Every cairn terrier is an individual with a distinct personality. However, generally they are known for their independent but friendly natures, curious spirits and playful, active lifestyles. So what holistic diet best rewards their personalities and feeds their hungry bodies?
Cairn terriers were bred to hunt, and did a fabulous job. Over 200 years ago in coastal Scotland, these little guys smoked out vermin from the cairns—or rock piles, as we call them. As one of the smallest hunting dogs, they could access small areas to weed out the desired prey. They still have wonderful excavating skills, as modern-day cairn parents with dug-up yards can attest.
Flash Forward to Today's Diets
Today, we can use the cairn terrier's history to offer diet ideas. Fish and poultry are wonderful menu additions for these coastal-bred animals who hunted and ate small animals. If you're looking to develop a holistic diet for your cairn, you should follow some general guidelines. First, dogs should eat about 50 to 75 percent animal protein, 15 to 18 percent fat, and 25 percent carbohydrates. Second, changing a dog's diet should be done gradually. This allows her body to adjust and minimizes the risk of tummy upset.
What to Include
Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
To begin with, add about 10 to 25 percent of the new food per week, removing an equal amount of calories from the current food. At this rate, your dog could be on a homemade, holistic diet within a month or two.
Along with fish and poultry, you can include other cooked meats, and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peas, squash, pumpkin and more. Oils like flax, safflower and olive offer essential fatty acids.
The Importance of Supplements
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Supplements play a role in health. The essential fatty acids from flax offer omega-3, as does fish. Eggshells offer calcium and other minerals, and should be cooked. Crush or grind them before use to eliminate sharp edges. A high-quality multivitamin supplement rounds out the diet.
With a little research, you can develop a holistic diet for your little best friend. Her health can thrive—even if your yard does pay the price.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.