Since it's a common question and we've changed his previous diet the past year, I thought it would be helpful to share what Buddha eats these days.
We were initially on Orijen which gave Buddha runny stool, it was simply too rich for his tummy. After trying other kibbles and doing lots of research, we moved onto raw food (80% meat / 10% raw bone / 10% organs). He seemed to be doing much better on the unprocessed foods but his stool was inconsistent and every once in awhile he would regurgitate his meal. Gross. I also had to hold his bone-in meats at meal time (not because he is a gulper which you have to watch for in raw) but because I didn't want raw meat being dragged around our clean floors. Yuck.
After much trial and error, I've decided to cook his meat and add powdered bone along with his usual supplements. This has worked perfectly well for all of us. His stool is consistent, no more regurgitated food, and it's a lot more nutritious than packaged kibble. The only negative seems to be that we've lost the benefit of self teeth cleaning from gnawing on raw bones. To fix that, we just throw him a recreational raw bone on our balcony once in awhile on sunny days and have Siena brush his teeth a little extra.
He gets a wide variety of meat and fish, non gmo, sometimes organic and grass-fed if the price is right. He still gets a balance of the 80/10/10 of 2.5lbs a day, split into two meals. Since we no longer give him raw bone, I save, dry, and powder organic and untreated egg shells to add to his meals. For easy organ meat when I'm in a pinch I just open up a can of Tripett, otherwise it's liver or heart fresh from the butcher. He gets a tablespoon or two of pumpkin and a 1/4 cup of our favorite supplement Green Juju which includes awesome ingredients like buffalo bone broth, coconut oil, and dandelion greens.
The research on homemade dog food is out there, you just have to do the necessary research to ENSURE it is balanced for your dog. When you home cook or prepare your own recipe for your canine companion, please do the math for proper portions. I get sad and upset when I see young puppies who are mistakenly fed only 3% of their body weight when they should be getting 10% or when dogs are given only raw chicken wings for each and every meal. Check out dog food calculators online and different recipes - not one fits all so it will take some practice to find the perfect recipe for your dog. Start slow and add other ingredients slowly so you can see if there are any negative changes.
The photo above is a usual meal for Buddha although the main meat source is on regular rotation. The meal includes:
- free range, non-gmo chicken breast (on sale! yay!)
- wild caught sardines
- 1/4 cup of Green Juju (bone broth, coconut oil, greens, and more!)
- duck hearts
- green tripe
- powdered egg shells
- splash of raw goat's milk
Note that when Buddha is at camp or we are traveling, we keep a bag of FROMM on hand and add Green Juju with a raw egg or two on it. For those of you who would rather save time than money, we did love the food from The Honest Kitchen. Oh, and for our little 3lb Chihuahua, she gets two nuggets a day of a variety of the Primal packaged foods. She's just so little I want to be 100% sure all the percentages are correct.
Home prepping your dog's food is time consuming and can be cheaper or more expensive depending on how and where you source it. A minimally processed kibble is still a perfectly acceptable meal plan if that is what works best for your family. Hopefully you discover what is best for you and your dog. The fact that you just took the time to check out this post shows that you care for your pet so thank you! Good luck on your search!