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.Thunktank wrote: ↑Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:31 pmYou 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.Skip wrote: ↑Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:38 pmYou have any links or info (start another thread?) or are you just gonna annoy us by talking about it...?Thunktank wrote: ↑Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:20 pmThis 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!JimVH wrote: ↑Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:27 pmA 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.Thunktank wrote: ↑Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:18 pmA 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.
We have three dogs now, totaling 150+ pounds; I care.
I wonder how dogs survived before modern experts existed.
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.