After the pet food recall of 2007, many dog owners sought better ways to feed their pets. Those who found a completely homemade diet too complicated and time-consuming turned to a supplemented homemade diet, which is based on high-quality dog kibble, with added food supplements to provide extra nutrition. To avoid nutritional imbalances, any food supplements mixed into dog kibble should be restricted to 10 per cent, or less, of the dog's overall diet.
Compared to most other protein sources, eggs contain more of the amino acids that dogs need, according to Rebecca Remillard, Ph.D., D.V.M., Dipl. A.C.V.N, and founder of Veterinary Nutritional Consultations in Holliston, Massachusetts. Eggs mixed into dog kibble should always be cooked because raw eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that decreases the B vitamin biotin, which could lead to skin and coat problems in dogs.
Cottage Cheese and Yogurt
Mixing cottage cheese and yoghurt into dog kibble can provide additional calcium and protein. Cottage cheese is especially high in protein. Yoghurt contains active cultures, which promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in a dog's digestive tract. Expert opinions about feeding dogs dairy foods differ. The ASPCA advises against feeding dogs milk and milk-based products to avoid diarrhoea and other digestive problems. However, Pet Education's website claims a bland diet of cottage cheese and rice may be fed to a dog with colitis to help an inflamed colon rest and heal. The website also suggests adding cottage cheese to a pregnant dog's premium dog food, on alternate days, to provide extra protein. Pet Education acknowledges that some adult dogs may develop diarrhoea if fed large amounts of dairy product. If mixing cottage cheese or yoghurt into kibble, use moderate amounts (10 per cent or less of the dog's overall diet).
Fresh and cooked vegetables add vitamins, minerals and roughage to a dog's diet. Some vegetables must be cooked before mixing into dog kibble, to help the animal digest them properly. These include peas, broccoli and cauliflower. If vegetables are raw when mixed into dog kibble (like carrot or spinach leaves), they should be finely grated to make nutrient absorption and digestion easier. Dogs should not be fed rhubarb leaves, mushrooms, onions, garlic or chives.
Cold-water fish, such as sardines and salmon, provide fatty acids that can reduce inflammation caused by arthritis and colitis in dogs. Cold-water fish can also help improve dull and dry hair coats. The fish can be fed fresh and cooked, or canned. Bones in canned sardines and salmon are usually soft enough to safely feed a dog and provide a good source of additional calcium. If the bones are too hard to mash with the back of a fork, pick them out of the fish before mixing with the dog kibble.
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