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I know that there have been numerous food threads that have come up but from reading them and the websites that have been posted I have some questions about adding a little bit of fruit and veggies to his diet. He is on Nutro Natural Venision and Brown Rice right now, he gets 3 cups, once a day and if we ever give him anything else we cut back on the amount of cereal that he gets. The only other food that he gets is

Scrambled Eggs


Cottage Cheese

Sliced Cheese


Soup Bones

and these are VERY rare, minus the pumpkin, that I mix in with his cereal probably twice a week.

I guess what I am really looking for is any advice on what veggies and fruits are better than others, I know that there are quite a few that are hard for them to digest and things like that. Any direction to some good web sites would be great!!! There is so much information out there and it is hard to seperate it all. I would like to one day go completely raw but at the moment am not ready.

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I would go with adding one more meat source to his diet before adding fruits/veggies on a regular basis. The Nutro is a bit light on the meat based protein (it includes rice gluten as a separate ingredient - gluten raises the protein significantly, allowing less meat to be used). Just a little smidge of something will do it, whether an ounce or so of red meat, or a chicken wing, or a few ounces of caned fish - just something to get a little more "critter" in our dog's diet. :rolleyes:


The good thing is that you can reduce the dairy substantially if you do this. Start veeeery slowly - don't chunk down two ounces of raw meat in your dog's bowl right off the bat. Start off with a quarter of what you will work up to, and give your dog a few days to adjust.


Once you've made the adjustment, if you still want to add fresh fruits and veggies, pretty much the sky's the limit there. Grapes and raisins are off the menu - they are very dangerous. Onions cause a particular form of anemia, and there's some thought that garlic might also be problematic if you just go wacko with it.


But that's the key. I don't give any more than a few tablespoons of F/V per day to the dogs. Well, except for Zhi who gets raw veggies as treats.


What I do is mix the veggies with a can of salmon or jack mackerel, or a few cans of sardines, plus a few eggs partly poached and thrown in the blender with the shells.


What veggies? Anything except the above! I like to keep my choices seasonal, local, and strike a balance between yellows, greens, tropicals, berries, roots, and several other categories, all over time. Because I have one dog on all home prepared, and one on less than 25% kibble, I track the major nutrients I'm offering via the veggies. But if it's just a way to enhance the diet, there's no need to do anything that elaborate.


The fruits and veggies must be offered in a form which has broken down the cellulose walls that contain the nutrients you want your dog to access. This is different for different fruits and veggies. Some fruits can be simply frozen and crushed - and the dog can even get a lot from eating them raw. Most must be, minimally, mushed up in a food processor (like broccoli or pineapple). Others are ideally steamed for maximum benefit (like sweet potatoes). Some very fibrous veggies, like okra, I'd both cook and grind.

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Wow, three cups of kibble a day sounds like a bit much to me but that would depend on the caloric content and your dog's activity level.


We feed cooked winter squash with each feeding right now (we feed twice a day) and a recreational (soup bone) every second day in general. It's great for keeping them occupied in the crate if I am at work or if I am working here at home, and keeps their breath fresh and their teeth clean.


Only one of my dogs is a big veggie eater - cooked or raw, winter squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, carrots, corn, etc. The others like cooked squash or cooked beets (watch out for purple poop!). When we finish our store of winter squash, we will be feeding the beets that Ed has buried in the garden under leaves and a tarp.


I like raw eggs for pups for a good source of protein and fat. We give them any old cheese that has gone beyond our "use by" date that is still edible, in small amounts. The same goes for cottage cheese.

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Don't be nervous! Just take it slow like you are doing, and let your dog's health and condition, and your own comfort level, be your guide. Pretty soon your own search for information will be driven by seeing the little improvements in your dog, and you'll get addicted to trying to make it just a little bit better!


BARF is a particular raw feeding method. You can google it and read up. Remember on these approaches, that many times they are driven by a very single-minded philosophy ("dogs should always . . .", "you should never feed X to a dog . . ." etc). A very nice, very simple and straightforward reference for raw feeding is "Raw Dog Ranch." A reference for home prepared diets is Lew Olsen's "B-Naturals" These are not the be-all end all resources either, they are just a starting place.


You can also look into other kibbles to upgrade the nutrition you offer your dog. Nutro is pretty light on meat based protein as I mentioned. That might be exactly what your dog needs. But, it wouldn't be my first stop on the search for the best food out there for my dog.


There's a bewildering variety of commercial products. I've found the Dog Food Project to be the most comprehensive resource for information on ingredients, how to read a label, and a database for comparing most foods out there today, right in one place.


Good luck!

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I think one of the main reasons I held off feeding raw was because it sounded so complicated! how to balance everything


for a while I just gave ben a wee bit raw meat when I was making it


I joined a couple of yahoo groups and read lots of websites

decided barf-as in the meat bones and veggies was not for me-too difficult and it didn't seem to make sense


so I went for pray model/raw meaty bones and its so easy

don't need to worry about veggies, he don't need em, I don't feed em

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WOW! Thank you so much for that Raw Dog Ranch web site. pictures and all for the dummies like me out there. :rolleyes: , I already ahve him on a Fish oil with Omega 3 supplement but I am thinking about adding flaxseed too. Heck I take so why aren't I giving it to him. I surely have some homework now. :D

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