Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Things I Do For Those Dogs I Love...

If you have a pet, you probably know about the rash of pet food recalls over the past few years. All kinds of things have been discovered in pet food and a lot of pets have died. Every time a recall list has come out, I've held my breath until I verified our food wasn't on the list. We also check for expiration dates on our kibble because expired food is often not removed from store shelves and can kill your pet. We've also always paid attention to the nutritional information on the kibble bag. Dogs are omnivores, but they need a lot of protein. There should be at least one meat substance in the first five ingredients on the bag. We give each of the dogs multivitamins every day to help keep their fur glossy and Schnitzel and Abbey get Glucosamine every day as well (Dachshunds are very prone to back problems and Abbey's already had two knee surgeries at 5). We've felt pretty good about what we put into the Brats.

Imagine my horror then when a friend of mine sent me an article a few weeks ago about some of the stuff in most commercial dog foods. "Animal by product" for instance, can actually be euthanized cats and dogs!!! Cannibalism is not my idea of a proper diet! Haven't we learned anything from the outbreaks of Mad Cow disease??? You cannot feed an animal one of it's own and expect good things to happen.

This little bit of info was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Enough is enough. My cubie at work, Robbi, has been feeding her dogs a natural diet for at least a year now because of different medical conditions and dog food scares, so I went to her for some advice. The last two weeks, I've been cooking my own dog food! I know...maybe a little obsessive, but I think my Brats are worth it. So far, I've tried two different recipes. One consists of meat-loaf type muffins and the other was a seafood and veggie mixture. The dogs loved them both, but Hubby and I agreed that the mackeral mix stank to high heaven and think we'll try salmon next time. :-)

A little homemade dog food for you:
1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey, chicken, whatever)
4 stalks celery
4 carrots
1 apple, cored
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 bag frozen broccoli
2 eggs
1 c regular rolled oats
2 c cooked brown rice
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
I ran all the veggies through the food processor to help with digestion and then mixed everything together. I sectioned the mix into muffin tins and baked at 350 for 50 mins.
I had two different sizes of muffin tins, so we had Schnitzel sized muffins and big dog sized muffins. The recipe above made enough muffins for six days. The kids get a muffin each for breakfast and dinner with a half portion of their kibble. We're going to use up the rest of the kibble we currently have and then switch to Solid Gold's "Barking at the Moon" brand. This is the only dog food I can find in my local Petco that earned high marks on the websites I've looked at.

Anywho, I just thought I'd throw a little more wood on the flames for all those that think I've lost my mind. You might just be right! But I'm somewhat happy here in Crazytown. They're talking about making me mayor. :-D

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