Archives for the day Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Adding fresh food to kibble

 It has been 6 years since our stubby little dog “Palette” tasted the real food menu. We had some learning curbs on the way but, she has been doing good on her diet.

 Ultimately, she loves her food and does good on them.

I love fish!! S.L.U.R.P!!

 As for me, I feel good knowing I am feeding the healthy, nutritious food as best as I can each and every day.

 Every meal time, she gets super excited and, she enjoys her food very much.

 Every time when feeding time comes, she always makes me smile because as soon as she hears me preparing her food mat on the floor in the kitchen, I hear her jingles of her name tags and know that she is running toward kitchen to sit down right in front of her food mat as quickly as she could to get to eat the fresh food on her menu.

 She also makes me smile when she crawls out from the crate in the morning and does her long stretch for a few second and then, before greeting me, she trots to her kitchen to sniff out what is her breakfast today and then, greet me “Good morning”.

 When I pick up her food/food in her bowl to bring food on her mat, she sometimes follows the food backward twirling, and then sit down to get fed while her eyes stays on her food.

 After Palette’s diet change from kibble to fresh food diet (raw diet), I have started this blog, and I have made entries on “Dog diet”, hoping to encourage more people to feed healthier,nutritious food to the dogs so their dogs too can live happy, healthy, long life.

 Today, I am happy to report that it seems many more people are interested in the fresh food diet; raw diet or cooked homemade diet, and now and then, I get asked questions on dog diet personally or through Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen “Contact us” form even, and I am happy for that.

 Knowing that I am helping others to feed their dogs healthier is what I enjoy and, I would like to keep writing informative piece of blog entries on Dog diet for long,long time.

 Also, I noticed that many more people started upgrading the kibble with fresh food topper. I think it is a great first step to take.

 Even if you cannot start feeding full raw diet or full cooked homemade diet now, upgrading the kibble with food topper is great.

 However, 90% of the times, when I see pictures of dog’s kibble with fresh food toppers, added stuff are fruits, vegetables etc.. and I don’t see animal protein source often added to their kibble.

 Adding the fresh food to kibble to upgrading the meal is a good idea but it is best to know what food topper is good to add to the kibble.

 Through the series titled ” Decoding the kibbles”, you have been learning definition of terms used in the ingredients list, and you would understand better what exactly “XYZ” mean in the ingredient list, and I hope you are learning to pick better ingredient kibble for your dog.

 That being said, there are a few things to consider and to understand.

 If you feed kibble, it is good time to think about rotating foods
possibly with different companies rather than the same company with
different protein source because often times, I find that base
ingredients are same,formula is similar and simply protein source is
swapped from one thing to the other.

 Therefore, if you rotate different
companies’ formula, base ingredients/formula will be different, and it
will be more beneficial to your dogs.

 Now and then, I see people asking others if XYZ brand dog food is
better than ABC brand dog food, and often times, so called “good kibble
brand” name comes up as suggested kibbles.It is because they find dog magazine’s approved kibble list published annually, which they are known for.

 Personally, no matter how premium, how high quality kibbles the
companies say they offer, or how pretty packaging it got or maybe
someone famous is having their own line of kibbles, the finished products are still “process food”.

 Even if there were better brand than the other, what they offer is convenience, not nutrition packed food for furriends.

 Also, you need to understand that the big
pet food companies might use ingredients imported from outside the
countries they cannot observe every step away on how they were
grown/raised under different regulations in the countries.

 The countries might not have the same standards in growing/raising food to the states also.

 It applies the same to well known dehydrated food companies as well. In the past, one dehydrated food company got voluntary recall due to possible salmonella in their Parsley.

 However, did you know their parsley was imported from Egypt, not domestically grown?

 You can read the full article written by Claudia Kawczynska titled “Dog Food watch” appeared on Bark magazine here, and recalled Parsley information used in the dehydrated food company’s products can be found at the page 3 here.

 If you feed kibble, you would know that kibble’s ingredients are listed by weights. 1st ingredients weigh more than latter ingredients.

Another things to know to be able to read the kibble label are as following..

1. If you are getting kibbles, then, ingredients should be named protein
source not vague ingredients; Not “animal fat” but “chicken fat”,for

2. Find more than 1 animal protein source in the ingredients list close to the top in the ingredient list,preferably within top 5 ingredients.

3. Find whole form of vegetables,grain etc and not “ground” form of grain/vegetables

4. Avoid “by- products” in the list

5. Avoid artificial colors,preservatives,and sweeteners etc..

6. Know the splitting system in the pet food market

 “Splitting” is the way to make one ingredient into smaller category.

 Ingredients are listed in order by weights.

 With this method, even if rice was main ingredients (more weights than
protein source), by splitting, it can make lamb or any other protein
source look like most weight ingredients.

 If you feed kibble, go grab the kibble bag and, group up the ingredients in the list. Then, count how many animal protein source,how many carbohydrate such as grain,vegetables, fruits are in there. 

 Chances are, you would find more carbohydrate ingredients than actual animal protein source.

 What would tell you then is that, since majority of kibble ingredients are grains and vegetables with/without a little bit of fruits, kibble is carbohydrate heavy food.

 Now, knowing that fact, when you try to upgrading the kibble with fresh food, if you feed more carbohydrate as topper in the kibble, it would make their food lot more carbohydrate heavy meal.

 It is also important to know that if you feed vegetables,fruits to them, then, it is best to understand what pro/cons each vegetables have for your dogs.

 Did you know…

vegetables such as night shade family
vegetables;eggplants,white potato,peppers, tomatoes etc..are not good
for dogs
with joint problems since those would aggravate the inflammation because
of the chemicals in the vegetables called “solanin” (glycoalkaloid).

 Spinach is one of the vegetables that contains oxalate, and it should
not be fed frequently in large amount, especially to dogs who are prone
to make stones. If spinach was fed excess amount, it can interfere with
calcium absorption also.

 You might hear that “dark leafy green to add to your dogs’ diet is good”, but not good for every dogs.

 Avoid spinach,kale,chard, and some berries such as strawberries if your dogs were stone former.

 Even if your dogs were not stone former, cruciferous family vegetable such as
broccoli,cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, brussels sprouts,turnips,mustard green etc.. can suppress thyroid
function if fed in excess.

 You can read more on pro and cons about vegetables in the past entry titled “Are all vegetables good for dogs?” here.

 Therefore, it is lot more to consider as to what to add, what not to add to your dog’s upgraded kibble meal.

 As I understand it, when you add fresh food to your dog’s kibble, take out 25% of kibble and fill that with fresh food in variety.

 It is because each food has own unique set of nutrient profile with various vitamins/minerals amount, no matter what diet you feed whether you feed raw diet, homemade diet or kibble, variety is important.

 As mentioned above, since kibble is carbohydrate heavy meal, good things to add to their kibble will be animal protein source especially commercial kibble contains animal protein source so little (As common sense, more animal protein source in the food, the products cost will be up. The better quality animal protein source, the higher the cost will be.).

 You can add boneless beef, pork Turkey,chicken,lamb,duck etc .. etc.. You can also make variety by feeding different kinds of stuff in the same protein source.

 Meaning, if you decided to use “beef” as food topper, you can add boneless steak, beef tongue, beef heart, Palette’s favorite “Tripe” (If you do feed tripe, do not buy white tripe from grocery store but purchase “Green beef tripe” from raw food suppliers or local raw food co-op in the area), raw beef trachea, raw beef  gullet etc..

 As you can see, one protein source can still bring variety for your dog.

 You could also add egg. If you are not comfortable adding raw cracked egg over your dog’s kibble, add crush boiled egg over their food, or you can make scramble egg or omelet for them, or you can make itty bitty Fritata muffin* (recipe follows).

 Animal liver is nutrient packed and it is also good addition to the diet with moderation.

 Beef liver ,for example, is great source of
zinc,Vitamin B12,Vitamin A, Copper,Iron,folate,riboflavin,Vitamin
B6,selenium, protein,niacin,pantothenic acids,and phosphorus.

is the raw beef liver nutrition profile from
website. If you look at the nutrient balance indicator,you can see that
the liver has quite wide variety of nutrient in it.

 Liver has
great health benefit on its own although liver contains Vitamin A that
is fat soluble vitamins that gets stored if not used by the body.
Because of the fat soluble Vitamin A in the liver, you do not want to
over-feed them just because you hear that liver is good for your dog’s
health, but they are great menu to add in your dog’s diet.

A can be obtained from vegetable or fruits such as carrots, and body
convert the beta carotene into Vitamin A. In this case, the body only
convert beta carotene into Vitamin A when the body needs it.

may think that if the dog can get Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables,
they could get Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, and you could omit
liver if dogs did not like it.

 However, when you think about
it, fruits and vegetables are less nutrient dense menu for dogs compared
to liver.Plus, dogs have to convert the beta carotene to Vitamin A to
make it available in their body.

 Therefore, they would rather do better using the Vitamin A they get straight from animal protein source such as liver.

Vitamin A from animal source; fat soluble vitamin, get stored in the
body when body did not use up all the vitamin A they got.

 As I understand it, optimum Vitamin A amount for dogs is 100 IU-200 IU per kg of body weight.

Mini Fritata Muffin

Mini Fritata Muffin..

Ingredient for Mini Fritata Muffin;

2       eggs
1 oz  beef liver
1/2 tsp heavy cream

1. In the bowl,crack 2 eggs and whisk to blend evenly and add 1/2 tsp heavy cream, chopped 1 oz beef liver and stir

In the mini muffin baking pan, put muffin cup and pour about 2 tbs each
in the cup,pour water into empty muffin cup area about 1/4″ depth to
prevent them from scorching.

** You can use this “filling empty
muffin tin area with bit of water” trick to make your own muffin too. It
prevents them from scorching and also, it gives steaming effect so, it
bakes up fluffy,moist muffins. Just do not fill the empty muffin tin
area with too much water.

** If you have a party, you could make
Fritata muffin for your guests too. Use 2 eggs, 1/4C heavy cream and
adjust seasoning and vegetables.It will be cute on the plate.
3. Bake them at 425F oven for 9 minutes

** Because of little addition of heavy cream, the Fritata muffin gets puffed up a little on top and comes out cute

** If you like, you can sprinkle chopped Flat leaf Italian Parsley and serve

Makes; 6 Mini Fritata Muffin

 The Mini Fritata muffin
whole recipe is 186kcal,and 1 Fritata muffin is about 31 kcal. You can look
up nutrition profile at website here.

 Other than meat,organ, and egg, you can also add canned fish (salmon,sardine,herring,mackerel) or you can bake or broil the unseasoned fish (preferably wild caught fish,not farm raised fish) and add the fish flakes over your dog’s kibble.

 Also, you could do kibble in AM, total raw meal PM.

 Since I have switched Palette’s diet fully, I did not do partial raw diet. Therefore, I cannot comment on true or not but, I hear that if you feed kibble with bone-in raw diet meal, it will cause the digestive upset so, it is best to feed the bone-in raw diet meal separately. Boneless meat seems to be ok though.

 Tweaking will be needed to fit to your dog’s needs.

 There you have it all about upgrading your dog’s kibble by adding fresh food as topper.

 If you are interested in switching your dog to raw diet, please refer our blog series titled “Raw feeding 911” as the raw feeding guide.

 The series appear under the Dog diet category here.

 What fresh food did your dog have in their bowl today?

 Send your dog’s Fresh food” moment to

 Your dog’s fresh food moment may be featured in our blog.

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Jul 02, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet