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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:12 PM
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Default Homemade diet

Pearl is two years old. Ever since she arrived home I have been preparing homemade food for her on a daily basis. I would choose from several sources of proteins such as cooked lean beef, veal, pork, turkey, chicken, duck, lamb and rabbit. I would add one grain; brown rice, barley, tofu, or oats. One or two veges. ( too long to list them all), a vitamin supplement, a calcium supplement, and fish oil.
We always would joke that Pearl ate better than most people. Anyhow, about three months ago Pearl started vomiting regularly. About three or four times a week. One Saturday she vomited up a trace of blood. I took her to the vet right away. After a full exam, x-rays, blood, etc; all came back ok. My vet had suspicions that Pearl was developing food allergies. The Vet placed Pearl on the Hill's W/D diet. It is a weight diet but also used for gastrointestinal disorders. I hated feeding this "grey" canned food to her but I wanted to follow my Vet's instructions.
It has been several weeks now that Pearl has been eating the "grey stuff" and she has not had stomach upset or vomiting. Here is my dilemma; I know the ingredients in the W/D and they are simply gross. I have this huge guilt about feeding my dog this plant cellulose, beet pule, and chicken by-products....ewwwwww. I would love to revert back to the good homemade diet but I would like to prepare it closer to the Hill's diet. That way I know what my dog is eating. Is there such a thing as a dog nutritionist? If so, where can one be found?
I trust my Vet fully, but she does not have any suggestions as to how to replace the Hill's diet with a more natural, organic diet.
Also, since the W/D is a weight loss food, Pearl has lost a few ounces. I asked the Vet about this and she said to feed her a larger portion and more often. So far that has been maintaining her weight.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:37 PM
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Your dog may very well have an allergy to grains, their bodies are not meant to handle grains. Some dogs have allergies to certain meat, too, such as beef (my dog is allergic to beef) or chicken. Is she displaying other issues, such as excessive shedding, itching, very watery eyes?

Please don't feed her cooked food, that's really not healthy for her. I'm not sure why, but I know it's a big no-no because of how dogs bodies work. Raw would be much better (I'm sure one of the girls that knows more about raw will chime in.) If you're interested in raw, there was a recent thread that lays out exactly what to feed each day to meet the meat/bone/organ ratio requirements.

I feed my dog Acana, which is a kibble, and am extremely happy with it. Our dog is a rescue and I've watched him improve immensely since we got him back in June. He used to shed like crazy, his coat was pretty dull, had stinky poops, bad gas.. Now he has none of that and looks/acts much better

Your suspicions for not trusting your vet on dog nutrition is correct, they are usually paid to promote a certain food (Science Diet, for instance.) The girls on this forum are pretty knowledgeable about dog nutrition and also the search feature on this site is AWESOME, it can help you out on finding helpful threads. Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:51 PM
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Cooking food (even heating it to a certain temperature) kills enzymes (which are not replenished by the body, they come from outside food sources).

I would go back to basics with raw feeding as per the articles here, starting out with chicken and then proceeding from there until any specific allergy to meat can be isolated (it's often beef is the problem).

Vegetables are not digested & beneficial enzymes taken out of them unless they're raw and blended.

Alternatively, I would consider getting a 2lb bag of LAMB ZiwiPeak and trying that if you're grossed out by feeding raw meat.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieLass View Post
Cooking food (even heating it to a certain temperature) kills enzymes (which are not replenished by the body, they come from outside food sources).
I thought that's what it was! I couldn't remember if it was right or now, but I was pretty sure it was about the enzymes lol.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:57 PM
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I think I was to do homemade food, I would do raw. From reading posts on here of the people that do raw, it seems to be the best way to go. But if you don't do raw, then maybe a high quality kibble is best.

Another alternative is Ziwi Peak which is freeze dried raw. There are many alterntives. I am sure someone here can advise you better.

I hope all goes well.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:33 PM
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I was wondering about allergies to grains. But looking at the W/D diet, its main ingredient is corn!
In reply to the itchy skin, eyes, etc....she does not have itchiness and her coat is beautiful.

I am hesitant about feeding raw. I have done a lot of reading about the pros and cons of raw feeding. Some claim that salmonella is often a problem with raw diets. And some claim that cooking destroys the enzymes. So it's difficult to say one is correct and one is not. That is why I opted for a cooked diet with organic foods. I was thinking about doing a process of elimination with my cooked diet. First removing beef and seeing how that goes, and so on, The only problem with that is there is a chance for Pearl to become ill again while "testing" the new restricted homemade diet. My Vet says with these tiny babies there is very little margin for sickness. Although a Chi can be tough they have delicate little systems.

Are you all comfortable feeding commercial diets? There seems to be so many recalls and the words by-product on a commercial dog food freaks me out!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:21 PM
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I thought the same thing, there is so much out there that is contradictory with raw but having seen people who feed here first hand with many positive effects and no ill effects I gave it a go. Meat is too expensive here and I worry about getting the right amounts of stuff I feed Ziwipeak and supplement with an evening raw meal. Mylo loves it and his coat is so shiny and silky now. You're obviously willing to put time and expense in so I really would encourage you to go for raw. That way you can start on minimal things like chicken, bone and organs and then add other stuff in slowly until you find what is causing the problems.

There is so many people peddling wrong information about raw either because they've heard or read it somewhere else or they have an invested interest in commercial food. This is what dogs ate in the wild. There are many raw fed dogs on this forum and check out this link Don’t take my word for it tinkerwolf where there are many more and lots of useful links to articles.

I hope you manage to sort out your dog's problems, you sound like a great, very conscientious owner
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:34 PM
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I once fed Lulu a homemade diet for a very short time in which she developed a terrible allergy to chicken and she was never satisfied/always hungry. Before that when I didn't know any better I also fed her a poor quality kibble that was touted as great quality #1 vet approved. There is salmonella in items like chicken in a raw diet, but a dog's digestive system is such that salmonella is not a problem for them. Cooking their food does destoy vitamins and enzymes therefore certain things must be added to their diet to compensate. I personally did not attempt to figure out what needed to be added to compensate because I was afraid that I would accidentally do irrepairable damage to her based on my researched which said an incorrectly done homemade diet is the worst diet to feed a dog-even worst than a 1 star dog food. All that said, I admire those that can feed raw-I cannot. I just cannot bring myself to hand Lulu a chicken wing to munch on as much as I would like to (alergy aside) because I have a debilitating fear she will choke on it in front of me and I will not be able to help her. I feed her Ziwi Peak. It is dehydrated raw. For me it is the best of all worlds and one of the greatest foods available. Go to their website and study their ingredients. Dee suggested Lamb--I feed Venison--either is good. I would not feed grains at all, and as far as vegetables, it is said they must be pureered to be any nutrional value because of dog's short digestive system. I feed Lulu the occasional baby carrot or green bean for treat, and I don't puree, but I'm not looking to do anything but treat. The short of all this is...my opinion--stop the homemade diet and change to either raw, Ziwi Peak or a frieze-dried raw or 5-star kibble.
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