In Dog Dish Diet, I help pet owners understand that it is the allergens, carbohydrates, and the nature of dry food and especially treats that causes dry itchy skin, infected ears, obesity, urinary problems, and even seizures. Changing to hypoallergenic food (salmon/potato, rabbit/potato, chicken rice) and stopping treats and chews loaded with wheat gluten may really help some dogs. Adding eggs, sardines, raw meat, meaty bones, olive, and canola oils to a commercial diet may really increase the quality of proteins and healthy oils. These changes may be enough to help cure some ear, skin, and bowel problems. Feeding a moister hypoallergenic food with more oils (canned food, home cooked, and raw food) may help pets with more severe issues and urinary problems. I think that the better ingredients in raw and home cooked food may be best for organ health and preventing chronic medical problems and cancer.Instead of biscuits, feed turkey or chicken hotdogs, carrots, sardines, boiled eggs, or pieces of meat as “treats”.
Try a better commercial food, add some healthy food, feed some raw meat, or home cook a bit. Mixing hypoallergenic healthier commercial food with better proteins and oils will definitely prevent some medical issues. Raw food, home cooked, and canned food are better choices for others. I think that home cooked and/or raw food are the best choices.
I have been receiving more and more letters like this.
Hi Dr. Greg.
I have switched over my dogs cooking for several years now and she is very healthy. People are surprised she is already 8 yrs old. My recipe is also using a crock pot and very similar to yours. Adding veggies, meats, gizzards, etc and sometimes oats and quinoa.
I have had numerous people in my apartment complex asking me to make it and have gladly given me money. I have researched the AAFCO guidelines which is a requirement for selling dog food. Crude protein content -a minimum of 12 percent, Crude fat content -a minimum of 5 percent, Crude fiber content -a maximum of 5 percent, Moisture content -a maximum of 65 percent. The food I make has enough protein and fat content to reach the minimums. The problem is the moisture content can not exceed 65 percent and fiber content cannot exceed maximum 5 percent. This is difficult considering how moist the food I make is and also has a lot of fiber content from the oats. Does that mean that I need to make it more “dry”, does it mean that I need to remove the “oats”?
It has been a frustrating road because I know that the meals that I make for my neighbors and my dogs are very healthy and much more nutritious than the kibbles and wet food that AAFCO considers complete and nutritious!
Anyway sorry for the long comment here but I was curious if you looked into this since you have a cookbook for dogs! Thanks again and I love your dogs so much! Take care!
Great job in cooking for your dogs! NRC and AAFCO guidelines are based on keeping animals from getting sick from deficiencies and help commercial companies sell food. If we consider what their ancestors ate, then carbohydrates may actually not be needed at all. Protein, fat, and moisture would be the diet! An all meat diet would contain much more protein and fat and a bit less moisture. Dogs are carnivores with an omnivore slant to help in times that prey are scarce.
I personally think that they can stay perfectly happy and healthy in a wide range of moisture, protein, and fat percentages above the minimum.Nutritionists argue about the right mix of ingredients in human nutrition and the NRC and AAFCO are certainly not the last word on animal nutrition. Commercial foods following their guidelines have created diets that cause allergies, seizures, bladder stones, urinary crystals, bowel problems, obesity, and diabetes in pets(30% of pets may have medical problems related to diet!) . Genetics and inbreeding share some of the blame.
My mixtures mirror prey, just as yours do. I use more eggs and sardines these days and feed raw meat several times weekly. I use veggies, even though some authors promote only raw food and think that dogs do not digest the complex carbohydrates in veggies well. I think veggies provide important nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins that may not be present in the processed, high grain, animal feed. (chicken,turkey,cow,pig,and sheep). If you vary meat and veggie ingredients and use 50%-80% meat and organs in the mix, your pets will be healthy!
I’ve seen quite a few urinary problems this winter!
Urinary crystals and stones are a common problem. They are found in dogs and cats that are peeing small amounts more often and straining to do so. Some dry commercial diets in some breeds can lead to urinary problems. Dogs and cats prone to urinary issues should be fed a moister, lower carbohydrate diet. In fact that same diet is healthier for all pets!