Nutrionist Linda Case’s new book, Feeding Smart with the Science Dog, is great. Truly great. I wrote several other introductory sentences, deleted them all, and finally settled on the simplest and most accurate one. If you’re anything like me, and I know many of you are, and you want to feed your dog as well as you can, it’s a fantastic resource.
What I love especially about this book is that the author dives deep into the recent research on canine nutrition, and summarizes what she found for us mortals who are not trained in the field. She clearly distinguishes between–hear me clapping–facts versus opinions, unlike many other resources out there. She and I spoke a while ago about what she found, and what she took away from her research for the book.
I asked Linda what the main points she wanted people to get out of reading the book, and she was quick to answer. “We all need to take a hard look at what processing does to food,” she said. Processing inherently causes the loss of nutrients, and so manufacturers try to “fix” that by adding them back in. But the way the food is eventually put back together results in nutrients that might look good on paper (X percentage protein, for example) but that have been changed so that much of the value is not longer accessible to the dog.
“Processing,” by the way, is not just “cooking.” Cooking a piece of chicken at home, for example, is a far cry from the high temperatures often used to sterilize food, as well as the additives that increase shelf life, and “ensure product safety.” It’s a reminder to us to think outside of the “raw food” versus “not raw” box. The “not raw” category includes a lot, including lightly cooked food that has not been processed in the same way that commercial kibble often is. Linda and I were both, by the way, surprised by the 2019 study that compared the digestibility and available essential amino acids in four different types of chicken: Raw, steamed (cooked at 200 degrees for 10 minutes), retorted (as found in canned foods, cooked at 250 for 30 minutes), and dried/rendered chicken meal.
No surprise that chicken meal was deficient both in digestibility and available amino acids, but the lightly-cooked chicken was actually higher in both categories than the raw. The point isn’t that “lightly cooked” is better than “raw,” (they both did a good job providing nutrition), but rather speaks to one of her important points: Pet food companies should be providing us information about digestibility, not just “percentage of protein.” If protein isn’t very digestible and doesn’t contain accessible essential amino acids, then it’s not doing it’s job, no matter what the percentage.
Speaking of chicken, I asked Linda about something I’d heard–that dogs prefer chicken over other kinds of meat. That made sense to me because anecdotally, it has seemed that small pieces of cooked chicken can go a long way to teaching a dog to do just about anything. But is there research on canine preferences? She answered that what seems to be most important to dogs is that it’s meat, period, not so much what kind. Her book mentions a few studies that suggest dogs simply choose the food that smells the most like meat (even if it’s low protein bread soaked in a little chicken broth.)
I did find some other research on canine meat preferences: Houpt and Smith, 1981, found that “Dogs prefer beef, pork and lamb to chicken, liver and horsemeat and strongly prefer meat to cereal diets.” (This might explain why Maggie and Skip are fixated under the stove where I’m cooking up a pasture-raised beef heart for them.) It does, however, bring up the question of “what kind of chicken compared to what kind of beef? Ah, I think I’m going to have to enroll Maggie and Skip in a very non-scientific study!
It seems as though every answer in nutrition leads to another question, and I asked the author one that’s bugged me for many years. Why is most commercial and “boutique” dog food (sorry, hate that term, but can’t think of another) chicken-based rather than beef? Beef, for all its costs and benefits, is ubiquitous in this country, so why not more in dog food? Linda didn’t know either; we speculated that chicken meat is simply cheaper and easier to get, given all the chickens raised for egg production.
I could go on and on about the things I learned in this book, but far better you read the book yourself. Here’s one factoid I can’t resist, related to her section “Why do dogs eat poop?” One study on coprophagia in dogs found that “the majority of poop eaters directed their attention to feces that were fresh–no more than two days old.” (Also, that what you feed your dog has nothing to do with their preference for dog poop.) That seemed to me to be the perfect vehicle then for passing worms from one dog to the next, but–hold on to your pooper scoopers–it’s actually the opposite. It seems that worm eggs, at least hookworms and roundworms if not others, are not infective soon after being voided. Thus, eating feces soon after it’s deposited could actually decrease worm loads in a canine population. Who knew?
Please note: I will not be quoting this study to Maggie, an equal opportunity poop eater, who is happy to eat Skip’s poop in any version she can find it. Skip, on the other hand, pays no attention to Maggie’s poop, but is obsessed with scat from sheep. Ah dogs, gotta love ’em.
There’s so much more in this book, from what nutrients dogs truly need, to what food labels really mean (“Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, beef, …” could mean there is less than 1% beef in the food, for example), to an objective, science-based discussion of feeding raw.
Speaking of “feeding raw,” there’s something about what we feed our dogs that hits a raw nerve in many. What I love about Feeding Smart is that it’s a balanced, objective discussion about how we feed our dogs, full of lots of useful information. That’s a big plus when talking about an issue that people have strong feelings about.
After reading Feeding Smart, you still might have a lot of questions about what to feed one specific dog. Linda Case doesn’t do private consults about what to feed your dog, but she had some recommendations of people who do, including Petdiets.com, established by Dr. Rebecca L Remillard, Evolve Animal Services (not consulting now but perhaps good info on the website?), and software from the Pet Diet Designer.
We’d all love to hear if you’ve read Feeding Smart, (or Linda’s earlier book, Dog Food Logic), and anything you’d like to add to the discussion (which, of course, this being all about positive reinforcement, will be respectful and informative. Or funny. Funny is good.)
MEANWHILE, back on the farm. In the icy cold. Just saying. Definitely not in Hawaii. Yesterday we had high temps (low 50s!) and a lot of melting, but that was from lots of snow and ice still around. Predictably, now we have lots of ice because, well, . . . night happened, and of course, everything froze up again. We’re predicted to get an ice storm tonight and tomorrow. Ah my, what can we do? Nothing but keep everyone safe but still exercised, as well as possible.
Maggie would like you to know that she does not want the smelly thing on her foot anymore. Tall Two-leg Female says it keeps her broken toe nail from being re-injured while it heals, but it’s not her foot after all, and Maggie doesn’t really care all that much if she has to limp and the salty wet stuff that comes out is fine to lick up, at least on the floor. It’s harder to lick up off the couch, but she would like you to know she’d do her best. Tall two-leg says it’s as “bright red” as the vet wrap, but Maggie doesn’t know what red is, so what’s the problem?
Tall Two-Leg Female also says it’s grey and dreary outside, so thank heavens for this Amaryllis that she finally dug out of the cellar is blooming a month ago.
The bulbs in the “bulb gardens” are about done flowering but the two-legs in the house are appreciating every stage of their blooming, including their gradual and artistic demise.
I couldn’t resist adding in this fuzzy shot of a Bald Eagle whose been working on a turkey that must have been hit by a car. A good reminder that Baldies are just as happy to scavenge as to hunt–the first one I saw when I moved to Alaska was at the town dump with a Campbell’s tomato soup can in its claw. I thought it a good ending to post about diet and nutrition!
Here’s hoping you have a diet this week of good food, good luck, and good friends. Jump into this conversation, we’ll love hearing what you have to say.
I read Dog Food Logic and learned a lot. I look forward to reading the new one!
Currently, Falkor is eating boiled chicken and rice since he had diarrhea when he moved in. He sees our regular vet tomorrow and we’ll talk about diet. D’Artagnan eats a commercial raw diet that we lightly cook. D’Artagnan is good about only eating food designated for him. Falkor is obsessed with eating paper. He especially loves tissues and cardboard. I’m not sure whether the thrill is in actually consuming them or in shredding them into bite sized pieces and the consumption is incidental to that. I do know that I’m getting tired of the cats knocking things down for him to shred and eat. Although maybe I should be happy that the cats have accepted him so well that they’re now feeding his obsession. Sigh never a dull moment.
This may make you laugh, I just heard Falkor chewing at something so I took it away to see what he had. I gave it back to him remarking that he could have that since it was only a piece of alligator. Then I started laughing at the absurd things I get to say because I have dogs and cats. The local pet supply story had some dried alligator skin chews available in bulk. I brought a bit home for the dogs to try. They both like it so they will probably eat more pieces of alligator.
Charlotte Kasner says
Will definitely be ordering this book but a note on some breed specifics: although dogs co-evolved with humans to digest starch, northern breeds have fewer starch receptors than the other breeds and often do not do well on high-grain diets.
I found that fish and sweet potato were a good base diet for my Sibe and luckily, quite a few commercial companies produce suitable products.
Don’t envy you the ice storm 0 scary weather.
I did in fact read ‘Dog Food Logic’ and thoroughly enjoyed how informative it was. I am now almost finished with ‘Feeding Smart’, and again a well written, totally understandable and informative book on feeding dogs!
For years I have been a firm believer that a dog cannot get everything they need from the same food day after day. I have fed my dogs a mix of several premium brands of dry food for a number of years and after reading’Dog Food Logic’, started adding cooked meat, mostly chicken, veggies, bone broth, yogurt and pumpkin purée to the food daily.
I can honestly say I will read anything by Linda Case, she’s brilliant. My dogs are happy, healthy and have good poops!
Sandi M says
This subject drives me to all most drink! I want to feed my pups the most nutritious diet possible, but what does that look like? So many opinions. Currently, I’m listening to my vet and feeding a brand that is ‘tested”and not a boutique brand that’s not.
Until I had a long conversation with my vet on nutrition, I was cooking food for my pups and using it to supplement really expensive kibble. According to my vet I wasn’t providing a balanced diet, hence my dogs anal gland issues. Once I switched to a dog food that was “tested”, no more anal gland issues.
I just purchased the Smarting Feeding Book and will see if it agrees with my vet or if I should just take up drinking and rethink feeding my dogs.
Can I ask what your opinion is on feeding your dogs? What do you feed?
It’s an ice rink in our yard and on our driveway here in Richland Center this morning it’s sounds like it’s going to be an interesting day.
BARB STANEK says
This topic makes me crazy. I admire anyone who finds reading about canine nutrition enjoyable! I read as much as I can and end up with “do your best” to feed your dog excellent food! So I do my best. No clear answers hear. Waiting for the message (in neon maybe?) saying, “Feed this to your dog and your dog will thrive!” Did I mention that I also want that message to be true, not a sales pitch? Meanwhile, I will go back to learning as much as I can and doing my best feeding for my dogs’ best lives.
I often wonder why our Beagles (often adopted from the local Humane Societies) lived so easily to 16 y.o. in the 1950’s, although they were fed a dog food meal containing obvious chunks of corn – looking kind of like pig food. Additions included canned dog food, table scraps and raw bones. Not really “complete and balanced”?! Did mainly genetics play such a large role in their health and longevity????
I believe I’ve written about my voracious poop eater before (Glacier). He was certainly an exception to almost every rule. He would eat any dog’s poop. He loved it hot (before it hit the ground), but he also really enjoyed finding a frozen poopsicle. He loved to eat his, my other dogs’ poop and strange dog poop if he could find it. Fresh or old – it didn’t matter. His breath truly smelled awful. A muzzle limited the amount he could consume if I wasn’t on hand to pull him away from a pile. Wearing the muzzle constantly actually helped him lose weight and his breath smelled marginally better. The facts you shared about fresh not being as infectious for worms as older poop were fascinating!
I had a collie who had persistent digestive issues. I ended up cooking for this dog to get her stools firm and healthy – mostly oats, rice, chicken, some veggies like carrot. It varied. My mother cooked for our dogs too. There WAS no dog food then. My collie lived within a month of her 16th birthday. Another dog I had, I fed commercial hard food from the grocery store – various brands, various flavours. I pretty much killed him with this food. He developed skin problems that only cleared up with ‘better’ dog hard food but too little too late. Our current dog ate very highly priced grain free hard food that the vet told us might be giving him some discomfort as he was periodically drooling excessively. We thought it was a tooth problem which it wasn’t. The vet suggested that ‘grain free’ implied ‘bean rich’ and that that was perhaps an issue. We changed to non-grain free still very highly priced hard food, which he LOVED, wolfing it uncharacteristically. Now the drooling is gone but OMG – the farting! It’s a big commitment to cook for your dog.
Jan Berger says
Another excellent book about feeding your dog is The Forever Dog. It is THE best book if you want to learn which foods can address health issues and how and when to use them. I can honestly say that after owning, training and breeding dogs for more than 40 years, I’ve learned so much about dog nutrition. Next on my list of must reads is Feeding Smart.
Sandi M: Ah, the ultimate question: “What do I feed my dogs?” Everyone in the dog biz that I know hesitates to answer this question, but what’s right for one dog, one owner, isn’t right for another. Here are my general principles–I feed a variety of foods, believing that variety in diet is important. I feel mostly commercial but supplement with additional food, like lightly cooked meat and vegetables. (I feed less veggies now that I have Skip, his stomach is much more sensitive than Maggie’s.) Each meal has some raw (Stella and Chewy’s & Orijen) and some kibble. The more I read about processed food, thank you Linda, the more I want to feed less kibble. I’m going to look into Honest Kitchen, which looks like fantastic food and is also crazy expensive and requires shipping, which hurts my environmental heart. Barb Stanek I think said it best in a comment–we all do the best we can. One thing, by the way, that I didn’t mention in the post is be careful about the amount of beef liver you feed. It is high in Copper, which is toxic to dogs. I feed a lot of beef liver treats, and if I’m teaching something new they can add up. So, again . . . we do the best we can.
Like a lot of others I too get crazy about this subject. As a child we brought home dogs when we found them or a neighbor dog had puppies, with so many kids to feed the parents weren’t concerned about the dog, so they ate cheap dog food and table scraps. Unbelievably they lived to ripe ages if they weren’t lost, fun away or hit by cars earlier. Now when I take my dog to the vet I feel shamed at times when I tell them she gets a little kibble, a little canned food and a whole lot of table scraps and cooked food! They also labeled me a demand feeder because when I adopted her (she was grossly underweight) I just kept her bowl full and she ate as she liked. She has never had a weight problem. When she ruptured her CCL and required a large surgery I made bone broth and that was given with her food, she healed quickly and is as strong as an ox! So I continue to make bone broth for her. I love my dog and want the best for her so I do my best. I find myself confused about dog feeding now, perhaps I will get the book.
M.H. D. says
A rescued dog may eat poop if it’s been confined in a kennel run or cage and is fed irregularly. If that’s what’s available, that’ll do until something better comes along.
I’ve been doing raw with my dogs for awhile now. I think cooked is great as well. I use kibble as fiber. Lol. I’d be interested in this book as well. Sounds like she is right up my alley.
Heidi Rosin says
The thought of reading this book causes me anxiety because I have an obsessive-compulsive personality and this topic is one I truly obsess over. We currently use Victor brand kibble for part of their diet and Honest Kitchen base rehydrated in no sodium chicken broth that gets topped with cooked shredded chicken or cooked ground turkey. I try to split a can of sardines a couple times a month. Their treats are usually salmon and sweet potato based, dried sprat or single ingredient chews like esophagus strips or lamb ears. They also get bits of people food if we are eating something they can have bits of – steak, chicken, canned tuna, ham. I always wonder what the Papa Murphy’s workers think when I order the gourmet vegetarian pizza with chicken added LOL! They also get baby carrots, bites of apple or other safe fruit and veggie snacks. I’ve felt pretty comfortable with their diet so I’m not sure I dare venture into reading the book as it may send me into a tailspin but I really want to! Thanks a lot Patricia LOL!
Linda Case’s new book is on my “to buy” list. I made the mistake of getting the Kindle version of Dog Food Logic and struggled to refer backwards and forwards between text and tables, so this time it will be a proper book!
I have just cooked, portioned and frozen 10 days worth of meals for the three dogs – chicken, lamb, a little ground bone, offal including liver, mixed frozen vegetables, a few leaves of kale, a very small amount of ground eggshell to supplement the ground bone. Too much bone and Sophy gets constipated. Poppy is on a canned hepatic diet, but needs more protein than it contains so gets cooked chicken breast as well. Freddy is thriving on the same mix as Sophy, with a several Kongs stuffed with puppy kibble to keep him going in between meals.
What has struck me over the years is that the diet that suits one dog perfectly may be all wrong for another – it is not enough to research to the nth degree and choose the best of the best, you also have to take each dog’s idiosyncrasies into account. Sophy won’t eat sloppy or claggy food, nor will Freddy; Poppy actually prefers a soup like consistency. A fraction too much bone gives Sophy constipation; a fraction too much fat gave Poppy diarrhoea even before her liver failure – glycerin has the same effect. Sophy can’t tolerate turkey (several unpleasant events staying with family over Christmas before I worked that one out!). All pales into insignificance compared with trying to get a CKD cat to eat renal food, though!
Anne Margolis says
My daughter has a 1-year old Frenchie that eats rabbit poop & ate a dead mouse the other day – ick! He will eat almost anything: is that typical of the breed?
Meanwhile, we have an 8-year-old Sheltie who never eats anyone’s poop. My husband cooks him boiled chicken & rice mixed with a good quality dog food & a little chicken broth. He also likes fried eggs, carrot pieces, and tiny pieces of our table food. But neither he — nor we– are able any longer to digest anything but the occasional small serving of lean beef.
I feed Rachel Ray just 6 lamb and rice to my rescue girl, pit/rottie, everything else gives her diarrhea and I have tried many foods. She’s in great shape and also gets some cooked chicken, plain yogurt with probiotics and pumpkin everyday. My old bully gets salmon and sweet potato along with the yogurt. Depending on the foster dog I have they get one of those foods or sometimes something different. There is also some grain free wet food to hide meds in. My bulldog would love fresh cooked salmon as often as she could get it.
I have read many dog food reviews and recommendations and I have to go with what works for my dogs. The bulldog almost never has any skin issues at 9+ and both dogs are at a health weight.
One of our dogs, Grace, was allergic to chicken. She had an extremely sensitive stomach and was a picky eater. We did a lot of ground turkey and rice and broth and commercial food once we found one she could eat. She lived with a Golden that thought the world was her food court, so definitely different palates.
We started Olive and Phoebe on Sojo’s with meat, usually turkey, and added yogurt, some veggies, some cooked meat, sometimes canned, some no-grain kibble, depending on what we had on hand. They did very well on that diet and lost a little weight, their coats were good, but I wonder what a softer, liquidy food does to their teeth. Phoebe developed very bad gum disease as she aged and had to have fairly major surgery. They got chews and hard bisquits but none of our prior dogs had teeth issues. Olive had a few teeth problems recently, and her teeth have always been really strong. I asked the vet, but they couldn’t say—genetics they guessed?
Olive is now on Honest Kitchen grain-free turkey, and she seems to like it better. It is more expensive than many, but you feed less (in theory 😉 I’m not a cook-for-your-dog enthusiast, but I try to provide healthy, appropriate, balanced and varietal foods. I kind of look at it like how I try to eat—mostly healthy with the occasional junker thrown in for sanity’s sake. As my mom used to say, “All things in moderation,” as she sipped her before-dinner cocktail
Susan Liddell says
I haven’t read the book yet but will. My problem is the many vets who have bought into the Hills/Royal Canin/Purina mantra of “these are the only food a with extensive food trials so they are the safest and the best”. How can I sway the opinion of my vet?
I tried. I really tried to research this and even went to the stores with notes in hand and read labels. It is crazy making to try and sort it all out, not to mention the expense with 1 large dog and 1 giant breed dog. Anything I do seems less than ideal and probably attributes to a shorter life than necessary! I have cooked for my dogs but had trouble keeping up with the volume of food needed for their sizes. I have found that veterinarians, even those just out of school, are informed more by food companies than by nutritional education.
It doesn’t feel good to carry a sense of failing my dogs. They truly do have a good life!!
The subject of dog food gives me anxiety. Can’t someone just definitively tell me what to feed my dog so I can stop worrying about it?
Mine, btw – a mix of pit, vizsla, beagle, boxer, shepherd, and, well, maybe pug! – eats a lot of fish. A whitefish and brown-rice based kibble for breakfast and dinner (Wellness brand), supplemented with lots of freeze-dried raw turkey and sardines (Primal brand) as treats. Maybe that’s why she loves chomping on shells at the beach. She loves chicken, but I actually think she prefers cheese – so she gets a couple of ounces of Swiss a day for being a good girl. I try to vary the diet with veggies, fruits, and other table scraps here and there, and give her yogurt in her kongs and lick pads. She gave up on eating poop long ago, except for deer poop – that’s a delicacy. And with all that, she seems just fine! Interestingly, I’d read once (here?) that some people attribute increased behavioral issues/energy levels in modern dogs to better nutrition.
I feed dry but add one of the following: canned tripe, slow cooked grass fed beef, haddock, sardines etc added to the dry, plus scoop of Greek yogurt and safflower oil.
Have 2 Newfoundlands
So I’ve been feeding raw to my Tibetan Terriers for about 8 years now, I even wean my litters onto raw (ground beef, turkey, lamb, chicken with goat’s milk)! All of them are healthy and I haven’t had any ear infections, hot spots or big digestive issues since then. They also get pieces of sweet potato, some dried beef liver, and blueberries just cause they like them. Occasional veggies, like carrots and green beans too. Because I have breeding dogs I am careful about what I add to their diets and make sure the diets are robust and good for them.
I’m very curious about this book, can’t wait to read it!
As a cocker spaniel owner & rescuer, I have seen a lot of skin and digestive problems, including chronic diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, TECA surgery, blistery skin, etc. My current dogs are 14 & 16 and ate fish & sweet potato limited ingredient for many years, and then salmon & lentil limited ingredient. “Corn allergy” isn’t a thing, but excessive starch seems to affect cocker skin. I had to switch the old boy to a kidney diet. I believe the kidney issue is due to the salmon diet, so I switched the “young” one to lamb & rice limited ingredient to prevent that.
Geneticists are finding that the “best” diet for humans is individual, and it seems that’s also true for dogs. I have been booted out of many forums for arguing against the “food nazis” who insist on a specific type of “all natural” diet without scientific evidence.
I’ll definitely be reading this book! Thanks for the recommendation.
I fed my 17 y toy poodle BARF most of her life (freeze-dried and kibble on trips) and various treats and she had a pretty good digestive system. Then she started having recurring UTIs and diarrhea around 2019 when she was 14 y. It took me a couple of ER trips followed by a consultation with a holistic/TCM vet consultation and several months to come up with a home-cooked diet that she can eat safely with her aging kidney and overall bodily function.
When you want very specific information on nutrition for a sick pet, you really have to look for it. What is “popular” now is not necessarily good for your dog.
Because of her, I took Linda Case’s online nutrition course and it gave me a very good foundation, and now Evolve Animal Services blog gave me just the answers I was looking for right now, for my 7 month old puppy who has been having a GI issue! To be more specific, I am trying to find the right fiber source (soluble/insoluble and a kind of veggies/grains) for the puppy.
It was an excellent blog!
Thank you for the information, Patricia!
Ilene Segal says
Dr. Remillard was one of my classmates in veterinary school – she is a board certified veterinary nutritionist as are the other professionals at PetDiets.com. I recommend to my clients when looking at different dog foods that there is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition on their staff as this is really the only way to ensure that the diets they are feeding their pets are nutritionally complete and balanced. For my clients that prefer to prepare their own diets, I strongly recommend the website BalanceIt.com which was developed by Dr. Sean Delaney DVM, DACVN that makes it easy to produce a balanced diet with a large variety of ingredients, and also provides nutritional supplements for purchase for both cats and dogs.
Dogs have evolved with humans over the past 15,000 -25,000 years and they are omnivores like we are, not carnivores – cats are the only true carnivores. Dogs eat poop for various reasons ( my dog certainly enjoyed frozen horse and deer poop – yay for poopsicles) – it contains pre-digested vegetable matter that they are able to extract some remaining nutritional value from, and will do it more often if fed a diet deficient in nutients and calories.
This is a great article on how eating feces from humans may have had a role in the evolution of dogs: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animals-and-us/202008/did-eating-human-poop-play-role-in-the-evolution-dogs
Apparently human poop is high in protein!
Tonya Allen says
A timely and useful review! The bit about coprophagia (age of feces and worm transmissibility) was new to me and quite interesting. My dogs always try for the snack-size treats though – deer, rabbit, and cat poop – the age of which is generally unknown to me. They tend to delicately sniff and then step back from dog poop. Small mercies…
Hope Maggie’s toenail gets better soon!
I learned from a presentation recently that the diet of a street dog in Zimbabwe is roughly 20% human feces ( Butler, Brown, & Du Toit, 2018). It’s easy to forget about the less romantic aspects of a species that evolved alongside human habitations, and at this point I’m no longer surprised by canine coprophagy.
As for meat choices, I don’t mind that most dog foods and treats are chicken, if it’s a lot better for the planet than beef farming.
Chris from Boise says
We found “Dog Food Logic” enlightening and thought-provoking. As Trisha says in a comment above: “The more I read about processed food, thank you Linda, the more I want to feed less kibble.” When our late, great Habi developed kidney issues, we couldn’t bear to put her on one of the commercial kidney diets. Our vet steered us to BalanceIT (which Ilene Segal, above, mentioned). This enabled us to design a vet-approved kidney diet of home-cooked food, which improved Habi’s quality of life (eating was fun again!) in her last years.
We continue to home-cook a portion of our current dogs’ meals, which brings them and us much joy.
Interestingly, our Obi will eat any remotely edible food. Except liver of any kind. We could not believe this, but have tested him on all kinds of liver. Nope. Will Not Eat.
Hope Maggie’s free of vetwrap and all healed up now! And that you see faint signs of spring. Are the Wisconsin chickadees singing yet? Idaho ones are.
Melanie Hawkes says
Upton has taught me lots about nutrition and gut health. He has allergies, digestive issues, anxiety and pain. I have learnt that a happy gut = a happy dog, and to feed the gut, not the dog! His vet and dermatologist told me he would need to eat expensive prescription kibble for the rest of his life, but he was so hungry and got fat eating it. I read about the gut microbiome and switched to a commercial raw kangaroo diet three years ago. He is off all his prescription allergy and pain medications now, and the vet praises me for how good he looks! I probably spend more on his food and supplements (probiotics and one for joint pain) than I do to feed myself. I even dehydrate my own treats for him. Never can be too careful about the ingredients in dog food or treats.
In response to Susan Liddell’s question, get a different vet!
Dog Naturally Magazine is a terrific resource for people wanting to add fresh food to their dog’s diet. See https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/