A common question raw feeders have, “Do I need to supplement”? In my opinion the only answer is a resounding YES unless you are feeding a 100% prey diet.
The reason for the need to supplement is as follows; a dog in the wild would take down their prey and eat all of the animal (including the entrails, aka guts). When they eats the entrails they are getting nutritional value that we are not providing them when we feed a raw diet that is anything but a prey diet. They also will have a much larger variety of food in the wild then most people can provide their dogs with. The diet of these various animals varies greatly, therefore the nutritional component of the dogs diet is much more varied in the wild then we provide. A squirrel’s diet is different than a deer’s diet. A deer’s diet is different than a fox. You see where I am going with this? They get different nutritional benefits from different animals but no matter how large a variety we feed, unless we are feeding a totally prey diet, they are getting zero entrails.
Another component is that the source of what you are feeding will also carry with it a number of varying nutritional differences. A grass fed, non certified organic or human grade diet will provide a much better nutritional value than a lower grade of food. If the food source is unknown, what you are feeding is unknown.
In order to provide a fully balanced diet for a dog that is not fed a full prey diet we need to supplement. What do we need to supplement? I personally am a believer in less is more. I only supplement the basics and then if my dog has a health condition that requires additional attention I adjust my supplements accordingly.
Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes are non-negotiable in my opinion. I also supplement Vitamin E. As I stated in an earlier Blog I use Garlic as part of my Flea and Tick prevention program. There are other supplements I rotate throughout my dogs diet to vary it that have huge health benefits.
These supplements along with the proper diet will help you to ensure that your dog has a complete and balanced diet that will aid in giving him the healthiest and longest life possible.
If my dog is going to have to have a surgery I also have supplements I dose prior to the surgery, depending on the type of surgery, to help assure the best possible outcome.
If you are interested in more information on supplementation check out my “Feeding Raw 101″ class. Supplementation is covered in depth in this class. The “Feeding Raw 101″ Class is offered monthly. You can register for the class on my website in the Class/Clinics/Event section. Seating is limited for each class to ensure all questions are addressed in detail.
As always, questions and comments are welcome.