April 5th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Ok, enough is enough. Roxy's food allergies/sensitivities aren't getting any better, time to try a homemade diet. I'm not excited about this because it is quite a bit more expensive than even the best kibble. Anyway, here's my idea...
1 part turkey (hey it's on sale $0.99/lb this time of year!)
1 part frozen peas & carrots or maybe lentils (which one would be better?)
1 part rice or potatoes (which would be better? If rice, is brown better, or does it matter?)
Platinum Performance (she's already on this supplement and tolerates it well)
I would like to eventually add more variety, but for now I want to keep it very simple so allergens are easy to recognize. I'm going to remove the turkey drumstick bones, and get the rest of it ground bone-in. Roxy should be ok with carrots because she was eating Iams plus some of a homemade diet before that included carrots. Roxy also has anal gland issues, so she needs some bulk to her diet, so I definitely want to use rice and/or potatoes.
Any comments would be appreciated.
April 6th, 2012, 01:33 AM
Namaste, Myka. - (late note: - dah, I didn't see dog's size till late. Will update or add more tomorrow.)
May I suggest you read a very interesting article by Vilhjalmu Stefansson, a Canadian born in Gimli Man. 1879 who was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist who worked in the frozen northlands and the US. (see Wikipedia). He is famous for a number of things but of particular interest is his view on food for both human and animal. Here is the site: http://www.biblelife.org/stefansson1.htm
In the least, it is an interesting read. At more or even most, it sheds an interesting light on the possibilities of what is necessary for sustainable health when stuffing the most important hole in one’s body. I’m not going to editorialise further but will leave you to your reading, his story, I hope.
But you asked for suggestions so here they rip.
Note on pouchy food. Have you thought of the BARF diet? That is suggestion #2.
What if you fed one food at a time for three to five days for each single food to see how Roxy’s allergies fair; say first round - raw turkey and turkey bones; second round - raw salmon. Superstore often has frozen pinks for 59¢ in Calgary and at times has really ugly fresh salmon bits (heads, fins and undefinable parts but people actually use the stuff for soup). Ugly is even cheaper than frozen; third round - beef (some liver) and bones of course- ribs , lamb, or chicken, etc. Reaction foods can be tried again in a month or two. If a food causes no bad events, you are up one.
If Roxy has not underweight, then you might think of small feedings three or four a day. My wee corgi became porko corgi with the amount I at first fed her. She should have had a few ounces of food a day instead of half pound. Meat, foul and fish are very caloric packed. Small meals of a strange food should be less likely to stress the stomach.
Lastly, following the BARF protocol, especially with lots of bones, the annal problem will be a nightmare of the past. With enough bones in the diet, Roxy’s eyes will cross with pushing which will strain the annal glands (but not the eyes) enough to empty and cleans themselves. I believe that this is a good example of where the BARF diet shows its strength. My previous dog always had to have her annal glans cleaned by the vet. I tried but couldn’t figure it out even with demonstration. I wish I had stop to think about it but obviously, it is not normal for an animal to have this problem. Over the 15 months Sadie has been on BARF, her straining has greatly decreased. Her poops are not smelly, are very small and within a day or two turn to grey in colour and to powder. Good for the grass. Step, crush and fertilise. No more poop pickup.
I never feed any weight bearing bones to my Sadie. Chicken necks, wings, feet, body cavities, heads if you can get them, are all good for the cause. No word for picky when it comes to canines. Sadie played with and licked her first chicken foot, but once she got the idea, she couldn’t keep her eyes off the feet of the local chicken out for a walk, the teasers. I do cleaver off the cartilage and softer bone parts around the end of weight bearing bones. I also smack up weight bearing bones and scrape out the nutritious goop in them.
As noted, one reason for small servings more often, especially in the beginning, is that an animal’s system won’t be so over loaded with new things. When Sadie was small, she got into a package of raw ground beef and had the pink trots. A small amount would not have bothered her.
An example of food I am presently serving Sadie to get a few pounds down is 50 grams two times a day of meat and and more if the meat has bone with it. Not much, I know, but she is on a diet. Near bed time she gets 20 grams tinned Sardines in tomato sauce spread over and around the reinforcement sides and bottom of the black bottom part of a store cooked chicken. It takes her some time to clean it out. Or I give her two small thin slices of beef liver I have frozen. I maker her fight me for it. I hold, she tugs. She licks my fingers. We're bonding. Seriously, I try to hand feed her as much as possible. She realises where the food comes from, me, and in her old age she's finally beginning to get the picture that I'm not just the oaf who lets her out to do her do or take her for walks - or car rides (which she hates).
She’s now elderly and showing it and though she’s close to a good weight, which is rare in the World of Corgi, I want to take more weight off her legs. She is a little north of 29 lbs and my dream is to be down by mid summer to 24 lb but I would be happy enough with 26 and Sadie would be happy with 40 lbs but has dreams of fifty. It is virtually impossible to stuff a corgi. They are never happy, food wise.
You talked about costs. If you have a Chinese grocery store, check it out. Check out real butcher shops. You may get cuttings and some things cheaper. My butcher shop sells me chicken cavities which have a fair amount of meat on them for 40¢ a lb. That does Sadie two meals and a snack.
I am presently researching fat in a dogs life. I have posted a thread in this forum on it. If no interest is shown I will drop the subject but I am very interested in truth in facts from science. We will see.
April 6th, 2012, 06:03 AM
The best way to add bulk to a dog's diet is feeding bone. It will harden up the stools and give the dog natural vitamins and minerals.
Personally, I would skip all carbs and grains if she is having problems with diarrhea (sorry not familiar with her exact problems). The dog's digestive system is much shorter than a humans in comparison to their body length and therefore it is common for carbs to not break down fully to absorb while in the small intestine. They then can irritate the large colon causing inflammation, which in turn causes diarrhea. There are no nutritional reasons to be feeding grains/veggies to a dog.
April 6th, 2012, 10:55 AM
Hi Mhikl, thanks for your thorough response! :goodvibes: I will read your links this weekend some time.
The trouble with allergies/sensitivies (further referred to simply as allergens) is that it takes 6-8 weeks for the allergen to get out of the system, so changes must be made really slowly. I believe one of Roxy's allergens is Salmon and/or fish which is why Roxy is on Platinum Performance (flax-based omega 3) rather than Fish Oil.
Roxy is eating Acana Wild Prairie grain-free kibble right now which she has been on for about 3 months I think (I would have to look back at notes). Roxy's reaction to this kibble is mild, but she still has some irritation between her toes, she stinks something awful (possibly the anal glands are the biggest contributor), her coat is greasy and smelly, and her anal glands have moderate issues. It may be the fish content in the Acana that is bothering her, although when switched to foods with no fish content the problem hasn't resolved (although feeding Fish Oil in addition to the food seems to be an issue). The point of trying this homemade diet is to recognize allergens, and hopefully end up switching back to a kibble or at least one meal a day of homemade and one of kibble.
Cost is definitely an issue. Roxy currently eats 4 cups of the Acana grain-free kibble per day, that relates to a lot of homemade food! I had my old girl Myka (85lbs) on a raw diet of meat, offal, and bones only for 6 months I think it was a few years ago. When I first started her on it I was able to find decently priced meats, but when I moved to a different area I couldn't keep her fed for less than $250 per month! It is a rare, rare occasion that I can find anything but pork on sale for less than $2/lb, even looking at butchers and abattoirs. Heck, I pay $1.50/lb for rib bones from the abattoirs which would otherwise be thrown out!
L4H, thanks for your contribution! :highfive:
As described in the above paragraph, I have tried a raw diet of just meat, offal, and bones with my late dog Myka. I did not have a good experience with her. I don't know whether she just had more troubles than usual making the switch or maybe I didn't really do it right, I'm not sure. The mess involved with that diet was really disheartening as well.
Also, having fed Orijen foods for several years to several dogs, and then switching to the Acana line of grain-free foods with a lower protein content I am really starting to think that this high protein, low carb diet trend is more suited to working dogs rather than the typical domestic "couch potato". I'm inclined to think that copying a wild dog's natural diet may not be as suitable as it once looked. I used to think very much like you L4H, that grains and/or veggies are not essential, but I'm not the first person to be thinking a bit differently now on this subject. Grains I still feel are not necessary and possibly (likely?) detrimental, although I have no qualms about feeding potato, lentil, or pea which is often used in the highest quality kibbles. Cats I think are an exception, where they are rather less domesticated than dogs, and are obligate carnivores.
Having said that, I could be inclined to leave grains (rice) out by replacing rice with potatoes, lentils, peas, or chickpeas. Potatoes are quite starchy though, I'm not sure about the other options if they may be superior. Even if I felt that a meat, offal, and bone diet was most superior there is definitely no way I can afford to feed Roxy that kind of diet as I have already experienced with Myka.
Roxy's anal gland issues are not caused by diarrhea, her poops look good and seem to be firm enough. I believe the anal glands issues are caused by the food allergies/sensitivities. It's not that the glands are becoming blocked, they seem to hold a certain amount, but they never get too full. The trouble is that they seem to leak a bit or something as she will often smell like anal gland "juice" when she wags her tail or something just if she's relaxing the whole room will smell. It is really quite gross.
Lentils actually have more carbs than potatoes, but lentils have more fibre than potatoes. Potatoes have more starch than lentils. Hmmm...
So I think my new revised diet should be:
1 part ground whole-ish turkey
1 part frozen peas & carrots
1 part lentils? potatoes? chickpeas? (I think lentils are the most suitable having a lower glycemic index and more fibre)
Daily Platinum Performance supplement.
April 7th, 2012, 03:16 PM
Love4himies, you are so right regarding the poo affect of BARF. My Sadie drops small poos which quickly turn grey and disintegrate.
Myka, I can see the costs being high when buying human grade foods from the usual commercial markets. The trick is to find the best sources it seems. There may be amiable restaurants that would give up discarded safe raw food that they can't serve to human customers. I have heard of a large restaurant that threw out sealed packaged meat that an acquaintance kept and brought home to eat. He didn't die.
The challenge is to ask around at restaurants, grocery stores and to friends. Something may come up.
My cousin had troubles similar to yours with her Japanese dogs- huge beasts. I suggested a commercial food made in Saskatchewan. It worked for her dog allergies. I am off for the day for an Easter meal, but when I get back I will see if I can find the name. It was the last commercial food I fed my Sadie and I felt it was the healthier, high in protein and low in carbs.
I will also check with a chef friend for how one might go about this with restaurants. He's away right now but should be round something the coming week.
April 7th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Horizon kibble is made about 30 minutes north from here. Is that the one you're thinking of? Carnivora (formerly Urban Carnivore) is local here too. It is a raw commercial food, and is even more expensive than homemade foods. I used to feed it to Peewee. Orijen and Acana are made in Alberta about 5 hours away
I bought 35 lbs worth of turkeys, so that should do us for awhile. Hopefully she's not allergic to turkey! She should eat about 2 lbs per day, with turkey being about 1/3 of that so 35 lbs of turkey should last approximately 6 weeks. This cost is about the same as the Acana I have been feeding, possibly a tad less even. Now, if turkey was on sale year round for $0.99/lb I would be laughing!
April 8th, 2012, 01:21 AM
Myka, I had just checked out the Horizon and that was what my dog was on and what my cousin put her dogs on. One had allergies and could handle Salmon but sounds like your pooch can't. I am always suspicious of food with -meal attached. That, I believe means garbage food.
I understand that allergies can the a while to disappear. As an O blood I cannot handle the lectins in wheat. I have a bad hip and it took eight or more months to completely become pain free though major relief happened in about a month. Pain is layered and every time you think the pain is gone, the next day more pain is gone. Probably same with dogs.
However, sticking to one food at a time with careful observation may help you figure out what other food bother your dog.
Love4himies is correct about the bones, and grains. I don't use weight bearing bones for my elderly dog but your dogs sound large so they should be able to handle them. There is a lot of nutrition in bones.
I believe the ratio is one of bone/meat/organ for active dogs. Still not sure of the fat ratio but I am experimenting with my Sadie with added pork fat to see if her shoulder pain lessons and her energy rises. (see my thread on Fat) Finding a source of cheap bones: I get bones cheap form Chinese grocers and a Chinese Butcher and he gives me great deals on chicken carcass. If you can find such (I'm in Calgary so easily done) and you have a freezer . . .
Would never use grains - I do give Sadie some green vegetables but more for bulk & variety. A pure meat diet, i.e., no bones and organs, is probably not a good idea.
Sorry for scattered thoughts but it has been a long day.
(This is just thinking outside the box. Depending on home situation - raising one's own food? Rabbits? Rats? Hamsters for smaller dogs. I did a piece on mice delight for cats on this forum. I actually have toyed with idea re hamsters which mature are adults in 4-6 weeks. I'd not let a dog do the kill, though. I suspect the fresh and hormone free flesh couldn't be beat.)
April 8th, 2012, 10:06 AM
mhikl, thanks for your continued input. When I say "turkey" I mean ground, whole turkey, bone-in. I will remove the drumsticks just because the meat grinder can't handle it. I found when I switched Myka to raw that she had a hard time recognizing whole portions of raw poultry meat as food, and wouldn't eat the bones. Grinding it and searing it made the transition much easier.
I have already dropped the grain (rice) idea, and switched to lentils. I just have to find somewhere that sells large bags for a reasonable price.
I have thought about raising chickens and/or turkeys for meat for myself as well as my critters, but my zoning won't allow it. I would rather raise larger animals so fewer would have to die. I don't think I could continuously kill dozens of mice/rats/hamsters.
April 8th, 2012, 08:16 PM
I feel much the same. I stand tall but am a wimp at heart when it comes to all life, save that of flies. I couldn't do in rabbits as they were my pets as a child.
Chickens, no prob. I lived in Borneo and raised my own Rhode Islands and locals. I had a native friend do in the first one and then the morbid chap took the head of the throat slit hen and offered it to the top cock who displayed his neck feathers and crossed his eyes. The the head was thrown amongst the hens who had gathered to watch their sister's horrid ordeal and began fighting over it.
I was so appalled that whenever the need for a kitchen chicken arose I took to plucking neck feathers and slitting throats with glee; so add chickens as contenders to my wilfulness for flies.
Now pigs, the locals kindly warned me when a slaughter was at hand. I'd head for the hills. That is not a pleasant show in any fashion, I must say. The experience rendered me a whimpering idiot, not something any parent would want their children to ever witness again.
In Singapore and any town or city in Malaysia, homes of rich or poor, most have their backyard chicken coop for egg and slaughter. Backyards are often small. I don't remember there being a serious problem with smell or bugs. There's good fertiliser in bird droppings and feathers. Quite frankly, there's about as much reason behind banning chickens in town and city as there is for banning children.