Our Diet Odyssey - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Our Diet Odyssey

This is the tale of my search for food that I could afford and that Skye would eat. Not intended to be a "how to", just our trials and tribulations.

The breeder said she was feeding the pups Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy so I laid in a supply before he came home. Fifty years ago Eukanuba was a top tier dog food. Now not so much, even though there are many that still swear by it. Took Skye to the vet for his puppy check two days after he came home and we discussed nutrition. The vet was all onboard with my plans to feed raw, but recommended a high grade kibble for a while before switching to raw. So I got small sizes of several kibbles and tried mixing with the Eukanuba. Skye was just picking at his food. I tried soaking in warm water, hand feeding, everything I could think of and he would eat a few pieces and leave the rest or pick it out of his bowl and lay it on the floor.

I have seen on here and heard from the owner of a local boutique pet food store "Just leave it out. When he gets hungry he'll eat." That's all well and good, but I knew that in the early developmental stage of life he needed proper nutrition for growth. I had to find something he would eat.

One day my wife gave him a little piece of baked salmon and he went crazy dancing and begging for more. So I got some Solid Gold Chicken and Salmon in the little 3.5 oz cups. He ate that better than the kibble but still was not eating as much as I knew he needed for proper development. Plus those little cups would certainly did not meet my criteria for long term affordability. Tried mixing different kibbles with it with varying results. Some N&D he would eat a few pieces of, some he wouldn't touch. Same with Victor. Fromm's no luck. The funniest was Orijen. He would eat most of the Solid Gold from around it and then do three Havanese Hops backwards and bark and bark. Slowly approach the bowl all stretched out and when he got close repeat the hops and barking. I Would pick out the Orijen and then he would finish the rest of the Solid Gold.

We started puppy classes and I asked the trainer if she had any suggestions for training teats. I had tried a bunch and the only thing he would work for was baked chicken breast which is pretty messy to put in a treat pouch.. She tried a lot of different treats and we found he loved pieces of Instinct freeze dried lamb toppers. So I then tried Northwest Naturals Chicken and Salmon freeze dried raw food. At last! A food he loved! The freeze dried still didn't meet my affordability goal so we tried the frozen Chicken and Salmon raw. They very same ingredients as the freeze dried but quite a bit cheaper. Home Run!!!

That's where we are now. I do add a little bit of K9 raw Natural Beef Feast as a topper. The NW naturals has chicken liver as the only organ meat and the K9 Natural contains a variety of organ meats. Now Skye not only jumps for joy when his food bowl comes out, he polishes the bowl clean. Absolutely not the tiniest speck left in the bowl. He is growing strongly and his fur is soft, shiny, and silky.

Last edited by PNWAlan; 02-19-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 01:29 PM
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Willow hated her kibble and I finally caved in and started trying something different. I ended up with Honest Kitchen which is a dehydrated food that you add water to. She loves it and seems to be doing well. Like Skye, she licks the bowl clean.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 04:31 PM
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My puppy was very similar! I tried transitioning food a couple of times because of our puppyís tendency towards diarrhea. Merrick, Fromm, and one other. He would actually carefully spit out every little piece of the new brand all over the floor next to the bowl. It took him a while but he did figure out how to eat around it, too. I would never be so helpful as to remove the offending food, though Youíre much more accommodating than I am. The gross part was when I realized DS was sweeping all of the damp kibble puppy left on the floor into the baseboard vacuum. It smelled so bad like dog food!

I used to break up freeze dried patties as a topper and he would often eat just the patty pieces out of the kibble. It has crossed my mind that maybe i was over feeding if he could go that long eating 1/3 of his meals, but I think he just really loves the freeze dried and somehow thought if he held out long enough Iíd get the message that he wanted more of the good stuff! Eventually we ended up at Stella and Chewy Raw Blend. Some days he still only eats the freeze dried bits, and thatís okay. I also kept reading that the portion sizes on many dog foods are oversized and his weight was good so after a while I just stopped worrying about it.

Thereís something about the freeze dried raw food I think that is just delicious and so exciting to the little guys!

I mostly rely on a kibble and freeze dried blend just because my brain canít calculate all of the calories and vitamins and everything that you have to keep track of with raw, but I keep breakfast and dinner on the small side so I can supplement throughout the day with other things as treats. This morning DD made him an egg, which he loved.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Willow hated her kibble and I finally caved in and started trying something different. I ended up with Honest Kitchen which is a dehydrated food that you add water to. She loves it and seems to be doing well. Like Skye, she licks the bowl clean.
I didnít know honest kitchen is dehydrated. Somehow I had it in my mind it was add your own fresh meat. Itís only been 4 months since I felt like we are on the right food and now Iím like, ďHmmm...Ē
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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The Northwest Naturals that Skye is eating comes as frozen raw chunks. As I mentioned, it is the same recipe as the freeze dried but without the expense of the extra freeze drying process. So it comes in just within my affordability window. Couldn't have done it with Sammy, our 125 lb. Husky/Blue Heeler mix. The K9 Natural is ridiculously expensive, but he only gets two or three little pieces at every meal.

I watch Skye's weight closely. I make sure I can still feel his ribs and I can feel a waist and tummy tuck. When we were shut in during the two week snow storm his ribs started to disappear so I cut his rations back a bit. Now that we can do our twice a day walks he'll get a bit more.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 09:24 AM
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Iím glad you found the right thing for your dog! Who knew dog food could be such an adventure, right?

I hate to admit it but frozen didnít work well for me. Iím not organized enough so I would forget to defrost, or forget I already had some defrosting, or forget I had some in a container at the back of the fridge, or forget something to pack it if we were going out. I also tried it because itís less expensive than freeze dried. I probably would have gone back to it as a last resort (and itís still an option if thereís ever a need) but we ended up finding something else.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 11:29 AM
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I didnít know honest kitchen is dehydrated. Somehow I had it in my mind it was add your own fresh meat. Itís only been 4 months since I felt like we are on the right food and now Iím like, ďHmmm...Ē
Honest Kitchen is dry and kind of powdery and you have to stir in some hot water and let it sit for about 3 minutes. (very long minutes for a hungry dog!) When it's ready, it's about the consistency of oatmeal. They have several different flavors and some with grains and some without. Also they have some you add your own protein to, but it still needs to be mixed with water. I actually use one that includes the protein.



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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:02 AM
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Glad to hear others are perplexed about dog food. Patti is one year old this month. When she was younger she was extremely picky, would pick out pieces laying them on the floor, eat them on a chair, not eat at all. Had to coach her to eat. Now she can't wait to eat. She eats in the morning and afternoon.

She's no longer super picky. Maybe I found the right food or she's hungry. We also have a Golden-doodle, which may have made her more interested in food as she wants to steal the other dogs food, which makes her throw up. The Golden's food either doesn't agree with her or she overeats. We keep them separated when it's chow time.

Now I'm not sure what to feed her. Or, how much. She loves the frozen raw but it's too much trouble and I'm not sure how to use it. Thinks Instinct Raw Dried is yummy! mixed with kibble.

Merricks Lil Plates Wet Dog food for Toy & Small Breeds. Science Diet Toy & Small Breed Wet Dog Food. She loves these. These come in small 3.5 oz containers. I'm mixing half of the container with 1/4 cup of kibble, twice a day. Some days Patti gets treats. Other days she doesn't.

Her weight is 13lbs and she was spayed almost two months ago.

I read a small 15lb dog needs about 460 calories a day or 1 Cup.

I'd like to stop using Kibble. Do they need Kibble? If I feed her TWO of the 3.5 ozs of food a day ... is that enough?

Suggestions?
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