Sadie, my first V, will be 2 in April, healthy & true to her V lineage. I am the problem, internet overload of info and I'm confused as to the best diet. She is 55 lbs and I have been feeding her Orijen kibble 1 - 1.5 cup two times a day and treats in between of course. I also give her Gentle Diet prebiotic/probiotic daily. She gets butcher bones for treats along with chicken jerky, mother Hubbard dog biscuits, peanut butter and others that come with her monthly bark box. Recently I have switched to partial raw; 1 lb ground turkey, 1/4 lb of chicken gizzards, w/ 1 c. whole oats or quinoa, 1 c. vegetables. And just stared to give her a raw whole egg couple times a week. When I feed her I still give her a 1/2 c kibble that has been warmed up in water mixed in w/ a cup of the raw mix. she loves this meal two times a day. Our breeder and our vet recommends brands of kibble I have not heard good things about. I'm afraid with everything I read as to who to listen to. any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
The only thing I can share with you, when speaking to an expert on this matter, is to not feed raw egg. I believe b/c they can nit digest it. We scramble a dozen of farm fresh eggs once per week and add them to our two V's food about every other day....fwiw.
Other than that, our local vet is opposed to a raw diet. But that's just one professionals opinion so YMMV from vet to vet.
Everybody has a different take on what to feed a dog. Some good, some bad,most in between. Most dogs are pretty hardy, so they can deal with a varying diet.
Most of the Vet's I've had contact with all seem to push Science Diet, which has given every dog I've ever had problems, especially with gas. OMG!!!!
Through the years I've fed IAMS, Purina, Blue Seal, Blue Buffalo, Orijen, Taste of the Wild, etc. I've even done the raw diet for them. Finn is doing a combination of Orijen Large puppy, and small puppy, along with some Chicken soup for the Soul. He likes it and eats it, so I don't mess with it.
Orijen is pretty much a top rated food line, through and through, It's tough to go wrong with it. I don't see anything wrong with the substitutions you're making. they all seem fine to me.
My issue with the raw diet is trusting the source. I think if I actually went to the store, bough the products, and made it myself,I would trust it more, but trusting an unknown source of raw meats is to much for me. Poultry products can go bad in a skinny minute if they're not handled and refrigerated properly,same with eggs. I guess I just wouldn't trust the processor to not use some of the waste stream byproducts to balance out the weight. Additionally, the last time I used it, it came frozen and there was a lot of water weight to it. A lot!
In the end she's your dog and you see her 24/7, so you know what works, and what doesn't work. Before any change in diet always ask yourself, why am I changing this?
I think you're fine, but the raw egg is questionable.
We have been feeding our male raw for over 2 years and he appears to be doing great. Good poo/no stink. He runs 5 plus miles a day off leash in the woods. Also, We have started to give him a cup of Open Farm kibble in the a.m.
Our fairly recent adoption has brought his exercise level up as they are always chasing/"fighting" trying to out do each other and he was starting to look skinny.
The female will not eat raw so she is on the Open Farm kibble. We have to feed twice the recommended quantity as she is also very active. actually are going to up the quantity of kibble some more as we can not put any weight on her and she needs to add a pound or 2.
We are lucky to have a local source for raw diet. They go to Detroit farmers market and buy all human grade meat. We have been very pleased with the results.
It does cost more to feed our 2 V's than my wife and I spend on groceries for us. Per week. Our adult children joke that the dogs eat better than they did as kids ( probably true )
The open farm brand looks good on paper and so far we are happy with it after about 6 months of use.
As diet has become such a divisive topic, it is difficult to find neutral and balanced discussion of the pros and cons of different approaches. The people writing about this stuff tend to be fanatics.
Is there a specific problem you're trying to correct with diet? In other words, why are you considering raw now?
I'd take a step back from this and give your brain a chance to relax from all the research and the guilty or fearful or whatever feelings it is being bombarded with. She's being fed, she's taken care of, and she's healthy. It's totally fine to rest on that for now! When you're ready, write down your concerns about the different styles of feeding, any questions you still need to answer, and then work through those methodically. If one option starts to stand out to you go with that. If not, well find a different metric like cost, convenience, or even subjective things like what she seems to like eating the most or how shiny her coat is to help you choose.
The raw diets are potentially an issue to humans who handle the food. The potential pathogenic bacteria of concern are Salmonella and Listeria. The dogs must get their nutrition. Formulated dog foods have to meet standards. I would see how well your dog handles the raw diet, but keep in mind that they may need supplementation. Just my 2 cents for what it is worth!!!!
We feed raw and have been since Maggie turned about 6 months. I have to admit that we are loving it, as does Maggie. We have not had diarrhoea since switching from orijen kibble to raw. (Apart from last month when my sister gave her Christmas left overs without me noticing....that was an entire 24 hours of stomach upset.). On the Orijen the diarrhoea was less than we had experienced with Science Plan, but we still found that every week or so, we'd have at least a day where Maggie had the runs. That to be honest made the decision for me...she was so unhappy looking when having diarrhoea that I started more serious research into raw, as I'd been tinkering previously.
We do use a pre packed raw food. Approved by the food standards authority here, (tougher legislation and regs for pet foods in the raw area. You must be licensed to pack it and sell it, and only be a pet food company). It's a frozen mix of beef, chicken and veg, with the correct percentage of offal and bone, sometimes whole prey. We supplement it occasionally with a frozen superfood, 5% top up approx, of blue berry, black berry, green lipped mussels broccoli, organic hemp powder, seaweed and kale. She eats 500-600g per day. 'Breakfast' is a frozen chicken foot or duck neck. If the poo goes a little too chalky looking, we cut back on the breakfast for a day or two. She rarely gets the dark, mucous poo from too much offal. Poos are generally small, easy to pick up and don't smell. (The magpies in the garden love to pick them apart and scatter them around, if I haven't gotten out to pick it up before they get stuck in! Yuck!). Maggie now only poos up to 4 times a day, on kibble it was 6-8. Our vet was initially set against raw, but has become supportive and is actively researching for other clients.
We also feed raw treats mostly. Freeze dried beef liver/kidney, and chicken jerky which is basically freeze dried chicken hearts....😱. Also produced here by the same people we get the frozen main meal from. She particularly loves these, they have a great crunch factor.
For some reason Maggie turns her nose up at turkey and duck, so we tried a new brand of high quality food to try to mix up the proteins. Pork and apple, no thank you. Lamb and mint, nope.....chicken whole prey with green lipped mussels, yes please. so we supplement the regular food with the berry based superfood above and still have a box of surf and turf to try her on, might try this next week to see if we like fish.
I will say that she digs in to her dinner every evening with relish. We change up the feeding time to keep it interesting for her. We no longer use raw eggs, we did for a week or so, but she didn't seem to really like it. I have read that raw eggs are not really that great for them.
As for the risk of salmonella contamination, we treat Maggie's food as we would treat our own raw meat. (We're pretty much plant based now ironically!). Her food is kept frozen until the night before and defrosted in the fridge for the next day. It's kept in it's own container, on a shelf where it cannot drip liquid onto other food sources. The surfaces are wiped down with disposable kitchen paper and anti bacterial spray. Her bowl is lifted as soon as she is finished eating and washed out with it's own scrubbing brush with hot water, detergent and baby bottle sterilising fluid. We have a specific knife and spoon for her food, which is also sterilised at the same time as the bowl. The bowl goes into the dishwasher, after the above cleanse, on a hot wash twice a week. We wash our hands right after feeding and washing the bowl.
As we buy pre packed, for ease more than anything else, the containers are 100% compostable, and go into the food compost bins. We have had salmonella poisoning in our home before, but that was due to chicken for human consumption, before we had Maggie. Our vet often comments on what great shape she is in. I think this is why the practice has started looking at the raw diet for some of their clients as an option.
But raw is not for everyone, it's a matter of personal choice. We're lucky that it is relatively easy for us, and suits our lifestyle, even though husband is 100% vegan and I'm vegan 5 days out of 7.
We do give some cooked food, but that is mostly for a stuffed kong when we need to go out. Cooked chicken breast, peanut butter, blueberries, tripe sticks and some freeze dried liver stuffed into the big Kong keeps her occupied for at least 2 hours if we want to go out unaccompanied. We just cross our fingers that it doesn't roll under the sofa where she can't reach it, and then starts to get a little anxious, and will rip up a cushion I didn't think to put away. 😂