Food Notes

Background: here, here, and here.

Silas has a lot of food issues. People in the pet nutrition world get VERY touchy about the real definition of “allergy” versus “intolerance,” but because Silas’s issues manifest as multi-system problems (skin, digestion, ears) I tend to refer to them as allergies. Whatever you call it, Silas can’t eat: chicken, beef, lamb, salmon (although salmon oil and other fish are fine), or duck.

Diagnosing his problems more or less compelled me to put him on a raw food diet, which is wonderful for us, but may not be wonderful for you. Don’t let anyone bully you about what you feed your dog, as long as you’ve made some kind of educated decision.

If you are interested in raw food, my two favorite resources are Lew Olson’s Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, which also includes a very wise section on how to “improve” your average kibble diet, and Mary Straus’s website Dog Aware. Whatever you do, don’t get all of your information from one source, as some diet plans are outdated and quite inadequate.

For those of you who are following along on our journey, here’s what we’re doing right now. Silas rotates through three food plans. Rotational feeding is not necessary for every dog, although dietary variety is, but it’s recommended to give allergy dogs a “break” from specific foods from time to time. We’ve adopted a “menu” kind of approach to allow some flexibility. We pick one food from the lists below.

One: Turkey and Fish
Breakfasts: Boneless turkey (thigh, breast, heart)
Turkey organ mix (usually mixed in with another item)
Honest Kitchen Turkey varieties
Spring Naturals Turkey Stew canned food
Primal Turkey and Sardine Frozen or Freeze-dried food

Dinners: Turkey with bone
whole fish, canned or fresh
Spring Naturals Turkey Stew canned food
Primal Turkey and Sardine

Treats: Meat free varieties
Dehydrated turkey of any kind
Honest Kitchen Beams
Herring strips

Two: Pork
Breakfasts: Boneless pork (ground, boneless chops)
Pork organ mix
Fromm Pork canned

Dinners: Pork with bone (riblets, necks, chops, tails)
Fromm Pork canned

Treats: Fromm Pork and Peas Kibble
Meat free varieties
Apple and Bacon Fruitables
Dehydrated pork

Three: Venison
Breakfasts: Primal or Stella and Chewy’s prepared raw food
Ziwipeak Daily Dog Venison
Tripett Venison tripe (discontinued; I stockpiled)

Dinners: Primal or Stella and Chewy’s prepared food
Ground venison with bone, sometimes mixed with Honest Kitchen Preference
Ziwipeak Daily Dog Venison

Treats: Ziwipeak venison jerky
Meat free varieties
Primal venison lung puffs
Extra freeze dried food

Because of cost and availability, we actually rotate turkey-pork-turkey-venison. These lists are representative but, especially for treats and prepared food, not all-inclusive. Prepared foods are getting more allergy-friendly by the day, so I can’t say I know them all anymore. Watch for some new food reviews coming up.

I like to keep some prepared food in his diet, just in case I’m not supplementing adequately. Because of Silas’s allergies, I’ve struggled to find a good vitamin for him. Right now I only consistently supplement with salmon oil and vitamin E, which is less than ideal. (On the other hand, some people who feed raw give what I think are far too many supplements.) I also don’t consistently feed vegetables separately from his prepared food. With venison, cost and lack of availability makes prepared food basically a requirement. Prepared foods are also useful for travel, emergencies, and days the humans forgot to defrost. Venison aside, they’re definitely not a majority of his diet.

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2 thoughts on “Food Notes

  1. Have you thought about adding lentils or beans as an additional protein source? Packed full of protein and often received well by my pooch 🙂 She’s also fond of tuna which I often mix with cooked vegetables.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am leaning toward a rotation diet for Ruby, since we have been trying different things and I’m more or less doing that already. It just intuitively makes sense to me over the long term – I sure don’t want to eat the same thing every day!

    Like

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