Devt asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Dog Nutrition - Holistic at Home?


I have a dog who I have decided to take off a commercial diet -- if you must know why, I've just heard enough accounts of dogs getting sick or dying on mainstream dog food that I no longer feel comfortable feeding it to him; this is not based on the dog food recall.

Currently, he's eating cooked lean meats and carbs, such as white rice and bread, prepared at home (this is also a question mark to me), and I want to supplement them with the proper vitamins and minerals. But I'm not sure as to what kind of a supplement will be needed to nourish a dog on this kind of a diet. He's a Pekingese, about 5 years old, 15~ lbs, and pretty healthy.

Ideally, I'm seeking the advice of people who are also feeding their dogs a NON Iams, Purina, Eukanuba etc. diet and are knowledgable in holistic dog nutrition.


13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I haven't ever had to add supplements because I feed dog food (Merrick), so all that stuff is already in there. But I can point you to a thread on the Dogster website about this very topic that I was actually reading last night!

    If you ever want to go back on dog food (NOT the 'big name', horribly low quality dog food companies, but instead, holistic dog foods that are high in meat, use human quality ingredients, and don't have the cheap fillers and dangerous dyes and preservatives that the 'big name' dog foods use), here is a list of some excellent, holistic, high-quality dog foods:

    * Artemis -

    * California Natural -

    * Canidae -

    * Chicken Soup -

    * EVO -

    * Fromm -

    * Innova -

    * Merrick -

    * Nature's Variety -

    * Orijen -

    * Solid Gold -

    * Timberwolf -

    * Wellness -

    And read these websites before choosing a food:




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  • 4 years ago

    She doesn't sound like any vet I know or would want to know. I would like a REAL vet's opinion on the raw food diet. I've never used it because I'm concerned about 1) worms, and 2) the fact that we're raising domestic dogs ("pets" for over 100,000 years) and not wild canids. Can they really digest raw meat the way a wolf could? I feed my dogs pet store brands or Pedigree, which seems to agree with them. Science Diet and Iams both used to be good dog foods, until they started marketing to supermarkets. Now they are just as bad (or worse) than the regular crap on the supermarket shelves. When you sell in supermarkets, the product has to have a seven-year shelf life, I've heard. I can't even guess how many preservatives they put in there, or how much nutritional compromise it entails. I don't buy those brands any more. I keep my dogs thin, and add fish oil and greenbeans to their diet, along with pet probiotics on occasion. I feed them two (maybe three) very small meals every day so they won't get bloated. I think Science Diet still makes vet-quality products for specialized diets (kidney, intestine, etc.). I used to feed my old dog I/D for easy digestion, but when I ran out I used rice and eggs, which seemed to work just as well.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm feeding my dog a Holistic diet that comes from "The Pet Pantry", and is called Holistic Opticoat 22/11 Menhaden Fish Meal and Potato. This diet was approved by my vet for my 17 yr old Brussels Griffon mix that has terrible skin allergies, and it has helped her so much!

    The only treats she gets now are green veggies, her favorite being green peas. She lost about a pound since starting this diet but is at optimal weight at 9 lbs. (Admittedly she needed to lose that extra weight due to arthritis pain in her joints). Overall, she's doing so much better. I'm very pleased with this food.

    As for home cooking for your dog, it's very important that he gets the proper nutrition, in the right quantities per serving. Good luck to you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi! While we do not feed our 6 month old Great Dane a raw or home cooked diet we do feed her a holistic food. We feed her Eagle Pack Holistic for large and giant breed puppies. I'd also look at that option. They have different formulas obviously for size, but they do not contain any breads and things which most dogs are allergic to like corn. It's all natural human grade. It also contains yogurt cultures which is great for their digestive tract and upset tummy. If you are going to feed raw or cook at home, make sure you are getting yogurt in their diet somewhere. Also Omega 3 and 6 which they need for healthy coat. The Eagle Pack does all this for you. You can look it up on their site to find retailers in your area.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You're in for an adventure!

    I don't disagree with your choice at all. I personally feed cooked, raw and commercial foods, depending on the cat/dog and whether they are mine, rescues or fosters and given their medical needs.

    I don't get the bread, though? Dogs don't need and shouldn't eat grains. I'm okay with the rice part (that is actually a source of protein, as well, though get a GOOD whole rice). Unless there is some reason to feed lean meats in particular (dogs don't normally have cholesterol issues like people do), the dog should have some fats. If you buy organic meats, the fats will hold less toxicity which often is where the toxins end up.

    What I personally would do, in your shoes, is find a canine nutritionist. They are not that expensive. They can design a diet for you that meets the dogs MDR and tailor it to YOUR specific dog and it's age, medical needs, coat, etc.

    I sure wish you luck. I think it is fabulous you are doing this. Remember, dogs at people food until the late 50s when canned and eventually dry dog foods were produced.

    The issue is NOT whether to feed them human foods, but to feed them quality human foods avoiding the toxic foods to dogs (you need to read up on that...) and being sure you feed a proper diet.

    Best to you.

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  • annie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I too cook for my dog and it has been going very well. I prepare his food, weigh it out to the amount he eats, put it into little freezer bags and freeze it

    I than set out a few of the bags in the frig and take a bag for each feeding. My dog eats twice a day

    This is the site that I gained so much information

    I use the eggshell calcium which I get from this site

    if you are feeding a cooked diet, you have to add calcium, people who feed their dogs raw food do not add calcium, as they get their dog's calcium from giving them raw bones. I chose not to feed raw

    My dog eats a variety of meats, ground up vegetables, and some cooked organ meats. This is cooked organic beef liver or beef kidney. The B natural site will give you information on how much to add . He also gets twice a week mackerel, and also twice a week beef heart

    I also give him a couple of times a week a hardboiled egg on top of his food, or some yogurt or cottage cheese or sometimes some cooked pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie filling, real pumpkin

    He does get some fruit on occasion but fruit should not be given at the same time with their regular food for they digest fruit differently. Dogs should get fruit a couple of hours after they have eaten their main meal

    My dog also gets some fish oil along with Vitamin E ... and also Vitamin C and Vitamin B and a digestive/enzyme supplement

    it really is very easy to do

    and as far as asking a vet ... forget it ... they know nothing about nutrition. That is not where their training is

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  • 1 decade ago

    Your best option is to talk with a vet. Dogs need lots of nutrients and you'll soon find that feeding them a home based diet is very expensive, however i do understand your reasons why. Diets don't go by breed and weight only, but also by activeness and they need food that will help dentally as well, which is why kibble is good for them. You'll definately need something with vitamin B in it since it is important that they ahve it on a daily basis. Dogs, unlike humans produce their own vitamin C and D. Importantly they need a diet with omega's in it. I personally can't tell you where and what you will need, nor will alot of other people on here, so honestly teh vet is your best option, they might even be able to refer you to a person that deals with dog nutrition on a daily basis.

    Additional note...Dog's are omnivore not carnivore so raw meats aren't good for them..and they can (just like humans) get salmonella and otehr bacterial diseases from eating raw meats.

    Source(s): Taking a vet course, and just finished teh nutrition part.
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  • 1 decade ago

    A google search will give you a wide range of information.

    *I* feed a raw food (mostly bone in meats) diet with a few twists (oatmeal and canned mackeral for added bulk a couple times a week).

    I use high quality kibble as dog treats for training.

    I've been doing it this way for 15 years. My vet bills are low (no teeth-cleaning, anal gland issues, allergy issues or ear infections), my dogs are healthy and winning at the shows.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think that thousands of people are feeding their dogs a homemade diet. The tricky part is finding good recipes and varying your dog's diet. You have to make sure they get the proper nutrition.

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  • Joh
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Millions of animals the world over lead extremely healthy lives never having been fed commercial crap in a bag.

    Rather than cooking for your dog you would be better off researching a diet based around raw meaty bones. The amount to feed (over a week or two) is about 70-80% meat, 10-15% edible bone and 10-15% offal (at least half of which is liver). Think of it as 'frankenprey' or creating a carcass for your dog to eat over the course of a few days. Feed about 2-3% of expected adult body weight per day. My 16.5kg stafford gets 400-500 grams per day. If she has had an active day she gets more than if she has been a couch potato! This amount has not changed as she has grown from a baby pup - it has gone from 3 or 4 feeds a day to just one.

    The first thing to do is drop the carbohydrates - dogs have no need for them and can't digest them properly anyway. These excess carbs can lead to obesity and diabetes. They do not need vegetables, grains or dairy. Dogs are carnivores, if in doubt have a look at their teeth and jaws. Do you see any molars for grinding plant matter? Does the jaw move side to side to enable tough cellulose to be crushed? No - there are powerful jaws with teeth designed to grab prey, rip meat from the bone and crush edible bones. See the attached article for more information.

    myth - dogs will get sick from raw meat: simply not true, their digestive systems is designed for prey and carrion.

    myth - raw feeding is difficult and time consuming: Maybe for the misguided souls who spend hours grinding bones, pureeing vegetables and adding unneccesary supplements but not if you do it properly and feed based on a prey or raw meaty bones model.

    myth - bones are dangerous - cooked yes but RAW bones are not! They are digestible by your dog and once youo learn what size raw meaty bones to feed your dog there will be no issues.

    myth - raw meat makes dogs blood thirsty - just crap!!

    myth - they won't get a balanced diet - blame this one on the manufacturers - NO animal, humans included, eat all their needs in every meal. Feed your dog by the recommended ratios and he will have everything he needs over the course of the week.

    That's all I can think of from the top of my head - I'm sure there will be more added later. I hope the links provide you with some useful information.

    new myth - dogs and wolves eat the stomach content of prey: Again NOT true - people who study wolves and other carnivores all say that this simply does not happen.

    myth - dogs are omnivores: FALSE - The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. Their internal anatomy and physiology is that of a carnivore from teeth and saliva to their highly elastic stomach and short, smooth colon.

    Source(s): An article called 'Dogs are Carnivores" A feeding guide published by a vet who advocates raw feeding A website debunking some of the many myths regarding raw feeding and bones.
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