How to balance the diet? I maybe over/under feeding... Mixing Dog food,raw, scraps, homecooked etc..

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

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Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 12:06pm PST 
How do a balance a mix of raw organs/meat, cooked scraps, and minimal amounts of dog food?

This is mostly for my older basset hound. The other day she had a sever vomit reaction go Merrick dog food. Very gross. Instinct gives her gas.

The only thing she really did well on and thrived on was I and Love and YOu Dehydrated Raw. and then for a while i gave raw meet as a booster for her. She did great. No gas no vomit. Wonderful.

Only problem is I can't really afford to keep feeding dehyrated raw when $20 only feeds for 5 days or $70 only feeds for ~15. At least not if i plan to feed her myself and Jake.

So i was going to kind of mash it all together for her. to make it more economical but i don't want to short her any nutrients.

I have been feeding her oatmeal (i don't have rice) with some dehydrated raw since the vomit episode the other day. She's eating well, poop is good and she seems happy and full. But i'm not sure how balanced the meal is if i continue to do this.

Does anyone have any tips on howt o balance the diet to prevent over or underfeeding?

** I can't find the nutritional analysis for I and Love and You's brand of food unfortunately. I don't know how to get it either.

If i can get heres done then i may do that same for Mr. Beagle.

Thank you for your help!!

Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 12:51pm PST 
I do that all the time, but I've got a good idea of what nutrients are in most foods I use so I know how to do it easily.

Anywho, This thread here has a good step-by-step instructions on how to make homemade food for your dog: Balancing the Diet in 21 Easy Steps

I do something very similar to that when I am unsure of what the nutrients in a given mix look like. If you are going to add in kibble or other commercial foods, it would be best to try to get the full nutrient profile and add that as a custom food. But if you can't find it, only add about 25% commercial food to the overall meal as not to throw stuff too out of whack.

Edited by author Thu Mar 28, '13 12:52pm PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 9:27pm PST 
If you start out at about 2% of her ideal body weight you will be in the ball park for calories. Oatmeal has about the same calories per ounce as a completely lean meat like lung. We are always adjusting how much the dogs get anyway, a bit more or less depending on how the ribs feel.

Mixing oatmeal with low protein premade is dropping that minimal protein level pretty low, good that you want to offer higher protein and fat raw. It is doing the job intended though, keeping the gut happy!

You could simply concoct a complete raw diet and feed maybe 2-4 meals of that each week spread out as you please and supplement with half the amount of premade and oatmeal they need as a complete feed. As in if I plan to feed Max 4-5 chicken wings, 3.5 ounces of liver and 3.5 ounces of kidney a week plus 3 pounds of beef [about 70 ounces a week] I could feed 2 chicken wings, a couple ounces of liver and kidney and 1.5 pounds of beef along with half the usual amount of premade and oatmeal to add up to 70 ounces a week. Some days she would get mostly premade, some days more raw. This sounds like trouble but if you keep a food diary you should be able to keep it all straight. I wouldn't be too concerned if kidney is hard to come by either as the premade should fill gaps nicely anyway.


Pocket Wolf
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 11:53pm PST 
just be stady once you actually figure out how to feed. YOu've been bouncing around a lot since you have got her. I've seen kibble to cans, to homecooked, then beack to kibble and a couple different kinds of it, and now you're going with homecooked.

Not all dogs can tolerate that much change. Be careful with the old girl.
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 1:08am PST 
I try foxy.

I kinda feed jake whatever the flavor of the week is, raw is usually what it is. But at the moment I have Merrick in the house. Over the last year and some odd months i've had jake he's had 100% raw for 6 months, home cooked exclusively for 4 months and then it was a mix of raw dog food and whatever else i had the other times as long as i watched out for the items he was allergic too.

I banked on my next dog having some food intollerence or allergies but i didn't expect to get a dog that can't seem to deal with any of the foods Jake can eat. It would have been easier to feed her dog food starting out since she was very underweight when i brought her home from the pound. I decided to just feed her whatever dog food she coudl eat since it would have only been short term. But the extractions cost me a pretty penny + other medical expenses since she's rather old. (But i love her anyway big grin) Only that one raw brand seems to work for her but i haven't tried any of hte others. Jake liked Stellas and i've never tried Sonjos. I'm looking for what's going to work best for her and is affordable for me. Being single and a college student unfortunately has its limitations. But we'll make do. We always do. Espeically since Jake needed her a lot and I needed jake to be a lot calmer. big grin

At the moment all i can feed her so she's not getting sick or gassy is this rather expensive dehydrated raw food and oatmeal.

I just bought two books on homecooked/raw feeding to see if maybe reading them will help better make a meal plan for her since Dog food for her isn't going to be an option. Or so it seems. I can't afford $65 a bag for only ~13-15 days of food if i'm feeding her for an underweight catagory. And I always had the option with jake for when money got tight or something like that I could just go to the store and buy a 5lb bag of dog food to get us through the week. With her I'm not going to have that option unfortunately as look.

But for now I'm probably just going to feed her like I feed Jake. Whatever the flavor of the week is while maintaining the oatmeal and dehydrated raw for now. i've added some chicken breast also to the mixture more cuz i had some left over and I'm not going to eat it then because it had to be there. but who knows.

Even though we're bouncing around a bit with different feeding options and types I'm sure we'll get what's right eventually and when we do it'll all be good. Though it's looking more and more like it's going to be mixing things as in homecooked, raw and dog food of some sort if i can find one she can stomach other then the dehyrated raw. Since my mother won't feed raw so i have to have some sort of dog food for the event she had to come by to feed the pups.

Oh well such a long winded reply. I'm way too wordy laugh out loud

Conker & Maxwell- Thanks for the advise. I hope we'll be able to settle on something soon. Hopefully these new books I got will help.

tiny...but fast!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 7:13am PST 
Here is the link to a dehydrated raw that should be more affordable www.bigdognatural.com my Italian greyhound sandy has a very sensitive stomach so feeding different things every day would probably kill him, I'm not exaggerating. U may try this brand and only feed her that. Jake can continue to eat whatever u feed him since it doesn't upset his stomach and if ur mom feeds the dogs she can feed the big dog natural because from what I read on the site unjust add water to the dehydrated stuff.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 8:34am PST 
I would try home cooked low fat food for now rather than using the expensive raw stuff. Stew a whole chicken in a large pot with some water so it doesn't stick to the pan, take out the chicken to cool and bone it. For now remove the skin and save it all chopped up. Put a couple ounces of liver in the broth along with 3-4 cups of oatmeal and cook until oatmeal is very soft. Add in 1/2 tsp of powdered eggshell per pound of chicken and chop and add the chicken back to the pot. Those enormous 5-6 pound chickens that are the norm these days would last a 50 pound dog 5-6 days and cost something like $40 a month to feed.

This is low fat food, if it suits then put a little of that skin back in every day so she is getting more fat. If she handles about half of the skin that came off the chicken that is fine.

It isn't high protein either, only about 1 gram per pound of dog.

It is low in a lot of vitamins and minerals however. If you could use 40 ounces of 80% lean hamburger or leaner with a couple ounces of beef liver and the oatmeal this food would be very close to perfect however and still be low protein. Remember you are throwing away all those chicken bones, that is why you can use so much less hamburger! You can switch over slowly and it is fine if she gets stuck at half beef and half chicken. You can try increasing the meat and decreasing the oatmeal.

If you can find NOW bone meal then that would be much better than egg shell as otherwise this food is only about half the phosphorus a healthy dog needs. Add whatever provides about 900 mg of calcium per pound of chicken.
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 10:28am PST 
Thank you both for your options. I think I'm going to home cook for her for now. The receipe Maxwell gave seems doable. And in teh budget big grin

When making powdered egg shell am i supposed to toast the egg shell first?
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 11:38am PST 
Can i give her fresh chicken feet for bone content? as in i won't cook the chicken feet? to make up for the lack of phosphorus and calcium?

I ask because she likes those and when i had a fresh stock of them she didn't have any adverse reactions to them.

What do you think?

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 2:55pm PST 
If you put in half the egg shell needed and fed half the chicken feet needed for a 100% raw diet it would be perfect. For Max that would be one chicken foot a day, Caroline might need more as she is a bit larger. Maybe 2 one day and 1 the next. Or use chicken necks or a leg if she is safe eating them or feed half cooked and half raw. Sounds a lot more fun than getting gritty egg shell in mush!