Cooked Vs Raw Diets For Puppies
There’s no doubt that home-cooked diets for puppies can be healthy when done correctly, but what about raw food? There is much controversy over raw food for dogs. The AVMA and other agencies warn of the risks of dangerous pathogens in raw pet food. Some other experts see the potential benefits of raw food for healthy adult dogs. However, puppies are a different story. Raw food may contain dangerous pathogens that can lead to illness in people and some dogs. Like children, young animals may not have the immune systems to fight off pathogens found in raw food.
If you feel you can safely handle raw food and you are willing to assume the risks, talk to your veterinarian about transitioning to raw food when your puppy gets older. In the beginning, you might choose to offer a combination of cooked and raw foods to see how it works out.
Raw diets should never be fed to dogs coming into contact with immunocompromised humans. In addition, raw diets are not recommended for dogs with immune system issues.
How To Get A Sick Dog To Eat
Just like humans, a dog can lose their appetite when theyre ill. For this reason, a sick dog may refuse food. One missed meal generally isnt much to worry about. But if your dog continues to refuse food, you may want to determine the cause.
Common Mistakes When Cooking For Your Dog
Not Using Trusted Sources
There are many inadequate, and sometimes dangerous recipes, available to owners, says Dr. Larsen. There are now many studies demonstrating that most of these are not balanced.
Some of these may cause deficiencies in your dogs diet, while others may lead to an excess of certain nutrients. To avoid encountering unhealthy or dangerous options Dr. Larsen and Dr. Bartges recommend avoiding generic recipes from books or online sources. Some so-called nutrition experts are without proper training, and may do more harm than good.
Larsen and Bartges also suggest consulting BalanceIT.com, a site run by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to help create a semi-individualized diet.
Not Preparing Balanced Meals
When you dont prepare balanced meals that are individualized to your pets needs, it can come at a cost. Nutrition deficiency can lead to diseases, such as malnutrition or obesity, and can ultimately be fatal.
Each of the ~40 essential nutrients required by dogs has a specific role in the body. When they are provided in inadequate concentrations, the function is not optimal and suffering may result, explains Dr. Larsen. Similarly, nutrient excesses can also cause illness. While the impact of an unbalanced diet may be mild and not even noticed or attributed to the diet by the owner, these problems can also be very severe, and pets do not always survive.
Relying On Multiple Diets To Create Balance
Using Unsafe/Unhealthy Ingredients
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Will Your Dog Drink Water
If your dog will drink water but wont eat, it may be due to nausea, stress, or mouth pain. If they are able to keep the water down, that is a good sign. However, if they are vomiting after drinking water, they should be seen by a veterinarian right away, as this could indicate severe nausea or an intestinal obstruction. If they go longer than 24 hours without eating, even if they are still drinking, they should be examined by their vet to determine the underlying cause of their inappetence.
If your dog has not eaten or drank in 24 hours or more, they should be seen by a veterinarian right away in order to be assessed and treated for likely dehydration, and to investigate the underlying cause of their unwillingness to eat or drink.
Anything that can cause a dog to feel ill, such as kidney disease, pancreatitis, intestinal parasites, liver disease, cancer, infection, intestinal obstruction, etc., can lead a dog to refuse food and water. Like humans, dogs cannot go for more than a few days without water, so this should be treated seriously.
How To Prepare Homemade Food For Dogs
When preparing a diet at home for your dog, it is essential that you follow a recipe that is complete and balanced. Once you and your vet have chosen an appropriate recipe, it’s time to get started.
Salmonella And Other Concerns
The FDA released a video focusing on another major threat in commercial pet food: Salmonella bacterial contamination. They also cite other major toxins of concern. The video references the case of a specific commercial pet food plant that was also the subject of a March 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. It details how at least 53 known human illnesses were linked to commercial pet foods made at that plant in 2012. A class action lawsuit linked to this outbreak was settled in 2014.
The video also cites the dangers of over supplementation of nutrients in pet food. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in February 2013 suggested a correlation between liver disease and the amount of copper supplementation in AAFCO diets.
How Can I Get A Picky Dog To Eat Their Food
There are many ways to get picky dogs to eat their food. Try one of the following:
- Give highly palatable and nutritious food
- Make sure the food smells right
- If youre feeding your dog kibble, add some warm water, bone broth, or wet food
- Offer home-cooked food
- Cut down on treats and avoid feeding off the table
- Praise the dog for eating the food
- Take your pet for a walk or a run before feeding time
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Using Tough Love On Picky Eaters
Benefits Of Making Your Dogs Food
- You can personally select the ingredients in your dogs food this is helpful if your dog has allergies or if you want to make sure you use or avoid certain ingredients
- You can choose the quality of the food you want to use whether its food from a local farmer, market, grocery store, or from a bulk source you can use organic, free-range, or other kinds of food that you want
- If you buy ingredients in bulk you can often save money and making your dogs food doesnt have to cost any more than buying dog food sometimes it can cost less while being more nutritious
- You know how your dogs food is prepared and can be assured there wont be any dog food recalls
- You can prepare foods in larger batches so you can freeze smaller portions for later use, thus saving time and effort
- Making food for your dog is no more difficult than making food for yourself or your family but it is usually more nutritious than commercial dog food
- Even the pickiest dog usually loves to eat food that you have prepared for him in your own kitchen
- Other benefits include good skin, good breath, clean teeth, and less doggy odor. In addition, dogs usually have smaller, more compact stools. Dogs are more likely to be well-muscled and lean on a home-prepared diet, according to people who feed this kind of diet.
With all of these benefits you might be wondering why everyone doesnt make their dogs meals. Well, there are some downsides to consider.
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Dog Wont Eat Dry Food
For many owners, it can seem like their dogs are bottomless pits always hungry and always ready for more but some dogs just don’t have much of an appetite, particularly when it comes to dry food. If your dog won’t eat kibble, it could be because they’re a picky eater or just aren’t hungry, but it could also be a sign of an underlying health issue. If your dog refuses to eat dry food or seems to have less appetite than you would expect, here are some things you can do.
Make Sure The Diets Working
After your dogs been dining on your kitchen creations for 2 to 3 weeks, take them to the vet to make sure they are not gaining or losing too much weight. If their weight is changing, check it again in a couple of weeks.
Take your pooch for a checkup twice a year. The vet can look at their skin, coat, body condition, and any type of problems that might be happening as the result of the diet, Larsen says.
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Did You Just Adopt Your Dog Recently
A newly adopted dog can take days or weeks to settle into their new home. Anxiety is a common cause of temporary inappetence, so its not unusual for a new addition to the household to refuse food for the first day or two.
It is important to ensure that they are given a quiet place to eat, away from other pets or children that may interrupt them. As long as they are otherwise energetic and not having vomiting or diarrhea, its okay to give them a day or two to get used to their new home before worrying about them not eating.
However, if they are lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, or go more than 48 hours without eating anything, they should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Make Sure Hes Healthy
If your dog normally eats his food with gusto and has suddenly stopped eating, the most important thing to do is rule out any serious health problems. Many dogs wont eat if theyre not feeling well, especially if theyre suffering from intestinal or dental issues, so you should visit your veterinarian to make sure nothings wrong. But if your dog eats other kinds of food and refuses to touch his dry food, it may mean hes a picky eater.
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How To Get Your Dog To Eat The Dog Food It Does Not Like
This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 82,336 times.
It’s hard to know what to do if your dog is a picky eater, especially when it comes to dry dog food versus wet dog food. There are some dogs that absolutely refuse to eat their dog food, especially dry kibble. This can be dangerous since dog foods are formulated to meet all of a dog’s nutritional needs while a human diet will not meet these needs. By being choosy and refusing to eat, a dog could end up nutritionally deficient and develop serious health problems in his bones, joints, and teeth.
Diagnosing Loss Of Appetite In Dogs
Your vet will ask you about your dogs recent medical history and whether you have noticed any other signs, such as weight loss or vomiting. It is important to try to work out if they have no interest in food or if your dog is hungry but not managing to eat for some reason in these cases, they will show interest in food and sometimes attempt to eat, but then give up or sometimes run backwards. Its likely your vet will give your dog a thorough examination and check their teeth to make sure thats not the source of their problems. They may also run some tests, such as X-rays, ultrasound, taking blood, urine and faecal samples, to check for illness and disease.
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Prepare The Recipe Right
Tempted to experiment in the kitchen? Save it for yourself. Its best not to improvise when you cook for your pooch.
- Follow the recipe. Altering it can have unintended effects. For example, cooking chicken with or without skin and bone changes the recipes nutrient profile, Larsen says. You might also add or subtract calories without meaning to.
- Dont swap ingredients. Some ingredients seem similar but dont provide the same nutrition. For example, corn, canola, and walnut oil provide certain essential fatty acids that olive oil and coconut oil dont. By making swaps, you could very easily unbalance the diet, Larsen says.
- Buy a food scale. They are much more accurate than measuring cups, especially for measuring meat.
Cook all animal products to kill bacteria that could make your pooch sick. Cook grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest.
Easy Meal Toppers And Mix
Stella and Chewys is known for high-quality ingredients and sourcing.
If homemade isnt your thing, there are many pre-made options for kibble toppers and mixers. Most of these are not cheap given the quality of their ingredients. The good news? A little goes a long way, which helps justify the price point.
- DogNog is a well-reviewed goats milk-based topper. Simply add water and mix in.
- Honest Kitchen makes an easy powdered bone broth that offers the same nutritional benefits as homemade broths.
- Green Juju is a whole food supplement for dogs. The formula contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger, along with bison bone broth and coconut oil for digestive and joint health.
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Dietary Supplements For Home
Some supplements are required in addition to natural food for dogs. Others may be needed if you are not able to feed a variety of foods, or if you leave out one or more of the food groups above. In addition, the longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients are lost. Here are some dog supplements to consider:
Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food . You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder . Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well. And here is a good list of calcium-rich foods your dog may like. Just please note this list is for humans and includes orange juice, which is not a good thing to give your dog as the acidity can cause stomach upset.
Most homemade diets require added oils for fat, calories, and to supply particular nutrients. Its important to use the right types of oils, as each supplies different nutrients.
Fish Oil: Fish oil for dogs provides EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Give an amount that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight on days you dont feed fish. Note that liquid fish oil supplements often tell you to give much more than this, which can result in too many calories from fat.