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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Homemade food

Hey All- Just wondering how many of you make you own dog food. Not raw, but cooked. We have become interested in the idea since out sweet girl, Zuri, the best dog ever, passed away recently. She had a liver cancer, which had metastasized to her spleen, chest and maybe oropharyngeal. She was only 7 years old. We had 3 days with her from the time of diagnosis until her death. We have recounted everything and have tried to replay her life in order to try to make sense of it and to figure out what we missed or what we could've done better. The only factor, outside of the uncontrollable, was her food. That's when we started thinking of the possibility of making meals for our other dog, who is not a doberman but is loved just the same. He is also 7.
My question for you guys is, What ratios of fat, protein, carbs are you using and how are you determining the total calories per day? Also what supplements if any. I have researched lots and also informally spoken to a couple of Vets that I know. It is all so varied. Just wondering if anyone has done this before or if you are currently doing this.

Thanks to all.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 02:39 AM
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Your best option for doing home cooked food would be to work with a veterinary nutritionist to develop a balanced diet.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 03:16 AM
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You have to really know what you are doing to get it right when you cook for your dog. I personally don't want to worry about that, and have seen what can happen when someone does it wrong. I personally feed very high quality kibble and supplement with fresh food. My dogs get a spoonful of plain full fat yogurt & some fresh fruit at breakfast, and some veggies and cottage cheese at dinner. I have one with liver disease and she also gets 4 eggs a day in addition to all that - she gets 1/2 kibble and half fresh food.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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I definitely agree with Firzmar--trying to create a proper nutritional mix if you are homecooking is something that comes with risks and Rosemary's suggestion that you find and work with a vet nutritionist if you are going to try this would be recommended.

I don't really think that you can identify specific causes of cancer caused death closely enough that you can realistically blame the food as the cause. Genetics also plays a part and endless other things (exposure to unknown carcinogens for instance) could have caused that liver cancer--but if you think about it millions of dogs live long lives on commercial kibble (ranging for very good formulations to very bad stuff) without developing any kind of problem.

I feed kibble but like Fitzmar I add things to it--yogert, cottage cheese, eggs, meat and they get bites of apples, peaches, melons, tomatoes, celery, etc if I'm eating something or preparing to cook something. Knock on wood most of my dogs are long lived (the old boy here is now nearly 14 years) and healthy.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 02:19 PM
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I am with Fitzmar and bug here.

McCoy has always received the majority of his calories and nutrition from kibble.

Initially, at the suggestion of his breeder, Eukanuba Large breed puppy. At 14 months he transitioned to Acana Meadowland. Recently, mostly because of all the "grain free"/DCM hoopla, we started feeding him Purina Pro Plan Savor Salmon and Rice.

Like Fitz and bug, I feed McCoy all kinds of fresh food: Eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, pure pumpkin, fresh meat, fish, a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit. Also a small helping of Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw.

Today it was 1 3/4 cups kibble, a tablespoon of yogurt, 1/4 lb raw chuck roast, one hard boiled egg and a handful of frozen blue berries. Yum!

I am not implying cause and effect here, but McCoy does really well on this diet. He is never sick, never has digestive problems, great coat and skin and his cardio testing has always been positive.

I used to cook for our boy Butcher (RIP). But, the was simply to augment his kibble. Generally it was pork shoulder, cabbage, carrots, apples, rice. I called it "Butcher stew".
LOL.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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I wholeheartedly agree Rosemary. I have reached out to a couple of Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists and am waiting to hear back. We, like most others have always fed our canines kibble with occasional supplemental "treats". We work very hard on our own diet, trying to eat as clean as possible, organic if available, wild caught etc. Not until the death of our Zuri did we even think to take a closer look and be more responsible for what goes into their bodies as well. There is a multifaceted world of canine nutrition and I quickly found out how complex their diets are. I was merely reaching out to see if anyone here had experience and success doing it. I understand there can be grave consequences for not getting it correct with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I also know that when we feed them kibble are at the mercy of a mass producer of dog food makers and for me, if I can obtain the education and information to do it correctly, I would feel more at ease knowing they are getting high quality fresh ingredients. Yes, I know cancer is multifactorial. There could be many things that contributed to it. I can't control all of that. I can however, try to provide them with food that I see in its whole form, that I cook myself and take at least that out of the equation. Even human FDA has had the same "food pyramid" for how long? Look how inaccurate that is now, but the world still seems to go with it bc the government says it is healthy.

I suppose if I never had this happen to my girl, I wouldn't be so passionate about it but for now, I will try it and see.

Pam
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 10:43 AM
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I agree with everything already stated in this thread however I can throw in a bit of a personal experience here.
My grandmother recently went on a home cooking kick with her nearly yearling Standard Poodle. She was given a recipe book for homecooked meals by a licensed veterinarian. I read it and it was interesting. However after about a month and a half maybe two of doing this, she is switching to pre-made, balanced raw. Why? Because she was not infrequently spending minimum an hour cooking every day on top of the lengthy amount of time she spent cooking for the family (and my grandma may be 83 but she is a busy woman).

This is the book the vet gave her
http://www.completeandbalanced.com/recipebook.html
and she also bought the supplements - Hilary's Blend which is also on the website. I'd still advise going over it with a nutritionist but it could be a good place to start reading before taking the leap.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:33 PM
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I cooked for my dogs for about a year, at the time our Bracco was having severe allergy problems with commercial dog food. It was exhausting, but my dogs thrived. Sometimes my family would come in and smell the wonderful aroma of chicken, carrots, celery, garlic and brown rice cooking on the stove and think it was for supper! I told them, no, that is for the dogs. I am so mean....
Anyway, I really didn't make a science out of it, like I don't make a science out of feeding ourselves, just common sense.
I finally graduated to the raw, but it took me forever to make that step. Somehow, I equated the raw to a suspicion it was road kill. That step to the raw changed my thinking totally because I witnessed the fantastic results.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 01:38 PM
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LOL Bonnie...

Years ago my daughter in law dropped by. She asked what I was cooking. I told her it was "Butcher Stew" and that I would send some home with her for Butcher.

She said "whatever", grabbed a bowl and had a big helping of her dog's food ! LOL

John
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
LOL Bonnie...

Years ago my daughter in law dropped by. She asked what I was cooking. I told her it was "Butcher Stew" and that I would send some home with her for Butcher.

She said "whatever", grabbed a bowl and had a big helping of her dog's food ! LOL

John
Portland OR
Way to go daughter in law!!!! She's a keeper!

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
LOL Bonnie...

Years ago my daughter in law dropped by. She asked what I was cooking. I told her it was "Butcher Stew" and that I would send some home with her for Butcher.

She said "whatever", grabbed a bowl and had a big helping of her dog's food ! LOL

John
Portland OR
Omg hahaha soooo funny!!!! lol
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 03:39 PM
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I home cook for my girl. I live in Central America so premium kibble is not an option. I did do a well researched well balanced raw diet but it was very expensive here - meat just doesn't go on sale - and premade raw is not available either.
So...she gets one meal a day of either Nutrisource or Kirkland and one meal home cooked. I researched A LOT! Each batch has a 65% rotating protein of lightly cooked fish, beef, pork or chicken. 5% organ (liver, kidney, pancreas)
and 30% lightly steamed, food processed veggies: celery, carrot, zucchini, green beans,kale, etc. Sometimes fruit thrown in, sometimes squash. Supplemented with ground egg shells from my hens (1/2 tsp per pound) , yogurt or a raw egg or sardines. Daily probiotic.
She thrives on this BUT every dog is different. And a poorly done home cooked diet is far worse than mediocre kibble.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
LOL Bonnie...

Years ago my daughter in law dropped by. She asked what I was cooking. I told her it was "Butcher Stew" and that I would send some home with her for Butcher.

She said "whatever", grabbed a bowl and had a big helping of her dog's food ! LOL

John
Portland OR
Ditto the LOL--John and Bonnie,

My mother used to home cook for the dogs (there was a local butcher who had great meat, would come and slaughter and then hang meat that you had raised and they took all the meat scraps from the butchering and ground it a coarse grind, packed in five pound packages and sold it was dog food. Every week she'd take a package of the dog meat and put it and some carrots, celery, cabbage, potatoes and anything in the refrigerator that had been there too long and dump it into a big pot and cover it with water and simmer it for several hours.

One of the family friends came by one afternoon and found the pot of dog food simmering on the stove and thought it smelled really good and dished himself up a bowl--my mother came home from the store and said "Ralph, that's dog food..." To which he said "Needs some salt or something..."

My stepdad (when he heard the story) wanted to know if she had offered him some kibble to go with the stew?

Like John's boy--my folks dogs mostly got kibble but got a big spoonful of the "stew" they definitely thrived on it.

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