Home cooked puppy diet needs ? to be "balanced"? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Home cooked puppy diet needs ? to be "balanced"?

I *think* most people would agree that a home cooked diet for a dog needs to have a bone meal supplement (if, of course, the dog isn't eating any other meaty bones, etc.) and *some* organ meat to be properly balanced.

My question is...assuming you feed such a diet (which I do), what additional food(s), supplements, etc., specifically, does a puppy need to be sure I'm meeting all of their nutritional needs at such a critical stage of their life?

Thank you,
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:43 PM
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You should contact a dietician like Monica Segal. Nobody here is a nutritional expert.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 07:37 PM
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When I got started with preparing my dog's own diet, I actually looked up the nutritional information for all of the ingredients and compared them to a dog's nutritional requirements. Lots of spreadsheets, math, and research. I purchased a few university text books on animal nutrition. Including this one:


Here is a free PDF quick sheet based on the above text


Your question is really hard to answer because it all so variable. What meat source are you using? Which organs? What carbs? What greens and fruits?

Bone meal is just one of several choices to provide minerals (mostly calcium). Egg shell and commercial calcium supplements are other options. Vitamin E is often chronically deficient in home prepared diets. So is choline. And we haven't even scratched upon BALANCE. Calcium to Phos ratios, etc

And that is just the start.

Your choice of protein is important as well. If you are feeding primarily poultry or fish, then you may be deficient in zinc. If you aren't feeding grassfed red meat you will be deficient in omega fatty acids. Heck even dark meat vs white meat and skin on or off makes major differences.

There is a lot of advice on the interwebs that make me want to scream. The 80/10/5/5 rule for meat/bone/liver/organ and the "balance over time" being among them.

Severe deficiencies cause growth issues and other heath problems immediately... but long term minor deficiencies will cause issues that were are hoping to help prevent with home prepared diets. Accelerated aging. Degenerative diseases. Cancer.

Have you read the UC Davis study from 2013 on homemade diets? I think it should be required reading for anyone wanting to provide one for their pet. 200 recipes analyzed and only FIVE were nutritionally complete. It is eye opening and scary stuff. Considering 65% of those were written by vets - I wouldn't trust any recipe without looking up the nutritional values myself anyways...

Personally, these days I like to use commercial vitamin and mineral premixes I add to meat to make a completely balanced diet, then I add whole food extras for things like antioxidants, and hormonal balance. It's a lot easier and has been kinder to my wallet than providing all the micros through whole food sources alone. I like fresh pet oasis and balance it. Both were created by board certified vet nutritionists and neither source from china. I like the ingredients of balance it a little better but oasis is waaay better on the budget.

TL,DR: the only way to answer your question is to look up the values of what you ARE feeding first and go from there

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 07:47 PM
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Balance It (balanceit.com) is a recipe-generating service run by a PhD nutritionist/DVM affiliated with UC Davis. Their diets require buying their premix, I think. Last I checked, they declined to offer recipes for large breed puppies, which says something about the complexity of LBP diet formulation. You might contact them to see if that's changed, or they'll do a custom recipe.

The downside of getting it wrong with a growing puppy is too profound to wing it based on guess work (with permanent disfigurement being a risk).

Last edited by Magwart; 08-17-2017 at 07:50 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice and suggestions!

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