I have a pitbull and chihuahua and I feed them grain free dry dog food. I’ve seen people talk about toppers, rotations, and raw food. I know a little about all of that but I was wondering if anyone had an easy way to incorporate more variation in my dogs’ diets like that. Ideas/creativity welcome.
I learned about rotating foods and adding variety on this site as well. Many of us think it’s a healthy way to go if your pups do not have any medical conditions that would be aggravated by it.
Toppers are simply foods that you add to their kibble meals. They can also be described as meal mixers by some companies. You can start off slow by just trying out one, such as canned food to see how they do. Just remember that you need to feed less kibble to make up for the extra calories. Most canned and kibble have the calories listed on the containers they come in. Also, most canned food is complete and balanced so you won’t have to worry about feeding unbalanced meals as long as the can does not say for supplemental feeding only. My dogs get canned food in their morning meals. For their afternoon meals, they get either an egg, tripe, sardines or commercial raw mixed in their kibble. I have to keep in mind that these are not complete and balanced add-ins so I need to keep them under 15% of their total diet. I have big dogs so it isn’t as difficult.
There is a $2.95 download on dogwise.com called “See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way” that gives info and a helpful chart with ideas on what to add to kibble meals to get some less processed foods in their diets.
I rotate between three or four brands of kibble. I sometimes stick with one for a few flavors before switching and sometimes not. It really depends on sales at our feed store and Petco. I’d start out slow as not to cause any digestive upset. Otherwise you may get frustrated and give it all up. I don’t think it is totally necessary to feed this way, but we feel good about it and I think the dogs enjoy variety. Just be careful, now if we try to feed them plain old dry food because we are on a day trip, we get the stink eye at meal time. Lol!
Hope this helps!
Dear Liz, toppers, rotations and raw food are good options for dog food. As you need an easy way for variation in your dogs’ diets then I would suggest you to go to a dog meal supplier. Dog meal suppliers are well experienced and they know how to feed dogs by giving them variety of food with the proper amount of supplements including in their meal. You can even look for some suppliers online. Brooklyn dog food delivery or NYC dog food delivery (http://hudsonschow.com) can be good options too.
Regarding your question:
‘if anyone had an easy way to incorporate more variation in my dogs’ diets’
This is tough for us to answer as we don’t know your dogs nor do we know how well they handle different foods or if they have any allergies. My guess is that if your dogs have been fed grain free dry food most of their lives a very slow transition might be needed with different food sources so that they don’t poop their brains out
If your dogs can easily handle different foods without massive amounts of loose stool or any known allergies than your only your imagination is holding you back.
Simple things as canned mackerel or sardines are rich and loaded with Omega 3s that you can add to your dogs kibble during the cold winter months to help them with their coats.
Obviously the concern is too feed toppers or food that is not lethal to dogs….Basically go down to your grocery store with a list of foods that are toxic to dogs and don’t buy those.
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