Low-fat boneless meats or other foods such as grains or starchy vegetables potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, etc. Other nutrients often low in incomplete blends include zinc, choline, iodine, manganese, and vitamins D and E. Copper is found primarily in beef liver, and therefore is likely to be short in products that don't contain beef liver. See my article Dishing on Diets that talks about most of these nutrients, and which foods provide them, for more information.
Bravo provides a nutritional analysis showing that the percentage of calcium in these blends is appropriate, meaning there is not too much bone.
Dog Food Nutrition
Bravo suggests adding eggs, cottage cheese and fish to their blends, as well as supplements , which is good advice, though the diet would still be high in fat. Note that Bravo reduced the amount of fat in most of their Balance Blends and added the following supplements to make the diets complete: vitamins D and E, potassium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and iodine. See my article A Raw Deal for more information on feeding a raw diet based on incomplete blends. I personally have found that Dogzymes Ultimate from Nature's Farmacy comes the closest to meeting what my dog might be missing in her varied not limited homemade diet.
Feed at least half preferably more animal protein products, such as lean muscle meat, heart, liver, kidney, eggs, dairy e. Meat and eggs can be fed either raw or cooked light cooking is better than cooking for longer periods at higher heats. Feed as wide a variety as possible of different types of foods e. Avoid most exotic proteins, such as venison, duck, kangaroo, etc. No more than half the diet preferably less should be grains, pasta and vegetables. These should be cooked. Fruits such as bananas, apples, berries and melon, can also be fed in small amounts. Note that grains seem to be related to a number of health problems in dogs, including allergies, arthritis, IBD, seizures, etc.
If your dog is healthy or appears to have no problems with grains, it's OK to feed them in moderate amounts.
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Add to mg calcium per pound of food fed cooked weight. If you use bone meal , add an amount that provides at least mg calcium more is needed than when using plain calcium due to the amount of phosphorus in the bone meal. Do not use calcium supplements that contain vitamin D, as the amount will be too high. These guidelines are for adult dogs only, not puppies see my article on Homemade Cooked Diets for guidelines for puppies.
How Much Should You Feed?
Healthy leftovers can also be added to the diet. These are foods you would eat yourself, not fatty scraps that should be thrown away. Supplements: See below for information on supplements to add to the diet. See sample diet plans below. See my article Now We're Cooking! There is now a Facebook group to support those who want to feed a cooked homemade diet. See Home Cooked Diets for Dogs. The wider the variety of healthy foods in appropriate proportions you feed, the less need for supplements there should be. Conversely, the more limited the diet you feed, the more supplements are needed.
Supplements may be more important for cooked diets, since heat destroys some nutrients. Freezing also destroys some nutrients.
Dogs And Puppies
The longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients will be lost. Remember that calcium is always needed unless you feed a diet that includes raw meaty bones, where the bone is fully consumed. Following are some supplements that can be added to help ensure that all nutritional needs are met:.
Vitamin E should be supplemented in all homemade diets in order to meet nutritional guidelines. Requirements increase whenever you add fish or plant oils. See Vitamin E for how much to give. Fish oil body oil, such as salmon oil or EPA oil is a healthy addition to any diet.
5 Simple Recipes For Raw Dog Food
Sardines can also be used in place of fish oil to supply omega-3 fatty acids. If using fish, give around 1 oz of fish per pound of meat and other animal products.
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See my article on Fish Oil for more info. Cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. If you don't feed fish regularly, you should give cod liver oil in an amount that provides around IUs vitamin D per 20 pounds of body weight daily. Other oils: Beef and chicken have different types of fat. If you feed a mixture of the two, including dark meat chicken which has more fat than the breast , this will help to balance out the fats, but if you feed only or primarily one or the other, the fats in the diet will be unbalanced. See my article on Plant Oils for additional information.
Green blend or a mixture of kelp and alfalfa. Kelp supplies iodine that may be in short supply if it is not included in the diet. If you do not supplement with kelp, you should add iodized salt, or a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that includes iodine.
Another option is to use a base mix such as those from The Honest Kitchen. These are particularly useful if you do not include vegetables in the diet you feed. Vegetables supply trace minerals as well as antioxidants, so a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement may be needed if you are not feeding vegetables.
See Supplements section for more options. Oysters are very high in zinc, and are also a source of copper, iodine, and vitamin D. Zinc, copper and vitamin D may be in short supply if you don't include beef liver in your dog's diet. Add no more than 1 ounce of canned oysters per pound of other meat in the diet. Nutritional or Brewer's yeast : Nutritional yeast is a good source of B vitamins Brewer's yeast has less. Brewer's yeast is a good source of choline nutritional yeast has less. You can also give vitamin-mineral supplements reduce the amount of added calcium if the amount in the supplement is significant.
The following supplements are recommended by some veterinary nutritionists to help balance homemade diets note that calcium must still be added separately unless you feed raw meaty bones. While nutritionists seem to use about 1 tablet per 20 pounds of body weight, I think it's better to give no more than 1 tablet per 40 to 50 pounds of body weight daily, since these supplements are high in vitamin D and iron.
See Supplements for more info. Remember you'll always need to add additional calcium unless you feed a raw diet that includes bones. For example, it would be fine to feed eggs one day alternating with organ meat the next, rather than feeding both foods every day. Or you might feed just muscle meat one day, with a mix of organ meat, eggs and dairy the next. BY Autumn Spanne. Subscribe to our Newsletter! BY Ellen Gutoskey. Download: iOS 2. TED In the last several years, TED Talks have become an extremely popular way to learn about topics you may not have thought to seek out on your own.
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