inside the belly of the beast.

I’m kind of a geek when it comes to dog nutrition.  I love it so much that I get far too excited to see what my fellow dog bloggers are feeding to their pups.  Hoping that I’m not the only weirdo out there, I thought I’d share what Rufus gets on a regular basis:

Options, options!

From Left(ish) to Right(ish):

Pumpkin puree: This is a great way to give your dog a healthy filler when cutting back on kibble as well as sneak in some veggies.  I actually only give him the organic kind, but this is what I had on-hand when snapping the picture.

Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Food: A raw, human-grade dog food that gives your pup a mixture of pure proteins, veggies and fruits without the “hassle.” I’m not above giving my dog fresh food, but this has been a great alternative for us.  While this is very expensive, I use this mixed in with kibble so a box lasts me for quite a long time.

Acana Dog Food: We switched Rufus from Wellness to Acana about 5 months ago.  Acana is a wonderfully small and independently-owned dog food company that offers a variety of dry kibble.  Right now we are feeding him the “Grasslands” formula, but I am constantly switching up his protein source to keep his tummy strong.  The only protein I tend to keep away from is chicken and other fowl simply because I do notice a little bit of itchiness (mostly his paws) whenever he’s been on formulas containing that meat.

Missing Link Ultimate Hip & Joint Supplement: This is actually a very new product my work has just started to stock, so I don’t have a well-rounded verdict on this yet.  We were giving Rufus glucosamine pills as a preventative, but I do like the idea of a giving him a food-based supplement more.  As a person who believes in nutrition and the healing power of foods for myself, I like to do the same for my dog.  If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a direct quote from the website:

The Missing Link® Ultimate Hip and Joint for Canines Formula includes:

  • Glucosamine HCl to stimulate the production of collagen, the protein that helps support healthy joints.
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and promote joint mobility, a healthy skin and coat and balanced energy. 
  • Fiber for bowel health and to help maintain normal digestion. 
  • Phyto (plant) nutrients and traces of various vitamins and minerals important for overall health and well being.

“…combines the benefits of GLUCOSAMINE with natural, quality whole foods, carefully chosen for their nutrient profile and synergistic effects. The product is in the form of a granular powder that is easily sprinkled on the animal’s regular food on a daily basis according to weight.”

aaand…down in front:

Raw knuckle bones: Rufus gets a (very, very nauseating) raw bone once a week in replacement of a meal.  He gnaws on this thing for hours and goes into a trance only a wild animal will ever understand. My biggest reason for doing this is that it’s great for his teeth.  Even though it grosses this vegetarian lady out, I’ve read enough about the benefits of raw bones to suck it up and let my guy have this special treat.

Uncle Larry’s 100% Lamb Liver Sprinkles: This is really just an extra “treat” that I use very sparingly.  Uncle Larry’s is a local product, so I like to support my community while giving my dog a wholesome but yummy topping on his food.

OptaGest: Made up of plant-based enzymes, this supplement helps aid digestion, gas, bad breath, etc.  I truly believe this product has helped to decrease Ru’s anal glandular issues a ton.  And trust me… anal glands are no laughing matter, friends.

Salmon Oil: This is just a great supplement to give your dog to keep his coat and skin healthy as well as keeping his joints, heart, and brain in tip-top shape as well.

Food rolls: Another product I use sparingly (and mostly for training sessions), but worth mentioning simply because it’s a good product I’d recommend to picky dogs.  However, Rufus is far from a picky eater, thank goodness. Right now, I’m using the Redbarn brand.

So there you have it!  Of course I don’t give him all of these products all at once, but am constantly mixing and matching to keep things interesting. If you couldn’t already tell, Rufus is one spoiled boy.  I pour a lot of work (and $$) into this dude, so I’m planning on him living for at least another 20 years. That’s totally possible, right??


14 thoughts on “inside the belly of the beast.

  1. Wow! That’s quite the line up and I’m impressed!

    We feed Athena Natural Balance LID kibble. She also gets pumpkin mixed into her Kongs a couple of times a week as well as plain greek yogurt on occasion. I also put a few squirts of salmon oil into the Kong concoction. I also just recently bought the Himalayan Dog Chew seasoning to sprinkle on Athena’s kibble for a treat.

    As far as training treats, Athena mostly just gets various crunchy treats, vegetables, and sometimes cheese if we are up for smelling her stinky gas.

    In the future I hope to branch out more and add some different supplements to her diet. Thanks for all of your suggestions! I’m going to go look at all of the websites of the products that you mentioned that I haven’t looked into before.

    • Rufus loooooves himalayan dog chews! I love them because they last longer than bully sticks (and have a bit more going for them), but he doesn’t lose interest in them like he does antlers. I’ve never heard of the seasoning tho – very intrigued. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I have some samples from The Honest Kitchen to try with my gang. I’m excited because the animals used to make the product are treated more humanely than your average animal raised to eat. I’m hoping it’s a hit.

    • Good point! I do like knowing that if I’m going to promote the eating of animals, it’s by companies that are (trying to be) aware of their actions.

      Also, Rufus loves when I mix Honest Kitchen in! When I have him “wait” for his food, he literally starts salivating within seconds, haha. He never did that when it was just dry kibble 😉

  3. I’m a vegetarian, too, but I like your idea of giving Rufus a knuckle bone once a week. Is that the cello wrapped item in the front row? We’re currently giving Cabana a mixture of half kibble, half raw food from Nature’s Variety. I’ve been very impressed with how much softer Cabana’s coat is with the raw food, and her poops are way smaller without all the usual filler. It’s not cheap, though, which is why I give half/half. I like changing up the proteins, too–this time I bought venison.

    I gave Cabana a Himalayan chew once, but I was disappointed with how quickly it was gone. Cabana likes antlers much better when they’re split down the middle–have you tried that? There’s a seller on eBay that has great prices on antlers. I usually buy his 3-pack and ask him to split them for me, so it’s like I actually get 6. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

    • Thanks so much for the elk antler info. I did notice that while we were fostering Teeny (a mega chewer), Rufus was more interested in antlers and it’s probably due to the fact that she “opened” them up for him. Can’t wait to try this 🙂

  4. We just bought our first raw turkey necks… I know our dogs are going to go insane with joy. We just bought them as a “treat.”
    We use salmon oil with glucosamine added in–Hades has a luxating patella and this helps from him popping it out of joint. You could use two in one there! That’s my idea.
    Braylon has major gland issues, I have to express her glands about once a month. I may have to look into the Optagest…although she is allergic to pumpkin. That’s the problem, so many things like that have pumpkin.
    I wish I could afford to feed Acana, I believe that’s a great food.
    Ooo also our pups love that Honest Kitchen mix…even though I think it smells terrible. 😉 We’ve mixed it with dry kibble as well.
    You are not alone, I’m way interested in what people feed their pups!

  5. Can you tell me more about the optagest? Beau is having some anal gland issues…involving our couch which is NOT fun. Our vet recommended a supplement with fiber. We already do the pumpkin puree. I was going to go for The Missing Link for the fiber, but perhaps Optagest is what we need?

    • Hey Andrea,

      While Optagest has helped a lot, we do still have the occasional occurence 😦 I am hoping that the fiber in Missing Link will fix the problem, but we are just a little under a week into using it with him, so we’ll see! I’d recommend trying out the OptaGest and I’ll let you know if Missing Link stops his anal issues even better.

      • Thank you! This is a fairly recent thing for us but now it’s happened twice in about 6 weeks. The vet says it’s good that he’s expressing his glands on his own so we don’t need to have a tech do it in the office, but why oh why must it happen while he’s snoozing on the couch?!

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