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Discussion Starter #1
So the thread on the variety of meals for the week got me thinking..

Does it make a difference at the intervals that variety is given?

For example, right now I have chicken, turkey, pork, beef, sardines, salmon, mackrel, and lamb available. Is it better to offer just one or two protein sources as each meal or each day? or can I offer as much variety as I want at each meal?

Like the morning Lily got a chunk of lamb neck, a chicken neck, ground beef, and a little salmon. Then at lunch she got a piece of chicken breast, pork neck, and ground beef. Tonight she gets a chicken back, ground pork, pork neck and salmon. Tomorrow I don't have any more lamb or beef rib but I add in chicken gizzards and turkey necks.

Each meal I measure out how much I am feeding, but instead of getting to the amount by just one or two protein sources, I offer a wider variety of what I have available.

Is there any harm or benefit to when/how the variety is offered in the diet so long as it is given?
 

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As long as each of these proteins was originally introduced slowly (so that you know that none cause any issues), then there is no reason why you can't offer as many or as few in a meal as you like.

My dogs' meals generally contain a couple of different proteins in each meal. And we'll rotate through 4-6 proteins in any given month.

Variety over time is the goal. Sounds like you're offering a plentitude of variety. You're doing fine.
 

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Sounds like your pup's getting more variety than Ris does.


You can offer frankenprey meals (multiple protein sources) or not. It doesn't really matter to the dog.
Sometimes I'll give Ris a chicken thigh, beef liver, and 1/2 lb of pork in one meal. Othertimes she'll get all beef/chicken/turkey/pork. I think as long as you're meeting (ha, almost typed meating) the proper ratios of bone:meat:eek:rgan you're probably just fine.
 

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I offer single proteins per meal most of the time. But I anthromorphosize that eating sardines, pork and chicken together must be kind of weird. Why not enjoy a whole meal of beef? And a whole fish meal?

But then again, I don't eat meat. So what the heck do I know about whether certain meats go well together or not?
So that's my incredibly impressive scientific basis for making my decisions. That, and the fact that I pre-freeze meat into serving sizes so I defrost a whole meal at a time.

But I do feed two protein sources per day, and I vary them day in and day out so that they get a lot of variety during the week and from week to week.

Whatever works best for you. Like Tracy and Jamie said. You're likely meating
all your dog's needs.
 

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Think of it this way ...

If a wild canid came across a rabbit, dispatched and ate it then had a wild turkey run right up to it - do you think the wild canid would say "Nope, can't mix my proteins"?


Seriously - feed whatever your dog will eat or can handle.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangIf a wild canid came across a rabbit, dispatched and ate it then had a wild turkey run right up to it - do you think the wild canid would say "Nope, can't mix my proteins"?
Nope. He'd say "hello Tom! Welcome to dinner!"
 

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My meat usually comes "seasonally". Most of the time when I first started they might get Venison 4 to 5 times a WEEK in the fall because the outdoor freezer wasnt real trustworthy and the indoor freezers could not handle all the deer I was getting from hunter friends AND 2 butchers. As the freezers grew in size and number (I now have 4 freezers) I try to stretch the venny all year long. Chicken, pork and turkey are staples and I am getting them more and more fish, even if it has to be canned. On average though my guys get 3-7 protein sources a week. I surprised myself when I was planning the freezer strategy for the week and noticed they they will have at LEAST 9 different protein sources this week. I can easily up it with a couple other tidbits I have in the freezer but no need.

I have one dog that seems to really enjoy the smorgasbord style dinner with as much variety as possible. The others never complain either.
Hopefully pretty soon I can get a steady supply of beef heart since my guys dont get as much beef as I would like.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally Posted By: Lauri & The Gang If a wild canid came across a rabbit, dispatched and ate it then had a wild turkey run right up to it - do you think the wild canid would say "Nope, can't mix my proteins"?
But this is really what got me thinking...

In the wild they would eat the whole carcass of rabbit or turkey. So that meal would include the RMB, MM and OM of that one animal. So not to say that they CAN'T or WOULDN'T mix proteins, but that they would more than likely not eat just the RMB's from the rabbit and then just the MM from the turkey (that miraculously ran right up to them
) and then go on the hunt from some beef liver.

It was just a thought that was running through my head...but I'll just continue to feed her as I do.

Amaruq - I need to get in touch with some people I know that hunt. Venison is definitely one item I want to add to my pup's diet. My neighbor brought over some venison for Lily - but I am guessing he misunderstood what I meant by wanting some for her, because the pieces he bought over were already cooked
I felt so bad telling him she could not have it because he was so excited to watch her eat it. So instead I let him watch her eat her RAW dinner and he was fascinated! LOL
 

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You can use the cooked stuff as treats.



You dont "have" to feed them mixed proteins but something like sardines would cost a small fortune to feed one meal to 6 dogs. Especially when one can is basically a serving size and I would need 4-8 cans per dog for their full meal. That gets REALLY expensive REALLY quickly. By tossing in one can with another meal that is not quite big enough for a full serving it works out well for us.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The Gang Think of it this way ...

If a wild canid came across a rabbit, dispatched and ate it then had a wild turkey run right up to it - do you think the wild canid would say "Nope, can't mix my proteins"?
Of course!


I just organize my freezer and my day so that it works out better for me. And I freely admit to anthropomorphizing, which is nearly always a sin in animal science!

But my dogs eat venison treat appetizers, and fish or lamb snacks for dessert. So they are mixing proteins anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom And I freely admit to anthropomorphizing, which is nearly always a sin in animal science!
LOL After thinking about this today my only conclusion is this...

I worry WAY more about how much Lily is enjoying her meal than Lily does herself!
LOL

Ooohh - and I'll definately see how she likes little tidbits of the cooked venison. She tried lamb for the first time a few days ago and LOVED it. Then this weekend we have a fishing trip planned to get some fresh fish for Lily. I think this will be the first time that I actually fish hoping to catch a catfish
 

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Originally Posted By: KrispifsuBut this is really what got me thinking...

In the wild they would eat the whole carcass of rabbit or turkey.
Ah, but in the wild the main food source for large canids is LARGE herbivores - like deer or elk.

So if a pack brought down an adult Elk they would get a VERY large percentage of muscle meat and very little RMBs. The main bones on the Elk are not consumable - skull and legs.

Not trying to cause problems - just more food for thought.
 
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