Hi Mhikl, thanks for your thorough response!
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!
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.