Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What are you putting in your dogs' dish?

I've recently asked myself this same question. I think of my dogs as spoiled and loved and definitely not picky eaters. They will eat whatever is placed in front of them whether it be dog food or a piece of chicken left over from dinner. When it comes to commercial dog food, I thought beneful would be the best choice for our boys, and they love it. When they were puppies they would get a scoop of dry food in the morning, and then at dinner they would get the beneful meals mixed in with their dry food. Now that they are older they get fed once a day, but trust me they are not starving.

Looking at their beneful prepared meals I thought, why am I spending $1.57 to $2.00 per container when I could probably make this myself? Rice, veggies, and meat is all it takes, so why don't I make my dogs food?

So I started doing some research and didn't like what I found. I wont go into the gory details of commercial dog food, or what allegedly goes into it. I'm not about bashing a product that has yet to harm my dogs in the year they've been eating it. What I've decided as a pet owner is that, making homemade dog food is cheaper and healthier for my pets. Dogs need fiber, protein, grains, and veggies. All of which I have in my house, so this week I've been experimenting, and my dogs are not complaining.

Monday I cooked up several tilapia fillets in a little butter, and added a small cup of corn to the fish. Penn and Teller loved it! It's good for them and it was so easy since it's a one pan dish. The bag of fish was $3.00 at wal mart and the corn was 28 cents. I made my dogs roughly 5 days worth of food for under $3.50!

So here are some tips I picked up from my research.

Foods to avoid: Onions, Chocolate, Garlic, Rasins, Grapes, citrus, bones, macadamia nuts, and the leaves from tomato, potato and rhubarb, fruit pits, and persimmons. I'm sure I missed a few but you can find a more detailed list here.

Dogs may love liver, but too much isn't good for them. Too much can cause vitamin a toxicity and harm their muscles.

Foods you can use: Meat, poultry, grains, legumes, veggies and fruits.

Instead of high fat dog treats, try giving your dog a peanut or a small piece of meat. Your dog will be happy and won't end up your chunky buddy.

Check with your local grocery store Butcher. They can usually sell you meat trimmings for a very low price or even prime cuts of meat taken out of the cooler because they're close to expiring. They will still be ok for your pet.

Ziplock bags are your friend! Get the snack size and portion your homemade dog food that way. Put them in the freezer to store and put in the microwave to thaw.

I love my dogs! They really are a part of our family and I want them healthy so they'll be with us for a long time. I'll keep you posted when I try different dogfood recipies. If you would like to research homemade dog food or find recipies for your pets click here.

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