Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Switching up foods again.

It's been my habit to switch up dog foods and protein sources every 3-6 months. Their last rotation of Honest Kitchen's Keen (turkey) and Oma's Pride turkey was such a good fit for both of them that I kept them on this mix a little longer than I usually would. They were essentially eating 75% Honest Kitchen and 25% raw lean protein sources (mostly eggs and chicken but also pork or fish when they were on-sale). There were days when I tweaked this ratio - I fed exclusively Honest Kitchen when we were traveling and staying in hotels and conversely nights when they were heading out to train or to condition they would have just enough Keen to complete their dinner routine and then I'd feed them the remainder of their dinner about two hours after they'd finished cooling out from their activity.

Now we're getting into the summer swim season - and more training time outside, more romps in the fields and more time just hanging outside. When the pool finishes settling out (chemically) for the season they'll be swimming about 2 hours a day - Teller's caloric needs roughly doubles in the summer - Murphy a bit less than that - but both boys seem to do better on a bigger nutritional punch in the summer months. I could of course add volume of the existing foods - but they're so active in the summer adding volume would mean that I'd need to split their meals into three or four meals a day and that just isn't sustainable with working, training, teaching, trialing and chaotic schedules. So I wanted to up the protein and calories for both boys. In the summer Teller can drop weight so fast - going from fit to looking like "starving marvin" in a matter of days. So, I've decided to transition them to Honest Kitchen's Embark. Higher octane, higher fat, higher protein. The combination of the quality food and my guys already having pretty tough tummies meant that we really didn't need to transition between the Honest Kitchen foods - but, I know my dogs - most dogs can't transition on a dime - however most obedience/agility dogs can because they're constantly getting lots of good (and new) things as treats...
Embark contains 29% protein and and 16% fat and 487 kcal per dry cup.

Embark Ingredients: Hormone-free USDA turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, spinach, carrots, coconut, apples, organic kelp, eggs, bananas, cranberries, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

I do think that 'feeding cool' makes sense for these big hairy dogs that train, trial and exercise in the heat and humidity of New England summer to have a little less yang and a little more yin from May through September. We'll keep you guys posted!!!

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