The further away I get from the modern trend of feeding dogs exactly the same unhealthy food every day, the more the concept of feeding dogs seasonally makes sense to me.
I make homemade food for my dogs. (Think you might have guessed that already)! I feed my dogs the way they have been fed for more than 12,000 years. With fresh food. I know that since the birth of commercial dog food little more than 150 years ago, dogs have been living shorter, unhealthier lives. I believe we have the power to reverse that trend!
Commercial dog food manufacturers advocate feeding dogs the same food every day for life. A method that goes completely against the laws of nature. What if your dog and mine is physiologically programmed to make use of seasonal produce? And what if the breaking of that programme by feeding the same food every day is actually harming your best friend?
Nutritional balance in every meal is a foreign concept to your dog. It’s not natural. It’s a foreign concept for any mammal. You and I included.
Your dog was designed to benefit from seasonal nutrition. That’s how it has evolved to be the dog you share your life with today. It’s how your dog’s ancestors ate. That’s how they evolved over thousands of years. By eating a varied diet from the food available according to the season.
It’s known as adaptive physiology, the ability to make the most of the nutrition that is available at the time.
We know for a fact that until recent times, dogs lived longer lives with fewer of today’s canine health problems. I would suggest that not feeding dogs seasonally is where it’s all gone wrong for man’s best friend. That breaking their physiological programming has rendered them susceptible to all manner of health problems that never existed in our grandparent’s day. Our parent’s day for many of us!
Dogs are programmed to eat according to the season. It’s in their DNA. They were designed for periods of great bounty in spring and summer, and for leaner and less bountiful times in autumn and winter. Even periods of fasting, and the benefits fasting is said to bring, would have been perfectly normal for dogs until relatively recent times.
I would ask that you bear this in mind when feeding your dog. If feeding dogs seasonally makes sense to you, consider varying its diet throughout the different seasons.
Balance over time
You don’t need to achieve balance in your dog’s diet on a daily basis. That is actually more likely to result in an unbalanced diet than a balanced one. It can also contribute towards food intolerances whereby the body ultimately reacts negatively to being fed the same thing day in and day out.
Think about how you feed yourself and your family. My guess is that your diet consists mainly of salads and lighter meals in the summer and stodgier, more calorie dense foods in the winter. Am I right? That is the way you and I are physiologically programmed. And it’s exactly the same for man’s best friend.
It’s a fact that for thousands of years humans and their canine companions ate exactly the same foods. It’s been scientifically proven that each underwent the same genetic changes in order to adapt to the dietary changes required at the time of the First Agricultural Revolution. The period when humans established settlements and began to rely on a relatively restricted farmed diet as opposed to the considerably more varied diet available to the hunter gatherer.
Man an dog underwent those genetic changes at exactly the same time. Between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. We as human beings benefit from the genetic adaptations in our current diet. Your dog should be allowed to do the same!