RICOTTA CHEESE HAS INSPIRED MY DOGS - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb RICOTTA CHEESE HAS INSPIRED MY DOGS

I recently added ricotta cheese to my dogs evening kibble meal along with some canned meat and could not believe how much they seemed to love this addition. They both ate immediately and cleaned their bowl. I always add some canned meat mixed with warm water and they eat it sooner or later. With the addition of the ricotta, however, they both ate and finished their food as soon as I put it down.
Anyone else use ricotta?

I also have another question that maybe I should have on a separate thread. many feel we should change the kibble every 3 months or so and I believe it is said to change the meat content also so if using chicken then use a brand with a different meat. My question is whether keeping the kibble which my dogs like BUT changing the canned added to it weekly would accomplish the same thing?It seems easier to find different meat varieties in the canned than the kibble.

I would appreciate your opinions.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 05:53 PM
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I never tried feeding Buttons Ricotta cheese, but I KNOW she'd eat it for sure! If this dog even THINKS there's cheese in the house she is seeking it out! (What a nose she has!) I think perhaps her former owners may have trained her using cheese as a reward.

But I never heard of changing the food as you said. Very interesting. What's the reasoning behind it - they would get more nutrition / variety? I'm curious to know if this is something I should consider doing now. Thanks for posting this info I can't wait to read the replies.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 06:16 PM
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I have visions of the dogs ordering from a menu next year

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 06:54 PM
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Hey, if you added ricotta to my meals, I'd scarf it down too! Well, some meals... ha ha!

I try to save things like ricotta & other cheeses for urgent situation like when a dog is not eating and is underweight (not a problem here!) or if I need to give medication or if I am doing a training session that needs a high bonus reward. (Obviously, ricotta wouldn't work for this last situation.)

In regard to changing up the food, unless your wet food is 50% or more of what you are feeding, I'm not so sure it would have the same benefits as changing up the main source of protein.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 07:27 PM
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We added cottage cheese for a while when we were really having problems with eating but stopped it after a while because he would eat the cheese and the kibble would be left. He'd only eat the pieces that happened to have cottage cheese on them. He wasn't underweight, just being picky so we felt like we were making it easier by giving the cheese. Now we're the stubborn ones and he only gets kibble!

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyNJ View Post
I never tried feeding Buttons Ricotta cheese, but I KNOW she'd eat it for sure! If this dog even THINKS there's cheese in the house she is seeking it out! (What a nose she has!) I think perhaps her former owners may have trained her using cheese as a reward.

But I never heard of changing the food as you said. Very interesting. What's the reasoning behind it - they would get more nutrition / variety? I'm curious to know if this is something I should consider doing now. Thanks for posting this info I can't wait to read the replies.

Patty
Patty, the reason you change up the food is because of developing allergies. If you feed your dog the same food day in and day out for years their body has a higher chance of developing antibodies to that food - a protein, specifically - which is what will cause allergies. By changing up every 3-6 months, the body won't have a chance to develop those antibodies and allergies are less likely to occur.

I agree with Kimberly on this one, just changing the canned won't do much of anything at all. If I were you I'd pick 3 different kinds of kibble and rotate those every 2-3 bags (or 6 months, whichever comes first). It's not that hard to find 3 different kinds... for example, off the top of my head I can list duck, beef, venison, chicken, fish, and buffalo. And I know that there are so many other kinds of proteins in kibble out there, I'm sure you can find 3 different ones to rotate between.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 09:56 PM
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My vet has always said to stick to the same food because changing it can cause stomach upsets.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 10:00 PM
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Kathie, that is right only if you do it suddenly. If you change food slowly (which you should always do) it shouldn't be a problem and I would in fact recommend you do so.

By changing slowly, here's the schedule I use:

2 meals at 75% old food, 25% new
2 meals at 50% old, 50% new
2 meals at 25% old, 75% new

This should take 3 days to do. If, however, your dog has an even more sensitive tummy (can happen) then change that to 4 meals in each step. This will help your dog slowly become accustomed to the new food without getting sick. Some dogs have stronger stomachs and you can change all at once (I wouldn't recommend this, but if it works, it works) or in 3 meals (each meal with the percentages done above). For Kubrick, I usually use the 2 meals at each percentage way and he's never had an upset stomach when changing foods.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I should have mentioned that I added less than a tsp. of Ricotta to their food. I know that many add yogurt which I do at times as well. Is there a reason not to use Ricotta?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 06:51 AM
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There isn't any problem with adding a bit of Ricotta instead of yogurt. Most add yogurt b/c of small amounts of probiotics, but there isn't any reason not to add a bit of ricotta in, unless of course your dog has issues with fat. With cottage cheese, in particular, watch the salt content if you feed alot of this cheese. You might not want to add it every single meal, tho, b/c your dogs might not eat at all if you don't add it in. I don't like adding anything in all the time. I always try and change foods out.

Having dogs with severe food allergies, I can say it is a good idea to switch foods out and try and make sure they aren't getting the same proteins all the time. Also, it's a good idea to switch brands when you switch foods. The food manufacturers are allowed a HUGE range in which to add minerals (some of the minerals have such a wide varience in how much they can add that it is almost laughable. It is a 'guideline', and favors the manufactures). This is b/c most feed companies go by AAFCO guidelines, which is an organization that is compromised of not only the AAFCO people, but also the food manufacturer themselves, who get a say in the guidelines. Also, the dogs in the trials only have to survive for a few short weeks for it to be deemed 'acceptable'. So, one manufacturer might add a whole lot of copper, but another might not add much at all. If you use only one brand of food, then after years, you do run the chance that a certain nutrient will be overall lacking, or too much.

By the way, there IS another group, called the NRC that publishes scientific studies of required nutrients for dogs, the last update only a few years ago. The really good dog food companies will study this and consider their guidelines, b/c this group is not influeneced by the dog manufacturers in it's study of nutrients needed. In other words, the dog food manufacturer themselves are not allowed input into what NRC says is best. But, the actual food sold does not have to meet the independent NRC guidelines (which is more strict than the AAFCO). The point of the last two paragraphs being that when I was still able to buy kibble, I tried to pick the top manufacturers and I switched meat proteins and companies as well.
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