I wanted to relay a story about how I saved the life of my dog…
I have an Australian Shepherd who is now 3 years old. He was/is an active dog, he comes for long trails runs with me, gets a fair bit of love and attention and all the “healthy” dog biscuits he needed. But he was a absolute pain in the backside! I tried my best to wear him out by taking him for long runs and walks. But he wouldn’t tire. We tried all sorts of things, dog parks, beach, throwing the ball, and training. I thought it was just him being a puppy but at two years old, I thought to myself, something is a miss here. If we had a child who behaved like this the first thing I would look at changing was their diet. After all, it worked for me as a human to eat how ancestors eat, it would makes sense for a dog to eat like their wolf ancestors. It was a bit of a light bulb moment because it seemed like he had ADD. He would constantly steal kids toys, or socks or under pants and if there was any food about on tables or bench tops, Harvey would steal it. He would poop 3 or 4 times a day, which I thought was a lot, as it seemed like what ever he ate he pooped out. He was constantly itching and had extremely smelly and frequent flatulence. This forced me to look at what dogs should be eating. I thought, why am I not looking at this from an ancestral point of view, I have done it with my diet, why not my dogs? Dogs in the wild don’t eat biscuits from a plastic bag bought from a store. They are scavengers, they eat raw meat, bones, maybe some fruit or vegetables that they had found.
I was convinced I was on the right track after reading the Paleo Dog by Jean Hofve and Celeste Yarnall and the blog post by Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple The Primal Diet For Dogs. I worked out the dog biscuits were full of fillers and things that where not helping my dog be happy and healthy. In fact, it seemed from research that they were doing the very thing that was making my dog hard to live with itchy skin, flatulence, behaviour issues, excess poop, barking and being overly excited.
So straight up, cold turkey I made the switch and changed his diet. And for him it was the best move I ever made. Overnight he became a new dog. His gas stopped, he pooed less than once a day and they where small. He was obedient, affectionate and loving, like I had freed him from a world of hurt. He listened and obeyed orders and came back when we where at the park , it seemed like the training had paid off. He stills barks and likes to steal food but a change in diet has completely changed my dog. He now is a complete Primal Dog eating how his scavenger ancestors would’ve eaten, eating meat, bones (we give him chicken wings, which help strengthen his jaw and give a huge nutritional boost), vegetables, occasional seasonal fruit- definitely not processed biscuits filled with fillers, grains and lamb meal- (WTF is that you ask???? -lamb bones that have been rendered until they have zero nutritional value). Just like us, dogs need to eat like there ancestors and none of this processed, industrial trash filled with sugars, grains and hydrogenated oils!
If you have been thinking about changing your dogs diet I would highly recommend it. Please free free to contact me for any tips, tricks or questions.