Wanting to make most of our dog's food. . . - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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but we don't want to go raw. Is there a good book that explains how I get their nutrients covered without making them fat? I have read a couple, but they don't always agree with each other. So, I wanted to know if there is a book that is frequently depended on. My dogs are small to medium in size. I don't think they will exceed 20 pounds. They don't seem to have any problems with any foods. I have been giving them some eggs and rice in the morning and some chicken or beef in the evening (sometimes with rice). They love carrots and I give them raw ones as chew sticks and add grated carrot to their meal.  Keep in mind the meals are a new thing (only a couple days now)--so our variety is low.  I don't give them a mid-day meal, but I do add "dog food" to their dish at that time.  

 

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#2 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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Home cooked foods can be good, but they need supplementation.  Personally I would not do one unless I had a canine nutritionist working with me.  Because you are cooking the meat and not giving bones, a lot of the nutrients need to be made up.  Its just too much work for me but I do know of others who have had success with it


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#3 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Why not raw? It is so easy, and provides optimal nutrition for dogs. Home cooked food while better than kibble, is still not species appropriate. Dogs don't need cooked veggies, grains and fruit, they are carnivores they need meat and bones. Sorry if I am being pain, but I have a hard time understanding why people choose this home cooked route which is so much more work for little nutritional gain.


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#4 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 04:46 PM
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Why not raw? It is so easy, and provides optimal nutrition for dogs. Home cooked food while better than kibble, is still not species appropriate. Dogs don't need cooked veggies, grains and fruit, they are carnivores they need meat and bones. Sorry if I am being pain, but I have a hard time understanding why people choose this home cooked route which is so much more work for little nutritional gain.

dogs are not carnivores at all. Cats are carnivores, obligate carnivores in fact. Dogs not so much and if you are feeding them simply meat and bones then they are absolutely missing out on a lot of nutrients they need.
 

 

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#5 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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dogs are not carnivores at all. Cats are carnivores, obligate carnivores in fact. Dogs not so much and if you are feeding them simply meat and bones then they are absolutely missing out on a lot of nutrients they need.
 

 


Not at all true.

 

Dogs are in fact carnivores.  They however can and do survive (not thrive) on other food sources besides meat.  Dogs are domesticated so their behavior is not exact to wolves anymore, but their nutritional needs and digestion is.  Look at their teeth...that will tell you all you need to know.  

 


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#6 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 07:55 PM
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Not at all true.

 

Dogs are in fact carnivores.  They however can and do survive (not thrive) on other food sources besides meat.  Dogs are domesticated so their behavior is not exact to wolves anymore, but their nutritional needs and digestion is.  Look at their teeth...that will tell you all you need to know. 

They are not strict carnivores. A cat will never ingest any plant material at all short of chewing a blade of grass or catnip. 

Wolves actually eat wildberries when they are around, although as my link points out it is a small portion of their diet.http://www.wolfcountry.net/information/WolfPrey.html

So my apologies, yes they are carnivores but not strict carnivores and the feral dogs of today are very far removed from the wolf. In fact the domesticated (or formerly domesticated dog) is not a direct ancestor of today's wolf. They are the ancestor of an extremely close relative of the wolf. There are so many things that are different for today's dog as opposed to the wolf. Example, it is a common misconception that feral dogs form "packs" this is not the case actually. They form loose scavenging groups that shift often and have no alpha, individuals come and go. Domesticated dogs do not form a pack with their human families as much as we'd like to think so.

 

As far as today's dog, their diet is one of an omnivore even if a more meat based diet would be ideal for them. That is mostly out of necessity. Even plied with all the meat they could eat though, dog's would still seek out things like berries/grasses (obviously for digestion) etc to supplement in a small manner their diet. 

 

I am sorry for making such a bold pronouncement!

As you can see though it is not all black and white, especially because while there are many similarities between today's dog and the wild wolf there are also many significant differences. 

 

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#7 of 11 Old 04-21-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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They are not strict carnivores. A cat will never ingest any plant material at all short of chewing a blade of grass or catnip. 

Wolves actually eat wildberries when they are around, although as my link points out it is a small portion of their diet.http://www.wolfcountry.net/information/WolfPrey.html

So my apologies, yes they are carnivores but not strict carnivores and the feral dogs of today are very far removed from the wolf. In fact the domesticated (or formerly domesticated dog) is not a direct ancestor of today's wolf. They are the ancestor of an extremely close relative of the wolf. There are so many things that are different for today's dog as opposed to the wolf. Example, it is a common misconception that feral dogs form "packs" this is not the case actually. They form loose scavenging groups that shift often and have no alpha, individuals come and go. Domesticated dogs do not form a pack with their human families as much as we'd like to think so.

 

As far as today's dog, their diet is one of an omnivore even if a more meat based diet would be ideal for them. That is mostly out of necessity. Even plied with all the meat they could eat though, dog's would still seek out things like berries/grasses (obviously for digestion) etc to supplement in a small manner their diet. 

 

 

Actually my cats will eat veggies and other things at times as they find them...and my friends kitten that was feral eats everything she can find.  But yes, they are obligate carnivores.

 

Like I said, dogs are carnivores that have adapted to be able to survive (but not thrive) on other sources.  I mentioned the behavior being different (ie not forming packs, etc) because of domestication..domestication changed their behavior for sure!  It however did not change their basic workings as far as what they eat, how they digest things, etc.  

 

So yes, dogs can and do eat grains (which cause a myriad of problems), veggies and fruits (are not really digested well and are not needed) etc..but what they thrive on is a variety of meats and meaty bones.
 

 


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#8 of 11 Old 04-22-2011, 05:58 AM
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hehe my fat cat loves LETTUCE...he is such a weirdo, he'll grab a leaf and nibble it. He also loves chips though so I don't think it means much..

You want to see a real carnivore...Say hi to a ferret. My little beasts were monsters when it came to meat and those little fangs were deadly if they got latched onto your finger looking for a treat.

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#9 of 11 Old 04-22-2011, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mirzam View Post

Why not raw? It is so easy, and provides optimal nutrition for dogs. Home cooked food while better than kibble, is still not species appropriate. Dogs don't need cooked veggies, grains and fruit, they are carnivores they need meat and bones. Sorry if I am being pain, but I have a hard time understanding why people choose this home cooked route which is so much more work for little nutritional gain.


Honestly. . . there are a couple reasons.  The first (lame, I know) is that it grosses me out.  We had a dog growing up that would eat the dirt around butchering time, try to get into the blood bucket, and then would go nuts when someone had a visit from AF.  So, that memory is there.  I realize that he was probably shouting out for some better food, but I was a child and had no idea.  Esp. since the dog would get quite sick from this.  The second reason is that it seems that the jury is out on a raw diet.  I know there are lots of things written that support it, but I have also read stuff suggesting that things get cooked a bit.  To 140 degrees.  My beef comes from my dad, and he raises so that he "knows" where it came from, etc.  But, I haven't found a good source for affordable chicken yet.  So, our chicken isn't organic or anything like that.  It worries me that I would make them sick.  And, third, sometimes we go out of town for a week or so.  We don't leave the dogs alone, they will be going to my parents.  I have a hard time imagining my parents doing the raw thing.  That isn't much of a reason, I know, but it is a real concern of mine.  I still want the dogs to eat a bit of kibble so that they have options.  I plan on sending prepackaged "meals" for them when they go to my parent's, but I also want the flexiblity of the kibble.  

 

Maybe I am being unreasonable?  We don't buy the worst kibble out there.  But, my dogs (the girl especially) loves an egg, or some chicken, and I just thought "why not".

 

Amy

 


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#10 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 12:21 AM
 
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Hi Amy,

 

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I think there are manty people like you who are just not ready to switch to raw, I am also one of those people. I started my dog out on a homecooked meal when we discovered he had a possible liver shunt. I got a book called "hope for healing liver disease" and followed the homemade diet in there. In fact it worked out so well that my little guys liver regenerated and I have since been giving him more protein. I have been using these books: http://www.amazon.ca/Holistic-Guide-Healthy-Wendy-Volhard/dp/1582451532/ref=pd_sim_b_5#_  and http://www.amazon.ca/Home-Prepared-Dog-Cat-Diets-Alternative/dp/0813821495/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307513641&sr=1-2 . The second one I have used a lot, it has a ton of information and I found it to be a wonderful resource for making his food. I would make large quantities and then just freeze them into individual portions, and that way I would only have to cook a big batch once a month. Our guy is 18 lbs, so if you have bigger dogs you would probably have to cook more frequent. I recently switched his food, he seemed to be getting bored and I shamefully have less time to prepare dog food due to a new addition to our family. So I have switched him to The Honest Kitchen:  \  . . http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/ 

 

He loves it, I use the one called preference. It is a base that you add your own meat to, so I will add chicken, beef or salmon, and the only additional thing I add is some salmon oil. We have been feeding him it for almost a month and he is in love, he runs to his bowl and scarfs it all up! They also have other formulas that include the meat or fish, so that would be closer to a raw diet without having to deal with the meat itself.

 

Anyways, hope this helps a little, good luck : )

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#11 of 11 Old 06-18-2011, 12:55 AM
 
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Feeding raw and/or homecooking requires a good deal of research to be done well. If I were you I would visit a local pet supply shop/feed store that supports it and ask for some advice/resources. I personally have one near me that's very helpful and they carry all kinds of books, frozen bones/food and supplements. That being said, we just feed a premium kibble and supplement with homemade treats. I suggest giving that a try if homecooking is too tedious! Orijen is what we feed our 40 lb Border Collie, it's fantastic and the cost is a little less than raw or cooking for us.

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