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Is balancing important if feeding kibble too?

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 4:43pm PST 
My vet suggested I start incorporating home cooked food into Bella's diet, she has a slightly elevated BUN and Creatatine. Bella has several allergies to consider so this could be tricky. Our main goal is to add as much moisture as possible, but can food is much to expensive for me. She is getting ready to start eating Innova Prime Herring and Salmon. I bought the book Dinnwe Pawsible in the past but all the recipes contain grains or potatoes. If I do not have to worry about balancing as much then I think I can handle this, but I want to make sure I am starting off right. Thanks
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 5:48pm PST 
If you make an attempt to balance a home cooked diet then you could feed up to about half the diet as home cooking without unbalancing the diet and if you make no effort at all you can substitute 25% of the calories with home cooked stuff. So cook away.

I would buy whatever meat you see that is not too fatty with little bone, stew it gently until any bone falls out of the meat and use my stick blender on it right in the pot to make a meaty gravy. You can add in up to about half the weight in veggies of your choice once the meat is about half cooked so when meat is finished the veggies will be softened enough to break up with the blender. Don't add grains or high calorie veggies, kibble has plenty of that stuff.

Adding moisture is a great idea. Sassy had a terrible time drinking water as she aged but was able to finish off all the liquid in her meals just fine. Chicken soup tastes a lot better than plain water I guess.
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Kloppers

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Barked: Sun Jul 29, '12 4:09pm PST 
Thank you Maxwell. I probably will not be using meat at first. I am thinking veggies, fruit, eggs, pumpkin. Bella had bad food allergies and I want to eventually start narrowing those down but I think I will just be feeding 25% or less with home cooking. I could do canned salmon since that is the protein source she eats now.

So say in order to maintain Bella's weight she eats 2.75c kibble and then homecooking...she would need approx 250-300 more calories...is it just a guess and check? She is eating about 3 1/4 cups kibble now, or about 1550 cal.

I also have to be careful of what fruits and veggies she does eat due to her systemic yeast problems. She has been doing well, but had a relapse currently after a distemper booster.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 29, '12 6:40pm PST 
Start with the salmon then. If you could find cans that aren't salted that would be far better for her. Fresh might be cheaper in the long run though. Be careful with eggs, they are rich and easily cause interesting poop events. The word is yeast feeds on carbs so consider serving up low carb veggies and fruits. Zucchini and celery rather than sweet potato and carrots perhaps.

Yeast? Max had the opposite issue. On fresh raw sardines his ears filled with gunk. His ear wax is still a bit dark though not excessive so when I next buy his fish oil I will avoid sardine in the mix. I sure hope it is only sardines that is the problem and I am so glad the issue is so easily avoided!

If she has severe issues you might find a wholly homemade diet works better as there isn't a little of this, a little of that to make the ingredient list look better to the consumer. Start with what she does best on, a single protein and a single carb and go from there.
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 30, '12 3:37am PST 
Thank you again, your responses are always so helpful. Bella is a tricky one to feed since we have to avoid so much. I plan on starting off small and hope to someday do full homecooking. I have been looking at Evangers grain free game meats (canned) I know it might be more expensive but at this point in my life convienance is pretty important. I have been reading and reading, but it seems everyone has a different idea of what veggies and fruits are okay to eat. I will be making my grocery list tonight and having some happy dogs by the end of the weekbig grin
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 30, '12 6:54am PST 
I wouldn't trust dog foods to be what they say they are. In particular Evanger's has had issues getting the correct ingredients into cans in the past.
http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/fda-warning-letter-to-ev angers-pet-food-company.html

One of the companies putting out prescription food has done a study showing that many dog foods have proteins in them other than the stated ones because the equipment isn't cleaned carefully enough between batches at the least, fraudulent practice of using cheaper ingredients at the worst. Of course the solution is to buy one of the special foods they make on carefully cleaned equipment! I don't see this one in my bookmarks though and my googlefu is weak this morning.
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 30, '12 9:38am PST 
Thanks.. I will do some better research to find something else. My main goal is to provide more moisture for Bella. I am really just using leftovers from my little girls, just today I have some watermelon, apples, strawberries, green beans, and carrots. Would a topper provide enough extra moisture if given daily?? I was hoping with a can food I could mix it with equal water and make a gravy to add even more moisture...not sure if it is the greatest idea. My vet suggested using Evangers, since I am hesitant to take on the full task of homecooking.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 30, '12 12:43pm PST 
If you add the weight of the food in moisture you are bringing it back to the 60% moisture fresh food has. If you add the same volume moisture as kibble to the kibble then you are adding lots more water than fresh food has. A cup of kibble weighs about 4 ounces so adding a cup of liquid to a cup of kibble is terrific but 1/2 a cup of liquid to 1 cup of kibble is fine.

If she likes a little watermelon or some such added to the water and eats her food well then you are doing fine. You don't have to spike the liquid at all if she will eat it that way. Go ahead and play with the flavoring of the water as you have been. I just wanted you to be aware that you know what is going into the dog's food if you serve up fresh but dog foods aren't well enough regulated for animals with severe issues. And it is much cheaper to cook up your own topping than use the commercial stuff too. And you don't have to do any fancy stuff if you are substituting less than 25% of the kibble calories for fresh calories either.
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 30, '12 2:18pm PST 
Thank you so much Maxwell. I think with your help I have decided to use fresh foods that are already in her current kibble to supplement for now. So with the Innova Prime she is on now, I will add salmon, apples, celery, peas, etc. I think with her allergies it will be best. I am hoping this will help us figure out some of her other allergies, well once I know she is doing well...we just had to switch her dry food because we might of gotten a bad bag.
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