Yes, I know those recipes and used to use them years ago, until I looked into things more. They're all over rescue sites too. Carmen has also posted in the past about the problems in some of those recipes. Those recipes seem great until you have the one dog who can't tolerate all that fat, and then you have a $1,000 vet bill for pancreatitis. Not worth the risk!
Putting weight on "quickly" is also a goal I find strange on some of those sites. I have fostered too many emaciated, sick dogs, and the advice of good vets is always the same: slow, steady weight gain is the safest kind.
I feed them to restore health in compromised dogs, so to me, everything in them should support health. It's very easy to simplify those recipes into something a little better. Less is more, with ingredients -- there's no magic to making a meat ball the dogs find delicious.
For weight gain, although 80/20 is usually plenty of fat, I have used 70/30 meat too and that's a lot of fat -- you'll see it when you bake them. I pour off whatever is left in the roasting pan (it's quite a bit). I honestly don't understand the need for the huge amount of vegetable oil some people are pouring in them (and some oil likely to be used, like canola, is pretty nasty), and I've never seen a good justification for it.
I also put 10% chopped organ meat in mine -- ideally kidney and liver, but even just liver if that's all I have, as it's a snack not a meal. It is a little nutritional and flavor boost. I prefer using good eggs -- Farmer's Market yard eggs, if I can get them, as they have better nutrition when chickens are foraging bugs, worms, and weed shoots outdoors.
To me, the organ meat or yard eggs are simple, natural nutrition boosters that make more sense for a dog than fortified human breakfast cereal. You can also use culinary herbs too, to target any concerns (turmeric/pepper, oregano, etc.).
I think the gelatin in most recipes is likely superfluous protein in a food that's already protein dense. It won't hurt and might help digestion with some extra aminos, but it's an inconclusive ingredient to me. It's one of those things I'll add if I have it, but I'm not going to worry about leaving it out either. I'd just as soon give bone broth for collagen, as it has a lot of other good benefits that plain gelatin lacks.
Last edited by Magwart; 03-09-2018 at 11:29 AM.