Did dogs live longer years ago when they ate real food? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Did dogs live longer years ago when they ate real food?

My sister forwarded to me today this great article that makes the case for fresh food vs processed dog food. http://well.org/green-living/healthy-food-pets/

This comment caught my eye: "Since the food industry sale dog and catfood, these poor animals age very fast. For 20-30 years ago dogs and cats came to en age of 20 years, today your vet will tell you that your dog /cat is old when it has reached 10 years. Additionally do these poor animals have the same deseases as human beings."

...

I tried to find research to back this up but couldn't. In fact, pet life spans seem to have increased over the decades. Anyone know of evidence to support the above comment? some think the increase in life span is due not to any dietary changes but to neutering and increased medical interventions. Perhaps a real food diet will increase life span even more?

We bring our sweet little puppy home in 2 weeks. She's currently being fed kibble. I like the idea of giving her both kibble meals and fresh food meals. or should I skip the kibble? We have to travel a lot and plan on bringing our pup with us so it seems like a good idea to have the easy option of eating kibble during these times. any potential problems with this plan?

How quickly after you got your puppy did you make the transition to fresh food?

This forum is fabulous, lots of great tips. love it!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gateau View Post
My sister forwarded to me today this great article that makes the case for fresh food vs processed dog food. http://well.org/green-living/healthy-food-pets/

This comment caught my eye: "Since the food industry sale dog and catfood, these poor animals age very fast. For 20-30 years ago dogs and cats came to en age of 20 years, today your vet will tell you that your dog /cat is old when it has reached 10 years. Additionally do these poor animals have the same deseases as human beings."

...

I tried to find research to back this up but couldn't. In fact, pet life spans seem to have increased over the decades. Anyone know of evidence to support the above comment? some think the increase in life span is due not to any dietary changes but to neutering and increased medical interventions. Perhaps a real food diet will increase life span even more?

We bring our sweet little puppy home in 2 weeks. She's currently being fed kibble. I like the idea of giving her both kibble meals and fresh food meals. or should I skip the kibble? We have to travel a lot and plan on bringing our pup with us so it seems like a good idea to have the easy option of eating kibble during these times. any potential problems with this plan?

How quickly after you got your puppy did you make the transition to fresh food?

This forum is fabulous, lots of great tips. love it!
You are likely to read as many opinions on food as there are dog owners. The fact is that kibble is a very recent invention in the scheme of dog/human relationship. It is also a fact that dogs are largely scavengers, NOT primarily predators. This makes dogs capable of digesting many things that an obligate carnivore (like a cat) cannot. That said, there are good kibbles out there, and there are there are dogs who live long, healthy lives on kibble. (I have a friend whose Lab x is 19, and has lived on kibble all his life!)

We have a LOT of food options these days, from raw, to commercial raw, to home-made diets (be careful with these… they can be great, but MUST be properly balanced!!!) to freeze-dried raw to canned to kibble.

Do a lot of reading and decide for yourself what food (or combination of foods) will work best for your pet and your life style, then don't fret over it!

I used a freeze-dried mix that was meant to be mixed with your own meat (raw or cooked… I cooked it) for quite a while. Unfortunately, Kodi developed some allergies, and needs to be on a limited ingredient diet. That means I need to either make it completely by myself, or use commercial food that is available in limited ingredient formulas. I chose a brand we have here in the U.S, that it processed locally, contains no ingredients from China (very important!) and is available in limited ingredient formulas in both canned and kibble. Kodi gets kibble in the morning, because my husband likes to feed him, and doesn't like to fuss. He gets canned in the evening, with his supplements. I buy the big cans, but the same formula is available in small cans, so it would be easy to travel with!


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Karen! It'll be helpful to keep in mind that dogs are scavengers and not obligate carnivores. We're mostly a vegetarian household and like the idea of feeding our dog a mostly veggie diet. I'm planning on giving our dog some healthy human food but also liked hearing that you have a friend whose dog lived a long life on kibble. So, I'll try not to fret. I'll choose a mix of a diet (great to know of all those options -- commercial raw sounds interesting!), monitor her health, and go from there!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 06:56 AM
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Thanks Karen! It'll be helpful to keep in mind that dogs are scavengers and not obligate carnivores. We're mostly a vegetarian household and like the idea of feeding our dog a mostly veggie diet. I'm planning on giving our dog some healthy human food but also liked hearing that you have a friend whose dog lived a long life on kibble. So, I'll try not to fret. I'll choose a mix of a diet (great to know of all those options -- commercial raw sounds interesting!), monitor her health, and go from there!
All of my dogs have lived their lives on kibble, some of it not very good grade kibble, in today's standards, and have lived to be almost 17, 15 and Tyler is currently over 17. For awhile he was eating Honest Kitchen which is a very good dehydrated human grade food, but it caused him to have too many stools per day, so back to kibble. You'll discover what works for you. Good luck.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 09:24 AM
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Thanks Karen! It'll be helpful to keep in mind that dogs are scavengers and not obligate carnivores. We're mostly a vegetarian household and like the idea of feeding our dog a mostly veggie diet. I'm planning on giving our dog some healthy human food but also liked hearing that you have a friend whose dog lived a long life on kibble. So, I'll try not to fret. I'll choose a mix of a diet (great to know of all those options -- commercial raw sounds interesting!), monitor her health, and go from there!
Oh, please don't misunderstand me! While dogs are scavengers, they STILL definitely need a HIGH percentage of animal protein in their diets. Except in very rare cases, it is NOT appropriate to feed dogs vegetarian diets. While some vegetable material is fine, it must be cooked for a dog to get any nutritional value from it, as dogs do not have the right digestive system to be able to break down raw vegetable matter.

If you are going with a kibble diet and want to supplement with "whole foods" the majority of that supplementation should be in the form of meat. Think of the kibble as the "lowest quality" food in the dog's diet, and supplement up from there.
My point about the 19 year old dog was only that dogs are very adaptable. I wasn't saying that this was the best way to feed a dog.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 09:55 AM
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If you plan on adding more than 15 percent of your dog's calories to a complete and commercial diet , please consider consulting a nutritionist.. ..
Dogs are carnivores All scientific evidence points towards the fact that dogs, while not true carnivores, are opportunistic, carnivorous scavengers. Cats on the other hand are true, obligate carnivores, requiring animal protein to survive. There is a difference between a carnivorous scavenger and an omnivore though - dogs lack the dental characteristics, longer digestive tract and specific enzymes of true omnivores like humans. That is the reason why they can not digest grains and vegetables unless they are "predigested" by processing, mincing/grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria. Once converted, they are fully available to the dog.

This does, however, not mean that your dog will thrive on a diet mainly made up of poor quality grains or grain fragments, which is what most cheap foods are. Whole grains, including their entire complement of nutrients are much more valuable - and this does not only apply for a dog's diet, but for humans as well!

another article http://homemadedogfood.com/what-are-...signed-to-eat/

Ellen DeGeneres is wrong

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites...-dog-food.aspx

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Sandypaws for the good luck!

No worries, Karen, I understood what you meant by the 19 year old dog. I also didn't think you were endorsing a vegetarian diet for dogs. Even though I'm mostly a vegetarian (I only eat fish once a month or so), I'm more than happy to buy meat for our dog but I can understand your concern. I did write that I was considering a "mostly vegetarian" diet for him. However, I was thinking maybe a bit more than 50% veggie. Of course, this would include plant based protein, not just carrots and cucumbers. I'm still at the beginning of my research so this could easily change to 10% veggie or less. There are a lot of different opinions out there as you say and I'm sure a lot of conflicting scientific research, just as there is for human nutrition. I'm looking forward to learning more about all of this.

Dave: thanks for the tip and the interesting article. Yes, a nutritionist is a good idea. I think the vet that I found does nutritional consulting as well. I'll find out if she's certified.

The reason why I'm considering more than 50% veggie diet is because I came across this lovely article yesterday that talked about two of the longest lived dogs, one who was a meat eater and the other who was a vegetarian. However, I think both ate fresh foods. here's the link for anyone who is interested. It's a quick read ... http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=431

I am interested in hearing about other people's experiences with their dogs. Are there any vegetarian havs here?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Just now when I did a search to find the article that I had read yesterday, I came across this one first. It refers to the same two dogs that lived to be 27 and 29 years old but also has some other interesting tips on helping dogs live healthy, long lives. http://k91training.tripod.com/id24.html
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 05:52 PM
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Thanks Sandypaws for the good luck!

No worries, Karen, I understood what you meant by the 19 year old dog. I also didn't think you were endorsing a vegetarian diet for dogs. Even though I'm mostly a vegetarian (I only eat fish once a month or so), I'm more than happy to buy meat for our dog but I can understand your concern. I did write that I was considering a "mostly vegetarian" diet for him. However, I was thinking maybe a bit more than 50% veggie. Of course, this would include plant based protein, not just carrots and cucumbers. I'm still at the beginning of my research so this could easily change to 10% veggie or less. There are a lot of different opinions out there as you say and I'm sure a lot of conflicting scientific research, just as there is for human nutrition. I'm looking forward to learning more about all of this.

Dave: thanks for the tip and the interesting article. Yes, a nutritionist is a good idea. I think the vet that I found does nutritional consulting as well. I'll find out if she's certified.

The reason why I'm considering more than 50% veggie diet is because I came across this lovely article yesterday that talked about two of the longest lived dogs, one who was a meat eater and the other who was a vegetarian. However, I think both ate fresh foods. here's the link for anyone who is interested. It's a quick read ... http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=431

I am interested in hearing about other people's experiences with their dogs. Are there any vegetarian havs here?
I would not recommend a vet unless they are vet nutritionist.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
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