The Daily Dog Meal explained

Oct 312016

what's in the bowl?In our Daily Dog Meal - simple Real Food suggestions for you and your dog (you may start here), we cannot repeat always the same explanation, it would lead to Google's "duplicate content" penalty. So here you go:

Why no kibble crap?

I work and don't have much time. And I certainly don't waste money on crap - and then on medical bills.

Yet we desire to eat healthy meals, and so does the dog.

The solution

steaming all foodsI steam foods, and I prepare meals in bulk in advance. A steamer does magic in the kitchen (and two steamers are better than Copperfield, sorry David).

Then I share the meals with the dog. Meaning, we eat exactly the same. Except that I don't eat beef, so that's always all for the dog. ;-)

Oh, and because this dog is a German Shepherd, his meals are much bigger than mine. Plus, as a puppy he needed five meals a day! When he stopped growing I reduced that to four meals, then three.

Currently we have special circumstances, and so we can share just two meals a day, the absolute minimum. And these meals are no longer steamed as we have no power yet in our tiny house truck, and no other way to cook (nor a fridge). So currently we share always the same boring components: peas and champignons from tins. :roll: Because these two REAL FOODS here are without additives (yet unfortunately a bit of salt). See here for more.

How much to feel full?


steaming foods :arrow: In the daily dog meals, even when I don't mention rice, note that rice is almost always the base layer (literally, in the bowl). Steaming rice in the top tier is quickest (just fill in), easiest (it always get's "just right") and cheapest.

When you have a hungry German Shepherd or other mid-sized or large dog, unless you are Rockefeller, a cheap and healthy filler goes without saying: sweet potato (a lot of work), pasta (most commercial pasta is crap), quinoa (expensive), or rice (yeah). Or millet and such.

Are you thinking "Phew, grains!" ??

Well, better for your dog you don't follow the current fad, learn from real research.

Meat/Fish, Veg, and Fruit

:arrow: In the daily dog meals, retrospectively I couldn't always spot the fruit we had, but note that for us every meal comprises at least one fruit. When Miguel was a puppy (and we had money, lol) the fruit typically was half a pear for him, or else blueberries, strawberries, melon, banana, mango or such. Currently it almost always is half an apple and half a banana. Since we currently share two meals a day, the dog is having one apple and one banana a day.

I still plan to write about the pros and cons(!) of eating fruits (both for us and the dog), like I did for meat. Maybe I can add that when we get power for our tiny house truck.

Repetition or Variety?

efficient meal preparation :arrow: Is the daily meal the same throughout the day?

Can be, but can also be different.

You eat what you like.

For the dog, repeating the meal doesn't matter.

For me, it's about efficiency: bulk meal preparation not only saves time, it also allows me to vary the meals from three, four different food containers in the fridge.

Suitable for any dog?

real food is complete and balancedSuitable for any adult dog, yes. Much more suitable than processed "dog food" crap. When you learn about the origin of dogs you will also know that the "Complete and Balanced" labels are misleading dog owners: The modern dog has survived and thrived for 33,000 years, all without once following a prescription diet of specific amounts of nutrients. :idea:

So do not worry about the "completeness" and "balance" of our daily dog meal suggestions. They are all human-grade REAL FOODS. This is what matters.

For puppies and pregnant bitches however (thus during growth) you need to pay more attention to what you feed, just like in nature the pup's parent dogs do too. This is why puppy food is a big part of the New Puppy Diary, in case you are interested.

Finally, if your dog is ill, again a "prescription diet" makes no sense either: An ill dog all the more needs REAL FOOD to recover, more than anything else. And certainly more than any medicaments (this too is well documented in the New Puppy Diary).

Haute Cuisine or Simple?

simple not decorative food :arrow: In the daily dog meals, you will see that sometimes we have lots of different foods, while other times the meal is so simple you may not call it a "meal". That's life. We may run out of veg, run out of meat, run out of fruit. Or say we are out and about, and so we're taking only certain foods with us. Likely non-perishable ones: we also have surprising research results on what foods need no fridge.

I have no time and no interest to present to you decorative "haute cuisine" meals: That isn't quick and simple, it isn't what you or I would eat daily and feed to the dog. Right? :idea:

But for us every daily dog meal is REAL FOODS only. Because that's what we eat ourselves. We don't eat toxic kibble.

Anyway, what's in your bowl today?

what's in the bowl?

If you are worried what real foods you can share with your dog, come back to MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG The Daily Dog Meal tomorrow to see what's in ours. :grin:


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  11 Site Comments, ZERO SPAM Add one


    Tim, I may have missed it, but I am trying to figure out how much food to give the dogs (mostly Max) with their new diet. Max enjoys the new diet, and I am filling his large dog bowl up (not one of those with the bumps in it), but he still seems hungry afterwards, so I want to make sure I am giving him enough. Our 15 lb chihuahua isn't much on the vegetables, so Max will finish off what she has left (if I leave the bowl the downing enough). I have looked all over the site but haven't seen a table of amount vs weight.



      Because "a table of amounts vs weight" is misleading, Mark. Dog weight does not suggest the amount of food a dog needs. The pet "food" industry promoted this crap idea when in the 1950ies they started to sell the bag and tin "food". Dog owners asked them: "but how much of this should I feed my dog?" - And so the pet "food" industry came up with "feeding guidelines", lol.

      On this very page, above, is a headline "How much to feel full?". ;-)
      Kimberly too asked "How do I know how much to feed and how often", and I replied there.
      But I just saw that Maureen says it much better than I did: "starting now I will cook for her as well and she will eat what we eat! It may be a little touch and go while I decide how much she should have but I don't anticipate a problem. She will let me know."

      Be aware that the MUCH higher water content of natural foods means that what you feed Max now looks much bigger in size in the bowl because the water content in REAL FOOD isn't as filling as the mill sweep etc in kibble & co - yet essential for health.

      Edit: Oh, just realizing "chihuahua isn't much on the vegetables, so Max will finish off what she has left"
      Veg and fruit is essential for health of the Chihuahua too, and while it's great news that Max finishes off any real foods the Chihuahua leaves in the bowl, I have to say that my Miguel does not always want to eat his peas either (that's what he has currently to exist on, in every meal, until we have a way to cook again).
      But hey!, were you or I or anyone as a child into vegetables? Did we have to eat them nonetheless? Or did the family decide "Oh, you don't like the veggies, right! Let's go to Mc Donald's!"? :mrgreen:

      That's where our Feeding Routine comes to play (again). When Miguel, as so often, leaves some peas (or carrots!) in the bowl, I don't throw them out, I entice him to eat every single pea and carrot piece. For him that means pouring more yoghurt or kefir over them. What entices Max you will find out.


        Yes sir, I understand. You are right; the dogs never ate a full bowl of dog food before and now they are, and I didn't think of the fact that it was due to no moisture content.
        I like the way Maureen put it, and that makes sense, but I don't want to overdue it, since I think our chihuahua could eat her weight in pork roast, if I let her. Last night, for example, the wife and I did not eat dinner (we weren't hungry), so I fed Max and Princess, trying to put veggies, meat, dairy, and fruit all in the same bowl. Princess ate around her carrot pieces (she pulls them out and lays them on the floor), but Max ate most of his. We are getting there, and as I said before, it is bonding me with the dogs making their food and teaching them to wait for it.

        thanks Tiim and Maureen.


        Lol, sir, you are the sir, I am the servant :mrgreen:
        "our chihuahua could eat her weight in pork roast, if I let her" - Wow, gotta see that, and if she does it further corroborates my "Dog weight does not suggest the amount of food a dog needs." (but it is true either way).

        The key there is that your Chihuahua wouldn't repeatedly "eat her weight in pork roast" even if you let her, repeatedly. Dogs' (pork roast) greedy food intake comes down to the fact that dogs don't know "When's the next meal?" and "How much will I get next?", and so they instinctively eat and scavenge at every opportunity that arises. Unless over time sort of regular meal times have built up the subconscious confidence that the next meal is certain.

        I tested this as well. When Miguel is full (got a BIG meal) and 5 min later I offer him another sausage, he struggles to get up at all. While when I offer him the sausage before the meal, he comes immediately and eagerly gobbles the sausage. Dogs do feel full as well, surprise!? :-)

        Princess, eh? :mrgreen: I was contemplating as well if I can somehow fit another (small) dog in this truck house. Preventing boredom for the dog, you know. A Chihuahua, hmm....


    Very good. Yeah, I have always wondered about the "when is my next meal?" thought process and do they go through it; I recon they do. Yeah, of course, she wouldn't do that every day (eat her weight in pork roast), and even at 13, she can still eat a lot even thought her energy level is not what it used to be. She does not play, but will entertain Max while nipping at him while he plays "dodge the vipers teeth," with his long nose (he got nose bit on his first day in our house a year ago, but he knows how to dodge and weave now). She does walk most of the mile long trek we do as part our daily dog walks out outside (1/3 mile each trip outside), so she is getting exercise. I guess like people, everyone eats and requires different amounts, no matter the size.


    Well, its been three weeks since I started our GSD and our 13 year-old Chihuahua mix on their new diets using this page as a guide. I now tell Max to sit, while I put his bowl down and he proceeds to sit and lie down own his side, looking at me with his bowl in my hand. if he gets up before I place it on the floor, I pull it back and then he just slumps back down, because after 3 weeks, he knows, he will not get it until he is told to get up and eat. Making the meals has been a lot more work than just laying down kibble in their bowl. We dont always have leftovers, so i end up making their food separately, most of the time. I have been cooking beef and pork roasts on my smoker and taking from them every day, until they are gone. Wife bought some chicken breasts the other day and am going to grill those and use as long as they last. Both bogs like broccoli, and Max adores brussel sprouts. Its taken about 2 weeks for their systems to stabilize from the diet change, but I really enjoy the interaction I am having with them when I feed them.

    thanks Tim !!!!
    Mark from North Alabama


      Great news, sounds like you're doing the Feeding Routine, well done, you won't see behavior problems.
      I am not sure I would have cooked anything for the dogs had I not eaten sth myself. You mentioned both of you rarely eat at home, so your cooking for the dogs shows what a long extra mile you go for your dogs. Hats off! :-)


        Well, I used to do 95% of the cooking when married to my ex-wife while raising our 5 kids, so now, I am doing it for 2 dogs, who seem to really enjoy my "cooking" and don't complain.
        Actually, I once said that my wife and I don't always eat dinner, but we rarely eat out. Sometimes, we just aren't hungry at dinner time, but of course, I will make food for the dogs. We dont do breakfast either, but the dogs do, so I am making more time in my morning schedule to get them fed before I leave for work at 6 am. We like to cook at home and both of us share that responsibility. We very rarely do processed food and we eat a lot of vegetables and rice is one my favorite foods in the entire world. The only thing the dogs eat that I don't is cottage cheese, I sometimes give it to them (I wont touch it, but they like it).

        Mark from North Alabama


        I don't like cottage cheese either, although it's very healthy. So I too only ever bought it for the dogs. I do prefer Quinoa over rice but it's expensive here. Rice is the cheapest staple food for dogs ("filler") that is healthy. And dogs digest rice better than we do.


    I actually noticed Koko not be itchy a few weeks ago when I feed her home made steamed rice and boiled chicken. I really like that but what can I do when I go out of town and have to board her? I have to board her every now and then. What's the solution? Is there any commercial food I can feed her? Is wet food better than the dry for her allergies?


      No, both kibble and tin "food" is highly allergenic.

      Subject to the attitude of the boarding kennel(??) you can do what I did: I leave those large "tupperware"-style food containers with whoever hosts the dog, to be "put in the fridge and please take out a portion an hour before feeding" (seen above under "Repetition or Variety?", just larger ones).

      If you feel your chosen boarding kennel is unreliable with feeding as per your instructions, they likely are unreliable overall. Then I'd choose a different one. :mrgreen:

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