Sunday, October 6, 2013

Making homemade dog food

I think in previous blogs I've explained what our girls mean to us…spoiled rotten and loved to death.  Part of that is I make their dog food.  We ran out of the last batch last evening, so they got fried eggs this morning with spinach.  I stopped at the store tonight to pick up what I needed to make their next batch tonight.  I knew it would take some time to make, so they got another 2 eggs with a bit of yogurt and rainbow chard.  Dark greens are good for all of us:-) 

One day I started listening to the dog food commercials,  then I started reading the labels of their food, just like I do my own food.  Reading the ingredients people food contains scared me, you can imagine what it was like reading the dog's food ingredients.  I decided at that point since I was trying to eat as much organic and natural foods as I could afford, I would  do the same for the girls.  I have a sign in my room that says "Dogs are children dressed in fur".  Yep, that's pretty much says it all.  You saw their pictures, they are adorable:-)

Anyway, I decided I can't feed that store bought stuff to them anymore.  For a while, I tried making the dog food for the big dogs too, all 4 of them, but I couldn't keep up with all 6 dogs.  They eat too much and I couldn't afford the meat.  If I could find a source of meat, I'd do it for them too.  We love them just as much.  I make all of them dog treats.  The big dogs will eat any kind of treat, but the little girls won't:-) They like mine more.  The big dogs do get the best organic dog food we can afford.

I did a lot of research from all different places before I started making the dogs food.  I wanted to make sure it was healthy for them and would help them thrive.  I also took into consideration my own 40+ years of experience with dogs, I've had them all my life.  Some say to feed them only meat, some say veggies are good and necessary, some say no grains and others say you need rice but no oats, it's a complete mix of opinions.  From my research and my experience I decided on a wide variety of foods (excluding specific foods they can't have, see below).

Since I've started making my girls' food, they've only gained about 1 lb for Cally and 1/2 lb for Kimber.  I've been making their food for more than 6 months and they've done very well.  I watch their poo to make sure there's nothing runny or funky colored or overly stinky.  I'm pleased with how they've done since we started.  If you decide to make your own homemade dog food, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Watching them eat like they can't get enough and my girls "talk" to me the entire time I'm getting it ready for them.  Do your research, and determine for yourself what is the best for your dogs.  Like other opinions know they differ greatly and you will have to use your common sense and your previous experience with your animal.  Things are some foods you just never feed your dog because of toxicity to their system.  There are also differing opinions among different people about foods you should or shouldn't feed your pets.  Make sure you read a wide variety of sites.

This is just one recipe I use, sort of a recipe, I'm really bad about not measuring things.  I process my veggies very small cause I don't really want to cook the veggies.  Just like for humans, raw is more nutritous .  I used 3-4 large organic rainbow chard leaves, 4 organic carrots, about 2 cups of homegrown green beans and some garlic.  There are differing views on using garlic for dogs.  I've read that people have used garlic for flea and tick control for a number of years with no problems.  So I used a few cloves for that.  I figure it's better in small amounts than chemicals as prevention.   I also added a little parsley. 

I put everything together roughly in thirds.  I steamed about 4 cups of white rice and used about 2 cups and saved the other 2 cups for me:)  

I also baked up an entire bag of talapia.  Added about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  The talapia didn't have a lot of oil in it and I wanted the girls to get some omega 3 for their coats.  I mixed it completely and put it in a 5 cup container in the refrigerator.  This will last them about a week and maybe a few days longer.  They get 1/4 cups twice a day, morning and evening. 

There are a few things that everyone agrees is bad for dogs.  Those are:
Toxic  foods:
-Macidamia Nuts

This is probably not a complete list.  I'm continually reading to make sure I'm as careful as I can be with my babies.  You may want to check with a trusted vet too.

I hope you got a little bit of something out of this one.

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About Me

I'm a country girl working in the city (50 miles/day). I want to learn all I can about how to do for myself. My husband and I dream of a self-reliant homestead where we can live and work together, raising chickens, goats and rabbits, and growing and canning our own food.