Dogs/rice in dogs diet
I have 5 Basset Hounds. Purchased our first in June 2008. From the time we got her her diet consisted of cooked organ meat; ie beef hearts, chicken liver, chicken gizzards and hearts, chicken, pork liver, beef liver, and breast of veal along with rice, a dry dog food and homemade gravy. When we bred our oldest we switched her to brown rice as per our vets recommendation. She whelped her litter on 9/30/2011; we kept four of the puppies and continued the same diet with them; our vet said the diet was fine. The rice was mainly given to help keep their stools solid.
Since the recent arsenic scare in rice we are concerned about their rice intake. We are also concerned about taking the rice out of their diet and then having to deal with loose stools; not fun with five dogs.
Should we try parboiled rice; it was not included in the study. Is there something we can add to their diet to replace the rice that would serve the same stool binding purpose? Should we wean them off the rice or just remove it from their diet?
I applaud your efforts to feed a good diet for your dogs. It's a lot of work to keep up with it but at least you know what's going it in.
I don't know what ratio you are putting in the organ meat but just be careful to not add too much at a time. They are very dense in vitamins and minerals and can overload these nutrients if fed too much. I believe too much organ meat can also cause some loose stools.
You always have to look at balance. Too much rice, too much dry, too much organ meat can throw a diet out of balance. I don't know what dry you are referring to and if it is grain free or contains grains.
The basic healthy grains that are fine to feed dogs that are not sensitive to grains are rice, barley and oatmeal.
Your vet may be great at medicine but you need to be aware of how much nutritional training he has had. Most have had very little. A holistic vet however are the ones that are trained in medicine like your regular vet and then are trained in complete natural nutrition as well. This makes big difference.
We have our regular vet for general medical issues, but if one of our dogs needs to go on a prescription or treatment program, we take them to our holistic vet for treating through the diet and supplements. We refereed many of our customers to a holistic vet for health issues with very good success rate of getting their dogs off of chemical prescriptions.
We also believe in the raw food diet for dogs and cats. It's made a lot of difference in their health and longevity. We've helped hundreds of our customers switch to a raw food diet with tremendous success.
We rescue dogs out of kill shelters when we can. Most come to us with severe health issues. We transition them to a raw food diet and they get better very fast.
Of course raw feeding is not for everyone and especially hard on cost if you have multiple or big dogs. Right now we have our own three dogs and two rescues that we feed raw to. We are using around 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of feed a day.
You can also feed raw occasionally and they will reap some of the benefits. If you are interested, reply back and I can tell you more about it and how to transition your dogs.
The important thing is that if you feed an all cooked diet, you supplement this diet with at lease prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes. These are very critical and what is missing out of most dogs diets. This is the main reason why so many of today's dogs are filling up the vets offices with all kinds of degenerative type diseases.
When you cook foods, you destroy these nutrients. Without these nutrients, the diet is NOT balanced. Without digestive enzymes, the dogs internal organs have to give up some there enzymes to help digest the food. This is called enzyme robbing and puts a strain on the organ in time. If there are insufficient enzymes in the diet, the foods will not break down far enough or small enough for all the nutrients to be transported into the blood stream. This can cause an imbalance and loss of nutrients. Even when a dog is on the best diet.
Without good pre and probiotics, the bad bacteria can easily overcome good bacteria in the intestinal system and this causes diseases, obesity, arthritis and much worse. Probiotics also help transport nutrients to the body.
Some dry food companies will claim to put some probiotics coating on their foods. But this does very little if any good as probiotics are very delicate to heat and air. They will die off and become useless unless refrigerated.
You can usually pick up these nutrients in a powder form at most natural dog food stores and just add a little to each meal. We feed a raw food diet that naturally contains enzymes and probiotics but we still add additional in supplement form to each of their meals to help with digestion.
Like I said, if you would like more information on any of this, I'll be happy to answer any questions I can, just let me know.
Now I can get to your questions.
I don't think it would make any difference if you parboiled the rice. This or any other grains are susceptible to contamination unless you really know where they are coming from and/or they are organic. You also have to be careful of getting to much GMO grains in the diet. This is the same for people.
You can use canned pumpkin in the diet for a regulator. We sell organic pumpkin in cans to our customers just for this reason. It works will for loose stools and constipation. It's a balancer.
It sounds like they are used to variety in their diet. This is VERY good. This allows you to add and/or remove items from their diet typically without any digestive reactions.
Like I said before, it's a matter of making sure their diet is balanced over the long run. You may want to pick up a book or two on feeding a homemade diet. They will usually have recipes that will make a complete balanced diet.
We've ran into this a lot with people wanting to make some or most of their dogs food at home. They typically will forget calcium or other nutrients to make it balanced. So you have to be careful that your dogs are not getting too much or too little of the right nutrients. The best way is to follow some proven recipes.
Back to balance, you need to remember what and how nature intended our dogs to eat and thrive on. Think of what is included in this diet. They would feed on small prey that contains moderate organ meat, good quality protein, a little fat, bones for calcium, some fur for fiber and some veggies from stomach contents. This makes a natural balanced diet.
We feed a manufactured brand of raw food for dogs. We carry several varieties. The one we like best contains 80% protein including bone and organ meat ground in and 20% vegetables. This is a good ratio that a holistic vet and a dog food science guy determined was the optimum balance for today's dogs.
So if you are not doing some veggies, you may want to start adding some. This will help balance their diet and stretch your meat a little. You can just use some veggy mixes and slightly blanch them and run them through a food processor. This helps to break down the cell walls and utilize the nutrients. Try to keep them around 15-20% of the diet.
Let me know if you have any further questions or would like to add anything. I'll be happy to help if I can.