I agree. Feed'em raw! Meat and bones!
@aprilk Thank you for the recommendations! I'll add them to my list. I think I'll try several mentioned here and those will be among them. So far no touchy stomach, but I'll keep your experiences in mind!
@tanza Thanks, I'll look into Plaque Off. I talked with my vet about brushing and she said if you don't do it EVERY day, it won't make a difference. We've still got nearly all puppy teeth right now anyway. I've got her a toothbrush too.
When I picked up my dogs from my breeder, she gave me a very detailed diet. I won’t go in to that though because we’re talking about puppies. I’m guessing it’d be a different diet and I don't know anything about puppy diets.
As far as teeth and kibble… we’ve always wetted kibble and still do. Jengo had bad teeth and I had to have his cleaned several times. The vet always had to anesthetize him and recovery, for him, was rough. He also had to have a few teeth extracted as he got older. I discussed this with my breeder and she gave me her solution.
Every evening before bed both dogs get one last treat. I give them two cubes each of Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care Dry Dog Food. Just two cubes. I was able to get it from my vet with no problem at all. It’s made to break down plaque and clean teeth. My breeder's been breeding Basenjis for 35+ years. I trust her.
@tanza You misunderstood what I was trying to illustrate. No one should be alarmed if their dog isn't eating the exact same amount, of the exact same food, day after day. Thousands of years of the evolution of the animal indicates that it isn't the way they eat. Your may have trained your dogs to do it, and it may work very well for you. But that isn't a natural instinct, so... entirely different concepts.
raw chicken wings
No cause for concern... raw chicken bones are digestible without an issue. (Cooked ones, on the other hand, are prone to splinter and should never be given to a dog. ) Perhaps a chicken thigh bone would be big enough to warrant a chew before swallowing it(?). I like to give doodle beef neck bones. They tend to be the right size and store very well in the freezer. My only warning there is that it hurts to step on them. Not sure why doodle leaves them in the middle of the path!
@zande I'm not giving her rich processed food at the dinner table, but unprocessed whole foods like chicken, potatoes and vegetables at her usual mealtime, so not much different to what is in her tin but fresher. I only do this once or twice per week to add variety and freshness, as most of our meals are not suitable anyway. Some people make their own dog food but I don't have the time for that so I just supplement instead.
From what I have read, other than suitability, the issue with giving human food is about calorie density and I am mindful not to give her anything rich. I don't think that letting her enjoy a bit of dog appropriate healthy variety or feeding her at family meal times is treating her like a human - she's a family dog.
The bile started when we picked her up at 8 weeks and the breeder had been feeding her 4 times daily. I did consider that it might be the food causing it but we changed brands and it made no difference. The only thing that made a difference was keeping up with the frequent feeding and as others on this thread have said having a small snack before bed. I have read (including on this forum) that's it's quite common in Basenjis to get bile if they don't eat for too long, so I don't think that 4 smaller meals per day which include some unprocessed whole foods is causing it.
Although I can see that for most people feeding twice daily works well, I don't think there is one size that fits all and as dogs are scavengers, they are surely designed to tolerate eating frequently if that works better for the individual. Most sources recommend feeding adult dogs at least twice daily to avoid bloat That said I do plan to decrease the frequency as she continues to mature.
Her digestion seems fine on this regime - the only time she has an upset stomach or sloppy poo is when I have tried her on small quantities of raw food or she has managed to eat something unsuitable whilst out walking. It has also not yet resulted in food guarding or fussiness to eat her normal dog food.
I fed her raw chicken wings rather than cooked to avoid splintering. It is suggested on the RSPCA website as suitable for puppies from 12 weeks to keep teeth healthy.
@milena - Not that I am a Vet, but I disagree with what you vet said, my recent girls are now 11 and have no tarter or other issues. Of course all are different, some are just born with teeth/gum issues.
@jengosmonkey I haven't heard of a dog food for teeth before. Thanks for the link! I'll ask my vet about it!
@jkent Thanks for your insight. I like giving my girl scraps from food prep too. I remember seeing photos of your pup on the forum before. She's such a gorgeous dog, lucky you
I'm trying to keep up with comments directed towards me but I just want to thank everyone for your experiences and recommendations about food and everything else on this thread. I appreciate all of you!