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I Want To Start Home Cooking For Lukka, Any Links?

April 20th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Where is Luba when I need her:D
Anyone else home cooking?

April 20th, 2008, 09:12 PM
i did for a while with Mister and the cats. it was quite rewarding!!!

the hardest thing was finding a good balance of calcium. we eventually got lazy and fed raw so we would know they were getting enough or not too much.

BUT after all the research, my best advice is to eat healthy yourself and feed the same thing you eat, just different portions.

for example-

we would have mixed veggies microwaved or steamed
mashed potatoes
garlic bread
broiled chicken

Mister would get 60% chicken
his veggies and taters were pureed together with crushed egg shell at a few tablepoons
his salad was without dressing and he just ate it as is, bout a half cup of loose spring mix lettuce
he got one slice of garlic bread

when we had beef for dinner, he would get ground beef (cause steaks are EXPENSIVE!!) and that was cooked really rare.

when we home cooked, he also got breakfast. thats when we put supplements in it. i would make 1/4 cup of oatmeal adding in egg, a pinch of ground flax, calcium supplement if i felt it was needed, uh.... a fish oil pill?? i cant remember now, sometimes honey, frozen blueberries, yogurt, whatever the kids didnt eat...

some oddball things we kept on hand for him-

cottage cheese
variety of cheeses
tons of eggs
ground flax
frozen fruits and veggies (they dont need to be cooked from what i understand)
garlic-rosemary (most of his meals contained both of these)

we cycled through chicken, ground beef, pork chops, whole turkey (that lasted forever!) and various 'on sale' fish.

one thing homecooking taught us was that we can find things besides salt, sugar and oil to cook with to enhance flavor. it was really nice that we could basically share anythign we had with him, as long as we watched his portions (and our own of course!!!). he now has tea with us (decaf), he does clean up duty after meals still, shares many of our desserts since we use very little sugar these days.

a few suggestions for you on your researching journey- look up the nutritional value of everything. for example dark bird meat has tons of zinc, tendons and such have good joint sustaining nutrition, oranges help acidify urine, there are several great leafy green things of which contain tons of calcium. not sure of the bioavailability of those for carnivores but we fed kale and spinach regularly.

variety and portions are the key. :)

sorry for the long post!! hope theres some stuff you find useful in it. :)


April 21st, 2008, 01:18 AM
You should not feed your dog walnuts.

From .....

NUTS: Walnuts can cause gastroenteritis and are considered poisonous to dogs.

April 21st, 2008, 11:17 AM
aaaaahh.... i see.... glad it wasnt often!!! thanks for the heads up! its one of the things we try to include in OUR diet more!


shane 123
April 21st, 2008, 11:58 AM
I feed raw and oatmeal and rice are grains and dogs do not digest grains very well. In my raw food book it mentions no grains. But yogurt , cottage cheese, eggs with the shell aren't oddball things, these are things my dogs get 3X / week with raw meat and juiced veggies. Juicing the veggies breaks down the cells so the dogs can absorb all the nutients, very comparable to stomach contents of rabbits or other prey. Organ meats are a must at least 2X / week.

Catherine Lane
April 22nd, 2008, 07:22 AM
Where is Luba when I need her:D
Anyone else home cooking?

Hi Lukka'sma... I cook for both my dogs, one is a senior Border Collie/Lab with multiple health issues and so requires a highly specialized diet; the other, my "easy" dog, is a healthy 20 month old RR who just eats a lot. :)

For me, the starting point is to calculate the enegry needs of the individual dog - how many calories per day - and them decide how you will divide the calories between fats, protein and carbohydrate. (I'm a nutritionist, so I think in terms of nutrients first, and then ingredients, but this is easy for anyone to do). I consider this the foundation of a home cooked diet, start with the nutrient composition you want to achieve for the individual.

For example, my RR would eat 28% protein, 36% fat and the remainder, of course, is carbohydrate. He needs about 2000 calories a day on average(he's a small RR at 75 pounds but he's very fit and active, so he might eat more, even up to 2400, but 2000 is an average for him). All this means is that I'm looking at supplying 560 calories from protein, 720 from fat, and 720 from carbohydrate.

It's a bit of math to get going on this with some accuracy, but well worth it in the longrun, in my opinion.

Once you have decided what the nutrient composition should be, your next step is to evaluate the foods you will use to provide those needs. But this could get lengthy. :) It's good to be aware that carbohdrates are NOT a recognized requirement for dogs, and that many dogs have difficulty with grains (Rice is usually the best digested as it contains no gluten). Fiber is not digested per se, but fermented in the colon, and some fiber is beneficial - as long as it's the right type for the individual.
Short version; I use about 30 - 40% carbs in the diet, and rely on starchy vegetables like sweet potato, or else brown rice, quinoa, legumes, buckwheat(no gluten) millet and sometimes, oatmeal. Dogs digest starch well and it's inclusion in moderate anounts in the diet is beneficial for most dogs.

It's my longtime and well-considered opinion that there are pros and cons to every food, pretty much, and variety is important for many reasons, but it is no guarantee of full nutrient adequacy, which is why calcium, iodine, sometimes Vitamin D, and usually a whole array of minerals need to be added to a home made diet.

Of course, individual dogs may do better or worse with the composition mentioned above; if there are health conditions such as pancreatitis the fat must be much lower. I highly recommend anyone starting a home made diet have a full bloodwork down by their vet to get a clear idea of what's going on metabolically.

This is a big topic; what I'm hoping to do here is get you started thinking about nutrients as well as ingredients. Many people when starting a home made diet think of which foods will be "good" or "not good". The popular idea is that providing a varied and fresh food diet will naturally ensure nutritional adequacy,and this is simply not the case. I analyze diets all the time, and I rarely if ever see one that balances properly when it's relying on variety for full nutrient supply. The bit of math needed to calculate all your dog's nutrient needs is so important.

You don't need to drive yourself crazy figuring it all out, but I do strongly recommend some research. If you're unsure, Dr. Pitcarin's book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats has some reasonably good recipes. He does utilize some ingredients I don't personally care for, but I feel a book like this is preferable to just winging it.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask for clarification if I just threw too much at you all at once.
Cat :)

April 22nd, 2008, 08:13 AM
WOW thanks for the answers everyone
Catherine I am off to buy that book momentarily, I'm sure to have plenty of questions along the way, hope you remain an active member of this forum:D

Catherine Lane
April 22nd, 2008, 08:39 AM
WOW thanks for the answers everyone
Catherine I am off to buy that book momentarily, I'm sure to have plenty of questions along the way, hope you remain an active member of this forum:D

I think you will like the book, Lukka'sma - and it's Richard Pitcairn,DVM - I was typing pretty fast there. <g>

I should also have said dogs digest COOKED starch well. It's a myth, sort of a half-truth, that dogs can't digest carbohydrate. Carbohydrates include starch and fiber (complex) as well as mono and di-saccharides (simple) and can be useful or detrimental according to type and amount. Starch is digested in the small intestine as long as it's cooked, and fiber is fermented in the large intestine and utilized for a variety of purposes. Moderately fermentable fiber is best - the ubiquitous beet pulp in dog food, and - a healthier choice - rice bran from brown rice.

Many foods can be used raw or cooked accoridng to the owner's preference and the dog's health history, but veggies and grains should always be cooked, in my opinion, although you *can* just pulp up the veggies as I think someone mentioned already.Always cook the grains if you're using them.

Let me know how you like the book - and don't forget to have fun with cooking and meal planning I've been doing it for many years and I still enjoy it, time consuming though it is. Daniel will sit and watch me cook for hours, especially if there's beef heart or turkey on the menu. It's a fun thing we share doing, and I cherish it.

Cat :)

August 28th, 2008, 02:45 PM
I home cook for my dog, out of necessity now, but I wish I'd done it from day one. At least he got high quality food back then anyway! He has kidney the secret is to get a high quality protein, good fats, and as low phosphorous as possible. Most kidney dogs (and cats) can lose a lot of weight when they get sick. THat wasn't the case for us. So when I would research kidney recipes..they all had a lot of carbs. Great for a sickly, frail dog. But he was a little chubby to begin with and had gained weight on the vet rx food on top of it.

so I had a big struggle. It took time, and some math. But I figured out a great recipe. The first few times I'd mess something up.:loser:. but I got it down now. I make a big batch every two weeks, and seperate 3/4 of a lb in a baggie. he gets half in the a.m, half in the p.m. It worked out amazingly. His stools are much smaller, his coat is shiny, he's perky, and best of all..we are stalling the disease.

I think my recipe can work for a normal dog too. It's high in protein, low in carbs. The recipe is mostly protein, the rest is grain, veggie and fat. It is paw licking delicious! and soo easy to make! some meaty bones can be added to add phosphorous for a healthy dog..we can't go near bones because of the phosphorous--bad for kidneys.

The meat consists of cut up chicken thigh meat (w/skin if possible)
The other half of the meat is high-fat ground beef..(73/27 or higher fat possible), I leave the meat raw.

I use Farina (cream of wheat) as the grain (cooked), Veggie is spaghetti, acorn, or butternut squash (steamed), fat is 2 packages of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, he also gets a full egg and one egg white a day. So i go through about a dozen and a half per batch, cooked as well. I crush the eggshells from all the eggs for calcium and to help as a phosphorous binder. Mush it all up together, and I freeze the baggies.

He also gets daily supplements: coQ10, fish oil (omega 3 only), glucosamine, vitamins B & E, and a probiotic.

You may find stuff online but in the end, you will need to come up with your own recipe based on your individual dog's needs. For some CRF dogs, my recipe may not work. I took the crf recipes and tweaked them accordingly. I used the daily nutrient needs of a 30 lb dog, although Al is closer to 40. The recipe is so low in phosphorous that I still have 100mg to spare..which can be used for treats.

This recipe truly satisfies him, he gets carrot sticks or a cookie (depending what I found at my local doggie health store) and that's about it. He leaves them sometimes even..which tells me he isn't necessarily hungry.

When you first enter the home cooking can be hear percentages, milligrams, ounces, everything is measured. Now I do it with my eyes closed! I never thought I'd need to use a food scale, but I depend on it! I ramble off the percentages and milligrams now like second nature. I can look at something and know if it's a low phosphorous food or not, if he can have much phosphorous has he had already for the day, etc. It will become second nature I promise!

It is sooo good for our furkids! You get to control all the ingredients, and you see an immediate improvement in their health. Nothing is processed, nothing just can't beat it!!

August 28th, 2008, 03:00 PM
Sweet Lukka has recently passed to the Rainbow Bridge!

:rip: sweet one!

August 28th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I didn't know. I wasn't on this board the last few months.

my best wishes to Lukka's mom :pray::angel2::candle: