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When our baby boy comes home, I want to switch him from Fromm's Gold Puppy to Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused. I will let him eat the Fromm's for the first month and then slowly add Merrick in increments.

I've read that grain free diets are known for causing heart problems.

What do you think about grain free diets for dogs?
 

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I’ve had the NutriScan tests done on both my dogs and avoid the foods that they’ve shown a sensitivity to. On a gut level (pun intended) I think that rotating foods makes sense. One person who recommended food rotation said that she varies both protein source and manufacturer. My breeder doesn’t advocate grain-free, however, I’ve fed both kinds, with and without grain, of the brand that she prefers (Fromm). Some brands that are rated highly by dog food advisor didn’t agree with my dogs’ systems. My vet provided a home-made recipe for my girl who had surgery for a bladder stone — sometimes I feed that, but not always.

Sorry, it’s not an answer to your question, just how I feed my dogs.
 

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I do not think grains are inherently bad for us or for dogs. They are a source of dietary fiber that can help maintain regularity and are an important source of carbohydrate energy (calories) which if there is an insufficiency of can result in muscle being metabolized if the dog is already on the lean side and not getting sufficient calories. As noted above one can do a NutriScan analysis to determine what foods are not good choices for a particular dog and which foods are going to be good. For our three dogs we got a very mixed bag set of things that were tolerable as carb sources (two shouldn't eat oats (boys), one shouldn't eat corn (Lily) and GSD shouldn't eat peas or legumes, etc). Wheat was the one carb source that all three of them were good for so they all get meals that include whole grain wheat pasta as one of the main components (I home cook).
 

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I don’t like grain free and I don’t like foods with too much proteins. I’ve tried the best brands but my dogs just don’t do as well on those.

I like more traditional dog food, with good grade ingredients only though, not like the Pedigree stuff or other...
 

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I am one of those who rotates. I have fed Milo grain free, regular stuff, change protein, done kibble,raw and cooked. In turn, I feel because he was exposed to many food when he was a pup, so he has a iron tummy.right now he is on raw and acana. A few months back, it was Fromm, he also has had merrick and wellness. I buy the small bag, since I rotate the protein so it’s a bit more expensive but it takes him a while to finish it since we don’t stick to just kibble. He is also fed canned at times.

However for a young pup. If you plan to feed him mostly kibble, stay on kibble for at least 6 months, or dare I say 1 year. Puppies are smart, once you give them the good stuff like canned or raw, good luck in getting them to eat dry kibble. :aetsch:
 

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I cook for my two, and for the cats. I don't feed them much carbohydrate - when each meal is a heaped tablespoonful I feel it needs to be as nutrient rich as possible, and such carbs as they get are mainly things like sweet potato, etc. If I were feeding a large poodle in a cold climate, needing many more calories than my two tinies, I think I would be cooking to a very different recipe though.

I also think grain free is a fad - the grain is usually simply replaced by some other cheap bulking agent like potatoes or legumes, which are quite possibly problematic for some dogs. Most dogs will thrive on a wide range of foods, provided they meet basic nutritional standards, and there is a lot to be said for getting them used to eating different foods, especially things you have in the cupboard or can buy anywhere. Many is the time we have fallen back on scrambled eggs or a tin of sardines in an emergency or when travelling.
 

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My little guy is 8 months old and on Origen puppy but I'm hoping, thinking of going home cooked, not raw for him in a few months or at least rotating between high end kibble and home cooked supplementation.
Would any of you be willing to share recipes or should I buy a book somewhere? I just feel too inexperienced in determining if he will get all the nutrients he needs if I don't rely on others who have had success in feeding this way.
 

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I have found the information on DogAware.com: Diet & Health Info for Man's Best Friend reliable and helpful. Many of the books of recipes out there either rely on adding commercial blends of vitamins etc or miss out essential nutrients - the recipes are often fine for an occasional treat but not suitable as a regular diet.

I use a minced (ground) meat specially designed for animals, with 80% muscle, 10% organs and 10% ground bone. I then add up to 20% vegetables by weight, trying to include something orange (carrot, sweet potato), a small quantity of green leafy vegetable (too much gives my two diarrhoea), and some green beans (because they particularly like them). I gently simmer the meat in plenty of water, and cook the veg with a little meat to flavour it until it is very soft, then the dogs get a measured portion of meat and vegetables and the cats get meat with some of the vegetable gravy and a pinch of taurine powder just in case (they leave any actual vegetables unless they are very well mixed in). I buy minced chicken, rabbit and beef and salmon chunks on a regular basis, and occasionally use lamb as well, although that tends to be very high in fat. Sophy can't tolerate turkey so I avoid that. I also give them occasional meals of raw chicken wings, tinned sardines, scrambled eggs, chicken scraps carefully checked for bones, etc. No onions or added salt.

You can safely supplement a good quality kibble with around 10% home made without worrying too much about it being completely balanced. I would try some chicken thighs (dark meat is more nutritious then breast) with a few green and orange vegetables. Remove any excess fat from the chicken but leave the skin on, and simmer with the vegetables until it is all very well cooked. Then remove all the bones and use, with the broth, as a topper for kibble. Not too fatty ground beef can be substituted for the chicken, or any other reasonably lean meat on offer locally. If the dog doesn't like it (extremely unlikely) you have the basis for an excellent soup for yourself!
 

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fjm, your recipe sounds good enough for me to eat! Yes, the vet-provided home cooked recipe to help prevent further bladder stones isn't ideal (though it came from a text book): protein (I use salmon), rice (dog is reactive to quinoa so can't substitute here), egg, oil (can be omitted for caloric reasons), salt substitute, brewer's yeast, bone meal, and a crushed dog vitamin.

Sounds like there are useful sources for meat in your area. Where does the minced beef come from? My super-reactive dog can only have lamb and beef (and peanuts!). No turkey, chicken, rabbit, venison. :eek:hwell:

For myself I prefer to obtain the vitamins from the food rather than a pill. Would be nice to provide that to my dogs as well.
 

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fjm, your recipe sounds good enough for me to eat! Yes, the vet-provided home cooked recipe to help prevent further bladder stones isn't ideal (though it came from a text book): protein (I use salmon), rice (dog is reactive to quinoa so can't substitute here), egg, oil (can be omitted for caloric reasons), salt substitute, brewer's yeast, bone meal, and a crushed dog vitamin.

Sounds like there are useful sources for meat in your area. Where does the minced beef come from? My super-reactive dog can only have lamb and beef (and peanuts!). No turkey, chicken, rabbit, venison. :eek:hwell:

For myself I prefer to obtain the vitamins from the food rather than a pill. Would be nice to provide that to my dogs as well.
i think if you can get minced meat from pet store. in canada, i think "big country raw" is one of the major player in pet raw food. but you can also do it yourself. i use medium ground beef, sometimes lean, whatever is on sale and buy organ meat separately. you can find a wider variety of organ meat from asian or ethnic store. i sometimes give this mix raw with a few blueberries or cook it with a bunch of other things. i do make a batch and freeze them in pre-measured amount. i find this super easy since i can just take one patty out and thaw at room temp or in the fridge for feeding.
 

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My mince comes from a company called Durham Animal Feeds, which does fortnightly refrigerated deliveries across much of the UK - I bought a small chest freezer for the garage so that I can bulk buy. All their meat is human-grade, and they do quite a lot of free range - most UK beef is grass reared in the summer months. I do buy meat locally as well, but it is important to ensure the calcium balance is right if you don't feed raw bones and the ground bone in the pet mince takes care of that. You do need to be careful giving cooked bones, even when ground, which is why I simmer it gently in plenty of water.

Sorry OP - didn't mean to hijack your thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am one of those who rotates. I have fed Milo grain free, regular stuff, change protein, done kibble,raw and cooked. In turn, I feel because he was exposed to many food when he was a pup, so he has a iron tummy.right now he is on raw and acana. A few months back, it was Fromm, he also has had merrick and wellness. I buy the small bag, since I rotate the protein so it’s a bit more expensive but it takes him a while to finish it since we don’t stick to just kibble. He is also fed canned at times.

However for a young pup. If you plan to feed him mostly kibble, stay on kibble for at least 6 months, or dare I say 1 year. Puppies are smart, once you give them the good stuff like canned or raw, good luck in getting them to eat dry kibble. :aetsch:
I was going to mix kibble and canned but my breeder said that my puppy would just eat the canned and leave the kibble. :)

The kibble I may switch to has freeze dried raw in it but I can always grind up those pieces so that Clark can't pick them out.
 

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I was just going to ask where you got the pre-prepared meat but seems it was already answered. Next question, how do you know what amount to feed/freeze? That would be perfect for me working! Right now I measure the kibble (Origen puppy) morning and night.
 

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Asuk that is a really handy summary on how to get nutritionally complete and calorically adequate food into your dog's bowl.
 
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