Well stated by more than one DVM and ME owner: “I hate to be beating a dead horse, but, a lot of the “recipes” for diets that are fed by well intentioned (and frustrated) ME owners make me cringe. I know that a lot of these diets have been created based on WHAT the dog will eat, and WHAT (s)he can keep down. Most are woefully unbalanced, and may be fine for a a few months, but, eventually the dog has a great potential to develop problems.”

Nutritionists have been trained to develop nutritionally appropriate diets and they have computer software that can help.

Start with calorie requirements:
Phouka dog pages how much do I feed my dog:
“Well, you’ve got a dog. Maybe he’s a little too fat, or maybe your puppy is completely hyperactive, or maybe you’re planning on going camping in the middle of winter and want to know how to feed your dog. Maybe she’s a herding dog, maybe she’s used to laying on the couch for seventeen hours every day. Or maybe you’re feeding a sled dog team or a show dog or a hunting pair. Unlike most of us, dogs are not terribly concerned with caloric intake, grams of fat, cholesterol, or nutrition. They will happily eat just about anything we give them, and most will thrive on a diet of commercial dog food of one sort or another. Some dogs will eat until they can’t move. Others will go off their food at the slightest change in their surroundings – How do you make sure that they are getting the proper nutrition that they need? Depending on the feeding method that you use, you can easily control the food intake and supplements that your dog eats. However, many dogs are overweight. Feeding portions on many dog foods are sometimes vague, and most of us can’t resist that soulful gaze when the bowl is empty. Depending on their activity level, where they live (inside or outside), and the climate, dogs, like people, require more or less calories to maintain an optimum weight.”

Here are a few options to start your search for what works for your dog:
Pet Diets:
“Pets eat to obtain nutrients and can do so from a variety of ingredients. Pet owners should focus on nutrient profile … and not the ingredients!”

Is This Food Safe for Dogs?:
“In the recent wake of pet food recalls, dog lovers may be left wondering what foods are safe for dogs. All of the commercial food for dogs included in the recalls bore the AAFCO (Association Of American Feed Control Officials) certification seal, so many dog owners switched to organic commercial brands, homemade diets or raw food regimens.”

Balance It Davis Veterinary Medical Consulting:
“Owners can generate a recipe that is calculated for easy use with pre made supplements. Note, some of these nutritionists offer supplements NOT available through health food stores in a balanced form.”

Other places you may contact for nutritional guidance:
–   University of California Davis telephone consults (530) 752-1387 (veterinarians); (530) 752-1393 (clients)
–   University of Tennessee Veterinary Nutrition Service (email utvns@utk.edu)
–   Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Angell Memorial telephone consults (617) 588-7282
–   University of Missouri (email datzc@missouri.edu)