With my boys annuals today, the vet thought we were doing an awesome job with their diets. He said that I should add a vitamin supplement to make sure everything is balanced or feed them veggies.
Does anyone use vitamins? If so what kind? I should have asked him what he recommended, but I was just so happy with the boys and all the weight they lost and the vet asking me what they actually ate for their meals (and he can't believe how cheap it is for me to feed them), it totally slipped my mind.
He said he's got another patient/client that feeds raw as well. She hasn't been doing it as long as I have, but she's very pleased with the results she's seeing already.
Thanks for any suggestions/help.
Although dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, they are definitely carnivores and lack the enzymes necessary to break down plant matter. For that reason, I stopped feeding veggies (although I do admit I will feed fruit as a snack now and then because they seek it out on their own). I would be very hesitant to add veggies. Instead of feeding veggies, I feed a lot of green tripe which is loaded with partially digested plant matter containing prebiotics, digestive enzymes and B vitamins (assuming the animal is grass fed).
If you are feeding tripe, you are feeding a species appropriate diet and no supplementation should be necessary. The exception is if you are feeding grain fed animals. In that case, you will need to supplement with Omega 3 (not a 3 6 9 combo) and it should not come from a plant source (see above) so I would seek out a cold water fish oil or a seal oil. You might also want to supplement with a good probiotic like Primal Defense.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
I give Baloo a few supplements that have some vitamins in them, but he takes them for other things, as per our holistic vet (mostly GI issues stemming from overuse of meds in his puppyhood).
Peanut gets colostrum (bovine), vitamin C, fish oil and sea greens. Most of that is for immune mediation, but there are vitamins in there too.
I supplement for a few reasons, but the main one is that I can't afford to feed my guys all grass fed, organic meat, and I feel like I need to add a little something even just for assurance. One of those "can't hurt might help" type of things.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Thank you! My boys get coconut oil and yogurt on a fairly regular basis. They also get green tripe (either cow or lamb) and they go nuts for it.
They do get banana's, melon, carrots, and green beans on occasion.
Dana - I appreciate all your help (from when I was first getting into feeding raw). My vet asked me who I learned this from. I told him I had read a bunch of books (a year before I made the switch), and that there was a breeder on a lab board I frequent who has been feeding this way for around 20 years (including pups). He said, well, I guess you have a good teacher! I told him, I wish I could meet you in person. You are a wealth of knowledge! I also trust your judgement.
My boys do not appear to be lacking anything - they have the playfullness of a 6 month old puppy, their eyes, coats, teeth are in fantastic condition. They seem to be happier.
The best part? In the 15 months I've been feeding this way, they have all dropped a considerable amount of weight - which I blame on the kibble I was feeding (because they didn't get much and always seemed hungry).
Since last May, Hunter has lost 19 lbs., Yogi has lost 18 lbs., and Chance has lost 12 lbs.
I add Kelp and Alfafa powder and fish oil to there food. I can't believe the coat on Blu and he has good poops. I started him on raw 2 yrs ago (he's 3 now) when I could not get his stool normal and all the test come up with nothing.