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Omnivore diet thinking lately

Discussion in 'BARF, Raw & Natural Diets' started by VallejoSheltie, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 12, 2011
    Hi All,

    Thought I'd post here as this is not exactly Raw or Consumer food, exactly.

    I've been recently following the Planet Paws guy https://www.facebook.com/PlanetPawsPetEssentials/videos/
    and while out shopping for tumeric and ginger decided to go that one step farther....
    Somewhere on Habib's Facebook he mentions a study wherein dogs that were feed vegetables 3x week were 50-70% less likely to succumb to cancer.

    So, while at Walmert recently I picked up a cheap $8 food processor and some extra vegetables.

    As dogs are not obligate carnivores, and recent wolf research apparently shows they do consume at least a fair amount of non-protein food, http://web-dvm.net/dogs-are-omnivores-and-should-be-fed-as-such/ , it would seem prudent to add vegetables to our pets regular RAW or kibble base.

    The problem is that dogs have a short intestine, and are 'thought' in general to not be able to process vegetable fiber well.

    So, I am trying to think of a way to get around that issue.
    Obviously using a food processor will help somewhat in reducing the energy expenditure required by the dogs system to break down vegetable matter, and get it to a state where hopefully more useful nutrients can be freed.
    I don't think I am quite at the puree level, however for now i have turned my initial vegetables into a very soggy mass of glop.

    So, my line of thought went to what can I do still, to get more of the nutrients out of those cells?
    Freezer it is.
    Freezing should increase my very soggy vegetable glop volume by ~9%,http://hendrix2.uoregon.edu/~imamura/102/images/watergraph.gif , which is what water expands to become ice. This should break a large majority of the vegetable cell walls, leaving me with a mass of broken cells and cell content in a soup of nutrients.

    Tomorrow I will defrost my bowl in the fridge, and decant into dollar store ice cube trays and refreeze immediately.

    In the future, I will puree and decant to the trays so that I can avoid the defrost cycle. Once cells have burst from freezing and then been defrosted enzymes and lysosomes released rapidly oxidize the nutrients, http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/selection-and-storage-of-foods-part-i/does-freezing-harm-foods.html

    4-5 trays should give me enough cubes to last daily feeding for a month or two.

    I used the vegetables I had on hand:
    Carrots ( more sugar than really wanted in hindsight)
    Green Beans
    Nori Seaweed ( Korea)
    Goat Cheese
    +Need to add Black Pepper for Tumeric bioavailabilty x2000!
    +Need to add a can or two of $0.65 Tuna Fish (Aldi's)
    +Add 1-2 cups of Kefir
    +Coconut oil as well

    Luckily, Boots seemed to think it was a treat although I the 1oz of Tumeric and .5 oz of Ginger seemed to bit a bit much. Some Kefir made him go back to finish it all.

    Anyways, I will try to update this over the next several weeks in case anyone else is interested.
    I know I am weird, I find this sort of stuff fun.
    For the less than $8-9 it cost me, and the month or two of dog health improvement I guess I could have gotten a couple of drinks at the local pub.

    Currently researching what effects vacuum has on vegetable cell walls. My idea is that doing a puree, then cold (but not freezing) vacuum might also burst cell walls. Only because I saw a cheap vacuum pump at Harbor Freight today. Regular freezing is probably simpler, faster, fewer steps.

    If anyone has any suggestions on better vegetables or supplements, please feel free to chime in.
    I know the next run is going to use fresh vegetables instead of canned, to avoid the nutrient lost in canning process.

    Hmm, maybe I can get a grinder and add meats and bones and just make my own daily patties and drop the kibble altogether?

    I guess this might be better in the RAW section after all...

    PPS- Juicing. Its an option, however I think the fiber left in the mix can't hurt. Though, I could of course juice and then mix some of the pulp back in. Hmmmm....
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Dogs can actually digest the starch in vegetables. There was research done a couple of years ago that found dogs have genes that allow them to digest starch and fat.

    This is a link to the full paper.

    And a summary http://www.nature.com/news/dog-s-dinner-was-key-to-domestication-1.12280

    I've never heard of research saying feeding vegetables 3 times a week will reduce cancer in dogs by that much, sounds questionable. Dogs, however, can eat vegetables every day. Mine do, a lot of dogs I know eat vegetables every day. They don't get them pureed because they easily digest them. Some vegies have an outer shell that needs to be masticated to break down (peas and corn for eg) and seeing as dogs don't chew, they tend to go straight through undigested. Carrot doesn't seem to break down so well either.

    Kibble already has vegetables in it, so there is no need to add vegetables, although it is a good way to keep weight down or fill up a dog.

    You mention adding goat's cheese. Just be careful. Dogs are lactose intolerant - I am too so I know from experience what is tolerated. Goat cheese still contains lactose, although it is thought to be more easily digested than cow's milk cheese. I love goat and sheep Feta, but having it on a daily basis gives me gas as the lactose builds up. So I expect it would do the same for dogs. I give my dogs lactose free milk as their calcium intake, but I also have lactose free cheese in the house. Yoghurt is also good because it has very little lactose (avoid the diet yoghurt). They have bones regularly but now Deska is sensitive to chicken I stopped doing daily chicken necks.

    Pumpkin is a really good option - it's easily digested. Good fillers are potato (just take the skin off), oats and brown rice.

    It isn't actually too hard to feed a home made diet to dogs, and it's pretty common over here. Basically the healthy eating pyramid for humans works for dogs too. I add more meat and definitely less spices than I would eat, but otherwise I have been known to share the dogs' dinners.

    Good luck with it - I think you'll be happy feeding a home made diet. My vet thinks my dogs diet is why they look so good and why Deska is still going despite his tough start.

    btw - I've moved it to the food section - which is for natural diets (eg home made) not just BARF.
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  3. tesslynn

    tesslynn Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 3, 2014
    interesting mix

    I can't tolerate oregano, so I wouldn't ever give it to my girls. Herbs are food, but they are also medicine so I tend to use them sparingly. When I cooked for my 2nd sheltie who had seizures the nutritionist friend I knew said, not to stray away from stuff that the bred would have in their region. I thought that was good advice.
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  4. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks, 2013 and I still somehow missed that.....
    So, that research seems to have put paid to the controversy regarding whether or not canines can utilize vegetable/plant matter. Proof is good. Not a professional, however the jury still appears to be out on how effectively the average 10" GI tract is at extracting nutrients/energy.

    Just found this great link, http://vitahound.com/dog-health-library/dogs-health/lack-of-preliminary-enzymes-in-canine-digestion/


    1. Dogs don't produce salivary amylase
    2. Wasn't aware that food transits the esophagus, sits in the fundus for an hour or two being predigested with salivary amylase (in Humans) and enzymes before entering second part of stomach.
    Unsure about what other enzymes might be being secreted there, however no amylase.
    3. Main stomach releases gastric juices and acid. The research you cited probably refers to release in #2 or #3 above.
    4. Chime moves to small intestine where pancreatic amylase and other enzymes are secreted.

    So, while research has proven there is starch breaking ability in canines, it would appear to still be very crude in comparison to nomral omnivore and herbivores.
    That in addition to the quick transit time vs omni/herbivore would seem to indicate there is a much lower efficiency of extraction.

    At least from what I've read. I guess one could research how well dogs do on a strictly vegan diet?

    Anyways, most of the above is more justification for why I think the blending/puree of veggies is worth the 10-15 minutes of time it'll probably take me once, maybe twice a month if I start using real veggies vs canned.[/QUOTE]

    I agree. I was shocked when I read it, however I thought I was on a reputable site. Until I can find a cite again, I would say its doubtful.

    Well, that is one of my main thoughts. Just because we don't see much raw veggie matter (like corn) doesn't automatically conclude that it was assimilated to any great degree.
    Even the findings you cited, while proof that there is starch braking going on, haven't gotten to the point of determining how much and what exactly is being absorbed.
    I could be wrong, and with carnivores secreting acid that is 10x stronger than herbivores I guess its possible that is somehow making a shortened GI tract somehow more efficient.
    However that sounds doubtful, as I would expect such a simple evolution to have occurred somewhere else in the herbivore kingdom..

    But whats in the kibble is no better than the canned stuff I made the other day, and probably far worse. My thinking is that I can use the latest R&D results, and using fresh veggies, perhaps uncooked, and without all the useless (cheap) fillers they throw in kibble, I can end up with something far more nutritionally and bioavailable to my boy.

    Being able to give him a big bowl of food warms the cockles of my heart the way he loves/loves, did I say LOVES food.

    He seems to like the 2% milk I usually give him several tbsp worth without issue. I'll keep an eye on the cheese, and try to find low fat version if economical.

    I can get the Kefir which is a superset of yogurt for $2.99 maybe instead of cheese. I'll have to compare the probiotics in there to see if they actually are useful to dogs though.

    Thanks, with the move to Western NY we've got a nice ranch on 1.4 acres, a smaller barn, my own pond with deer and ducks, and I'm starting to feel almost like a gentleman farmer.
    Just need to get a couple of chickens again like last year in CA, and we'll be set.
    Get a used grinder, and with all the deer hunting and venison I can probably get for free, several hours a month to make up my own food for the boy seems like a worthwhile and relaxing hobby.
    If I can get the science down, and ingredient mix right, might be a small side-business.
  5. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks, just saw that there is a link between Oregano and dogs with seizures. Although Boots doesn't have them, I will omit this in the future.

    As for region-specific food.... Since Shelties are actually recent creations of the Shetlands from base Scandinavian herding dogs crossed with Collies, that would seem to be a pretty decent swathe of food groups to choose from.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  6. tesslynn

    tesslynn Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 3, 2014
    I have an old pamphlet I got when I got my 1st sheltie, it was printed before kibble was manufactured. It said the only diet for a sheltie should be lamb, fish, pork, porridge, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. These being foods of the Shetland Islands. My girls LOVE these foods, ha.
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  7. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 12, 2011
    That sounds like a pretty good food mix.
    May have to try it.

    Status Update- Cut kibble by half each serving and add about twice as much of the veggie mix. Seems to like it, he takes longer to eat as there is more bulk, and seems pretty satisfied after eating. Every other time he walks by his dish he goes and licks it some more.

    Poop report is good, though a tinge green. Just bought a real blender though, so hoping to get an even finer puree result with fresh veggies.
  8. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 12, 2011
    OK, was going to post and found an old thread of mine.

    Since moving from CA to NY, we're no longer going to the dog park every day for an hour or two so activity level is way down.
    Weight got up to 50# what with the snacks, and lack of exercise.
    Tried for a month or more to feed half veggies and half kibble, to end up finding he'd lost 0 lbs.

    Recently skewed the mix to closer to 2/3 veg, and he's gotten down to 45-ish. He is a large Sheltie BTW.
    Do the DCM panic, was wondering about switching to one of the non-GF. We've been switching between BEG's, currently on some sort of Kangaroo protein one.
    However, I also sneak in a can of Aldi's $0.50 cat food tins which have added Taurine. Not sure if this is worth worrying about, and is more of an aside.

    I know I need to get Boots down to about 40-42#, and am still surprised at how he can keep the weight on with all the veg he's getting.

    Currently fair amount of carrots, started to add cabbage (cheap), romaine or iceberg, celery, and cucumbers.
    Occasionally some cheese, yogurt or cottage cheese toppings.

    I've got a $40 chopper/shredder, and normally get it rather fine. I am assuming this is helping his gut to extract more than he would normally get with simple chopping.
    Wondering if a cup to 1.5 cups is just too much, but its hard not to give him that since he just loves it and its nice to see him get what seems like a satisfying amount of low cal food.

    I know he needs a fair amount of protein, not sure how little I can give him kibble-wise.

    Oh yeah, also add ~500-700mg glucosomine/chondroitin and 2 Costco Omega 3's ~600-700mg.

    Just curious if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.

    In the end though, I wanted to echo some other commenters who do similar, and agree that its 5 minutes to make the days meals, simple cleanup, and it feels great to know that at least 2/3's of your dog's meals are made from fresh produce and full of natural bioavailable vitamins/minerals compared to probably inorganic v/m added to kibbles. Its actually enjoyable doing it.
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  9. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I found with Piper (in the past) if I cut out ALL carbs it was much easier to get him to drop the weight. Sort of like a keto diet where the body starts burning the fat stores all the times even when resting. I'd been feeding them Smack food occasionally but I've been noticing how Piper's weight keeps inching up and up and I think it's from the ground meat mixture has too much fat (at least 30%). I'm switching him to one meal of raw and one of dehydrated raw to increase his weight loss.
    I also give him extra veggies with his meals (he also gets veggies in his raw mix) and while I don't give him 1 1/2 cups of veggies, I think if your dog enjoys it and his stool is good I say keep doing what your doing. I'd definitely look at how much carbs are in the kibble you feed as that could be slowing down the weight loss. Carbs convert to sugar and sugar will slow down the weight loss for sure. The thing I like in a dehydrated raw is it's easy to feed and it has very few carbs (check the label).
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Ditch the cat food, it's much higher in calories and fat than dog food. Added taurine isn't the problem with DCM anyway, all the diets had adequate taurine, it's thought to be due to the interaction of various nutrients blocking absorption.

    Do you know exactly how much kibble you were feeding before and exactly how much you have cut it back by?

    Cheese and yoghurt are also calorie rich. Sounds like you neeed a diet diary for him - work out exactly how many calories you are giving him. Also count the Omega if it is oil based. It's harder to work out for dogs because they won't tell you they are full, so when we put them on a diet all we do is add more food (like veggies) without removing equal weight in higher calorie.

    I find carrots cause constipation in my dogs. Even my current rescue, too many carrots and she's straining.

    You can add more fibre to his diet, like oats and psyllium husks which can add bulk without the calories, my dogs always lost weight on oat mixes mixed with lean minced meat, they do poop more or bigger though because of the extra fibre, but you won't have problems with anal glands then. Green beens is another option as are boiled white potatoes surprisingly (not sweet potato because of the extra sugars). My vet always says you really need a wet diet to lose weight in pets (cats and dogs). So think about getting a wet food for a while to add to the vegetables or just do some lean mince. Shelties can run on an oily rag.
    Ron Atkinson and Sharon7 like this.

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