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  • I am feeding my 11year old lab a homemade diet of ground beef or chicken, brown rice, pumpkin, green beans, chicken giblets,livers,hearts,some sardines and sweet potatoes. He also gets 2 vetri science senior multivitamins, 1 standard process Renatrophin, 1 1/2 cosaquin ds tabs. He is also on 500 mg 2 x a day of ciproflaxin for a cut tendon from 6 years ago. It is the only thing that keeps the infection away. He weighs about 86 lbs. takes I long walk and 1 or 2 short walks a day. Can still jump on the bed. Can you tell me how much I should feed him? Thank you so much for your help.
  • Despite feeding all those expensive supplements, it appears that the diet as you have described it is not complete or balanced.  If your pet has no medical issues, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy pet.

    Can  you tell me how much I should feed him?  

    Go to You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Diet Recipes’. Select the “See all ingredient options” to see all of our food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly, suggest a single vitamin & trace mineral supplement and give you the recommended daily food intake. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.


    Thank you for visiting!

  • I am trying very hard to home cook for my dog without supplements because I feel you can get all the supplements you need right in actual food. Wd you give me a simple outline that wd fit all requirements for a total diet for our dog. Thank you. One simple recipe wd help.
  • Sorry although you may 'feel' it should be possible, one cannot meet the current AAFCO, NRC or FEDIAF daily canine requirements for all 35+ nutrients in the proper concentration to energy and/or ratio to each other with a vitamin mineral supplement. I have tried to do it for 30+ yrs using all 8000+ nutrients in the USDA human nutrition database, so I am pretty confident it cannot be done.

    For example, the average 30 lb would have to eat 43 medium apples or 2 lbs of carrots every day just to meet 3 of the known essential vitamins. So vegetable and fruits do contain vitamins and trace minerals, but in very low concentrations. .... too low to meet the daily recommended requirement in a reasonable amount of food a dog can consume in one day.
  • My 2 6 and 8 year old indoor/outdoor farm cats get fed Nutrisource 1/4 C BID and a few kibbles of Science Diet TD daily.(treats are only of these 2 options as well and not many (most are taken from their daily allotment. (A third cat is on KD).The overweight cats are active outdoors by request as soon as good weather hits but are currently over (weight-13.4 lbs) and have been gaining a pound or 2 each year recently. ( They do try to sneak the leftover KD from the third cat and we minimize that as much as possible.) Science Diet (SD) Light was recommended by my vet for their weight loss.

    Is it really the bet choice for weight loss? My concern is that every vet I have ever used (6) recommends Science Diet and usually mentions that they and feed it to their pets.
    Is it because they have been indoctrinated by SD in vet school or is it really a premium safe product? I have concerns about the parent company and its need to make quarterly returns!
    When I ask the vets this question they talk about how they have been to the SD facility etc.and of course, it is for sale in every office.
  • What's the options?

    Only 4 companies make foods for feline medical conditions and only a vet can prescribed that food. If they do not carry the food in their office, you would have to order it online. Either way it is not in a grocery store or pet shop (unless they are affiliated with a licensed vet) and never will be. Most vets carry some so the patient can get started on the right food, but you could always ask for a script and go the online option. Some vets do not carry food and simply give them a script and leave it up to them get  ..... 

    Yes every company has to make the finances work but food sales for vets has a very small margin of profit, takes up a lot of retail space and usually some employee has lug that stuff in and then out of the office. It is not the best or easiest way for the office to make a dollar. Most do it for owner convenience and according to large surveys, most pet owner want a dietary recommendation from the vet but then get upset when it is not their favorite brand …. We can’t win really but we continue to try to make the best recommendations possible for the pet.

    Science Diet Light (red label) is a weight management food, not a weight loss food, and you can find it in pet stores, etc and get it without a script. So if you buy it from the vet directly, that is your choice. But know there is a difference between weight management and weight loss diets, and you'll have to discuss that with the pet's primary care vet. True weight loss foods are sold by prescription only. The Hill’s Prescription line (blue label) for feline weight loss is w/d or r/d.

    I assure you that ALL four companies that sell medical diets are in the vets schools demonstrating their products to students. Same as with vaccine, drug and equipment companies, book vendors and potential employers. This is no different than medical, dental or nursing school. AND no pet food company is paying anyone's Veterinary School debt off in return for selling thier food. Yes all 4 companies regularly bring in veterinary groups to their plants to demonstrate exactly how the food is made, ingredient quality control, production processes and discuss feeding philosophies. It is the primary reason why most vets are not part of the mass hysteria over the latest pet food trend, marketing blitz or ingredient craze.

    When you think about it really ….. your veterinarian is probably only person with your pets’ best interest in mind because they’ll have your business only as long as you believe they are doing right by your pet.  

  • My 14 y/o bichon was diagnosed with early kidney disease over a year ago. He went on Hills kd dry. He did not like it very much. In the fall, he had several teeth pulled and I switched him to canned. He seemed to like this until recently when he began not finishing any meal. I must work and have no one to help feed him 3-4 smaller meals. My vet said he could have an acid stomach and has put him on Pepcid (1/4 of 10 mg tablet) per day and said to switch him to a bland diet until his stomach settled.
    I saw a recipe for food for renal disease He loves this.
    Is there anything from a nutritional standpoint that should be added. Vitamins, etc?
  • Yes there is .... Please be careful with your sick dog. There is not one veterinary nutritionist listed as part of the team.
  • We have three large dog and a medium size dog and we are wanting to venture into making our own dog food for them so we know they are getting the best possible. Is there any great recipes that can be made that have everything they need nutrition wise so that we can make sure that it is truly the best option for them? thanks!
  • If your dogs have no medical issues, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy pets.


    Go to You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Diet Recipes’. Select the “See all ingredient options” to see all of our food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly and suggest vitamin & trace mineral supplements. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.


    Thank you for visiting!

  • Which vegan commercial dog foods meet or exceed the AAFCO recommendations and include all of the essential amino acids for long-term health?
  • Sorry I do not keep track of that simply because you do that better yourself by simply looking at the product or the web site information. If not such information is readily available on the web site, then move onto another product. You are looking for "formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance" or better yet "passed AAFCO feeding trials for adult dogs".

  • My dog had been on Science Diet Sensitive Stomach recommended by his vet due to loose to watery stools. I found out that Science Diet isn't a very good food and since he had on occasion eaten a friend's food (Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken) and had no issues I slowly weaned him off of the Science Diet and onto Blue Buffalo Freedom Large Breed Chicken (he's a 90lb Boxer/Great Dane mix). He had been doing well and then in the last week he had diarrhea all over the carpet 2 times (he does not does this unless he can't control it). I switched him to a boiled chicken and pumpkin diet for about 4 days to settle his stomach and he had no issues.

    I started to slowly add the dry food back in (1 cup dry and 2 cups boiled chicken). The following day he made a mess on the carpet again. It always happens 18-24hrs after eating the dry food.

    Do I switch him to a different protein? He's already on grain free. I don't know what step to take next so he's currently back on boiled chicken & pumpkin.
  • Diarrhea the dog cannot control is not a ‘stomach’ issue. It is more likely a large bowel issue.

    Most large bowel are resolved with fiber type and quantity to be determined in each case. Some large bowel conditions respond best to low fiber while others respond best to moderate or high fiber.

    It is unlikely to have ANY thing to do with the protein source or type, and has little to do with grain or no grain.

    I suggest you stop guessing, have the dog examined by your vet, get some medications to help control the diarrhea, and then consider a various types of fiber products.

    You may very well end up back on a Science Diet product because Hill's makes some very good fiber products when you know what you are looking at.

  • First, let me start by thanking you for this forum – it is an excellent way for us to educate ourselves based on science and not current fads, etc.

    Second: I feed my two dogs dry dog food and often struggle to determine how much meat-based protein is in the food – especially with grain-free foods which nearly always use peas to boost the protein. Looking at the protein% on the bag does not help because it could be mostly pea/non-meat based protein. I expect that if I called the pet food manufacturer, they will not tell me how much of the protein is meat-based vs vegetable-based. I am not necessarily looking for a high-protein food, but I also don’t want to pay $$ for a food that is mostly pea-based protein. I did a little research to see how the amino acids of peas differ from meat. What I read indicated that peas are very low in methionine whereas meats are high in methionine and that a food that has a decent amount of meat in it should not need to supplement with methionine. I looked at labels of various pet foods and it appeared that the cheaper products were supplemented with methionine and the more expensive products were not (though this was not always the case). Would it be reasonable to think that a dog food that lists methionine on the ingredient list has lesser meat-based protein?? Thank you for your help. This web site is invaluable!
  • The individual amino acids may be included in the product for a number of reasons .... and you will nevet know why.

    1. The actual amount of meat could be low in the product - just b/c it may be listed first due to water content and therefore is heavy also means is contributes less to the dry matter (nutrient content).

    2. The meat may indeed be of poor quality and they know it.

    3. They may not actually know the amino acid content of their ingredients and so adding individual amino acids is done just in case.

    In summary, despite the blather all over the web about how to evaluate a pet food by the label is just pure BS. This race to get meat listed as the first ingredient and 'grain free' has the pet food industry laughing all the way to the bank and those self-appointed pet food experts with their own "rating system" are simply perpetuating misinformation and adding to the confusion.

  • I have two Italian greyhounds (female-3 yrs old) and (male-2 yrs old). Since they were puppies I've tried multiple wet dog foods and also dry foods. They refused almost all wet food so I started feeding them canned chicken with vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans). They get 1/4 cup chicken morning and night along with the vegetables at each meal. I recently started mixing merrick dry food into their meals, which seems to be the only dry food they will touch. My question is, is this diet I've been feeding them incorrect? Are they lacking vitamins, etc. They mostly eat the chicken and veggie, barely any dry food.
  • If you have to feed less than 75% of the meal as commerical dog food, then yes it is most likely that their daily nutrient intake is unbalanced.
  • How much protein does a dog really need in their diet? I found one site that recommends that 80% of a dog's diet should be protein. The highest amount of protein that I can find in dog food is 26%.
  • IF the protein source has an excellent amino acid profile and is better than 85% digestible, the according to 2006 NRC 10% of the dry matter which is probably close to the actual animal need when the protein source is EXCELLENT. 2017 AAFCO pads in a buffer because sometimes less than excellent proteins are used in the dog food industry so they suggest a minimum of 18%.

    Again as the protein quality decreases, the amount needed in the diet to meet the dog's need has to increase. So it is far from simply reading the GA on a dog food label.
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