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 have to 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 domesticated dogs have thrived on ever since, until the 1950ies emergence of the pet "food" industry (food, lol)! And because REAL FOODS is 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:

Be part of the movement, #FeedNatural. RT: Today I am feeding my dog ...

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  1.  

    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.

    thanks
    Mark

    •  

      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 we currently have 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....

  2.  

    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.

  3.  

    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.

  4.  

    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:

  5.  

    Tim, been doing the "people food" diet now for my two dogs for about two months now. We are all enjoying it, although it is more work than filling a dog bowl full of kibble. My wife and I do not eat breakfast, except on weekends, every now and then, and when I do, its dry cereal and milk or maybe a bagel. I have been tryin to find ideas for breakfast for the dogs that is different than the "same old thing" I add yogurt or cottage cheese to every morning meal and vary between biscuits, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches with either ham or bacon. Sometimes, dry cereal with yogurt mixed up. They are not much on fresh fruit and do not like bananas at all. I am trying REAL hard not to just toss junk food down for them and give them both balance at breakfast and dinner, I was just looking for more creativity for the morning meals.

    thanks
    Mark Hooton

    •  

      Dogs do not have a problem as much as people do with eating "the same old thing", indeed in your case it sounds like you have no problem either "My wife and I do not eat breakfast ... and when I do, its dry cereal and milk or maybe a bagel." Wow, what variety. :mrgreen:

      But in earnest: When you click through all the Daily Meals you'll find more variety for meals that dogs can eat than the variety I am getting myself, and certainly more than you are getting: I am not existing on "dry cereal and milk or maybe a bagel", phew! I wouldn't even touch milk nor cereal. Amazing you can "run" on that.

  6.  

    Ok, thanks. Well, is usually it's coffee, but on weekends, I will eat cereal, sometimes, if we have it, cinnamon raisin toast, occasionally, I will make bacon and eggs. I did mention the dogs don't like bananas, but lately, I've been taking one to work to eat with my coffee once I get to the office about 6:30. At least fruit is better for you than a bagel or cereal, and it's more portable. There are many days, where my only meal is dinner time, except for maybe a banana in the morning and a couple a couple of cups of coffee during the day.

    Yes, I noticed in some of your blogs, that dogs don't care about eating the same thing every day, like we do, but I was just trying to find something different and maybe something I could even make ahead of time and heat up, but I guess I just don't want to feed them rice or pasta and meat and vegetables for breakfast too. I guess it's stuck in my head.

    •  

      "but I guess I just don't want to feed them rice or pasta and meat and vegetables for breakfast too." Ah, that's what you meant! Yeah, I thought the same, Mark. It takes a "nudge" to get me to even LOOK at "lunchtime" or "dinnertime" foods before say.... lunchtime! It took me decades to learn to put a slice of cold cuts or cheese on my morning toast (when I still had a chance to eat toast, lol), instead of sugary jam, honey, or whatever. It's just caused by how we grow up I guess.

  7.  

    Yes sir. Well, either way, we all enjoy a meal time, and they're eating good, they look healthy, and it's a lot more fun than laying down a bowl of kibble and watching them look at it. They both clean their bowls every meal, except I put bananas in there. LOL

  8.  

    My 9yr old male GS was a CWD and came home with his owner. He has had two owners in his life, only them and I. When he came home with me they said his only issue is getting in the trash. They said "people food" gives him the squirts. And it does! Shew bad. If I begin him on a all natural diet for his itchy and flaky skin will he eventually get used to this food? He has not been allergy tested and he was on a immunosuppressive drug prior to coming to me. He is not now. But he is miserable. He eats Nutro limited ingredient and the occasional veggies from the table.

    •  

      Do you mean Chronic Wasting Disease?? Your dog would be the first worldwide, because dogs cannot get CWD, deer can. In fact, I am not aware of any prion defect(!) in any dog. Dogs, horses and rabbits are thought to be immune to a prion defect(!) thanks to a salt bridge connecting the proteins that prevents them from misfolding into an infectious form (see here if interested).

      As for "people food gives him the squirts", that obviously depends on:

      1. what food you provide
      2. if you slowly accustom the dog to any new foods like we always recommend, and
      3. the dog's digestive system health.

      And c) is already the problem (even if a) and b) is not): "he was on a immunosuppressive drug prior to coming to me". :cry: See here if interested. So going forward, by all means always avoid all steroids and NSAIDs (click everything to understand why).

      "his itchy and flaky skin" - this proves that the dog's immune system, and so the integumentary system and digestive system too, has already been harmed by those immunosuppressive drugs that he received when with the prior owner! :cry:

      Forget the allergy test and save the money, instead:

      1. observe the Foundation of Health
      2. consider the Purpose of Treatment
      3. review all under Veterinarian Reality
      4. feed REAL foods only (this page), because of all the toxins in industrial pet "food"
      5. entirely avoid steroids, NSAIDs, and antibiotics for the reasons mentioned right there.

       

      "he is miserable" - that will change dramatically within a week after you follow the above.
      With my best wishes! :-)

      •  

        Oh my goodness.. I wrote CWD instead of CMD.. he was a contracted military dog. I promise he is not rabbid! ?? I have his records that's shows he was on a immunosuppressive drug. I'm not positive how long or how well/not well he did. I thought it seemed scary. I'm a paramedic and know what they do to humans. We have changed to cleaning the floors with water and no chemicals and we will see how the squirts hold up! ?

      •  

        "We have changed to cleaning the floors with water and no chemicals and we will see how the squirts hold up! ?"
        Steam-cleaning is the best, yes.
        But it cannot replace my suggestions above, I stress again I would follow those (in addition to steam-cleaning, good point, thanks).

    •  

      Yahtzee, I can attest to the squirts if you don't phase them into "people food." I made the change this past Spring and my two dogs are doing well. Think about all the commercials for dog food these days (atleast in the US): they are all claiming to be more natural and less junk, i.e., natural people food. Tim has a lot of good info on daily diets that helped me feed my dogs better.

      Good luck
      Mark

  9.  

    Tim and others, I need some help. This page explains how to properly feed your GSD, or any dog, for that matter. I have been feeding my dogs based on this page since last Spring and my dogs and I both enjoy it. Now, that being said, the wife and I are going out of town for almost 2 weeks during Christmas. I can not ask someone to come in and spend that much time to get the dogs meals ready, I can only pre-cook so much for that amount of time. I am trying to figure out the easiest thing to do to make sure the dogs get properly fed, while not making it hard on the babysitter. So, my question is, what is the best food i could buy to make it easy on the dog sitter?? My dogs ate kibble for years until 6 months ago, and I don want to put them back on it, but maybe there is something out there that would be easy and healthy.

    •  

      On this, here's what I did and do in such situations (and I remember I wrote it somewhere before):

      • I certainly DON'T fall for some commercial "dog food" that claims to be, or by some is said to be "complete, balanced, and healthy" (LOL)
      • instead, I just make it super easy for the dog guardian, and super healthy for the dog
      • ie I fill and chill "small" (lol) food containers, as many as needed
      • each food container holds pre-steamed rice or fries :mrgreen: pre-steamed mixed veggies (this already guarantees variety), and pre-steamed meat or poultry (I don't do this with fish because I don't like to come back to a smelly fridge)

      Since I am reporting here my personal preparation: I also stock the fridge with a good number of kefirs, since all our dogs loved lived and thrived on kefir. :grin: But this may add too much complexity for some pet sitters: they'd also have to spoon some kefir into the dog bowl. :shock:

      •  

        Yeah, well, right now, I am making freezer bags now of the food, several days ahead of time, but I am wanting a fall back position, in case there is an accident, or spoiled food or whatever. I will cook a turkey, a roast, a whole chicken (last night) and even canned salmon (not for more than that day) and put them in freezer bags until I run out. I just want to make sure they eat and its as good as possible. I guess what I would really like to do, is get the best alternative to what I do, and have it at my house as a backup. I just want to make sure my dogs are fed and not starved.

      •  

        "I guess what I would really like to do, is get the best alternative to what I do"
        Well, I would like to argue that the best alternative is what I do and just wrote about. :mrgreen:

        While we do have links to some seemingly "better" commercial dog meals, I really wouldn't switch the dog to that: it isn't any easier for the dog sitter, and certainly isn't as healthy as the above.

  10.  

    ok, one more thing, and I may be in the wrong place for this post, but I'm afraid that I am over-feeding my dog. Last fall, he weighed about 77 or so lbs, and last week at the vet he checked in at 94 lbs. Full disclosure: I changed his diet based on info on this site. I fill his bowl up based on instinct, and of course, most days, he eats all his food, but some days, he doesn't. We have had Max, about 19 months of his 40 months on this earth, and until last Spring, ate kibble, so trying to meter out the right amount of food is hard. Anyway, I have read that a good weight for GSD is about 75 or so lbs. That may not be for him and I really dont know what his ideal weight should be. To me, he is a normal sized GSD and is very hyper. In addition, we built a fence last Spring, so he may have more muscle since then, since he gets to run a lot more than before.

    Just wanted some feedback from others. I dont want him fat, but not skinny either.

    •  

      Now on this: I already sent you a private reply, and again I am happy to review Max' details when you've added them to the dog database, as supporting site member.

      For now I say if his size is similar to Miguel's (which I believe it is, as Max is American, lol) then DON'T get him down 10lb. Why?? Who instigated that desire?
      Max' weight is great! In fact 2kg more still wouldn't harm.

      But feel free to do a quick check yourself: Have you not seen our unique GSD health assessment?
      I calibrated it myself, thus it also reflects data from the worldwide largest GSD database: ours. :mrgreen:

      •  

        Well, according to the nifty little health assessment app, Max, at a height of 26.5 inches, is normal at 94 lbs. Like I said, he was 77 lbs a year ago, and I never considered him underweight. So, I guess, I will just try to maintain what he is now.

        Thanks Tim.

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