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Homemade Food. What Is The Right Balance Of Ingredients?


Guest beetle_slayer
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Guest beetle_slayer

I have 2 greys and one with OSA. I have started feeding them both a mixture of kibble and home cooked food. As my situation is different than the next person's, I will describe the short and sweet of it all.

 

Diego: Grain allergy, will eat ANYTHING, very active and 85lbs with no fat, 4.5yrs, very healthy

 

Barbie: No allergies, light and picky eater, 62lbs with just a little fluff, not very active-especially since the cancer diagnosis

 

I have been feeding 1-2 cups AM, and 2 cups PM of Nutri-Source GF Chicken as this provides the combination of cost, good for his bowels, and they both like it.

 

I have made them both homemade food and here is the ingredients:

3lbs ground turkey

1lb frozen broccoli

1 bunch of kale

18 eggs (whites and yolks)

 

I blended it all together, poured into 2 9x13 dishes and baked for 40 mins.

 

This recipe was recommended by a fellow OSA mom recommended by a vet or oncologist or someone to add in cancer fighting foods.

 

They each have been getting 1 cup kibble and 1 3inch square mixed together twice a day and they gobble it all up. No gas or loose stool. Also, they get a treat or two but not too much as well as a plop of 4% cottage cheese. This is usually done so I cane give her all her meds.

 

My concern is that although she may not have much longer left with us--but she might. What is the correct protein, fat, fiber, etc. What is too much of one. not enough of another? I don't want to do raw right now due to her immune system. Any input would be helpful.

 

P.S. I know there are many opinions and not one answer as my two pups are completely different. Some basic guidelines/recipes would be helpful.

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In the long run you need to add calcium to balance out the phosphorus in the meat, you can start by grinding up the egg shells after you boil the eggs and mix the powder in or give tums (make sure there's no added artificial flavoring). There is a proper ratio, I don't remember it off hand, but here's one website's recommendation.

 

 

Calcium: Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food (excluding non-starchy vegetables). You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder (1/2 teaspoon eggshell powder provides about 1,000 mg calcium). Animal Essentials’ Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well.

You should be aiming for 80% lean meat, or add some olive oil to get the fat right if you're using 90%. When I was home cooking, I changed out the ground meats depending on what was on sale, and I think it's probably good to give some variety anyway--ground beef, turkey, chicken.
Hope this helps some.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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I use bone meal (powder) to provide the calcium ... its inexpensive and 2-3 tablespoons can be added to your dish to provide balance on that.

 

I would also include some organ meats. You can use liver (chicken livers are easy to obtain in any grocery store ... sometimes in the fresh poultry section, but otherwise in the frozen food section). If you have a Korean grocery store nearby, you may find fresh chicken hearts as well (alternatively, you can use dehydrated chicken or turkey hearts). 10% of your protein should come from organ meat. Other products contain organ meat (I like Stella & Chewy's dehydrated food, because it includes plenty of organ meat to balance my food out)

 

You could add some fruit to the veggie mix -- applesauce is an easy option, but avoid added sugar varieties.

 

My holistic vet recommends adding Turmeric & Ginger spices to their food... I try to give ~ 1/2tsp/day of each.

 

And if you have local sales on chicken (boneless/skinless breast or thigh meat), you can bake them (even from frozen) with a little bit of coconut milk (to keep meat from drying out and to add some good oils). Let them cool in the pan (I use non-stick spray on a LARGE baking dish and fill tightly with ~3# of meat, and bake at 350 for 25 min, then turn the oven off to let it finish baking & cool down in the oven) before dicing into small pieces. I frequently find that meat is cheaper than ground turkey (although Aldi frozen Turkey meat is usually a great price). I like to rotate the proteins (right now, I'm putting a mixture of 2 proteins in my dogs' food bowls because Riley always finds a way to complain about whichever one I choose when there's only one in the bowl).

 

good luck.

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If you are just using your cooked food as add-ins I wouldn't be overly concerned about getting the "perfect" recipe. As long as you are adding a reasonable mixture of ingredients together you should be fine. I have read that if your add-ins are under 40-50% of the diet in an adult dog, you don't have to worry about supplementing. If you want to add calcium, it is at about 900mg per lb. (which works out to be about 1/2 tsp of eggshell per pound of food). Again though, if you are just adding a square into the kibble, and already feed cottage cheese, I don't know if I would overly worry about it. I'm sure your pups enjoy and benefit from the fresh food additions!

 

If you want to learn more about homecooking and/or want recipes which meet the appropriate guidelines you can check out:

 

www.petdiets.com

 

For reputable books, I personally recommend both Dr. Becker and Lew Olsen. Their focus is raw, but both books have lots of cooked diet options. I feed from Dr. Becker's Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats and trust it as all of the recipes are nutritionally analyzed in the back of the book.

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/news/Great-Books-On-Homeade-Dog-Foods-20219-1.html

 

Again though, if you are just using ad-ins these are probably unnecessary unless you just want to learn more.

 

 

 

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Guest beetle_slayer

Thanks all for the input. I would probably completely abandon buying food except for the convenience of it--just like when I buy rotisserie from the grocery store.

 

As far as organ meat goes, does anyone have any recipes for small treats as it would be hard to divide it equally between my two as they like to switch bowls mid-eating and also share--until she kicks him out of the one she chooses.

 

Organ meat: chicken livers, hearts, gizzards, beef liver, what about tripe? There is an abundance of that here but not sure of the nutritional value.

 

I will research the calcium as the cottage cheese and the kibble they get may be adequate,

 

I will definitely do some reading y'all suggested.

 

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Guest TheGirlz

Can't help on the cooked meal side of things as my girl is a raw eater. But in regards to tripe - this is something that is good for them, especially is you are feeding any type of bone ie chicken or turkey necks, meaty chicken frames, brisket etc. As the tripe helps with digestion and ph balance in the stomach (or so I'm told by the trained lady in the shop - who's other job is a vet nurse). However, make sure it is the green tripe not the bleached white tripe. It doesn't smell great but you can feed it frozen - I buy mine in1kg bags and they are in small ice cubes size segments.

 

All the best

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Guest beetle_slayer

I'll have to research the green tripe. I have only seen the white stuff. I'm a little preoccupied at the moment. My little girl goes in for a follow up x-ray of her chest tomorrow morning to determine if amputation is possible for her OSA. If not, she will be lucky to make it until the weekend due to the pain. The vet say a small spot in her chest and neither he nor the radiology department could say what it was, so we gave it a few weeks to see if it changes.

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Guest greyers

Highly recommend the book "how to feed your best friend better" from the dog food dude. You can find on Amazon and at Barnes and noble for only about $10. He gives easy, simple recipes with full nutritional information on each and really good easy overview about homecooking for your dog and what you need to add or do. His book is ideally designed for the person who feeds 50% kibble or "balanced" dog food and 50% homecooked. According to what he says, if you feed no more than 50% from homecooked you do not need to worry about the calcium and other supplements. Anything above that and you do. If you have to add supplements I recommend a brand called Animal Apothecary which has vitamin and mineral supplements as well as seaweed calcium supplement. They are easy to use. But if your dog is doing well on a combination of homecooked and regular dog food, then you can likely keep as is.

 

http://www.dogfooddude.com/

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Guest beetle_slayer

Haven't had time to read. Our Barbie had leg amputation on Tuesday and have been babysitting her. She is doing so well but still has pain when up and down and if bumped by her brother that came home last night. I made a new recipe of 2.5 lbs salmon steaks cooked, 12 eggs, 1lb broccoli, 1 bunch kale, 2 sweet potatoes (1lb). All but eggs were cooked separately, then all dumped into eggs and used a mixer to mix it all together making sure the fish was dispersed. I cooked for 20-25 mins on 375. She LOVES it.

My overall goal is to make her and her brother delicious meals for the rest of their lives whether its today, 1 year or 10 years.

They are not here for us; we are here for them. Sometimes I need reminded of that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You can easily get any additional calcium needed from the egg shells. Rinse the egg shells, bake at 400F for 10 minutes then grind them with a coffee grinder or food processor. Add to your mix at the rate of 1/2 tsp per 1lb of meat/fish and it will be close enough without too much fuss.

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