute favourite way to feed plant matter to my dog. It ticks all my boxes: it’s raw, it’s processed in a way that means he obtains maximum nutrient benefits from it, it’s low in sugar, he gets a variety of different nutrients from different sources, it utilises waste and of course he loves it.

I’ve discussed it many times previously (like here + here) but dogs don’t produce the necessary enzymes to effectively digest plant matter, because it is not a food they are designed to digest. This is the number one issue with processed pet foods. There are many, but being biologically inappropriate is definitely up near the top. They also have the ability to synthesise vitamins C + K, so theoretically they don’t have a lot of need for things like carrots and leafy greens, especially if they are eating a varied, species appropriate diet.

Theoretically.

But this is reality and times they are a changin’. Realistically, the way we go about agricultural farming nowadays, what we feed our livestock, the nutrient depletion of our soil, the environmental toxin load of our daily lives – all of these things impact our pets and their ability to heal themselves from the inside. This is a major factor in why I advocate for the addition of whole food supplements in a homemade canine diet, and vegetables are one of the most easily accessible, nutritious and well tolerated choices. They improve digestion, boost the immune system and fill nutrient gaps that are commonly present in a homemade diet.

Now I know you’re probably thinking that vegetable juice pulp is just what’s left over after I’ve extracted all of the nutrients for myself, but bear with me. Generally I will set aside some of the juice to recombine with the pulp so my dog is also getting some of the concentrated nutrients, but reducing the amount of juice he receives allows me to manage his sugar intake. I also often mix this juice + pulp into another nutritious food he loves, like unsweetened probiotic yogurt, a whole organic egg, or a serving of homemade bone broth. This turns the humble vegetable juice pulp into a veritable doggie multivitamin.

My favourite juice recipe for both of us is as follows (give or take):

1 beetroot

4 carrots

4 stalks of celery

a cucumber

1 apple

a good knob of ginger

Finish with squeeze of lemon juice

veggie-juice-dogs

If you want to learn how you can start introducing other fresh foods to your dog’s diet today, download my FREE 7 Days to Fresh Food Toolkit.

The post Squeezing the Juice – For Your Dog appeared first on Clare Kearney // Canine Nutritionist.

Why should I feed plants to my carnivore?

green-cauliflower-leaves

Good question, glad you asked.

There are definitely different schools of thought among “raw feeders” when it comes to feeding plant matter to dogs. If you’re brave enough to tackle the comments sections of raw feeding Facebook groups (braver than I!) you will find many, many people arguing that dogs are carnivores who do not need plant matter and would not have eaten plant matter in the wild. They’ll tell you that wolves do not eat the stomach contents of their prey, as if this is all the evidence you could possibly need to immediately stop giving your dog anything that didn’t once have a face. Put down the carrot, Clare. This issue alone deserves a seperate post unto itself.

At an educated guess, I’d say there are a few reasons wolves don’t eat the stomach contents of their prey. Canines are opportunistic scavengers; they’re not omnivores in the true sense. They will seek out the nutrients in plant matter when they feel they need it, or when other prey is in short supply. Clearly if they are feasting on prey and they have the option of consuming the stomach contents, prey is not in short supply. If they are feasting on prey, plant matter is also not what they are seeking out at that time and nutritionally may not be what they require at that time. A wolf who doesn’t eat the stomach content of their prey, may at a later time eat some grass. And depending on what stage of digestion the stomach contents is at, there may be few nutrients left in it.

It’s also generally accepted that they DO eat the stomach lining and intestinal walls, which contain huge amounts of good bacteria and digestive enzymes. This is why green tripe is considered such a wonder food. But not everyone has access to green tripe, and the human grade meat available to most is stripped of all of this yummy, weird, nutritional goodness. I can’t remember the last time I saw an unwashed rectum at my butcher.

At the end of the day though, aren’t we feeding our dogs a fresh diet because we want them to be as healthy as possible? Why would I follow arbitrary rules regarding what wolves may or may not eat in the wild when I know that the kelpie currently curled up at the foot of my bed can benefit nutritionally from plant matter added to his diet? Yes, he eats around 80% meat, bones, organs, fish and fats. But he also gets fermented dairy and sauerkraut for probiotics, blended green veggies for prebiotics, starchy vegetables for added fibre and stool bulk, smoothies for a quick fix version of all of the aforementioned, tahini for manganese and supergreens powder for trace minerals.

No matter how many people in the comments section of a Facebook group tell you otherwise, pretty much all of the key figures in the field of canine nutrition (your Karen Beckers and Ian Billinghursts of the world) agree that suitable plant matter provides important, often critical, nutritional benefits and should be included in a balanced homemade diet. I’m proud to join their ranks.

To learn how you can start safely introducing plant matter to your dog’s diet today, download my FREE 7 Days to Fresh Food Toolkit.

The post Why should I feed plants to my carnivore? appeared first on Clare Kearney // Canine Nutritionist.