Hi, I have 2 adult male labs…a 3-yr old and an 11-yr old. I currently feed them a high-quality kibble and an occasional raw egg. I want to start giving them a little bit of mixed greens/veggies 2-3x a week … I’m thinking dark leafy greens(spinach,chard etc), mixed lettuces, cucumbers/green beans/carrots/apples etc . Can I just chop all this stuff up small or should I puree it all first ? What I’m going for here of course is maximum digestibility/bioavailability of nutrients . The reason I ask is because I do know that dogs’ digestive systems work differently than humans’ in regards to how they process certain foods.
Thanx in advance for all advice !
Hi Peter S! It’s a good idea to start feeding your dog with a mix of greens and veggies, but I recommend you to chop all the ingredients. On average, a slim 60-pound dog should get about 800 calories.
You can offer your dogs some of these veggies:
Carrots (1/8 cup slices which means 7 calories)
Broccoli (1/4 cup chopped, 7 calories)
Cucumber (1/2 cup slices, 8 calories)
Asparagus (3 spears, 10 calories)
Beware of toxic food, such as grapes, raisins, garlic, onion, avocado and chocolate.
If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check this article: http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_best_vegetables_for_dogs_and_cats
Dogs don’t make the enzyme necessary to break down the cell walls of plants. They do have some probiotics in their gut that help with that, but not enough for a whole lot of raw plant matter. Best is to cut the fruits and veggies into small pieces and then blanch them, them puree. This predigesting should damage a whole lot of cell walls and make it easier for the different probiotics to do their work too.
TheBCnut: I just got a shelter rescue dog about 10 days ago, (11 lb. terrier mix) and I have been making his food and supplementing it with a little kibble. I chop everything real fine and grate the carrots with a rasp but I cook all of this homemade food – nothing raw. Could that make a difference in being able to digest it better? I just can’t seem to bring myself to purée the stuff and give it to him like baby food …yuck. I give him ground beef or ground chicken, hard-boiled eggs, spinach, carrots, some ground egg shells, oatmeal and occasionally rice or barley.
Cooking the veggies does make a difference, still not 100%, but we don’t really need 100%. I only puree plant matter, then mix it with meat, but the way you are doing it should be fine. You would know if it wasn’t, because you would see carrot and spinach in his stool.
Do you have recipes you use to make sure everything he needs is in the food?
TheBCnut: I have several recipes on my Pinterest board for food by people who seem to know what they’re talking about but I don’t have actual measurements for what I feed him. I neglected to add that I do feed him dried cranberries and/or finely chopped apples. The recipes said I haves seen called for a gigantic quantities such as 10 pounds of ground beef, 18 eggs,etc. that’s far too much food to have to store for an 11 pound dog. I broke it down as best I could but he still gets a far better diet a lot of my friends feed them table scraps. Wish I had a really good nutritious recipe with amount small enough so I can freeze about eight or 10 two- serving containers. Anybody?
Have you looked at what is on dogaware.com? Cutting down the recipe is just fine. Just like for human nutrition, covering all your bases over time is just fine. They don’t have to get absolutely everything they need in every meal. That’s why feeding variety is so important.
BCnut, I have a question – I have seen in Bruno’s stool undigested carrot and apple pieces from Sojo’s/THK dehydrated foods. It is only those two that he seems to be unable to stomach. However, if I give him raw apple, I see no peel, nothing discernible in his stool (and I am a stool examiner, lol). I haven’t tried with raw carrot recently, but I think it would still come out as it enters. I have also given him raw coconut and it comes out as it entered him. Coconut oil gets absorbed though. Kale sticks (branches) with some leaf matter are not discernible but sometimes when he eats grass (he does it every now and again), it comes out in straight bunches, like it entered him.
So why would he not be able to eat some rehydrated veggies vs raw? I do let them sit for a while in the water, but they don’t ever completely return to an “original” form. This also happens while on THK Perfect Form.
My next question is, I have seen recipes for cooking with THK for treats and such. Should I cook it first till the veggies are mushy, or cook it lightly and puree it, or is it not a big concern?
It’s nothing to worry about. Bruno might not be getting everything from his food, but he isn’t missing much. I had the same issue with THK unless I let it rehydrate for hours. I assume that digestive enzymes and probiotics aren’t getting into the inside of a dry piece. The things that dogs don’t digest on their own are worked on by those probiotics. If it hasn’t been digested, he either didn’t have the right probiotics, didn’t have enough of them, or they couldn’t get to the pieces of food If you cook the food, you’ll only destroy more nutrients.
Is THK actually raw? If so, how can it be human grade?
BCnut, thanks so much for the response! I won’t worry about it too much then! I think he should be fine too, but I just had to double-check. 🙂
THK is dehydrated and it is made in a human food kitchen, so they have to use human grade ingredients and have to prepare the food according to the rules for human food preparation from start to finish. You really could eat their food, no worries.
Thanks! I was jokingly thinking about trying one of their base mixes, I am a vegetarian but if I was going to eat meat this might be what I would eat because it is humanly raised.
LOL! I didn’t even catch where you said anything about trying it or else I understood you to mean try it on your dog.
Oops! I have to remember that mind reading is not a quality that people posses.
THK is not raw.
Sojo’s is completely raw. The meats are freeze dried and the veg/fruit are raw and air-dried. That’s alot of raw sweet potato for a dog, isn’t it? My recipe books says to cook starchy veggies, then puree.
I am thinking of adding THK to my rotation, I ordered some samples yesterday. I have thought about Sojos, I am a bit germ-o-phobic so I’m a little wary about raw. Do you know what food safety measures Sojos takes to prevent contamination? I couldn’t find much about this on their website.
I believe Sojos is dehydrated, it’s not raw and does not digest well from my experience.
I’m pretty sure Sojos is freeze-dried raw. Freeze-dried and dehydrated are different things but similar.
Based upon the price point I’m pretty sure Sojos is dehydrated. I use freeze dried Orijen, have used Stewarts, Stella and Chewy’s and they are completely different products from Sojos (and THK). I would love to hear from someone whose dog has digested Sojos well.
Sojo’s is freeze-dried, says it on their website. Usually the carrots and apple peel don’t get digested with Bruno, regardless of whether it is THK or Sojo’s. I use both as toppers.
Since they cook it to 115 degrees it’s actually dehydrated. Freeze drying is a completely different process and end product. In my experience, freeze dried products digest completely, dehydrated products do not digest well.
Yeah, good point, Kristin, I don’t know why they said freeze-dried, I was going by the word, then I saw the temperature too… And from my experience freeze-dried usually looks more like a patty/nugget/whatever shape, but it is all mixed in and homogenized before freeze-drying seems like. Those I have never seen undigested bits from with Bruno.
Lily digests THK fine as a topper, so I like the sound of Sojos. I am still concerned about their safety practices because it is raw.
It’s not true raw since it’s cooked to 115 degrees. I have used it and it seems safe but I ended up throwing out most of the bag since there was always chunks in my dog’s poo. At the price, I preferred to be rid of it and move on to something else.
@dog_obsessed, you may have mentioned elsewhere, but what is it that worries you about raw? I know not everyone is ready to or willing to go that route with their dog, I was just curious.
pugmomsandy replied on page 1 about Sojo’s being freeze dried, “The meats are freeze dried and the veg/fruit are raw and air-dried.” Maybe only the complete formula adds FD meats? I never fed it so I am not sure. Here’s the DFA review:
I was stupid, listened to a pet store owner & my husband and got a bag of SoJos. This will be the last bag. I’ll stick with THK.
I’m with you Marie. I REALLY dislike SoJos. THK is the only dehydrated food that I really really like. I have used others but always go back to THK and keep in rotation. Even a couple of my local pet stores that carry Sojos don’t recommend the food. They’re small stores so they can pretty much try all the food in the store (not the owners so no choice as to what they carry) and they dislike the Sojos.
I’d like to add on the freeze dried and dehydrated foods in general that I have fed, and continue to feed, I have never seen any undigested bits in any of my three girls poop. I check all of their poop every single time. I sometimes wonder if people seeing identifiable bits of ingredients in their dogs poop if the dogs gut is not as healthy as it could be. Could it be that 90 – 95% of my dog’s meals over the past three years are raw causing a healthier gut and, therefore, able to digest pretty much digest everything and anything? I really don’t know. Just a thought I’ve wondered about.
Sorry about all the edits. I really should remember to read through my posts before hitting the submit button.
I prefer Sojo’s Cat to the dog formula – more protein and smaller bits.
Do you feed the cat formula to your dogs?
Yes, as a topper sometimes. I have alot of food choices over here at my house.
Yes, you have many, many, many food choices! I am envious of your dog pantry!!! 😉
I need to check out kitty recipes for Bobby’s toppers; never thought about it before. Bobby always eats what my kitties don’t like anyway. Nothing ever goes to waste as long as Bobby is around. I will put Sojos cat formula on my list to check out, thanks.
@Naturella I am mostly worried about bacteria. I know that they use other methods to sanitize, and that it is unlikely for dogs to get sick from it anyway, but it still worries me. Most raw (or non-raw!) companies have lots of info/bragging about how they make their food, what procedures they take to avoid contamination, etc, but Sojos has almost none on that. Marie and Dori, what is it that bothers you about Sojos? That it doesn’t completely digest?
Dog Obsessed. I didn’t care for the texture, scent or output. The dogs ate it but they weren’t crazy about it either. Massive amounts of poop from three teeny tiny dogs. Their poops weren’t runny or hard they were difficult to pick up because they just sort of fell apart when I tried to pick them up. Weird.
Eek. I’ll probably stick with THK, kibble, and canned then.
Dog_Obsessed, I see. I stopped worrying about bacteria after I started feeding Bruno RMBs once/week and a raw egg once/week. After he didn’t get sick or die from them, I felt like it wouldn’t be likely for him to get sick or die from a commercial raw/freeze-dried/dehydrated. BUT, we all have different levels of comfort, and it seems like Lily is doing great on kibble, canned, and THK! 🙂
For me, Bruno’s best stool is after commercial raw/RMB day – I TRY to feed him only raw on Sundays, but for sure his Sunday evening meal is only an RMB, whether his breakfast was raw or not. His stool after Sunday nights is usually firm, not smelling almost at all, and is overall good. But he has good stool (firmness-wise) on his other foods too, it is just always so much more smellier than on raw.
Thanks! I’m always looking for new kibble and canned options, rotation has really been a hit with Lily!
I actually prefer the consistency of sojos to the honest kitchen. Not that the dogs care much, and my cat won’t eat anything dehydrated. My problem is its a bit low in protein for my liking, so I use thk and grandma Lucy’s for toppers more often, but use sojos from time to time.
However, their freeze dried training treats and good dog biscuits are awesome! Staples in my house
Dog Obsessed. aquariangt just reminded me of another reason to add to the list of why I don’t use Sojos, the protein is way too low. I feed really pretty high protein being that I feed almost all raw.
Thanks aquariangt. I’d forgotten to mention to Dog Obsessed about the low protein in my response to her as to the reasons I don’t care for Sojos.
The low protein did bother me a bit, if I did use it it would be a topper only in my rotation. The THK recipes have varying protein and carb values, but they list their carbs on the website which I really like.
I expected SoJo’s to rehydrate & get smushy or something. It’s kind of soft but just not what I expected. Wish I had bought the smaller bag.
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