Me, again. I’m never going to stop learning! I feed my 24 lb, 10 month old beagle Back to Basics (all four varieties for now). I feed her roughly one cup a day. Roughly, because for lunch, I add in some lightly cooked protein and take away a bit of the kibble. However, I’m wondering how much protein I should add. I use a lean protein, so I usually take about 1/3 out of her 1/3 serving and add in that much protein. Am I doing this right? Also, how often should I rotate her kibble protein? Every bag switch it to another one or switch it up during the week. Sorry, so many questions!!!
I feed her three times a day. I’m disabled (with a brain injury – that’s why this is hard for me to figure this out), so I’m home with her and can feed her three times a day. I kind of figure, why not? Are they like us that it’s better to spread out the food to keep blood sugar in balance? Is the two-feeding a day for our convenience or should I switch her to twice a day. Maybe kibble in the morning with a topper and raw for dinner (now where do I begin with raw). Sigh. I’m thinking a premix might work better for me. Suggestions?
I realize I have so many questions. For me, every time I see an article on feeding dogs, everyone says GO RAW. It makes me feel guilty that I’m not quite ready to go raw. I did get Steve Brown’s book Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the ABC Way and plan on doing the one day a week all fresh food. Got the grass fed beef hearts all ready to go.
I know there are a ton of questions in here. If anyone could answer at least some of them, I’ll feel so less overwhelmed. I just want to do the best for my baby! Thanks so much!!!
Unbalanced toppers, like lean meat, should never be more than 20% of a dogs meal. And it is personal preference for rotating food, but I highly recommend doing bag after bag. Also, always go raw if you can. That’s is all I can do for you. Maybe someone with more knowledge can help you later. – Zach
You should NOT feel guilty for not feeding raw. The majority of dog owners don’t. It sounds like you are doing a great job of feeding your dog. As Zach mentioned earlier, unbalanced toppers should not account for over 20% of their total diet, not just an individual meal. Keep up the good work!
If your’e still feeding kibble, then I would suggest just feeding once or twice a day (unless your dog has blood sugar issues or is a puppy). Canines don’t have to eat consistently and they are not like us. And some owners fast their dogs for 24 hours or more each week. Kibble can take many hours to process (some dogs even throw up whole kibble after 12 hours) and feeding them more than every 12 hours can keep their system “backed up” in a way. Also the body is always using it’s energy/enzyme stores towards the process of digestion and not getting a break. Enzymes are used at the cellular level for repair and other processes.
As for rotation, you can do it anyway that’s convenient for you. Some people have more space to keep more variety of foods. Some people can only hold about 2 bags of food at a time. You can change flavors with each bag you buy or you can serve one food for breakfast and a different food for dinner.
Thanks, all, for your suggestions. I wasn’t sure why everything I read said to stop feeding them three meals after six months of age. Now, I know. 🙂
And, thanks for the general support. Ultimately, I know it’s best to go raw. I just haven’t done it before and my husband isn’t sold that I’ll be able to keep up on it (because of my disabilities). That may make him sound bad – trust me, he takes care of EVERYTHING else, lol, and would do this also if it weren’t for the fact that I WANT to take care of my baby. Plus, I seem to make everything more complicated than it is and it seems so confusing to me, balancing the diet and what not.
So, another question…how long do you go between the two meals? I know feeding them more than every 12 hours was mentioned. For instance, my dog generally wakes up between 8:15 and 9am every day and is usually back in bed by 9:30pm. Like I said earlier, I need a little help figuring things out. What would you recommend for feeding times? Right now, I feed her at around 9am, 2pm and 7pm.
Thanks, again, for the help and general support!!!
In regards to adding an unbalanced topper ( lean meat) to a balanced kibble, veterinary nutritionists recommend to limit unbalanced foods to 10% of the total caloric intake.
For example, if your dog needs 400 calories to maintain weight, you would feed 360 calories as kibble, and 40 calories from an unbalanced addition.
I think feeding twice a day is for our convenience. More often is fine. Some people leave the food available all the time and the dog grazes throughout the day. I’ve never seen it reported that this causes any type of adverse effects on health.
Don’t feel guilty for not feeding raw. After thoroughly looking at that issue from multiple angles I concluded that it wasn’t in the best interest of my dogs and family.
We have no schedule here but mine eat twice a day & it’s around 8-10 hours between meals.
Sorry I haven’t been on to thank you for the replies. A friend died and I haven’t been up to much of anything.
So, thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. I’m happy to take even more! 🙂
Oh, I have another related question. I know you’re not supposed to feed raw with kibble – they should be separate meals. What about treats? I have a bunch of samples from Ziwi Peak. Is it ok to use that food as treats in between meals? Thanks, again!
Haleybop… So sorry for your loss….
Ii feed freeze dried raw both as a topper and as treats. I’ve also used Ziwi Peak as treats.
I’ve never had a problem mixing different food types together.
Thanks, Aimee. Sometimes, there’s just too much information out there. Some say it’s ok to mix raw and kibble, others say feed them separate – they digest the different types of food differently…it’s so overwhelming. If anything, I know Ziwi Peak will be an excellent training treat. Thanks, again!
Different people foods digest at different rates too, but we don’t worry about having problems with it. I feed half raw and the raw is mixed in with the kibble at every meal. My dogs have never had any issues. Many of us here add raw as toppers without issue. Shawna has even speculated that adding raw might help dogs digest kibble better. I don’t know if that’s true, but as long as I have been feeding raw, I have never had one of my dogs vomit formed kibble, and one of them used to do that all the time, so I believe it.
I use ZiwiPeak as treats as well. My dogs eat around 730-830 am and then dinner is 830-1030 pm.
I also mix kibble and commercial frozen, dehydrated, or freeze dried with no issues. I prepare several meals a week using it as a topper. I have been using Stella & Chewy freeze dried Phenomenal Pheasant for his treats.
Thank you, everyone. While the twice a day feeding to give their digestive system a rest totally makes sense, why can’t I find ANYTHING talking about this on the internet? There are so few good sources on dog nutrition. 🙁 Anyone have anything they can link to?
Maybe one of the sciencey folks can post a study for you both for and against that idea! I actually don’t look up published papers myself.
This is just an article for digestive enzymes sold by Mercola so you may or may not take is as being biased.
I personally feel better with intermittent fasting myself! But everyone and their dog’s metabolism is different! Some dogs have no problems eating more frequently.
I’ve never seen or read anything reliable about letting the digestive tract “rest.” My reasoning for wanting dogs fed regular individual meals has more to do with my experiences in the vets office. People who free feed can never tell the vet how their dogs’ appetite is when it comes in suddenly sick. They have no idea if the dog ate nothing, picked at it a little, ate about half what it usually does, or what. Also If you use toppers or wet the food in any way, the food needs to be eaten in a timely manner or it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
It’s mainly dry hard kibble I prefer not to feed more than twice a day. Other foods that are easier to digest or enzyme rich raw foods I’m less concerned about. Plus when I feed kibble or a food with lots of plant matter, I give enzymes with it.
Ok. Lexi is on a pretty darn regular schedule! 🙂 Plus, she eats her meal slowly but as soon as I put it down (she is also trained to wait until I tell her it’s OK to eat). I do add in soil based enzymes and probiotics with the meal I add extra stuff to. I would definitely notice if she wasn’t eating regularly. I’ll have to give this some more thought but I think I’ll probably just stick to what I’m doing right now – it makes her bathroom habits very predictable, also. Thanks everyone for all the help!!!
Clarifying…stick to three meals a day, that is. I appreciate all the other suggestions!
Don’t feel guilty about not doing raw. I feed kibble and do the ABC diet, although I add fresh throughout the week instead of all on one day. I think that’s better for my guy’s tummy, I’m afraid all fresh one day might be a bit much for him. I agree, there’s way too much info out there, hard to sort thru it all. I think a good quality kibble and the ABC diet is a good compromise.
Thanks. Along with all the info, it doesn’t help that you have a vet that you’ve been trusting and going to for 18 years who follows AAHA’s guidelines of no raw. Really hard to find a holistic vets in my area but I now have a lead on one. Just found out that the beef hearts I bought for the ABC diet, when I bought my grass-fed/antibiotic free beef, aren’t grass fed. Sigh. We try and try to do the best for our babies. Sometimes, I wish someone would tell me exactly what to do but it might not be the right thing for my pup (or me). I’m still going to keep on learning!
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