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Thread: What to Feed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Melbourne
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    Default What to Feed?

    Hi everyone,

    My boy, a 1 and a half year old Bichon Frise was quite lean when we first got him. He's 8kg now (which sounds quite heavy for his breed), but shouldn't be overweight- you can easily feel all his ribs. He is a rather heavy boy, but I'm guessing he should be ok?

    We feed him 1 cup of Purina ProPlan kibble for Small Dogs a day (as suggested on packet), with one thin slice of meat sausage for dogs a few times a week. Sounds like a pretty boring diet, but the ladies at our pet shop say it's fine. Anyway, is there anything else we can add to his diet that would make mealtimes more interesting without having him to put on too much extra weight? He doesn't seem to be a big fan of chicken necks, we tried giving him one and he just walked away from it. Any recommended foods that we can mix in with his kibble to make his food more interesting?

    Would be great if any other Bichon owners could give me an idea of what they feed their doggies,

    Thanks,

    Mel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2,561

    Default

    Hi Mel

    The ProPlan sounds fine. I would suggest fi you want to add variety (and in all reality, dogs do not need variety anyway) you could subsitute half a cup of kibble for some tinned sardines once a week to keep his coat nice.

    When you add additional food, always remember to trim back some of the total amount of food you give him as well otherwsie you might end up with a porker on your hands.

    Other things that you can trial him on, to see if he likes them, are;
    raw egg (once a week)
    yoghurt (plain, not flavoured)
    raw mince (chicken, beef or lamb)
    raw veges
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2010
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    Thanks Anne,

    Very helpful advice. For raw egg and yoghurt, do you place it in a separate bowl and let him slurp it up, or can it be mixed in with his dry kibble?
    He's quite picky- doesn't like some meats and livers etc. but I'll try cutting it up in small pieces and mixing it with his kibble. Any sprecific raw vegies that your dog/s prefer?

    Thx,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Bichon Frise Breed Information

    The ANKC standard doesn't list a weight but this link says 4 to 6kg, so 8kg is quite heavy ie 30% overweight. Rib test is usually good but what about his waist and general appearance. For little dogs, carrying excess weight is very bad for their back and general health.

    If he is desexed - you can cut back the recommended amount of food by 1/3. If he's not, he needs a bit more food but if you (or the vet) thinks he's overweight, try cutting back about 5% of his food every couple of weeks until he's about right (eg 6kg).

    If he's walking away from food, he's definitely getting too much. I'm not a big fan of chicken necks or wings or anything like that either - my dog vomits them back.

    I feed mine (20kg ish), a half a tin of sardines with her kibble once a week but you could feed half a sardine and freeze the rest or feed a half a sardine every night but cut back the kibble.

    She also loves carrots. And I make a casserole out of mince, veg, brown rice, oats, bran and some calcium powder - to feed instead of tinned food. When I read the ingredients on tinned dog food (or soup) it quite puts me off. And I occasionally feed her a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt when I'm making my breakfast.

    She also gets a huge variety of tiny treats when we're training. But I cut back the amount of dinner she gets accordingly. And some of the treats are her kibble.

    And to slow down how fast she eats, I put some of the kibble in a squirrel dude.

  5. #5
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    Snoop used to have a cup of kibble a day, and he would gobble it all up in a couple minutes, but now he leaves a few bits of kibble left on some mornings. Will try the sardine thing to substitute for some of the kibble. Just an idea, but is canned tuna (in spring water or brine) alright instead of sardines?

    He's never had much fruit and veg in his diet before, so would take some getting use to at first, so I'll try adding some carrot and apple to his kibble. He gets a bit of beef jerky for treats, and loves that!

    I've heard from a friend that you can give dogs raw bones from the butcher; which bones do you think would be best?

  6. #6
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    Raw bones are supposed to be good. But not for my dog who makes splinters out of them.

    I've got friends who feed raw lamb necks or beef tail or roo tail, or soft bits of rib.

    I suppose tuna would be ok but I think sardines are more sustainable and reliable in quality, especially the canadian ones (brunswick) and possibly a lot cheaper. I usually go for the ones in olive oil because the olive oil is good for dogs and us too.

  7. #7
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    I'll try sticking with sardines then, it's just that we hardly ever get sardines (not very popular in our house), but I guess if their more nutritious then we'll go with that option. Would a leg bone be ok?

    Thanks for the help

  8. #8
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    A leg of what bone?

    It depends how strong your dog is at chomping things.

    My vet recommended lamb shank for my dog but - same old story, she made sharp splinters out of it, was good until then. But if you think your dog will only gnaw on the bone, it could be great, especially with a bit of the raw lamb on. I like the joint end of a beef shin (leg) bone too, the round gristly bit. Very hard to make splinters of.

    Sardines aren't really for the humans tho I occasionally eat some on toast with tomato sauce or bbq sauce. One tin would last your dog a week and costs less than $2. Can't get tuna for that price.

  9. #9
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    Sardines sounds pretty good, but I guess we'll just have to see if he likes it or not. As for the bone, I was thinking of a lamb/beef/pork leg bone but I'll just have to see what I can get- I'll try looking around some butchers. The only bones I've given him so far are the ones from the pet shop- very small brownish coloured bones.

    Sardines on toast with sauce... interesting idea

  10. #10
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    My dogs get beef marrow bones. I get the butcher to cut each bone in 4, sliced legthways and then in half. I also give lamb leg bones, sometimes with hooves attached. Chicken necks and chicken frames sometimes. All these are given raw - never cooked

    I dont give any sharp bones. Although my dogs will splinter them on occassion but it doesnt seem to worry them, not in the 20 years I have been feeding bones.

    Some dogs dont handle bones well,(upset stomach, constipation etc) but all mine do fine and it keeps their teeth nice and clean. My 10 year old has bright white teeth still.

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