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Discussion Starter #21
Sorry for taking this thread in a slightly different direction, but it seems like you all are already headed in a direction I'd like to go. SpinningBunnyFluff, I can identify with feeling overwhelmed. LOL!
I completely get it. I purchased a pamphlet on Monica Segal's site that provides the information needed to be able to build a balanced diet for a dog. Unfortunately while this would have been doable if it was just a matter of building a balanced diet, trying to figure out how to build and implement it while ensuring that I'm not using anything to which Snow is sensitive was just too much. So in the end I gave one more dry food a try and when it became clear that he's sensitive to it as well, elected to spend the extra money to have Monica build the diet for me and walk me through implementation. She and Jory are currently working on putting together a plan, and I expect we'll be starting soon.

If you're interested, she also has a Puppy Consultation that is a bit more expensive but provides support until the dog turns 12 months old.

So far I've been pretty impressed with the process, but given that we haven't actually started implementing the diet yet these are still early impressions.
 

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I completely get it. I purchased a pamphlet on Monica Segal's site that provides the information needed to be able to build a balanced diet for a dog. Unfortunately while this would have been doable if it was just a matter of building a balanced diet, trying to figure out how to build and implement it while ensuring that I'm not using anything to which Snow is sensitive was just too much. So in the end I gave one more dry food a try and when it became clear that he's sensitive to it as well, elected to spend the extra money to have Monica build the diet for me and walk me through implementation. She and Jory are currently working on putting together a plan, and I expect we'll be starting soon.



If you're interested, she also has a Puppy Consultation that is a bit more expensive but provides support until the dog turns 12 months old.



So far I've been pretty impressed with the process, but given that we haven't actually started implementing the diet yet these are still early impressions.
Thank you, SpinningBunnyFluff!
I will certainly check it out!

I was getting discouraged. I would rather have recipes that were designed specifically for a puppy's nutritional needs. I also need to call and question the company that makes the gently cooked puppy fare to be sure they are providing a food I can trust. Either way, it looks like I'm still on the hunt. I'm not giving up yet.

I admire your persistence and willingness to help Snow. He has a very good mom. Thanks for sharing what you've learned so far. I hope you'll continue to update us on his progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I received the beginning instructions for Snow's cooked diet last week and started transitioning him yesterday. Should take about a week for him to be fully switched to the new diet. Fingers crossed for improvement.

I also determined that I refuse to cook a week's worth of rice for Snow on the stove top, and ordered a Instant Pot 8 Quart. This should easily allow me to cook two weeks of rice for him at a time and be MUCH less mess to clean up after. Cooking two different batches of ground meat was much less of an issue.
 

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I received the beginning instructions for Snow's cooked diet last week and started transitioning him yesterday. Should take about a week for him to be fully switched to the new diet. Fingers crossed for improvement.



I also determined that I refuse to cook a week's worth of rice for Snow on the stove top, and ordered a Instant Pot 8 Quart. This should easily allow me to cook two weeks of rice for him at a time and be MUCH less mess to clean up after. Cooking two different batches of ground meat was much less of an issue.
That is great! I have wondered if the instant pot is really a good investment. It sounds like a time saver. Please keep us posted on how he does!
 

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As an FYI when I switched our dogs from kibble to home cooked we went cold turkey with no problems. I'm not sure how important a gradual transition is. I am glad you are finding a way to fix your pup's tummy problems.
 

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As an FYI when I switched our dogs from kibble to home cooked we went cold turkey with no problems. I'm not sure how important a gradual transition is. I am glad you are finding a way to fix your pup's tummy problems.
I'm following the directions that I was given to transition him over the course of a week. I'd probably be transitioning him more quickly, if I was doing this on my own.
 

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..... article does nothing to alleviate my worry about the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals. It basically represents the meat industry's attempt to say that everything is OK. But it does not even mention the concern about human health being impacted by resistance to antibiotics that is caused by routine use of antibiotics in the feed of farm animals -- fed in their feed, not because they are sick.

A lot has been written about this and about the need to pass legislation that prevents the routine use of antibiotics in healthy farm animals.

Here is just one article:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4638249/
[/COLOR]
I have been reading up on this too. I guess I should be happy that China uses more antibiotics in chicken than the US does, but it is not really making me feel better. Europe is so far ahead of the US in health protection, which makes no sense to me.

The US has prohibited the use of a few antibiotics in chickens.

Apparently the antibiotics given a lot of chickens in the US (tetracycline and related) end up in their bones and are still there when butchered, although apparently it has mostly left their muscle meat by then. This is worrisome as the bones end up in a lot of kibble, in raw diets, in bone meal supplements, etc.

https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/94/8/1979/1530907

"This result suggests potential human and animal health risks due to the entry of tetracycline residues contained in the bones of treated livestock into the food-chain. This could be of concern, particularly for canine and feline diets, as meat, bone meal, and poultry by-products represent some of the main ingredients of pet foods, especially in the case of dry pet food."

I just became aware of this info about chicken bones. Apparently you have to look for labeling of 'no antibiotics ever', or 'raised without antibiotics'. Other wording may sound good but shows that they may have been used at some point and in feed. https://www.consumerreports.org/overuse-of-antibiotics/what-no-antibiotic-claims-really-mean/

So I searched for a list of chicken brands raised without antibiotics and found a site that listed companies that 'limited' antibiotics. Unfortunately when I looked at each individually they weren't completely free and I gave up looking after a few. But am still looking for a list that has used none, from inception.

I will be contacting the companies of chicken available in my local stores to see what they say.

I am hoping that by now there are more companies doing this!

I know local farmers who do not use antibiotics, and are letting their chickens run free and forage, but their chickens are $4 per pound and over and I just can't afford that!
 

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That is great! I have wondered if the instant pot is really a good investment. It sounds like a time saver. Please keep us posted on how he does!
Dramama, I have not one but two instant pots. I was hesitant to buy the first one because I had never used a pressure cooler and was scared of them. I took a chance on the instant pot because it had many options for cooking. I found I was using it so much and there were times I wished I had a second one instead of having to wait while one thing finished cooking before starting the next. I watched the sales for a good price and bought a second. I’ve found that I can cook grains in large batches and store them in the fridge and then reheat what I need.....or they freeze wonderfully.

While the instant pot does save time cooking something like beans that are not presoaked, it’s simplifies other cooking. Some foods, like steel cut oatmeal need to be babysat at the beginning, watched carefully so they are boiling, but not boiling over and making a mess of the stove.....then you can turn the heat down and walk away while they cook but you have to come back and turn the stove off when they are cooked. With the instant pot, I put water and steel cut oatmeal in, put the lid on. I chose the cooking setting then walk away. I don’t have to babysit nor do I have to come back at a set time when it’s done. No worries about spilling over and making a mess. The machine after cooking goes into a keep warm mode so I can come back at any time.

For dog food it’s wonderful if you can batch cook large amounts and freeze in the volume you need.

Also when I switched both my tpoo and current minipoo to home cooked food, I didn’t transition slowly. I did it immediately because the commercial food was making them both ill (tpoo had pancreatitis and minipoo had ulcerative colitis and food allergies/intolerances) giving them serious digestive issues. I would have transitioned slowly if the previous food was not causing any problems. In my situation the home cooking was like an antibiotic that I wanted the dog on as quickly as possible and at an effective dose. In both cases home cooking put digestive problems into remission quickly and effectively.
 

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Dramama, I have not one but two instant pots. I was hesitant to buy the first one because I had never used a pressure cooler and was scared of them. I took a chance on the instant pot because it had many options for cooking. I found I was using it so much and there were times I wished I had a second one instead of having to wait while one thing finished cooking before starting the next. I watched the sales for a good price and bought a second. I’ve found that I can cook grains in large batches and store them in the fridge and then reheat what I need.....or they freeze wonderfully.

While the instant pot does save time cooking something like beans that are not presoaked, it’s simplifies other cooking. Some foods, like steel cut oatmeal need to be babysat at the beginning, watched carefully so they are boiling, but not boiling over and making a mess of the stove.....then you can turn the heat down and walk away while they cook but you have to come back and turn the stove off when they are cooked. With the instant pot, I put water and steel cut oatmeal in, put the lid on. I chose the cooking setting then walk away. I don’t have to babysit nor do I have to come back at a set time when it’s done. No worries about spilling over and making a mess. The machine after cooking goes into a keep warm mode so I can come back at any time.

For dog food it’s wonderful if you can batch cook large amounts and freeze in the volume you need.

Also when I switched both my tpoo and current minipoo to home cooked food, I didn’t transition slowly. I did it immediately because the commercial food was making them both ill (tpoo had pancreatitis and minipoo had ulcerative colitis and food allergies/intolerances) giving them serious digestive issues. I would have transitioned slowly if the previous food was not causing any problems. In my situation the home cooking was like an antibiotic that I wanted the dog on as quickly as possible and at an effective dose. In both cases home cooking put digestive problems into remission quickly and effectively.
Thank you, Skylar! I had originally passed it off as a fad, but your description helped me to understand the full benefit. The hardest part of cooking is babysitting, not throwing it together. Do you have a particular model you recommend? (Not just for dog food, but general use)
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thank you, Skylar! I had originally passed it off as a fad, but your description helped me to understand the full benefit. The hardest part of cooking is babysitting, not throwing it together. Do you have a particular model you recommend? (Not just for dog food, but general use)
I also have two instant pots with the arrival of the newest one for large batch rice cooking. Both of mine are the Duo which is the 7-in-1 cooker (seven pre-programmed functions). My recommendation is to compare the built in features that come with the various models and decide which one has all the functions that you want/need and the least number of extras you're unlikely to use.

The next choice is the size. If you're only cooking for 1-2 people then the 3 quart is probably enough. For a family of 4 or large batches to make ahead and freeze for your dogs, you might want to look at the 6 quart. The price difference to move to the 8 quart isn't that big for the duo, so I spent the little bit more for extra flexibility. One other factor that may sway your choice is that there are more accessories available for the 6 and 8 quart. If you want to be able to use these extra accessories, then you'll want to go for one of the larger versions.

I would recommend getting 2nd steel inner pot right away, as it allows you to cook a second batch while you're washing the first one or using it to store leftovers. If the pot you choose doesn't come with the glass lid and you want to be able to use it as a slow cooker, then the glass lid is another thing to get right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Sooo... trying to make the switch has been way less than smooth. A week in with Snow fully on the fresh cooked, he had his annual checkup and it was determined that he had a yeast infection in both ears and a spot on his butt that was already irritated and had been worsened due to concussive forces every time he sits down, and because it was so swollen it had probably gotten infected as well.

At two weeks in, first full week on only cooked food AND ointment to treat his ears plus antibiotics for his butt... and he started having increased incidents of stomach issues, weight loss and inconclusive results on his itchiness. Given that we couldn't determine whether it was the medicine or the food that was causing his issues, I was instructed to transition him back to dry food and retry the transition after he's done with the antibiotics. Sigh.

So back on dry and poised to try again next week. Arg! What a problem child he is. So I repeat, it's a good thing I love him so much!
 

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You are aware that cooking destroys the enzymes in meat?
With home cooking at least it is not as bad as with kibble which is at very high heat. This does make a big difference with food sensitivities. So for example, a dog may react to chicken in kibble that has been cooked to death, but be fine with top quality fresh raw organic chicken with zero antibiotics.
 

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It doesn't matter that enzymes are destroyed (denatured) by cooking since they will be destroyed in the acid environment of the stomach anyway. By cooking foods generally nutrients become more readily accessed not less so.


I think your dog may have food intolerances or sensitivities ("allergies"). For many dogs these issues manifest as ear problems such as excessive wax, moisture, infections and such. Before trying to go back to your home cooked diet I really really strongly recommend doing a NutriScan analysis. Since you are making your diet change to deal with a health issue, most insurance plans (if you have) will pay for at least part of that testing.
 

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lily cd re i'm looking forward to seeing your recipe when your BF peels himself from the computer. :wink: our puppy is arriving in less that 2 weeks and i'm freaking out about the health benefits of home-cooked food vs my ability to keep it up.

i found this recipe and it seems simple compared with most. it doesn't say anything about cooking the food, though, which i think is a good idea. anyone have an opinion about it? thx!

14 oz 90% lean ground beef
2 tsp hempseed oil or 3 T ground hempseeds
1/2 tsp Carlson's cod liver oil or 2 oz sardines
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 – 1/2 kelp powder
(they didn't say what measurement is kind of measurement 1/4 to 1/2 is)
1 egg
1/2 eggshell
1 oz beef liver
1 oz broccoli
1 oz red bell pepper
1 oz spinach

makes about 1 lb food for an adult dog.
contains 40 calories per ounce.
amount of food to feed depends on age, activity level and metabolic health.
 

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to tell you the truth, knotiki, i'm not sure if it is a raw or cooked recipe. i saw it online somewhere and i did a partial screen capture of the recipe and put it in a folder on my computer. i mentioned that i didn't know if it was raw or cooked because i realize there is an ongoing conversation surrounding that subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I've received an updated plan to start this coming weekend as Snow finishes off his antibiotics. The beef has been cut out and the Turkey and Rice increased to raise the overall calories with lower fat content. Fingers crossed that this goes better.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Well we're 6 days into the second try at switching Snow over to a cooked diet. This time we're going with just Turkey and Rice to start. So far it seems to being going well, but tonight will be the first day with no kibble. I've got all the supplements on hand and ready to start being added in stages.

I made another change which is really helping ensure that he isn't adding things to his diet that shouldn't be included. I installed a gate between the main living area and the diningroom/kitchen area. So no more raiding the kitchen trash for anything that smells tasty. Such a small change but it has made it so much more relaxing not having to constantly police where and how far he's roaming in the house. It's so lovely that he doesn't even think about trying to jump over low fences and gates. He could quite literally hop over if he wanted!!
 

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lily cd re i'm looking forward to seeing your recipe when your BF peels himself from the computer. :wink: our puppy is arriving in less that 2 weeks and i'm freaking out about the health benefits of home-cooked food vs my ability to keep it up.

Jacqueline I didn't notice until today that you were also interested in my recipe. I'm sorry for the delay. I did PM it to one person who asked, but didn't post it here, my bad.


Here it is.


FOR A 45 POUND DOG PER DAY (divide into two portions)

8 oz chicken (I use boneless, skinless legs and thighs from Costco and sometimes add chicken hearts)
0.75 cup macaroni (I use whole grain rotini or penne)
4 chicken livers
3 teaspoons bone meal
2 scoops (scoop being 1/8 tsp.) kelp powder
3 cups spinach (I use bagged organic mixed spinach, kale and chards from Costco and grind it with water in a nutribullet)_
0.5 teaspoon canola oil
0.5 tsp cod liver or other fish oil (I use mega red krill oil)

For changes, if you eliminate the cod liver oil, the recipe provides 0% of the daily recommended serving of Vitamin D. You could replace it with a vitamin D supplement. This is what I have done.

Eliminating the liver and replacing it with chicken meat makes the recipe low in Copper, Zinc, Selenium, B5, B12, and Choline. I have not found a replacement yet, but you might be able to.

Of course, you can replace the fish oil with another omega 3 source.

The recipe is for 1083 calories of food, it's one day’s food for a hypothetical 45lb dog.

The kelp powder, a scoop is 1/8 teaspoon, so it's really tiny. If you are substituting Vitamin D for the cod liver oil, you'd need 200 IU per day for that amount of food.
 
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