I’m pleased to announce that I will be running the Advanced Course again, for those of you who want to go deeper than the Foundational Course. The programme is conducted entirely online, is usually a smaller group than the Basics Course, thus allowing me more time to spend with students, especially as we begin to develop recipes. Here is the course description, with fees, required reading and materials – any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be most happy to answer your questions.
Home Made Food for Dogs: an Online Workshop/Study Programme
The breakdown of the course is as follows:
Review, discussion, during this time we will establish what our immediate
goals are as well as tightening up any review of digestion, nutrient basics
etc that needs to be covered. A solid previous knowledge of nutrition basics
is essential. This course will function as a workshop as well as a class and
I encourage people to bring their own dog into the discussion, so we can all
benefit from the comparisons and different programmes we work out together. The recipes we develop will be for healthy dogs only; if yours has a specific, nutritionally-responsive condition he or she should stick with the diet that’s working.
Energy 101 – How much to feed?
This section covers metabolism, learning and using the formulas to determine
caloric intake, how to establish a caloric range, and bioindividuality.
Nutritionists use energy as a starting point for any home made diet and we
will learn how all other nutrients are calibrated accordingly.
Energy Sources: Balancing carbs, proteins and fats
In this section we look at the three energy-nutrients and how they interact
with each other and affect absorption, requirements and selection of food
Carbohydrate Controversy – Good? Bad? What kind? How Much?
While not strictly speaking a nutritional requirement, carbohydrates fill a
variety of very important roles in the canine diet, from the production of
short chain fatty acids in the large intestine to a simple source of readily
available energy. But all carbs are not created equal. We will look at carbs
from a perspective of functionality, and break then into a number of
groupings – which type and how much of each? Plant foods contribute a great
range of healthful nutrients to the canine diet, but knowing how much of
which ones to use – and why – is essential. We’ll cover fiber, gluten, and
take an indepth look at the various foods that can contribute healthy carbs
to your dogs diet.
Protein- It’s Not All About Meat
In this section we will look deeply at what foods offer the most
biologically available amino acids, and how to combine and rotate them for
an optimal canine diet. Dogs actually “require” far less protein than many
assume and too much can be detrimental in some cases. That said, various life
stages, activity levels and health conditions suggest different levels… and
the type of fiber you’re using can interfere with absorption as well. A lot
to consider, but we will make it easy and fun to learn. The key here is a
plentiful, digestible supply from a wide variety of sources.
Fats: Sorting Through the Hype:
Omega3 fatty acids are a big buzzword right now, but what are EFAs, where
are they found, how are they classified and above all – how much does your
dog need? This is a complex section but by the time we’re done you will know
the answers to these and other related questions. Fats are no more “bad”
than are carbs, it’s a question of knowing which ones are healthful and in
Putting these three together: The core of the Energy Section is how to
balance the above three nutrient categories in your dog’s daily life, which
foods to use and in what amounts. We will analyze some popular recipes and
review appropriate nutrient ratios again for various life stages and so on.
Nutrient interactions – fiber’s effect on protein for example – will also be
All three of these nutrients will be examined with an eye to how much of
each, what kind, and which food sources and preparation methods will
maximize absorption, minimize potential problems of over or underfeeding,
and encourage optimal, overall wellbeing. We will start using spreadsheets
as well as software to see how even small changes in the diet can translate
to big differences in the numbers – and keep looking at what those changes
can mean to the health of your dog, over time.
In this section of the course we will analyze the amounts of each vitamin
and mineral in the diets we’re developing, and review how much of each one a
dog should require; when is there a case for using supplements, and how
vitamins and minerals interact in the body. Minerals in particular can be
antagonistic and need to be carefully balanced. Along with the three energy
nutrients we have to ensure that we are neither under- nor over- supplying
minerals. This is a six week area of investigation in the course and
requires some previous knowledge, either my Basics Course or equivalent.
Again we will analyze both our own dog’s diets as well as some of the
popular ones, with a view to deepening our knowledge and coming up with
optimal, individual programmes.
We will also expand our use of software/spreadsheets to include vitamins and
minerals, and examine how these amounts can affect one another, such as
mineral interactions and the effect of excess intake of both vitamins and
PART THREE: Preparation
-dangers of heated fats
– pros and cons of raw foods, when and how to use them
-pros and cons of various cooking methods, watching the temperature,
compensating for nutrient loss
-introducing new foods
– anti nutrient substances such as phytate, oxalate and tannin, and how to recognize and account for them in
-batch cooking for the multi-dog household
-food handling and storage
And we will start making the food!
PART FOUR – Supplementing a Home made diet
This part of the course will look primarily at those supplements that may
need to be added to ensure nutritional adequacy and prevent
deficiency/excess states. It will focus primarily on fatty acids, vitamins
and minerals, and review pros and cons of multi-type formulas, how to
ascertain how much of a given supplement – and what form – your dog might
require, and how to find quality products. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, green “superfoods”
joint formulas and antioxidants will also be discussed.
PART FIVE – Now for the Fun
In this section we can move away from the plain meals we’ve been making and
analyzing and try some innovative recipes.I realize some students will be
more interested in this part than others, but almost everyone wants treat
and special occasion recipes.We’ll make some recipes to share with our dogs
all recipes gluten-free, nutritionally balanced, and easy to make. Just a fun way to end off a
lot of serious study! We’ll use some of my own recipes and develop some new
This course is open to everyone who has a demonstrable level of basic
nutrition knowledge, or if not, anyone who is willing to put in some extra work as we go , mainly readings. . The cost of the course is $650.00 Canadian and texts are extra, but I will make
every endeavour to provide online resources and personal handouts
throughout to cut down on costs.
1) National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, 2006 edition
2) Canine and Feline Nutrition: a Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, third edition: Case, Hayek, Daristotle and Raasch
3) Optimal Nutrition: Raw and Cooked Canine Diets, the Next Level: Monica Segal
and a list of supplemental readings will be provided upon registration.
Further into the course, once we have started to prepare food, you will require the following:
a food scale
several medium to large stainless steel mixing bowls
a set of dry measure cups as well as liquid
a set of measuring spoons
freezer and fridge space if you plan to make large batch recipes or have large or multiple dogs
access to basic foods and supplements (brown rice, turkey and chicken, beef heart and liver, lamb (muscle and organ) eggs, squashes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, wild-caught fish, sardines (canned and fresh) and a supplement source such as http://www.iherb.com
If you are uncertain whether your current nutrition knowledge level is
adequate for this course, please don’t hesitate to email me and we can
discuss it. Students and graduates of the Basics Course will have more than
adequate ability to deal with terminology etc. The course is not difficult,
but neither is it Introductory. Let me know if you have any questions, I’m
always happy to help.
See you in class!