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Jen
26th April 2007, 03:46 PM
I'm in the process of switching our two over to this type of diet and am curious as to how to do so safetly. For those that feed home-cooked,, did you initially mix it with dry kibble to gradually swith them? Once switched, what recipes have you found as favorites? Also, how do you know how much to feed per weight of dog?
Thanks for any and all advice!

Caraline
27th April 2007, 04:09 AM
He Jen

I'd love to answer this in great detail but I have visitors arriving any minute. I'll be back later to give some better input. In the meantime, here are 2 sites that can help you get started

http://www.dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html

http://b-naturals.com/newsindex.php

Just briefly.... the concensus is that you should not feed one particular menu, as this can lead to allergies & vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Far better is it to have a large range of foods from the different groups & pick items from those groups ie meats - other proteins - veg - fruit - grains (if tolerated)

If you are planning on doing this only short term, until the problems with the pet foods are over, then you don't have to get too excited about missing vitamins etc, as deficiencies do not occur overnight. Slightly different matter if you are growing a puppy.

If however, you are planning on doing this long term, it is probably a good idea to buy a couple of books on the subject. I've got several on the way from authors with differing views. One that advocates mainly raw, another the advocates only cooked, some that include bones, some that don't. I feel that buy looking at all options, I will become better educated & not get caught up in another person's agenda.

Anyway, I do hope those links help. I'll come back to this, but might not be for a few days, depending on how needy my guests are. :D


did you initially mix it with dry kibble to gradually swith them?

This is going to depend upon your dog. None of my dogs have ever had allergies or sensitive tummies, and even when I used to feed primarily kibble, they got lots of normal foods mixed in. So over the period of a week or so, I just gradually reduced the kibble & increased the home prepared. I've heard of many people who have gone cold turkey with no problems, while others say you should take it very gently. So I think here, common sense prevails. If you've got a vacuum cleaner eater, without allergies or a history of runny poos, and are worried about the contaminants in pet foods it might me ok to abruptly switch... particularly if your dog is used to fresh foods anyway. On the other hand if you've had some dietary problem & are not overly concerned about the food recalls, I'd be inclined to go slow and take your time about it.

Karlin
27th April 2007, 12:35 PM
Hey Jen! I really enjoy home cooking. I have some recipes in the Caring for your Cavalier part of the Library too, and I have a B-Naturals newsletters posted there from a while back that had recipes for home-cooked. I tend to make stews of various sorts, or about half a meal might be fresh food additions to a good kibble.

I like variety so I rotate the protein source between hamburger to chicken (I boil a whole one but then you have to make very sure you get all the small bones out -- it gets kind of hands on squishy doing that but kind of fun and regressive :lol:. Or easier yet, I get a whole turkey leg at the butcher and boil that with veggie additions; fewer bones to take out but remove the skin as that can cause problems for dogs. You could use other meats too.

For their current stew -- enough to feed all three for about a week, longer if used with kibble; and costing me about $10-12 total to make -- I did this:

Put one large chicken in a cooking pot, cover to several inches with water. Bring to boil then simmer for two hours or so.

Add in one bag fresh kale, chopped roughly, and 3-4 large carrots, chopped. Cook another hour.

Add in a cup or two of rolled oats and cook another 30 minutes or so.

Take a couple of pieces of liver (in this case, lamb, but normally I'd have chicken to go with chicken), fry gently or poach in some water, then chop and add to the stew.

Let it all cool overnight.

In morning when cool, work hands through the stew to remove all bones (I actually enjoy this but if people don;t, get a protein source without so many bones! :) You have to do this carefully and thoroughly as there are lots of small bones on a chicken.

Package into tubs and freeze what you won't use within three days. I use empty plastic ice cream and peanut butter tubs (bulk size from the health food store).

You could also have added barley or rice instead of oats, or a combination, or any range of other vegetables. I often add peppers, broccoli, green beans or frozen mixed vegetables. If stuff is on sale I will buy that. With a big freezer you could easily do two weeks of meals.

Some days I feed with kibble, some days on its own. As Caraline says it is useful to get a couple of books that advise on balancing out the diet. Monica Segal does one and also has small booklets or you can select a choice of the book and three pamphlets for example. www.monicasegal.com. It is good to keep in mind that just adding supplements haphazardly can be a bad idea -- because some foods will cancel or amplify the supplements and some supplements will do this to other supplements so if the same thing and same supplements are always fed without understanding how this works, you could be denying a dog nutrients that it needs (obviously rotating things around avoids this as does caution with supplements). Monica is good on this kind of info I think. But I tend to believe you shouldn't need to be adding a lot of supplements to a nice varied fresh diet anyway! It's just that you ened to know what is generally a good choice for the base diet.

Jen
27th April 2007, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the replies Caraline and Karlin. I do plan on doing this long-term, we'd wanted to start last year, but our vet cautioned us as Gus was just a pup. We've always added a variety of veggies to their kibble and for snacks as well (they get more fruit and veggies than dog biscuits, etc.), so they' are for sure use use to variety and haven't had any gastro issues with it. In fact, it's funny how when we open the fridge, one of them is always there pushing their nose up against the crisper---they know where the fruit and veggies come from!
I did print off the B-Naturals info, and I've ordered two books. I'll also check out Monica Segal's info. I'm most interested in how to balance the diet to make sure they're not missing anything, and then how do you know how much to feed them?

Karlin
27th April 2007, 01:12 PM
I feed the same volume as I would kibble, in their dish. Then you can decrease or increase depending on your results over time.

Caraline
27th April 2007, 02:26 PM
and then how do you know how much to feed them?

I've heard two different ways of doing this. One is to work out how many calories are in the meals you are cooking & then provide the correct number of carlories for your dogs weight. Sounds complicated, but it isn't really as bad as it sounds.

Another method is to feed between 2% - 4% of your dog's healthy weight. The 2% or 4% depends upon whether you have a sedentary or a very active dog. So a sedentary elderly dog may only be given the 2%, while a really active young one that is always tearing around & tends towards leanness would get the 4%. Also, if you had an obese dog... lets say a CKCS that should weight 8 kilos but in fact weighs 12 kilos, then it would be worked out on the ideal weight of 8 kilos, not the actual weight. Weekly weighing of the dog is a good indicator of how you are going.

Ok, so having waffled on about all of that.... you want to know something freaky but cool.... it just happens that the volume of food I had to feed in kibble is about the same as I would feed for fresh ingredients anyway. So my male Boxer's 4 cups of kibble became 4 cups of fresh, and my Cavalier's 1 cup of kibble became 1 cup of fresh. Coincidence maybe? Too simple :D

Jen
27th April 2007, 03:28 PM
That's interesting, as I've talked with others that have said the same--that they're feeding the same amount as they did with kibble. Also interesting that the books I ordered are on back order. I bet a lot of people are contemplating switching from kibble due to all the recent recalls.
The books are:
A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide by Jennifer Ashton and
Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome by Arden Moore.

We have a vet appointment tomorrow for heatworm tests/meds, and I'm going to discuss it again with our vet.

We recently purchased a new upright freezer; it's just begging fresh dog food!!:p

BJNeff
27th April 2007, 04:10 PM
This is something I've been considering to. Thanks for the information my Ladybug has a sensitive tummy and Lightingbug is sick at the moment and on a diet right now.....It just seen the right thing do!

Caraline
28th April 2007, 02:59 AM
Also interesting that the books I ordered are on back order. I bet a lot of people are contemplating switching from kibble due to all the recent recalls.
The books are:
A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide by Jennifer Ashton and
Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome by Arden Moore.

I'd enjoy hearing your book reviews when you get these Jen. I too am awaiting some books:

The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century by Denise Flaim
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn
Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr Billinghurst


We have a vet appointment tomorrow for heatworm tests/meds, and I'm going to discuss it again with our vet.

I too took Beau to the vets this morning for his final puppy shot. My vet was extremely positive when we talked about diet & I said that I was raising Beau on home prepared. Was very reassuring, given that his waiting room is full of Hill's Science Diet. :razz:

Jen
29th April 2007, 03:28 PM
I'd enjoy hearing your book reviews when you get these Jen. I too am awaiting some books:

The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century by Denise Flaim
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn
Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr Billinghurst



I too took Beau to the vets this morning for his final puppy shot. My vet was extremely positive when we talked about diet & I said that I was raising Beau on home prepared. Was very reassuring, given that his waiting room is full of Hill's Science Diet. :razz:


Yes, I'll let you know how the books are--I'm anxious to get them. I just got confirmation that my Monica Segal booklets are being shipped. I'm really looking forward to those as well. I did the 3-pk. bundle and got the Home Feeding Primer, Balance Needs w/ Nutrition, and Cooked Diet Recipes 2nd Edition. I've got a lot of reading to do, but it will be worth it I'm sure!