Are you just as confused as other pet parents when it comes to deciding what to feed your canine companion? Don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Alex, our first dog, ate mostly kibble til she got to be about 10 years old or so. Because I saw how much her mobility was declining, after doing some research I ended up mixing kibble and fresh food. Result: within days she was moving around without a problem. Seeing this made me, depending on the dog, mix fresh food and kibble and so this is what Abby and Charlie usually get:
Abby gets, depending on the level of activity planned for that day, about 1/2 cup of kibble and 2 cups of fresh food for the day. Once every blue moon, she gets a little bit of wet food. She weighs about 30lbs.
Charlie gets about 1 cup of kibble and 2 1/2 of fresh food for the day. He weighs about 70lbs.
When I fed them only kibble, Abby’s tush stunk and she did #2 often-more than twice a day-and her mouth smelled, while Charlie’s #2 was too soft and he licked his butt like crazy.
Through trial and error, I figured out what worked best for my dogs and that is a mix of fresh food and kibble. I’d suggest you do some research-books, nutritionist, other pet parents-and slowly see what works for your dog. Just like humans, what works for one person may not work for another. Feed what’s best for your canine companion and don’t forget to take her out for a walk. Stay safe.
About a month or two ago, I noticed that Abby smelled a bit fishy so I took her to the vet to have her anal glands expressed, and I took that opportunity to ask questions about what to do in order to prevent this from happening again. What was the answer? This, “Nothing. Just bringer over whenever she needs to get her anal glands expressed.” Well, that was the last time I took Abby to Banfield. When I work with pet parents and their dogs, I give them not only the tools and knowledge they need to get a balanced dog, but more important I give them a long list of the things they need to do and avoid in order to prevent unwanted behavior before it happens.
Fiber, for a dog like Abby, is very important and so with that in mind this is what she had for breakfast:
1/2 cup of kibble. This is the only amount of kibble she eats for the entire day
2 1/2 tablespoon of oatmeal
1 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla yogurt
1/2 teaspoon of oil
1/4 teaspoon of egg shell. I washed and dried egg shells and then used a blender to make it into powder. Excellent source of calcium
1/2 cup of apple. You can substitute this with 1/3 of a small banana
Since I started to feed Abby more human food than kibble: her cute butt doesn’t smell anymore; her #2 is firm and she does it either once or twice a day; she no longer licks her butt; and she has lost weight. But when Abby had to eat more kibble than human food her fishy smell and butt licking returns.
Abby, “Yay! Breakfast.”
I started to give Abby human food in very small portions over the last couple of months and I like the changes I see in her. By the way, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind: the recipe in this post is for a dog of 35 to 40lbs; provide plenty of water for your dog; and make sure to exercise your furry kid. Enjoy your weekend.
Alex and Bella had stir-fry for dinner this evening. These are the ingredients:
1 celery stick
3 cabbage leaves
2 ground beef/pork meatballs
1 Omega-3 Capsule (Alex Only)
1/2 Oste0 Pet (Alex Only)
Ginger powder (Excellent for arthritis)
For the record, I do not allow Alex, Bella or any of the dogs that stay with us to try to get up on the counter to steal food. That is why Bella looks a little confused when Cynthia was trying to get her to check out her food. Yes, the canine kid was good, the pet parent…Bad, to say the least.
I started by cooking the 2 meatballs on a little bit of oil by themselves. Once they were almost done, I added all the veggies. Because a pet parent reminded me that overcooking veggies would destroy their nutrition, I only “cook” the veggies for no longer than 1 – 2 minutes. Thanks for the tip.
The dish on the left is Bella’s, while the one on the right is Alex’s. This is the stir-fry mixed with their kibble. They both got 1 cup of human food and 1/2 cup of kibble. Because Bella inhales her food, I had to find a slow feed dog bowl, and without realizing it I found out that Bella already had one. Thanks to Will and Eko from marking our territory blog for the idea and information about slow feed dog bowls.
Training, as I said many times before, need to be incorporated on your every day life in order for it to be effective and make good use of it. Why do I say this? Because what would be the point of taking your dog to training classes when after a month or so your dog doesn’t remember anything.
Why did I go from feeding to training? Because Alex and Bella need to earn their food. How? By simply sitting and waiting while I prepared their food. Once I had their food ready, I asked, first Alex, to wait and then put her dish down so she can start eating. While I did that, Bella was on her spot on a sit/stay waiting for her food. I, then, put Bella’s dish down, asked her to “watch me,” the attention is to be directed towards me and not her dish. Once she did that, I gave her a hand signal and she had her dinner. They do this every time they eat. Is there anything in particular you ask your furry children to do prior to feeding them?
Let me start by saying that I started to feed Alex and Bella human food, at the beginning, always in small quantities, Also, neither one is allergic to any of the ingredients I use, and if you are planning to start feeding your dog human food and have any questions about it, please talk to your vet or better, to a holistic vet.
Tonight, for Alex and Bella’s dinner, I cooked a stir-fry using the following ingredients:
1 chicken patty and 1 sausage patty
Ginger – only for Alex’s arthritis
I started by cooking all the veggies together, except for cilantro and ginger, for a couple of minutes. I then added the chicken and sausage patties to it.
Why am I feeding them human food? I’ve been reading a book, Pukka’s Promise by Ted Kerasote, and he provides excellent information regarding what goes in the kibble many of us, pet parents, buy and feed our dogs. Because of it, I started to feed Alex and Bella a mix of human food and kibble. Again, I started by adding very small quantities in order to avoid upsetting their tummies. Right now they are both eating twice a day: 1/2 cup of kibble + 1 cup of human food.
Do you know what I’ve noticed now that they are eating more human food than kibble?
Alex – My Picky Eater
Her appetite in the morning has opened up
Her mobility and flexibility has increased a great deal. So much so, that now she walks next to me rather than lagging behind
She used to do #2 up to 3 times a day and it was smelly. Now she does #2 once or twice a day and the smell is minimal.
Bella – My I’ve-never-met-a-meal-I-had-not-liked girl
She used to do #2 four (4) times a day, and the smell was horrible. Right now she only goes twice a day and it hardly smells
Her mouth does not smell
This, human food and kibble, may not be for all dogs. I had a friend whose dog became quite ill if he ate any human food, even if it was only a bit of it. If you have questions, please ask a holistic vet and transition your dog slowly to any new food. Before I forget, I also rotate the kind of kibble I feed them every couple of months. If you have any recipes, I am always on the look out for new ones, you’d like to share with us, please do so.
For some odd reason I keep typing 2014 rather than 2013. Boy, talk about being ahead of time. Anyway, I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving along with your furry children and family.
One thing we always do during Thanksgiving is take a lot of pictures. One year we failed to do so and the following year was not a very good one. We took so many pictures and only one came out pretty good. Most of them looked like the above photo.
After we finished our Thanksgiving dinner, we fed Alex a nice portion of turkey, Cynthia took the most inner part of the turkey that did not have any seasoning, and mixed it with her kibble, and you know what? That girl inhaled her food. By the way, do not feed your dog turkey, chicken, pork, etc., in large quantities. The only reason Alex got a nice helping of turkey is because I mix her kibble with human food on a regular basis, lately 1/2 kibble 1/2 human food so she is used to it and I always make sure that there is no seasoning added to her food. Alex, in the above picture, got inpatient and was leaving because Cynthia was taking too long to put the turkey away.
Of course she made a U-turn when she saw Cynthia getting ready to put away the turkey for she wanted to “help” her with this task. What a helpful child. Can you see how attentive she is? We had a great Thanksgiving because we were all toghether and we hope all of you did the same.
To say that my girl, Alex, is picky would be an understatement, therefore because of that I have to come up with different “recipes” that are to her approval and standard.
For this meal, I started by defrosting one or two meatballs. I don’t like to defrost it in a microwave because it makes the meatball too dry and chewy so I take it out from the freezer before I sit down to eat and by the time I am finished it is ready to be cooked.
I, then, cut this meatball into little pieces along with some veggies. This time I chose to only add a bit of red pepper and nothing else.
I sautéed a small amount of red pepper for about 2 minutes in a bit of oil. Don’t use a lot of oil for this can upset your dog’s tummy.
I added the cut up meatball to the red pepper and sautéed them for another minute or two. I let it cool off while I get Alex’s kibble in a dish.
And Voila! Here is the end result. I mixed Alex’s kibble with the sautéed meatball and red pepper, along with her supplements, and my picky girl devoured her meal. When I try something new with Alex I start with a very small amount of it in order to avoid upsetting her stomach. Currently, I am adding 2 meatballs and 3 different veggies.
I am always interested in other pet parents’ recipes. If you have any that you’d like to share, please let me know because my “menu” is quite limited.
Let me start by saying that the above photo that features, arroz moro, plantains, and chicken wings, is not what Alex eats. Once in a while I do mix a very small amount of rice and beans with her food to add taste and fiber, but not this particular rice, arroz moro, because it has a lot of seasoning and it throws off her stomach, but what I do give her is a mix of white rice, not featured in the picture, and chicken wings.
Alex’s chicken wings are not seasoned at all and they are cooked in the oven. I removed all the bones from the chicken wings, added the rice and chicken mix to her kibble, and she devoured her food. Because I’ve done this for a while, she gets about ¼ to ½ cup of human food and the rest, ¾ to ½, is her kibble. Anytime I want to introduce a new food to Alex, I always add a very small amount of it until she gets used to it. Please, do not feed your dog something new in large quantities because it’ll cause her to have an upset stomach and you may have to take her to the vet.
My picky daughter likes variety therefore I have to come up with new things to add to her kibble. Alex is 11 years old so I have to be careful and pay close attention to her diet. If you are unsure about what to feed your dog, the best person to answer your questions is your vet. Have a great weekend.