I don’t know about anyone else, but as I begin to read the evaluation of one of the 5 star rated food, it sounds great. Then I go to the reviews, and the evaluations cover the range from great to bad.
I read through several 5 star foods, and basically found the same thing.
That’s why I’m now confused. I understand the reactions to each dog food may be different for each dog. So how do I know which would be best for my dog? It would be almost impossible to try a sample of each and every 5 star rated food. Right now I’m using a 4 star rated dry dog food – Lotis Baked Chicken, and my dog loves it. I haven’t had any noticeable issues. I have to admit I often combine it with a “stew” that I make in a slow cooker that contains beef cubes, chicken breast pieces, and occasionally pork chops. Also included is beef broth (Swanson), 2 cans of tomato soup, and a small jar of cheese type spread (I forget the actual term for it); and either broccoli or spinach and cut fresh organic carrots. I cook it approx. 6 hrs., then put one soup ladle full in freezer quart size bags. Then it goes in the freezer. I heat this up each night and combine it with the kibble. (it is not a large amt. of kibble – about 1/2 cup.) My dog loves it. For the morning feedings, I buy canned turkey, chicken, and albacore tuna (all packed in water), and rotate them to add to breakfast. I take a small amt. of the meat with a little water, heat it in micro., and add it to the kibble. He seems to love this also.
Am I doing all the wrong things? I have purchased only nutritious dog treats, and use only for training purposes. Can anyone give me their educated opinion on this? After reading all of the info. – I can’t decide whether what I am doing is good or not good for my dog. He weights about 37 lbs and is a min. pin. mix. Thanks so much for your input.
I chuckled when I read you post. I rotate my dogs kibble every day with a different 5 star brand. So every 5 days my dogs get a different kibble. Like you I also have my magic elixir I like to add, like you I make it in big batches and freeze. Mine is close, different meets cooked in water, organic vegetables. I have 4 dogs two rescues Sammi 9 lbs, Quinn 20 lbs and two Bernese Mountain Dogs. I am most concerned with the BMD’s because of their size, I want to keep them healthy so I am always researching, feeling guilty about not having them on a raw food diet, reading various web sites of feeding and generally driving myself crazy in the process of feeling like I am not doing enough for them.
So I posted on a BMD website and asked for advice, because the breed is not know for longevity (9 years) So I question people who had 10 years and older BMD’s what they attributed longevity to. The answer surprised me. I was sure I would pick up feeding tips. But the most prevalent answer was: it is just the luck of the draw. Some had dogs that lived long lives, some were short. It didn’t matter that they were all fed the same. Some people reported they did the raw diet and the dog died young while others that they fed cheap food to live to ripe old ages. Again and again the answer boiled down to luck of the draw.
So that made me try to not be so neurotic over food. I think what you are doing is great. I think the most important things are to keep them slim, as few shots as possible, and plenty of love. I am no expert, but that is pretty much the advice I got from knowledgeable owners.
I know nothing about cooking for dogs, I feed raw but I cannot imagine why any dog needs tomato soup & cheese spread. you’d be smart to work with a nutritionist or holistic vet for a balanced diet or contact Lew Olsen at B-Naturals dot com or Mary Straus at DogAware dot com.
I’ll comment on the first part of your question since I don’t cook for my dog and can’t really give you the best possible advice on that.
DFA really should be looked at not so much as rules for what to feed your dog, but a jumping off point. You don’t automatically have to feel guilty because you aren’t feeding a 5 star food. DFA rates their food mainly for meat content and quality of ingredients in the normal review section and then goes deeper with their feelings about the companies and the companies practices for those foods selected to be on the EC list. If your dog is a doing well on a food that is not on the EC list, there is no reason to feel bad about not feeding something from the EC list.
Food is going to be trial and error with dogs like it is for humans sometimes. Sometimes you will see a food that you’re interested in for your dog and you’ll buy it and try it out with him and he’ll hate it. Then on to the next food until you find something he likes. I had to go through this with my boy. He was so picky and now I’ve gone back to Fromm and we are 3 bags in and he’s still eating it happily and doing great on it.
Hi Judith B,
It is great that you home cook. The primary concern I’d have is that it seems like well over 10% of the total daily calories that you are feeding comes from the stew and additional meat you add. This will throw off the balance of the diet unless the stew portion is balanced. The recommendation I’d make is to balance that portion of the diet. You can go to the site balance it and make a semi custom recipe by selecting the ingredients you want. I think the recipes are free if you use their supplement or a small fee if you use human supplements to balance it.
I wouldn’t fret over the stars. The base kibble I chose for my dog is 2.5 stars.
The pups need a complete and balanced diet. So if you’re not adding the right vitamins and minerals to that yummy stew, than all that “cooked” food is not doing much for them. The personal reviews of foods is just that. The editor’s ratings is to guide you towards higher quality dog food formulas. So time to ween the other way, the stew should just be a topper on either kibble or wet food.
Hi Judith B,
I cook for my dogs frequently, but it’s always fresh, not canned, meat with a few organic veggies, generally carrots, celery and fresh parsley, sometimes broccoli or squash, depending on what I have in the garden or is on sale, NO SALT. I add this to a premix, like The Honest Kitchen, Sojos, or Grandma Lucy’s, which has the vitamins added. I also feed my dog’s a regular diet of commercial kibble, canned or raw that are complete and balanced.
I appreciate that you want to provide some healthy fresh cooked food for your dogs, but, IMHO, I don’t think you should be adding canned soup and broth. There’s a lot of sodium in those and dogs (or people) don’t need that much sodium. Regular Swanson a whole can has about 50% of the normal human daily intake. Tomato soup is also high in sodium, I just linked Campbell’s, but I’m an avid label reader and they all tend to have about 33% or better per serving, which is less than 1/2 the can.
This is the nutrition data of Cheese Whiz. I didn’t know which one you use, but they are all very similar in salt content. This is for 2 tbsp, not the whole jar, which would be a lot more.
These are not healthy products to be adding to your dog’s diet. If you want to add some broth, cook fresh meat with a bit of water and use the cooking water as the broth. I do this all the time. I even use it as stock to make soups for my family.
I truly appreciate what you are trying to do for your dogs, but if you keep it to some fresh meat and vegetables in the crock pot, your dogs will be much healthier. I would still use this as a topper to a balanced dog food to keep your animals in the best of health. The balanceIt website, Whole Dog Journal, or dogaware has some recipes to give you an idea of what a balanced meal or supplement to their diet should look like. Good Luck!
- This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by C4D.
I have a 61/2 month old boxer. I do cook for my dog. I feed him Fromn’s w cooked chicken and beef. I’d say he gets 2/3 Fromn’s for lg. breed puppy’s and 1/3 meat. since I own a market he also gets fresh ground raw hamburger mixed w/ his food at times. I also give him yogurt once a day. also he gets Nyzmes antioxidants granules every morning in his food. occasionally an egg/ cooked. the meat mix is cooked in water. I would say be careful of the fat amount w/ the cheese spread. my former dog got systemic yeast from to much antibiotics. this took several yrs. to figure out since I had a bad vet at the time. I found the cure myself- Nyzmes, and they where the one’s who turned me on to Fromn’s dog food. I think that if your dogs are eating at least 2/3 kibble they will get all the nutrients and elements they need. my dogs always turn fussy. I think because they smell all the cooking and want people food. that’s why I mix cooked food in w/ the kibble. Fromn’s is a very good kibble/ not sure if 4 or 5 stars. this time I’m taking no chances that’s why I give the Nyzmes and yogurt good luck!
I would not be giving a dog human broth, it contains waaaay too much sodium and can also contain onions and other ingredients that are not healthy and unsafe for dogs. Dogs also do not need tomato, remember dogs are not little omnivore people they are carnivores! If you really want to make a safe broth I would look up how to make dog safe bone broth.
I add fresh raw meat to kibble, despite the militant raw feeders rumors spreading false information around this is NOT dangerous, just that some dogs stomachs don’t handle it well but I do it with four dogs and they are all gleamingly healthy. Cooking takes out all the nutritional content.
As far as kibble goes it’s just a matter of experimentation, my male GSD can’t tolerate anything with chicken or grains, we rotate between several brands every bag.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Carrie K.
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