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Old 06-16-2005, 11:47 PM
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Mordy Mordy is offline
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Please, someone explain to me why you would try to feeding your dog more oil for a shiny coat. Perhaps it is good for a show dog that you want to exploit to win prizes, but when in nature would it come close to eating such things.
very simple. certain omega fatty acids are needed to maintain healthy skin and coat. in a natural diet, those would mainly come from the skin and intestinal fat reserves of prey animals, since wild animals tend to be leaner than domestic ones overall. also keep in mind that many breeds of dogs have a completely different coat (and thus different dietary requirements) than any canid you'd observe in the wild. you can't compare every modern dog to a wolf for example, and this is one of the most glaring differences. hair is made up mostly of protein, so imagine what for example a dog of a profusely coated breed has to go through when shedding seasonally and growing a new coat. the smaller the dog and the more coat it has to grow, the higher the requirement for good quality, easily digestible protein and fat.

as a matter of fact, most people do not know that the type of fat you feed makes a difference. they also don't understand how certain fatty acids promote and aggravate inflammation and other problems, which can make things a lot worse if a dog is already genetically predisposed.

you can have a fairly malnourished animal with all kinds of underlying health issues that still has a decent coat, if the feed composition permits. think of commercial food fed to farmed mink or foxes for example - they aren't fed to stay particularly healthy and they don't live long until they have their precious pelts pulled over their ears either, so long term health isn't an issue, but the quality of the pelts definitely is.

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Fish, who has seen a dog catch a fish and eat it, it is not likely. OK, huskies eat fish, but why? They are chained up to stop them scavenging the afterbirth from seals and such. Oh yes, but bears´that eat fish are sure to leave scaps aren´t they? Wouldn´t the remaining bones pierce the stomache or intestines of the dog then?
diet depends on environment. canids are very adaptable and generally eat what's available and convenient. if that includes fish, they will eat it.

one thing people tend to forget is that it is extremely difficult to mimic a natural diet for dogs when itis mostly based on meats and bones of animals that didn't eat a natural diet themselves. wild canids cover quite a lot of territory and have access to completely different food sources. they aren't as likely to end up with nutritional deficiencies as domestic dogs who have to rely on whatever is tossed to them with more or less regard of the composition.

personally i feel safer formulating a batch of food using at least some researched guidelines, and including certain supplements, rather than "flying blind" and hoping for the best. i'm planning for the long-term welfare of my dog, not just a timeframe long enough for sufficient reproduction, like mother natures for "dogs in the wild". if a female canid lives long enough to come into heat once and raises enough pups that manage to survive to adulthood and then reproduce themselves, nature's goal of ensuring the survival of the species is already accomplished. humans, with their man made dog breeds, have a different goal in mind.
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