Everyone has their own theory on how to feed their dogs. Here, we will tell you ours.
C2R researches nutrition for many reasons – to help dogs run more efficient in the field, to grow healthier puppies, to have longevity in our breeding stock, and to have the best looking dogs out there. As nutrition is one of the few things we can control about our dogs, we focus on it.
Studies have shown a link between gut health and Epilepsy. Epilepsy does show up from time to time in Beagles, both field and show. There are no genetic tests we can do to prevent epilepsy. In the last decade that we have been breeding Beagles, we have not had any epileptic episodes in any of our dogs that we are aware of. To help prevent epilepsy, we ensure our dogs have plenty of probiotic and enzymes to help break down their food. This has come in many forms over the years we have been doing it. Currently, we use a product called “Complete”, from www.naturesfarmacy.com. Complete contains probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and a bone supplement.
Dry dog food, “kibble”, is all made the same way, and it started years ago by the industry telling pet owners that its’ more convenient and balanced for your dog, and to not feed your dog people food. A meat source (sometimes disclosed, sometimes not – think about that for a minute) is cooked down to a powder (losing any nutritional content) and then formed into the kibble. The maker then sprays those dry kibbles with synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals. There are no regulations on dog food currently, so no one checks to see if the content in the bag matches the label on the bag. Any form of “probiotic” that is supposedly in the kibble is most likely cooked out. The best you can do is try to buy a well known brand and keep an eye on how your dog is doing on that food.
C2R adds the Complete supplement to any dry kibble we feed, and in addition, we rotate feeding Salmon Oil, sometimes an egg, and sometimes spirulina. We have specific supplements for different requirements. We also buy a commercial raw formula from www.gandcraw.com. They grind the muscle/organ/bone into a balanced meat that looks like hamburger. We use this meat mixture in a 10% ratio in the morning feeding for both puppies and our show adults, in addition to the supplements.
Puppies go through stages when being weaned – from the suckling stage, to a licking stage, and then on to chewing. It is important that they go through all 3 phases to properly grow and condition their digestive system. Missed steps can cause allergies and other digestive problems later in life. C2R starts their pups at about 3.5-4 weeks old on goats milk, then begins to add things like Tahini, Spirulina, probiotics, ginger, Omega 3’s (helps the brains develop) and a few other items that help the digestive system prepare.
Over the course of several days to a week, the pups are then introduced to green trip (ground up cow stomach). Tripe contains digestive enzymes already, so prepares the puppy digestive tract even further. At about 4.5 to 5 weeks old, we begin to add ground up dry kibble in small amounts over a few days, until we are sure the pups are not having any troubles with it. We feel this gives our pups the best nutritional advantage.
Puppies require a specific diet including calcium and phosphorus ration for growing bones. We are careful to watch the front knuckles of our pups around month 3-4 – you can begin to see the bones start to grow and well, and during this time, protein should be carefully monitored as well as calcium and phosphorus to prevent any bone growth issues.
Our hunting dogs get kibble throughout the summer and then during their hunting season, they get supplemented with venison, rabbit, eggs, salmon oil and other supplements. It’s important for working dogs to have the right portion of protein to fat. Protein can cause a working dog to overheat and pant, while a higher fat content helps the body work properly while feeding the brain.
Always check with your vet regarding your dog’s specific needs and how to best keep the ratios correct.