Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dog Food

What do you feed your dogs? I've got mine on Taste of the Wild, rice, and wild game meat (cooked). Keeping my dogs happy and in prime condition has always been tricky for me. A lot of Nihon Ken have sensitive stomachs and allergy issues, and some are just picky eaters. 

Baron is a picky eater, with a sensitive stomach. The summer heat does a number on him every year, and he loses his appetite. During the hunting season, it's nearly impossible to keep weight on him as he burns through more calories than he eats. My Shikoku females have great appetites, and are a lot less picky about what they eat.

I've learned that staying away from foods with corn does keep my dogs' digestive systems happier. I'm not fond of kibble in general, as I'd rather feed my dogs a more natural and less processed diet. Unfortunately there are many times when my schedule does not allow me to cook for the dogs, and switching foods randomly upsets their stomachs a lot. Way back when I had 1-2 dogs, I did pre-cook/freeze food for them, and naturally they loved it.

There are many discussions on the internet regarding optimal canine diets and dog food, so if you haven't given too much thought to your dogs diet other than to try to pick up the most expensive food you can, google it! There are a couple sites that give reviews on a lot of the kibble out there, and here are two that I use 




If you feed your dogs a lot of meat, stick to organs and red meat, and stay away from too much fat. Believe me, it wrecks their stomachs, and you will not enjoy the results.

20 comments:

  1. Well my kai is a picky eater too so I feed my dogs with dry-food in the morning and raw in the evening (doesn't take time) but the raw food is very variated so ex. today they will get Lam-mix where the mixture is 74% lam, 8% giblets(?), 10% salmon, 8% fruits and vegetables, tomorrow tripe with vegies and the day after tomorrow either calf bones or ostrich necks :)

    dry food i change between (which ever is the cheapest at the moment buying)
    Taste of the wild
    Acana
    kingsmoor
    Canidae
    Essentials

    thats how our feeding is constructed at the moment :) but the nice thing with raw-feed is that you can variated it so they don't get the same day out and day in :)

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    1. How do your dogs do on that cycle? I have a feeling mine would ignore the dog food in the morning if I tried that.

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    2. It goes really well :)
      the story goes that Kaito only got Raw-feed, but then i bought horse meat and that he wouldn't eat, so he went over and ate Bella's dry-food (I was very much surprised at this!)
      so I started dry-food in the mornings and raw in the evening, some mornings he doesn't want the dry food, then i just offer it to him in the afternoon (and then he usually eats it) and then he always eats the raw in the evening :) if he skips the dry food it doesn't really matter because i give him 200 grams out of 350 g to the whole day :)

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  2. My Kishu was a very picky eater as well.
    It was quite funny at times how picky she would be and what foods she liked or disliked. For my new puppy, I'm thinking about a raw dehydrated food called Honest Kitchen
    (http://www.thehonestkitchen.com) or Taste of the Wild or a little bit of both mixed together. I also hear turkey necks are good snacks

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    1. yes they are, but they had turkey necks last month, so this month i got ostrich ;)there's more meat on the ostrich though..
      and I use them as snacks as well as a whole meals :) I have the sliced version, you can get them sliced or whole.

      but if you give them whole necks I would recommend that you don't give them a whole ration of dry-food, because they only need 3-600 grams a day for a hole meal :)ex. my Kai on 13 kg eats 350 grams in a day if on raw-food only, but because i give him dry food too he only gets 200 (he's a little skinny thats why the extra) other vise I would to cut the rations in half ;)

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  3. My dogs get a large assortment of things, but they are on a mainly raw/whole foods diet. They get chicken, beef, pork, and turkey most often with plenty of liver. Sometimes they get salmon or lamb, if I can find it for cheap. They get the leftovers from whatever I hunt (anything they will eat) and various fruits and vegetables from the organic farm I work on (ground up). In the wintertime when fresh produce is scarce, they get rice and oats instead. Every now and then I'll give them a commercial food like Taste of the Wild, Diamond Naturals, or EVO. They frequently get my leftovers which is just about everything that won't harm them. One of them has a stricter diet due to digestive intolerances, but he can still eat a wide variety of foodstuffs.

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    1. Food in general is very expensive in Japan, and imported kibble (pretty much all the stuff produced here is crap) is too. I don't know how, but I've managed to find TOTW from one wholesaler at an insanely cheap price, so that's what I'm going with for now.

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    2. Taste of the Wild is a very good kibble for it's price (at least here in the U.S. of A.) and it's what my dogs ate before I switched to whole foods. I feed them the stuff they get now since my rent is extremely cheap and I can afford to spend a bit more on dog food every month, but if I couldn't, they'd go back to TOTW with supplemented meats.
      That's cool that you can get it for a good price. It's always nice when you can find good things for cheap.

      If my landlady allows, I'm going to try raising rabbits and/or chickens next year. I'd try this year but I am traveling in December (with the dogs) and I'd need to find someone to take care of the animals, and who wants to do that when it's cold and wet outside. During the holidays to boot.

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  4. For a year now, my pups have been on a raw diet of muscle, organ, and bone. Most of the time they get chicken and fish, since we can get that really cheap or catch it ourselves. Pretty soon their (and our) diet will have rabbit as well, since I started raising meat rabbits. I pick up any other meats when it's on sale, and will barter eggs (backyard chickens ftw) with hunters for butchering scraps or frostbitten meat from previous seasons. I'll also supplement their diet with eggs, rice, veggies, leftovers, and anything else I find that they can have.

    I've noticed a great improvement since the switch from kibble the pups have better coats, more energy, and smaller poops. I just wasn't liking what I see when they were eating kibble, especially since right after the switch to raw there have been tons of kibble recalls in the US.

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    1. Yes, there definitely is a noticeable change in my dogs depending on their diet. I'm aiming for a sustainable lifestyle, but not 100% there yet. Once I'm there, my dogs will be there too, but for that I'll need more freezer space.

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  5. I feed Taste of the wild to Bella my boxer she does good on it she gets meat two or three times week. S

    he loves fish, liver, heart, and any kind of meat. I've given her some groundhog too which Bella loved.

    Saya my shiba gets raw diet and sometimes cooked stuff. She does pretty good on the variety of things. She loves rabbit, lamb, quail, and fish.

    (Anonymous)I've fed honest kitchen a 10 lb lasts Saya for long time. I gotten her the zeal(fish)one and also gotten the love(beef)formula.

    It's pricey. I only buy it when there is a $10 off coupon or decent deal on it.

    I only use it as snack or small meal for Saya and Bella as kibble topper so it lasts bit longer both dogs like it and haven't had issue with it.

    I sometimes mix the stuff with either caned fish, ground meat, egg or whatever.

    I keep it on hand in case I need someone else to feed her or if too busy to thaw out a drumstick or boneless meat.. Like this weekend I'm prepping things to fix the basement up so kinda busy.

    I've cooked rice, liver, heart, kidneys and ground meat and added cooked ground veggies to it or whole cooked veggies and made a dog type casserole.. dogs liked it as kibble topper or small meal.

    I'm fine with feeding kibble adding some meat and things help with variety and I'm sure the dog enjoys the extra stuff. Luckily Saya isn't too picky and Bella loves any type of food except for pheasant. Luckily Saya loves it so she ate it for Bella.

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    1. Interesting that Bella doesn't like Pheasant. I wonder why that is?

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  6. Sam is also a pick eater, I have tried IAMS, Call of the Wild, Acana and 4 Health. So far he seems to enjoy Acana and The Taste of the wild the best, But I do like Acana due to low amount per serving.

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    1. I've never gotten around to feeding Acana. I did try Orijen for a while, but it just cost way too much here in Japan. It cost more to feed the dogs than myself!

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  7. It's a funny coincidence because I received this morning TOTW because Ikko is sensitive to his previous kibbles.
    The vet gave us some vet dry food and Ikko hated them ahah my lovely picky guy <3. I have to buy TOTW on internet because here in France there is no shop that sell TOTW or Acana... So I'll see Ikko and Naoki love them ^^.
    I don't feed them with raw food because I have a too small freezer for that and I prefer spend more time with them (playing, walking, socialization etc)

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  8. Kibble-wise guys from my experience Orijen-Acana are the best in my opinion. I had my Ashi (Akita Inu) on pro plan for 10 months and after i did some research i threw it away and bought Acana. I don't know how much it costs in Japan, however here in Cyprus is between 50-65 euros per 13.5 kg . Acana is cheaper than Orijen and i have chosen Acana since our weather is really hot here and too much protein is difficulty digested due to the weather.

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  9. How does TOTW compare to a more mass produced product like Science Diet? Also, what is a good distributor of TOTW?

    One more question: is it safe to feed your dogs chicken with rice if the bones are still in? I used to read it was a danger for the dogs to eat this because the chicken bones would splinter and could cause injuries in the esophagus or stomach.

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    1. Science Diet, Eukanuba, IAMS, Royal Canin... pretty much all of these famous brands are junk food. Think of it as eating McDonald's every day (sort of anyway). The nutritional value is lacking.
      One good rule of thumb is to look at the list of ingredients. They list ingredients in order of quantity. Most dog food like the ones above have corn listed as the first ingredient. Dogs (especially many Japanese dogs) have trouble getting nutritional value out of corn, and many are unable to digest it. You can read about it here http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/corndogfood.htm

      It is not a good idea to feed cooked chicken bones to your dog. The bones can splinter and pierce your dogs digestive tract earning you a trip to the vet, or a dead dog.

      Here's where I buy my TOTW (and it's surprisingly cheap!) http://www.bisdoggy.jp/

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  10. I forgot to specify, a distributor of TOTW here in Japan.

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