Monday, September 13, 2010

Paula Terifaj D.V.M.'s article, GREAT READ

Fab article!!!!

Home Cooking: The Alternative to Pet Foods

Rose on chair.
Rose on her favorite chair.
After 10 years of practicing traditional medicine in my veterinary practice, I slowly discovered that health was not to be found in my drug cabinet or inside the many bags of prescription diets stacked on the shelves in my hospital. As a natural health nut myself, making the change to recommending more natural diets to my patients was just a matter of time, or should I say just a matter of Rose, my new white Boxer puppy.

So it all began when my beautiful new pup began to challenge my veterinary skills to put an end to her diarrhea.

When switching her to a prescription diet failed to bring us relief, out came the medication. The pills did seem to help, but stopping them always guaranteed another episode of misery for both of us. I became even more concerned when she failed to show the proper weight gain for her age and medical diagnoses like Boxer colitis and inflammatory bowel disease started me thinking of her more like a new patient than my beloved canine pal.

Fortunately, my intuition started kicking in and I noticed that Rose was always a lot more interested in whatever I was eating and often had to be coaxed to eat whatever I was pouring into her bowl. Unable to resist the stare of her dark brown eyes, I soon started giving her real chicken, also known as "people food." Seeing how happy she was to be my new dinner guest was enough of a reward to make me challenge the number one sin of pet owners; Don't feed your dog people food!

Dr. Terifaj and Rose
Rose samples homecooked food from The DOGie Bag.

Soon Rose began to refuse the kibble (the sign of a very smart dog) and wait for our dinner hour together. Not only did her bowel problem resolve itself, but she started gaining weight. I was thrilled to cancel further medical tests I had scheduled, discard medications, and donate open bags and cans of dog food.

So, what is so bad about feeding dogs people food? Nothing! If you know how to eat a healthy, well balanced diet you can apply that same principle to feeding your dog. Only the ratio of meat to carbohydrates and size proportions will change. The problem is in thinking that dogs need to eat differently than we do and that all their nutritional needs can be scientifically formulated and packaged into neat little bags. No freshness, no variety and no taste. Does that sound like good nutrition?

Worse yet is that pet food manufacturers are allowed to buy meat and grains that are rejected by the U.S.D.A. for human consumption. Our government has protected us from eating harmful foodstuffs, but the same protection does not apply to our pets! It is time we invite our hungry hounds back into our kitchens. If you can boil water, you can become a dog chef too! See the simple feeding guidelines below and start cooking for your hungry hound too!

Chow for now,

Paula Terifaj D.V.M.

Daily Feeding Guidelines for a 20 Pound Dog


skinless chicken
brown rice
peas & carrots
salt substitute (potassium chloride)
vegetable oil*
calcuim citrate
daily multiple vitamin/mineral supplement

*best recommendation: Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend by Flora (essential fatty acids) Available at Use code TER129 for discount.

1/4 lb meat
1 cup cooked
1/2 to 1 cup
1/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon
250 mg
subject to label instructions

Food Type: Select One: Amount:
Meat protein source
(Best to vary proteins and try non-meat protein sources.)
skinless chicken
boneless fish
lean ground turkey or beef
1/4 to 1/3 lb
Non-meat protein source cooked eggs - any style
low-fat cottage cheese
3-4 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cups
Carbohydrate source brown or white rice
yams or sweet potatoes
1-2 cups cooked

Vegetable source (optional)

Offer your dog a variety of veggies. Fresh or frozen is preferred over canned.

green beans
1/2 to 1 cup (cook for best absorption)

Add these supplements: Dosage:
Bonemeal powder or calcium citrate (a source of calcium) must be provided when feeding meat to prevent a calcium deficiency 1/2 tsp or 250 mg
Daily multiple vitamin/mineral. Use either a vet recommended supplement or 1/4 human adult dose.

Special Notes:
  • Use as a feeding guideline ONLY. Recipe can be halfed for a 10 pound dog or doubled for a 40 pound dog.
  • You MUST check your pet’s weight often. Adjust food amounts up or down to keep your pet at his or her ideal body weight! Ask your vet to determine your pet's ideal body weight.

No comments: