August 12th, 2005, 05:51 PM
If I decided to start Spencer on a home cooked (or raw) diet, where do I start? There is so much info on this site that I am getting really confused.
I switched him to Medi-Cal hypoallergenic as per my vet (which you all told me not to do) and it didn't do anything for the itching. I was doing really good not even giving him treats and just giving him the food and some raw carrots.
If I was to switch, how gradually do I have to do it. I have heard 1 week, I have heard 3 weeks, I have heard months. When I switched Spencer to this food, he got the runs REALLY bad for a week. I had to give him Pepto and everything. I don't want to make that mistake again.
I have heard of hamburger meat and potatoes or rice, and I have heard of Tuna and Rice. What other options are there and what one seems to be the best?
I know that food is an ongoing discussion and I am sorry for posting another thread on here but I just seem to have too many questions. :)
August 12th, 2005, 05:59 PM
Nope you don't have to switch gradually at all.
Any improvement in diet can be done right away with little or no gi upset.
To start off never mix meats, one meat per meal.
I make a batch of food that lasts a few days in a big pot then put it in a big tupperware in the refrigerator.
You can basically feed your dog anything but greasy foods (no ham, bacon, gravy, greasy butter, margarine etc...) no onions.
YOu will see lists that last a mile long on what not to give your dogs but basically the above is the only real concern, because you're not going to give your dogs a bowl of rasins or grapes to eat LMHO!!
What you want to do is have about :
1/3 of your food protein: meat, fish, poultry, eggs
1/3 carbs (rice, pasta)
1/3 veggies (anything but onions) carrots, peas, turnip, potato, red/gree/yellow peppers...pretty much anything (except corn)
*eggs should be an item you give only once a week
Cook your meat, add your veggies and rice and there you go.
Supplement the diet by putting a little flax seed oil in the food (teaspoon or tablespoon a day depending on dogs size)
Sardines are a great source of calcium and cheap in the can :D
In addition yogurt is also a calcium source and promotes healthy gi tract!
Edited to add:
I forgot to mention I also add garlic powder when preparing the foods (cooking) as it is a natural deterrant for fleas and other insects.
I save the broth from the meats and make ice cubes great for a snack!!
August 12th, 2005, 06:15 PM
I have a great book called Better Food for Dogs which has zillions of recipes complete with nutrition guide for different body weights. It's very explicit... I can loan it to you or make copies of some of the recipes because there are lots of different things you can do!
I will say that when Dodger is on the home-cooked diet he has very loose stools and oftentimes doesn't break down all of the rice. But he LOVES it!
When he was on the raw, his stool was great but he couldn't digest the bones...although I have read that adding organic apple cider vinegar is suppose to remedy that!
There is also another good book called "The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs: 50 Home-Cooked Recipes for the Health and Happiness of Your Canine Companion" - which is a much easier read! Also, it has a lot of gravies that can be added to Spencer's kibble if you are worried about him reacting badly to the homecooked diet all at once! The ottawa public library has a copy of it so you don't need to buy it!
Luba gave great advice!!!! She knows best!! :)
August 12th, 2005, 06:34 PM
OH ya I forgot to mention the raw bones, I give those to Sadie as well. About one every 2 or more weeks now. Remove the bone (beef only) when gets smallish.
Lissa thx for the compliment. Sadie and I actually share her food quite often. Esp when I dont feel like cooking for myself there is a PLUS side to this!! :D
Lissa were you precooking the rice or just adding it to the food? It needs to be precooked (some people don't realize that) and you can also use pasta's as well for the carbs.
This is an older picture but you get the point....
I just learned through others experiences then develop what best suited me and Sadie. She's quite happy with it :D
August 12th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Yes, I was pre-cooking the rice - in the microwave first, the way I would for me! But maybe I need to try other types of rice and of course the pasta is a great alternative! :)
August 12th, 2005, 09:18 PM
Lissa: Thanks, I would really like to borrow that book if you don't mind.
Luba, that picture of that food looks really yummy. How much would you suggest frrding a 22lb beagle?
August 12th, 2005, 09:46 PM
I'm gonna tell you to just wing it!
Seriously guage what you feel is appropriate, there is no exact science to this....really like with our diets.
Give him what you feel he should be having (atleast 2 meals a day)
and depending on his activity level give him a little more / less.
I find you figure it out pretty fast :D they either let you know if they are still hungry or you notice a litlte weight change one way or another and you adjust.
Once you get into it you won't stop you'll really enjoy it! :D
August 13th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Ok now I need to keep in mind that the main reason for starting this is to determine if he has any food allergies. What should I start off with? What if it is the rice that he is allergic to and I put rice in his food. Also, what rice or pasta should I be using? Any kind?
August 13th, 2005, 03:44 PM
I doubt your dog is allergic to rice, make sure you precook it on the stove (fully cooked) use white rice.
As for pasta don't use it all the time, it can cause gas (stinky ones LOL)
Anything goes, experiment.
For your first try boiled chicken (fat and skin removed) with some carrots and peas and rice.