re: home made dog food

tabbymomJune 23, 2010

Hi everybody,

I thought I would share my story - it might help someone else. My two year old rescue male lab starting shaking his head about 6 months ago. Vet couldn't find an ear infection, gave me a solution to use every so often to keep ears clean. Kept shaking. Then started scratching. All the time. During a walk he would sit down and scratch. Went to the vet again and talked about possible allergies. Among other things, she gave me a pamphlet about allergies. One of the symptoms is shaking their head. That really jumped out at me! I changed his food that night, and cook his meals now. Plain boiled beef or chicken, some veggies, maybe some cottage cheese, etc. I Googled and read up on it, and my vet is sending me an info sheet to make sure I meet all the dietary requirements. I can see a huge change in him after only 48 hours. Shaking and scratching almost completely gone. His energy level is way up, acts like a puppy again. And he seems satisfied after a meal. Doesn't scarf it down and look around for more. FYI - I was feeding him Iams. So - FWIW - we have switched and my dog is better for it. Maybe this can help someone else.

Thanks!

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deb18

One of the most important things you need to be concerned about when making your own food is to get the proper balance of phosphorus and calcium. Meat is high in phosphorus and low in calcium and dogs would naturally get calcium from bones. If you aren't feeding bones, you need to supply a calcium supplement because not balancing these two minerals can cause a number of health problems. Bones must be fed raw to avoid splintering, but if you don't want to deal with that you can use a supplement such as the one below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eggshellent

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:34PM
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tabbymom

Yes, the calcium supplement is very important, and I am aware of it - thanks for mentioning that. I am reading all that I can my hands on, and talking closely with the vet to make sure all is well.

Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:00AM
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kitasmommie

we feed our dogs a regular commercial dog food - which seems to work well for both of them.
however, I did notice at our local farmers market, there's a farm that sells raw ground beef, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey (all pasture/grass fed)specifically for dogs. The mixes also include finely ground bones for calcium.
If I were to go the route of making my own dog food, I would certainly check this out.
you may find the same type thing in your farmers market as well.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:10PM
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coconut_nj

I'm glad it's working for your dog Tabbymom. I feed my dog raw and get the meat from a nearby wolf dog rescue who gets food from Sustainable Solutions, sooo.. I get free food. Sometimes there is not enough bone with the meats they get, so I too use eggshells to supplement the calcium. I just keep all our eggshells for a few days or so, let them accumulate and then grind them up fine in the food processor. I then mix them in with ground meats. You can just mix it in with your prepped food.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:36PM
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mercurie

You really don't need to cook the meat before you give it to your dog- their digestive systems are equipped to handle raw meat and the bacteria in it unlike a human's. Dogs even do well eating meat that is slightly "off" and would make humans sick.

Dogs aren't going to be able to digest vegetables well either, unless they are macerated. I suppose cooking these might help break them down and be more digestible?

A couple GOOD things to look into feeding are GREEN TRIPE, as fresh as you can get it (stinky but great for your dogs!) and raw eggs. My dog gets a raw egg (from our own chickens) every morning in addition to his meat and cottage cheese. Fish oil is another good supplement, it will help with his coat and probably some of the allergies he is having.

I prefer going all meat and staying away from vegetables except as occasional supplements. Locally there is a raw pet food supplier called Blue Ridge Beef that sells frozen ground raw muscle meat, organs, and tripe prepackaged (no additives) which is the simplest for me to feed, it's about $1/lb when you buy in bulk. Raw beef marrow bones from the grocery store are great to give between meals, and the dog will chisel off pieces of the bone to eat also.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 11:23AM
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vala55

I would be careful about feeding him ground up bones. Years ago bone meal was a popular health food until people started dying. Evidently the bones are where toxins like lead end up.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:12PM
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tabbymom

Hi everybody,

My dog is doing well on his diet. I am in close contact with the vet, and being very careful about supplements and calcium, etc. He is not getting ground up bones. His stools are much better and don't smell at all. Which makes things much easier when walking him in these hot days and having to pick up the poop!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:43PM
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mercurie

You really don't need to cook the meat before you give it to your dog- their digestive systems are equipped to handle raw meat and the bacteria in it unlike a human's. Dogs even do well eating meat that is slightly "off" and would make humans sick.

Dogs aren't going to be able to digest vegetables well either, unless they are macerated. I suppose cooking these might help break them down and be more digestible?

A couple GOOD things to look into feeding are GREEN TRIPE, as fresh as you can get it (stinky but great for your dogs!) and raw eggs. My dog gets a raw egg (from our own chickens) every morning in addition to his meat and cottage cheese. Fish oil is another good supplement, it will help with his coat and probably some of the allergies he is having.

I prefer going all meat and staying away from vegetables except as occasional supplements. Locally there is a raw pet food supplier called Blue Ridge Beef that sells frozen ground raw muscle meat, organs, and tripe prepackaged (no additives) which is the simplest for me to feed, it's about $1/lb when you buy in bulk. Raw beef marrow bones from the grocery store are great to give between meals, and the dog will chisel off pieces of the bone to eat also.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 3:11PM
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mercurie

Sorry about that double post, my computer reloaded the page and it re-submitted? lol.

Ground up bones will not harm a dog, they have very short digestive tracts and pass most food through (except kibble) in about 3-4 hours. They should be given in an appropriate amount and not be the MAIN part of the meal. Many people who follow a "prey model" diet (ex, types of meat in the same ratios they are found in a whole prey carcass) feed 80% muscle meat (chicken breasts, thighs, etc) 10% organs and 10% bone...so at this level it's not likely to cause any issues.

Feeding too much bone can make your dog constipated...everything in moderation!!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 3:27PM
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cynthia_gw

Your double post was a very good one though! You gave excellent advice, hitting on everything that worried me when I read the inital post :)

Although I feed my dogs a raw diet, there are excellent kibbles out there for those who for any reason prefer not to feed raw. Allergies and ear problems typically occur when poor quality kibbles (heavy on the corn) like Purina, Science Diet, and Iams are fed. Healthy kibbles are Evo, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Verus, and many others.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 9:47AM
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cindyandmocha

I totally agree with cynthia, but I will add that Cali Natural has been a life saver for me as far as allergies. My mocha is very allergy prone and nothing since I got him at 8 weeks has met the need to stop some awful hotspots except that. Naturapet makes a lot of brands, but Cali is particularly based upon an elimination diet for allergy pets -- 3 ingredients only -- a fat, a human grade meat, and a grain. A new formula (I just went to the website) does not include the grain and uses peas.

Mocha has been on this food for 9 years now. Also, my other 2 dogs are his age or older, and both also eat that.

At one point I did home-cook for him, and he did great! But when I got Ginger and Rusty too, it was waaay too much work. They are almost 100 lbs a piece you see.

I DO feed raw snacks now and then. If I am cooking, I have no qualms whatsoever about throwing a raw chicken back or neck or anything if it's meat. But never cooked bones.

Key for me in the cooked food was kale and some addatives -- bone meal, kelp, glucosamine/chondroitin, parsley for breath, apple cider vinegar for fleas (likely an old wives tale), etc.

Funny, one time years ago.. DH came home and dipped into the stock pot... "mmmm what smells so good? this tastes great!" (He's a chef). I blushed a bit -- we were newlyweds-- umm... honey.. that is dog food. buahahahaha

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 2:27AM
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