Home made dog food vs. store bought

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by alexa999, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. alexa999 New Member

    I've recently taken my 8 year old chow/rottweiller mix(BUBBA) off of store bought dog food. He seems to be LOVING it! He now licks the plate clean instead of "picking" at it. My question is this:I see conflicting advice on the web about feeding your dog RAW meat.Some say it's better, some say you have to cook it first...any experience or input on this subject is greatly appreciated.ALL recipes will be received with undying gratitude!:msnwink:

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    My dogs seem to like cooked meat better, and personally I think of it like this---if I won't eat it raw, I'd rather they didn't eat it raw. There is a lot of controversy on feeding raw meat...but there isn't really any on feeding cooked meat. Cooked meat is not "bad" in any way, and therefore you know it is safe. I also replied to your introduction post with more input on natural diets. :)
  3. alexa999 New Member

  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    No problem. ^^
  5. angelx New Member

    after my research, and asking friends that have dogs, raw meat is not that good at all, since there is a smell of blood, so cocked meat is better, and if u add some vegetable, will be more tasty and healthy. i tried many brands of dry food, royal canin, dax, omega etc...the way that sasha eats cocked meat with vegetable is AMAZING,

    this is the receipt that i use

    meat with small bones,
    one small cup of rise

    i hope that this was helpful.

  6. leema New Member

    Raw meat is better because wolves in the wild don't cook their meat, so your dogs don't need it cooked, either. :)

    If you do cook it, make sure you include everything you cook off it... e.g. If you boil it, feed the water.
  7. xsara New Member

    I fed Xsara with high quality kibbles since she was a puppy, but a couple of months ago we discovered she is very sensitive to processed dog food - she started throwing up blood one morning and ultra-sound showed that her entire intestines were inflamed to the point that she had an ulcer on her stomack.

    Despite being so sick she didn't seem to have any other problems, was so playful and cheerful that it was hard to convince the vet to do an ultrasound on her (and he was totally blown away when he examined her and saw how inflamed everything was).

    Anyway, she was on antibiotics and gastric acid inhibitors for a couple of months and now she's on a very strict diet and she feels great! Her coat is softer and smoother and sooo shiny, she is even more lively, wants to tug all the time :) I normally never cook for myself, but I'm happy to do it for her.

    The diet that seems to suit her best is horse meat risotto which is very light on the stomack, and of course we add vitamins and minerals. We will try with white fish next week and see if she will digest it well. It's really hard to do tricks with risotto, but I'm sure we will find a way to make it work.
  8. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi xsara! It's been a long time since we've seen you on the forums. So sorry to hear about xsara's condition, but I'm very happy for both of you that you've discovered what was wrong. I also changed my dog's diet to a raw diet, it seems to have helped a lot, no more diarrhea and no more puking.
  9. snooks Experienced Member

    A conglomeration of post under Dog Products - thread dog food. Go look at that thread too I tried to condense it here.

    The answer is do the research and decide for yourself what you are willing to do prep wise, buy and freeze, and research the nutrients you need to add to the diet to make sure it is complete. For a puppy you really need to make sure all your important ratios are right or there could be significant risk for several musculoskeletal problems and other growth and health issues due to lack of minerals and vitamins that won't be in a meat diet. It is critical to have the correct calcium %age of calories, correct calcium/phosphorous ratio, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Look at the dog food thread I listed at top too. I'll quote the guts here and if I missed something you'll find it. I included a good diversely opinioned reading list at the bottom here (not dog food funded) from total raw feeders, combo feeders (some kibble), and all home cooked diets.

    The point I really want to drive home is you can't healthily just start feeding raw without doing some research. Just like vegans and meat eaters you'll find totally opposing opinions, dire warnings, and not every one is right for every dog. If your dog thrives and looks and is healthy you'll know. As you saw there are allergies to additives, food allergies, and other considerations that need to be made for dogs with compromised immune systems if you make your food. There are a few things most people agree upon and the rest is under huge amounts of research mostly funded by commercial dog food companies. So consider the source. The ultimate source is a canine nutritionist or holistic vet http://www.ahvma.org/ A vet is not a nutritionist. I say this not to criticize vets but to point out that not every vet can be a specialist in everything just like you don't want a neurosurgeon doing your orthopedic surgery. Nor do you want a dog food company telling you the best feed for your dog.

    I dislike most commercial kibble because I go to the web sites I'll give you and read the ash, animal digest (rendered unspecified undecomposed animal contents including poop see bad ingredients http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients). I also dislike emulsifiers, surfactants, preservatives because I don't eat any of this stuff myself. You can find kibbles without most or all of this. All the grain hulls, wheat gluten, corn gluten etc are waste products from processing or cheap sources of bulk that the dog does not digest so it's coming right back out in poop. Expensive dog food may not be that expensive after you evaluate what amount of calories is bioavailable to the dog. Raw feeders usually have dogs with very small mostly odorless poop. That tells me something. They're using most of it.

    Frankly I would rather raw feed but for a puppy it's so important to get those %ages right that I actually added some very high quality grain free kibble to my puppy's diet, green tripe, genflora probiotics, and supplement with canine probalance. many of the kibbles contain poisonous preservatives and pesticides like BHA and BHT banned for humans because they are carcinogens and ethoxyquin which is a pesticide. With raw food are things to consider too like being sure to sanitize dogs eating surfaces and prep surfaces. Bacteria is in there if it's not cooked and most dogs systems handle it fine, your system will not. If you have a bearded dog that just woofed a whole bucket of raw meat then you might not want to kiss him for a while. The same bacteria are also on rawhide chews and the raw food you cook for yourself so you get the idea about clean up already.

    Most vets HATE raw diets and will argue with you until you're ready to walk out. They have reasons so read up and decide. My decision was made when I read that 63% of all Goldens die of cancer and much of this is diet exacerbated. 6 million dogs every year are diagnosed with cancer. http://cancer.landofpuregold.com/

    There is also the potential for contamination from companies that get ingredients from other countries where there is little quality control. i.e. the melamine biggie that killed thousands of dogs and cats a couple of years ago.
    FDA complete recall site http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html
    More info on the food fraud

    References: I tried to give a wide spectrum -- with help from friends' reading suggested list and much advice over a long period

    Note that each meal need not be totally balanced with raw. The balance can be completed over 2-3 days or a few meals as long as the needed nutrients for that amount of time are met fairly quickly and over those few meals/days. The idea being that the body doesn't sense a deficit right away, you do need to meet the need before the body responds to a lack of any nutrient.

    Raw specific
    Kymthy Schultz Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
    Dr Tom Lonsdale DVM newest Work Wonders Feed your Dog Raw Meaty Bones (not sure I like his concept but I’m no expert)
    Susan K Johnson Switching to Raw
    Chris & Beth McDonald Raw Food, Make it easy for you and your Dog
    Dr Billinghurst Eat Drink and Wag your Tail Improving your Dog's Life through Nutrition

    Raw Friendly & home made
    Dr Wysong the Truth about Dog Foods
    Dr Marty Goldstein
    Monica Segal books and Pamphlets
    Steve Brown & Beth Taylor See Spot Live Longer
    Dr Strombeck DVM

    More emphasis on grains than others
    Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown DVM The Holistic Guide for a healthy Dog

    More General INFO
    Liz Palika The Consumer's Guide to Dog Food
    Ann Martin Foods Pets Die For
    Dr Nicolas Dodman Well Adjusted Dog

    The kibbles I like and have seen recommended by raw feeders and combo feeders are Innova, EVO, Wellness, Orijen, Canidae, Flint Rock River, Ziwi Peak. some dogs do not tolerate ingredients esp animal protein types. most dog allergies are to single non-dairy proteins according to the internal meds dept at UC. I went through 6 mos of double dog diarrhea and food testing only to find it was the tap water at our new house. OY! Fewer ingredients and ones that sound like food you recognize are better. I try to stick with just one like beef or poultry or etc so that if there is an issue it's easier to eliminate potential single things. there is some argument that exposure for some dogs to huge varieties of protein sources may increase potential for later sensitivity so leave some untested in case you need an unexposed source later.

    wholedogjournal does have back articles you can buy for $10 or $7.50 if you subscribe and it's well worth the low monthly cost. it lists and evaluates top/best 2008 grain free and top/best other kibble & 2008 commercial foods. they also list what companies now disclose their ingredient sources which many did not do before. all US (if u r in US I believe it's a US mag)ingredients are better and grass feed protein animals are best. (other countries do have very good regulation just not referred in the mag-china is a def one to avoid) you'll also need a fat source like wild salmon oil, cod oil, or flax oil for omega fatty acids. human food or food scraps is not a great idea for a main diet staple. adding yams, yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, etc are all things you have to calculate in. some people use no veges some do. natural fiber sources are better than supplements like the yams. human supplements usually contain sugar and wheat/grain products which sort of defeats the idea of raw feeding.

    I've tried to offer an opinion without being pushy and give alternative good choices to that. I understand many people don't have an extra freezer like I do and don't have time to cook for their dogs. Once you get the recipe down and the procedure down it's really second nature. I prep in bulk and just make frozen portions or baggies and it's not that time intensive. I also think if you buy smart you can raw feed for about the same price as good commercial food of the same quality as raw. This doesn't include old roy and all the crud foods.

    Hope this helps and doesn't overwhelm. Just do your numbers or consult a canine nutritionist and/or a holistic vet and learn from them. As you can see there is a lot of opinion and literature. Some of it we just don't completely know yet so your philosophy is important. I don't eat processed foods so I've made a decision for myself-as for the dogs I tend to lean the same way. After puppy is grown or I find a good holistic vet I'll keep adding a little Canidae to her food.

    If you have a raw co-op near you or can get a raw mentor it will make things a lot easier too b/c then you'll get all the time and money saving tips and menu ideas. Good luck and good health. :dogbiggrin:
  10. xsara New Member

    Thank you snooks, this was very interesting reading!

    I'm really worried because Xsara's intestines are still inflamed (although a lot better than they used to be) and she is very sensitive to every food in this condition. Her meals are not balanced (she only eats rice, horse meat and supplied vitamins+minerals, flax seed and salmon oil for two months), but if I give her anything else she will throw up for two days. Even if I just prepare the same food in a different way, she will have problems with it - for example we tried baking her treats using only the things that we know she can eat, but she threw up anyway just because they were baked and not cooked.

    Our vet says we should stick with one new food at the time for at least one week to see if she tolerates it. He also says that we shouldn't experiment with food too much while she still has inflamations. She used to eat Orijen 6 Fresh Fish before getting sick and she seemed to be very well on it, so I hope everything goes well when we try white fish in a couple of days.

    I really want to add more stuff to her diet, but I cannot do it all at once. Does anybody have any suggestions which foods are the most important to try next? What would be on your list?
  11. snooks Experienced Member

    Xsara I so sympathize, I went through months of food testing and protein sources and several specialists for two Goldens of totally different blood lines with diarrhea. So I became unwillingly an unprofessional expert. Both dogs kept getting clostridium overgrowths which are naturally occurring bacteria in dogs so you can't kill them. It overgrew as a reaction to some body disease or inflammation process. Bacterial overgrowths like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowths) can happen for no discernable reason or be idiopathic or be secondary reactions. My luck was that I had TWO dogs so I didn't accept that it wasn't environmental (a secondary symptom of something else). We moved within 2 weeks of getting a new puppy and they were fine before that, our 3yo had been eating Innova for her entire life and had been fine. I was going to start adding raw to her kibble to transition her. Puppy was raw weaned and fine on the same food the breeder had been feeding her.

    One thing worth noting. The vets all believed it was stress at first. Certainly worth examining but IMHO I think I would know. Many people don't but you sound very in tune with your dog and she sounds like a confident little dynamo.

    The vets were convinced it was the raw diet and even though I knew better I agreed to do some food trials since I was worried about all this and a growing puppy. I first cooked the raw food since it is less processed fewer ingredient food to be sure they weren't immunocompromised and not handling the bacteria normally. You need to give any new ingredient or test two MONTHS not a couple of weeks if this is a food allergy or sensitivity. And start using distilled water just to be sure for a true allergen test. It was the tap water from the subdivision reservoir after all those months of testing. I came across using distilled water reading about SIBO. I sure wish I'd seen it first. Within 1 week on distilled water both were better and within 2weeks no more diarrhea again ever. I always drink bottled and we had reverse osmosis water in TX tap water but no filter here in CO. After that I use bottled to cook with too since there is a high uranium content in the soil. eeps!

    Their sensitivity was responsive to antibiotics so you might try flagyl if you haven't yet and longer term treatment with tylan seems to help with some dogs with true idiopathic SIBO or undiagnosed sensitivity. Unless a vet feels that might irritate things. If it's antibiotic reactive it will help narrow the range of causes. It also may give your dog relief for long enough to heal the irritated tissues and start fresh. If she just needs a break that could provide it. We tried flagyl first and it gave relief after a couple of days but only lasted 7-10 days after a 14 day course. The tylan we tried 60 days and they were symptom free for that time despite still drinking the water. so it was helping their bodies overcome the cause. If your dog's problem turns out to be truly idiopathic tylan is fairly safe long term treatment but try to find a food/ingredient/envioronmental cause first with a vet's guidance. It would be better to solve than treat and mask unless your dog is really miserable. Given a few breaks with drugs I was able to food test, if she's well enough without the drugs then test. Hopefully that's not too convoluted to understand... I woke up at 3am unable to sleep b/c of the 80 mph winds here and am a little groggy. Certainly things to ask the vet about. If mine stayed on the drugs I wouldn't have figured it out so it's a balancing act based on your and the vet's judgment.

    Have they checked your dogs fecal for any bacterial overgrowths? The other thing this could be is atypical Addison's disease, Addison's, or Celiac disease which fortunately mine didn't have.

    I went to the internal medicine dept at Univ of Colorado and they were able to do better testing that my regular vet. If you have a large vet med university near you the technology is cutting edge. They also tend to see the zebra's in the herd and don't just look for horses. They were able to tell me this wasn't SIBO but large intestine which further indicated environmental, meaning food/water/exposure to contaminants. I bleached my yard and disinfected all bedding, crates, and floors. Yes you can safely bleach your grass. :dogblink: A holistic vet is also a good idea. UC Davis has a canine nutritionist that is probably where I would have consulted next via phone and vet records had I not solved the problem. So keep that in mind.

    Other things that could cause you dog's symptoms are below

    SIBO info I got from ask.com key words SIBO in dogs.
    http://www.upei.ca/cidd/Diseases/GI disorders/small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.htm

    Addison's and atypical Addison's in dogs

    These are treatable and this may not be it but certainly things that are testable. Esp if you can see the inflammation from external imaging there is something that is chronic going on that has caused a problem. The IM vet said there was a growing problem with undiagnosed antibiotic responsive digestive issues--I'm thinking if stuff in the water is that bad then the stuff in food could be just as important to have as pure as possible. Though kibble is has more ingredients there are certainly some that are great quality and Ziwi Peak is dehydrated raw if you want to go there but very pricey. Much of this food can be ordered on line and delivered much fresher than the supplies get it.

    Anyway back to the food testing you must feed one protein source like chicken or beef for 2 months and feed only that for treats and food, everything. So I baked roast and cut it up for treats so I could control the ingredients and I used dog foods with very few ingredients and added green tripe for the beef phase. tripe is great because it's full of natural probiotics and was replacing all the good flora/fauna i was killing with medication. it's a bit stinky but it really did make both better and with longer free periods between medication. it does come canned and without any other ingredients if you get the right kind. frozen is probably a little better but smellier, however if you freeze it in portion baggies and thaw it slightly and serve cold it smells less.

    Also rice is hard for dogs to digest especially brown rice. I had no idea. Is there any reason you're using rice? how about yams for a good fiber source with some good vitamins included. dogs love yams or cooked sweet potatoes b/c they are a little sweet and they don't produce diarrhea which pumpkin can in some dogs.

    Probiotics and enzymes are imporant and can really help most digestive issues. Google this stuff and ask the vet. I mixed their probiotics: genflora and animal essentials plant enzymes (a jump start for digestion aid) and canine probalance with yogurt after testing no dairy to determine that wasn't it. After trying a 2 month off period for these too I determined that it was worse without just to please the vet. So if you tested poultry you would need to not use cow milk yogurt or products as an example of total isolation. If you aren't using genflora or fortiflora (prescription that UC recommended if I wasn't using genflora).

    For your dog I'd go grain free just to be sure he isn't gluten intolerant (and to keep it simpler) and add it in later if things get better. That means wheat, rice, tapioca etc if you can or at least a gluten free food. Your dog can't digest gluten anyway and if he's a celiac then it could also be causing symptoms. Celiac disease can also be tested for and is an allergy to gluten that can wreak havoc in humans and animals.

    The Kibbles I tried and liked with least ingredients like EVO beef had stuff that all sounded like food I had eaten or recognized not chemical names for nutrients. If a food is "fortified" it's usually because the core ingredients are lacking natural nutrients b/c of quality or over-processing. Go to the manufacturer’s web sites and use the label reading guide from the FDA that I gave or the one from the Dog Food Project http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=labelinfo101

    The biggest thing to figure out what is causing problems it to change only ONE thing at a time for 2 months so you can tell exactly what it was that made a difference.

    Go to the manufacturer’s web site like this one for wellness and find the ingredients http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/dog_wellness_grain_ocean.html# and look for the fewest ingredients.

    Wysong has some great grain free alternatives http://www.wysong.net/ and is also one of the authors I gave before. And you have the list of other good kibbles.

    The last thing I can think of is the flax. Though it's good it's more commonly associated with digestive upset than salmon or cod oil and you get the same good omega fatty acids from wild caught salmon (not farmed). Go to one oil or no oil for 2 months if you want to test that. You also could try a previously untested protein like yak or ostrich which aren't that difficult to get at a raw food supply store, they may order it for you if you choose another.

    Good luck, I so hate to hear your super sounding pup has so much trouble. So I threw out some ideas hoping you'll hit on what it might be like I did or test for some new ideas with a new doc. Sometimes a new doc sees that zebra. Take copies of all ur records so you won't have to pay for new tests and hand carry them to make sure. X fingers for you. I'm going to go check out ur website too. I love agility and rally. :dogcool:
  12. snooks Experienced Member

    I forgot to add that dogs do get IBS and did they check for a congenital esophageal constriction or bowel restriction? Both constrictions are easily visible with non invasive barium imaging with x-ray.

    IBS and dogs http://www.preciouspets.org/newsletters/articles/inflammatory-bowel-disease.htm

    Again back to the probiotics and sometimes steroids for treatment. It is treatable but the steroids do have side effects.
  13. xsara New Member

    Well, she's currently off meds, but she was prescribed Ultop (omeprazol) for almost two months + Hiconcil (aminopenicilin) and Efloran (metronidazolum) for three weeks. She finished the therapy in the beginning of December. The vet told us to keep Ranital (ranitidin) at home and give it to her when needed, otherwise she's not taking any meds now (I only use Digyton from Himalaya currently) and she keeps getting better. We have the next appointment in a week, so we will see - but she seems to be feeling very well.

    I was just considering ordering Probiotics and enzymes from Animal Naturals, so I'm glad you mentioned them.

    I took her to 5 different vets and they tested her for everything they could think of (2 ultrasounds, X-Ray, several blood tests ...). The only thing they could find was inflammations (and the ulcer, luckily not perforated so no surgery), everything else was normal (even her poop was hard and brown, despite the inflammations). Some of them also mentioned stress, but this theory really doesn't make any sense to me, and I do know my dog best. I am a very soft person, don't care about bragging with any results, and everything I do with her is just for fun, to bond and enjoy each other, so I never pressure her in any way. Besides, she got better immediately after switching to home prepared food, so I'm quite sure that some sort of food intollerance must be the problem.

    We will visit a holistic vet to test her poop for intollerances, but we'll do it once the inflammations calm down for sure. Right now I don't want to upset her any more than absolutely necessary.

    Rice was recommended by my vet because apparently if cooked to the point that it becomes slimy, the slime helps to renew the mucous membrane. The flax seeds we included because she wouldn't poop after we switched to cooking, but took her off once she would start normally doing her business. I do however add Grizzly salmon oil regularly and it seems fine for now (have been adding it for a month or so). Other than horse meat and salmon oil she hasn't had any other source of animal product for months, but I had oistrich kibbles before she was sick and she wasn't so well on them, so I stopped using them. Right now I am mostly concerned because of the lack of calcium in her current diet, that's why I would like to try cheese or yogurt ASAP.
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Nice to see you here Barby!!!

    Fish is good for extremely sensitive stomachs. You mentioned horsemeat... Horsemeat is very, very risky in my opinion...the countries that produce it typically have very low sanitation standards. Horse is very rarely ever produced with the same high stipulations as other meats, and I know in at least a few countries the horses are not really bred for meat---in the US, all animals intended for meat(no horse here, YAY!) are typically fed a diet largely consisting of CORN. GREAT for those types of animals and will produce high quality meat in the ruminant animal and to an extent in the monogastric swine. Swine are an entirely different animal and are fed different diets that are more carefully regulated, but that's a whole different subject. ^^

    Anyway, horses, like humans and swine, are monogastrics. Their diet must be very carefully regulated to maintain a healthy system--for the pet, diets are geared towards muscle(high protein), fat(grains), coat and skin health(Omega 3, Omega 6, fatty acids), and JOINT HEALTH. In the meat animal(horse), the diet isn't quite the same. For a horse, you want high protein(most high-quality meats are almost all MUSCLE--fat is of dire importance, yes, but of course you only need so much.), but also enough fat in the diet to maintain a healthy weight, good meat, etc. Horse digestive systems are so sensitive for a meat animal that very few producers will take the time and effort to create a quality meat horse. Therefore, I would avoid horsemeat at all costs...just my personal opinion.

    Fish is excellent for a sensitive stomach. Watch her protein content---perhaps try lowering it, maybe even a lot, just to give her digestive system a break. Too much protein, even for the active dog, isn't good for any animal. I know you guys do agility, but I would seriously consider giving her a good break from all of it. Just let her be a dog for a while with a lower protein diet than you've been feeding. When adding ingredients, add them in SMALL amounts. TRACE amounts. If her tummy is that tore up, then go painstakingly slow. RIDICULOUSLY SMALL AMOUNTS at first. Very slowly increase the amounts, but be very careful to only add one ingredient at a time. If she's doing well with the one ingredient added(after you've worked up to the desired amount), then start with the next one in line---ridiculously small amounts again. This will take forever, but will be much easier on her stomach. Her activity could definitely be due to her high protein diet(I'm assuming she's on a high protein diet--if not, just disregard.), which could easily mask how inflamed her insides are. My best recommendations would be to lower her protein and really lay off the activities--I know it's hard for the both of you, but perhaps just do some very relaxed, laid back trick training, very light exercise, etc. She probably needs a break. Also, and I think Snooks mentioned this, yogurt is good for a bad tummy. Perhaps use only fish treats and yogurt treats for training.

    Of course, I'm not your vet so I don't know all her info, but this is my advice to you with the information you've given. ^^ Good luck with poor little Xsara! :)
  15. xsara New Member

    In Slovenia the markets are very very small (being it a very very small country), so it's very easy to control the quality. Horsemeat here is food for rich people, and I buy it from my boyfriend's mom's horsemeat butcher, she has been going to him for years (and he is a dogperson so he gives Xsara a discount), anyway she trusts him completely for human food, and I trust her because I know she's very careful with this stuff. My vet says that horsemeat is very easy to digest, that's why I decided to go with it. But as I said, she's been eating it for over two months and everything's OK, so we're trying fish next and are going back to horse only if the fish doesn't work out (I'm getting fish from a friend who is the headchef in a very noble restaurant, so again it will be high quality).

    Xsara was never on high protein diet - even when she ate Orijen I felt it could be too heavy for her so I mixed it with other stuff (veggies, cheese). She has her daily amount of activities, but I really don't exaggerate - she's always had a lot of time to rest (she is a real sleepyhead, like me) so I don't really feel that her diet should include any crazy amounts of proteins. I also never added any manufactured supplements before she got sick (except for Grizzly salmon oil which I used even before).

    After she got sick, we didn't train for more than two months. We went back to the training centre around Christmas (almost a month after she finished her therapy) and she was sooooo happy to be there. She ran in circles around her friends and herself like crazy. We only stayed there for 15 minutes and we did just a couple of very short sequences and a lot of playing in between. It was like a burden had fallen off her back, she hadn't been so relaxed and happy in months. I just can't take that away from her, and I honestly don't believe it could be hurting her if it makes her so happy. For now we will continue to train for only 5-10 minutes up to two times per week (if she will feel OK), it's just enough to make her see that this important part of her life is still there. Also, I learned that for a dog like her, who is used to run and be athletic, it's far more stressful to force them to be still and do nothing. She would really get clearly annoyed with me if we don't do anything for too long.

    For treats, I have been using the meat cubes from her risotto, but we haven't been doing much tricks or obedience either. We mostly do some theraball work to regain her muscles (she lost a lot of weight and was already skinny to start with) and a little bit of heeling and a couple of RO exercises before I give her the bowl of food. I feed her 4-5 times per day, very small amounts - but she would still eat a lot more than suggested on websites for home prepared dog food. But she is so tiny, I cannot feed her less than that, right?!
  16. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Good. ^^ Lucky you to find quality horsemeat! :)

    Ah I see. I assumed high protein simply because of your activities, but good that you've given her breaks. Poor thing must have really missed her buddies. You're right, if she's constantly a busybody then too much rest will drive her mad.

    I wouldn't go with the website recommendations, simply because they may be more of an average figure. If Xsara is maintaining a healthy weight and she's doing well, then stick to what you're doing. If she's a little thin, perhaps give her a tick more and slowly increase it just slightly. If she's starting to get pudgy, perhaps give her just a little less at each feeding. Don't think of the website recommendations too much, just make the amounts suit your dog. I bet her special diet is costing you a pretty penny. Ouch! Lol. The probiotics are definitely great for a sick digestive system. Is hers a pill or a powder or what?

    Here, we have several brands of probiotics, but my favorite has always been ProBios. It's a powder that you sprinkle into their food. For years now we've used it on all of our animals--dogs, horses, sheep, cattle(it's made for just about any animal). Our vet said it's good for healthy animals, not just ones with tummy problems. For the dogs, I mainly just use it on two of them who are kind of finicky eaters. Probiotics usually give the animal a bit more of an appetite.

    Well, good luck with her and hope she gets better soon! :dogblush:
  17. xsara New Member

    Yes, I'm also talking about powder that you sprinkle over meals, must be very similar stuff.

    I always use common sense and don't just blidly follow some recommendations. I just thought it was funny that according to the guidlines she eats as much as it would be recommended for a 50lbs dog (and she weighs half as much). But some of it might also be because it's so cold here now and she probably spends a lot of energy just to keep warm when we're outside (otherwise she's indoors, on my bed of course).

    Currently I must say she really seems very well. Her coat is shiny and soft, she's very lively and playful and doesn't get sick nearly as much as she used to. I hope she will continue to get better and better.

    As far as the cost is concerned, I admit it's a lot, but health comes first, always. Luckily I have a lot of help. My mom is a doctor so she perscribed some of her medicines that are also for human consumption on my name so that my insurance covered it. And as I said I get special doggy discount at the butcher's (and he always throws in some extra meat). It's nice to have so many people care about her, even those who don't even know her. Thank you all for advice and kind words, I really appreciate it :)
  18. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    What a lucky pup to have so many friends and have such a tasty diet. ^^ Lol! She's fortunate to have you. :)

    You're very welcome and hope she continues to get better. ^^
  19. xsara New Member

    4th day on white fish and no problems with it (for now at least)! I hope this is a very good sign :)

    By the way, do you add salt when you cook for your dogs?
  20. snooks Experienced Member

    Well it seems you've been through so much and done so many right things for your girl. I'm so sorry you've had to go through it. Grizzly salmon oil is what I use and it's great. It sounds like you have something that is working and given all you've been through and tested I wouldn't mess with it much but to add small things just as you were thinking. And I was speaking very generally saying most dogs etc but it sounds like this is a very special case. Much of what I said you don’t need to go through b/c you’ve already done a lot of it. Fish is a great protein source as TXCG says and I wish my puppy would eat it but she hates it. Maybe when she’s older I’ll try again. :dogwub:

    If you're worried about calcium how about giving canned cooked wild salmon with bones (never raw as it can give dogs a disease I've forgotten the name but you can Google it), since they are cooked and very soft. Since you have that great butcher buying horse bones and having him grind them or getting the big joint/knuckle bones and digging out marrow. Generally dairy is not a big deal for dogs but it could be with yours so the small amounts method sounds safest as suggested. You probably should ask your holistic vet about it or anything I suggest just to be sure. I’m def not a vet. :dognowink:

    You might think about cooked yams too to add fiber if she doesn't have a good source. Rice cooked very well as you describe sounds like it's acting for volume/satisfaction and to control digestive speed and provide a little energy with carbs b/c otherwise she'd be on an all protein diet which would not nec be healthy. The fiber and nutrients in yams are great and they make the entire intestines' work a little easier and poop a little softer and easier to produce. They are a pretty benign vegetable too as far as allergy.

    Be sure any supplements you give are dairy and gluten free for now just to be sure. Sometimes it's not well labeled if you don't know what you're looking for it's often hidden in the labelese. Bones are made of calcium and phosphorous mainly so ground bones take care of two key elements of bone health since you are worried. You might also ask the vet for suitable replacements or supplements. I know some raw feeders feed whole eggs for the calcium but if she doesn't do well on poultry that may not be an option.

    Even if you are feeding her more than rec in raw literature she may not be metabolizing all of it so she'll need more or she may have a very high metabolism. I think cortisol and thyroid when I hear she's eating a lot for a small dog. But those are front line tests so I assume they already checked her for those hormone levels. I wouldn't worry about how much she's eating, only that she's a healthy weight and looks as you describe, glossy and healthy.

    Stress always seems to be a first out of the mouth suggestion by the vets doesn't it? It sounds like you gave her a break and that training is part of what makes her happy not a stressor. And you do know her best. I think it's very stressful for some dogs not to train if they enjoy it. I can tell when mine haven't had enough b/c they start nitpicking at one another. I think it also changes their metabolism in a healthy way when they exercise. Diseases like Addison’s are the exception where the dog really can’t do exhaustive exercise or get excited. My two thrive on a good amount every day. There’s a blizzard white out today and they are exuberantly blasting through the drifts on the deck and yard. I’m standing inside or under the deck enjoying from a distance.

    I do not add salt, but mine get a little commercial kibble that contains it. Since your pup has no other source you could add some. They like the taste and there is a need established for sodium and chloride according to AAFCO protocol though pretty low for adult dogs. I have no idea what that %age would measure out as. .065% na and .09% cl or 65/1000's of daily dry matter intake and 9/100's of daily dry matter intake sounds like it would be a very small amount. I would worry about the vitamins, ca, phos before the salt. Finding a balanced supplement might be the best solution for now.

    I'm so glad to hear she's managing better now and impressed at how much you've done for her. All the stuff that is in manufactured food just doesn't need to be processed by her body for sure. Bless her heart, it sure sounds like she's very lucky indeed to have crossed paths with the perfect owner. Give your sweetie kisses from my girls and a hug from me.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics