A few simple questions really... how much is too much?

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.

Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Mon May 28, '12 12:00am PST 
How do i know how much to feed jake? he's a 33lb beagle.

with raw this was easy. But with home cooked i'm a bit confused and I couldn't find anywhere how much to feed. Currently I'm feeding him 2 cups a day but he's starting to get a little pudgy even though we walk 2x a day over 3 miles.

Additional information:

he's getting home cooked meals in the morning and night 5x a week and then 2x a week he gets raw chicken quarters for his bone meal content.On the days of raw he only eats the one chicken quarter per day.

Currently his meals are being made with nutrition data and looks something like this:

Spinach organic boiled (1 cup), whole milk yogurt plain 10g protein (1 cup) , brown rice (5 cups), pinto beans (2 cups) , sardines canned in olive oil (1 can) , tuna (1 can), (4 eggs scrambled), 8 cups boiled chicken, negotiable amounts of carrots, broccoli and whatever else i have on hand. All his veggies are organic and served after being blanched in boiling water and shocked in an ice bath, 4 slices of beef liver boiled, 9 oz of boiled chicken gizzards (From fresh/frozen source with no extra salt added). That makes about a weeks worth of food if i feed him only 2 cups of this stuff a day.

So any advice would be nice.

Thank you so much for your help.

Jordan D.

Thank you in advance,

Jordan D.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Mon May 28, '12 4:01pm PST 
That would be way too much food for Max. Max is a 38 pound senior couch potato though. He gained so much weight on home cooking he got a table top back. Yuck. Took over a year to get that weight off. I only wanted to feed him 12 ounces a day, ~1.5 cups, but am sure I was giving him much more than that. Crummy old impossible to tare scale!

How big are the chicken quarters? Around here they are about a pound each and Max only needs ~10 ounces of raw food a day so that could be the issue right there. For calcium purposes Max needs about 23 ounces of chicken quarter a week and 2 pounds of chicken quarter is about right for 9.5 days. I don't think that is an extreme amount of calcium but maybe feed a quarter more like every 4-5 days.

Any reason so much rice and only chicken and fish for meat? It would be simple to cut back on the rice and use some ground beef or pork instead of chicken some weeks. Chicken and fish just aren't as nutritious as red meat. Watch the amount of liver fed, Max needs all of 3.5 ounces a week. Gizzards are great, if you can get chicken hearts as well go for it.

If Max ate cooked food he would get about 7-10 ounces of meaty stuff and about 3-4 ounces of veggies a day. The meat part of the food you are making is fine but all the high calorie grain and beans is adding a lot of calories to the diet.

If your recipe is in nutritiondata calculate what you are feeding him and cut back by 25% or so. I started the dogs at 20 calories per pound. Max needs only 15 calories per pound and Sassy needed 25 calories per pound.

Which does he like better? The cooked stuff or the raw? Max craves grains now but they give him yucky eyes. He has been eating cooked vegetables and beans as treats but wouldn't touch lettuce with salad dressing.
Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 4:12pm PST 
Sorry it took me so long to respond. I've been rather busy and had no computer for a weekeek It's a miracle i'm still alive.

I started to feed jake between 1.5-2 cups a day of his food depending on our level of activity since some days we go for 5 hour hikes and so he'll get a larger breakfast then on days were its just an hour walk.

Jake was eating between 12-16 oz a day on raw to keep his weight up. When i fed him only 10oz he got far too skinny for my liking bordering on underweight and between 12-16oz depending on energy level it was enough to keep him between 32-34lbs.

I started using a suppliment to make sure he's getting all his nutritional needs met. It's NaturVet Vitapet, http://www.amazon.com/NaturVet-VitaPet-Release-Vitamin-Chewable/dp/B 001F2ATWQ/ref=pd_ybh_10

He gets two chews a day. One in the morning and one at night depending on the recipe i'm using. Currently he's getting 2 a day.

As for why those were the proteins last week it was because it was what i had. This week he's got raw beef chuck roast(2lbs), cooked stewed chicken(1lb) and eggs (4 eggs raw) acting as the proteins. With turnips, turnip greens, broccoli and carrots as veggy with only 2 cups of rice for the entire recipe along with yogurt and beef liver (3 oz) and 1lb of cooked simmered chicken gizzards. The %s came out to being 48% protein, 28% carbs and 24% fats or something like that. I'm trying to go for a lower fat so i think i'm going to take the skin off the chicken before cooking it next time and use a non-fat yogurt.

Would it be better to sub out the brown rice for maybe sweet potatoes/yams or pumpkin puree? To knock out the higher carb valued rice? or are they just as high in carbs?

I'm going to try your suggestion of 20carbs per lb of jake. So it came out to around 660carbs a day. So i made sure each of his meals is at least 300 carbs if he gets two cups a day.

When I give jake his scoop of home made wet-food he gets very excited probably more so then he did when i fed him raw. I think it has to do with the food carries a smell. the only time jake got super excited when he ate raw was on those rare occasions he got to eat entire steaks for dinner. I've also found he'll eat the beef liver raw if i just cut it up and mix it into the homecooked food. Same with heart and kidney (small amount to see if he would eat them raw) prior to this when feeding raw i had to cook all his organs he wouldn't touch anything but gizzards raw.

It's alright to feed a mix of cooked and raw food right? Jake's food is stored in the freezer and defrosted over night in the fridge. Nothing is left in the fridge for more the 2 days.

Sorry this response is so lengthy. Your input prior was just what i was looking for.


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 5:18pm PST 
Cooked food does smell better. It is fun to clean up the dirty pot too. He gets to, right?

Calcium? If he is mostly getting home cooking he needs it, are you including it? Since Max and your guy are close to the same size he probably needs 1000 mg of calcium and 800 mg of phosphorus a day. The cooked stuff you are giving him is pretty good on phosphorus but might not be enough with egg shell calcium so bone meal with its 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus would work better.

A cup of cooked sweet potato is higher calorie than brown rice! 250 to 219 or so. Sugary stuff too. Yum. Pumpkin is low calorie at about 80 calories a cup. Dogs mostly need veggies and such for the poop firming so low calorie stuff like zucchini, broccoli, cabbage and the like is fine. I would be keeping a food diary of how things go with each recipe, you may find out as I did that some stuff is not okay with him. Max does poorly with rice, wheat and sardines for instance.

Another guideline I got somewhere was a minimum of 1 gram protein per pound of dog even though less is acceptable by AAFCO and NRC standards. On raw Max gets 1.6 or so. On cooked even with serious phosphorus restrictions I could give Sassy 1.5 grams per pound. I would rather give a bit more than that but that is the way it goes.

I actually came to like the smell of cooking liver, I just gave Sassy the teensiest bit in her rice. Never imagined that could happen! As long as you practice safe food handling it should be fine to mix raw and cooked stuff.

I was very surprised at what fat did for Max. He was a life long bile vomit offender on kibble, on high fat raw that is gone. His sticky fly away fur is much shinier and silky on high fat raw. Don't reduce fat too much! Remember the percentage you see on nutritiondata is by calories, in kibble it is by weight. A rough exchange would be to divide by 2, 20% by calories is about 10% by weight.

Keep him at the lower amount for a couple weeks and drop some more calories if he doesn't start losing weight. Drop by losing the rice and high calorie veggies, not meat!

If he is fine eating raw and cooked then it is fine. Just know your dog and feed what works for you!