Keeping Your Dog Healthy
With proper care and diet, Norrbottenspets can be expected to live 20 years or more, and they seldom have health problems. As the breeders of generations of champion Norrbottenspets and many years of experience, Valhallasun Kennels recommends the following Healthy, Natural Meal Diet for ensuring a lifetime of optimum health for your dog.
Definition of Terms:
A Meal is an opportunity for the dog to eat as much as it wants in order to reach satiety with a full stomach.
A Snack is an opportunity for the dog to get a valuable bit, preferably adding important nutrients, yet without filling the stomach.
* Please note that adult dogs more than 14 months of age must have at least one fast day per week in order to stay healthy!
Recommended Healthy Snacks:
Number of snacks for a day is unlimited, and should be given as treats for work well done.
- Total amount should never be more than 10% of a meal
- If nutritionally unbalanced, the snacks should be accounted for in the total food plan
Treats should be:
- Very delicious for the dog (good candidates for most dogs include fried liver, bacon, and tripe)
- Easy for the handler to bring along and to handle
- Small enough to be quickly eaten without too much crumbling or chewing. Treats may be given on fast days, although the total amount should be kept low (less than 5% of a meal).
Recommended Supplements to Every Meal:
- 1 or 2 spoonful vegetable oil (such as corn oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, or flax oil)
- 1 slice whole grain bread or bread products
- A Mineral/herb supplement (such as Wolle’s Horse-Power, ultra kelp, or similar)
- 1 or 2 spoonfuls bone-meal per 30 kg body weight for puppies and dogs older than 7-8 years
Please note: When the dog is given bones on a regular basis, the bone-meal supplement is unnecessary for dogs between 1-7 years.
Recommended Weekly Supplements:
- 1 or 2 large uncooked, bones of beef, veal, pork, or horse
Please note: no poultry bones, and no bones with sharp cut edges (T-bone, ribs, etc.), especially from cooked meat and fish. The bones should be so large that the dog cannot swallow them, and they should be partly edible for the dog. Joints and neck bones are especially well suited.
Special Care for Healthy Puppies:
- Puppies should have one full natural meal per day – same recipe as for an adult dog, yet preferably ground or finely cut.
- The additional daily meals should be rich in animal fat, carbohydrates, and fiber with only limited amounts of additional protein. For example, sour milk or yoghurt with cereals, or whole grain bread sandwiches with bacon fat or cheese.
Additional Tips for Optimum Health:
- A meal should be offered the dog only for a short period of time, such as 20-30 minutes. If the dog refuses the meal, it should be taken away (stored in the fridge till next meal time), and you should reduce the total number of meals you give the dog. If a puppy refuses a meal, eliminate the lunch meal first, later the breakfast.
- If the dog eats everything, you should increase the amounts fed per meal. If the dog gains excess weight, you reduce the number of meals; if it becomes too skinny, you feed more per meal.
- The dog should be allowed to rest for a couple of hours after each meal – no heavy exercise on a full stomach!
- Fresh water should be available for the dog every day, also on fast days.
- Products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs are valuable as occasional supplement to the meat.
- Please note that no parasites can be transmitted to the dog from raw pork, beef, veal, lamb and seafood products!
- Dogs have no problem with cholesterol and should preferably have fat as their energy source, not carbohydrates.
Details on a Healthy, Natural Meal:
Maximum 50% raw meat (preferably tripe), but also:
- Pork, veal, beef, chicken, lamb, turkey (no poultry bones!)
- Fish, seafood
- Kidneys, heart, spleen (these must never exceed 8% of the total meat portion!) Cooked meat can be served occasionally, yet uncooked meat is essential for the dog’s metabolism and should never be less than 50% of the weight of the meal.
Minimum 40% raw vegetables (including fruit), such as:
- Potatoes, carrots, zucchini, squash, cabbage, rutabagas, corn
- Apples, pears (including the cores), cherries, plums, peaches (without the pits)
- Vegetables and fruit should not be peeled: the most valuable nutrients are in the skin! Be aware though that imported fruits and vegetables may contain uncontrolled amounts of herbicides in the skin, so such products should be peeled before serving. Vegetables may occasionally be cooked, by should preferably be served raw, since many essential nutrients are destroyed by cooking.
Approximately 10% or less grain products (including bread), such as:
- Buns, bread slices, whole grain bread, crumbs, pancakes or waffles
- Cereals, raw or hot
- Rice or Pasta (always cooked)