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Nutritionally, which is better: high quality kibble or a balanced home cooked diet?

With the home cooked, I would use vitamin supplements (and bone meal) to meet the needs that the meat is missing out on. (Definitely will be doing more research on this topic)

I don't know much about the home cooked thing, does anyone have any info, advice, or sources?

If it's relevant, this is for my senior non GSD, so I would like to incorporate some glucosimine and things that are good for his joints (he gets a little stiff sometimes but so far hasn't been bad enough to require a regular medication).

Anyhow, I would really appreciate some insight from you wonderful folks!

*side note, the GSD pup is still doing great on Raw, and we will be sticking with that for her. :)
 

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When Frieda had cancer I did some home cooking for her. At first I used Honest Kitchen - one of the chicken or turkey formulas ( I can't remember now), and then Preference which is the type where you add the protein. When she stopped eating that, I used Dr. Fox's recipe. Monica Segal has a great site for home cooking. I bought one of her booklets and tried a couple of recipes in that. The nice thing with that was it made enough for about 1 week, so I wasn't constantly cooking.
Another site I found recently was this one. It seems pretty good. I don't exclusively home cook anymore as Frieda has passed away, but I use one of the above recipes or sometimes the Kirkland grain free canned food to add to the dry food.
Happy is starting to get joint meds, and she wont' eat the liver tablets, so I mash it up in the wet food for her.
 

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High quality kibble is good - wolves can only be fed raw meat and bone but domestic dogs thanks to human selective breeding can get by on kibble and canned food.

Ideally a five star kibble is best but if your budget is tight, a high quality four star kibble will be more than sufficient.

I can't add to advice you get on this subforum to stay away from supermarket pet foods because their ingredients are junk and the reason its so cheap is little thought goes into what makes the best dog diet as opposed to what's the cheapest.

There are many good brands - Costco's Kirkland is a good budget brand and one can't say enough for Walmart stocking Ol Roy's grain-free Pure brand even though their bottom of the line dog food is to be absolutely avoided at all costs.
 

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If you can source quality meats like grass fed beef, lamb, venison I think home made would be superior

My own take is I would rather feed a dog food with these meats sourced grass fed than go to the grocer or poultry farm and buy chicken raised with antibiotics and GMO corn. .... but the cost of grass fed meats is way to high for me to buy for my dog (though in time I hope to buy a freezer and go around to the butchers and try to get grass-fed scrap meats).........

So I buy a 5 star kibble (in my case Nature's Logic) that meets my requirements and have been very happy so far. There are any number of good choices out there though. Honestly, none of them would be as good as a proper raw or home-made diet in my opinion.
 

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Just know that you will more than likely need to supplement if you cook the dog's meals. It loses some of the nutrients that a dog (as opposed to a human) needs once it is cooked, particularly taurine.
 

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I do homecooked now.

For years I fed Orijen, Acana, or the other high quality foods. I have no complaint with any of them.
However, in December my dog was dx with a kidney disease. The vet and a specialist insisted on Hill's K/D. Their "hope" was to try to get his UP/C down 25%. 50% if we were lucky.

I did homecooked and within weeks his UP/C was down 83%.

I used a nutritionist. Best money I ever spent. I filled out a lengthy questionnaire and she formulated the diet. She included all the supplements etc we would need.
I was overwhelmed at first, but now it's routine. She also offers followup and I put that to good use with all the questions I had.
Let me know if you want her info. Her prices are very, very reasonable for what you get.
 

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This the nutritionist I used. Love her. She will base a recipe on commercial foods, commercial foods with real food additions, homecooked, or raw.

www.betterdogcare.com

Her name is Sabine Contreras.
 

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Not homecooked, but I fed Puppy raw for a bit. We did chicken frames, a few types of organs, eggs, and some ground meat as our beginner rotation. She didn't do as well as she did on Orijen, though the breath was significantly better right after eating.

So we went back onto Orijen. I've just started adding a bit of Arcana to keep things interesting, but will go back to all Orijen after this bag, even though she loves the Arcana flavors.

I think it's really hard to do a well-balanced home made diet. I don't have that time to put in, so I would much rather she eat a premium kibble and "suffer" a bit.
 
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