|Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 12:33am PST |
|You have to watch very closely to see any problems and there might not be any issues even if the diet is low in something or another. They probably would just be better with all the t's crossed and i's dotted. A little happier and content most likely. Max's fur is blacker and denser when he gets his manganese and magnesium, sort of a minor subjective change. Work through the steps in Sedona's thread and try to get closer bit by bit to what we know dogs need.
Don't worry about getting it perfect right away, you will learn more and switch things just a little at a time the way you have been. If you work with what you have been doing then small changes with each batch won't be a huge change for the dogs which can cause upset tummies. This week you increased B vitamins, zinc and calcium and meat, next week you may find a good source of iron or copper to add in and settle on how much zinc and calcium to add and the week after decide that a different combination of veggies is lower in purines. Then you may figure out that something else is low or high and switch around a bit. Meanwhile the dogs are happy campers unless they start getting chunky and you cut the rations back!
That was a big change, you went from 3/10 meat to 1/2 meat. Did the food smell good cooking even without all the herbs and spices? We always wanted chicken soup for dinner when I cooked for Sassy, plain food is good too. Do try herbs and spices but consider cost and nutrient value. There are very few foods dogs cannot have. Nutmeg, macadamia nuts, onions, lots of garlic, grapes, chocolate and xylitol off hand. Some of them may be good additions to the diet and some be expensive and not important.
The food you are making is likely more concentrated in calories than kibble or canned food. If you want the dogs to weigh 50 pounds then this week give them 2 cups of food a day total, if 75 pounds then go for 3 cups a day. Then check their condition and feed more or less depending on how they did. Sassy could drop serious weight in a day of heavy work, you may notice changes faster than a week too.
Max got super fat on home cooking. I gave him 2 cups a day when he needed 1.5 cups a day as a 33 pound adult dog. His silly flippy fur hid the evidence and I didn't buy an accurate scale. He ended up with a table top back and skin that was taut like a sausage casing even though he still had a nice looking tuck. This happened over a few months and took over a year to take off.
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