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My "MAKE YOUR OWN" Dog food thread

Discussion in 'Other Pet Talk' started by ZEROPILOT, Aug 13, 2019.

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  1. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My tiny Chihuahua Suki has issues eating hard food. Her teeth are badly aligned and she can not easily crunch the hard stuff and will choke when she tries to eat anything but wet food.
    She has eaten several types of food over her short lifetime.
    Nutro. Merrick and Purina mostly.
    I'm interested in MAKING my own dog food. But don't want to overlook any important nutrition.
    I made a batch of baked, unseasoned chicken. Finely chopped with boiled egg and boiled carrot added.
    She liked it a lot.
    It's cheap and I feel good about the ingredients. But am I missing something?
    Do any of our members know much about mammal/canine nutrition?
    Obviously @Tom comes to mind (Again)
    But I'm open to all suggestions as I want to do this.
    Let the recipes begin.....
  2. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I’m a raw feeder. My dog has eaten raw since 10 weeks of age and I highly recommend it.
    The feeding ratio is usually 80/10/20
    Meat/bone/offal
    Meat is classed as any muscle, offal is kidney, liver, pancreas etc tripe is good but smelly.
    I must say my dog is thriving, healthy shiny coat, it’s good for the teeth too.

    There are lots of ways to do it, you can buy it complete or DIY if you have the freezer space.
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  3. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I've made my own food for my dog before. I get about a pound of ground beef or turkey, 2 cups of rice, a bag of carrots, and a chopped up sweet potato, and throw it all in the crock pot with a few cups of water and a little Olive oil for a few hours. Last about a week for my dog but hes huge. You could probably cut it in half for your dog.
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  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The nutritional work and decades of testing has already been done for you. Stick to the Purina. We've had lots of dogs with bad teeth over the years. We just soak the kibble and feed it to them soft. There is serious potential for malnutrition when making your own food. It can be done right, but it usually isn't. All these fads and trends and marketing schemes do more harm to dogs than good. For example, all these "grain free" foods are causing cardio myopathy. Turns out grain ain't so bad in a dog food.
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  5. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I do agree with Tom in that there is the potential to do it wrong. I have read a lot about raw feeding and I still don’t know everything.
    What I mentioned above, about the meat/bone/offal, I also didn’t mention that I add veg and fruit and also some supplements including Spirulina, coconut oil, salmon oil, kelp powder. I also add fish twice per week, and some green lipped mussels.

    Raw feeding is not easy but I see my dog really enjoying his wide variety of food. He barely ate the kibble in the end, I did it, dry, wet, mashed and tried several different ones but it was the same boring stuff everyday.

    I remember many years ago, my first dog when I was a child. My mum fed that dog 2 lambs heats every night. That’s it. No vitamins or anything. Occasionally she would have some chicken and rice or maybe some egg, she lived a healthy life until 15 years old.

    That’s just my personal experience.
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Everybody used to feed their dogs this way in the old days before kibble was invented and accepted. I often wonder if we should go back to that... I've chosen a bit of a compromise. I use the kibble as a main base to make sure they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients in the proper balance, and for the convenience, but then I add in small amounts of leftover human food for variety, taste and so they are eating some "real" food. Makes me feel better if nothing else. Some argue that my adding in these food items upsets the carefully crafted "balance" that the kibble offers. That may be true, but it works for me in the proportions that I'm doing it. My dogs live a long time and have few health issues. Remember the movie called "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson? Remember the black and white Great Dane that was one of General Cornwalis' dogs? That was my dog Jake. He lived to be 14 years and 11 months old. My last Malinois, the best dog that ever lived, live to be 13 and a half. Bullet lived a hard working life and punished many a "bad guy". If my table scraps are upsetting the "balance" of the kibble, I'm going to keep upsetting that balance.

    I don't begrudge anyone's dog food choices. I've seen every manner of feeding choice fail and succeed. I work with a lot of vets who see these cases daily and they share their insight and experiences with me. Sometimes they even argue with each other about it. It can be a confusing quagmire. My take is that no one way to do it is perfect for every dog and every situation. I hear testimonials about how happy someone is about whatever fad is working for them today, and I say rock on! If you found something you like and its working for you, keep on keepin' on. I just don't like it when those fads are sold as the "be all", "end all" solution to everyone's problems. And I hate it when the dog food company marketers get involved and confuse the hell out of everyone about what is good or bad this week. I've been in the dog food business since the mid 80s. I've seen a lot of trends and false prophets come and go in that time.

    Raw food can work. Raw food can also fail if its not done right. Its a lot easier to do kibble "right", and I don't think kibble is the monster it is made out to be sometimes. When feeding 30 dogs a day in a kennel situation for 25 years, you learn real quick that no food, or feeding strategy, works for every dog all the time. Individual adjustments must be made on a regular basis. I baby sit a rally cool Doberman several times a year. He eats a whole trout every morning, two frozen/thawed "raw" patties (We call them "pucks") at noon and 5ish, and he finishes the day with half a Cornish game hen. This dog is gorgeous, vigorous and super healthy. This feeding regime works for him and works well. I find it amusing that I hand him his fish in the morning, and then turn around and scoop kibble into a bowl for my own dogs who are equally healthy, gorgeous and vigorous.

    This is a good conversation. Unlike tortoises, I really don't have strong advice one way or the other on feeding. My advice to people in general is to learn as much as you can, do what works for you, and take care to make sure whatever you are doing is working for the dog. Its just hard to drown out all the "noise" from so many sources on this issue. Everybody seems to either be on a crusade to save the world, or on a mission to take your money. I think most of us just want to do what is best for our dogs, but man, it can be so confusing sometimes.
  7. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    I good quality food that is soaked works fine. Our Pomeranian was 13.5 and missing more than a few teeth, but would lick the bowl clean. Hot water works best just let it cool
  8. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Irregardless of the food type I always supplement Vitamin C for all and Cranberries for the girls. I had a Chow years ago that got UTI's on the regular even had the prescription Hills food until a Vet suggested the cranberry- almost none after that. The vitamin C is from a study I read years ago that was done in the 70's that likened hip displaysia to scurvy. For me it made sense that with regular exercise it would make for a healthy dog. I have had medium to extra large dogs my whole life and healthy hips with the Vitamin C. Is it the end all be all- I can not make that decision. I just know it makes sense to me and in my limited and only mildly scientific sample it works. Dog are amazing creatures, I dare someone to match their feeding/exercise schedule for a human. I have seen dogs starved to the point that that were over less than 1/3 their ideal weight turned around my dedicated humans with only a few antibiotics administered make a full recovery. I feel that the single most important ingriedent for a healthy dog is a healthy owner- loving but not overly, aware of their capabilities and work them, SCHEDULE, interaction-its for both of you, and job delegation- a dog is so happy when it has a clearly defined role. Sorry got rambling!
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  9. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    @Tom I really think you should write a book about your life. I would definitely buy a copy!!

    I agree what works for some may not work for others, and like you I also do add the kibble sometimes for convenience, especially if the raw hasn’t defrosted or I have forgotten to get it out in time.

    As far as kibble does what one do you use? I know you have different stuff in the US. One that has been recommended to me is Orijen because of its meat content. I think it may be made in the US... but it’s one of those Grain Free foods which you say may not be that good after all.
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  10. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Proper nutrition is my concern.
    Lately Suki eats a small amount of her wet food and none of the dry. Wetted or left dry. And she now has the tiny, TEA CUP dog sized kibble.
    She also eats white meat chicken and lean cooked beef that is finely chopped.
    I will continue with this plan since it works and since it covers her nutritional needs.
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  11. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    In your opinion, does the hard KIBBLE contain anything critical and missing in the wet food of the same brand?
  12. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    The wetfood usually more sugars and preservatives
  13. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    When I was 3 years old I was given a cocker spaniel pup and named him Pickles. That was way back in the dark ages when we all fed our dogs on cooked cornmeal, rice and chicken. Every day. Pickles lived a lively and apparently healthy life for 15 years before he became blind and helpless and we euthanised him.
    Not saying anything really. Just remembering my darling Pickles who I grew up with.:<3::)
    My two mongrels eat Purina dry food (kibbles?). They seem fine.
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  14. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I've been feeding Misty Taste of the Wild dry food with a half small can of wet mixed in for flavor ever since she was a pup. Now I'm worried because Taste of the Wild is a grain free food.
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  15. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    That's one thing I haven't tried....mixing the dry with the wet.
    I just made a concoction in the blender of cooked steak, chicken and two containers of her wet Nutro.
    She scarfed it down.
    It made enough for about 6 to 8 meals.
    She eats 2 small meals a day.
    This HYBRID mix is what I'll use for a while.
    She also now has wetted, dry KIBBLE. I'm curious to see if she goes back to eat it.
    (She used to eat her dry food at night AFTER bedtime before her teeth situation)
  16. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    The vet cleaned her teeth during her " Wellness exam".
  17. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    My last dog, who passed away in April this year age 13 had terrible teeth.
    They were rotten and smelly but unfortunate he could not have an anaesthetic for the vet to be able to clean them properly. They did what they could while he was awake. He had a terrible reaction to anaesthetic when he was having some xrays done on his leg and we almost lost him so the vet wasn’t willing to sedate him and neither were we.
    In the end, he had the occasional course of antibiotics to keep any tooth infection at bay, maybe once every 6 months.
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  18. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    It is kinda like people. I know so many people that essentially eat like how we feed our dogs and individually they are doing well!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
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  19. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Like my grandmothers.
    One never drank or smoked and ate mostly only food that she grew and cooked herself.
    The other smoked like a chimney and was a horrible alcoholic. She ate whatever. Whenever from wherever....
    They both died in their late 90s.
    Genetics are at play.
    But being safe can sometimes bring the odds back into your favor.
    Few things are as important to me as my animals. Very few.
    Especially my dog.
    Her longterm health is my priority.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    My wife finished her masters degree in micro biology and then went to work for Purina. When she told me I made a face (that face) and wasn't too thrilled. I'd been told their food was crap for years. My wife taught me all the what-fors and how-tos of canine nutrition and explained the good and bad points of each popular brand. I began to realize that the reason I thought Purina was not good food is because that is what the reps from other dog food companies want you to think. I worked in the retail pet industry for years and we got dog food seminars about every other month. Each rep would come in and tell us why their food was great and their competitors food was crap. My take away from it all was that any of the premium brands are good, and different brands agree or disagree with different individual dogs. I would tell customers to pick one brand try it for a few weeks and see how it worked for their dog. If things were good, I'd tell them to stick with it. If not, we'd try a different brand based on the problems encountered.

    I never would have used Purina, but free is a really good price, so I reluctantly gave it a go. We went with the Pro-Plan chicken and rice. It worked. Stools were good. Appetite good. Long term coat, muscle tone and health was all good. As time went by and I talked to more and more people, I found that Purina has quite a following among dog professionals and a lot of people swear by it. Its one of the only brands that takes the time and pays the expenses to do AAFCO approved long term feeding trials. Other brands hit the scene with great marketing (Right @Yvonne G ?), comments like "grain free" or "no fillers" that are designed to scare people into thinking these things are bad and they shouldn't be feeding them to their dog, and no track record. Purina has a very long and very successful track record.

    We've fed all sorts of foods to all the kennel dogs. Purina Pro-Plan has been by far the best with the best over-all results for the most dogs.

    One final and big reason for me liking the Purina is that I can get it world wide. I need this sometimes when I travel the dogs around. I've found it in Paris France, Mexico City, Cape Town South Africa, and in every city in the US I've ever been to. I get a lot of peace of mind knowing that I can find the food I need anywhere in the world and not have to switch foods while abroad or at home.

    Other foods are good too, but I stick with the Pro-Plan because it has worked so well with so many dogs for me.
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