|Barked: Thu Feb 17, '11 5:01pm PST |
|I start with 20 calories per pound of dog and a minimum of 1 gram protein per pound of dog. So your 55 pound dog would start with about 1100 calories of food and a minimum of 55 grams of protein and your 72 pound dog would start with about 1440 calories and a minimum of 72 grams of protein per day. Your dogs may need more or less than this amount. Geriatric sick Sassy needed a lot more, about 120%. Senior but healthy Max needs a lot less, about 80%. Hands on the dogs to judge whether more is needed or not!
An ounce of raw meat/fish/egg has about 5 grams of protein so we are looking at about a pound and a half of boneless meat/fish/egg per day here? Sound doable? That would be 45 pounds of boneless meats/eggs/fish a month, what do you think?
While I can get whole chickens on sale for $.79 a pound, only 60-70% of that weight will turn into boneless meat and broth for the dogs so it is not as cheap as it sounds. That might be $47 a month for just the meat if I lucked out and found that good deal AND had room to store it. Quarters are often cheaper.
If you go ahead with the cooked diet, feeding about 2500 calories a day total you will need to add in vitamins and minerals as well as a lot more calories with grains, starchy veggies and more green/colored/leafy veggies for vits/mins. I haven't found a good enough source for zinc except for expensive canned oysters though. Max gets a pill for it. If you can feed beef/veal/lamb liver then a copper supplement isn't needed. The diet hasn't enough phosphorus unless whole grains are fed so bone meal or dicalcium phosphate would be needed as well as the free egg shell from the eggs you might add to the dog food.
Still interested? Do you think you can handle buying that much meat for the dogs? Let me know what stuff you would like to use for the food and I can cobble up something. On my own I fail but Dogsters come up with great food ideas.
If not, try supplementing the not so great kibble with fresh stuff. Start out with just a little at first, increase to a maximum of the amounts mentioned over a number of meals, just like switching kibbles. You don't need to feed this much if you don't care to, but you can substitute up to 25% fresh food for kibbles.
You don't need to do any figuring other than substitute calories and post here if you need help with that. Stew up a chicken, blend it and a cup will provide about 300 calories. All you do is plop the thing plus liver and any other innards in the bag into a pot with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for an hour, two hours - until the meat is coming off the bone. Take the meat out of the pot so it cools faster, bone and put meat and skin back into the pot and use a stick blender to grind it all up. Or put the meat and skin into a blender or food processor and chop. Or shred the meat and skin into the pot by hand. Or chop the meat and skin with a knife. Take out a little less than 300 calories of kibble for the smaller dog and put in a scant cup of chicken gravy, take out 360 kibble calories from the larger dog and put in an overflowing cup of chicken gravy maximum. Adds loads of fat and protein. You might take off the skin and fat and add back to the dog's food as tolerated for at least the first few times you cook. Dogs do great with lots of fat but why risk an upset?
Or buy hamburger. Personally I like to sizzle in a pan so the meat smells good then add water and blend. 95% lean is only 38 calories an ounce raw and 75% lean is 82 calories an ounce raw. That makes it tricky for substituting! Choose cheap and reserve the fat to add back as tolerated.
Or buy a pork shoulder roast, cut the easy stuff off the bone and stew the bone too so as not to waste the little bit of meat on it. The fat under skin is overwhelming, I don't feed that much fat, but don't go crazy trimming the fat out.
Or buy canned fish. Not tuna, but salmon, sardines and mackerel are good choices. Dump into a strainer and put strainer into a bowl of water to rinse some of the salt off it. A scant cup for the smaller dog, a generous one for the larger dog maximum.
Or scramble up some eggs. Just one for both dogs first time, one each if that goes over well and maybe 3-4 a week total.
If you are up to it liver is terrific stuff, adding just an ounce or two per pound of other meat really adds to the interest for the dogs. Me, not so much although it sort of kind of smells not so awful to me after cooking for the dogs for many years!
Chances are the kibble is low in meat protein, definitely low in water and probably could use more omega 3. Today you can add water to the bowl and maybe some canned fish if you have any. Tomorrow maybe cook up some meat or a couple eggs and add to the kibble.
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