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Thread: home made dog food

  1. #1
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    I have never had the pleasure of having a dog before, so needless to say, I find Rascal's (a small maltease) company precious. He started out on Science diet; he was never crazy about it. It always seemed as if he only ate enough to prevent starvation. He is a very small guy, weighs only 3.6#. He never felt filled out; you could feel ribs and spine when petting him. The vet advised changing to Proplan; he wouldn't even taste it. Long story short, I tried several canned foods, even the expensive "Little Ceasar"; no luck. I finally looked up a recipe and cooked his food myself. 94% fat free beef, rice and a few green beans. He Loves this. I just want to make sure he is getting everything he needs. I melt pet tabs in the meat broth, to equilivent 1/2 tab daily dose in the food. Does anyone else have experience with one of these little guys? I do not mind cooking for him; just want him to be healthy.
    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    We have a nutritionist on here somewhere. I'm sure she'll be only too happy to help. basically if a home-made diet is what you absolutely HAVE to feed you need to find a recipe that is absolutely formulated and balanced for a dog. There should be some good books around. You must make sure you follow the recipe exactly and dont substitute or miss out ANY ingrediants, no matter how trivial they may seem and that you feed exactly the recommneded amounts. Avoid recipes that say "such as" and then give you a whole list of possibilities, they arent specific enough and you can so easily go wrong.
    Dogs fed on home-made diets can have so many deficiency problems you really need to be very careful about making sure you get the mix exactly right. Anyone without a degree in canine nutrition has no chance whatsoever of balancing it right so i would strongly urge you to contact a qualified nutritionist asap.
    Lou
    If you want something done ask a busy person to do it.

  3. #3
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    Lou,
    Thanks for the advice. I saw another post regarding feeding that had a URL to a company that makes dog food. I will send for a sample of their food. I just don't want my little guy to starve. I definatly do not want him to have dietary deficiencys.
    Chris

  4. #4
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    One point i just noticed is that you said you were concerned you could feel his ribs. The ideal weight for a dog is so that you can feel with ease but not see their ribs. If you cant feel a dogs ribs they are obese and need to be put on a diet. Westies are particularly prone to obesity (along with labs, golden retrievers, colies etc).
    There are a couple of good books around, i will have a look through my nutrition books and see if i can find you a good recipe when i get back to uni.
    It feels very strange talking about natural diets here, one of my lecturers at vet school is one of this country's leading nutritionists and he is always banging on about the "evils" of home-made "natural" diets. (and then to ram it home he had us write an essay on why they are so awful in our husbandry exam. lol)
    Sometimes you gotta do things a little differently with some dogs though, just gotta make sure you get things exactly right when you do.
    Lou
    If you want something done ask a busy person to do it.

  5. #5
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    I had the same problem with my dog during the first couple of months after I got her. Ended up trying several different brands of food, dry and canned, she wouldn't eat anything. It was frustrating to say the least!! To make a long story short, after looking at several websites for homemade dog food and cooking for her for a few weeks I finally brought it up with our vet who said she needed a high fiber diet due to diarrea issues and after that treatment was over I now have her on INNOVA, and she LOVES it. It's a very good brand. One mistake I made in the beginning was that I didn't stick to any one food brand for long enough, she wouldn't eat it and I would go desperate, instead of sticking to one food for long enough to see if it works. Dogs get used to home made food and then it's difficult to get them off of it, so, be careful, make sure this is something you want to do for good. I will share a few of the sites I was using, look below:
    http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIP...AndFeeding.php
    http://www.tastytidbitsforpets.com/t...oking_faq.html

    http://www.simplypets.com/pet-recipes/Dog/Meal

    Anyway, I think that if you dedice to commit to cook for your canine friend you should purchase a few books on the subject to make sure you give it a balanced diet, don't ever leave out all the vitamins and supplements, and bring it up with your vet and make sure to get advices from a nutritionist. It's a very big responsibility and it should come after loads of research. On the other hand, I must confess, in many other countries people still feed their pets from their own table, my own mother while I was growing up always cooked for our dogs and they lived long healthy lives!!
    gypsy

  6. #6
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    http://www.api4animals.org/508.htm

    This page (as suggested by Gypsey) is a good starting point. Having looked at the other two sites i would advise stearing clear. The simplypets website is just recipes sent in by people who have visited the site and are not screened or balanced. The other is advocating the feding of bones and raw meats, which is not a good idea. I would also recommend further research other than this site as it is not very comprehensive.
    Lou

    [ June 05, 2004, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: lou3 ]
    If you want something done ask a busy person to do it.

  7. #7
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    Lou,
    Rascal is a little Maltease. His activity level varies; he is an inside dog. He seems to have loads of energy for adventures but sleeps or plays in cycles when we have to stay in. Do you have a suggestion for a really good dry food? I did mix kibble in with his last batch of food. He has eaten it with no problem. If I go back to dry food I know I will have to out wait him; he is persistant. He will hold out for the food. I am willing to try whatever we should do to keep him healthy. I am a pediatric nurse; if Rascal was a baby I would be on familiar territory! If I can easily feel his backbone is that appropriate? My sister has the same breed of dog, however hers is much larger. He does not feel boney. Thanks for the advice.
    Chris

  8. #8
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    What a lucky dog you have tried so much here I have tried almost every kibble, and ended with Nutro natural choice as the most affordable, pallatable , nutriotious choice.
    But if your dog is really finicky adn you dont mind spending extra on kibble Wellness by mother hubbard drives them crazy, super nutritous, oven baked but a bit pricy.
    Bending over backwards for her highness Zoee.

  9. #9
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    lol. sorry didnt read the breed right. Oh well. I would suggest that what you are doing with mixing in the kibble is a good way to go. You can gradually mix it in so it is more and more kibble and less of the other food. Really tasty stuff like royal canin, or the nutro already suggested would be best, and nicest for the dog. In the end it wil probably end up cheaper for you than cooking whatever brand you use since you have such a tiny dog and a bag will last you a long time.
    You an add gravy or a smidgeon of meat with it to encourage him to eat it. Smell is all important so try warm food, (acheiveable with the gravy or even hot water).
    I can feel the bones in the thoracic spine of all my dogs and i would put them at a perfect conition score (except my cavalier who is a bit on the tubby side just now)
    http://www.purina.com/images/article...yCondChart.pdf
    This is a bit basic but it gives you the general idea of what to look for in a dog in ideal body condition.
    Lou
    If you want something done ask a busy person to do it.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for all of your advice; I will look into the brands mentioned, and try to do better! Rascal is so small and eats so little that it is possible to afford more expensive dog food.
    Thanks again,
    Chris

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