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Dog food and feeding => Home cooking => Topic started by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 13:11

Title: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 13:11
Hi everyone, just checking my quantities and recipies for home cooked food.  Natures Menu recommend one third mince, one third fruit/veg and one third low starch grain (brown rice oats or potato) and 2-3% of bodyweight per day.

Would sweet potato be a veg or would it be low starch grain?

Also, is 33% protein enough as some of the home cooked and raw menus are 60% protein and Natures Menu complete meals are 45% protein?
Many thanks
Gill
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: George on Sep 30, 2014, 14:33
Hi everyone, just checking my quantities and recipies for home cooked food.  Natures Menu recommend...

Gill, do you mean Natures Menu recommend those quantities for raw feeding, or do they actually suggest that you can cook their Free Flow Mince?

I suppose the beef and tripe varieties could be cooked before feeding but all the others contain bone and could be very dangerous to feed cooked - the tiny bits of bone will become brittle and some will have sharp edges, it could easily result in a punctured intestine. Nutriment & Natural Instinct warn that their raw meals should never be cooked for that reason, and I have just checked, Natures Menu minces do contain bone.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Dottie on Sep 30, 2014, 15:14
I don't know much about making home made dog food but is this article (http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Allergy-Food-for-Dogs) of some use? The suggestion is 40% protein (meat, chicken, fish), 50% vegetables and 10% carbohydrate.  In kibble it seems that sweet potato is dual function - used as filler/carbohydrate and vegetable (which it is).  I was told (by a company food rep) that it is an excellent filler. With the above figures I am wondering if it should be regarded as the 10% carbohydrate because it is starchy.

Although NM do sell packs of just meat i.e. not complete meals, you could get the same or similar selection from your local butcher. The meat packs that they sell seem to be for those who feed the BARF way i.e. they buy the meat and add their own extras such as vegetables, fruit etc.  I don't know much about raw feeding like this but I think you can buy packs of herbs etc to add to the meat so that the dog is getting all the nutrition it needs.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 15:15
Thanks George.  This is what Natures menu say: "Home made -Your decision, its simply meat.  The Bone content is far too minced/ground down to be an issue when cooked.  We do recommend our meats are used with a raw diet"

I cooked it when my GSD had surgery and had a bacterial infection, and the vet thought it best cooked, and I found the dogs seem to prefer it.  I have to cook the veg and rice but I could mix this with the raw meat?  I've just recently started so am open to recommendations and suggestions.  I also feed Lupo Natural Swiss chicken so they get a complete meal every day as well as my home cooked recipes.  Do you think the quantities are wrong if they are cooked?
Thanks
Gill


Gill, do you mean Natures Menu recommend those quantities for raw feeding, or do they actually suggest that you can cook their Free Flow Mince?

I suppose the beef and tripe varieties could be cooked before feeding but all the others contain bone and could be very dangerous to feed cooked - the tiny bits of bone will become brittle and some will have sharp edges, it could easily result in a punctured intestine. Nutriment & Natural Instinct warn that their raw meals should never be cooked for that reason, and I have just checked, Natures Menu minces do contain bone.
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Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 15:19


Thanks Dottie, I did wonder whether to go to the butchers but thought it might be too much fat.  I'll read the link you sent.
Gill
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: George on Sep 30, 2014, 15:45
Phew! That's a relief. The bone must be much more finely ground than in the other foods.

As regards proportions, I'm not an expert at all but FWIW if I were preparing a home made diet I'd go for much more than 1/3 meat  - 50% at least, and less than 1/3 starchy food - I'd probably use about 20% brown rice or sweet potato for a dog that needed either fattening up or filling up, otherwise I'd omit it altogether.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Dottie on Sep 30, 2014, 15:53
Yes, I agree with upping the meat/protein. The carbs are thought not to be of much use to the dog (from what I have read) although sweet potato and brown rice is OK.

Years ago I used to feed meat from the butcher's shop but I used to pressure cook it. I bought heart, beef cheek, kidney etc. Dogs need some fat and as long as you don't buy meat that is overly fatty you should be OK.  I was told by the Nutriment lady that raw lamb can be a bit fatty for dogs so was advised to avoid it as mine easily put on weight.  Rabbit is a great source of protein if you can get it. Don't forget to add oily fish such as sardines and mackerel for the omega oils. You could use salmon oil on the food instead. 

It seems that you are talking about giving cooked food and raw food - are you undecided about which way to go? TBH I don't see any reason why you should not give raw meat and cooked vegetables and rice - in fact you have to cook the rice anyway.  With your experience of bacterial infection thought to be due to raw meat I can see why you are thinking of cooking it.  Maybe it would be best to learn a bit more about raw feeding and general nutrition.  There are a few Facebook groups and one which I recently joined is A Raw Start Explained.  It's a closed group but you should get some useful tips if you were to join. 
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 16:16
Sorry, I better make it clear (I don't want to upset any raw enthusiasts) but the bacterial infection was after surgery - nothing to do with raw food - but the vet thought I better cook it to be on the safe side as he was already fighting a bacterial infection! 

Yes, I am undecided.  They are enjoying their food at the moment.  I am happy with the Lupo as I they love it and I know it is complete so getting everything they need.  I just need to make sure the raw or home cooked meals are just as nutricious.
Gill
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Dottie on Sep 30, 2014, 16:45
Oh I see - sorry about that. Don't worry about upsetting us - I only converted mine to raw about one month ago and I cheat anyway by using Nutriment.  It's a doddle - just like feeding dog food out of a can only much more nutritious. 

I have heard of Lupo - it is one of the handful of cold pressed foods in this country.  In fact I have been feeding cold pressed food too only it was Gentle.  Maybe they are made at the same plant in Germany.  Anyway, if they are OK with Lupo, why not just stick with that?  It sounds like a good, balanced food.  I only took mine off Gentle because of weight issues - carbs seem to turn to fat with my lot. Now they don't get any except for one gravy bone biscuit at night and a tiny bit of softened, frozen Gentle in a Kong once a day. 

If you really fancy trying a raw diet, just read up and see what you would gain (or lose) by it.  TBH I never liked the idea but now I'm 'into' it a bit more I can see the benefits.  There is no way I would go back to dry food.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: George on Sep 30, 2014, 17:11
Oh Dottie, look! You've been promoted...

You are now officially 'Junior'.

Long time since I was called Junior...
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 17:20
Yes, I could just stick to Lupo, but I would like to give them a bit of variety and make food enjoyable rather than a necessity (which is what it became sometimes with kibble). 

Luca GSD is now on three legs so we need to keep weight down, although he was never fat and still very active and not prone to weight gain, and Pippin JR has just been spayed last week but again very active and I am conscious of weight gain.  I have just fed them this afternoon with cooked veg with raw chicken mince and brown rice and they loved it.  I just want to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need.  I think I will increase the protein on the next batch.  I don't suppose there is any harm in feeding a mix of everything as long as they enjoy it and are getting all the necessary nutrients?

I think perhaps either supplements or a food with added supplements might be good for Luca to support his joints with the additional strain they are getting.  I haven't worked that one out yet.
Gill

PS Dottie, congrats on being a junior!
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Dottie on Sep 30, 2014, 17:54
Junior?  I can tell you that I don't feel like it, especially when I get up in the morning!  :(  I noticed that there are rankings on this forum software but couldn't find out what, or where they are. 

Anyway, back to food. With your interest in preparing food and giving your dogs a varied diet, I sense that you are a raw feeder in the making. What you gave this afternoon sounds good and I can see why they loved it - much more interesting, tasty and smelly than dried food. With regards to the joint supplements, the omega oils should help (as I described before).  Also green lipped mussel is supposed to be good but you need to make sure that you buy a good one. My friend was recommended one for her Labrador by the hydrotherapist but I cannot remember which it was.  I will try and remember to ask her when she returns from holiday at the weekend.

I was in a specialist raw feeding shop on Sunday and noticed someone buying a big jar of coconut oil. I've read of raw feeders giving this and just checked it out - there is a bit about it
here (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/). 
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Tinyplanets on Sep 30, 2014, 18:13
Hi Gillwright

I have the same confusion over veg, especially the starchy ones but also stuff like corn, carrots and parsnips which can have carbs in the form of sugar.I sometimes give baked thins of sweet potato which seem to satisfy the chewing needs but not sure if they are healthy. The natures menu raw foods seem to be pretty high in carbs but my terrier still seems to be losing weight on them. She was also on cold pressed before and I switched for a similar reason to you. I wanted meal times to be more enjoyable. psychologically this has the effect of me not feeling the need to give her too many human food treats.

Well done Dottie , an extra star for you 8)
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: George on Sep 30, 2014, 18:17
Re supplements, I was interested to read about this (http://smartbarf.co.uk/smartbarf-product/) the other day. Developed for raw feeding, but I can't see why it wouldn't work just a well with a home cooked diet
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Sep 30, 2014, 18:20
I'm already a Coconut oil nut!  I use it for all my cooking and also for the dogs cooking.  I have been giving sardines in tomato sauce as they are cheap and did well to disguise the antibiotic tablets which Luca has been on for several weeks but just finished.  Sounds a good idea to give them some sardines every week.  I eat smoked mackerel a lot and I always give the skins to the dogs - not sure if there is any oils left in that though?   Funny they always sit next to me when I eat mackerel!! I think the salmon oil sounds easy enough to add as well.  I'll get some of that and look into the green lipped mussels.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Pegasus on Oct 07, 2014, 16:54
Pure is good for the range of ingredients and the convenience - it can be pre mixed and frozen in batches. Only thing I would say is it does have a very 'herby' smell which some dogs have found off putting, I would suggest getting a sample before getting a large bag
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Pegasus on Oct 07, 2014, 17:15
Natures Menu Feeding Guide
NM give feeding guide as 50% free flow 25% assorted fruit and veg and 25% carbs which they suggest to be rice or sweet potato. I'm surprised they don't recommend a 80:20 along the lines of Orijen & Simpsons but I suppose they have different ranges for different feeding regimes.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: gillwright on Oct 08, 2014, 10:58
When doing the home cooked meal, I've now upped the protein to 50% and 25% veg and 25% carbs.  I got the 1/3 x 1/3 x 1/3 ratio from NM but haven't seen the recommended 50 x 25 x 25.  Good job they were getting more Lupo than home cooked!
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: evie on Nov 10, 2014, 14:02
I think natures menu and other raw meat had  has 5% bone in it so that bone could be brittle due to cooking its not a good idea to use  it may causes internal injury.
Title: Re: Home cooked using Natures Menu Free flow mince
Post by: Pegasus on Nov 10, 2014, 14:52
I think natures menu and other raw meat had  has 5% bone in it so that bone could be brittle due to cooking its not a good idea to use  it may causes internal injury.
'The Bone content is far too minced/ground down to be an issue when cooked' - Natures Menu