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Hi: I'm new here, but I'm not a new dog owner. I've been lurking here a bit and really like the forum.

I just inherited a smallish mixed breed about 30lb female from my mother who passed away in August. I've owned dogs all my life including Labs and German Shorthairs that I trained with assistance for waterfowl and upland game hunting.

As for this thread title I grew up eating sardines and crackers with my dad. A day or so ago I was reading a thread about quality inexpensive food. One of the posters mentioned buying mid-range quality food and supplementing with sardines, vegies,and fruits to the dogs diet great. Well that made a lot of sense to me. So, while shopping at Costco I picked up some Kirkland Chicken, Rice and Vegetable to switch Roxanne to from the crap Beneful my mother had her on. In the past I've just fed expensive dog food like Canadae or other all life stage feed, but I'm embarrassed to say I never fed my dogs produce. Supplementing them with fruits and vegies never even crossed my mind.

So after Roxanne is phased completed over to the Kirkland how do I introduce her to sardines, fruits and vegies. Any time I've tried to give my other dogs produce they normally turned there nose up to them.

-Tom
 

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Most dogs love sardines. I don't think you have to introduce them to her. . .I'm sure she'll snarf them up at first sniff. I don't think dogs need fruits and veggies, especially since the food already seems to have enough veggies. But if you want to try, just offer her some of whatever you're eating. My dog Toby especially likes broccoli and apples. I don't know why, but he just thinks they're the best. My other dogs don't really care for any fruits or veggies. Raw veggies might cause gas, because dogs don't have the necessary enzymes to fully digest them. Cooked veggies will be better digested.

I think fresh meat would be a better addition to the diet than any plant foods.
 

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I second what Willowy said.

I give carrots, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, whatever I have around, but only because she likes them. She doesn't digest it well and the proof is in the poop lol. Carrots are the easiest to see, even one or two carrots and the pieces of it are on the ground the next day. Fresh meat and organs (a little liver) would be a good addition.
 

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tom,

Be careful with the produce fed. Apple seeds, onions, grapes, and walnuts can be toxic. Several other people foods are too.

Fiona likes green peppers raw as well as carrots and peas cooked.
 

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thiefinthenight has a good point. Google any new food you try before feeding it. I didn't know walnuts were dangerous but macadamia nuts sure are. Large ocean going fish can be high in mercury and don't offer fish you wouldn't eat yourself either.

You can substitute about 25% of the kibble calories with fresh food without upsetting the nutritional balance of the diet. Use meaty stuff like those sardines, other fish, meats, liver in tiny amounts, egg and dairy in preference to grainy stuff like crackers or pasta as kibble has plenty of carbs. Veggies and fruits need to be mashed up well or cooked or they will usually come out just the way they went in as dogs don't chew food to a pulp like herbivores and omnivores do.

And start small. Don't substitute 25% kibble for something new, work up to it. You can always make a nice gravy by mashing the new stuff with some water if she is looking disappointed at getting a mostly kibble dinner.
 

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I don't think dogs need fruits and veggies, especially since the food already seems to have enough veggies. .
Dogs may not NEED vegetables, especially if you are using a high quality food.

However, vegetables add a lot of bulk and not much in calories. Your dog will feel satisfied without needing quite as much food as recommended for his/her weight and condition. The recommendations are usually too high anyway.

Some dogs will accept pieces of vegetables - raw or cooked - as training treats. They are very good for that purpose because they don't add much calories.

Avoid onions, garlic and their relatives, however.

Fruit is something else. Nothing wrong with using a little fruit as a treat - grapes and grape products excepted. If your dog likes them, pieces of fruit like apples and frozen banana pieces make nice training treats. But fruit does contain significant calories. You have to take that into account and cut back on the regular food to compensate.
 

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Different dogs will have different tastes for different produce. I knew a lab that would choose bananas over kibble any day. Lots of people say their dogs like apples, but it's one of the few things Kit really doesn't like. She loves berries, lettuce, peas, carrots, and most other veggies. But again, most kibbles will contain some fruit and/or veggies already, and usually in a much more digestible form.
 
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