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A few questions about home cooked diets

This is a discussion on A few questions about home cooked diets within the Dog Food forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by llmercll I know he needs calcium though, so we give him cheese occasionally as a snack or a side to his meal. ...

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Old 02-13-2017, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by llmercll View Post

I know he needs calcium though, so we give him cheese occasionally as a snack or a side to his meal.

One big problem sticks out above all others.

You have a big problem with calcium, and an even larger one with Vitamin D deficiency. Cheese can be a great source of calcium, but it should not be fed in place of actual calcium supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency in itself will cause loose stools or diarrhea, and it can also affect the prostate, which, if enlarged, will also cause digestive issues.

A calcium/Vitamin D supplement is necessary, and you might also want to consider replacing some of the chicken with beef liver or eggs for a more nutrient dense meal.

Some home-cooked diets are too high in grain content, but it seems this one might need to have protein reduced and complex carbs added. Personally, I use sweet potato and rice in their staple meal to keep the protein at moderate levels. You can add other grains like barley or oats, as well.

But honestly, if there is a deficiency already present, consider supplementing, at least until you can get his new improved diet plan worked out, with dry food.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:51 AM
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I cooked for my old girl for years after she nearly died from poor liver health. I guess she was a special case however as some normally 'good' foods were a no no. For instance she wasn't allowed red meat or liver and as time went on I had to restrict the meat element. We had things like chicken, fish, potato, rice, sweet potato, well cooked green beans, low salt Matzos crackers, home made salt free oat biscuits. ..In her case, protein from dairy was less damaging than protein from meat so she also had cottage cheese and ricotta cheese. Supplements were things like vitamin b, vitamin E, calcium carbonate, salmon oil, coconut oil, milk thistle, SAMe.....,
Her liver issues just came out of the blue. One day she didn't want to eat or go for a walk. Dogs can be stoic about health problems and sometimes you don't find out about something till it is really bad. It is worthwhile having regular blood panels to pick up on things early. That's my lesson learnt for next time around.
I found this site very useful DogAware.com: Diet & Health Info for Man's Best Friend
Also this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dinner-Dogs.../dp/0091947073

Last edited by pineapple; 03-13-2017 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:04 PM
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It sounds like your dog's entire diet excluding the kibble is just shooting from the hip. Dogs don't need or breakdown fruits, veggies, bread, tortillas etc. If you want any benefit from the nutrients/vitamins in veggies and fruits they should be pureed thoroughly. Rain made some good points regarding additional organ components, liver alone is not the best way to go as it should only constitute 50% of the organ content in a raw diet. Another problem I see is the calcium/phosphorous ratio requirements, just assuming giving a dog some cheese is fulfilling this requirement is spotty at best. Also, for those who feed a raw and kibble diet, the general attitude is the meals should be giving separately, not mixed together as kibble and raw digest at different rates. I'm not certain but the same might hold true for "home cooked" food mixed with kibble as well. Cooking food generally depletes some of the nutrients which the dog requires.

Bottom line, when deviating from a typical commercially prepared kibble diet, one needs to do their homework and maintain that all the proper requirements are present in an alternative diet for your dog. I appreciate that is what you are trying to accomplish but it does seem you are just kind of winging it. 80/10/10 meat/bone/organ percentage is a general guideline for a raw diet. If you can somehow shoot for that blend of components, it would be a good start. Of the 10% organ component only half should be liver and the other half could be kidney or spleen. It doesn't need to be precise for every meal but it should balance out over a short period of time.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:53 AM
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I agree about the calcium. I add calcium carbonate to my home made. You can use egg shells but I don't go through enough eggs. I think relying on cheese is a bad idea due to the salt content. Bread might also contain too much salt.
My rescue came with a rubbish kibble diet.
We are moving to a top end kibble which however is very protein rich. So will balance with one meal home cooked - with appropriate supplementation. However sounds like you are going to be doing well by your dog. A lot of people just feed their dog the same low grade kibble their entire lives. I used to be one of those so well done for not being me!
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