When people see us out and about they always ask, “how much do they eat?” The short answer is Denali eats 6 cups and Ella eats 8 cups a day. Here is the long story.
Before I had B, I had two babies, my fur babies you may call them. Ella and Denali were my first two loves and still have such a special place in my heart; although, now their lives are much more like typical dogs.
Dr. Royal recommended raw food for Denali, and his stomach problems largely went away. He still was a nervous nelly and continues to be today. I swear he has a bit of IBS! But no longer were we in the vet’s office every two to three weeks for constant diarrhea. The downside was that raw food in the amounts we needed was really expensive (like hundreds of dollars a month,) so we tried lots of routes: making our own raw dog food (as pictured above in our kitchen pre-renovation), ordering online, ordering local (second picture), and finally supplementing with kibble. Luckily for us and our budget, there is research that demonstrates that even supplementing with raw food on top of normal grain free kibble is helpful for dogs health. So after about six months of pure raw food, we started transitioning to a raw food and kibble diet. Fortunately, he did well on this too.
When we got Ella, a year later, she was totally different. She has always had a stomach of steel! That girl can eat anything and be fine. But she also flourished on the raw and kibble diet. Unfortunately, when I stopped working to have B, adding raw food was still too expensive. So these days we sparingly supplement with raw; but, always give them left overs of our meat dishes and kitchen scraps. We found a good grain free high protein kibble that they seem to do really well on, which is much more affordable for us. Although I feel bad that we can’t do raw food, I know that we give them the best kibble you can buy. It is also much more convenient. I can order it online and subscribe on Amazon Mom. The best part is not only do I not have to go to the store and lug 100 lbs of dog food home (a months worth); but, when I combine it with four other orders for the same delivery date I save 20% which is a significant savings. I just adjust my order to be delivered every two months. It means that we always have a ton of dog food in the basement; but we go through just about a 25 lbs. bag a week, so we go through them faster than most people. Below, I have outlined the savings of the same brand of dog food, Nature’s Variety Instinct Kibble at Petco vs. Amazon for one month’s worth of food for us. I didn’t even include taxes, which in Illinois is hideously high!
My last piece of advice is switch the dog protein source consistently. We have found that by rotating between salmon and beef, the dogs remain interested in the food and their bodies are used to getting different protein sources. We also regularly give them pork, chicken, and beef from our meals every week.That’s just our two cents on works with our dogs. Every dog is different but all have the same basic needs. Do you like going to the store or ordering online? I find myself being lazier and lazier and wanting to order everything online!