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We have had our dogs for a number of years, and we use to feed our two smaller dogs the Rachel Ray dog foods. But when we inherited my mum's BIG golden retriever (she's a redhead) we switched to the food that she was fed which was beneful. We kept a big dish of dog food out and let the dogs graze during the day filling it when it needed it. Oh I know know what a terrible choice both of those were. Ms. Ella was overweight when we got her and now I'm trying to change that.

But now were making some major changes with them. Two of the dogs need to shed a few pounds and the smallest dog needs to gain a little. I know now why she is so thin and it's because she dislikes dry kibble and would only eat when starved. Before we changed foods she was always hungry and if the kids were having a snack while watching TV she would be quick to try and snitch a bite or two. Since we changed foods that habit has completely stopped.

So now I use the calculator on the dog food adviser website to figure out the number of calories each dog needs per day and that is split in half for each morning and evening meal. I supervise all meals and any not eaten is put down the garbage disposal immediately and bowls are washed. When they walk way from their bowl they are done. With the exception of Ms. Ella the golden retriever who eats in the garage and she always licks her bowl clean.

The smaller dogs don't like kibble so much as the one dog has gained some weight since I started feeding him canned, but now I'm going by calories and the weight of the food for the most part. (part of my learning curve) Except for the dry kibble that I do feed the biggest dog. She gets 1 cup of kibble and some wet food by weight all mixed up with 1/4 cup beef broth to make a gravy of sorts. The amount of the wet food is determined by the calories per ounce of the brand given. This way she isn't being over-fed her calories in hopes to slim her down along with daily long walks which I need myself!

I buy Taste of the Wild kibble and wet they get one of the following. 4Health, Taste Of The Wild or Blue Buffalo. But my little dog is a picky eater and even on the wet food she would skip meals turning her nose up at what was offered. But that little Ms. Sophie is just very picky.

So I did a little reading and came up with a recipe of food that I make just for her and she eats that without problems. But could I get some feedback on it so I know if it's bad or if I should make some changes to it. I do give the two smaller dogs raw chicken wings a couple times a week since they don't eat kibble and they love them. The biggest dog looks at me funny when I give her raw chicken! She doesn't care for it and may or may not eat it, usually not. When they do get them I do take that into account for their daily calories. I use a scale to weigh out their food to make sure they are within range.

Here is the recipe written in percents but I do weigh each ingredient used when I make it. Sadly quality canned food is cheaper than making this so I just give it to Sohpie who is my picky eater.
20.9% - 700g chicken breast, raw weight then cooked
17.9% - 600g ground beef 80/20 raw weight then browned and fat drained
10.4% - 350g beef broth made with bullion cubes
9% - 300g frozen peas and carrots, cooked and pureed
9% - 300g white rice (cooked weight) pureed
7.5% - 250g whole eggs (about 5), scrambled
6% - 200g liver, raw weight, pureed
6% - 200 old fashioned oatmeal, ground into a powder in food processor
6% - 200g canned salmon with skin/bones juice drained
6% - 200g cottage cheese whole milk
1.3% - 50 kidney, raw weight, pureed

weight of ground beef and chicken is 1300g which is 46.4 oz which is 2.9 lb so I add in 3 teaspoons of ground up egg shells to meet the calcium needs.

I do grind the oatmeal first and then all the other items are pureed in the food processor with the beef broth. All of that is then mixed and cooked with the eggs and then that's mixed in with the ground burger, chicken chunks, salmon and cottage cheese until it's well combined. Divided into four containers and freezing it until I need it. Keeping one container out in the fridge that is used to fill her dish twice a day with her serving size.

I used the nutrition data website to figure
48 calories per ounce
2 grams of fat

contains by weight
65.6% protein (chicken, beef, eggs, liver, salmon, cottage cheese and kidney)
15% carbs (oatmeal & rice)
9% veggies (peas & carrots)
10.4% beef broth

Sophie Needs 162 calories per meal
162 / 48 = 3.3 oz
3.3 oz * 28 = 92 grams

Does this sound like it's okay for her to eat or should i keep searching for a brand of canned dog food that she will eat without issues. But where I live I am limited on what I can find in local store. TOTW, some Blue Buffalo and 4Health are my options at TSC. I know raw is also a better option as well and if that would be better I have no problems figuring out a raw diet for her. She does like raw meat. But honestly I was trying to cut the budge a little by adding in a little carbs and veggies by making it homemade. I don't find meat around here less than $2.50 to $3.00 a pound on sale and right now we don't have much freezer space until this summer when we move a freezer to our house from the farm. My upright kicked the bucket a year ago or so after 15 years!


My other question is that our dogs have spent a fair bit of time (total 1.5 months) at the kennel last fall because of my illness. And since we have switched their foods from kibble to some wet and wet/kibble mix which makes feeding time more complicated. I know I have to return to Rochester this July for another CT scan to make sure my cancer hasn't returned so I'm trying to think and plan ahead. Do most kennels keep fridges to store wet food or do most people send dry when they have their dogs there. I know I can call and ask as well since she also grooms our dogs as well. But when we are at home I buy the 12/13 oz cans and cover and store them in the fridge until the next meal. But I do weigh their food out to make sure their calorie count is right. Is that asking to much to ask her to do the same when we have her watch the dogs this summer. Or should I look for the smaller sized wet food cans so she can just open a can and that makes one serving for the smaller dogs. Then try to find a quality dog food that is close to the calorie count they need. Blue Buffalo offers the 3oz can which would be perfect calorie wise for the smaller dogs unless someone knows another brand that is around the 160 to 180 calorie mark per can. (off the top of your head, please don't go and do a bunch of research) Then for the larger dog I can pre-measure out the dry into zip bags so she can just use the whole can of wet while she is there.

If I make it easier and get the smaller 3 oz sized cans any suggestions on what's a good place to order them online. We do have a petco about 150 miles away so I'd need to see if they carried the 3oz size for toy dogs of the blue buffalo I didn't find it on their online store. Any suggestions for good websites for ordering these smaller cans online if I go that route?

Thanks for the honest feedback it's really appreciated !!!!
 

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Wow, you did a great job figuring out the diet. Just so I don't have to redo your work did you make a recipe that you can post? I would put it into my ND and compare to the nutrients and calories my dog needs each day. Sophie is a lucky dog getting home cooked food just for her!

Sounds like talking to the person that is going to board your dogs would help with the other issue. A couple containers of cooked food should fit in most any refrigerator, this is only for the one dog right?
 

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Wow, you did a great job figuring out the diet. Just so I don't have to redo your work did you make a recipe that you can post? I would put it into my ND and compare to the nutrients and calories my dog needs each day. Sophie is a lucky dog getting home cooked food just for her!

Sounds like talking to the person that is going to board your dogs would help with the other issue. A couple containers of cooked food should fit in most any refrigerator, this is only for the one dog right?
Ooops yes I did put it into ND and here is the link.
How do I know what to look for when I do that in case I make some variations and whatnot.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/2486970/2


Yes putting Sophie's food in the fridge would just be for her unless I send the larger dog food cans then they can eat the same brand if I send the larger ones. But I might try to make it easier and get some of the smaller cans so one can is one serving. But for Sophie it would be nice to send her homemade food so she doesn't have that change. At least it doesn't smell or look bad like some commercial made dog foods! And I could put her daily portion into zip bags to make it easier as well. (just thought of that) So she wouldn't have to measure anything out, just keep it cold. Or even while we are gone, jack could get homemade food as well if it's more cost effective since those higher quality small cans of dog food are a tad spendy. He sure would like and would be pretty simple for her to feed. Then I could adjust the amount of Ms. Ella's dry food to account for her getting a whole can of wet with her meal!
 

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looks good to me. most kennels keep a afridge, you would just have to call and ask them about it, at the kennel I work at we consider it a "special diet" and charge an extra $2/meal because of the extra time and planning needed, but it might not be a big deal if the kennel is smaller..we didnt charge extra for it when we were smaller for example, but when it became 40-50 dogs getting special diets suddenly a 30 minute job turned into a 2 hour job lol
 

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The one thing that worries me is the amount of salt that may be in the beef broth if you're making it from bouillon cubes. Just something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the heads up about using the beef broth. I'll switch that out to water the next time I make some. I also use a 1/4 cup broth with our biggest dogs kibble so I'll switch and start using water for that as well. Next time I take our dogs out for a grooming I'll ask her about feeding for the smaller dogs. I can't imagine it will be an issue to weigh out their food, and I have a small digital scale that I'll be sending as well. And much easier and less clean up that trying to use a measuring cup! Also more accurate since you can loosely or tightly pack a measuring cup, but 100 grams is 100 grams no matter how it's placed in the bowl.


Yesterday I called my vet to make an apt for our biggest dog since she's due for shots and I my husband and I had talked about making a dog food donation to what they call the "Uffda Fund". It's a program that our vet runs to try to find homes for local dogs when owners can't take care of them anymore or for stray animals found. I wanted to know if there was any specific food needed that they preferred. She started off the conversation by saying they prefer a specific food not found in our small little town. It was called Taste of the Wild. I laughed and told her I knew exactly what that was because we feed it to Ms. Ella! So I'll be picking up a couple of bags to donate to the fund. You don't know how glad I was to hear that our vet supports quality food and not Science Diet like so many other vets that I have read about on the this forum. If they didn't have a preference I was going to get 4Health and not the lower quality stuff that doesn't contain much meat, by-products or corn and other hard to digest grains. Talking about what food we fed our dogs never came up in conversation when I've had them in there.
 

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I think I would reduce the amount of liver in the food. Beef liver is very high in copper and vitamin A. Maybe cut the amount in half and add in more hamburger?

You could add egg to the mush, bake it and cut into servings too. That would make it non sticky and easier to handle. To serve cut into bites and add some water to the bowl for a soup appetizer.
 
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