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Viable for puppies? Lots of questions

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
Tobi

will work for- food!
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 11:17am PST 
Hello dogsters!
I am interested in getting Tobi on a home-cooked diet, or at least maybe partially onto one. I do have a lot of questions, though, and a couple of conditions that may make it difficult.

1) First off is that I don't eat red meats, and I don't enjoy the smell/handling of red meats if I can help it. Sacrifices can be made, of course, and I'd be happy to whip up some beef or something once in a while to spice it up, BUT I would be focusing on chicken and/or fish, and maybe eggs if I can balance meals with them. Is this viable, or is red meat really that much better for them that their diet should be based on them?

2) It seems like people have enough trouble balancing adult formulas, and Tobi is only 5 1/2 months old. Should I wait until he is finished growing to introduce a new diet, just in case what I'm making is not enough for him? He is on a high quality puppy kibble at the moment that seems to be treating him very well, so I don't see a point in wrecking a good thing.

3) Is it possible to do 50/50 kibble and home-cooked, and would this maybe make it easier to balance vitamins and minerals? I know home-cooked can be rather pricey, and I'm on a bit of a budget, so I'd like to spice up his food without running myself out of house and home lol.

4) I have already come up with some good resources from looking around this thread, but most of them are regarding adult dogs. I was wondering if someone had a website/book/etc. that could help me calculate a puppy's needs, or any ideas on how I could figure this out?

Thanks in advance for the input smile
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Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 2:05pm PST 
I feed a raw diet now, but I looked into homecooking first, and maybe I could help.

1. Red meat is a must for at least 1/2 of the protien, or the diet isn't balanced. You might get used to handling it, or you could use plastic gloves and wear a mask if needed. Red meat gives nutrients like iron and magnesium, that isn't high enough in white meat.

2. All the balancing is the same, the only difference is the total amount you'd feed Tobi will be greater so it's ok and recommended to start now!

3. You can feed it 50/50 but it's not real hard to balance an all homemade diet, maybe work out the cost first then decide what to do. Remember freecycle and craigslist for meat also-freezer burnt is ok!

4. Like I wrote, the balancing is all the same..Like puppy food, the only difference is it's higher in every nutrient than adult food. So to feed a puppy homecooked, you just increase the amount you feed, like 6% of his body weight then you can adjust it later if you need to.

Also remember you need a bone meal supplement.
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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 2:55pm PST 
You can just make up a topper for the kibble the pup is on now if you like. Substitute 25% of the kibbble calories for the topper and you don't have to do any calculating at all. Just use meats/fish/eggs and possibly dairy rather than grains, fruits and veggies as kibble already has plenty of that stuff already.

Optimal Nutrition by Monica Segal has a number of puppy food recipes, if you want to find that book at your local library or purchase it. Seems to me all you do is feed the pup exactly the same thing you feed him/her as an adult just in more meals a day but I may be wrong there.

Here are a number of other recipes. I don't care for the low protein, high carbohydrate level and vague supplementing used but they are really fine.
http://www.dogcathomeprepareddiet.com/feeding_a_normal_dog_or _cat.html#growing
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Halo

Howling good- times to be had- with me.
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 4:07pm PST 
Maybe if you have the red meat well chilled, even partially frozen when you handle it. That would give it a firmer texture to your touch and minimize smell and bleeding as well.
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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 5:12pm PST 
Hamburger is easy to handle. The reason red meat is important is for the mineral and vitamin content. It is possible to supplement those but it is best if they are in the actual food. Feeding poultry only you would need to add in all the B vitamins, zinc and copper. Iron would be fine if you could feed hearts and gizzards and it is found in enriched grains and some veggies but not in very usable forms I don't think. Feeding red meat you would be fine on the B vitamins and iron. Copper is best found in beef/lamb/veal liver and would need to be supplemented if that isn't fed. Zinc is found in red meat and oysters but those chicken hearts and gizzards have some too. Never enough though! Still, half naturally found zinc or iron or copper or vitamin B is better than it all coming from pills.
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Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 18, '11 1:25pm PST 
I didn't know iron was ok in white meat...shoot I take an iron supplement a day because I don't eat red meat, but I eat chicken and veggies, gues it's not needed for me. Red meat is cheaper so my dogs eat that mainly and the B vitamins are real good when I add it upcheer

ETA: Sassy is copper in chicken livers or not enough? I fed chicken livers once just for variety and I think the dogs liked it better.

Edited by author Fri Feb 18, '11 1:28pm PST

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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 18, '11 5:35pm PST 
Check nutritiondata.com for all that. Chicken breast isn't going to give you enough iron or zinc or copper but chicken heart would help out. Interesting food item though, never thought about eating lots of chicken heart. Turkey is higher in minerals than chicken. I would be looking at B vitamins too if I only ate white meats.

All liver has a little bit of copper but Max would have to eat 16 ounces of chicken liver or 2/3 an ounce of beef liver for the copper needed daily. 16 ounces of chicken liver would be too much vitamin A of course!

Chicken hearts are higher in zinc and iron than beef heart. I suspect they are much less yucky for people who don't like to handle meats too. If I ever go to a wholesale meat place perhaps checking the price on a box of chicken hearts would be a good idea.
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Tobi

will work for- food!
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 18, '11 7:14pm PST 
Thanks guys, this is a lot to think about big grin
@ Adam's owner, I am the same way, but I also eat some lighter varieties of fish. I take daily iron supplements, so I guess I should have logically realized that on a similar diet Tobi would need it too. But I dunno, I'm new to this stuff shrug
I'm sure I can learn to handle red meat if it's for a good cause, so I'll look further into it anyway and hopefully I can come up with a good plan for him. Thanks for all your input! I'll be back with more questions in no time, I'm sure. way to go
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