Want to improve and level up your dog’s kibble? Want to learn how to do it properly? Read on to learn more, from a certified canine nutritionist’s point of view.
Day 1: Hydrate Your Dog’s Kibble
Hydrating your dog’s kibble for 10 minutes makes it easier for your dog to digest their kibble.
3 things to hydrate with:
- Bone broth
- Fish broth
Why is this good for your dog?
Kibble is dry. And it’s hard for your dog to digest it. Even if you don’t add any food, fish, supplements or any other toppers, simply hydrating it will help your dog digest their kibble more easily.
Day 2: Add Meat Protein To Your Dog’s Bowl
Protein builds protein.
25 to 30 percent of the protein that your dog eats goes to support their skin and fur.
When they don’t get enough protein it can lead to:
- dull, dry, and rough coat
- scaly, crusty, or abnormally thickened skin
- fur that grows back slowly
- brittle fur that breaks easily
- thin coat
- abnormal shedding cycles
While your kibble is complete and balanced, some dogs need more. So if your dog is predisposed to allergies and skin and coat issues, add some protein to your dog’s diet.
Rotation and variety are important. You can easily find the following at your grocery store:
Given the choice, I prefer to cut the meat as opposed to feeding “ground meat”. That way I know what I am feeding and I like feeding chunks to chew.
If you have an ethnic market, look for nose to tail parts
You can take the meat you’re preparing for yourself and share it with your dog:
- leave out the seasonings
- give them a portion up to 20% of their meal (subtract out the kibble)
- Sear the outside and serve
- Or cook low and slow if you want the meat to cook all the way through
Day 3: Add Omega-3 To Your Dog’s Kibble
Omega-3 is the key to a healthy and good life.
A deficiency can cause rough, scaly skin and an itchy rash.
The modern dog’s diet is lacking in Omega 3. Ideally, I like to see an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 6:1 in a normal healthy dog, and as low as 2:1 for dogs with allergies.
How to add Omega-3 to your dog’s diet?
- Fresh oily fish is the first recommendation
- Supplementation through Omega – 3 powder (@pawsomelyhealthydogs ) or a krill oil
Interaction with other nutrients
Vitamin E is needed when feeding Omega-3. In the absence of adequate antioxidants, dietary lipids will become rancid.
I’ve seen the power of Omega-3 in action not only in my own dogs – but in those dogs from clients I’ve worked with as well.
Aim for an Omega 6 to 3 ratio of 5:1 for dogs without inflammation and 2:1 for dogs that suffer from allergies and inflammation.
Day 4: Add Organ Meats To Your Dog’s Kibble
Organ meat (liver, kidneys, spleen, and pancreas) has essential nutrients that regular muscle meat does not have.
It will have higher levels of B vitamins as well as being more rich in phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and iodine.
Different proteins and different organ parts vary in their profiles. That’s why it’s important to have variety.
For example, copper is higher in beef than duck and lower in chicken, pork, and turkey.
When you only feed beef liver at 5% (it’s too high), and don’t supply enough zinc, you will end up with consistently runny poops, and possibly a dog that suffers from hyperkeratosis.
Adjust the liver you feed, based on the protein type.
Remember to feed the other organs (kidney and spleen as an example).
Also, don’t overfeed as it will cause your dog to have dark pudding poops.
If you can’t source these organs, Amazon has a brand @ancestralsupplements that you can buy
Chicken, pork and turkey liver should be no more than 5% of their bowl.
Deer and duck can be fed 3 to 4% of their bowl.
Beef, calf, goat, goose, and lamb is as low as 2 to 3% of their bowl.
This is due to the copper content in liver.
And of course you can feed them air-dried treats but do so in moderation and no more than the percentages above ⬆️
Don’t feed too much organs – it causes dark soft pudding poo….no fun.
Why feed liver?
Because it’s nature’s multi-vitamin. And nutrients are more bioavailable when it’s from a fresh whole food source so I prefer to feed organ meat (or in this case use single-ingredient treats) as your dog’s organ source.
Day 5: Add In Seafood
Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) problems don’t arise from injuries. A lack of manganese is often the main factor.
Manganese is required for healthy strong ligament development and maintenance.
And if your dog is losing fur around their eyes, elbows and groin area it might have a zinc deficiency.
Zinc is a trace mineral required for hair growth and maintenance of skin.
Siberian Huskies, Alаѕkаn Huѕkiеѕ, Doberman Pinschers, Great Dаnеѕ, аnd Alаѕkаn Mаlаmutеѕ are рrеdiѕроѕеd tо zinc-responsive dermatosis whiсh is a term uѕеd to dеѕсribе zinс dеfiсiеnсу.
Although these two ingredients are on the more expensive spectrum, if you can source them for a good price, feeding them from whole food sources is ideal.
Asian markets are the best source for both mussels and oysters.
Day 6: Add In Supplements
Supplements are not meant to replace food but they can step up your dog’s health.
Adding fiber, antioxidants, probiotics, immune support and omegas are all great additions to their bowl.
- homegrown broccoli sprouts
- gourmet food topper @swellgelatofordogs
- instead of mushrooms I used a tincture
- instead of a probiotic powder I added goat milk
- and lastly omega-3 supplement in powder form @pawsomelyhealthydogs
Day 7: Add In Eggs
Eggs are the ultimate protein to add to your dog’s bowl. The almighty egg has so much nutrients that it can raise another vertebrate body (as in the baby chicken).
You can add it soft boiled, poached, hard-boiled, scrambled, and raw.
Adding fresh food to your dog’s kibble will make it more nutritious. A small amount of food can be replaced with fresh food every day.
And if all you can do is add water, bone or fish broth then that is still a step in the right direction.
If you liked this article, read: Kibble Boosting Basics