If your dog is eating a prescription diet recommended by your veterinarian you are most likely paying a lot for a product that is not optimal for your pet. So says Judy Morgan, DVM, who operates two veterinary hospitals in New Jersey that offer an integrative approach to pet care combining holistic medicine with traditional western techniques.
Furthermore, she says that non-prescription dog foods marketed as holistic, natural and human grade often contain waste products from the human food industry or rendered meal from diseased animal carcasses. What is more, feeding dogs these food products may lead to the development of canine heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease and other ills.
In her new book, Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs, coauthored with her husband Hue Grant, Morgan explains what dog owners need to know about making their own whole food-based dog foods which, she says, takes less time than you might expect and requires no specialized cooking skills or equipment. As an added bonus, the foods can be customized to reflect a dog’s personality type and specific health issues. For example, dogs with liver problems should eat liver.
According to Chinese medicine there are also five personality types that determine what dogs should eat. She has recipes for each type:
- Fire dogs—hyper animals that are outgoing and full of energy—require fish and other foods high in moisture. A diet of dry kibble can cause kidney failure as well as dry coat and dry foot pads for these dogs.
- Wood dogs— which tend to be aggressive—are likely to lash out if fed the wrong types of food.
- Water dogs—scared animals that cower—can build confidence with changes in diet.
- Earth dogs—happy, fat, round animals—are well-behaved but need the right diet to lose weight and live longer.
- Metal dogs—animals that don’t tolerate change—can adapt more easily to new situations with diet changes.