One often sees rules governing the diet of a dog published in almost any dog book. These cannot be too often repeated. Every now and again a new batch of recruits come into the show ring, and with them the necessity arises for giving useful tips as to the primary rules for dog feeding.
If the novice goes wrong anywhere, he is more likely to err on the question of feeding in a newly purchased dog. Before buying, enquiries should be made about its previous diet. If this is not possible, bear in mind the following rules:
(1) That the dog has a small stomach, and the fact that he is a carnivorous animal makes it essential to select foods that have the most concentrated form of nourishment. In this respect, therefore, we cannot do better than to supply him with his natural foods, “meat.” That meat is the natural diet can be proved by the study of his habits and teeth.
(2) On examination of a dog’s mouth we find that nature has provided him with large teeth or tusks to enable him to tear up flesh and crunch his bones. In his wild state he hunts smaller animals, which he kills and eats raw without the addition of salt, or let us bear in mind that the domesticated dog is a descendant of these, and has not altered in the size of his stomach nor the structure of his mouth.
(3) Raw meat should, therefore, form his diet, even if he has become a domestic animal. Of course, the dog requires something else in addition to raw meat. Dog biscuits help, and should be an accessory to the staple diet of the dog.
(4) Where dogs have no access to green grass it is advisable to give from time to time cooked green vegetables mixed with the raw meat. It is impossible to determine or fix quantities. This is left solely to the discretion of the owner and fixed by the size and condition of the dog. It is obvious that larger dogs require a greater amount of nourishing food than those of smaller varieties.
(5) The right quantity, given at regular intervals, about twice a day, will help. Do not kill your dog with kindness by feeding him too often, too much, and frequently too well. A dog, similar to a human being, thrives best on simple and regular meals.
(6) Do not give or allow your dog to have small bones such as game or chicken or rabbit bones; they are easy to splinter and pierce the intestines. A large bone given occasionally will assist in the secretion of the saliva, from which a highly beneficial effect is produced upon the dog. A hard biscuit each day helps to keep the teeth clean and sound, and very often keeps the dog quiet.
Note that nine-tenths of all the skin troubles and in fact most of all internal ailments are caused directly or in directly through injudicious feeding.