Dog Food & Diets
Diet also plays a large part in the health of any dog. A poorly balanced diet will manifest itself in some way, frequently in a skin condition. The old idea that a dog can eat anything and that he thrives on scraps is all nonsense. Scientifically balanced meals including minerals and vitamins are an aid to better health in dogs as well as in human beings. Garbage, particularly in the winter when it is frozen, and decomposed meat picked up while the dogs are running loose, will bring on skin lesions and frequently gastro-enteritis. This is an inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, due to the toxic or poisonous effect of partly or wholly rotten food. Why dogs like it nobody knows, but it seems to have a fatal fascination for them. I have seen my dogs bury a wood-chuck and leave it until it was so decomposed that a gas respirator was necessary to approach it, and then dig it up with the intention of holding a regular banquet. I am afraid I may have lost a little of their confidence when I took it away from them.
One thing to keep in mind is that dogs require a higher percentage of animal protein in their diet than do human beings. A dog is a carnivorous animal, which means that his system is designed principally for the digestion of meat, but he also needs cereals, minerals, vitamins, and all the other things which go to make up a balanced diet.
The balance in dog food, however, is not the same as for man.
Fish is excellent for dogs provided the bones are first removed. Cooking under steam pressure will probably soften them sufficiently, but as I am not in a position to do this, I always fillet and then cook the fish. I would not recommend substituting fish for meat entirely, however.
My dogs thrive better when the commercial food is moistened with meat broth, with some meat or fish added. Never feed dogs rabbit or fowl bones, fish bones, candy or pastry. Fried or strongly seasoned foods are also on the banned list, as are potatoes. Since dogs do not chew potatoes and thus insalivate them, they pass into the intestinal tract unchanged and tend to form a block. Frequently dogs will vomit them later on.
These remarks on cleanliness and diet are applicable to both dogs and bitches, of course, but they are particularly important for the stud. The first consideration is to keep him healthy, and as there is no special formula for this, the advice is necessarily of a general nature. However, there are many points which concern only the stud, and we will now consider them.