Happy New Year! --- almost, anyway.
Gracie turns 10 this coming year. It's a good time for a dietary review. Like any good Doggie Chef I periodically take some time to think about what I feed my dog and why.
I've decided to gradually stop feeding Gracie vitamin supplements and nutritional yeast. I'll continue essential fatty acid and calcium supplements (corn oil, sunflower oil, ground flax seed, bone meal powder) but I'll phase out using the Doctors Foster and Smith Lifestage Select Premium Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement For Adult Dogs, and the Red Star Nutritional Yeast.
I think supplements can help if a deficiency or nutrient absorption problem exists. Yet I'm beginning to wonder if they're necessary when a dog is healthy and eats a balanced, high nutrient diet.
Gracie has thrived on homemade meals for almost six years. I've given her multivitamins for only a year. She seems to be just as healthy taking the multivitamins as she was without them. I don't think she actually need these multivitamins at this point in her life.
"Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats," by Richard H. Pitcairn (click here for my review of that book), gave me the confidence to make my dog's food myself. The author recommends feeding dogs nutritional yeast regularly, in small amounts. So ever since I started making Gracie's food I've sprinkled Red Star Nutritional Yeast on her meals periodically. Nutritional yeast contains B-complex vitamins which promote skin, coat and general health. However, I believe Gracie's good health and healthy coat are mostly the result of the nutritious foods she eats and the regular grooming she receives. For now I think she'll be just as healthy without the nutritional yeast supplement.
There's definitely some trial and error involved in being a Doggie Chef! I think it's okay as long as dietary changes are made carefully and gradually; with close watch kept on the dog to monitor the results.