I know that the feeding guidelines on kibble tend to run higher than a dog might eat. For example, according to my current kibble, it says to feed my 120 lb. dog 5 3/4 cups per day and my 50 lb. dog 3-4 cups per day with the following note underneath:
Note: Individual dog’s requirements may vary due to age, breed, environment, and activity level. Adjust food as required to maintain optimal body condition, and ask your veterinarian if you are unsure.
My dogs eat nowhere near that amount of food, by their choice. I could free feed them and they’d never eat that much in on day. Not even close to that amount. But since I usually have to add a topper to make the kibble palatable, I always reduce the amount of kibble so I don’t add too many extra calories.
I used to rotate between canned salmon, eggs, and canned dog food or commercial dog food toppers. But this past weekend, I made a batch of homemade food consisting of beef, chicken, safe vegetables and fruit and the dogs seem to like it mixed with the kibble. I only feed 2-3 tablespoons of the blended mixture to the food, but after the first meal, they aren’t eating all of the kibble up.
Normally my big guy eats 1 1/2 cups of kibble twice daily and my other dog eats about
3/4- 1 cup twice daily.
Now with the topping they leave about 1/4 cup of food leftover each meal.
Should I be concerned? I try to limit the amount of the topper since it’s not a nutritionally balanced meal in itself. Basically I just use enough to coat the kibble and add a bit of the leftover stock to soften it up. And the dogs eat it enthusiastically enough where I think they like it.
I just wonder if they’re getting enough of their daily requirements.
Regardless of what I am feeding I know about how many calories both my dogs need to maintain their weight so that is how much I feed in a day. I mix raw meat, sardines, veggies, eggs etc in their food every day and simply make sure that the added food + dry food = their needed calories. I keep calories from added food to a max of 25% of their daily calories as that is what my vet suggested I stay around.
I always recommend people know how many calories their dog eats from their normal food. Makes it so much easier to know how much dry to reduce if adding canned for example.
Eh, I don’t know if the current topper that I made is going to work. Dogs love it, yeaterday after dinner, my dog started to lick his chops and drool. I gave him a Pepcid and thankfully he didn’t go full blown miserable drool machine. He slept fine, and ate his food this morning. Then right before I left for work, I notice that he was doing that gulping/I’m about to vomit motions. So I let him out and he made a beeline for dead grass to eat. I felt bad needing to leave, but have him Pepcid and crosses my fingers that I wouldn’t have to clean up vomit when I got back home. I checked on him periodically through the day with the pet cam. He was excited to see me when I got home. Fed him, but used a bit of canned salmon instead of the homemade food. And a short time ago he made the vomit gagging routine but no vomit.
Maybe the toppers are too rich for him to stomach.
Back to the drawing board.
Oh that is a shame! Poor thing, I hate when my dogs get digestive upset. They look so miserable. If you still want to try adding your own topper, I wouldn’t bother with “recipes”. Especially for more sensitive dogs, I think it is better to add things one at a time instead of introducing mixes. I would just give plain chicken or beef added to their food for example. Then if they can eat that consistently for a week or so you can try adding something else.
I’m sure you know this already but just in case.. also make sure your meat has no added sodium, and the leaner the better for sensitive dogs.
Yeah, I put the majority of the recipe topper in the freezer. Maybe I’ll be able to use it for my other dog in the future. As for my big guy, he was mopey this morning and gulping, coughing and shaking his head and rubbing his face and sure enough when I checked his ears…yeast infection.
It doesn’t seem to matter what food I put him on. I try different proteins, grains, grain free, limited ingredients….it makes my head spin. I try a new food…seems great. A few weeks later back to the drawing board. It seems to get worse with age.
Do I really go back and try the low quality brand he ate years ago with no issues? Do some dogs just not do well on good quality food?
These are the ingredients for the vet recommended food:
Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, oat meal, medium-chain triglyceride vegetable oil, pea fiber, dried egg product, natural flavor, fish oil, barley, fish meal (source of glucosamine), L-Arginine, mono and dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, Vitamin E supplement, potassium citrate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, choline chloride, and sodium selenite
I hate to try it, but I hate how the Benedryl my vet recommends for the symptoms knocks him out. He sleeps during the day while I’m at work, I don’t want him conked out when I’m home to play with him. And he absolutely hates when I have to clean out his ears. The more I try to make the healthier choice, the more it backfires.
Is it bad to try and see?
Absolutely not bad to try it at all! Don’t beat yourself up over it, some dogs are just soo much more sensitive than others and there isn’t much we can do about it. Honestly, the ingredients do not look awful in that food at all. It may be a little low in meat but dogs do not NEED high amounts of meat to be healthy. I would have no problem trying this food if my dog was miserable on everything else. If it works, it will be oh so worth it to see your dog have relief. Trust me, if it works any guilt you have about feeding it will be gone. The “best food in the world” is garbage at the end of the day if your dog’s system is not happy on it.
A few years back, I tried to feed my dogs some 40% protein 20% fat grain free type foods. I was dead set on feeding my dog these kinds of foods because they are supposedly so high in meat which is supposedly the only way to feed a dog. So much wasted time with my dog being miserable, gassy, huge loose stools, itching. I finally said F it and started from scratch. Dumped the high protein food, stuck with something between 25-30% protein 11-16% fat and rice, millet, or barely for the starch since this is kind of similar to what she was on as a pup. What a difference. Such small firm stools that took a maximum of 20 seconds to pass. No nasty residue left behind. It may not have the highest meat content but who cares?? My dog is like a normal dog, no poop or skin issues, no stressing about what might happen next on this food lol. As an example of what I like to see in a food, while I was in the States I fed my dog Victor Senior and that worked so perfectly for her. The brands I feed now here in Europe all have very similar ingredients/analysis.
Geez I let this get very long, sorry sometimes I ramble on 🙂 I just wanted to let you know I know where you are coming from and do not let the guilt get to you over the brand/ingredients. Both you and your dog will be happier for it
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