Food For Dogs

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by katlupe, May 21, 2005.

  1. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I was never a dog person. But 7 years ago we got a little puppy that is the center of our life. She is a lab wolf mix and the greatest dog anyone would ever want. Very gentle and so smart it's scarey.

    But for some reason, she is so finicky about food. She really does not like dog food. Especially if it looks like stew or has gravy. She will only eat canned if it is a ground kind. And her dry food lasts a year. I put fresh in her dish and it sits there till someone else's dog comes for a visit. Then she'll help them eat it.

    But if I go to the store and have brought meat back for us, and especially hamburger, she sits by the refrigerator all day until I start feeding her that. I don't have a way to buy large quanities to freeze to just feed her that. Should I just stop buying canned dog food and buy her hamburger? Is that ok for her? She just seems to prefer our food, but mostly uncooked or at least no seasonings. She hates mustard on anything!
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I feed my dog raw meat, interspersed with liver, beef bones, free range eggs, tuna, oatmeal, leftover vegetables, etc. If you intend to feed your dog meat (good for you!) you will need some educating. Hamburger is fine, but it is only the muscle meat and fat. Your dog also needs bones, skin, ligaments, etc. Chicken backs (often sold as soup bones) are the best as they have skin (vitamin K) chicken fat (omega-3 and omega-6 oils), young soft bones, cartiledge, ligaments, and meat. Also, often the sweet meat is left in. I've lost my source for chicken backs, so I've resorted to chicken leg quarters when on sale. Dr. Ian Billinghurst's book, "Give Your Dog a Bone" is the basic bible on the subject. It is not the best written book, but you can use it as a guideline.

    You will find that your dog's coat takes on a movie star shine. If you let him have raw meaty chewing bones (often sold as soup bones), his teeth will sparkle. I've found that it costs less to feed my dog the real thing than it would to feed him a "quality" commercial dog food (this would vary from region to region), and no more than grocery store dog food.

    Handle the raw meat the same way you would when cooking for your family, just don't cook it.
     

  3. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Hello~
    I think your pupster is telling you she'd like a more species-appropriate diet. :D
    We've just switched our two wolfdogs and pit/chow mix to a raw diet and they couldn't be happier. The basic specifics of a raw diet are about 80% raw meaty bones (beef, lamb, chicken, pork, emu, deer, etc...), 10-15% raw organ meat (heart, liver, etc...) and 10-15% raw bones. The only bones to stay away from are weight-bearing bones of large animals like cows as they can be real teeth breakers. I've heard ground beef isn't a good thing as it can have a higher chance of e-coli and other nasties. It also doesn't have the teeth cleaning benefits of a big ol' chunk of meat and bones. I also give a salmon-oil gel capsule once a day to be sure they are getting enough omega threes. Supposedly grain-fed beef isn't as high in omega threes as grass-fed. I give veggies as treats but not to replace any part of their meaty food. My girls love broccoli and peas. :)
    Hope this helps a little~
    Take care~
    Steph
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Definitely do your research before you jump into raw feeding. The Billinghurst books are my bibles. I've also read about anything I can get my hands on. While I am not a big fan of grains in a dog's diet, you may find one of the diets with grains easier since it doesn't sound like you've got much freezer space. the Volhard diet comes to mind. It uses a lot of oatmeal and other grains for the bulk of the diet along with ground meat, organ meat, eggs, yogurt, and other supplements. The thing with home-made diets is that while everyone has their pet recipe, every dog is different and most dogs can actually thrive on most of the varying recipes (heck, some dogs ever *appear* to thrive on kibble!). Find a recipe that works for you and your dog!
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    katelupe, You say your pup will only eat canned or raw ground meat. That is likely because she's taken a preference for taking that if offered because she knows you will give it.

    Everyone will have their preference about what is best for feeding their dogs.
    Here is what I feed, and have fed my dogs for years and it starts with the breeder who you got your pup from. All the dogs I got, or have bred from pups, were 'trained' to accept kibble. For example, I have a pup that was born to my Lily and at 3 weeks he began eating solid food which comprised of pablum/enfalac and some soft meat like canned puppy chow (no chunks) mixed in. Gradually, I added a few kibble when his teeth began to come in. By 5 weeks he chomps away on kibble mixed in with the puppy 'mix' of the pablum/enfalac and canned puppy chow. Now at 8 weeks he has plenty of sharp teeth to grind at kibble. He can take or leave the pablum or enfalac liquid mixed in, so I alternate with kibble and that mix and another meal will add only kibble with what the adult dogs eat. I feed my adult dogs kibble with a mix of cooked beef liver chunks and rice (I cook the rice in the water from the liver that was boilded in it). I feed the dogs (adults) twice a day with the kibble and about a tablespoon (these are 15 lb. dogs only) of the liver/rice on top. The pup obviously gets fed 4 or 5 times a day for his growth needs, but is flourising on this regimen. He loves the liver/rice combo. I also stuff rubber kong toys with kibble when he's in his kennel crate, so he keeps busy with that as a chewtoyaholic that is both good for his teeth and what he is supposed to chew on. He doesn't go hungry for long, but is an active dude that wears off the nutrition quickly. I don't feed raw meat for personal reasons, though I wouldn't say you should do that or not. I know my dogs are long lived and healthy, rarely get ill, and that's good enough for me to know that I'm doing something right for my dogs.
    good luck.

    Rich
     
  6. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    All our dogs get Lamb and Rice combo from Costco. My blue merle Aussie is finicky too. I spray Pam on top and that does the trick. Hope this isn't bad for her.
     
  7. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    When Nikita was a puppy she did eat the kibble. And even now, when she's finished her food (either canned or hamburger) she will take a few mouthfuls into the living room. Or sometimes, just before she goes up to bed she'll take a mouthful with her.

    I have one book that told of mixing the hamburger with oatmeal and green beans and that the dogs will just love it. Not her. I do buy her the beef soup bones occasionally. Her very favorite is venision, of course.

    She is pretty healthy right now. But she's 7 and I want to keep her in good health as she gets older. She gets a lot of exercise as we live in the woods and we take her for walks and hikes. And she goes out when anyone goes riding and she can go a long ways.

    About the chicken. Should that be cooked? It's safe to give that to her raw? I give her the ground canned dog food only because it's readily available. She eats it. But sometimes I have to put a piece of meat on top of it or even a can of cat food. She likes cat food.

    When I was growing up and we had cats & dogs, my parents never bought any commerical foods. For one thing, I don't think they were very common back then. And our animals ate whatever was leftover. Nikita will eat breads, muffins and dog biscuits. She likes ginger snaps. She's not crazy about vegetables. Oh yeah, she will eat horse feed if I forget to bring her a snack (usually a dog biscuit- but she's even fussy about what kind she will eat) out when I feed our horses.

    I never realized animals were so fussy. They are worse than my husband!
     
  8. Bella Moon

    Bella Moon Well-Known Member

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    Please tell me, how does one afford to feed a dog raw meat?
    I raise chickens, etc. but am not about to feed my dogs meat that my family can eat. Even hamburger, although I never buy it, is too pricey.

    Annabella~
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) From a vet tech of many, many years I can tell you that there are some important things you need to consider here. The first is, I don't care how spoiled a dog was or is, a good vet clinic or handler/trainer can get that dog to eating a good healthy diet regardless of the breed or age in a week. NO exceptions!

    Let's assume that you are an average dog owner that want's to do the best they can for their dog. But you don't want this process to be "over the top" as far as time and expenses are concerned.

    There are lots of good brands of dog food out there. But you are forgetting that dogs are opportunists, as mentioned, and like children can easily be led into bad habits by mismanagment.

    The first thing you need to be considering is EXERCISE. That is just as important for an older dog(if not more so)than it is for us. A dog with plenty of exercize has a good appetite.

    Then there is develping good eating habits and you have let your dog develop some really bad ones. How would your kids eat if you offered them candy and ice cream and cookies if they waited a bit for them and left their healthy foods out there for them any time they wanted?

    Feed your dog a low or reduced calorie foodat it's age, unless it is a true "working dog"..ie going out retrieving every day after shot birds in really cold water. working stock... Pulling a sled etc.

    Put down ONLY a 1/2 cup or so of a GOOD BRAND of dry kibble for breakfast(low calorie). After 10 minutes pick it up. NO food or treats the rest of the day(unless you are training and then use tiny, low calorie treats). At dinnertime, put down whatever the amount is proper for your dog...mine like one frozen chicken heart with their dinner but they'd eat just as well without it....MY largest Cattle Dog weighs 72.09 lbs and he takes 2 cups of kibble at night. BUT this is a extra large cattle dog and he gets at least 2 miles+ of tearing around on walks up in the forest every day or swimming at the lake. That, along with serious playing with the other dogs on acreage and training every day.

    If your dog is getting to you with the begging and sorrowfull eyes bit, then you are being lazy with training and exercise. Every time you get this from her, do a lesson..heeling, stays, recalls, tricks whatever. This will take both of your minds off off of food from the fridge. Bar her from the kitchen if she is getting obnoxious about it. That's an easy thing to do and dogs understand it very well. IT goes without saying that you NEVER feed the dog while you are eating and NO PEOPLE FOOD for her. Be firm about enforcing this with guests and children. I don't allow this at all at my house and make a big issue of it if it happens! I get mad!

    Get serious about this or you are going to lose your dog. You just don't know how disgusted professionals get with uncaring owners who feed their dogs junk foods and then come in all whiny and worried when that self same dog comes in limping and needs serious and expensive surgery for blown knee joints or dies early because of kidney and heart trouble. IT's pathetic. Feeding a dog like you are, is not love....it's neurotic, and doesn't need to be.

    Good luck and I Hope for your dogs sake that you get this in hand.

    LQ
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    In the past few years, I've adopted two pups raised on people food and "gimmes". Both have had horrible teeth --- one, a beautiful young German Shepherd girl I adopted 2 years ago when she was 2, just lost one of her canines, in fact --- her teeth are a wreck and she has other health problems.

    By contrast, I have a lab/ridgeback I adopted at four and a half months, who I have fed good kibble (I prefer Black Gold), some homemade (but not raw) and lots of good treats (carrots and brocolli are favorites). He is going on 8, and has gorgeous teeth --- still --- a gorgeous coat, high energy, no overweight, etc.

    It is really worth it to feed them well. And it is really not to their benefit to feed them people food, unless it's good food. That means pizza, ice cream, cake, chips, etc., should NOT be given to pups, if you want them to have the best chance of a healthy life.

    Ignore them if they whine. That's all you have to do.
     
  11. OldYellersGhost

    OldYellersGhost Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'll bet you are one of those type people that makes a dog dance for a treat.
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    LOL! :D

    Actually no I don't. They come inside --- they get a treat, usually a carrot each because they L.U.V. them so much.

    Then they spend a half hour trying to steal each others carrots before settling in to gnaw.

    And yea, I give them a carrot (or broccoli or whatever) each and every time they come in.

    I'm kind of a sucker, but don't tell anyone.
     
  13. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    We have ours on Diamond large breed. They love it, and it has lots of omega-3s plus glucosamine and condroitin. They each get a cooked egg at breakfast with their kibble, and either split two cans of pedigree ground, or a boiled chicken (We butcher a bunch of white leghorn roosters, so they are quite small) at dinner. I also give them each a pet-tab. By the way Annabella, I LOVE your avatar!
     
  14. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I suppose it depends on how much you would be willing to spend. If you are feeding Old Roy, anything is going to look expensive. If you are looking at Wysong, you will spend less feeding raw.

    Although I feed mostly raw chicken (anywhere between 59 cents and 88 cents a pound), some people feed fish because that is what is available cheap in their area. I also feed fresh free range eggs, but that is because we have our own chickens. Even if you buy eggs, they are cheap. If you buy a freezer full of beef, you can feed the dog the things you don't like. If you don't make soup out of bones, you can cut off the bones from your steaks and roasts and give that to the dog before cooking.

    You have to understand, too, that if you feed raw you will be feeding less than you think. If I buy chicken legs at 59 c a pound, and I feed my dog two chicken legs a day, how much have I spent? Now, add the price of leftover cooked carrots or broccolli once a week. Add the price of my free eggs once a week, of a bowl of oatmeal once or twice a month, of the liver we got from our 1/2 steer that my husband won't eat.

    I am saving money by having a healthier dog.
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I feed ProPlan chicken with rice, soaked to my young BC. My last Springer spanial ate grocery store kibble wasn't sick a day in her life and died at 18 last year. The only thing I've ever found made a huge difference in longevity was weight control+exorcise and spaying a female early.
     
  17. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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  18. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    WAIT A MINUTE..........I was always taught to NEVER give a dog chicken bones. How are you giving "chicken legs"? I am reading these posts, and it's like someone telling me that my car doesn't need gas to run anymore..... :confused:
    One of my dog's canines ( a top one) is dead, can he still chew on a big hard bone?
    And Carrots? I find that hard to believe.....I am trying that one.
     
  19. dot

    dot Well-Known Member

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    I feed my dog Chicken Soup (a brand of dog food). I also throw in other things like cottage cheese, left over vegetables, oatmeal and eggs. The only thing I've offered she wouldn't eat was some homemade dog biscuits with peanutbutter in them. So last night after reading on here about the carrots I tossed my dog a carrot and guess what? She ate it up! :haha:
     
  20. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    My dogs seriously HEART carrots. :haha: The only thing they love more is broccoli stalks. :D