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My gsd girl is 6 months old and weighs 50 lbs. She's always been a pretty light eater and lean looking. I feed her a mix of Acana kibble and Northwest Naturals raw food. I feed her 3 times a day.

I've read that mixing kibble and raw can be hard on the digestion, but I've not seen it as a problem and some articles have disproved that theory. Still, I worry that I'm doing something wrong.

Some days, she eats very little and it seems like she favors any other food over the kibble. I have to admit, she's probably a little spoiled, because I do add all kinds of things to her food such as, home cooked meats, cooked vegetables, goat yogurt, bone broth, nutritional yeast, sardines, egg yolks.

The problem is that I never know how much to feed her, because she'll be like a bottomless pit some days and will basically fast other days. I don't want her to not eat, because of something I'm doing wrong and I don't want her to eat too much, because I give her special foods she can't resist like chicken and Yams.

Ideally, I'd put her in an all raw diet, but I wouldn't want it to be pre-made, but I don't have the time, recorces, or knowledge to make it myself. Is there a happy medium, like what I'm already doing? Or does it seem like I should do better?

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The "happy medium" is to use a base mix plus raw if you don't want to feed commercial raw (or consult with a nutritionist for a custom formula, or keep a spreadsheet of your micronutriets to ensure you are covering your bases). These base mixes are "just-add-water" powdered mixes that reconstitute into a porridge, to which you add the specified amount of raw meat on the label. The porridge plus your own cooked or raw meat are supposed to be a complete diet that's AAFCO-certified.

I would add taurine and fish oil to any of these. (See our "FDA Warning" thread on DCM for the thinking about why.)

Here are your base-mix options, to the best of my knowledge:

The Honest Kitchen - Preference or Kindly:
(I fed Preference with raw beef for years to an allergy dog. It produces huge poops, but it also solves lots of allergy and anal gland issues.)

Dr. Harvey's - Veg-to-Bowl, Paradigm, Raw Vibrance and Canine Health:
(I recently switched to's dang expensive, but I like the thinking behind the ingredients a lot -- no peas! This one is formulated by a holistic vet. The Paradigm is specifically targeted at supporting dogs with cancer, diabetes, and other conditions that might benefit from very few carbs, and higher fat. The other formulas are for healthy dogs.)

Sojo's - Mix-a-Meal (with or without grain):
(The grain-in version is by far the most inexpensive base mix option. It is sold in very large bags, unlike the others. I believe Sojo's is owned by the same company that owns Wellness.)

Volhard Nutrition -- Natural Diet Foundation (several options):
(I think Wendy Volhard is a breeder and she developed this for her own dogs.)

Balance It - recipe generator + their supplement:
(this one is run by a DVM/certified nutritionist affiliated with UC Davis Vet School)

If you're going to feed kibble, I think you ought to commit to it. Adding a bunch of stuff to the kibble regularly is likely to screw up the nutritional balance one way or another.
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