How much of homemade food to feed small dog?

caflowerluverSeptember 13, 2012

I have a 11/12 YO Dachshund who has been breaking out with bumps. The vet said it could either be food or environment allergies. I have tried different high quality dry dog foods and she is fine for awhile then breaks out again. Can't find the environment allergy, if that is it, because I live way out in the country on 2.5 acres. Just too difficult to pin point what it could be.

I am thinking of making my own food from cooked chicken, fresh veggies like carrots, peas and sweet potatoes and brown rice. I don't know how much to give her. I give her around 1/3 cup dry both morning and night now. She is a little overweight because she is not an active dog and was getting dog treats, which I have stopped.

So how much of homemade food do you feed a 15/17 lbs. dog that should be 11/12 lbs.?

BTW I am just interested in amounts, not a discussion of all the kinds of dog foods and diets out there and what is good or bad about each. As in, Raw vs commercial.


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spedigrees z4VT

That is a hard to answer question, and a lot of it is trial and error. A lot of factors go into it, such as the age and corresponding activity level of each dog. I fed my 67 lb collie 2 cups of food both morning and night, and my 33 lb sheltie 1 cup twice daily. Both dogs were older when I began feeding them home cooked food. These amounts kept them both at a good weight.

When they passed on I adopted an older mixed breed dog who weighs about 29 lbs, and a sheltie puppy. I feed the rescue dog about 3/4th of a cup twice daily, and the sheltie (who is now nearly a year old) about a cup 2 times a day. It was a learning curve with the puppy. She lost a pound while she was going through a growth spurt, and when I increased her meals she really started to pack on the pounds and I had to reduce the amount.

I think I would try feeding your dachshund 1/3rd cup of home cooked food twice daily (same amount as she is getting of the dry food) and weigh her at 2 week intervals so that you can see whether it is the right amount or if you need to reduce or increase the portions. Best of luck! I hope it helps with her allegies, and don't forget to add powdered calcium or baked ground eggshell to her food. It's an important ingredient for home cooked dog (or cat) food. I bet she will love her new diet!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I don't have any answers but do think you should still give her treats. They can be tiny and low cal but it's also the significance of "treat" that is important.
Good for you for looking out for her.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Thanks for the replies. I hope it works for her. She will eat anything - fast! We say she inhales her food, loves to eat.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:44PM
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FWIW -- Our 16 lb Westie is almost 13. He has become intolerant of Hill's I/D kibble, but is doing fine on Hill's I/D canned food. He has always had too much gastric acid and has always been fed four small meals per day. He gets about a can per day -- little bit more.

Is your Dachshund better when not outdoors (winter)? Ours gets himself in trouble by eating 'stuff' outdoors: mulch, rabbit poo, etc.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bumps'. Westies are infamous for skin ailments. We've had them for 40 years. I know of some that could only eat duck, or salmon -- not the usual chicken or beef foods. I was able to control our 'best conforming' Westie's skin troubles by using Gentamicin spray at the first sign of an outbreak.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:17AM
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chisue - My MIL had a Westie and they spent a fortune on him because of skin conditions and he was an inside only dog. With mine it does seem to be more seasonal, spring and summer, but this year has been the worse. So the vet thought it might be also food allergies on top of environmental. She said it is not unusual for older dogs to develop allergies. I also bought Itch Relief Shampoo by GNC Pets with hydrocortisone, to help. Thanks for the tip on Gentamicin spray. I will look for it.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:53AM
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I feed raw prey model to my dogs. My smallest dog, a 27 lb mutt, gets 8 oz/day (weight measure, not liquid measure), and he's probably one pound overweight right now. I suspect he would maintain a healthy, lean weight on 7-7.5 oz/day.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Dog's allergies are often caused by their becoming allergic to the protein sources in their food. By switching to homemade food, you may find it doesn't eliminate the problem if you're still feeding chicken or beef or whatever he's become allergic to. You may need to go to some of the less commonly fed meats such as buffalo or rabbit. They can develop allergies at any time in their lives and they become more common with age, so switching to a protein they've never had before means they've never developed an allergy to it.

If you do decide to cook your dog's food, I included a link to a calculator that will help you determine how many calories your dog should need. Of course, you'll have to figure out how many calories are in the food you make and then you can adjust the amount you feed as time goes on and you see whether he's slimming down or not.

Also, I thought I'd mention how important it is to include a calcium source in homemade food. It's very crucial for dogs to have the proper balance between phosphorus and calcium or they can become very ill. Meat is full of phosphorus, but not calcium, and they get their calcium from eating bones. If you aren't feeding raw bones he can chew up and eat, you will need to add either bonemeal or I use a product called Eggshellent Calcium made from ground eggshells. I would also recommend using a good vitamin supplement to ensure that you're covering all the bases.

Here is a link that might be useful: Calorie calculator

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:38PM
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Laurie - Thanks for the info. If my dog should be 13-14 lbs. I guess I should feed about half that amount or 4 oz.

deb18 - Thanks for calculator and additional information. I forgot to mention that the vet recommended a doggie vitamin in addition to what I am feeding her. So I bought some at the vet's office.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:01PM
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