I’m done with commercial dog food! I won’t spend another penny on it.
Most people don’t realize that many problems with their dogs and cats come from feeding commercial food products. Diet is EVERYTHING! I didn’t know any of this until I adopted a rescue. Veterinarians (in my experience) will rarely talk about nutrition as a remedy. They usually go straight to surgery and/or medication, which is often not the best option and is cost prohibitive for many people. I believe vets have their place, but it’s big business today. It’s rare to find a vet that takes a more holistic approach.
Commercial dog food is expensive and loaded with terrible things for your dogs and cats. That’s why many dogs and cats have skin, liver, and kidney issues, allergies, and digestive problems. You can do the research yourself.
I have two pups, Pearl and Ruby. Both have uniquely different issues. My little one, Pearl (Pug & Brussels Griffon mix), has liver disease, and when I adopted her from a local rescue, I didn’t know at the time that she was seriously ill. Read Pearl’s story here. For six years, I have been making Pearl’s dog food at home, which saved her life! She simply could not process any commercial dog food, and I tried everything from Fresh Pet to veterinarian-prescribed canned food. It was my homemade food diet that transformed her. For the last six years, she has been healthy and happy.
Ruby, my three-year-old Texas Heeler, apparently has a sensitive stomach. From the time she was a puppy, she would vomit up her food on a far too regular basis. I took her to the vet, who did me the favor of telling me (but not before spending a whopping $300 on tests) that Ruby was probably suffering from ingestion. The vet prescribed Prilosec. What? Really? An acid pump prohibitor for my dog? The vet also instructed me to put her on a limited-ingredient kibble. So I bought the best I could find at nearly $70 for a 40lb. Bag. The first brand didn’t work, so I tried another at the same price. Nothing. Still the same problem. It’s a lot of money to spend only to have half the bag come up half-digested on the ground all over my yard.
Worse, Ruby started losing weight, and I was getting increasingly concerned. As far as the Prilosec goes, I was fed up with trying to cram the pill down her throat. She hated it, and I hated it even more. She could detect that little pill no matter how I tried to disguise it with cheese, meat, or peanut butter.
It was starting to get pull-your-hair-out frustrating.
So I packed up the brand new, already opened bag of dog food I had just laid down 70 George Washington’s for and gave it to my sister, who said her dogs would eat anything.
I knew the right thing to do (really, the only thing to do) was to start making Ruby homemade food, even though her nutritional requirements would be pretty different from Pearl’s. I have been doing so for two months, and Ruby hasn’t vomited her food once. She has gained weight, and her coat is nice and shiny. A considerable difference in just two months.
And just like that.
That shows you that good, home-cooked food is vital to a healthy, happy pet. And it’s so gratifying to know that you can control the ingredients in your dog’s food and even more satisfying to see them enjoying every bite.
My dogs are excited about their daily meals. Like little furry alarm clocks, they never forget to remind me when it’s chow time. I also feed them a mid-day snack, usually bananas, apples, or blueberries, mixed with a squirt of organic honey or a dollop or two of yogurt or cottage cheese.
It’s so much fun making different recipes for my best friends, from pup meat loaves to chicken and rice with veggies (which I just whipped up for the pups in my pressure cooker). Trust me, the pressure cooker makes your dog food a snap, and the food is so healthy and delicious.
Here is a bowl of Ruby’s Creamy Rosemary & Thyme Chicken & Rice. This is one of her favorite dishes.
I make enough food to last two to four weeks, depending on my schedule. All my recipes are easy to freeze. Just thaw and heat in the microwave for a few seconds. I also add a few dollops of fresh pureed veggies to whatever main dish I am serving, which can also be made ahead and frozen–so very new, and the pureed raw vegetables are easy for my dogs to digest, providing maximum nutrition.
There’s just no comparing homemade dog food to the commercial junk stacked on store shelves.
I will mention here that several homemade dog food delivery websites have popped up in the last few years…sort of like Blue Apron for humans. But they are very pricey, and you can’t tailor the food to your pet’s requirements, especially if you have dogs with issues like mine.
You can make your own dog food for much less than you realize. Recipe options are endless. You can also take advantage of seasonal sales on fruits and veggies to include in your dog’s meals. Take pumpkin, for example. Right now, it’s plentiful at grocery stores. Pectin can be baked, mashed, and then frozen in ziplock freezer bags to use whenever you like. Dogs love it, and it’s perfect for them.
Another tip: I make the most of my supermarket’s marked-down meats (and I’m not talking about rotten meat here). I just picked up a huge package of sirloin (that I intend to grind) for less than I would pay for the cheapest hamburger meat. There are often specials on chicken and ground turkey as well. You can get some really great deals by keeping an eye out for these kinds of markdowns. And don’t forget fish…another excellent source of protein–it’s often marked down too. Sardines packed in water also make a special treat for your dogs and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
If you need ideas, have a pet with a particular health issue, or have any questions, message me, and I’ll be happy to help.
So why not do your fur babies a favor and whip them up a delectable homemade dish?
Once you start, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!