Tel +27 (021) 880 1444 | Fax +27 (021) 880 0291 | P.O. Box 12602, Die Boord, Stellenbosch, 7613
I have heard that it’s best to feed dogs a grain-free diet as it can affect their digestion. Is this correct? How does it affect them and what are the alternatives? M.K.
Rev dr Alex niven replies: Wow! Here we go. The question of feeding dogs is one of the single most important topics that cross the desk of every vet.
The answer is simple
Whatever diet suits the individual dog is best. Thus, although there is a huge variation in available diets, it is only when your own dog is not reacting well to the present dietary regimen that change should be contemplated. Most dogs do very well on grain-free diets, some do not!
The more important parameters here include general wellness and particularly any movement away from a good state of health as evidenced by scratching, abnormal faeces and weight gain or loss.
When considering these factors it is important to remember that dogs need somewhere between 25 and 30% of the diet to be meat.
The vitamin content, and other factors in pre-prepared diets, is destroyed as the ambient temperature climbs above 24°C. The next time you purchase such products take a good look around at how, and where, that product is stored, and take a reasoned guess at what is happening to its vitamin and other content! Scary thought. Now you understand why there is a need for additional supplementation.
It is possible to prepare a semi-natural diet for dogs based on:
■One third of the cheapest available meat
■One third cooked grains or cereals or rice
■One third mixed leafy vegetables and salads.
All of these ingredients are by weight and may be safely frozen.
REV DR ALEX NIVEN, BVMS, MRCVS, SAVC.
He has a Veterinary Medicine and Surgery degree and is a Deacon in the Roman Catholic church. He is a member of the South African Veterinary Council and the South African Veterinary Association. He completed a classical human homeopathy course for medical practitioners in Johannesburg and, following extensive success of clinical homeopathy with animals, formulated a range of homeopathic animal products under the Eco-Vet label.
Click here to browse or order previous issues