My interest in dog food started while growing up on the farm in the seventies.
Whenever we would butcher any animals or clean fish, our dogs would always be right there hoping for their fair share of the scraps.
Along with likely very poor quality kibble, our dogs would regularly get butcher scraps as well as table scraps mixed into their food.
When I was around 19 years old, I met an older man named Buzz who was a gourmet chef that cooked for his two dogs. He very generously spent a significant amount of time teaching me a few of his favorite recipes. Though most of the meals he prepared were cooked, we also discussed the importance of raw foods and bones in a dog’s diet.
It was conversations with Buzz that initially got me thinking about feeding for the breed, size, and activity level of dogs.
In 1999 after working with wolves and large northern breed dogs for nearly three years at the wolf sanctuary, I began researching canine diet and nutrition with the idea of creating foods that would help our captive rescues live healthier and longer lives.
Today in 2016 feeding nearly 80 domestic, wild and exotic dogs daily, I have learned how to find the best foods and produce specialty meals for the variety of dogs we house while still meeting their different health issues.
I believe that what we eat can both harm as well as heal. The foundation for health is what we chose to consume and what we choose to feed to our four legged companions.
Over the past few decades, I have developed a number of canine diets that are healthy and well balanced for different breeds, ages, health, and activity levels.
I am currently writing a canine cookbook and will be sharing some of those recipes and more right here on this site.
I love cooking for my eight dogs at home. I enjoy sharing the simple meals and recipes that just about anyone can learn to prepare for their four legged loved ones.
My goal for this web page and the cookbook is to give you some simple information, tips, and some fun recipe ideas that will aid in keeping your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
Leyton Jay Cougar
What do wild dogs eat?
Years ago, dog food companies all had similar mantras like, "One food for life"...our food! But what land mammal eats only one food for life?
With the possible exceptions of pandas and koalas, not many animals eat only one food. Wild canines eat all kinds of different food items. Wild dogs, like wolves and coyotes, are nomadic by nature, and are constantly moving about their territory hunting, scavenging, and foraging throughout their days and nights. The primary diet of all wild dogs is meat and all the things attached to that meat i.e. fur, feathers, hooves, hides, horns etc.
Should my dog eat cooked food or raw food?
Variety is the key to our dogs getting proper balanced nutrition.
Just like us humans, we do not get all of our nutrition from just one meal or just one food source. We get balanced nutrition from eating a variety of foods a few times a day. Most humans eat different types of both raw and cooked foods. The same is true for our four-footed friends. What is important is feeding your pet foods that they can thrive on.
What about bacteria and raw foods?
Proper food handling is always a good habit to get into.
However, if you are worried about your pet, wild dogs often bury their meats and bones to hide and preserve them. Then later, when that meat is seemingly unfit for consumption, they return to it and enjoy their leftovers. Dogs have digestive tracts that are capable of handling bacteria far better than humans can. Their stomachs contain a stronger concentration of stomach acid than ours, making their digestive systems more efficient at killing most bacteria. Their digestive tracts are shorter and simpler as well, which helps food move through their intestines quickly, without giving bacteria a chance to proliferate and cause them to get sick.
Dog food recalls
Go online at any given time and look for dog food recalls and you will always be up to date on the latest news regarding the foods we feed our dogs. There are websites that have free recall alerts for your pet food as well as your own foods.
If you look around today you might notice that just about any dog food you have ever heard of, has had or is having a recall for one reason or another. So stay informed and stay safe.
I thought human food was bad for dogs?
What did dogs eat before we had dog food in a can or a bag? The same stuff we did and do.
Dogs are in all cultures, amongst all races of humans, on all continents and most inhabited islands on planet earth. Dogs are in creation stories from indigenous people all over the planet.
Scientists now estimate that dogs were domesticated somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 years ago. Canned dog food wasn’t created until 1922 and dry food in 1950, so what have they been eating all this time?
Dogs have been eating wild and domestic animals and leftovers from humans since the dawn of dog.
The only reason I can imagine why anyone would say not to feed your dog human food is due to the toxic ingredients in human foods, like high fructose corn syrup, saccharine, MSG, fast foods…and the list goes on…