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Does anyone have a good, nutritionally balanced, homemade, dog food recipe? Has anyone heard of Balance IT? It is a supplement, vitamin/mineral mix, designed to make homemade food nutritionally complete. On their website is a function to help you design a custom diet, indicate, in a very general way, deficiencies, and then tell you which of their supplements and how much is needed to make the recipe nutritionally complete by AAFCO standards. That function is here: https://secure.balanceit.com/ez/index.php I came across it via a recipe on the MSPCA/Angell website. Am curious what people think. Now here is the more detailed version. Sunita has always been a picky eater and often skipped meals. One vet described her as "runway model thin" and someone else called her "art deco" because of her very svelte figure. Think this: or this (That woman is totally not me. I'm short & fat, but a girl can dream.) Despite that, she was always at a health weight, even if it was the lowest part of healthy. Over the past year she has gotten pickier and pickier. She doesn't want to touch dry food and now she's just picking at canned food until she's finally so hungry she dains to eat a just enough for a stick figure dog. To be clear, she shows signs of hunger but it is not enough to overcome her pickiness. At this point, you can see all her ribs, most of her vertebrea and has prominent hip bones. I'm an advocate for keeping dogs on the thing side, but not skeletal. Right now she looks skeletal. We are going through diagnostics with the vet to check for underlying health issues. (Her bloodwork is normal.) In the meantime, I've got to find something Little Miss Pickybutt will eat reliably. Right now that is a concoction of oatmeal, chicken and eggs with either canola or olive oil. In the short run that is healthy enough, but I need to get a balanced diet for the long term. Su is my only dog right now so homemade is doable, as long as it can be cooked in the pressure cooker. No raw. I've tried it before. It's not workable for my circumstances. And Su didn't like it. I need to get her back from stick figure dog to art deco. At the very least, I need to stop the weight loss while we figure out what's really causing this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Quick Context: Sammy is a (nearly) 11-year-old tripod who adopted us about 2 months ago. He has adjusted wonderfully to our household and has had zero issues EXCEPT FOR his problems with food. He is an old man whose mobility is fairly limited at this point and who no longer goes on walks. His "big excursions" are exploring our property during potty time. He is always supervised during this time because of his mobility issues- thus he doesn't eat mysterious/unknown things. Past Food History: 1) Sammy raced until he was five and then was adopted by an elderly couple who pretty much fed him whatever he wanted. Pretty much nothing was off limits so we have no clue how he ate during this time. 2) Sammy was with his foster family for 6 months and during that time, he was a very very picky eater. (Probably because they were actually trying to get him to eat kibble...) He went on 4-day hunger strikes fairly regularly. Vet visits yielded nothing wrong with him. The fosters started giving him a bunch of melted butter aaaaall over his breakfast and tons of wet food mixed in with his dinner. When he didn't feel like eating that, they would add pasta sauce to his food. (YIKES.) He was eating Taste of the Wild kibble and Taste of the Wild wet food (random flavors each time). After hunger striking on that, they switched him to whatever food he felt like eating. This ended up being Purina Pro Plan's Lamb Formula. (Still TOTW wet food.) When We Got Him: -We pretty much quit giving him aaaaall human junk food (no more melted butter, no more pasta sauce, etc. etc). He tried to hunger strike for awhile but we were patient and fiiiinally we had him eating the Purina kibble and TOTW wet food ONLY. -And then he started hunger striking again. -And then he started having diarrhea. (No blood, no mucus. However, we're talking straight up PASTE diarrhea.) -And then he wanted to eat grass and vomit. -And then he started to have gas the likes of which we have never seen (smelled?) before. Enough to make everybody gag and run out of the room...ALL THE TIME. -And then we started to HEAR his stomach making all kinds of interesting noises. Vet Visit: -Vet suspects food intolerance issues and NOT food allergies since he has zero problems of any other sort. He suggests only one source of protein for him because a mix of things does not seem to be working with him. We will have to do some detective work and figure out what exactly bugs his stomach. -Vet states intestinal cramping galore has been going on. -Loperamide + Metronidazole given. -Diet changes: Forced fasting on our part ---> bland diet (rice + ground turkey) that he absolutely devoured ---> Canidae Limited Ingredient Chicken Formula + Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken & Sweet Potato wet food. -Turkey was bad news. He loved it. It did not love him. The gas was unbelievable. O______O -Meds made him feel great! -Ate the most recent diet with no issues! -Stool no longer diarrhea paste but very very soft. Current Issues: -Hunger striking happened again. -Stomach noises back. -Did a forced fasting. -Back on bland diet. This time rice and ground chicken. -He loves it. -It appears to love him? Zero gas problems. -Stool still extremely soft. (We have almost never seen normal stool the entire 2 months we have had him pretty much.) Questions: Chicken probably isn't helping. Go with salmon? Try lamb? Do a different brand entirely? Maybe quit the whole thing? I am seriously starting to think that homemade is the way to go with this guy. Unless there is a secret food that we do not know about? Does anyone have any suggestions for what we should do after the bland diet is over with? What should we transition to that MIGHT be successful? Our concern is honestly not nutrition/best food ever because honestly, he has eaten absolutely terribly for 11 years and unfortunately, we are not going to magically undo the effects of that with the time that we have with him. But we ARE concerned with food that gives him cramping pain and makes him not want to eat over and over again. Tips, suggestions, recipes, are ALL appreciated!