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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Spicing up dry dog food

Customer Question

Is it okay to use spices to beef up dry dog food? Does it have to be all natural or can you use like chicken boullion or beef boullion?
I use carrots, beef, chicken, parsley and garlic. Are there certain spices I should avoid??? Like onion>? Are there any others that are good for them?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  unbornone replied 11 years ago.
Sure its ok to spice up your dogs food. But I would recommend adding healty things they like instead of things like bbq sauce. I have a vegitarian dog now with a liver problem and I add a bit of cooked rice, carrots, or dried bread crumbs to her very bland vegitarian food. You need to pay attention that the additives agree with the dog or they may exhibit stomach problems and soft stool. Things to avoid are vegetables with a hi acid content like tomatos. My dog loves them but the don't like her. Also no sweets, I know they like them but they do harmful things to the animal and promote tooth problems.   

You can add vitamine suppliments available at your local pet store. Many of these are a paste and may be enough to get your dog eating and also keep them healthy.

So short answer, go for it. just make sure they are healty additives.

Good luck and I hope you have many happy years with your pet.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Onion and even garlic in quantity may have a detrimental effect on a dog. The amount used and the size of the animal plays a role in how dangerous it is.
"Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger." has more information on this and other toxic items.
Pets affected by onion toxicity can develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body reducing oxygen flow to the organs.
Many commercial boullion products contain onion so reading the can is suggested. Plus most dogs don't really need all the salt in the commerical boullions.
You want to make sure the additives are not in too high a proportion to the dry food as you can put the nutrients out of balance. This is particularly true with meats as those are usually pretty much muscle tissue and can end up giving the dog an imbalance due the the phosphorus in the meats.
You can make your own chicken broth easily enough to go over the dog's food to make it more palatable.
What I choose to do instead is to feed a really high quality dry food that my dogs think is really good tasting so they will eat it without having to bribe them to do so.
I do give fresh vegetables to my dogs - my guys think carrots are great chew treats!
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Michael's Post: Thanks for your help. I have three dogs, so I am really becoming a student on being a better Mom.
I feed them a combo of Iams and Eukeneba, but add a little something on top for variety. More for me than for them, but now they are spoiled.
Sorry about your dog's liver problem. Was she really a heavy drinker?
Expert:  unbornone replied 11 years ago.
Thanks for the laugh Debbie,

No, my dog has a genetic disorder called a liver shunt. Which means the most of the blood bypasses the liver and many of the toxins are not removed. This is a problem with many small dog pure breeds. Many are "put down" by the breeder but some like mine get through. They have a 20% death rate per year and are difficult to keep but easy to love.

Surgery is sometimes an option for some dogs but with only a 80% survival rate. My dog can't have the sugery. So we are feeding her a special diet and a regiment of medicines. She has lived to be two and the vet feels that in itself is amazing.

we give her treats (carrots) and spoil her rotten, how can you not?

I really recommend the vitamine paste. it has lots of flavor and is good for them. If your dogs are healthy you can certainly give them lots of healty additives in small amounts. Remember, since you have three dogs you have a pack and you need to be the alpha dog. So eat first then feed them. they understand quickly that you are the boss. If you do it the other way you will get no respect. which will make training them harder.

best wishes,

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thanks for the information. I knew about onions from my Vet, but I did not about garlic. Seems like a ton of treats have garlic in them so I just assumed...I feed my girls (3)-Iams and Eukenuba blended, but feel they should get a little treat. They get no table food except for carrots. I have been using Iams new gravy product, but I have been messing around with just a little sprinkle of powdered flavoring like chicken. I did not think about the salt, and I have one Springer a little overweight because of hip problems. Are there preservatives I should watch out for?
Thanks for your help, boy I wish I could buy you lunch to talk about one of my Dpringers. I need valum...for her or me.
Debbie Swenson
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Michael's Post: YIKES. I am the alpha dog????Since When????
I will try the viamin paste, thanks.
We run every day for 1 1/2 hours, so they are starving when they get home. I guess I could gulp down my oatmeal prior to feeding them.

So sorry for your little one. That just makes her so much more special, doesn't it? I can't stand seeing a dog ill. I would rather be sick myself. I pray she lives a long time with as much good health as she can have.
Debbie Swenson
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
You are welcome :) Small amounts of garlic is not a big problem - a tiny bit is plenty to add flavor for a sensitive dog's nose to pick out!
I don't happen to count either of the foods you mentioned as being super high quality though they used to be well ranked. This week I'm feeding 19 dogs here in my house so I'm a bit fussy about foods!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: REALLY?? I thought that those dog foods were up at the top.
Can you recommend some foods?
Thanks and God bless you for being so wonderful to have that many waggley tail critters around.
I wish I could have 10 more...but they would not fit around my dining room table.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
The number changes as the rescues pass through or the show dogs/pups go off to other homes etc. or you lose an elderly dog :( but we love having them living with us :)
I suggest you go to a Pet Supply store that sells many brands of foods (not one that sells pups) and talk to the people there about food quality. Weekends many of the stores have reps in from the products they sell to talk to people and even do samples.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thank you very much.
Wish there were a million people like you taking care of our dogs. I just adopted a pure bred run away Springer Spaniel. She was REALLY sick, scared and exhausted, then the trauma of being spade and kenneled, she was a real challenge to get back to an even ground. She is now the greatest, kindest, sweetest little girl in my pack. I just cannot imagine how someone would just let her bolt and not call around for her.
It is just awful how some people treat animals.
Thanks again,
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Fortunately there are good dog owners too - helps makes up in part for the rest of them!
If you are happy with any or all of the answers you can accept them which gives the specialist who's message is accepted a share of the money you pay.
You can accept more than one answer if you wish to also.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thanks very much.

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