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Old 01-18-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonMom View Post
I will just share .. for those future parents who may be in the same situation and view this thread ... My senior boy .. at 11 years old ... literally could no longer eat ANY (dry) commercial food (I wasn't willing to pay the price for the expensive canned and wasn't willing to feed him the cheaper canned). So, I was forced to start cooking for him. It took me ... literally ... 5 months to figure out what I was doing -- what to feed, how much, and what supplements he also needed. The biggest help to me was a lady named Mary Kraus, and you can find her articles at DOGAWARE.COM. She even offered me some 1/1 guidance. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done without her and often in the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL. (I have NO stake in either of these brands; I'm just a common dog owner who loved my boy and wanted him to thrive as best he could.) I will be forever grateful to her. BTW, I did try The Honest Kitchen. I have no doubt it's a good product; I just couldn't bear the smell of it, and it gave my boy some major intestinal disturbance -- if you know what I mean -- smile. (I lost my boy --Mason -- just a few days ago, but I can tell you that he enjoyed his food more in the last year of his life than he did in the entire previous 11, and I fed him good quality commercial food.)
MasonMom,

Thank you so much for posting this today. I'm currently doing research on home-cooked meals for Finn. He has had digestive issues ever since I got him as a pup that have steadily gotten worse. He's currently seeing an IM specialist, but nothing is working yet.

I'm so sorry to hear about Mason. I saw his photo on another thread. What a handsome boy he was!
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ADDY: My fun, personable & terrific little girl. (04/23/97 - 01/30/11)
ANNIE: How do I know there are absolutely great dogs in shelters? Because that is where I found you. (?/99 - 11/21/09; Gotcha Day: 05/19/01)
RINDY: Thank goodness for rescue organizations, my super sweet and beloved girl! (DOB: 09/01/05; Gotcha Day: 01/8/11)
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2013, 12:56 AM
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I'm very sorry to hear that Finn is having digestive issues. If I’m looking at this correctly, he is very young. I sure hope you can get a handle on this -- poor little guy!


I wanted to see if I could offer any help in getting started. (This diet thing is one of the most difficult things I dealt with in 11 yrs with Mason.) If you decide to do home-cooked, you have to be careful that the diet is balanced and that he is getting ALL of the nutrition/calories he needs. (That’s what I liked about the commercial foods. I felt like the higher quality ones I fed were “balanced.” Our problem, however, was that they contained whatever bound the kibbles together; that’s what I believe my boy’s problem was.)


I would also like to emphasize that I’m just an average dog owner. This is all based on my own experience and perceptions, based on the research I did. You may do your own research and come up with different answers. I’m just hoping I can maybe give you enough to get you started.


First, the lady who I found to be so helpful is: Mary Straus (not Kraus, as I said in my earlier post) at DOGAWARE.COM. There are numerous articles on her website that I found extremely helpful.


If you’re still pursuing any commercial dog foods, you might check out the following:
- An article called: “Commercial Dog Foods”
Link: dogaware.com/diet/commercial.html
- Also, there are some great articles in “The Whole Dog Journal.” I do believe I paid a small fee to join in order to access those resources, but it was minimal – and I thought VERY well worth it.
- The last commercial food I tried was called “Spot’s Stew.” I felt like it was one of the best commercial foods available (and a bit pricey – but cheaper than homemade). The kibble’s are much smaller and flatter, and it didn’t even smell like dog food to me. It is, however, still a kibble, and my boy just couldn’t do the kibble.
- There are a couple of diets where you buy a “commercial” starter and add fresh meat to them. I tried them and ended up not using them. The ones I tried were: 1) “Sojos” and 2) “The Honest Kitchen.”
- I seriously considered canned food. However, the good quality food was way too expensive, and I wasn’t willing to feed the cheap food.
- Also, there is probably a holistic vet in your area that could probably help you through this issue. (If you want to contact one and can’t find one, ask your own vet; that’s what I did.)


When I first decided I had to do the homecooked diet, these were the articles that I found most helpful:
- “Home Cooked Pet Diets, Home Made Recipes and Pet Nutrition”
Link: Home Cooked Pet Diets,Home Made Recipes And Pet Nutrition
- “Adding Fresh Foods to Commercial Dog Food”
Link: dogaware.com/diet/freshfoods.html
- Again, there are numerous articles on DOGAWARE.COM.

A couple of other things you’ll need to think about:
- If you do go homecooked, will you feed “raw” or “cooked”? That is a decision point.
- Also, you’ll have to determine your stand on protein. I had a senior dog, but the amount of protein is so controversial -- just depends on what you’re reading. I did my own research, made a decision. and cooked accordingly (and tried not to think about the controversy).
- I always wanted to do only cooked (no raw), and because time was such a key factor, I opted for my major source of protein to be frozen skinless chicken thighs. Took me a while to find them, but I ended up buying them at Sam’s Club for @ $11 / 6 lbs, I think. (I was going for convenience.) I also invested in some TALL, non-stick cooking pots to boil them in.
- Once I got the chicken cooked and cooled, I ran it through a food processor (thinking it would be easier to digest).
- I ended up using chicken and grain as my “starter” for each meal. I weighed the chicken and then the grain to get precisely the amount needed of each “per meal” and then created an individual serving and put it in the freezer.
- To create a “complete meal,” (I then added lots of fresh things to my “starter.” I mixed 4 days worth of food at a time, keeping it in the frig until needed.) It was just a timesaver to mix several days at a time.
- I fed a days worth of food in several small portions throughout the day, depending on how much I was going to be at home during that particular day. (I had a spoiled boy, so I would warm his food in the microwave, being careful that it wasn’t too hot.)
- I just threw his Rxs and supplements on top of his food, and he swallowed them; he wasn't picky about that.


I do hope that you find this helpful. I would encourage you to do your research and decide for yourself. I am just an every-day average doggie Mom who was trying to get food in a little old belly – and keep it down. It worked for a year, and he REALLY did ENJOY it. It was VERY time-consuming, and it sure wouldn’t have been my first option (smile).


I do wish you the BEST of luck with your (very young?) Finn. I do hope that you will post occasionally and let me know how he’s doing, and I hope that all of the hours/days/weeks I spent researching this issue for my little old man will offer you a bit of help.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonMom View Post
I'm very sorry to hear that Finn is having digestive issues. If I’m looking at this correctly, he is very young. I sure hope you can get a handle on this -- poor little guy!


I wanted to see if I could offer any help in getting started. (This diet thing is one of the most difficult things I dealt with in 11 yrs with Mason.) If you decide to do home-cooked, you have to be careful that the diet is balanced and that he is getting ALL of the nutrition/calories he needs. (That’s what I liked about the commercial foods. I felt like the higher quality ones I fed were “balanced.” Our problem, however, was that they contained whatever bound the kibbles together; that’s what I believe my boy’s problem was.)


I would also like to emphasize that I’m just an average dog owner. This is all based on my own experience and perceptions, based on the research I did. You may do your own research and come up with different answers. I’m just hoping I can maybe give you enough to get you started.


First, the lady who I found to be so helpful is: Mary Straus (not Kraus, as I said in my earlier post) at DOGAWARE.COM. There are numerous articles on her website that I found extremely helpful.


If you’re still pursuing any commercial dog foods, you might check out the following:
- An article called: “Commercial Dog Foods”
Link: dogaware.com/diet/commercial.html
- Also, there are some great articles in “The Whole Dog Journal.” I do believe I paid a small fee to join in order to access those resources, but it was minimal – and I thought VERY well worth it.
- The last commercial food I tried was called “Spot’s Stew.” I felt like it was one of the best commercial foods available (and a bit pricey – but cheaper than homemade). The kibble’s are much smaller and flatter, and it didn’t even smell like dog food to me. It is, however, still a kibble, and my boy just couldn’t do the kibble.
- There are a couple of diets where you buy a “commercial” starter and add fresh meat to them. I tried them and ended up not using them. The ones I tried were: 1) “Sojos” and 2) “The Honest Kitchen.”
- I seriously considered canned food. However, the good quality food was way too expensive, and I wasn’t willing to feed the cheap food.
- Also, there is probably a holistic vet in your area that could probably help you through this issue. (If you want to contact one and can’t find one, ask your own vet; that’s what I did.)


When I first decided I had to do the homecooked diet, these were the articles that I found most helpful:
- “Home Cooked Pet Diets, Home Made Recipes and Pet Nutrition”
Link: Home Cooked Pet Diets,Home Made Recipes And Pet Nutrition
- “Adding Fresh Foods to Commercial Dog Food”
Link: dogaware.com/diet/freshfoods.html
- Again, there are numerous articles on DOGAWARE.COM.

A couple of other things you’ll need to think about:
- If you do go homecooked, will you feed “raw” or “cooked”? That is a decision point.
- Also, you’ll have to determine your stand on protein. I had a senior dog, but the amount of protein is so controversial -- just depends on what you’re reading. I did my own research, made a decision. and cooked accordingly (and tried not to think about the controversy).
- I always wanted to do only cooked (no raw), and because time was such a key factor, I opted for my major source of protein to be frozen skinless chicken thighs. Took me a while to find them, but I ended up buying them at Sam’s Club for @ $11 / 6 lbs, I think. (I was going for convenience.) I also invested in some TALL, non-stick cooking pots to boil them in.
- Once I got the chicken cooked and cooled, I ran it through a food processor (thinking it would be easier to digest).
- I ended up using chicken and grain as my “starter” for each meal. I weighed the chicken and then the grain to get precisely the amount needed of each “per meal” and then created an individual serving and put it in the freezer.
- To create a “complete meal,” (I then added lots of fresh things to my “starter.” I mixed 4 days worth of food at a time, keeping it in the frig until needed.) It was just a timesaver to mix several days at a time.
- I fed a days worth of food in several small portions throughout the day, depending on how much I was going to be at home during that particular day. (I had a spoiled boy, so I would warm his food in the microwave, being careful that it wasn’t too hot.)
- I just threw his Rxs and supplements on top of his food, and he swallowed them; he wasn't picky about that.


I do hope that you find this helpful. I would encourage you to do your research and decide for yourself. I am just an every-day average doggie Mom who was trying to get food in a little old belly – and keep it down. It worked for a year, and he REALLY did ENJOY it. It was VERY time-consuming, and it sure wouldn’t have been my first option (smile).


I do wish you the BEST of luck with your (very young?) Finn. I do hope that you will post occasionally and let me know how he’s doing, and I hope that all of the hours/days/weeks I spent researching this issue for my little old man will offer you a bit of help.
I really can't thank you enough for all this wonderful information. You've given me lots of places to educate myself more about home-cooking. Thank you so much for that! I've started to read a little about it. I do know I would cook the meat and not feed him raw. I've read how important it is for me to add calcium carbonate and potassium chloride to his diet. All the information you gave me is really going to help me out.

Yes, Finn is young; he's almost 1 1/2 years old. I took him to a different vet yesterday and felt real good about her. We did some blood work and I'm waiting on the test results from that. If there is something abnormal we will do an ultrasound, otherwise it looks like we're going to have him scoped since this issue has gone on so long. We will then figure out his food and what the best diet for him is depending on what the scope results are. We talked a little about home-cooked food and also prescription food which so far he hasn't done that well on. I'm feeding him hamburger and rice right now. I'm going to do whatever I need to help him out. After days of him barely eating his prescription food and then simply refusing it, it was a thrill to watch him chomp down the hamburger and rice!

Thank you again for all your help and I will keep you updated. I imagine all the information you posted will help not just me, but a lot of other people too that are considering doing home-cooked meals for their pets.
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AYLA: Simply put, you were wonderful. (02/16/91 - 11/21/98)
ADDY: My fun, personable & terrific little girl. (04/23/97 - 01/30/11)
ANNIE: How do I know there are absolutely great dogs in shelters? Because that is where I found you. (?/99 - 11/21/09; Gotcha Day: 05/19/01)
RINDY: Thank goodness for rescue organizations, my super sweet and beloved girl! (DOB: 09/01/05; Gotcha Day: 01/8/11)
FINN: You know what I think about you, my happy boy? I think you are Finn-tastic! (DOB: 08/25/11)
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:39 PM
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I wanted to add another choice to the mix of purchased diets that Dr. Karen Becker places between raw and canned. Many people have listed THK and Sojo. I tried THK and didn't like the smell either (or looks), but I have been feeding Grandma Lucy's which is a freeze dried raw that you also add warm water to reconstitute. It smells great and has actual pieces of meat and veggies in it that you can tell what they are. Tayla loves it and is doing well on it. It also comes in lots of different meat sources. She is on rabbit right now. Good luck. Food is the most important decisions we make for them.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:09 AM
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I recently joined the forum and made the switch to raw feeding 2weeks ago. I am using a prepared raw and suspect I will go to home-prepared raw in the future. For now, this is all I can handle. I have been using Stella and Chewy's and Instinct (both chicken based) with no problems, in fact I already see positive results in less paw licking :-)
Does anyone have experience with prepared raw diets....specifically when to add a new meat option? I don't want my boy to get bored!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:24 PM
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Dear "Goldens R Great": You are most welcome. As much research and time as I spent trying to figure out this homecooked diet thing, I would LOVE if others could benefit from all of the time I spent. Aside fr trying to figure out Mason's allergy issues, it is THE hardest thing I've ever done for him. I did give him lots of supplements, and I'll tell you a cheap way to get the calcium in them. I gave him hardboiled eggs (I learned it is one of the best things a dog can eat.) I let the eggshells dry and then ground them into a "powder" in my coffee bean machine and then sprinkled them on his food. (It's a certain measurement per pound of weight.)

I know what you mean @ them not liking the Rx diet. I had my boy on -- I think it was Science Diet "ZD" (the one for allergies). He didn't like it either (honestly, that's the only diet he ever really didn't like; he wasn't a picky eater). I do hope you're able to help young Finn with his digestive issues and that he can have a long, good life -- and ENJOY eating!! I will "stop by" this forum occasionally to see how he is doing, so please continue to post.

"Tayla's Mom" and "Luke's Mom" -- So glad that you have found some options. I know someone else who feeds S&C's, and her boy loves it, too.

I miss my boy SO, SO much. It is therapeutic for this doggy mommy's heart to continue to participate in this forum -- and makes my heart happy that you all are trying to take such great care of your babies, too! I may not have a Golden in my life right now, but they will ALWAYS be #1 in my heart!
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:03 PM
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Anybody feed their dog a home-cooked diet?

If you are going to take the time to feed cooked than feed raw, either way you are taking a big leap from processed kibble. When you cook it you take away a lot of nutrients from the food and the bone wich not only is important for dental health, but also plays a significant role in keeping the calcium/phosphorus ratio proper. Start with 1 bony meat like chicken legs, and every week add a meat, the great thing with raw is that you actually pay less than one of the medium brand kibble, we pay 2.50 a day for raw feeding tuco this includes 1.5 lbs of raw meat, including turkey necks, chicken legs, pork stew, venison, grassfed beef liver, kidney, beef and hearts. And a fish oil cap. If you use the less common or popular meats you can save a lot of money. I feed tuco a mix of veggies also occasionally but realistically you can do prey model raw without supplementation perfectly well, I did it on a Tibetan mastiff for 18 years. The ratio you want to stick with is 80% meat, 10% bone 5% liver 5% other organs. If you have anymore questions please message me, feeding raw is great and the results are outstanding but you need to do a fair bit of research


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