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Recipe: Homemade Dog Food for Renal Disease

Renal disease in dogs is a very serious condition that warrants a trip to the vet as soon as possible. If you think that you can do research and treat your pet with a commercial diet formulated for kidney disease and a few over-the-counter remedies, you are very wrong! Your vet will discuss treatments and diets with you, but this homemade dog food for renal disease may be a good place to start.

The kidneys help to filter out waste from the body by excreting it as urine. They also aid in maintaining normal concentrations of salt and water in the body. Kidneys help in controlling calcium metabolism and blood pressure, as well. They also assist the body in sustaining phosphorous levels.

Obviously, if your dog’s kidneys are failing it is a major problem!

Signs of kidney disease in dogs include, but are not limited to:

  • increased water intake
  • increased urine output
  • decreased urine output
  • secreting urine while sleeping
  • blood in the urine
  • decrease in appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • unexplained weight loss
  • hunched over posture

If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney disease, then you know that diet is a large part of the treatment regiment. Variables like your dog’s age, weight, activity level, and the stage of his kidney disease will all be factors in the type of diet that he will need.

You NEED to consult with a vet or canine nutritionist before switching your dog to a kidney-friendly diet. The professional that you work with will likely recommend either a low protein homemade dog food diet or some low protein dog food brands that have lower levels of phosphorus and are made with high quality proteins.

When a dog digests protein, there is nitrogen left behind, and kidneys work to filter out the nitrogen. This is why low protein food is best for dogs with renal disease. Just remember that the amount of protein to include in your dog’s food will vary depending on the stage of his kidney failure.

Homemade Dog Food for Renal Disease Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiled chicken (chopped)
  • 1 hardboiled egg (mashed)
  • 2 tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup steamed carrots
  • 1/4 cup steamed green beans

Directions

This is a very simple recipe to make. After you prepare all of the ingredients and allow them to cool, combine them in a large mixing bowl. It’s really that simple. Just be sure to chop the ingredients into pieces that are appropriately sized for your dog.

I recommend feeding about 1/2 cup of food for every 20-25 pounds of body weight. This is just a guideline. Some dogs, like working dogs and very active breeds, will need more calories than this. Lazier pets and senior dogs may not need as many.

It’s best to consult your veterinarian about the appropriate serving size for you dog. They will also help you evaluate this homemade dog food for renal disease to make sure it will meet your dog’s unique nutritional needs. If necessary, they will assist you in choosing the best supplements and/or multivitamins to add.

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also prepare this food in bulk and store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Originally published at topdogtips.com

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Korean foods inspire fermented chicken dog snacks

Fermented chicken could serve as a functional ingredient in dog treats and snacks. Korean scientists drew on their own culinary culture to inspire their work developing a method to ferment mechanically deboned chicken meat (MDCM) for use in dog treats. The dog treat they developed resisted pathogenic bacterial growth and improved dogs’ digestion, although palatability may be a challenge.

“We are accustomed to fermented food such as kimchi, jeotgal, doenjang, soy sauce, cheonggukjang and gochujang,” Eunchae Lee, PhD, animal sciences researcher at Konkuk University, Seoul, said. “We know that fermented food is very beneficial to our health. It motivated our development of a snack for companion dogs.”

Much of the fermentation process used to make the dog treat mirrored that used for human foods, Lee said. Some of the ingredients appear in kimchi or jeotgal. Likewise, aspects of the mixing and storage reflected the fermentation of traditional Korean foods. However, while those foods can take days to months, Lee’s team developed a process for fermenting MDCM dog treat ingredients in 24 hours. The dog treat recipes included 52.8% MDCM, 35.2% chicken breast meat and 9.7% corn starch. Unlike traditional foods, the researchers fermented the dog treat mixture at 37 degrees Celsius, and they inoculated the mixture with lactic acid bacteria, Pediococcus acidilactici and P. pentosaceus. During fermentation, the mixture’s pH dropped rapidly and reached a point that would inhibit the growth of other organisms. Another batch of the recipe was not inoculated and fermented.

“The fermented snack must be sterilized in the manufacturing process for distribution and storage because of activity of lactic acid bacteria,” Lee said.

Effects of fermentation on dog treats, digestion and palatability

Following fermentation, the MDCM-based snack had in vitro pepsin nitrogen digestibility that was higher than the non-fermented recipe. After 14 days of storage at room temperature, bacteria grew slower on fermented dog treats than non-fermented snack samples.

However, dogs preferred non-fermented treats in a palatability trial that included seven Maltese. The dogs ate less of the fermented snacks, spent less time at them and were reluctant to eat. Strong odors or high acidity likely reduced palatability, but fermentation may have given digestive health benefits to the MDCM-based dog snack. The same dogs participated in a 12-day-long feeding trial. The ammonia content dropped in the dogs’ feces, although fecal lactic acid content increased.

“Due to the low pH, palatability for dogs may be somewhat decreased,” Lee said. “So, dog treat makers may need to use natural flavors, but not necessarily…Dogs and human may have diarrhea when they eat a lot of fermented food, but I think that is not a big barriers to its use as a snack.”

The Journal of Animal Science and Technology published the research.

Originally published at petfoodindustry.com

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New ingredient data shows pet food’s value to US economy

The U.S. pet food industry uses 8.65 tons of animal- and plant-based ingredients for dog and cat food annually, contributing US$6.9 billion to the country’s agricultural economy. That’s according to a new report, “Pet Food Production and Ingredient Analysis,” jointly funded and released by the Institute for Feed Education and ResearchNorth American Renderers Association and Pet Food Institute (PFI).

I imagine many people will join me in considering this very welcome and long-needed information. At Petfood Industry, we often receive questions from pet food professionals about the usage of various pet food ingredients – data that has always been difficult to find. (With the exception of commodity ingredients, if you have the knowledge and time to dig through pages and pages of data from the US Department of Agriculture.) So I congratulate these organizations on undertaking this research and sharing it freely with the industry.

Top pet food ingredients by volume, value

The research and analysis of pet food ingredient usage was conducted by Decision Innovation Solutions, an economic research and analysis firm. Besides its own research, it used a base of pet food sales data purchased from Nielsen, resulting in an overall picture of the market at US$30 billion and 9.8 million metric tons in retail sales in 2018. Not surprisingly, dry dog food was the largest category in both value and volume sales that year, at US$11.2 billion and 5.6 million metric tons, respectively.

Highlights of the ingredient research include:

  • Pet food made in the U.S. uses 542 standardized ingredients (taken from retail product labels), with 164 of those ingredients used in both dog and cat food.
  • Aggregated into overall categories by ingredient type, farm and mill-based products had the highest usage, at just over 4 million tons and representing a value of US$1.4 billion. (This category is quite broad, comprising grains and oilseeds, processed grain and oilseed products, dairy products, egg products, forages, fruits, herbs, nuts, root crops, sweeteners, tree oils and vegetables.)
  • While animal protein products appeared the most frequently on pet food labels, with nearly 6,000 listings (more than 2,000 over the next category, fruits and vegetables), when analyzed by specific source for volume, meat and poultry products ranked second at 2.1 million tons. But because of their higher cost, their value was highest at US$3.2 billion.
  • Next were rendered protein meals at 1.5 million metric tons and US$563 million, followed by animal and poultry fats at 289,037 tons and US$153 million.
  • Fish products ranked fourth overall, at 198,671 metric tons and US$893 million. Other categories included broth ingredients, water and minerals. (Note: The study did not include other additives such as vitamins, preservatives, colors or flavors; the organizations said that while those additives are important to pet foods, their volume is very low.)
  • Breaking down the ingredient sources further by weight, whole grains ranked first at 1.87 million metric tons, followed by chicken (854,988 tons), meat and bone meal (635,652 tons), corn gluten meal (476,599 tons) and soybean meal (437,251 tons).
  • By value, beef ranked first at US$1.22 billion, followed by lamb (US$691 million), chicken (US$650 million), salmon (US$430 million) and chicken broth (US$353 million).
  • The top five states contributing ingredients for pet food are Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio, USA, with Missouri alone contributing nearly US$1 billion worth.

Pet food’s contribution to U.S. economy

While many people and pet food businesses will find this ingredient data very interesting and useful, there is more meaning behind the research, and one of the motivating factors for why the three organizations funded it: further proving the worth of pet food to the U.S. economy. According to the report, 519 pet food manufacturing facilities are located in 42 of the 50 U.S. states. This contributes to what the sponsoring organizations called “upstream” volume and sales.

“The purchase of these products from farmers and farmer-product processors stimulates additional upstream economic activity to other related agricultural industries via the multiplier effect,” read a press release on the report. “The exchange of pet food ingredients leads to the purchase of an additional US$5.3 billion of important materials and services for farmers and farm processors, such as crop inputs, machinery and labor. In addition, those suppliers buy an additional $4.1 billion in services, equipment and labor to meet related needs.”

Dana Brooks, president and CEO of PFI, stated it this way: “This data is an important step in helping to quantify the economic value this industry brings to our economy and all of U.S. agriculture. As pet lovers, we’ve known the value that pets bring to our lives, but can now further confirm the significance of the entire pet food industry.”

During a webinar about the report, Brooks also pointed out the sustainability role of pet food ingredients liked dried distillers grains from the brewing and liquor industries, rendered protein meal and other animal proteins like organ meats. They use leftover or unwanted ingredients from the human food industry (also known as by-products) that would otherwise go to waste.

Originally published at dogfoodindustry.com