Friday, April 27, 2007

Dog Food

These are my kids. They are messy and dig holes and occasionally smell a little funky, but I love them terribly and want to protect them from harm always and forever. They are my beloved Chessie and Emmett. Foofie and L'il Brown Dog.

So when it became known that some assholes in China were purposely adding Melamine to ingredients used to produce pet food (in order to artificially boost the protein percentage) I became worried. They have eaten Iams their entire lives, and Iams dry dog food wasn't on the list. But Iams wet cat food was. So it wasn't a great leap to think that it could be in the dry food as well, they just haven't reported it yet. Well, I don't think Iams dry food was ever recalled, but the torrent of other foods and treats being recalled was too much for me. They started getting homemade dog food. I could not imagine taking such a huge chance with their health. And I could not imagine the guilt I would feel if something happened to them because of what I was feeding them.

Jamie was asking on her blog if anyone was making their own pet food because of this awful recall situation. For the last several weeks, I have been feeding my dogs a mixture of ground turkey, rice, carrots, a little red bell pepper (Chessie's favorite thing in the world), garlic and spinach, topped off with a dollop of cottage cheese. They get about 2 cups total: one cup of turkey and one cup of the other ingredients mixed in.

They absolutely love it. They have never been so excited about dinner time. And Chessie's allergies have improved a good bit.

I make a big batch every 5 days or so and it takes about a 1/2 hour to chop and cook everything. It is worth it to make sure that what they are eating isn't going to kill them.

Roy (the cat) has been eating Whiskas wet food. I tried a combination of hearts/gizzards etc. cooked up for him but he wanted no part of it. And plain tuna is good but for him to get everything he needs it has to be mixed with other things and then he wants no part of it. So for now he is still eating his wet cat food (not made by Menu Foods). Any ideas on homemade cat food for a picky kitty?


Blogger Bev said...

Meresey, what a great job you are doing for your dogs. That diet sounds very good to me. I used to make my own cat food and cannot remember the recipe but I know it had fresh ground turkey, herbs, and other good things. There must be a book or website out there that would have that info. I've been feeding my cat Wellness which I get at a natural food store and I can't believe the diffence in her coat.... sooooo shiney and such a great testure. You might want to check it out. Good luck. You are doing a great service to your beloved pets.

3:01 PM  
Blogger El said...

Dogs are so darned easy.

We have also been feeding our cats Wellness. There are absolutely no fillers in it. The cats are skinny because of it, and their poops are small (a concern, you know). But boy is it stinky (and it's probably why they love it).

The dog gets something similar from a local pet food place. I'll have to look it up to let you know what it is.

We obviously spend more than your avg. family on pet food. Oh well. We spend more on food when we buy it for us, too.

FWIW, I fed my old dog meals like you're making for yours. He had developed skin allergies, so he got lots of flax seed oil and whole grains and YOGURT (sound familiar?).

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Pennie said...

Ohhhh...what great looking mutleys you 'em both. HURRAY for you for making the switch!! I promise you won't regret it. I've been feeding raw for about five years now and don't have the skin and ear problems with the mutleys that I used too.
I've had the same problem with getting the cats to go with a raw or cooked diet. We feed them Eagle Pack dry.
It's more expensive feeding the mutleys raw...but I'm sure I've saved an equal amount in vet. bills. =)
Ohhh...the other great thing...their poops become much less. I figure it's because they're absorbing more nutrients and not as many grains and fillers.
Good luck and keep us posted on how they're doing. Give 'em a big hug for me. =)

8:20 PM  
Blogger El said...

I guess we feed Penny (sorry Pennie above; I mean our pooch) Wellness too. (Can you tell I am neither the indoor pet food feeder or buyer?) We used to feed her Wysong, a local company, and it also is mostly filler-free.

8:48 AM  
Blogger kris said...

Hi - good for you and the homemade dog food. I'm thinking we should probably do it for our dogs too.

re cats: we don't have cats, so not much help there. But there was a column in the paper today by Dr Michael Fox - and apparently his website has homemade ideas for both cats and dogs.
Might be worth checking out.

Your dogs are gorgeous!

3:28 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Your kids look pretty happy to me!

You are about the 4th person this week that I know is making their own pet food due to the recall thing.

Our kitty likes her canned wet food...but will also eat scrambled eggs! This is great when you have chickens...

7:54 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I had started feeding my Coco with homemade food about two weeks before the recall... because she had a problem with her ear that the vet said could be an issue with yeast allergies, and you can hardly find food without it.

Like you said, I was amazed at how my formerly blase-about-food dog suddenly took an interest in meal time. She sometimes even knocks around the bowl, asking for more! I also see a difference in her coat, and have to pick up less poop on our twice-daily walks.

You can make a nice frittata-like thing with veggies, ground meat, cheese, and some crushed and cooked whole wheat noodles. That keeps well and is pretty convenient for breakfast when I'm running out the door late. I also sometimes mix her up some yogurt or cottage cheese, diced apple and granola or oatmeal for breakfast occasionally. Usually I just make two bowls--one for her, and one for me. lol.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

I'm glad you're so devoted to your pups! A lot of people aren't, and it's just disturbing.

I found a really good, step-by-step explanation of one dog breeder's raw-food diet just the other day. Some of her tips might be useful:

My Sophie is a free-feeder and gets sick if you doctor her kibble with anything other than eggs, milk or cottage cheese, but the next dog I have will quite possibly get a raw diet.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

Whoops, bad coding there, sorry:

Raw natural diet, step-by-step

8:15 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

This lady does dog food but she may be someone to ask.

6:13 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Cute puppers. I've never been that hip on Iams. This list of top dog foods is a few years old, but still pretty good. Several of my clients are on the
BARF diet
, but I think it's kind-of icky. I prefer what you're doing.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My 5 1/2mo choc lab has diarrhea
what kind of homemade food should I be making for him?

11:23 AM  
Anonymous William-wellness dog food said...

While some pet food manufacturers use every scrap of meat from animal renderings, Wellness dog food limits ingredients to only quality sources for what the animals need for good nutrition. A balanced combination of protein, grains for fiber and fruits for antioxidant protection are included in all varieties of Wellness dog food to help the pet remain healthy and active.

3:47 AM  

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