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.
Protein is an important part of every cell in your fur kid's body and is essential for healthy growth and repair. Skin and muscle tissue both contain large amounts of protein, and it is also the main component of hair and nails. In dogs, protein is also an important energy source. We discuss the role of protein in the diet in greater detail here.
Carbohydrates – sugars, starches, and fibre – can be good sources of energy in common commercial pet foods, if used responsibly. However, irresponsible carb contents of current commercial pet food offerings is the reason for the current debate on raw diets taking place. Please discuss this topic in greater detail.
Water is a dietary component we give little thought to. Water is the single most important nutrient in terms of survive-ability for pets and pet parents. We discuss the topic is greater detail.
Your fur kids need a wide range of nutrients to live a healthy life. These range from the macro-nutrients, like protein and fat, which dogs need in large quantities, to micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals which are needed in much smaller amounts, but are just as crucial to a cat & dogs’ health. We discuss what we have learned to date.
Browsing through our site, you will realise that this notion is widely unfounded. Unfortunately, this premise - based on nothing but phenotypic differences in canines depending on region and utility - has been used by both commercial grain-based pet food companies and other raw-promoting people to create “designer diets" that can be quite unsound in regards to nutrition. We discuss this topic in more detail.
The availability of many good-quality premium grain-based kibble diets makes raw unnecessary, this may seem fairly logical at first glance. After all, there are some rather high-quality foods on the market today, is there not? We discuss the topic in greater detail.
The insinuation here is that because there is "no scientific research" performed by institutions like the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), raw diets should not be fed, or so many of the raw diet rabid opponents would lead the discussion with this argument. We discuss this topic in more detail.
While the majority of pet parents and guardians feed a commercial grain-based kibble or canned food, many pet parents today are looking for healthier options. A raw (or whole or natural) food-based diet is one approach that has grown in popularity over the last decade, but along with this growing popularity has come growing controversy regarding the benefits of feeding a raw diet. We discuss some of these topics here.
The amount of trust given to veterinarians compared to the amount given to the family doctor is truly amazing. It is virtually unheard of not to seek a second opinion when given a worrisome diagnosis by the family doctor. A healthy dose of "skepticism" is precisely what launched such successful websites as WebMD and online referral services for doctors. We discuss current trends in the "traditional" veterinary industry as it applies to our fur kids' nutrition.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials permits a pet food manufacturer to claim that its product is “100% complete” provided that the manufacturer has complied with AAFCO’s feeding trial protocols or nutrient profiles. If you think about it, this is quite an incredible statement. Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. We discuss this topic in greater detail in the article.
Understanding the label of a commercial pet food is crucial to you as the pet parent and / or guardian, as it is a legally binding contract between you and the pet food manufacturer. Even nutritionists have problems decoding pet food labels. There are thousands of things to consider, from maximums and minimums of fiber content to ingredient sourcing to how the food was actually tested so you don’t inadvertently turn your pets into test animals. In this article, we help you understand the basics, through a simple method, to decode the pet food label and to make the most of the information you’re given.