What toppers do you guys use to too dry kibble? Right now I’m using some canned dog food as a topper. I like that it’s complete and balanced and I don’t need to worry about unbalancing the diet. Are there any other toppers I could use that wouldn’t unbalance the diet too much? I was thinking of using some sardines a few times a week. Here’s the thing 15% of her diet is currently already compromised of treats, veggies, and supplements. If added the sardines it would bring the percentage up to 25% coming from extras other than kibble/canned. Is this ok to do.. or is this unlamced? I read 15% should be the maximum Amount you should have as extras…I like the idea of sardines thought because it already has calcium in it plus EPA and DHA.
Wow, sorry for the typos.. whoops lol.
Have you taken the dog in for a annual checkup that includes lab work? Is the dog a senior?
What did the veterinarian that examined the dog recommend?
Otherwise, it is all willy-nilly. No one can advise you appropriately, nor should they try. The dog’s age, medical history and such, have to be looked at by a veterinary health care professional.
Obviously you have specific concerns….please find a vet that you trust. Good luck.
Ps: Blanket recommendations for diet don’t work, every dog is different. I can’t help but to think that you are looking for medical advice here, in lieu of consulting a vet, if so, that’s a mistake (imo)
PS: I think you asked this question before: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/plain-dry-food/
I’ve read that you can have anywhere from 15 to 25 percent can be unbalanced. There is a download on dogwise.com written by Steve Brown that is only $2.95 that might be of some interest to you. It’s called something like See Spot Live Longer the ABC way, I believe. It gives some great ideas for healthy additions to kibble with suggested amounts. It was helpful to me. Check it out!
Ok, thanks so much! So 25% sounds ok to you then? I’ve read the same but I just wasn’t sure. I actually have his book! He also recommends beef heart and eggs but I like that the sardines have the calcium in them plus EPA and DHA. In his book he says 15% of the diet (one abc day) can be unbalanced but I’m not sure if he’s accounting for treats and supplemental oils given.. I do think 30% would be too high, maybe that why he just says one day.
In regards to unbalanced additions to the diet, the “rule of thumb” recommendation from veterinary nutritionists is that no more than 10% of the total daily calories come from unbalanced sources. Because of the different water contents and fat contents of potential toppers if you follow a % rule based on volume you could cause nutritional deficiencies or excesses. 25% of the diet based in vegetables is very different nutritional profile than 25% of the diet of added meat with a fat content of 20 %.
I don’t read this as a repeated question. Other forum questions “So is it ok that she just gets dry kibble with no other additions? Is this healthy?”, this forum question “What toppers do you guys use to too dry kibble?”
So, back to this forum question, “What toppers do you guys use to too dry kibble?” For balanced toppers I feed canned and frozen/dehydrated raw. Most canned recipes I feed are lower in fat on a DMB than an average kibble containing a GA of 16% fat. For unbalanced toppers I feed sardines, eggs, lean meats, and I also use the download c4c wrote about for other fresh food options altering amounts suggested a bit in order to keep meals balanced.
I follow the rule of adding no more than 10% of daily caloric intake of unbalanced foods to meals. I use this site to figure out calories for my unbalanced toppers:
“Treats and additional food items should not exceed 10% of the daily caloric intake. The majority (90% or greater) of the calories should come from a complete and balanced food…” ~ UC Davis Veterinary Medicine. More on this topic:
Ok thanks, so when you say 10% do you mean total? For example her supplemental oils and supplements make up 7% of he diet, treats make up 3% of the diet. I’ve been adding some veggies which make up 5% of the diet. If I added one sardine to her AM meal three times per week it would be another 5% of her diet. All of this would total to 20% extras. (Not by volume, by calories.) is this ok or should I keep it to 10% only?
I re read what you wrote and it makes more sense now. So I guess supplemental oils etc. count toward the 10% rule. ;( darn she’s already at her limit then. I might remove the veggies I have been adding because that adds an extra 5%. I did talk to several vets and they said 15% was ok but I wouldn’t imagine more would be balanced. My vet also said he loves it if you can add veggies to the diet. I still feel the 10% might be a bit more balanced than 15% though. What would you do, leave the veggies or remove them?
Check out the info from the UC Davis link in my post. They have a good example of the 10% rule. You’ll have to do some math to figure out your unbalanced food/supplement calories.
The only unbalanced items in my dog’s diet are the fresh foods and treats. I don’t add any supplements. So far all yearly exams are good for my dog and his meals are balanced so I do not feel the need to add any vitamins/supplements to his diet.
If your dog requires for example 800 calories a day to maintain the correct body condition you’d want no more than 80 of those calories /day to be from unbalanced sources.
For my dog I would choose adding fresh foods. If I had more time I would make homemade meals for my dog. I do that a few times a week using Balance IT Carnivore Blend to make them balanced.
Hi aimee, you haven’t been around much. Nice to read your comments!
Ok thanks guys! That makes sense. I’m using a fish oil product called ultra EFA, the recommended dose is 1/2 tsp. Per day per 15 pounds. The total EPA and DHA is 450 mg per 1/2 teaspoon. Should I just give half the dose? It’s 20 calories per 1/2 tsp.
I don’t have any advice to offer in regards to the fish oil you’re adding. I feed sardines once sometimes twice/week depending on the season for that purpose. If I don’t have any sardines I do have fish oil handy and I follow the directions on the bottle.
Ok thanks, I will just feed according to the bottle then.
Hi Bobby Dog,
Thanks for the kind words.
Food for thought regarding the 10% rule. I think it is conservative and is based to cover those dogs whose energy requirements are on the low end of the spectrum. As example a dog that is on the low end of the energy requirement scale require 1 cup a day to maintain weight while another dog of the same weight needs 2 cups a day. If it only requires 1 cup to meet the dog’s nutrient needs that the other cup is for energy and therefore those calories don’t necessarily need to come from a rigid complete and balanced source.
I agree with your “food for thought.” When I first started following the 10% rule for adding unbalanced foods I measured portions in order to be as precise as possible. I don’t anymore; I am pretty good at eyeing portions now. Unless I need to be precise due to health issues, I think I’ll spend my time obsessing over other things. 🙂
Do you guys think an added 5% from veggies are ok? It’s not throwing off the balance in my opinion because I would still be feeding the same amount of food as if I wasn’t feeding them. The total I’m feeding now is 10% from supplemental oils and treats and 5% from veggies. Does this sound balanced to you guys? I’ve decided not to add the sardines and just stick with the fish oil. I’ve read that Karen Becker says it’s ok for 15% to be from extras, but no more than that. In the article in said up to 15% but preferably less than 10%. I’ll post it below.
I think the answer to your question is in one of your above replies. You wrote you discussed adding 15% unbalanced toppers with several Vets and about adding veggies with your own Vet!
For my pup I stick close to the 10% rule due to him being prone to adding weight during certain times of the year. For the kibble part of his diet he is on the lower end portion wise for his weight range. Along with aiming for balanced meals I pay close attention to fat calories. With his current meal plan and regular exercise so far so good.
Those are things I pay attention to when adding extras. You might have different concerns for your pup or you might not have any. If your diet plan is working out for your pup you can only see how it goes and tweak when it needs to be tweaked. 🙂
Ok thanks! I will definitely think about it. My dog doesn’t get much food either. She gets 1/3 in the AM. And 1/4 in the PM alone with two ounces of canned as a topper.
Sounds like she’s in good hands. Good luck and have fun planning meals! 😉
Ok, you as well! 😉 thanks for your helpful advice!
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