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Discussion Starter #1
My apologies if this has been asked before- I did try searching but couldn't find appropriate results
After having lost my heart dog GSD to cancer at the very young age of 3.5 yrs, I finally gathered the courage to add another one to the family after a year has passed by.

The only possible carcinogen he had been exposed to was Royal Canin (which he used to devour like there is no tomorrow) or it could be a genetic predisposition

Having said that, the whole episode was so heart-wrenching that I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy
With the new puppy coming into the fold in the next few days, I am wondering what food options should I choose

1) Royal Canin maxi starter mixed with water and tiny bit of cow milk

2) Only home cooked food

3) A mix of the two above

If it's only home cooked food (which is what I have shifted my other dog to), I understand that I would need to changethr proportions
Currently I cook a mix of approx 1 kg boneless breast combined with some potatoes, carrots, other veggies and 500gms of rice topped with a few tbsp of veg oil for the other dog (medium sized mongrel)

If I had to cook a separate meal for the puppy, what would be the proportion you would recommend
Also, what would be the approx weight in wet food that I should give to the lil fella who is headed to his forever home on Sunday?

PS: I live in India where the only dog food brands readily available are Royal Canin, Hill's science and Arden Grange (and pedigree which I am discounting) - if you do recommend kibble instead of home cooked, which one would it be?
 

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Your home cooked dog diet is missing vital nutrients. I would suggest a complete and balanced kibble over what you are feeding your dog. Many dogs do well on Royal Canin. There are much better options in the USA.

I just spoke with an veterinarian oncologist today about a small cancer tumor my 3 year old female had removed a couple weeks ago and asked why as I've always fed my dog 'complete and balanced' food, raw for the past 1.5 years. The answer was it is likely genetic. Having said that my dog ate Royal Canin Maxi puppy the first 6 months of her life and wasn't spayed until the tumor was removed. My dog is thriving on home cooked food with the correct supplementation.
 

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I am not a fan of kibble. Home cooked or raw needs to be balanced and nutritionally complete. Puppies in particular have very strict nutritional requirements that need to be met DAILY and there is zero room for error. Personally i am a fan of a commercial raw because you do not have to have a PhD in nutrition to feed it. There are several companies out there that i have been consistently impressed with. Dr. B's Longevity, Steves Real Food, Answers Pet food (if you can find a distributor) to name a few.
 

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I do both high quality kibble and home cooked for mine and she does great on it. If the highest quality you can buy is Royal Canin, then do that. Good luck!
 

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I am not a fan of kibble. Home cooked or raw needs to be balanced and nutritionally complete. Puppies in particular have very strict nutritional requirements that need to be met DAILY and there is zero room for error. Personally i am a fan of a commercial raw because you do not have to have a PhD in nutrition to feed it. There are several companies out there that i have been consistently impressed with. Dr. B's Longevity, Steves Real Food, Answers Pet food (if you can find a distributor) to name a few.
The OP lives in India.

You sure about Steve's Real Food? I heard about unsanitary processing practices like Darwin's.
 

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We used to cook for our dogs. We had recipes that were supposedly complete and balanced for our dogs.

We ground all the vegetables very fine (or is that finely?) and added meat, eggs, rice or oatmeal. That mixture was all baked in the oven and then separated into meal sized portions and frozen.

At some point, our grinder died and with the food processor we had, we couldn't grind the veggies as fine(ly?) as before. Immediately after feeding the coarser ground, but not by much, food we started seeing those veggies just as they were before they were eaten, in the dogs' poop.

It was very evident that the dogs were not digesting any of those veggies we worked so hard to grind and cook for them. So we re-evaluated our feeding program.

Our older dog also had the disgusting habit of eating his own waste. Obviously, there was something there that he thought was edible.

Now our dogs get prey diet raw. The older dog almost immediately stopped eating his poop after the switch was complete. He had been doing that for his entire 9 year old life. It seems that he is digesting everything that is desirable and there is nothing left to tempt him.

To me, feeding starches and vegetables to dogs when they can't digest them is useless. Just my opinion and experience.

I would suggest that the puppy be fed raw, if safe raw food can be obtained. It takes some research and effort to get the diet right, especially with a puppy, but it's well worth the trouble. If pre-made raw is available, it would be my first choice.
 

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Since this is a home cooked food thread I'll share supplement info..

If you're to cook for your dog, ground meat can be sautéed along with finely chopped veggies. The starch can be lightly boiled/simmered separately. I add 3 parts Safflower oil to 1 part fish oil.
The suggested supplements by my holistic vet are 'K9 Transfer Factor' and 'Bone Meal'. All measurements are weight, age, activity dependent. I disagree with whoever said the dog does not digest finely chopped, cooked vegetables, mine does. However this is a lot of work and I will probably be going back to feeding a complete and balanced premade raw diet in another month or 2 when my dog's gut has completely quieted.
 

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I'm sorry, but our dogs did not digest the vegetables. They were ground up, not chopped, and were well cooked. I would think they would have been more broken down before cooking than your chopped veggies. They were very easily seen in their feces and looked just like they did before they were cooked and fed.

This is what we experienced, not some made-up opinion. I suppose your experience may be different and your dog has a different digestive tract than our dogs do. I would think that if you let your dog's waste dissolve in water for a day or so, you would see those same pieces of vegetables that you chopped and fed to him.

We believed our dogs were using those veggies, too, just like you do. We would have argued the same thing, until we saw that they were not digesting them at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since this is a home cooked food thread I'll share supplement info..

If you're to cook for your dog, ground meat can be sautéed along with finely chopped veggies. The starch can be lightly boiled/simmered separately. I add 3 parts Safflower oil to 1 part fish oil.
The suggested supplements by my holistic vet are 'K9 Transfer Factor' and 'Bone Meal'. All measurements are weight, age, activity dependent. I disagree with whoever said the dog does not digest finely chopped, cooked vegetables, mine does. However this is a lot of work and I will probably be going back to feeding a complete and balanced premade raw diet in another month or 2 when my dog's gut has completely quieted.
Thanks - supplements are readily available here as well
To begin with, I am probably going to start with Royal Canin starter and then transition over gradually to home cooked after he is 4-5 months
I am in two minds over raw ..
Premade raw , while available, is hard to trust
Same goes for frozen meats
Having said that, fresh meat from a local meat shop is readily available but we have a 1 year old kid and with both wife and I in full time jobs, it would be hard to maintain the required level of segregation and avoid any possible contamination on either side
Am thinking of keeping a 50% meat/ 20% carb/ 20% veggies / 10% fat (coconut/mustard/safflower in rotation) with added supplements
Any thoughts on what amount (by weight) to feed a puppy?

I'm sorry, but our dogs did not digest the vegetables. They were ground up, not chopped, and were well cooked. I would think they would have been more broken down before cooking than your chopped veggies. They were very easily seen in their feces and looked just like they did before they were cooked and fed.

This is what we experienced, not some made-up opinion. I suppose your experience may be different and your dog has a different digestive tract than our dogs do. I would think that if you let your dog's waste dissolve in water for a day or so, you would see those same pieces of vegetables that you chopped and fed to him.

We believed our dogs were using those veggies, too, just like you do. We would have argued the same thing, until we saw that they were not digesting them at all.
Since I switched to home cooked for my other dog, she has been pooping well and I do not recollect seeing any unprocessed greens
Having said that, she is an Indian pariah (local landrace) that evolved naturally and is by consequence a very robust breed - Evolving over the centuries, while you forage for food will probably have made this breed capable of digesting anything that is edible
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just a quick update
For what it's worth, all my home cooked food plans have failed miserably
tried all sorts of proportions of rice/chicken/yogurt/supplements but the lil fella kept getting formless poo

Switched him back fully to a 2:1 proportion of RC and Farmina starter and that seems to be working well for now
Will give the whole home coked food gig another shot once he is 6 months or older
 

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I think it's flat out nuts for someone without sufficient experience or knowledge to try to self-formulate home-cooked food for a puppy unless you're working with a nutritionist and/or using NRC spreadsheets tracking micronutrients. It's way to easy to screw up their skeletons in PERMANENT ways.

If you are going to do this eventually and don't have access to a nutritionist, you might want to buy Monica Segal's K9 Kitchen book and follow her on FB or subscribe to her newsletter. She ensures recipes follow NRC guidelines -- which isn't easy.

I would also ditch the cow's milk. Dog's don't digest it well. It also throws off the calcium-phosphorus ratio in the RC -- the "balanced" part of complete and balanced! You're making it unbalanced by adding more calcium, and the ca-ph ratio for puppies is crucial. Too much calcium can mess up their growth. (We've had a number of Indian users who were advised to supplement calcium in puppies, and the consensus here is not to do that and instead aim for a correct ratio. So you may be hearing different advice locally, based on how prevalent the posting has been out of India about adding calcium.)

I would suggest that you pick either RC or Farmina. Or rotate every few bags between them if the pup transitions well, to vary the nutrients. Just don't mix them -- again, either one is complete and balanced, but you are making them UNbalanced by mixing them, and thereby throwing off the nutrient ratios.
 

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I agree that until the pup is older it would be best to stick with a quality kibble or commercial raw.
It seems from many posts on this forum that in India it is quite common for home cooked diets for dogs. Likely the reason most vets in India recommend calcium supplementation. Vets might assume without asking that the diet is home cooked and lacking in calcium so they prescribe it. Lack of calcium would not be the case if being fed kibble. Even the OP's list of ingredients of his home cooked diet for his older dog doesn't list any calcium source.

OP going forward should you revisit home cooked please remember that there must be a source of calcium (ie: bone meal) in balance with phosphorus in the diet of both your dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I agree that until the pup is older it would be best to stick with a quality kibble or commercial raw.
It seems from many posts on this forum that in India it is quite common for home cooked diets for dogs. Likely the reason most vets in India recommend calcium supplementation. Vets might assume without asking that the diet is home cooked and lacking in calcium so they prescribe it. Lack of calcium would not be the case if being fed kibble. Even the OP's list of ingredients of his home cooked diet for his older dog doesn't list any calcium source.

OP going forward should you revisit home cooked please remember that there must be a source of calcium (ie: bone meal) in balance with phosphorus in the diet of both your dogs.
I think it's flat out nuts for someone without sufficient experience or knowledge to try to self-formulate home-cooked food for a puppy unless you're working with a nutritionist andj/or using NRC spreadsheets tracking micronutrients. It's way to easy to screw up their skeletons in PERMANENT ways.
Err, if you read my OP, the only reason I would eventually want to go home cooked is because of my past experience with RC.

Also, FWIW, my other dog (4.5 years now) has been faring much better since I switched her from RC to a rotation of chicken/rice/ veggies and fish/oats/ veggies with a teensy bit of supplements , eggs and yogurt ...
It’s a lot more hard work and money than commercial kibble but I owe her that!

having said that, In any case, for now I’ve dropped my plans for the puppy altogether for at least the next 6 months..
Primarily because it would be a lot more difficult to get the right nutrient balance for a growing puppy vs a grown-up dog

Also I am not sure why rotating two supposedly balanced kibbles (RC and Farmina) would be preferable over mixing them.
Assuming both are balanced and the net quantity fed is right, wouldn’t mixing be preferred over rotation which during the rotational transition could cause an upset tummy?

BTW Thanks for the tip on Monica Segal
I have found the hard way that finding scientific information on nutritional balance for dogs is pretty hard to find on the web
 

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Err, if you read my OP, the only reason I would eventually want to go home cooked is because of my past experience with RC.

Also, FWIW, my other dog (4.5 years now) has been faring much better since I switched her from RC to a rotation of chicken/rice/ veggies and fish/oats/ veggies with a teensy bit of supplements , eggs and yogurt ...
It’s a lot more hard work and money than commercial kibble but I owe her that!

having said that, In any case, for now I’ve dropped my plans for the puppy altogether for at least the next 6 months..
Primarily because it would be a lot more difficult to get the right nutrient balance for a growing puppy vs a grown-up dog

Also I am not sure why rotating two supposedly balanced kibbles (RC and Farmina) would be preferable over mixing them.
Assuming both are balanced and the net quantity fed is right, wouldn’t mixing be preferred over rotation which during the rotational transition could cause an upset tummy?

BTW Thanks for the tip on Monica Segal
I have found the hard way that finding scientific information on nutritional balance for dogs is pretty hard to find on the web
I hope you didn't take offense to my post. I'm glad your older dog is doing well on your home cooked diet. I don't object to any dog being feed home cooked, raw or quality kibble. I was just simply pointing out since some else made a comment about calcium supplements being bad for growing puppies that calcium is needed in all life stages and it is one of the most often over looked add to home cooked diets. It was meant to be informational not judgmental.

I understand your feeling about RC food. We are very fortunate here in the United States to have many, many more options for our pets. It's sad that so many countries do not and have to make do with the less than best options for manufactured food because that is all that is available.

FWIW I agree with you on mixing kibbles. Since they are both balanced than I see no harm in mixing them if your dog likes them and eats well and maintains good health.
 

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I hope you didn't take offense to my post. I'm glad your older dog is doing well on your home cooked diet. I don't object to any dog being feed home cooked, raw or quality kibble. I was just simply pointing out since some else made a comment about calcium supplements being bad for growing puppies that calcium is needed in all life stages and it is one of the most often over looked add to home cooked diets. It was meant to be informational a not judgmental.

I understand your feeling about RC food. We are very fortunate here in the United States to have many, many more options for our pets. It's sad that so many countries do not and have to make do with the less than best options for manufactured food because that is all that is available.

FWIW I agree with you on mixing kibbles. Since they are both balanced than I see no harm in mixing them if your dog likes them and eats well and maintains good health.
None taken :)
The older dog also gets crushed egg shells once in a while..plus she’s lactose tolerant and loves getting her grubby paws into a bowl of milk once in a while

Coming to kibble in India, RC is the most widely available brand (barring of course, Pedigree)
Farmina (N&D) has been getting popular of late
Orijen too is available but I’ve heard mixed reviews , esp for puppies
 

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So....I'm a total novice when I comes to gsd nutrition, And I'm not even a dog owner yet....9 more days till The pup comes!

However, I am a physician, and I feel compelled to make the following comment, most bc I'd like to hear your collective responses. I've learned a lot from this forum and I look forward to benefiting from your collective wisdom. So here goes.

In medicine, where new drugs and therapies are coming out all the time, only to be followed about 12 months later by commercials on TV for class action lawsuits because of side effects and adverse reactions to these drugs and therapies, it turns out that the drugs you NEVER see issues with are the old tried and true ones. The meds that have been around forever - aspirin, beta blockers, etc. these drugs have a long, wide-ranging track record over many decades with millions of people. so even though looking at them retrospectively has only limited value from a research point of view it's fairly easy to make assumptions about their safety simply based on the total number of people treated over many many years.

So here's my comment/question. Royal Canin has been around for ever. It's the food we've fed our Maine Coon cats for over 20 years. It's up there with the tried and true brands. Not a Johnny come lately. No lawsuits that I know of. Etc etc. So presuming your dog does not have a bonified, REAL grain allergy, what is the perceived problem with RC? Seems to me that RC has a pretty good track record. I understand the temptation to embrace new trends like grain free food for example, but the latest dust up around DCM is a perfect example of the unintended consequences of these kinds of decisions particularly Where more novel ideas in nutrition or pharmaceuticals are concerned. I understand fully that the jury is still out about DCM and grain-free food, taurine deficiency, Etc. I'm just using this as one example.

Now that's just my preception, so feel free to pile on now but be gentle.

?
 

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To the OP: Why do you feel that Royal Canin gave your dog cancer?

One of my dogs also died at 3 years old, and many here have had dogs die early of that horrible disease. I would never have though to blame the food she was eating, and I imagine most of these dogs were eating different brands.

Why Royal Canin in particular?
 

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Just a quick update :

The pup is now primarily on Farmina (pomegranate and ancestral grains) starter (75%)
I do give him RC starter mixed in one meal as well as a boiled egg mixed in in the morning (25%)

I refuse to agree that 100% of a single food is mandatory - assuming each commercial kibble is 100% balanced, mathemetically it does not matter if you mix them in any given proportion
If at all, it should be beneficial as 1 may have certain supplements that the other one doesn't so you are spreading the hedge

Coming to the post by @Ozymandiasmv - much appreciated!
Granted there may not be a direct connection between RC and cancer - but the fact remains that we would never feed ourselves, least of all a baby highly processed food all the time
It is almost conclusively proven for humans that excessive processed food has a correlation with cancer and other illnesses and every human physician would recommend sticking to a diet consisting of fresh food with maybe a little bit of processed food

I don't see why the same would not be true for our dogs!

At some point in time, I would still want to shift to a mix of kibble and home cooked
I must admit though that I found it very surprising that a lot of folks on this thread are of the view that creating a balanced homecooked meal is akin to rocket science
I found a few straightforward recipes such as this
I don't see why Mixing and matching other fresh ingredients , as long as I use a rough scale and a basic spreadsheet should be too difficult
 
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