Welcome to The Barking Lot!
We believe that pet parents are passionate when it comes to the subject of what they feed their fur-kids, and with good reason. A good diet can contribute to a long and healthy life and even psychological well-being for our fur-kids and likewise for our pet parents. Our moto: Happy Pets = Happy Parents! The question you are trying to answer;- what is the best food to feed domesticated dogs or cats? While the majority of pet parents feed commercial grain-based kibble or canned food, many pet parents like you, today, are looking for healthier options. And the net is full of materials to help you, and confuse you, when it comes to natural feeding.
You will find many anecdotal reasons for feeding on biological specie appropriate diets, for and against, or home-cooked for that matter, even more on the prey model. You will also find many “scientific” articles on why not to feed raw, sadly, as little research is done into raw feeding.
And not too mention all of the confusing terms! Why do we refer to natural diets? In our minds, raw is complete, and therefore natural, as designed by nature, and not broken. Raw, in today's convenience society, seems to indicate part of something, and not complete. But natural contains all the parts needed (as designed), therefore complete (or whole), so we advocate natural pet cuisine, or if you want to knit-pick, biologically specie appropriate natural raw pet cuisine.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” - Buddha
To paraphrase Dr Ron Hines from Texas, USA, what we have learned to date, is that there are exaggerations on both side of the pet food diet debate. Your fur kids will not live forever on natural unprocessed diets, but they won’t either die tomorrow from eating them, and the right decision for you depends on you and your pet's specific situation.
The difference is that we are documenting our learnings here for everyone to read, review, comment and contribute! When we started, we spend hours on end trying to decipher the garble available on the net to read, purchased many thousands of dollars of books to read (and have read), and are now starting to document our learnings, so that you, as the pet parent and guardian, can benefit.
In the West food is described by its protein, fat and carbohydrate content. By contrast, in the East food is described by the effect it has on the body when eaten, for example its temperature, flavour and route of action. We provide a quick overview of this topic.
A more emotional topic of discussion is variety. Variety in your fur kid’s diet is of great importance to pet parents; it may be less so for your fur kids. There are two schools of thought regarding the provision of variety.
We tackle a very tough topic, Pet Obesity. Obesity , defined as an increase in body weight of at least 15% above what would be normal for the size of the pet, is the most common disease in pets today. As with people, obesity results from an excess caloric intake relative to the expenditure of energy.
The senior (geriatric or post-maturity) stage follows on from the maturity phase and continues until death. In small breeds of dogs this phase begins around 7 to 8 years of age, at 5 years in large and giant breeds and 7 years in cats, if we consider modern day veterinary guidance. We discuss this life stage in greater detail.
Toy breeds, which often have tiny appetites and small stomach capacity, may also benefit from being fed a calorie-dense food but a careful watch should be kept on their weight and body condition score. We discuss these breed in short.
From a nutritional perspective, high-performance dogs include canine athletes, pregnant bitches and lactating dams. You might wonder why pregnant and lactating dogs rank along with athletes as high performance? As we’ll elaborate on in this article, pregnancy and lactation place extreme nutritional demands on a bitch’s body - more than at any other time in her life.
The adult phase is that time after your fur kid ceases to grow and before visual and physiological changes due to the ageing process being to appear. We discuss this phase of our fur kids in greater detail.
Your four legged friends’ growth phase starts at birth. During the growth phase the young animal has a higher requirement for protein, energy and calcium than an adult fur kid. The diet should also be high quality and easily digested. We discuss this topic in more detail.
You will agree that dogs and cats are different, and dogs have different dietary requirements than cats do. Unlike cats, which are true carnivores, and require a diet high on protein, dogs are more omnivorous and therefore require a diet lower in protein than cats do. We discuss the differences in more detail.