Sensitive Doggies! Homemade Dog Food
Well, they say that some people and their pets look similar, but my dogs unfortunately got my food issues. And no, I’m not making it up, or over-exaggerating about having “fussy” eaters, I’m talking vomiting, diarrhea & rashes. I thought I’d share this post because the change in my dogs since making their food has been amazing. Makes me feel so awful about how they must have been feeling, but at least I know now, and have happy & energetic dogs again.
When we got him at 7 weeks, he had mange and lost most of his hair, I was told by the vet that the creams wouldn’t make his fur grow back, but will help to stop the itching. I wasn’t happy with that, so found a dog homeopath who told me to take him off all processed foods and make my own, for the first 6 months he was vegetarian, and then meat was introduced. Within 2 weeks his hair had stopped falling out, and within a month, it was all grown back, he had a lovely coat and have never had an issue with mange since.
I kept that up for years, but when my food allergies flared up, I started making shortcuts, and thought that by buying good quality dog food, that would save me time, because I was now preparing all of my own meals mostly from scratch.
The past 5 years have been a battle between finding a dog food that didn’t make Zac vomit immediately or get diarrhea within a couple of hours – they were fun times! Turns our he can’t have any preservatives at all, and bread makes him fart like a trooper, that boy can clear a room in 10 seconds if he gets hold of some bread.
When I did find a food that Zac liked, my other dog, Lily wouldn’t eat it. I just thought she was a fussy eater, and for years had the “if she is hungry, she’ll eat” theory. Everynight was a battle to get her to eat.
Lily is 10 years old, and she didn’t have a great start either, she was a puppy-farm dog, that we bought from the petshop when we stopped to get a toy for Zac after our other dog passed away. She was beside herself in the cage and had been there for 6 week, people had taken her and brought her back, and they had her on special for $50, and that included all her vaccinations, micro-chipping, etc, we just couldn’t leave her there even though I am anti-petshops selling animals .
So Zac’s new toy was a bit more work than the squeaky toy we went in for, but way cuter. She has had a lot of anxiety issues over the years, to the point where both dogs come to work with me now. Lily is an un-stopable escaper, we have re-fenced, put electric fences in, done everything possible, and she still gets out. Now they are happy, and everyone likes having them in the office, should have done it years ago.
About 6 months ago, I noticed a rash around Lily’s mouth that was bright red, and she kept itching it. I took her to the vet and the vet noticed it was also around her bottom. She gave me some medication, but advised me to start making my own dog food, because Lily was most likely having a reaction to the dog food they were having. She suggested using kangaroo as it is a leaner cut, and to cook the meat because of Zac having a sensitive gut.
I started making this mixture and the changes in both dogs are just amazing. I make up a huge batch, and it lasts me the whole week, so all up, it really doesn’t add much time at all. And it is so much cheaper. I use human grade kangaroo mince, because the petfood brand has preservatives, but it still comes to $29.84 a week for both dogs. Considering that I was paying $56 a week on dog food, that is nearly half the cost.
I put so many things down to Zac’s age, being 13 I thought it was normal for him to be tired and lethargic. Boy was I wrong! Within a week or two he was like a new dog, he is running around playing, going on 8km walks, and so much happier. Everyone who knows him has been blown away in the change, our dog-sitter who looks after our dogs regularly says that she wouldn’t believe it was the same dog. He went from being at the back of the pack when they went out for 1-2 hour bushwalks with 6-10 other dogs, to being up near the front. And his coat, is so beautiful and shiny. He is still an old dog, he is going deaf and sleeps like a log, but it is so nice to see him with so much life in him again.
And Lily, well she now LOVES food! She comes running for her bowl at dinner time, and for the first time in 10 years, I actually have to watch her weight, she has gained nearly 2kg and is a healthy weight compared to how skinny she has always been. The rashes are gone, and she seems happier.
This is the quantities I use for my 2 dogs, Zac is 22kg and Lily is 13kg, but eats almost as much as Zac since she is a lot more active, they get about 500g each a night. I use a 8litre stockpot plus a large saucepan to make up the batch each week because I can’t fit it all into one pot, if I had a bigger stockpot or I was making a smaller batch, I’d just throw it all in together. The finished product fits perfectly into an 8 litre plastic container I picked up from the supermarket, and it stays fine for the whole week, doesn’t smell bad by the end of the week. The only thing I add to it, is an omega oil blend for joints, that I got from the petshop a couple of times a week, and they have a couple of chicken necks in the morning, and a big bone on Sunday for their teeth.
- 2kg kangaroo mince (or mince of choice)
- 2kg frozen chopped vegetables (make sure no onions)
- 500g frozen chopped spinach
- 500g oat bran
- 1kg brown rice
- In the stockpot, add the mince, vegetables and oatbran and enough water to cover. Mix well and then let simmer until cooked through. Mines takes about 25 mins
- In the large saucepan, I add the brown rice and spinach and about 4-6 cups of water and then simmer until the rice is cooked and the water has evaporated.
- Let the mixture cool, and then mix together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. It freezes well too. I just put it into zip lock bags in service portions and freeze up so I have some extra on hand.