Do You and Your Dog a Favor: Stop Feeding Commercial Food

I’m done with commercial dog food! I won’t spend another penny on it.

Most people don’t realize that a huge percentage of problems with their dogs and cats comes from feeding commercial food products. Diet is EVERYTHING!  I didn’t realize 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 very 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 it is loaded with really bad things for your dogs and cats. That’s why so many dogs and cats have skin issues, liver and kidney issues, allergies, and all sorts of 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, what I didn’t know at the time, was that she was seriously ill. Read Pearl’s story here. For six years now, I have been making Pearl’s dog food at home and it 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.

Meet Pearl: The Rescued Miracle Dog Who Rescued Me

Pearl

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 suffering most probably from ingestion. The vet prescribed Prilosec. What? Really? An acid pump prohibitor for my dog? I was also instructed by the vet 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, 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.

ruby2

Ruby

Worse, Ruby started to lose weight and I was getting more and more 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 or 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 that I had just laid down 70 George Washington’s for, and gave it away 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, too, even though her nutritional requirements would be quite different from Pearl’s. I have been doing so now for two months and Ruby hasn’t vomited her food a single time. She has gained weight and her coat is nice and shiny. A huge difference in just two months.

ruby

Ruby

And just like that.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

That just goes to show you that good, home cooked food, is key to a healthy, happy pet. And, it’s so very rewarding to know that you have the benefit of controlling 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 its 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, by the way, I just whipped up for the pups in my pressure cooker). Trust me, the pressure cooker makes the job of making your own dog food a snap and the food is so healthy and delicious.

pup_loaves

Pup Loaves–Lean Ground Pork and Beef, Fresh Blueberries, Oatmeal, Peas, Eggs. A FAV!

Here is a bowl of Ruby’s Creamy Rosemary & Thyme Chicken & Rice. This is one of her favorite dishes.

ruby_chicken_rice

Ruby’s Creamy Rosemary & Thyme Chicken & Rice

Depending on my schedule, I make enough food to last two to four weeks. 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 fresh, 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 there are a number of homemade dog food delivery web sites that have popped up in the last few years…sort of like Blue Apron for humans. But they are very pricey and you really can’t tailor the food to your pet’s exact requirements–especially if you have dogs with issues like mine.

You really 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 the grocery stores. Dogs love it and it’s very good for them. It can be baked and mashed and then frozen in ziplock freezer bags to use whenever you like.

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 mark downs. 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 or have a pet with a particular health issue or have any questions at all, message me, and I’ll be happy to try 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!

So what do you think? I would love to know your opinions and thoughts on this post!

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