I mix a little pumpkin into my B's food several times a week. Most dogs like it, and it's good for their digestive track. I buy organic when it's available, but you can always find Libby's 100% pure pumpkin (no sugar) and it's often on sale for $1 a can.
The OP hasn't returned, so I hope that's a sign that the sick little guy is doing better.
Ava and I send (very) belated happy birthday wishes to The Talented Mr. Oakley! He's as handsome as ever– but five years already? My, my, time does fly.
The forum has been so quiet. I got out of the habit of checking it, because it seemed nobody ever posted. I miss those lively days, too, when somebody always had something to report or discuss. Glad to hear you and Oakley are doing well and prospering!
Eggs are the highest quality protein, so I gave Spencer one hard-boiled organic egg a week, divided over 2-3 days. Crushed eggshells are a good source of calcium, and boiling eliminates any threat of salmonella. You can add about 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed eggshells to a meal, if desired. It balances the P. You can also use Epakitin as a phosphate binder. It's a powder that mixes into the food, and most dogs don't mind the taste. Not all dogs need the Epakitin, though.
I'm so sorry to hear this about Arwen. Kidney disease is scary, and it's an effort to manage , but you get into a routine quicker than you'd think. I started out supplementing Spencer's dry food with home-cooked, since he hated all the store-bought kidney diet food (including the stew) and would only eat it doctored up. I soon found that it was just as easy to home-cook everything. I experimented with all sorts of combinations, always including a primary protein source like lean chicken, turkey or a scrambled/boiled egg, mixed with rice, veggies and an omega-3 gel cap. I avoided corn, but Spencer loved most other veggies– green beans, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and squashes.
I know that a lot of people use recipes, but I knew what he could have and what he liked, so I just planned my own meals accordingly and gave him a blander portion of what I had. I fixed a lot of stir fries and steamed veggies and grilled a lot. I've never eaten healthier than those last few years with him. His quality of life was good and his kidney values, though elevated, stayed within his "normal" range until almost the end. Hopefully, Arwen responds well to her new diet and has good, happy years ahead!
OMG– he looks just like Ava! When I first saw that face, I thought for sure it had to be one of Dara's boys... then I scrolled down and saw that he is one of Vinnie's. Big congrats! He is adorable! So cool that you wanted Vinnie and now have his son. And how exciting for Elliot to have a baby brother.
Morgan's face is just like Ava's, except she has freckles on her blaze. And her brindle is just a little lighter. But the family resemblance is very strong. Ava looks so much like Cinder and Dara (and Xander, too), so little Morgan is definitely a chip off the old block.
How's his personality? Is he a feisty free spirit like Vinnie and Ava... or a little calmer? :)