Homemade Dogfood

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Thunktank
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Homemade Dogfood

Post by Thunktank » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:52 pm

Someone suggested I start a thread on this topic. So for his happiness I will.
Thunktank wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:31 pm
Skip wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:38 pm
Thunktank wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:20 pm
JimVH wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:27 pm
Thunktank wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:18 pm
A few weeks ago I started making my dogs their food from scratch. I do add calcium supplements however, as I don't feed them bone and meat in the raw regularly and dogs require lots of calcium. I started doing this because my puppy has a sensitive digestive system and he responded very well to homemade food. I have learned a great deal about dog nutritional needs in the last few weeks.
A friend of mine started make her own dog food a few months ago and she has seen a remarkable improvement in her dogs. She said it doesn't really cost any more than the premium commercial food she had been buying.
This is true. That's what made me look into it. I was spending big money on food limited ingredient kibble that my dog still couldn't digest without issue. Night and day difference between homemade and premium all natural dog food that was costing me about 60 bucks for like 24 lbs. ridiculous!
You have any links or info (start another thread?) or are you just gonna annoy us by talking about it...?

:wink:

We have three dogs now, totaling 150+ pounds; I care.
You do not know what you ask. There isn't a more controversial topic than proper pet care and training. It's far worse than climate change. The muddled available information even from "experts" is anything but clear. The easiest thing to do is buy kibble and keep the "experts" and dog food companies happy. If your dogs consistently leave a pile of goop in your yard roughly the shape of soft serve ice cream, just tell your vet. He/she will be more than happy to write a prescription for their special white bag of dog food that costs five dollars a meal per 35 lb dog.

I wonder how dogs survived before modern experts existed.
As most here know, I have two dogs, both are working English Cocker spaniels. I have previously spent money on premium dog kibble, my older dog has done fine with that, but my younger dog was having trouble and after a couple of months trying different kibble, including limited ingredient versions, all with the same results, I decided to make my own dog food from scratch. Within two days the first signs of improvement were witnessed for the first time (firm stools) and now after a little over a month, the dog is scratching himself far less frequently and his coat is arguably shinier. The Vet is pleased. She has also supported my homemade dogfood practice after some explanation on my part and with the proof that my puppy appears healthier now. Though at first she really wanted me to try her expensive prescription dog food, which I refused.

Now to be clear, I'm not recommending anything, neither do I consider myself an expert on dog feeding. I have learned a lot, but there are so many conflicting opinions of proper dog nutrition, I defaulted to using my own good sense as a foundation for my own venture. There are those who feed their dogs raw diets with raw bones and those who use cooked meat. There are literally thousands of recipes and just as many opinions. All I will do here is share what I'm currently doing and why. I fully expect that I will continue experimenting with different things as an ongoing learning experience. The final judge will be the health and wellbeing of my dogs, no one else's.

Here is what I believe and do:

Dog's have a short digestive track with a stomach high in acid content. They are primarily carnivores and have very limited ability to digest and reap the full benefits of most plants. Though they do receive some benefit from certain plants provided in certain ways. The levels of acid in their stomach enables them to eat higher levels of bacteria safely than we can. Does that mean bacteria is good for them? No, it simply means they can eat some things that would make us down right sick so I will include some raw meat with bones. But only certain meats with certain bones appropriate for my 35 lb dogs. Large bones can crack teeth, cooked bones are never given as their composition changes. They cannot be digested like raw bones will be and they are more apt to splinter. Also, I am mindful of modern food processing. There is generally fewer nutrients in food and added hormones and preservatives. I use variety in order to promote nutritional benefits within the confines of certain ratios.

Ratios I aim for by weight (cooked veggies/starchy foods).

20 percent cooked lean meat (boneless, skinless chicken chiefly but top sirloin, tripe, wild boar and venison too)
20 percent meat with skin, bones and fat. (Canned salmon mostly, with occasional raw chicken drumsticks or beef ribs.)
20 percent whole eggs with shells that are puréed and added to the following starchy mixture.
20 percent starchy food sources like brown rice, peas, potatoes and sweat potatoes. All well cooked.
20 percent vegetables, fruit and berries. All puréed to aid in digestion and added to the starchy foods mentioned above. (Avoiding ones that are toxic to dogs).

Right now I am also using a calcium supplement and will add a bit of plain yoghurt to the food once a day as a pro biotic. I am also looking into other general supplements for future use and will be adjusting as I get a better handle on it. Proper ratios of nutrients with calcium is something that keeps me awake at night as does proper amounts of Omega 3 and 6. It's a work in progress and subject to continual adjustments. But right now I also use a lot of whole eggs with shells. Not only do eggs have lots of nutrients but also the shell has usable amounts of calcium in perfect ratio. Canned salmon with bones also have this benefit.

Also, select table scraps are given within the above guidelines and the various fruits and vegetables we eat are shared with the dogs.

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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Thunktank » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:59 pm

How some sled dogs eat.

I've been slowly adding more raw meat to the diet. A lot of claims are made about feeding raw, but evidence is very sparse from both sides of that debate, but hey, if professsional sled dogs are doing it, it must be for a reason. I can definately see the potential benefit of feeding my gun dogs a meaty bone with lots of fat on days they hunt.

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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Sir Moose » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:15 pm

I'm somewhat interested - one of our dogs (border collie) is currently on the 'special' kibbles.

I have to admit to being a little bit curious about a few aspects of your homemade food, though.

First of all, about how much do you feed your dogs? Is it a similar amount to what you would do with kibbles, only with quality food?

Secondly, I assume that you don't prepare their food every meal, so does that mean you make up a weeks' worth and put it in the refrigerator or something?

Thirdly, all of your 20%s make sense, but do you combine all of them into one big messy glop of canine cuisine or do you serve the various portions separately (other than the eggs that you specifically said you mix in with the starch)?
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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by TheImpudent » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:24 am

A sad fact.

North American Dogs are more cared for and eat much better and are even more loved and nourished than most of this worlds children are.

Do your part to feed the hungry. Give to your local food bank on a regular basis. Sponsor a child or two. Sell all you have and give to the poor and then feed your dog.

Not a juke, I'm certain that everyone reading this cares for his neighbors before his dog.

Peace and blessings.

TheImpudent

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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Thunktank » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:41 am

You're supposed to feed a dog 2-3 percent of their body weight daily, but keeping in mind age and activity level. I'm still in the process of determining what's right for my dogs. Of course, some foods are more dense than others, I see little good in feeding lots of bulk. I only want enough nutrients and fiber, most nutrients for dogs come from dense foods.

Also, I add a multi vitamin to their diet each day to ensure they get enough vitamins and minerals, kibble companies add them too. Basically, I'm recreating what some premium kibble companies make using ingredients I know without the extra preservatives and making mine naturally easier to digest without weird additives.

Yes, I make this in large batches. I cook each thing separately and then measure each out to combine it. I keep a couple of days worth in the refrigerator and put about two weeks worth in the freezer using small containers that hold enough food for those two days in the refrigerator. There are alway two containers in the refrigerator, one thawing and one being fed from.

I'm sure many more adjustments will be made as I learn more, and I'm really interested in feeding more raw meat with bone and organ meats. There's virtually no science to back a raw diet up or to really dismiss it either. Lots of people swear by it though and while I've only begun to feed a little bit of raw, it's seems to work fine and it will be good for their teeth if done right. I supervise the feeding of raw with bones though, and the first few times it was nerve wracking. But all the same, every time they crunch a bone, their tail wags. It's amazing to watch, they are made for it, and what comes out the other end isn't what I thought might.

I'm also getting some help from folks I know who show Irish Setters. They make homemade food from scratch. I know these dogs and their owners through work and from dog beach. Their dogs look good and they've been doing this for years.

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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Thunktank » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:50 am

TheImpudent wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:24 am
A sad fact.

North American Dogs are more cared for and eat much better and are even more loved and nourished than most of this worlds children are.

Do your part to feed the hungry. Give to your local food bank on a regular basis. Sponsor a child or two. Sell all you have and give to the poor and then feed your dog.

Not a juke, I'm certain that everyone reading this cares for his neighbors before his dog.

Peace and blessings.

TheImpudent
Good reminder.


I wonder what Saint Francis would say? Maybe he would tell us that loving animals is the same kind of love we love children with. Or what about Saint Herman of Alaska who fed bears and Native American children or Saint Innocent of Alaska who fed an injured eagle, lead the Russians trappers to put limits on their fur take and built orphanages in Moscow. :wink:

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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:11 am

On Sundays the local grocery has 8 pieces of baked chicken for 5 bucks.

I get 2 meals and so do the pups. They get the breast meat.

Sunday night is always a good treat for them. If it's not baked chicken it's something from the grill.

When I get Chinese food take out I give the dogs the white rice instead of dry food for a few days.

I never share whiskey with the pups. In case there was doubt.
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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Cleon » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:19 am

Interesting.

I'd recently watched a documentary on Netfix - "Petfooled". It's all about the dog food industry and how it changed the way we feed our pet dogs in the early 20th century after the first WW. We went from feeding them meat, their natural food, and scraps to dry and canned food off the shelf. It's a lot like what happened to people. Consequently, we see more overweight and unhealthy dogs suffering just like people are now because they are eating highly processed, unnatural foods.

A lot of the vets in the documentary were advocating raw meat diets for their dogs.
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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:21 am

TheImpudent wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:24 am
A sad fact.

North American Dogs are more cared for and eat much better and are even more loved and nourished than most of this worlds children are.

Do your part to feed the hungry. Give to your local food bank on a regular basis. Sponsor a child or two. Sell all you have and give to the poor and then feed your dog.

Not a juke, I'm certain that everyone reading this cares for his neighbors before his dog.

Peace and blessings.

TheImpudent
Off the back side of the house and through a small wooded area is a house where they keep a female grey dog locked in a small pen 24/7.

Dog barked at me when I moved in and working in back yard. I started walking over with milk bones and pig ears. Just gave through fence and leave. A few weeks of that she grey pup was all wag tail every time she saw me. Still bark, but it's a different sounding bark. One Saturday I got one of those large beef knuckle bones and went over and before I gave it to her, she was all happy about having me give her attention and affection. Then the owner called the cops and I'm not allowed to do that any more.

I tried to treat my neighbors dog as my own, but the neighbor said no.

First time that has ever happened. I always make nice with the neighborhood pups where ever I have lived.
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Post by SlowToke » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:06 pm

I like this idea. "Quality" pet store dog food is expensive and my dogs aren't crazy about what we feed. We have always fed the limited ingredients food. True story: when I was working as an electrician, we did a job for a week at a dog food plant. Most disgusting smell you'll ever smell. I remember large rolling vats of raw meat that sat steaming on the dock for days.
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Re:

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:38 pm

SlowToke wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:06 pm
I like this idea. "Quality" pet store dog food is expensive and my dogs aren't crazy about what we feed. We have always fed the limited ingredients food. True story: when I was working as an electrician, we did a job for a week at a dog food plant. Most disgusting smell you'll ever smell. I remember large rolling vats of raw meat that sat steaming on the dock for days.
Are you sure this wasn't when you were working at the hot dog factory? Sounds a lot like hot dogs, gotta say.
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Re: Re:

Post by SlowToke » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:44 pm

DepartedLight wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:38 pm
SlowToke wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:06 pm
I like this idea. "Quality" pet store dog food is expensive and my dogs aren't crazy about what we feed. We have always fed the limited ingredients food. True story: when I was working as an electrician, we did a job for a week at a dog food plant. Most disgusting smell you'll ever smell. I remember large rolling vats of raw meat that sat steaming on the dock for days.
Are you sure this wasn't when you were working at the hot dog factory? Sounds a lot like hot dogs, gotta say.
I think the quality of meat they put in hot dogs isn't as high as what they use in dog food. :lol:
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Re: Homemade Dogfood

Post by Thunktank » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:50 pm

There are companies like OC Raw that provides raw meals in meatloaf form. I can only assume it's pricey stuff, but I don't know how pricey. Anyway, it is a company that is locally owned and opporated using a lot of local food. I can definately see myself making food like this. I already own a heavy duty meat grinder and chest freezer. Why can't I?

Another thing I learned is that there are deals for kibble and wet canned dog food. Canned food often uses less carbohydrates in comparison to dry kibble, which I can only see as beneficial. But price doesn't always equal better quality. Through this whole effort I found good value in Walmart branded Pure Balance for example. It's not cheap, but the ingredients are on par with pricier foods you'll find at the boutique feed stores. Other values are out there too, Kirkland comes to mind too.

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