Maintaining the physical health of your Bully breed dog should be a top priority once you become a proud Bully parent. While there are many different aspects of what makes a dog healthy, the quality and source of food, take about 90 percent of every dog’s well-being. A dog's nutrition can either keep them happy and healthy or totally ruin their health. Every bully dog owner must be aware of the potential benefits and risks associated with different types of dog food (commercial and non-commercial) in order to find the best fit for their pup.
This time we are going to discuss raw food. Raw dog food diets are rising in popularity while remaining to be controversial to some degree. Sled dogs and racing greyhounds have been fed raw food diets for a long time now. The idea of introducing this new type of diet to family pets was proposed in 1993 with the name BARF. BARF is an acronym for Bones and Raw Food. Some claim that BARF also stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
Benefits of a raw diet
Homocysteine is a biological marker of chronic diseases and inflammation, inside the dog’s body, that’s strictly related to diet. An experiment was conducted on a few groups of dogs to determine which type of diet is most likely to produce more Homocysteine in dogs. Dogs that were eating raw food before the experiment and continued with the raw diet had the lowest Homocysteine levels, while those that were fed commercial food had the highest.
Feeding your bully breed dog a raw diet will improve the dog’s digestive performance in just a few weeks. The reason for this is because BARF has a positive impact on the digestive microflora in comparison to processed food. It’s not uncommon for owners having to pick-up messy stools. No one likes doing this dirty deed! Feeding your bully raw dog food, possibly supplemented with probiotics, will definitely result in a firmer stool.
Raw diet improves the overall digestion in dogs. Feeding kibble and other commercial products are often the reason for bloating and excessive gas. Most dogs have serious discomfort, appear sad and can even vomit after the meal. Such problems almost never happen with bullies when fed the BARF diet.
Did you know that most of the problems with dry and flaky coat, or excessive itching in dogs are due to food? It’s so frustrating for owners that buy only the best commercial food and use the best shampoos and products, to find their dog’s coat appearing dull. In comparison, wild dogs and wolves always look shiny. That’s how much the diet can affect the coat. Raw dog food provides better and healthier skin for bully breed dogs because all of his dietary requirements are taken care of. There is no need for fish oil and other supplements because the food is enough.
In recent years, we see more and more dogs with acute and especially chronic allergies. Bully breed dogs are one of the most affected dog breeds. Wheat and corn are some of the top allergens causing allergic reactions in dogs. Unfortunately, the vast majority of commercial kibble contains a sufficient amount of corn and wheat. Simply changing the diet to a more natural one that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients will solve the problem. You will have your happy four-legged baby back.
One of the most notable changes in dogs that switched to a raw diet is the teeth. The consistency of raw food with its small, but rigid particles plays a major role in removing tartar build-up from the dog’s teeth. The gums will also be healthier and thus you will prevent the occurrence of serious health problems associated with the oral cavity. Your bully’s breath will become much more tolerable than before.
Raw diets contribute to the equal distribution of energy throughout the whole day. Many times when you feed your dog kibble, which is full of carbs, the furball has a boost in energy and becomes extremely restless and drops after an hour or two. On the other hand, some additives in commercial food make the dogs sleepy and almost lethargic. Dogs that are fed raw diet maintain a stable energy level throughout the whole day without the extreme highs and lows.
Eating raw food is actually fun for dogs, especially when they chew on meat still attached to larger bones. They get all the fun they need without any toys. Their physical and mental health stays in shape and they manage to keep their teeth strong and shiny at the same time.
It’s a well-known fact that raw feeding contributes to a better immune system and lower incidence of inflammatory conditions. This is especially helpful for senior pets that suffer from chronic arthritis. What better way to treat those inflamed joints than a tasty meal?
Starting your puppy on a raw diet
Puppies can start eating raw when they are 5-8 weeks of age. Ideally, they can be fed raw, meaty bones like chicken wings and chicken backs. Chicken parts are an ideal starter, but for the first few weeks, they should be given a ground format and possibly supplemented with a small number of internal organs (ex. liver). All meals should be served warm until the puppies are 12 weeks of age.
After the 12th week, the owner should follow a basic diet template. Muscle meat should contribute to 50-80% of the meal, meaty bones 10-40%, liver 5%, spleen, heart, kidney 5%, fish and raw goat milk 10% and up to 30% of green tripe. The most successful method is to start with only one protein (usually chicken) and then rotate it until you start including red meats, fish, rabbits, etc. You can change the protein weekly.
The daily amount of food should be divided into 4 meals for puppies 8-12 weeks of age, 3 meals for puppies 4-6 months of age and 2-3 meals for puppies 6-12 months of age. Dogs older than one year can eat once or twice per day.