There is a great deal of confusion and concern regarding the best way to feed dogs and cats, and possible harmful effects of commercial dog and cat foods. Should I do homemade diets? Raw or cooked? What about bones? How do I guarantee all the necessary nutrients if I'm not using a commercial diet?
This course will describe the anatomy and physiology of the digestive tract in dogs and cats, and how that provides clues into appropriate foods. We'll talk about the difference between what is truly optimal for health and what you can get away with. Potential food related issues such as allergies, hair loss, kidney disease, obesity and insulin resistance will be covered. We'll cover the available information on minimum requirements of key nutrients. Finally, options and detailed recipes for more healthful feeding of dogs and cats will be discussed.
The material for each section of the course will be posted on the internet weekly as a pdf file. It will include the material I want to cover, links for further reading, and a series of review questions that will emphasize the most important points. When you receive the next week's material, the answers to the questions from the week before will be at the front.
This is a no pressure learning situation. There is no “mandatory attendance” at any time, no grades. The review questions are for your use only. I assume that anyone taking the course is doing so because they want to learn more about canine and feline nutrition. You can read when it is convenient for you to do so.
I'll open the a Yahoo Groups discussion group in advance of the course starting. This will be a group exclusively for course enrollees. When you join, I'd like you to post a brief introduction about yourself in a file that will be called “Members Info”, and a description of what you are currently feeding in a file called “Members Diets”. This is an international group so I will use that information to make sure course material and links to resources are useful for all of you. In the diets section, also list any health or performance problems you are having. Use this group to ask questions about any part of the course material at any time. If you fall behind (life happens), you will have the opportunity to join the Yahoo group for the next run of the course if you think that would be beneficial to you (no fee second time around).