Feeding Tips

 The Natural Feed Program For Dogs


Kale babu.with rice

This is our Babu eating a plate of cooked kale in preference to the plate of chicken and rice. Dogs need vegetables as well as meat and rice in order to remain healthy

Feeding to Prevent Degenerative Conditions

In the wild dogs hunted in packs and existed on a diet of raw game meats.  They would have caught smaller species like rabbits and birds whose flesh would be consisting predominantly of rapid twitch muscle. In other words white meats. Further to that they would have consumed the bone and marrow all of which would have had a crude form of glucosamine sulphate which would help ‘lubricate’ the joint capsule. Vegetable matter would have come from the stomachs of small herbivore game they caught and from the crops of birds. They also self medicated on wild herbs and grasses. They did not eat copious quantities of carbohydrates.

Dogs fed on a diet that mimics to some degree what they would have consumed in the wild tend to be healthier and do not suffer from the degenerative conditions that seem to plague dogs fed on a diet of dried biscuits, feeds and tinned foods.

Many reputable dog breeders are now adopting the BARF (Bones and Raw Food)  feeding system which is proving to be very beneficial not only to the dog’s overall health, skin integrity etc  but also to oral health thereby reducing visits to the vet requiring and anaesthetic to remove tartar and abcessed teeth.

 Problems Facing the Modern day Pet Leading to Degenerative Conditions

These may include:

  • Repeated doses of anti-biotics
  • Poor recovery from illness or injury
  • Teeth problems requiring costly dental surgery.
  • An unsatisfactory feeding regime containing artificial food colouring and flavour, excessive amounts of red meat.
  • A diet that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, omega oils and low in high quality protein.
  • A diet consisting almost exclusively of dried processed feeds that often have excessive amounts of added carbohydrates/fillers and preservatives.
  • Eating omega oils that have peroxided through being exposed to heat light and oxygen. Note: omega oils should only be added at time of feeding
  • Inbreeding
  • Genetic tendency


Clinical signs Indicating Degenerative Decline:

  • Incomplete digestion of food in droppings.
  • Skin conditions like flea related irritations.
  • Poor mobility and or arthritis.
  • Tendency to repeated infections ( skin, nasal, bronchial, eye, urinary etc.)
  • Behavioural problems.
  • Bad breath and smelly faeces.

Some Practical Health Tips

  • Eliminate red meats and processed dried food for a few weeks to see if there is an improvement in skin and degenerative conditions.
  • Introduce raw meats like venison and possum meats once or twice a week. Raw chicken necks that have been frozen for a few weeks  can also be given.
  • Look for local suppliers of game meats like rabbit and possum. The greater the demand for these meats the more competitive this market will become.
  • Make sure the bulk of the food consists of high quality protein and a reasonable percentage of fats. This will help prevent glycation of tissues.
  • Daily doses of echinacea tincture one week on one week off has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of infection.
  • Small daily doses of St John’s Wort  has shown to improve the immune response as well as having a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It has been found to be effective in dealing with compulsive repetitive behaviour like compulsive scratching after a bout of flea related irritations.
  • Dogs with skin allergies may be given Omega  Oil  Complex with Chamomile  and vitamin C Powder to reduce symptoms.

 Nutrient Dense Meal Recipe 

Prepared  the following way

  • Boil for half an hour chicken with bone-in (remove bones later)  in a litre of water which has had one tablespoon of cider vinegar or lemon to the water to draw out bone minerals and glucosamine from connective tissue in the meat (chicken is best for cats and dogs)
  • Add to this just half a cup of brown rice(to bind the feed) and cook a further 30 minutes. ( if kidney disease and allergies are present replace rice with vegetables)
  • Then add 1 kiwi fruit to the above which will help break down the protein in the meat into more easily digested amino acids.  (Ideal for elderly pets that have poor digestion.) Also add to this “bone broth”  1 grated carrot, a handful of  herbs like parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, dandelion leaves, a  bunch of spinach, and any other green leafy vegetables you may have. I blitz all the vegetables and herbs before adding to the stock.
  • 1tsp of gelatine powder (natural source of glucosamine sulphate)
  • A small amount of animal fat like chicken and/or lamb will increase the fat ratio and lower the GI
  • Feed the day’s portion and refrigerate or freeze the remaining feed.
  • Add between quarter to half a tsp of Omega Oil Complex at time of feeding. This will provide the anti-inflammatory effects from Omega 3 and 9 and act on the prostaglandin levels
  • Chicken necks can be eaten raw and will help clean the teeth and provide a crude form of glucosamine suphate. They also cook up well to make bone broth for the older dog.

Some Excellent Additives

  • Any chlorophyll product like barley grass will help sweeten the breath and is great for digestive health.
  • Acidophilus tablets may be added to the diet to address digestive conditions and to restore beneficial gut flora after a bout of anti-biotics .( May be obtained from any health store) Dosage to be calculated from bottle.
  • Powdered spirulina  is an excellent all round tonic and is similar to chlorophyll but with minerals from the sea like iodine and traces of selenium.Stimulates digestion and appetite as well as improving weight gain.
  • Natural kelp
  • Water cress provides a good source of vitamins A,B,C,D,E  sulphur and iro
  • Powdered nettle along with pepperment leaves for sweet breath and digestion.

Note : Omega  Oils are highly oxidative in the presence of heat light and oxygen and should only be added at the time of feeding.

Bone Broth  Recipe

Bone broth is an easily digested nutrient dense liquid made by long slow simmering of bones along with lemon which will draw out the minerals found in bone and an inexpensive way of supplementing glucosamine sulphate for your pet.

Glucosamine sulphate formula

Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth is a super food that contains

  • over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
  • collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue

Amino Acids

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline. These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties.

What do these conditional amino acids do?


  • Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
  • Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
  • Helps regenerate damaged liver cells


  • Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
  • Used to make bile salts and glutathione
  • Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant
  • Is a neurotransmitter that helps calm your pet


  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Improves skin integrity
  • Helps repair leaky gut


  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building

Nutritional compounds to include: 

  1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) have the primary role of maintaining and supporting collagen and elastin that take up the spaces between bones and various fibers. GAGs are supportive for digestive health since they help restore the intestinal lining. Several important GAGs to include glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.
  2. Glucosamine There are two main types of naturally occurring glucosamine: hydrochloride and sulfate. Both help keep up the integrity of cartilage, which is the rubbery substance within joints that acts like a natural cushion. Studies show that glucosamine can become depleted as pets get older, so supplements are often used to support joint health.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid Found throughout connective, epithelial (skin) and neural tissues, hyaluronic acid contributes to cell proliferation, differentiation and mitigation, allowing connective tissue to rejuvenate.
  4. Chondroitin Sulfate Chondroitin sulfate is a beneficial glycosaminoglycan found in the cartilage within the joints of all animals. It’s often used to support joint health and comfort.
  5. Minerals and Electrolytes Bone broth provides essential minerals, including electrolytes, all provided in an easy-to-absorb form. Electrolytes found within bone broth include calcium, magnesium and potassium (not to mention many other minerals, such as phosphorus), which are important for supporting healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health and digestive health. When added sodium levels are kept low, bone broth contains an ideal balance of sodium and potassium to support cellular health and efficiency.
  1. Collagen Collagen is the main structural protein found within the human body that helps form connective tissue and “seals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s also the gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds the bones together, allowing your pet to move more freely.
  2. Gelatin Bone broth is a rich source of gelatin, the protects and seals the mucosal lining of the GI tract, which means it improves nutrient absorption and also helps keep particles from leaching out where they shouldn’t be.

Cooking Suggestions 

  1. Place bones ideally chicken feet, and pieces of meat not normally found in the supermarket, are exceptionally high in joint supplements into a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out minerals from the bones.
  3. Add half a cut up kiwi fruit which has enzymes that will break up proteins in meat on the bone to form easily absorbed amino acids.
  4. Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  5. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
  6. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
  7. Once add in vegetables and herbs  such as nettle, thyme, rosemary,carrots and celery, for added nutrient value and to activate the synergistic effect of creating a super food.

After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.

Limit the Amounts of the Following 

  • Onions and garlic. These contain compounds that don’t metabolise well and large quantities can cause hemolytic anemia.
  • Tomatoes or potatoes. Are all part of the solanacea family and contain atropine which can dilate the pupils, cause tremors and heart arrhythmias.

Don’ t Feed the Following


  • Chocolate In large doses (active ingredient is theobromine) is toxic to dogs and can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias.
  • Macadamia nuts. As little as a few grams can cause temporary paralysis.
  • Sweet treats or excessively salty treats. These can affect the insulin response and triglyceride levels in blood.
  • Any food with mould on it. A dog can get very sick at best and at worst toxic shock syndrome and death. If it is not fresh enough for you to eat then it isn’t safe for your dog.
  • Fried greasy or fatty foods can trigger pancreatitis. this condition is life-threatening causing severe vomiting often requiring hospitalisation.
  • Beer or other alcoholic drinks. This is tantamount to animal abuse.
  • Human pain killers Ibuprofen,naproxen (Aleve) aspirin
  • Fish and fish products particulary when kidney disease is suspected as this may increase BUN levels.

DISCLAIMER: Hira Laboratories will not be held responsible for the use or misuse of any products listed. We recommend that either a qualified herbalist or your animal professional carry out diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Herbal remedies must not be given not be taken in conjunction with other medication with out consulting a medical professional.

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