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 Healthy Alternative for our Doggies

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Absinthe Angel
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PostSubject: Healthy Alternative for our Doggies   Fri 16 Jul 2010, 2:22 pm

Adapted from Special Christmas Doggie Dinner
Picnic Basket Crafts Blog

Home made dog food can be a very healthy way to supplement, or even replace, your dog's commercially prepared dog food. But you should be very careful and research thoroughly before making drastic changes to your dog's diet. Many human foods are not safe at all for your pets, and you need to be very familiar with what you can and can't feed them, as well as the proportions you should use to ensure that your pet has a well-balanced diet.

We use the most healthy commercially prepared dog food available, but prepare special home made meals for our big guys whenever we feel inspired. And nothing's quite as inspiring to me as 12 pounds of left over turkey!

Here's a basic recipe I would recommend starting with whenever you are making homemade dog food.

Protein should comprise around 40% of the mixture. You can use lean, organic chicken, turkey, or beef. Eggs, peanut butter, and cottage cheese also count as protein.

30% of the mix should be carbohydrates. Carbs can come from grains (like barley, oatmeal, rice, etc.) or potatoes. You can also use noodles, but my theory on homemade dog food is that it should be a healthy alternative to commercially prepared mystery stuff. So I don't put mystery stuff in my dog food. I like to stick to whole grains. My favorite is a wild rice blend. Lundberg rice is the best. I know it's expensive, and I noticed the raised eyebrows across the breakfast bar as I prepared this doggie feast, but hey - if you're preparing a special treat for your little buddies, why not go all out? (-:

30% of the mix should be a dog-safe blend of organic veggies. Be sure to check the do's and don'ts of doggie veggies, as some are definitely not good choices. To be safest, I would recommend sticking with sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, green beans, and pumpkin.

You can also add some supplements, like garlic (Dr. Messonnier author of The Natural Vet's Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, recommends one clove of fresh garlic per 10 to 30 pounds of weight a day to boost the immune system and cancer prevention), flaxseed, brewer's yeast, oils, etc. But keep these down to 5 to 10% of the total mixture.

So, here's the mixture I made, based on what I happened to find in my mom's fridge:

3 1/2 cups cooked turkey, chopped.
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 hardboiled eggs
2 tsp. garlic
2 Tbs. flax seeds
one peeled and grated sweet potato
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup of dry Lundberg rice, cooked in 2 cups of water for 45 minutes (this is the human-preparation, but some sources recommend cooking grains for dogs with extra water, and a longer cooking time for a softer, easier to digest grain)
4 Tbs. flaxseed oil

Mix everything together, and that's it! If you want to use a food processor, you can make a finer puree, and form these into patties. But I like to serve it loose. Each of these humongous beasts eats 2 cups of dry food at each meal. So I just loosely packed the food mixture into a measuring cup to give each dog 2 cups. This recipe made enough food for two meals for these two big guys, and two one-cup meals for my "little" Norwegian Elkound (little by comparison!) at home. His food will get portioned out and frozen to take home.

If you want, you can also use this mixture as a little treat instead of an entire meal. Scoop with a meatballer or icecream scoop, and freeze individual balls. These can be used as treats if they are small enough, or just toss one or two balls in with half of your dog's normal amount of kibble. However you choose to serve it, be sure to keep whatever you are not using right away refrigerated or frozen. If refrigerated, use it within a day or two. Frozen, it will last 3 to 6 months.

**NOTE- Though not mentioned in the article, I would also like to add that you should never switch your dog over to a new diet entirely. It is too hard on their digestive system. Instead, gradually add the new food in with their old food, adding more of the new food and less of the old food over a period of several weeks until eventually there is no more of the old food left in the dish.


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PostSubject: Re: Healthy Alternative for our Doggies   Sat 17 Jul 2010, 10:15 am

I have a special needs dog, Beanie, we got from the pound. She has a pelvic bladder and we have to watch her diet carefully. I have cooked for her since she was six weeks old. She is very healthy and is thriving. I put each of the ingredients into quart baggies and freeze them. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested.

Organic, natural Chicken (no growth hormones) cooked and deboned
Organic barley cooked
Organic lentils cooked
Organic carrots cooked
Organic green beans cooked
sea veggies added to the cooking water
garlic, rosemary
Sometimes I will add Oatmeal

I'll make a huge batch and bag each food separately. We have to keep her PH perfect as with a pelvic bladder, she has a propensity towards renal disease. She is four years old now and no sign of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Healthy Alternative for our Doggies   Sat 17 Jul 2010, 10:17 am

I also dehydrate sweet potato slices as treats for Beanie and Boomer. They like them better than apples. I love you
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PostSubject: Re: Healthy Alternative for our Doggies   Sat 17 Jul 2010, 12:38 pm

Thanks for sharing your recipe Patty. Sice everyone is different and our Fur Kids all have different needs, it's good to have different choices them

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