In our fast paced lives this really seems like extra work but, the reason I bring this up is
because all pet food is processed. What do we know about processed foods… they are attributed to causing cancer. “World Health Organization Says Processed Meat Causes Cancer”
Dogs would never eat process food for it not that we made them pets, and we made the foods to feed them for our convenience.
The reason I personally got in to preparing for my dogs was #1 – process foods, #2 – my dogs health, #3 – vet bills down the road, #4 – a small container of stew style pet food $4. Pets can not eat all the foods that we do, without risk of making them sick or killing them. So, you need to do some research if you are going to take on this task. I feel better knowing that when my dogs are trying to lick on me, that I have been putting healthy real food in to them.
Resource from a dog trainer friend, who swears by Cesars Way. Link: Approved human food.
I have a very simple recipe formula that I feed my dogs in the evening. The rest of the time I have Royal Canin or another decent brand of dry food out. When I asked my vet, he told me that grocery store dog food is generally like feeding your dog McDonalds. We know from Michael Moore where that leads:)
I have been trying to encourage my dogs to eat more of the dry food, they don’t usually eat it and just wait for me to get home from work to serve them their dinner. Crazy! I know. What I have started doing, is in a small frying pan full of water, cooking some beef or chicken liver. You can’t overcook it or it becomes tough. I generally boil the water, for thin sliced I put the liver in and just turn the temp off and let it cook over 5 mins or so from the heated water. Chicken livers, I cut if I do that, or I turn the temp to the lowest setting after the water has been boiled. In the wild, my brother reminded that me that animals would go for the liver. If you have ever fed your dog, liver treats, you should know what I am talking about. They go mad for it. I take the liver out of the pan or just before I am ready to, I pour some kibble in to the pan of water/juice, not to soften it but just to make it easier to work with and coat the kibble. I crumble the liver with my fingers, and mix it with the kibble in a bowl or large plate, to coat the kibble.
Works like a charm, the dogs are on it like white on rice.
My main recipe for dinner, and this is awesome because it saves you a lot of money over $3-4 can food.
I have a lighter weight casserole/dutch oven style pot than the le creuset style cookware. How I have adopted doing this is:
I cook barley,
sweet potato, (peeled, sliced in 1/2″ pcs),
mini carrots in this pot.
I use what I need and keep it in the fridge with water. The carrots and barley takes some time to cook, so I do a larger batch that generally lasts me the week. I prep it on the weekend and then I add sweet potato during the week, as I tend to use more of that then carrots. They are good your dogs digestive system. After my original batch of cooking the barley and veg, I rinse it, it makes the water milky and forms a skin which is kind of gross. Ground egg shells are an excellent source of calcium, cottage cheese or yogurt ( no sweeteners or artificial flavours), so long as your dog is not lactose intolerant.
I do the meat separately, we should all know not give cooked bones to dogs as they splinter, so I am quite careful when shredding the meat and taking it off the bone. I usually buy chicken legs, thighs, or breasts if they are on sale in a large pack. I prefer fresh meat for myself, frozing does something to it that I notice. If breasts are on sale in a large pack, it works great, I can use them and then use the rest for the dogs. I think the dogs prefer the thigh type darker meat, it has more fat content.
I cook, skinless chicken parts in a frying pan full of water. Take the meat out and add some of the carrots , sweet potato and barley to the water, just to heat it up while the meat cools. Its probably how you start feeding them this type of food, mine started on warm so they expect it. I debone the chicken shred it with my fingers, on another plate I mash the veg into the barley. I don’t like giving my dogs chunks because they are small dogs and can get it caught in their throat.
The thing that saves some money is when chicken is on sale, load up on it in the freezer. I find that if chicken breasts are on sale you get twice as much meat for the money as buying a cheaper cut like the legs because of the amount of bone. But I do believe the dogs prefer the leg or thigh meat. I can feed two small dogs on about $10-15 a week and spend the difference on treats. Bonus is I am not so grossed out when they want to love on me after they are fed, and try to lick my face and neck. Hopefully, this effort leads to a life with less vet bills in the long run and happier dogs 🙂
Here is a photo of another time saving approach by another dog owner.
TREATS: Be careful about dog treats made off shore that are irradiated. A post went around facebook on this and the number of related dog deaths. I just avoid all offshore treats now. Click the image for a larger preview.