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Supplementing Lower Quality Dog Food With Veggies/Meat

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Cairo

Ninja Dog- Extraordinaire
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 3:27pm PST 
Currently my dogs are being fed Iams Minichunks, which I realize is a lower quality than products like Acana or Taste of the Wild. My budget is too limited to switch them(college student with two dogs =/) but I'd like to do as much as I can for them while staying within my budget. Does anyone have an recipes or ideas for adding grocery store bought meat and veggies to add in for added nutrition?

I would prefer meats that are easy to find in precooked, low sodium options as I'm a vegan and the idea of handling raw meat creeps me out but I'm aware that a lot of precooked meats are very high in sodium content to remain preserved on store shelves.

Any ideas?

Again, my budget is kind of limited so please don't insist that I switch foods or tell me the "evils" of Iams. I've never had a problem with it and my dogs are perfectly healthy, I'd just like to add an extra boost to their food every once and a while.

Edited by author Tue Jul 30, '13 3:32pm PST

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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 4:50pm PST 
A handful of Veggies / Meat a day won't make much of a difference imo.
I'd suggest buying fish oil and supplementing daily with it.. I think you'd see more of a difference with that.
Or there is Missing Link supplements, Probiotics (Yogurt)..

Edit:
I don't know how much Iams costs, but 4Health has a grain free food that is around $34 for a 30lb bag.

Edited by author Tue Jul 30, '13 4:52pm PST

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Cairo

Ninja Dog- Extraordinaire
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 6:10pm PST 
In addition to their dry food, both dogs already receive appropriate fish oil dosages for the weight as well as Drs. Foster and Smith Lifestage Select Multivitamins.

I've actually never heard of 4Life, I'm guessing because there are no Tractor Supply Company stores near where I live currently(but luckily there's one near where I'm moving to). It is in about the same price range as Iams and has a higher crude protein content(the non-grain free one though), so I'll definitely look into it. Thank you Nare!
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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 9:46pm PST 
Well, other than that, there is yogurt and eggs (for the healthy fat).. But honestly all dog foods have about the same vitamins, the difference between Iams and Orijen is how they go about sourcing.. which can make all the difference, but no one can argue on a budget.

To be honest, I don't have a real TSC near me either.. here in Washington they're called 'Dels'. So they might be under a different name around you.

However.. If you wanted to buy a few cans of tuna and make dog treats (search fishy fudge).. I don't think your dogs will mind. smile
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 9:59pm PST 
Adding fresh food to not so great kibble actually can make a big difference in your dogs' condition as this vet noticed. He thought IAMS was good stuff though.
http://web.archive.org/web/20120120033408/http://www.thepet center.com/imtop/nutritioncomments.html

Finding good healthy precooked stuff to mix in isn't going to be easy however. Processed foods are generally high in sodium and expensive. Yogurt maybe? Maybe buying the canned dog food that is only meat would work for you.

Anyway this site has lots of ideas on things to add to kibble.
http://dogaware.com/diet/freshfoods.html
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 11:05pm PST 
My issue with Iams is quality not ingredients, but to each there own.

I have fed multiple dogs cheaper food for years and supplemented with fresh veggies, meat scraps, healthy leftovers. You don't need to put a lot of thought or expense into it. All my dogs love berries, fruit and veggies and they get lots. Blueberries in season are usually cheap and plentiful and most dogs adore them. Canned sardines are also cheap and easy and someone already mentioned canned tuna. Lots of delis sell cheap cooked ham or beef. The store bought roast chickens are also cheap, but remove the skin. My dogs also love carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, apples, celery and potatoes. I don't do anything special, I just toss it in their dishes.
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Milton

Im just a little- guy
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 11:43pm PST 
Iams is kinda pricy. There are some sketchy ingredients. Some formulas use unspecified animal ingredients like animal fat. It has by-products. Iams was once a leader in premium high quality pet food, but much has happened since then. They still bank with their name, even through they are now part of Proctor and Gamble.

Some formulas are fairly decent and not bad. They don't use artificial colors or Menadione in any of them. One horrible aspect of this brand is their animal testing. An undercover employee was able to get a lot of evidence on this. Google Iams cruelty, not cool.

If you have a Walmart, Pure Balance is worth looking into. It is the same price range and for all life stages. They just launched a grain free salmon food. Ingredients are important and an indicator of quality. My dog eats this food, but not all the time. I switch brands frequently by mixing the kibbles slowly into the older food..

Adding extras to any food increases the cost of feeding. Of course adding appropriate fresh ingredients to any dry dog food diet is healthy as long as the additions are not more than 25 percent and good for dogs.
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Cairo

Ninja Dog- Extraordinaire
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 31, '13 6:30am PST 
Thank you for your suggestions everyone!
Maxwell, the links you provided look very helpful but they aren't working for me. =(
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 31, '13 11:34am PST 
Is it not at all possible to get something like pre-cut chicken breasts and just boil it?

I know you don't want to handle the raw meat... but it will be cheaper and probably healthier in the long run. Handling would be minimal, just cut open the wrapping and drop it in a pot.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 31, '13 1:02pm PST 
Pure Balance and Iams are made by the same company.
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