Merry Christmas and goodwill to all dogs and owners !
What to get your dog for Christmas.
This is such a vexing problem for many owners around Australia. Of course in my home that isn’t very hard, as with daily off lead walks and full access to a range of different meats for my dogs main meal and dog treats, he has Christmas all year round.
So what do you buy your dog, dog treat wise for Christmas?
I get many calls through from people asking me about what they can give their dogs. They name the breed, age and general preferences but here’s the thing.
If your dog is feed on commercial dog food, they are most likely getting a small percentage of chicken or beef in their main daily meal. So small that in fact the oil, salt, sugar, flavour enhancers etc are likely to massively overwhelm what the natural taste of the meat is anyway.
In a way this is good, as you can start with a clean slate. Be aware that if you go from 20% meat dog food to 100% meat dog food, or 100% meat dog treats, your dog’s digestion will usually take time to adjust to what it was always meant to eat. And that means that their stomachs may not digest everything immediately leading to some flatulence, at least in the short term.
But it also means that if you want to expand your dogs taste buds and immunity that you will consider trying meats that they have not regularly eaten. Sure you can go for something a lot more exotic like Octopus or Blue Grenadier (that we sell here), but I am taking about something as simple as giving them 100% Roo jerky or roo tendons, or even flake (meat or cartilage).
If your dog is very young, very old or just ‘not a big chewer’ now is the time to consider giving them a little more challenging chewing dog treats. The reason being is that kibble tends to leave crumbs on teeth that rot them, and kibble does not clean between teeth, hence the invention of ‘dental sticks’ and vet cleaning teeth visits. BUT if you really want to help your dog out, keeping their teeth clean with things like roo jerky, beef jerky, roo tendons or ling fish skins are the perfect NATURAL way to clean teeth, strengthen gums and jaws and basically give nutrition at the same time.
Dogs feed on a raw meat diet, with bones and jerkies rarely have teeth and gum problems. If a dogs breath is bad and their cant chew because their gums are infected, then natural meat chewing treats are the best way to go (unless the vet needs to pull teeth or give antibiotics) in cleaning up all that bad commercial dog food diet caused rot.
The only caveat is that you should particularly watch puppies and old dogs eat these treats, because they are so tasty that they often forget to chew and go straight for the swallowing part. If they are really having difficulty in meat based dog treats, you can always use scissors or secateurs to cut off smaller pieces, but always cut large enough so they have to chew, not just swallow.
Domestic dogs are carnivores with a limited ability to fully digest grains and veggies so they really need more meat in their diet. Its a very primal thing for them to rip into a piece of meat (or meat dog treat) and tear it apart. Unlike cows and herbivores, they don’t do a lot of grinding, their teeth are evolved to rip the flesh and its this process and the action of the meat jerky or tendons, or fish skins sliding down the teeth that acts like a natural floss for cleaning.
What should you give your dog for Christmas
if they have had a very limited exposure to high percentage meat treats? Why not consider an assortment of mainly of the smaller packets we sell of as much diverse meat types as you can find. This way they can sample a lot at very low prices and you will know what to buy in bulk the next time.
It is relatively rare for dogs to not want to eat meat, but dogs that have had an exclusive pellet diet may take time to understand what this new food is. If you have to leave it in their bowl, out of the way of ants, for a few days, then do so. If after a week or so they still don’t touch it, keep the rest in the pantry for a few months time or give it to a dog shelter where there will be many hungry less fussy dogs.