Luke is a 90# German Shepherd, trained as a Police K-9 because he is so high-drive. He is hyper-alert, hyper-active and "worried" about everything. It's hard for him to relax, so he pants all the time, licks his paws or the floor., etc . He finds "jobs" for himself, like hanging from a tree limb and barking at it like a nut-case. THAT led to root-canals in both his broken lower canines! It also led to several dead apple and cherry tree branches, because he stripped them of bark.. He and our 4 other dogs have the run of the house and, through a dog-door, the run of a 5 acre yard with a pond. (One of the Beagles swims there every hot day. A Beagle! Swimming! On his own!)
I know a truly proper diet can affect a dog's temperament Years ago, before Luke, I fed Billinghurst's BARF diet of bones and raw food. It was great for the 9 dogs we had at the time,...beautiful coats, no runny eyes, blue-white sparkling clean teeth. But it was SO much work. The only raw meat and bones that's really affordable is chicken. To get enough economically, I had to buy 50# boxes of necks and backs from a wholesaler, who sold it to my local abattoir. They then put it in their freezer, they only place they had to store it. I had to use an axe to chop this huge block of frozen chicken into 5-ish # meals and bag them to store in MY freezer. I'd thaw a package several times a week and then feed it to them outside. It was like feeding the seals at the zoo. I'd tops pieces to each dog till it was gone. Then I had to pureeLOTS of carefully chosen vegetables in the Vitamix I had to but. (No other blender can so reliably crush the cellulose walls of the cells in plants to release the nutrients to the dogs. In the wild, they eat the partially digested plant material in their prey's digestive tracts.) Then there were the huge pails of beef spleens, gullets and green tripe I'd get at the abattoir. Some BARFers claim green tripe is a complete food. There's one in Scotland who breeds Deerhounds and feed green tripe almost exclusively. HER place must be nice, because it smells absolutely AWFUL! But the dogs LOVED it, so I covered myself with a large garbage bag and used a cleaver...outside!...to chop it into meal-sized hunks.
TOO MUCH WORK! I'm getting too old...or lazy...to do it. But I knew diet could affect Luke, so we always fed premium dog foods. Many of them made the licking, etc., worse. Taste of the Wild seemed the best for him, but I really wanted something better. I tried some frozen raw foods, but the ones sold in most stores are just an inconvenient way to get the same thing as Taste of the Wild, only more expensive. Aunt Jenis' frozen raw food was the best, but it's rather expensive. Plus, I was always forgetting to take it out to thaw. Also, they eat it so fast they seem to inhale it. Not sure that's good.
Honest Kitchen is just what Luke and I need. The dogs love it, and eat it at a reasonable pace. I supplement with occasional raw frozen rabbit , goat or chicken pieces from Hare Today, because i think the soft, chewable bones are important.
Luke is so much calmer! No more crazy licking, and less frenzy...though the cherry tree is not safe from him yet. The Beagles' eyes have stopped running. (BARFers say that tearing is a sign of de-foxing the stuff in commercial dog food.) Everyone's coats are beautiful, and teeth are cleaning themselves. (Sorry,Vet, and your $600 dental-cleaning!)
Our 5 cats are prospering on HK, too. I can't feed them canned, because one of them gets diarrhea on even the best canned. So they were getting Taste of the Wild kibble. Cats are obligate carnivores and are designed to get most of their water requirements from their prey. They simply cannot drink enough water to make up for the dryness of kibble. Hence the kidney and cystitis problems that are so common in domesticated cats. HK ha just the right amount of moisture for their health. (I give the a little Aunt Jeni's frozen,too, when I remember to defrost it.)
THK products Luke loves
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