Feeds and feeding…

The title of the post is a takeoff from a Veterinary Technician course I had to take. It had to do with feeding livestock. I didn’t pay much attention in class because I didn’t think it would relevant. After all, I was going to work with small animals, not large animals. Well, guess what?! The first job I had was in a practice that consisted of 95% ranch cattle! Not that the ranchers would have listened to some young female just out of school! Guess it really didn’t matter that I paid only enough attention to get the grades… 

Susan sent the following, which may be of interest to some of you:

Do you by any chance find that the dogs need a bit more food as the
weather gets cooler?  Seems that my three are acting hungrier since the
season changed….
It took me a while to get Sammy to not be overweight, so I don’t want to
run any risks of overfeeding, but I also don’t want to be abusing them
if they need more to keep warm….

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
By the way, per your recommendation, they are on a fully raw diet now. 
Something called Nature’s Variety.  Each dog gets 1/4 patty twice a day,
which I think is 2 oz twice a day.  In the mornings they share 2 chicken
strips;  after breakfast they share 1/2 of a Jumbo Flossie; and at
bedtime they each get 1/2 of a dried chicken liver….

Oh, and they get a vitamin pill crunched up on their dinner and 1/2 of a
Synovi G3 (glucosamine, MSM, etc) soft chew with their breakfast

Timer just went off….their dinner is ready.

Excellent! They’re all eating a raw diet. After reading Katy’s comments on the Budwig post, I bet you’re happy with the choice. And, I’m sure the dogs are! It’s great that we, as dog owners, have available products like Nature’s Variety and Oma’s Pride.

Also excellent that you’re aware of keeping their weight at an appropriate level. Too many of my grooming clients – the dogs, I’m referring to, not the owners 🙂 – are overweight. I simply don’t understand this. We control how much food our dogs get. Reduce the portion/s if the dog is putting on the poundage! I joke about starting a weight camp for dogs. Mostly it’s a joke… A good rule of thumb regarding each dog’s weight is to be able to feel the dog’s ribs. And, no poking through the fat to find the ribs doesn’t count! Place your hand over the dog’s back and move your hand back and forth. You should feel the backbone and the ribs with some ease.

My dogs do eat more as summer turns to fall. Over a week ago, I began to increase their portions, along with ‘cooking’ for them. Although I prefer a raw diet, this is not always practical in my situation. My dogs usually eat a combination of kibble and meatloaf from Oma’s Pride, mixed with any leftovers, including the water left from steaming vegetables. This way, if I’m gone, the dogs’ transition to a kibble only diet is easy. During those times, the dogs have kibble available throughout the day, taken away in the late afternoon. This is a manageable routine for Samantha, my kennel help. And, there’s not a huge transition for the dog when going to a forever home, no matter the new owner’s choice in feeding. During the impossibly busy weeks of August/September, I feed only kibble simply because of my time. Last weekend, I made the transition back to ‘cooking’. It’s perfect timing with the season change.

5 Comments on “Feeds and feeding…”

  1. Katy Widger says:

    It just dawned on me (duh!) that Zeke’s new-founded hearty appetite was due to the cooler weather! Seems like I was “begging” him to eat this summer, and even bought him some Wysong kibble designed to supplement his raw meaty diet, when he wouldn’t eat his “extras”. He weaned himself from the kibble and is now heartily enjoying his 100% raw diet. I added green tripe, and he’s in doggie heaven! I’m feeling very good about his diet now. His poops are great. I found them to be very “mucousy” when he was eating kibble along with his raw food, but now that he’s on all raw, they’re back to solid, dark and small with little odor, just like they’re supposed to be. Zeke must think I’m nuts when I get excited over his “good poops!”
    He weighs 16#’s now, and I’ll keep a good watch over his intake so we don’t get too much of a good thing. He’s very active and full of energy, so hard to imagine he’ll ever get fat.
    Glad to hear about the Oma’s Pride and Nature’s Variety. I’m going to ask for them at the local doggie health food store. I bought some Primal, which was the only complete raw diet they had, to have on hand should I run out or need the convenience. The ingredients list sounds great, but he’s not thrilled with it, though.

  2. I am now feedomg Roadie Blue.www,blueBuff.com. I seems to like it mixed with the can dog food. I notice he was kind of restless at night, so I have increased his feedings a little. I was giving him California natural, he began to leave it or lay and look at the bowl. I read the ingredients in Blue plus the vitamins. bowl.

  3. Susan says:

    Dang me !!!!
    Today the groomer looked at Raji and Sammy and brought the boom down on me. They need to lose some weight. Ouch !!!! Well, so do I, but that’s a subject we are definitely not going to touch.

    Seems they are all eating about the same as when I posted here in September. They each get 2 oz Nature’s Variety 2 X day. I’ve already cut them back so they get 1/3 of 1 chicken strip in the morning, and they all share 1 Jumbo Flossie after breakfast. At night they get 6 (I’m serious, I count them) pieces of Innova kibble with their Nature’s Variety.

    So, Rinchen is still small and trim — probably about 14 pounds. Champ seems to have gained a pound since he got here. He weighed 11.7 when we went to the vet a week ago. But both Sammy and Raji weigh about 20 pounds. Chunks !!!!

    Anyway, tonight I took that 8 oz patty of NV and saved 2 oz of it for tomorrow, so they each got 1 1.75 oz and only 4 pieces of kibble.

    I’ll try to keep that up for a while, but I’m wondering what you think? Is it enough of a cut back? Too much? And how long do you think it will take for me to see some results?

    Raji sat around the kitchen for a whole long time after the dishes were cleared away hoping….hoping….hoping that maybe I was just fooling and there was another course coming….


  4. lhasalhady says:

    First of all, kudos to both your groomer and you! I can’t tell you how many overweight dogs I groom. This year I’m on a mission with those dogs. To heck with offended owners! Their dog/s health is at stake!

    Are you cutting back everyone’s food? That’s what I’m reading, but maybe that’s not right. There’s no need to cut back Rinchen. Does your groomer think Champ’s weight is okay? If I were cutting back food on ‘the chunks’, I cut back to 2/3s on everything. After a month and another trip to the groomer (ask her if they’ve lost weight), I’d make any necessary adjustments.

  5. Susan says:

    Good question and very astute. Yes, I started out by cutting back everyone, because I had forgotten that they have gotten polite enough around their eating that if I put a bowl down for them, each of them will finish up. Raji will go and vacuum up anything left in every bowl, but everyone is intent on finishing his/her own, so she won’t get anyone’s share. I’ll put Rinchen and Champ back up a notch and take Raji and Sammy down a bit more.
    We’ll keep you posted.

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