Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog.

Mixing Fresh Food with Kibble

Mixing Fresh Food with Kibble

By Lew Olson • January 2005 Newsletter
Often I find people want to feed their dogs a better diet than just commercial pet food, but for a variety of reasons aren't willing to feed a raw diet or a home cooked one. This can be due to a feeling of being uncomfortable with a new way of feeding, or believing that they don't have the time or the expertise to undertake such a task.

I am hoping this article will help alleviate some of these anxieties, and offer an alternative until either you feel more comfortable with making your own diet, or at least offer better nutrition while supplementing a commercial diet with fresh foods.

While commercial pet foods offer a 'complete and balanced' diet, we are still aware that a diet that only consists of processed, sterilized and denatured foods simply can't offer the optimum nutrition that fresh foods can offer. While commercial diets may offer all the nutrients suggested by the pet food industry, growing awareness has made the public aware that fresh foods offer benefits a processed diet cannot give for health. This would include fragile nutrients lost in cooking and processing. This would include:
Omega 3 fatty acids (found in Fish oils and fresh deep water fish) Vitamin C (water soluble and a fragile vitamin) B vitamins (also water soluble) Certain amino acids necessary for a dog's health found only in animal proteins such as taurine and l-carnitine
Furthermore, adding fresh food offers variety to the diet, both in nutrients and flavor. Variety can offer nutrients that may not be found in commercial diets that are fed day in and day out. Palatability and freshness of these added foods can offer the benefits of not only having an array of foods to be given in times when a dog may have loss of appetite (illness, travel, stress), but also give the owner satisfaction in participation of preparing meals and providing additional good nutrition.
Commercial dog food (both dry kibble and most canned foods) are very high in carbohydrates. These would include grains such as corn, wheat, oatmeal, rice, barley, amaranth, gluten meal, rice meal and all grain based products. Other carbohydrates include vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and such. Fruits are also carbohydrates. While these sound like good foods, essentially the commercial dog foods tend to depend on these for the bulk of the ingredients in their foods. These foods are less expensive and store better than meat and animal fat. They also offer fewer nutrients to a dog, as dogs are carnivores. They need the amino acid spectrum found in animal proteins, such as muscle meat, organ meat, eggs and dairy products.
Since commercial products are already high in such ingredients. I would suggest you add fresh animal protein and animal fats. This would include (but are not limited to) hamburger, beef heart, beef liver, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, goat, canned mackerel, sardines or salmon, eggs, whole milk yogurt and cottage cheese. Organ meat can be added in smaller amounts twice a week, such as kidney or liver.
I have listed some sample diets, but these can be modified or changed depending on how much (or how little) fresh food you would like to add to the dog's diet. The more fresh food you add, if you are not feeding raw meaty bones means you may need to add some calcium. I use eggshell for calcium. I dry them overnight, grind them in a coffee bean grinder and add  teaspoon per pound of fresh food served. This would not include the kibble or canned dog food, as this is already balanced in the correct proportion to calcium and phosphorus. REMEMBER! Too much calcium can cause more problems than any other nutritional imbalance, so do not OVER supplement with calcium.
If you are using this diet to enhance the appetite of a finicky eater, or a recuperating dog or for temporary appetite stimulus during an illness, balance is not that important for a few days. But if you continue to feed the diet, do add calcium to foods added that do not have it. Foods that have calcium in proper balance are raw meaty bones, and also the canned fish such as mackerel, salmon or sardines. These also have soft, steamed bones.
I have provided some sample diets below, and this can be useful as a guide to start. These can varied with using combinations of the foods listed above. Remember, variety is important to offer the most benefits. Different foods will offer an assortment of nutrients.
While the recipes offer about a fifty-fifty percentage of kibble to fresh food, you can vary that to 25% to 75% or 75% to 25%, etc. However, once you are feeding more than about 50% of the diet in fresh food; do add calcium to make sure the diet is balanced (800 mg per pound of food served). I have included digestive enzymes and Probiotic Powder to mix in to start. This is simply to help with digestion in the change over in diet. While many dogs may not need these, it is helpful to start with them, at least for a temporary period until you get your ''bearings'' and routine with this diet.
Morning Meal Serves a 50 pound dog – 1/4 cup premium kibble – 1/4 cup raw meat (hamburger, beef heart, ground chicken, turkey or lamb) – One raw egg – Two tablespoons whole milk yogurt -1/2 teaspoon Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder – One teaspoon Berte’s Daily Blend – One teaspoon of Flax Seed Oil or two Salmon Oil capsules – One digestive enzyme, Berte’s Zymes tablet – 1/4 teaspoon ground eggshell (dry raw egg shell overnight and grind in a coffee bean grinder)
Evening Meal Serves a 50 pound dog – 1/4 cup premium kibble – 1/4 can mackerel, salmon or sardines (water packed), beef kidney, chicken hearts, ground pork, tripe (use variety on these items) – Small amount of liver every other day – Two tablespoons cottage cheese – One teaspoon Berte’s Daily Blend -1/2 teaspoon Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder – One teaspoon Flax Seed Oil or two Salmon Oil capsules – One digestive enzyme, Berte’s Zymes tablet – 1/4 teaspoon ground eggshell (dry egg shell overnight and grind in a coffee bean grinder)
Switching to Raw For those interested in transitioning their dogs from commercial pet food to a more natural diet, I suggest adding some fresh foods to kibble, slowly reducing the amount of dry dog food over time. If you're concerned about digestion of foods or changing over to a raw diet, consider adding Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder, which is a blend of beneficial bacteria. A companion to the Probiotic Powder is Berte’s Zymes, which helps break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates for ease of digestion. Generally these products are only needed for the first two or three months of the new diet, unless your dog has special digestion or health needs. Sometimes it just takes some confidence to make the change, which often comes when you see how much your dog enjoys fresh food and the physical improvements in your dog's coat, teeth and attitude!
For more information on raw diets, you can also read our February 2003 Newsletter,
QUIZ QUESTIONS! 1. The first step to do when your dog has diarrhea is to: A. Change foods B. Feed only rice and chicken C. Rush your dog to the emergency clinic D. Fast your dog for 12 – 24 hours, but give plenty of water
2. Which of the fish below should NOT be fed to dogs? A. Canned Mackerel B. Baked white fish C. Raw Pacific NW Salmon D. Raw white fish
3) A supplement not usually recommended for dogs with heart disease is: A. Co-Q10 B. SAMe C. L-carnitine D. Omega 3 fatty acids
4. When feeding a homemade diet, the average amount to feed an adult dog daily is about: A. One cup per 20 lbs of body weight daily B. 2% to 3% of their body weight daily C. As much as they can eat through free feeding, dogs can regulate themselves D. About the size of the dog's head in volume
5. Common side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx and Etogesic include all of these except: A. Gastric upset including vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite B. Lethargy and drowsiness C. Staggering, stumbling, weakness and/or seizures D. Change in Urinary habits, urinating in house, change in color or odor of urine E. Tendency to want to sing at karaoke bars, especially Barry Manilow
QUIZ QUESTION ANSWERS! ANSWER #1 D. Most cases of simple diarrhea will clear up on their own if the gastrointestinal system is given a rest and a chance to heal. Fasting for 12 to 24 hours (less for small dogs or puppies, longer for larger adult dogs) with only fluids will usually clear up the problem. If symptoms are prolonged, always seek veterinary assistance. http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/diarrhea.asp"
ANSWER #2 C. Salmon and related fish from the Pacific Northwest can be infected with an organism that causes Salmon Poisoning in dogs if fed raw. Cooking destroys the organism, and Atlantic Salmon does not carry this disease. http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/salmon.asp
ANSWER #3 B. SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) may be beneficial for liver disease, arthritis, pancreatitis, and even depression (in humans), but doesn't help with heart disease.
ANSWER #4 B. Most adult dogs will eat around 2-3% of their body weight per day, with larger dogs tending to eat less, and smaller dogs tending to eat more, although individual dogs can vary.
ANSWER #5 For any other symptoms, you should stop the medication immediately and call your vet. Rimadyl: News, Views & Advisories EtoGesic vs. Rimadyl Understanding Deramaxx

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