January 15, 2013
Our complete Honest Kitchen diets have balanced levels of nutrients to allow additional raw meat, raw meaty bones or cooked meats to be added if desired, without disrupting critical nutritional values.
It is actually advised to occasionally add in meats, veggies and fruits because this offers nutritional variety and can help reduce the chance of your dog developing allergies to ingredients in the diet. Also some dogs have trouble absorbing the nutrients from a specific ingredient where they may have no trouble absorbing it from another ingredient. For this reason, we suggest adding extras and switching between foods as much as possible.
Here are some suggestions as far as what to add:
- Fresh or raw meat (this can be ground beef, turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo or other exotic meats) - we suggest using a meat that is hormone and antibiotic free. Many holistic vets feel that pork is not the best option for dogs, at least not on a regular basis. However, it does work well for some, especially those needing a very cooling or moist meat.
- Fish (raw or canned) – canned mackerel and sardines are popular with most dogs; whitefish is a good choice for more sensitive animals
- Other extras can consist of yogurt or cottage cheese (for the probiotic qualities – one tablespoon or two),
- Oatmeal (if grains are desired periodically, however, not the instant kind)
- Raw or lightly steamed cruciferous vegetables
- Seasonal ingredients, like sweet potatoes and yams (which can be steamed before serving) are a great idea!
- Chopped parsley, alfalfa sprouts, finely graded carrots and zucchini are enjoyed most. (Careful on the carrots though and other vegetables that may contain vitamin A, because our food has plenty of vitamin A)
- Peas, green beans, and broccoli should be steamed or cooked before feeding to pets
- Avoid feeding veggies high in oxalic acid, this interferes with Calcium absorption (chard, rhubarb, spinach)
- Fresh or dried fruits like cranberries, figs or melon (not raisins)
- Occasionally a few seeds or nuts such as flaked almonds
Raw or Cooked?
We at the Honest Kitchen believe in a raw diet and recommend it as we believe there are much more nutrients and benefits to be had from it. We do not recommend it for sick dogs or dogs who have a compromised immune system. Pork and fish are best offered cooked, to avoid the danger of trichinosis or other parasites. If you are not comfortable feeding raw, then you should not. You should do what you feel is right and what you are comfortable with.
You should lean more towards adding meat than adding extras vegetables because our food does have quite a bit of veggies already and dogs are essentially carnivores.
We recommend adding in about a ½ cup of extras for every one cup of dry measured Honest Kitchen food. For every cup of extras you add, you will reduce the food by half a cup.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are also a good addition to any dog’s diet, especially dogs over eight years old. Some digestive enzymes we recommend are Prozyme, Total-zymes and Dr.Goodpet.
What NOT to Feed Your Dog
- Avocado skin or seed
- Sugar free gum, or any food which contains xylitol
Meaty bones are a great addition to the diet for many pets and must always be fed raw. We suggest feeding a raw bone maybe once a week to keep your pets jaw exercised. NEVER FEED COOKED BONE! –these can splinter and cause your pet to choke. Make sure when you choose a bone for your pup that it is the right size for them so they will not choke. We recommend introducing bones under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian.
Some people are more comfortable feeding pre-ground bones at first, rather than whole ones. Cats and dogs have shorter digestivetracts than humans and are better able to digest various raw bones and cartilage with ease. Always store and handle raw meat and bones safely to avoid spoilage or contamination. Raw beef marrow (soup) bones make excellent recreational bones and will delight most dogs. These are not actually consumed but gnawed on, and help to maintain clean, white, sparkling teeth and healthy pink gums.
Primal Pet products make a very good selection of bones, but otherwise you can just get chicken necks and backs, beef knuckles and marrow bones, etc.