Hey guys! This is my first time posting. I have a 15 pound schnoodle that I adopted almost three years ago. I’m not entirely sure how old Wilson is as his surrender paperwork had a few different ages on it but I think (as does his vet) he is between 6 and 8 and in good health.
He’s always, always, always been a picky eater. He’s my first dog and I honestly didn’t know anything about feeding a dog beyond kibble and canned at first. I fed him Vet’s Choice Health Extension for a while and then Acana but they took inordinate amounts of coaxing or soaking in water or additional treats (i.e. cottage cheese or some eggs, etc.) to get him to eat. Meal time would become sometimes a 15-30 minute exercise in who was going to be more stubborn. He would also occasionally throw the kibble back up (anywhere from 30 minutes to hours after he ate). Clearly, this didn’t seem like the best possible diet for him anymore.
I had considered transitioning him to raw, using a commercial raw diet like Stella and Chewy’s or Primal. Well, we tried for about a month and he really struggled with it. A) he hated the Primal with a passion and B) had trouble keeping both of the diets down. I instead decided to try home-cooked and use Grandma Lucy’s as a pre-mix. We’ve been doing this for about three weeks and it has been super successful so far which is a huge relief to me. I want him to have the healthiest life possible! I’ve been rotating him through several kinds of protein (chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, eggs, salmon, tuna) and it all seems easy enough to combine with the pre-mix. I give him 4 oz of the pre-mix and 6 oz of protein (I’m using Primal’s recommendation to give protein between 2-3% of a dog’s weight) split across two daily meals. I haven’t been following Grandma Lucy’s pre-mix recommendation (they recommend 1-1.5 cups per day for dogs between 10-20 lbs) because that seems really, really high to me in contrast to the protein. Any thoughts there?
Here’s my question: do I need to add any additional supplements? Like I said, this isn’t raw meat and it’s making me nervous that I might be screwing something up with the calcium and/or phosphorus. I’m assuming I should also add some sort of fish/krill/flax oil as well and would love some advice! So far, I had looked at Wysong’s Call of the Wild as a possibility but wasn’t sure if that was overkill (Grandma Lucy’s pre-mix has 1% calcium). Any advice would be much appreciated!
In theory, the Grandma Lucy’s pre-mix (once meat is added) should be a complete and balanced meal for your dog. You shouldn’t need to worry about other supplements though adding krill oil or fish oil can be beneficial. You can also add kefir, yogurt, or raw goats milk for probiotics.
Primal’s recommendation of feeding 2-3% of body weight is for raw food which is less calorically dense because of the amount of water in raw food. I don’t think the 2% rule carries over to dehydrated food like GL’s. I would feed the amount of food that keeps your dog in the right weight range. Feeding guidelines are just that…guidelines. Some dogs need more or less than what is suggested. It’s going to be trial and error to see what the right amount for your dog is.
I know finding a food your dog will eat has probably been very frustrating but I would keep at it. It’s best to rotate whatever food you are feeding, in this case the pre-mix. I would suggest rotating between different pre-mixes to make sure all of your bases are covered with vitamins/minerals. Some other pre-mixes you could look into include: The Honest Kitchen Preference, Urban Wolf, See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix, and Sojos (though I’m not a fan of that one). Also, I would limit the amount of tuna you feed as it can have high mercury levels. Canned sardines in water with no added salt would be a good fish to use and it is naturally high in omega 3s. Canned salmon is also good.
I hope this helps.
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