"add ins" advice please

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum "add ins" advice please

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  • #41964 Report Abuse
    jakes mom
    Member

    I’d like some advice on managing the “add ins”, toppers, occasional RMBs I’m trying to incorporate into my dog’s meals. Jake was always fed kibble, period. Since finding this site I’ve been reading so much and getting a bit overwhelmed. I’m not ready to do completely raw but have added some RMBs as well as liver, hearts and gizzards, turkey necks. I’ve read about Honest Kitchen dehydrated food, have a small box of that to use as a topper. I’ve read the ABC diet from the See Spot Live Longer site and think that’s an appealing compromise. I’m concerned that I don’t know exactly how to balance it all. How do I balance the extra calories of the add ins? If I decrease the kibble I’m afraid he won’t get the basic nutrients he needs. If I don’t, he’s going to get chubby. I read that 20% of the diet could be unbalanced before issues arise but I’m not sure how to figure that out. Adding a bit of fresh meat/veg and decreasing the kibble might balance out the volume but still be extra calories. How many calories in a 4 inch piece of turkey neck, for Pete’s sake? Do I just give him extras some days with a little less kibble and other days just give him his basic kibble ration with no extras and hope it all evens out in the end? Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    #41969 Report Abuse
    pugmomsandy
    Moderator

    Check out the “body condition score” charts online. Keep a journal or something of your dog’s waist and chest measurement and body condition and weight. Evaluate him every month and decrease or increase his food accordingly. I feed mine to keep their body condition good, not necessarily to a desired weight. Mine are all obese by “breed standard” but they look great. Also feeding a complete commercial raw diet might help you keep track of calories or how much you feed by weight. For instance, I would feed mine 6 oz per day or 3 oz of raw plus another meal of something else.

    #41977 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    I know the feeling! This site is making me crazy too! Lol! Do you know how many calories that you feed per day? I feed mostly by calories. Most of the toppers I use are balanced and I can compute the calories, so it isn’t too bad. I use mostly canned, dehydrated, eggs, sardines and some raw nuggets. They do get a turkey neck about once amonth and a raw marrow bone once a week. I just count that as their snacks as I subtract a couple hundred calories from each to account for daily snacks as I have big dogs. I’d like to add more fresh as well, but like you not sure how much to add. I’ve been adding toppers for so long now that I could probably eye ball it though. They hardly have ever had just plain kibble. I actually have a chart on the wall in the garage on how much kibble to use depending on what topper is being fed that meal. I’m trying really hard to keep them lean as I’ve learned my lesson on other pets. Anyway, if you can compute total calories fed. Just are sure 80% is kibble because it sounds like you will be mostly using unbalanced toppers except for Honest Kitchen. BTW, you can buy raw nuggets add that are balanced also. Good luck!

    #41978 Report Abuse
    Naturella
    Member

    I second Sandy’s advice – Bruno’s add-ins (various canned such as Merrick, Wellness, Nutro Ultra, etc.; THK Love, Embark, Force, Keen; yoghurt/kefir, cottage cheese, coconut oil, raw eggs, pumpkin, flaxseed meal on occasion, canned sardines on occasion, RMBs (pork necks and chicken backs at the moment), and raw spelts (small fish), and natural dehydrated chews – bully sticks, ears, snouts, chicken feet and necks, tracheas, etc.) constitute about 1/4 (25%) of his daily intake. However, THK and canned are also considered balanced foods (right?), so I think I am at below 20% with unbalanced additives. I just use his body condition as a guide, and will start keeping track of his weight (IDK if I will measure him though) – he is very active and runs a lot, and appears to be in tip top shape.

    Also, I will give you Bruno’s weekly sample menu. He is an about 13lb, 1 year old, active Rat Terrier mix.
    Kibble mix is: Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch:Vets Choice Holistic Health Extension Original:Victor Yukon Salmon in 3:1:1/3 ratio.

    Treats: above kibble mix or NutriSource Seafood Select or Castor and Pollux Organix Adult (the last 2 are from samples). Also available are Nutro and Old Mother Hubbard biscuits for special occasions. Also for special occasions (or to keep him busy when I’m busy too) I make him ice-cream with yoghurt, peanut butter, coconut oil and coconut butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and turmeric, and I fill anything I can – his Kong, marrow bone, hoof, other toys with holes – and freeze. Rarely I give raw veggies/fruits like carrots, cucumbers, watermelon, apple, pineapple core, mango, raw coconut, etc. (safe stuff).

    Monday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon coconut oil and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK chicken and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons yoghurt/kefir and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK turkey and water to make it soupy

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with raw egg (no shell) with a sprinkle of flaxseed meal
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK beef and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy

    Thursday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon coconut oil and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK turkey and water to make it soupy

    Friday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons cottage cheese and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons raw organ meat (whatever I have) or raw meat/fish (whatever I have) or 2 teaspoons of canned and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK chicken and water to make it soupy

    Saturday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon coconut oil and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK turkey and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy

    Sunday:
    Breakfast: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons pumpkin with a sprinkle of cinnamon and water to make it soupy
    Lunch: 1/4 cup kibble with 2 teaspoons canned and water to make it soupy
    Dinner: 1/4 cup kibble with teaspoon THK beef and water to make it soupy
    RMB to cap it out

    On days when Bruno runs a lot (i.e. Dog Park days) I may switch his next meal’s add-in with raw egg or raw meat/organ meats/fish (or canned sardine) for added natural protein “post WOD”. Or give him a dehydrated natural chew like a bully stick, a cow/lamb/pig ear, or tripe stick, or you know – “richer” stuff to make up for the calories burned and supply some lean meat for his muscles. I really just kind of gage his body condition and appetite for stuff as far as additives go. And sometimes, if I’m out of canned, I put his plain dry kibble in a dispensing toy and let him play with it and eat it as is. I also do some training daily and reward with about 20 kibble bits, and, if I want to stress on something – an Old Mother Hubbard or Nutro biscuit. Oh, and I almost always add water (as you can see) for added hydration. But yeah… So far so good with this method of mine. Hope I’m doing it right too, lol.

    But I’m sure you will figure out how to balance it for Jake. 🙂

    #41979 Report Abuse
    Naturella
    Member

    Dang it, forgot to check the notification box – here we go.

    #41984 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Wow Naturella, and my family thinks my feeding schedule is complicated. That is awesome! Yes, we feed bully sticks and pig ears also as snacks. Forgot about those. Thanks for sharing!

    #41985 Report Abuse
    Naturella
    Member

    LoL, C4C – my husband would barely go through the effort to put the coconut oil/water/canned/THK in with the kibble – not egg or yoghurt or any of the other add-ins, lol. But once you get into the groove of it, it’s not hard to keep track. Plus, I sometimes change it up anyway. This is just an ideal lazy week sample menu (hence the note below for heavy running days and extra protein and fats (kcals) added).

    But you’re welcome – and I’d love to see others’ menus and also maybe see if I’m even doing it right with them add-ins. Bruno looks and feels good for now though! 🙂

    #42114 Report Abuse
    jakes mom
    Member

    Thanks everybody for the tips. Naturella, wow! You’re very organized! I guess I just need to take some time to do a little measuring and math and get some kind of menu outlined. At one point I was keeping track of meds for 3 different pets, 3 heart meds, thyroid meds (hypo and hyper) seizure meds, arthritis meds, so I guess I can make a menu for one dog!

    #42123 Report Abuse
    Naturella
    Member

    Jakes Mom, thank you, but I am just somewhat organized, lol. This menu is pretty flexible (for example, today he was supposed to have the raw egg for breakfast but had it for dinner; breakfast was yoghurt; no lunch) and it is not based on calories really (well, when he was eating solely kibble it was perfect because he ate just 1 cup/day based on the kcals of his food mix, but now I reduced his kibble to 3/4 cup and I just do additives to be 20% or less than balanced meals). He looks good, I can feel his ribs easily and I don’t bother measuring calories. If he became chunky, I would reduce both the kibble and add-ins to keep the ratio similar, but reduce his overall caloric intake. So yeah… I don’t know, maybe I should count calories, but meh… I just think that everything (that is safe for a dog to eat) is good in moderation and based on specific needs (skin/coat issues, tummy issues, kidney issues, bone/joint issues, thyroid/cancer issues, etc.) if any, so I just give Bruno general healthy stuff that should be ok and good for a healthy dog to maintain his awesome coat (I seriously love it and maybe I shouldn’t, but I take pride in facilitating his system to produce it like that by giving him good things, lol) and overall general health. So yeah. 🙂

    And woah! You had to keep track of a lot of things! A menu can not stand up to you! You got this! Please do post it on here – I would love to see what you and others do as add-ins and maybe try something I have not thought about. And let us know if you need any more help. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Naturella.
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