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Caraline
20th February 2007, 11:25 AM
Forgive me if this topic has already been coverd. I did try searching but didn't find specifically what I was looking for.

So, I am wondering what everyone's feelings are on home prepared versus high quality commercial dog foods?

Because up until now we always had large dogs & quite a number of them (8 at one stage) it just wasn't practical for me to be preparing home made meals for the dogs. However old father time has changed all that and our number & breed is smaller, so I'm toying with the idea of trialling home prepared or at least mostly home prepared meals for the dogs. I'm thinking along the lines of cooked up meats, veg, rice & other grains and also occasional raw meats (human consumption quality) & bones. I'd still like to feed the occasional meal of high quality kibble too as that can be extremely convenient on occasions.

Anyway, I would like to hear what you are all doing re feeding, why you chose the method you did, and what the advantages & disadvantages are for both you and your dogs.

Many thanks! :)

Kodee
20th February 2007, 04:46 PM
Ouch - touchy, touchy subject! But my two cents.. my puppy was raised on a home-cooked diet the breeder makes (and sells at top vets in our province). I believe, the process of cooking a balanced home cooked meal totally can not be ensured to be nutritional/healthy 100% because so much can go wrong. Dog food manufactured has kept a lot of dogs alive well past life expectancy. If you research is good, you watch your pet for signs, I believe a good kibble (sometimes switched around) and adding some fresh foods is the best of both worlds. I dont feel its a compromise but rather the highest way to go. I do not agree with raw diet - opps there go the sirens with opposing views coming on... :lol:

Denise G.
20th February 2007, 04:57 PM
I feed premium kibble and prepared raw food (Nature's Variety). I was very unsure about feeding the raw, even though it's prepared and has all the nutrients the dog needs. But now, I wouldn't feed Mia anything else. She's done SO good on it and I couldn't find a kibble anywhere that didn't upset her stomach and give her runny/mush poo. I feed her the NV Raw venison with frozen green beans on top, a squirt of Grizzly Salmon Oil and some probiotics and she LOVES it and has had nothing but perfect poo (weird that it's so important, I know) since she's been on it. My Golden gets a kibble/raw mix, since I'd go bankrupt trying to feed him a 100% NV raw diet... :shock: I'd like to start adding a little home cooking to their diets occasionally, though. Just haven't gotten around to it yet...

Zippy
20th February 2007, 06:11 PM
It's a very touchy subject but in order to get the right combination of minerals and vitamins for your doggie, I'd go with a high quality dog food.

We had to cook for our beloved Charley, in the last year or so of his life.
The vet gave us some minerals and vitamins (powder) that HAD to be added daily to meet the proper requirements for a dog.

I agree with Debbie, use a premium dog food supplemented with a small amount of veggies, cheese, fruits, etc. :flwr: :flwr:

Caraline
20th February 2007, 11:20 PM
Thanks for your input guys. Hey I didn't realise that this is a touchy subject http://users.bigpond.net.au/fiorfein/emoticons/evil_tempted.gif

Okay, I still want to hear more opinions on this.

Karlin
21st February 2007, 12:05 AM
I don;t think it is always touchy -- but some people can feel that one diet alone is what should be fed and any other choice is wrong -- and make people feel really guilty about it. There are quite faddsh things that folks will say MUST be fed as well. I think you can feed many things.

I personally think dry food diets are extremely boring for a dog for a lifetime -- like eating a bowl of the same fortified cereal at each meal -- and dried extruded foods have to have most nutrients added back in as most of the real food ingredients lose much of their nutritional value once highly processed into kibble. Often the food sources are quite poor too of course. A good quality kibble is really worth it I think, and I always encourage people to add frsh food to this type of diet if it forms the basis of the dog's meals -- and to rotate around different foods every few months too for nutritional, shape and flavour variety.

I like feeding what you are proposing -- some kibble, some homecooked, a bit of raw, mostly as bones (I do have some issues with how well bones are actually digested though, from personal experiences that were a bit worrying!).

Dogs do not need much of a different diet than a balanced human diet and did well for centuries off human leftovers, castoffs, and butchers trimmings. The pet food industry is only a recent phenomenon -- a post worl war two convenience and way of using up foods not used in the commercial manufacturing industries, like rice hulls, meat 'derivatives' etc.

I mostly feed homemade stews that are a mix of meat, veg, and usually rice, barley or oats. I cook it for 3-4 hours, remove bones, blend it well by hand (I don;t puree it as some people do), and freeze in containers that last 2-3 days. I either feed this alone or with some kibble. There are a few recipes in the Caring for your Cavalier section. I use whatever veg is around, frozen mixed veg or beans, all sorts of things. For meat, usually chicken or turkey or ground beef (if the latter I don;t cook it for more than about an hour, sort of like you would a a chili recipe). I enjhoy making up a fresh batch each week or two.

It isn't hard to make your own raw mix, and again there are plenty of recipes out there from good reliable nutritional sources. This is phenomenally cheaper than buying it in.

It is easy to get the recommended supplements if you want to add those in though I cannot see how it makes much difference to add in something like kelp power -- I mean dogs in the wild survive on a very varied diet and don't have artifical supplements added in. As with humans a healthy fresh varied diet will provide all the nutrients a dog needs but it is important to read up a bit to make sure you know what is needed in a varied and nutitional diet for a dog.

I almost never feed kibble alone -- I always add in things from fish to yoghurt, some fresh or cooked veg, etc.

Some feel over-supplementing is not healthy. As in humans high levels of vitamins etc can cause problems. I don't use any supplements at all except fish oil caspules a couple times a week if I remember. :)

Caraline
21st February 2007, 01:01 AM
This is all very reassuring. Thank you Karlin for such a comprehensive reply.


-- but some people can feel that one diet alone is what should be fed and any other choice is wrong -- and make people feel really guilty about it.

Yeah, it is a shame when people do stuff like that. It is never productive.


The pet food industry is only a recent phenomenon

And one that is starting to annoy me somewhat. Here in Australia I could be eating lobster, crabs & truffles for the same price we pay for "premium" dog food & no matter which way you look at it, is only made up of very cheap ingredients.

Like you, with the number & size of dogs we now have, I could get away with doing a once a week cook up for the dogs.

Well, I better get my pots out then.

luvzcavs
21st February 2007, 10:06 AM
I would do a mix of both using a human grade premium dog food as a baseline which you can increase or decrease depending on what or how much home cooked stuff you give.
If you do decide to go with only home cooked food you need to make sure you are giving the right supplements also.

Karlin
21st February 2007, 12:02 PM
The thing is, if you feed a balanced and varied 'real food' diet you do not need supplements, though you can add them if you like. :). Dogs like humans are omnivores and survivors and have systems well adapted over millenia to benefit from whatever mix of foods they can gather in. As with humans, as long as you have an interesting variety of foods -- primarily meat and some veg, ideally rotating the meats and adding in some small amounts of offal like occasional heart, liver etc -- the diet will not only be nutritional but arguably, the sources for vitamins and minerals will be superior to adding in chemically-derived supplements. Note many human nutritionists argue this too -- the best source for vitamins and minerals is generally always food itself, not a pill or powder. It is known that vitamins and minerals within a food seem to have greater punch than what should be the same, in a pill, probably because they combine with unknown elements in the food in some way to boost the value and digestibility of the vitamins. It is known that some and perhaps even much of the excessive amounts of vitamins/minerals taken in pill form are simply excreted in urine in humans, especially if you drink tea or coffee within a short time of taking the supplement.

The reason all the supplements are in a dried or tinned dog food is not because they are needed in addition to what few natural ingredients are there, but because the natural ingredients no longer offer much nutritional value due to the way dried foods (in particular) are processed into kibble.

With cavaliers, I find I can actually feed the dogs cheaper on homecooked stews than on kibble or tins (we don't have the option of premade raws here). I get bulk package chicken thighs or one huge turkey leg for very little at the butcher or supermarket and can feed three dogs for little more than a couple of euro a week. Occasionally I get beef instead. A raw diet would be more costly, as the main component is meat.

Interestingly a friend of mine says the same for her large dogs -- she had three dogs, two big labs and a lurcher (the elderly lab had since passed on at around 16 -- all are rescue dogs of uncertain age) -- and she says it is much cheaper for her to feed homecooked and raw than to buy premium kibble. All her dogs thrive on this diet, basically the same thing I make, and she has the support of her holistic vet, who is one of the better vets in Ireland and very well informed on nutritional issues (he is a raw food advocate too). Miss Daisy the elderly lab did superbly for 4-5 years on such a diet and I'm sure it contributed to her longevity and zest for life; she was a great eater til the end. Considering my friend thought she got her as a dog with maybe a year left to her life -- she had a great run of it. :)

I can post a couple of useful books later on for anyone interested in trying some fresh food diets -- am very behind on my 'real' work at the moment and don't have time to find them.

I really like to encourage people to venture beyond the world of dried kibble. :lol: Dogs lived for centuries with humans without ever seeing a fortified bag of kibble and giving a nice variety of foods in a balanced way can at the very least be a welcome addition to your dog's food bowl or even its primary constituent. I know some are not comfortable with ltering diet too much and feel better using a kibble -- but if so, do consider adding in a bit of fresh cooked meat, a sardine or two, cottage cheese, some fresh chopped or pureed veg or fruit... daily or a couple times a week. All that adds interest and variety for your dog and is tasty too!

Linda
21st February 2007, 03:09 PM
Upon bringing Dudley home who is now 3 years old, the breeder had him on a totally raw diet.
I followed this diet for over a year, I also tried many different pre-made Raw Diets. Dudley grew not to enjoy the RAW with the exception of RAW Chicken Necks which he devoured. He would actually hold out for those necks, I loved the fact that he was eating necks as his teeth were in wonderful shape. Because of the constant battle of him manipulating me I switched to Kibble, I now feed both of them EVO always mixed with either boiled Chicken/Beef and veggies.

They are doing very well on it and I feel good that they are not bored with mealtime.

Just boiled up a entire batch of Chicken plan on chopping it and re-freezing it in ziploc bags.

Caraline
22nd February 2007, 02:41 AM
It is known that some and perhaps even much of the excessive amounts of vitamins/minerals taken in pill form are simply excreted in urine in humans, especially if you drink tea or coffee within a short time of taking the supplement.

Oh yes, here in Australia, as I am sure other affluent countries, it is said our sewers are flowing with vitamins & minerals.


With cavaliers, I find I can actually feed the dogs cheaper on homecooked stews than on kibble or tins

Well I was comparing prices yesterday & here is something quite sobering:

premium grade dog food @ $11 per kilogram :yikes
raw chicken necks @ $1 per kilogram
assortment of vegies @ around $1 - $2 per kilogram
dry rice @ 0.70c per kilogram


I can post a couple of useful books later on for anyone interested in trying some fresh food diets -- am very behind on my 'real' work at the moment and don't have time to find them.

Would love to see some recommendations thanks Karlin.


He would actually hold out for those necks

Oh Linda, my Sonny is exactly the same with his necks. But I am a mean mamma and the rule in my house is "if you don't eat the dinner offered to you, you don't get to eat at all" :lol:

Well yesterday we started the transition from primarily kibble, to primarily home prepared. I'm slowly going to cut back on the kibble & increase the other. You should have seen the look of glee on the faces of the Boxers (food: now you see it, now you don't), while Sonny the CKCS looked at it as if to say "what's this muck you are serving up". He did eventually eat it. icon_whistling

Caraline
13th April 2007, 05:28 AM
I though I'd give you all an update on this. Since my original question, about 7 weeks ago, my dogs have made the transition of primarily getting kibble to now getting almost exclusive, home prepared foods. I still have a small bag of kibble in the pantry for emergencies but we haven't touched it in weeks.

I must admit that when I started out I was a bit nervous as I was wondering whether it was going to be too time consuming, expensive, complicated & cause my dogs to become fussy eaters. I am very pleased to say that none of that happened.

It takes me about 20 minutes to prepare 3 days worth of food (that is for 2 Boxers & 2 Cavaliers). If I wanted to prepare a weeks worth & freeze it, it would probably still only take about 30 minutes to do that volume.

Mostly the meats are cooked (either dry fried or stewed) and most vegetables are left raw with the exception of potatoes & pumpkin of course. It is just so easy to prepare & now that I have worked out what ratios of what I want to feed, I feel very confident about the nutrition my dogs are getting. They are still getting some raw meats in the form of chicken necks, lamb shanks & other big bones for chewing on.

I have found that it costs much less to home cook, as opposed to buying in kibble.

Some of the benefits we are enjoying are:

control over exactly what goes into the dogs food;
less food gets wasted;
tear stains have gone;
doggy body odour is gone;
Boxer flatulence has decreased dramatically (thank the gods!);
nice smelling breaths;
no scratching;
nice shiny coats;
huge enthusiasm at meal times;
empty plates at the end of meals

:D

Denise G.
13th April 2007, 07:50 PM
O.K., Caraline--give it up. ;) What exactly are you feeding? Recipe please... :)

My dog food bill has skyrocketed since I've pinpointed some of my Golden's food allergies. He's now on 75% NV raw and 25% Solid Gold Barking at the Moon. He seems to be allergic to chicken and grains--and it looks like even some veggies. Sounds crazy, but his ears (my allergy gauge) get irritated/red when I put veggies in his food. So far, the only dish he has no reaction to is 100% NV Raw. I haven't added up my monthly dog food bill because it's just too scary. :shock:

Do you use any meat besides chicken? Beef might work--though he seems to have "snobbish" allergies that don't like "common" meat. :roll: Right now he's on lamb, venison and rabbit NV raw. I don't think any of these would be cheap to buy at the store. I'm rotating meats/protein to avoid development of another allergy. Mia is also on raw, but I'm slowly adding a bit more kibble to her raw, as she looks to have outgrown her tummy problems with kibble--but I'll never quit giving her raw. She's just done too good on it.

Thanks for the update! Glad to hear your home cooking is getting the "paws up" :paw: from your babies!

Karlin
13th April 2007, 08:58 PM
Fish based foods tend to be good for dogs with protein allergies.

Also: there are meat clubs all over the US for people who raw feed or cook, and these usually get in a wide range of meats. Or if you have a freezer, you can get and prepare large volumes of meat.

I'd recommend getting Monica Segal's book K9 Kitchen (and/or her pamphlets) for anyone trying homemeade raw or cooked or supplemented diets.

Caraline
14th April 2007, 02:43 AM
O.K., Caraline--give it up. ;) What exactly are you feeding? Recipe please... :)

Hey Denise

Wow, I am sorry to hear about all the allergies your dog has. That sure must make it tough. I am very lucky (touch wood 3 times) that so far none of my dogs seem to suffer from allergies.

I don’t use menus as such but I’ve got a ratio worked out that I am happy with, but will probably still tweak to perfect. This ratio by volume is

1 part meat (cooked)
1 part grain or starchy vegetable (cooked)
1 part raw vegetable/fruit (raw)

So I just pick say 1 cup of ingredient from each of the 3 groups. Here are some of the foods I have tried with success

MEAT

Skinless Chicken minced or diced (ie breast or thigh minced at home as purchased mince is too fatty)
Beef minced or diced (as above, not butchers mince that has too much fat in it)
Lamb minced or diced
We haven’t tried fish yet

VEGETABLES/FRUIT (raw & grated)

Carrot
Apple
Pear
Broccoli
Beans
Peas
Spinach
…Almost anything but not onion or grapes


GRAIN & STARCHY VEG (cooked)

Rice
Barley
Potato
Pumpkin
Wheat-bix (my dogs are not allergic to wheat)
Rolled oats
Egg noodles

SUPPLEMENTS

I am not doing supplements yet. I want to read up more about it. My feeling is that if the diet is well balanced you shouldn’t need to supplement, but I want to educate myself more about this before the jury is out.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

At the moment I am mincing all meats & dry pan frying them. I find that if I dice up the meats, the Cavaliers pick it out & leave their veggies. The Boxers woof everything down. Again, because of the Cavaliers’ penchant for picking things out, I am grating all raw vegetables, rather than dicing. Potato & pumpkin can be left diced. So once the meat is browned, I turn the stove off & then just add the raw grated veggies & stir it all together. I then bag it up in daily parcels.


So the above forms the basis of their diets but we do also have “chicken neck day”, while sometimes they get raw beef & lamb & vegetables served separately, sometimes as treats etc. Apart from the known foods that are a problem in humans, I am basically just feeding my guys the same foods you would feed to humans provided it is healthy foods. We don’t do fried in oil, battered, pizza, pies & stuff like that, but we don’t eat that stuff ourselves, so it isn’t a problem. They also get offered a small amount of cheese, eggs, milk & yoghurt.

One of the things I really like, and that makes this an inexpensive way of feeding the dogs, is that I can look in the fridge at the veggies that I know should be used in the next couple of days & utilize that into the dogs’ food. I was forever wasting vegetables as I would buy too much & we would end up not eating it. Nothing gets wasted now.

So none of what I am doing is particularly scientific & I still want to get some books on dog nutrition. I may yet alter what I am doing a bit, but as far as we have gone I am really pleased with the results, and so very happy that I don’t have to fret about the contaminants & other nasties that seemingly are in the pet foods.


I'd recommend getting Monica Segal's book K9 Kitchen (and/or her pamphlets) for anyone trying homemeade raw or cooked or supplemented diets.

I was going to order this, but shipping to Australia is outrageous & far outcosts the book.

Karlin
14th April 2007, 11:00 AM
The postage is really high for Ireland as well. I am going to order when I am next going out to the US and collect it then. :)

Kymythy Schultze has a book of recipes as well.

Caraline
14th April 2007, 12:25 PM
I've just ordered these two books from Amazon. Their postage to Au is quite reasonable.

The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century - Denise Flaim

Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats - Richard H. Pitcairn

When they have arrived & I've read them, I'll post up a book review. Karlin is there a section on the board for book reviews? I had a quick poke around & couldn't fine one.

Cathy Moon
14th April 2007, 08:16 PM
Caraline, just one thing I thought I'd mention - this may or may not be the same Dr. Pitcairn - but I'm fairly certain that someone on this forum gave their cav garlic tablets (per a Dr. Pitcairn) and the cav got very sick. Garlic has the same chemical as onion, which causes hemolytic anemia.

Mary
15th April 2007, 12:46 AM
Caraline

How much in quantity do you feed the boxer and the cavalier?

TIA

Mary

Karlin
15th April 2007, 01:22 AM
Garlic seems to suit some dogs and not others. A lot of the raw and homecooked diets recommend adding garlic but starting out with just a small amount and gradually increasing. A lot of people use garlic in the diet to stop fleas without any bad side effects. This was just discussed on the L-list because sometimes garlic appears on lists of foods that shouldn;t be fed, whereas it also appears as a recommended item on many lists too! A few of the breeders said they'd fed garlic for fleas for years and never had a problem. Probably the same holds for raisins/grapes -- vets say for some dogs, just a few could be toxic, but we probably all know people who have fed grapes as treats for years without any problems.

I've mixed garlic into cooked and raw diets without any problems in my crowd mainly as I'd always had it recommended before one day seeing it on a list of things not to feed. I wish I could find a better explanation somewhere on feeding garlic as it seems there are both pro and cons. Maybe it needs more caution than many have used...

Caraline
15th April 2007, 01:44 AM
Caraline, just one thing I thought I'd mention - this may or may not be the same Dr. Pitcairn - but I'm fairly certain that someone on this forum gave their cav garlic tablets (per a Dr. Pitcairn) and the cav got very sick. Garlic has the same chemical as onion, which causes hemolytic anemia.

I was wondering about garlic. Though I hadn't seen it on any of the unsafe lists, I did wonder if it is related to onion & hence a problem. Having said that, many of the kibbles produced here in Australia have "with garlic" written on the front of the packets. I'm kind of erring on the cautious side at the moment & if in doubt I don't use it.


How much in quantity do you feed the boxer and the cavalier?

I ended up working this out on a calorie basis. I've got a couple of books that tell you how many calories your dog should be getting.

Sam the 40 kilo active Boxer gets 3 - 4 cups of dinner plus some doggie biscuits & other treats through the day
Scarlett the 29 kilo (on a diet) inactive Boxer gets 2 cups plus fruit for treats & 1 or 2 biscuits at breakfast
Sonny the 8 kilogram Cavalier gets offered 1 cup plus treats & biscuits at breakfast
Beau the rapidly growing Cavalier puppy woofs down 2 meals of 1/2 cup each pluse treats & biscuits at breakfast. I also up his protein intake with something extra like a bit of cheese, some egg, etc.

I am weighing the dogs to monitor their progress at the moment. I am wanting Sam & Sonny to maintain their already healthy weights, whilst I need Scarlett to lose some & of course I'm wanting to grow the puppy.


Probably the same holds for raisins/grapes -- vets say for some dogs, just a few could be toxic, but we probably all know people who have fed grapes as treats for years without any problems

Oh yeah, I was shocked & amazed when I heard about grapes. When I was growing up we had little x-breed that loved grapes. We'd never heard that they were a problem, and she was obviously one of the ones not affected by them.

Here is a table of calories required for a healthy, active adult dog. It is only part of a larger table from "Complete Dog Care Manual" by Dr Bruce Fogle

Toy 5kg (11 lbs) = 210 calories
Small 10 kg (22 lbs) = 590 calories
Medium 20 kg (44 lbs) = 900 calories
Large 40 kg (88 lbs) = 1680 calories
Giant 80 kg (176 lbs) = 2800 calories

The above calories is for the entire day & must take into account treats given. Of course it needs to be adjusted for the elderly, inactive, overweight or the rapidly growing puppy.

Denise G.
16th April 2007, 08:04 PM
Caraline--thanks so much for posting all the details! I've been out of town and just saw your reply. This helps alot. I'm going to have to get creative and try this with Wrigley.

Luckily, I found a spray that is working quite well on Wrigley's allergy sores. So I think we're making progress on that front. :rah:

Would love to read your book reports once you read your two books!

Thanks again!

Denise G.
16th April 2007, 08:08 PM
I'd recommend getting Monica Segal's book K9 Kitchen (and/or her pamphlets) for anyone trying homemeade raw or cooked or supplemented diets.

Thanks, Karlin. I'm on Monica's yahoo group and get all the emails. I really need to get the book and give it a read to get the full picture.

Good reminder...on to Amazon! :)

Caraline
17th April 2007, 01:30 AM
I must admit, I subscribed to Monica's yahoo group but only stayed on there a short while. The spotlight just seemed to be too focused on vitamins & supplements rather than just wholesome well balanced foods. I also got really irritated at all the behavioural issues (caused by people who don't train their dogs) being put down to diet & then these "special diets" being prescribed rather that addressing the real issues. Grrrr.

As I have not read Monica's book I don't know & should not presume that it is her ethos that drives this thinking, but it sure did turn me off the forum.


This helps alot. I'm going to have to get creative and try this with Wrigley.

If you decide to give it a go Denise, I'd start off by selecting just 1 food item that you know is safe from each of the common food groups & stick with that for at least a couple of days, if not longer. Then when you are feeling confident that these foods are being tolerated well, then add only 1 extra ingredient and so on. What you are aiming at is to know with reasonable certainty which food if any have caused a reaction, and you can only do this if only 1 thing has been changed at a time.

Also, schedule any additional foods to be started when there are no other changes going on. For example don't introduce a new food in the same week that say you change what shampoo you are using etc.

You've got quite a challenge ahead of you, but I do think that by preparing your own foods you do have better control of & understand of what causes the food allergies. The problem with commercially prepared foods (& this includes human food) is that there are traces of foods sometimes not mentioned because they are so small, that they can be overlooked as a source of allergy. Also with all those chemical ingredients listed, you need a science & pharmaceutical degree to know what the hell they are talking about.

Denise G.
17th April 2007, 06:19 PM
Thanks, Caraline. I'm still testing/experimenting with different protein sources with Wrigley to see what he reacts to. He seems to do well on venison and lamb right now. I'm about to add rabbit to the rotation tonight. Like I said previously, I'm putting him on a rotation of proteins that he's not allergic to in an attempt to prevent any more allergies from developing. It's all experimentation at this point--but there's really no other way to tell what the problem foods are. What does make it somewhat easier is that I can look in his ears about an hour after feeding to see if he's reacting to something. They get very warm and pink/reddish if its a problem. If I don't remove the problem food, they get worse and worse. When I take him off the food--they clear up usually in one day--two days tops.

I don't plan to add any grains at this point because of his obvious allergy to them--but would like to add some veggies that he's not allergic to. I'm not sure which ones those are right now, though. I think he's o.k. with carrots, but seems to react to green beans. I'll probably use apple at times--he LOVES green apples.

Anyway, thanks for the input and listening to my ramblings!

Wish me luck! :)

Caraline
18th April 2007, 01:55 AM
What does make it somewhat easier is that I can look in his ears about an hour after feeding to see if he's reacting to something. They get very warm and pink/reddish if its a problem. If I don't remove the problem food, they get worse and worse. When I take him off the food--they clear up usually in one day--two days tops.

What handy little allergy barometers he has :D

Daisy's Mom
18th April 2007, 08:57 PM
I've been too scared to mix in very much human food for Daisy because she has gotten bad diarrhea from boiled chicken and from ground beef (even a very small amount of ground beef). I feed her EVO, Biljac (small U.S. company no wheat or corn in their ingredients), and Purino Pro Plan Selects -- Turkey and Brown Rice. But I'm going to look at the Purina ingredients and see if it says rice protein concentrate anywhere. If it does, it's in the trash. She's not crazy about the EVO, but will deign to eat it occasionally if she's very hungry. I always sprinkle her food with either dehydrated liver powder, or dehydrated chicken powder. She's kind of spoiled in that if I don't liberally sprinkle it, she just walks away.

I bought a bag of Solid Gold (small dog variety) when she was very small, but she didn't like it.

She won't eat pumpkin or yogurt. She loves the chicken, but it doesn't take that much to cause explosive diarrhea. I bought some deli turkey that I'm going to add to her dogfood tonight. I know she'll like it, and hopefully it won't cause her any problems.

I may look into NV Raw.

It's all so worrying right now that I don't really know what to do.

Karlin
18th April 2007, 10:04 PM
Caraline, I agree; there's always the issue almost everywhere of people wanting to find the problem and the solution in anything but *training* and putting in the time to work at it -- it ain't a quick fix, it takes time and patience, and can be tedious and demanding. People like instant solutions.

I have a large level of skepticism about supplements. Long term affects of giving animals (or people) massively larger doses of vitamins and minerals than they'd ever get in a normal healthy diet makes me reluctant to give supplements to the dogs or take many myself. We get that figure of 80% of Americans fail to get adequate nutrition from their diets cited as a reason not to 'trust' feeding human dfood to dogs... but surely the problem is the diet and improving poor food choices, not throwing a vitamin on top of the problem. Humans actually have a pretty high tolerance for a range of levels of nutrients outside the ideal, and by any global measure the Western developed world's health problems have little to do with 80% not getting enough nutrients -- instead they are due to obesity and too much food. Yet everyone runs out and spends millions on supplements to be more 'healthy'.

Likewise I just feel a range of healthy food items that cover the nutritional bases is going to keep any dog healthy and often, healthier than highly processed foods like kibble and tinned foods. But that doesn't mean just anything thrown together -- I do think anyone home preparing food should be up on the key elements of dog nutrition because dog requirements are going to be different from human requirements. But perfectly answerable from easy to obtain ingredients.

Allergies and their causes are really poorly understood. No one knows if or how exposure causes allergies, though it is known that allergies tend to be cultural -- Americans have a lot of peanut allergy, an allergy unknown in many other cultures. Odd!

Chicken and beef are two meats that most commonly bother dogs that don't tolerate certain proteins. But I don't think Daisy would need to be rotated through other proteins frequently. Indeed if she has some irritable bowel problems, moving around her food a lot could cause problems -- it could well be she has food intolerances, not allergies per se. I'd consult with a vet or gastro specialist rather than guess at the best way of dealing with the problem.

Caraline
19th April 2007, 01:26 AM
Nodding with everything you said here Karlin. We are like-minds in this area for sure.

Hey for you guys who are considering home prepared, as per Karlin's other post about the Whole Dog Journal, this month's issue is jam packed with articles on nutrition & home prepared. Starting from the April issue (which you get if you subscribe now) they are running a series of articles on home prepared.

One of the great gems of wisdom I learned last night from reading WDJ (& was worth my subscription fee) is that you don't have to provide a balanced meal with every single meal. It is the whole sum of what you feed over the days that counts as a balanced diet. What this means is that you don't have to spend loads of time in the kitchen being the alchemist & mixing together dozens of ingredients. This certainly is a misconception I had about home prepared and I am very pleased to have had that bubble burst. So instead you just offer plenty of variety over the week & voilia! a well balanced diet :D

Anyway, when I get my books on home prepared & I am a bit more educated about it, I might start up a topic on the subject for anyone who is interested. At the moment I am kind of like a driven woman on the subject. :-p

Karlin has already posted this elsewhere, but save you looking here is the link to Whole Dog Journal http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

rory
19th April 2007, 05:43 AM
I posted this on the other thread, too, but here's some info on consulting w/ veterinary nutritionists (real vets who then did a residency in nutrition - highly trained!)

Services run by veterinary nutritionists who run private web sites such as:
www.balanceit.com
www.petdiets.com,

Also, here is the link to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (There is a statement by the College regarding the recall as well as references to additional web links that may be of help or interest.):
www.acvn.org

simonrickell
20th April 2007, 09:28 AM
We have been raw feeding for a year and a half. Brought about by our Guinness who was suffering from very bad ears - had to have an op. Which could have been caused by allergies - which may have been due to the commercial food he was getting.

Now, they (Thats Guinness 11:paw: , Willow 1.5:paw: , Bailey 8 months:paw: )
get all human grade food:D (except the mince)
Chicken wings one day
Chicken necks another day
Minced meat which is a special type with minced bone - mixed with some offal usually liver, and veggie slop - mixed vegetables pulped in a juicer and mixed all back up. Then added to this some omega 3/6 oils such as cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil - squeezed out of capsules. Then to this mix in crushed up tablets of alfalfa, brewers yeast and kelp.:rolleyes:

Occasionally they get a treat of rabbit - which goes down very well as they really love it:luv:

I am very pleased with their results.

Apart from the veggie/mince day - food prep is really easy.
I pre pack the 7kg of wings I get into meal size portions and bag and freeze them. - so just need to defrost overnight and hey presto. - I do tend to have to chop them up a bit with a cleaver but no problems there - still got 10 digits!!

Regarding human food and diarrhea. I find that too much COOKED chicken and our dogs get diarrhea. LEave it uncooked and we have NO problems. I think it is the effects of cooking that is doing it. Would make anyone think that cooking their dogs food may have adverse effects!
:razz:

Caraline
20th April 2007, 09:46 AM
Regarding human food and diarrhea. I find that too much COOKED chicken and our dogs get diarrhea. LEave it uncooked and we have NO problems. I think it is the effects of cooking that is doing it. Would make anyone think that cooking their dogs food may have adverse effects!:razz:

I have had exactly the same experience with chicken. A couple of times I have bought a whole barbeque chicken (non-seasoned) & given my dogs the flesh off it (not the skin/fat or bones) and all 4 of them have gotten the runs. However when I give them raw chicken they are fine. Go figure!

I tried buying my dogs some of the pet mince (chicken & beef) & the stench has just been unbearable. They loved it & suffered no ill effects from it, but I won't buy it again. Dry retching while you are preparing food is no fun. :o So I just buy human grade meats & mince it up myself. It does make it more expensive, but my poor old tummy is most grateful for it.

The pet grade meats you get, what does it smell like? I am wondering if it is just what they have here in Au that stinks so bad or if it is a common thing.

simonrickell
20th April 2007, 02:17 PM
I am surprised about the smell. The stuff we get doesn't really smell at all - but we don't cook it so could make a difference.

We did go through cooking some tripe at one time and that was terrible - but now we do all raw - even the tripe is not too bad.

Karlin
20th April 2007, 04:01 PM
Cooked diets as well as commercial diets are well established as good diets for dogs as well and come recommended by many of the key figures in dog nutrition so I definitely do not feel one is any more beneficial over another, though I knew we all can have individual preferencesand one type of diet may work better for a given dog.

No problem here with the runs with any type of cooked meats, for example, and I feed mostly a cooked diet at the moment. I think it really depends on the dog -- I know of dogs who cannot handle raw diets and just get ill on them. I like a mix of foods -- though for reasons I have outlined before, I have now mostly abandoned raw as I do not feel it is safe. I know others do and -- it is really down to personal comfort/risk balance levels and personal decisions.

My own caution with raw diets is from direct experience: one of my cavaliers vomited back up hard, sharp, split bones and most of a chicken wing 10-12 hours after the meal -- when it should supposedly have been thoroughly on its way and digested -- and at a point when his distress level was so high that I was just getting ready to take him to the emergency vet at the vet school near me. I then turned to necks only but have seen some very hard ,sharp pieces of bone in stools -- I have to pick up stools immediately as I have no garden and take the dogs on walks to do their buisness, and hence handle the stools probably a lot more frequently than many people would be doing, while they are soft enough to make bones fragments easily felt. So I am reconsidering whether I even want to to give them necks.