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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I can't decide what book to get if I want to try home cooking for Buster. So I'm taking a poll. Please vote for your favorite one from the list below.

A. Better food for dogs by David Bastin

B. Home-prepared dog & cat diets by Donald Strombeck

C. Natural food recipes for healthy dogs by Carol Boyle

D. Dr. Pitcairns complete guide to natural health for dogs & cats

E. Other, not listed

Thank you, I'll tally the votes in a couple of days to see who wins.
 

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i got A. and B. AND i bought Barkers Grub. i took a little from all three and made my own thing.
 

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Some good advice from Drs. Foster and Smith for anyone thinking about switching to a homecooked diet.

Homemade Diets
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

The vast majority of dogs and cats in this country are fed commercial dry kibble or canned food as the sole source of their calories and nutrition. Since the 1940s, preprocessed commercial foods have become so commonplace that most people would find feeding anything other than dry kibble or canned food very unusual or abnormal. This article will explore the pros and cons of a homemade diet.

Why would someone feed a homemade diet?

There are several reasons why people feed homemade diets. Some people have pets with special dietary requirements that may be hard to meet with commercial foods, such as food allergies or to support a pet with a serious medical condition that may affect the appetite. Some people feed a homemade diet because they want a source of nutrition that is free from the by-products, chemical additives, and processing found in many commercial foods. A third group of animals that may be fed homemade diets are performance dogs such as sled dogs, since they require very high amounts of fat and protein that cannot be met by many commercial diets.

Why doesn't everyone feed a homemade diet?

People do not feed a homemade diet because for most of us it is too much work and most pets do well on commercial diets. It is also difficult to keep up with the new information on pet nutrition. The fact is that pets live longer now than ever before and a lot of that is due to improved nutrition, mainly, commercially prepared diets. In fact, pets do so well on commercially prepared diets, that by far, the single biggest nutritional problem veterinarians see is obesity in pets. Commercial diets have the benefits of affordability and convenience.

The three kinds of homemade diets

There are basically three different kinds of homemade diets being fed. The first is the true, well-balanced, nutritiously complete, entirely homemade diet. This diet contains premium protein sources, a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber and meets the animal's entire vitamin and mineral needs. People that feed this diet are truly dedicated to the health of their pet. This type of diet requires a commitment of time and money.

The second diet is the supplemented homemade diet. It usually consists of a commercial dry food, and the owner then supplements the diet with meat and some carbohydrate sources. The family leftovers usually get scraped into the pet's bowl. If the table scraps account for more than 10% of the diet, imbalances can occur.

The third type of homemade diet is the one where the owners feed their pet only table food and do not balance the diet for protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins. This is not a good diet for your pet. It is often fed to finicky eaters. In an effort to please the pet and to get them to eat, the owner prepares a 'special' diet that may consist of chicken breast or turkey but lacks fiber, and the correct vitamins and minerals.

Some things to consider before feeding a homemade diet

Preparing a homemade diet takes more time.

A homemade diet may be more expensive than commercial kibble.

A homemade diet needs to be supplemented with a multivitamin to ensure that it is completely balanced. Other supplements such as fatty acids and antioxidants may need to be added.

As we learn more about nutrition, recommendations for nutrients change. People feeding a homemade diet will need to keep current on the new information. What was considered a balanced diet 5 years ago, may not be balanced by today's standards.

If a homemade diet is not properly balanced it can be worse for your pet than commercial diets.

Careful attention to the cooking and storing of homemade diets is necessary to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

Once a pet gets used to eating a homemade diet it will be difficult to return him to eating a commercial food.

Homemade diets are often soft and do not provide the chewing action that is good for the teeth and gums.

If you are going to try to feed a homemade diet, you need to switch your pet from the commercial diet to the homemade diet slowly over a period of three weeks to prevent intestinal upset.

The best diet in the world will not improve your pet's health if he does not receive daily exercise.
 

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I have,B & D I have been homecooking for about 3 weeks now.I do not think I will ever go back to the other. If you decide to homecook,make sure you follow the recomendtaions on vit. and supp.I thought I had posted on this thread but when I came back to follow it I cant find my post
LOL Oh I use some of the recipies in D but I cook them,just cant bring myself to do the raw feeding
 

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ladysmom is right...its pretty time consuming and expensive.

BUT...once you read what they say about dog kibble...you'll definitely want to do a homecooked diet.

i've said this before....add a cup of water to your dogs food...and see what floats up. i used to feed nutro max puppy---and i saw HAIR and FUR! it was sick.

ask people here how much they spend on feeding their dogs. including gruffi (who eats over a pound of meat everyday) we spend around $200-300/month.
 

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I'm kinda poor right now because of college, but as soon as my butt is out of school and making some money, I may switch them to homecooked meals. Sometimes, as a treat, I like to feed them chicken, fruits, veggies, rice or pasta and crunched up some of their kibble all in a bowl. Or sometimes, I may only add fruits in their kibble. Makes me feel good. hehehe Doesn't take alot to make our babies happy.

I AM SOOOOOO RAMBLING!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK ,B. wins--Donald Strombecks book Better Food for Dogs. I'll get that one first and then go from there. Don't worry Ladysmom I plan to study the supplements, and vitamins to make sure its healthy.
 

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It does take me a couple hours to make a 3 1/2 week supply of Pico's home cooked diet but it doesn't cost any more than the Science Diet l/D at $2 a can!

He still eats a bit of the kibble at night but he get 2 1/2 oz of home cooked diet, plus 3/4 tsp of cottage cheese and 3/4 tsp of cultured yogurt, both low-fat varieties. He likes to crunch the kibble around 9 p.m., always has and I think it's good for a late snack to crunch the soft food off his teeth before I "brush" them.

I poach chicken breasts, steam veggies, bake sweet potatoe, cook oatmeal, boil eggs then grind the chicken in the food processor, then the veggies, then the eggs. I weigh out the proper amounts of each ingredient and then mix up two batches....one with broccoli and cauliflower and one with sweet potatoe and canned pumpkin. Into each batch I put 1 3/4 tsp of powdered calcium carbonate and mix well.

I measure out 2 1/2 oz (scant 1/4 cup) into plastic snack bags, flatten them out and then put them in large freezer bags. I just take out one each day, alternating the two recipes, and feed him 1/2 a lunch and 1/2 at dinner, adding cottage cheese at lunch and yoghurt at dinner. I keep 10-15 pieces of kibble in his dish at all times but he normally only munches on those at night before bedtime. Don't ask me why.

It is so worth the time to see him enjoy eating for a change. He never really liked the canned l/d and often left it for so long, I had to throw it out and give him fresh.

By the way, he's gained 2 ounces since I started home cooking. I'm keeping an eye on his weight because I want to make sure I'm feeding him the right amount without him losing weight or gaining too much.
 

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I'm just starting to learn about this now, so this question may be totally off-base. That said, is it really necessary to achieve a perfect balance of nutrients? The food most of us eat isn't a perfect blend of nutrients, so why would dog food be any different? And I'm sure that in the wild, animals don't get a perfect nutritional formula. Will our dogs really have their health affected if they don't get a perfect mix of vitamins and minerals, etc. at each meal? I would think that with a variety of healthy foods they would get their needs met. It seems like most pet food is basically by-products with a vitamin supplement.

The main reason I'm questioning this concept is that it seems like something the commercial pet food producers came up with to scare us out of home cooking.

That said, I did order Dr. Pitcairn's book and I plan to read up on this issue. I'm a vegetarian, and the thought of cooking meat in my kitchen really bothers me, but I want what's best for Dolce, so I might have to overcome that.
 

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Originally posted by dolcevita@Aug 29 2005, 01:11 PM
I'm just starting to learn about this now, so this question may be totally off-base.  That said, is it really necessary to achieve a perfect balance of nutrients?  The food most of us eat isn't a perfect blend of nutrients, so why would dog food be any different?  And I'm sure that in the wild, animals don't get a perfect nutritional formula.  Will our dogs really have their health affected if they don't get a perfect mix of vitamins and minerals, etc. at each meal?  I would think that with a variety of healthy foods they would get their needs met.  It seems like most pet food is basically by-products with a vitamin supplement.

The main reason I'm questioning this concept is that it seems like something the commercial pet food producers came up with to scare us out of home cooking. 

That said, I did order Dr. Pitcairn's book and I plan to read up on this issue.  I'm a vegetarian, and the thought of cooking meat in my kitchen really bothers me, but I want what's best for Dolce, so I might have to overcome that.
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There are some vegetarian recipes in both Pitcairn's book and Strombeck's book. I think it is necessary to try to give them as balanced a diet as possiblem. In the long term it is very important. Both books have balanced diets so you would just have to follow the recipes and then divide the recipe into portion sizes. It really is not as hard as it seems. One thing that has helped me is to get organized. I figure out what I'm going to make ahead of time and make sure I have everything I need. I then make up all the rice, meat, etc. ahead of time and divide them into the amounts I need. I then place the different amounts in different containers. That way I just dump all the stuff for the recipe into a bowl and mix. Most of the stuff you can have cooking while I'm watching TV or preparing something else. If you have any questions feel free to PM me. I can try to answer what I can. I've only been doing it for a little over a week.
 

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Oh, just wanted to let everyone know there is a new version of Dr. Pitcairn's book out. It just came out this month. If you don't want to pay shipping you can check at your local B&N and if they don't have it they can "order" it for you. You are not required to buy it when it comes in and you don't have to pay any shipping on it.
 
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