Just as I have been tinkering around with my own diet, and trying to reduce the amount of gluten and carbs I consume, I have also been tinkering around with our dog Oakleys’ diet.
She’s a healthy Golden Retriever but I have been doing some reading about how people as well as our pets need to be eating more of what we were “designed” to eat and less of what we were not.
In the process of reading and doing some research online about the best way to feed our pets, I recently found an explanation as to what really happened to our cat Otis. He’s been gone for about 5 years now but he was a huge, and I do mean huge cat who in the end had terrible urinary tract problems. I recently read an article on why you need to feed cats and kittens wet food and a high protein diet. Otis was fed dry cat food because I didn’t know better and I liked the convenience of it. He was overweight and miserable most likely from the food I fed him. Dry cat food is usually grain based and cats need a high amount of meat and protein. I also read that cats get a lot of their hydration needs met from the “wetness” or water content in their food. Feeding a cat dry food all the time sets them up to be de-hydrated. They just don’t drink as much as they should on their own. I feel bad now that I know. He suffered simply because I couldn’t stand the smell or look of wet/canned cat food. Feed your kitties wet cat food! (You will save yourself some heartache and some huge vet bills later.)
Anyway, back to Oakley, the world’s cutest dog and her food story. :) I have been feeding our dog Oakley dry dog food ever since we got her. Again, because of the convenience and because I didn’t know better. Dogs were meant to eat a high protein meat diet. You can get a higher meat/protein content dry dog food. The brand “Blue” comes to mind and I still might consider using it but it’s on the pricey side. I might give it a try and see if Oakley likes it and feed it to her for breakfast with her cottage cheese and stick to making her dinner in the evening.
Here is a book I ordered online from a Veterinarian named Dr. Greg Martinez, DVM. He also has a website and blog called Dog Dish Diet and a lot of what he writes about on his blog and in his book makes perfect sense. In his book Dog Dish Diet he has a recipe that he feeds his own dogs that he prepares in the crock pot. It’s made with whole chickens and his dogs love it. It also looks like he has an e- book available called “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” that I need to check out.
So far, preparing Oakley’s food has been easy and I have been able to prepare the food ahead of time and refrigerate and freeze some of her meals to have ready when I need them.
Here is what I have been making for her lately:
Chicken, Rice, and Green Beans (This is her favorite.)
Beef, Rice, and Carrots
Cottage Cheese on the side
Hamburger, Rice, green beans or carrots
Sometimes I’ll sneak in some torn up spinach leaves, leftover scrambled eggs, and a few leftover roasted potatoes. I’ll also be picking up some doggie vitamins just to be on the safe side.
For the chicken meals I feed Oakley, lately I have been picking up an extra rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5.00. I can usually get 4 or 5 meals for her out of one chicken. I simply pick that bird clean and Oakley doesn’t mind eating the dark meat, I think she actually prefers it! I make a big bag of rice ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, and I feed her green beans with no added salt from a can. (I have also been know to sprinkle a few shreds of Cheddar cheese on her plate to make it colorful and extra tasty. ":) )
Mostly what I am doing is “assembling” her meals. I have been doing this gradually and slowly. I didn’t want to upset her tummy or create indigestion problems or heaven forbid cause diarrhea or constipation and so far so good.
I still feed her dry Beneful in the morning but it’s now a smaller portion size and I give her a small scoop of cottage cheese alongside it. And do your research. There a lots of foods you need to avoid that are not good for dogs like chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocados, and bones, especially cooked bones. Garlic is controversial so I avoid it. I never understood what bones were safe to give a dog anyway so I avoid them altogether.
Here is a 5 minute video on what treats Dr. Martinez says are better and more healthy for your dog.
And so the purpose of my post here today is not to tell you how to feed your pets but to simply talk about what I have been doing as a result of doing some more reading and learning about something I thought I knew about. I love my dog Oakley and I want to keep her as healthy and happy as I can.
She dances and twirls while we put her plate together and you should see the joy on her face when we set down a plate of food for her.
She’s a happy dog!
Ok, so this photo might not look like she is happy but she is! It’s hard to capture with my camera the dancing an twirling that goes on before she gets to eat her dinner. But believe me, she is happy. This was just another cute photo I wanted to include. I mean, look at that face! :)
And before I go, let me leave you with a link to another website that I found fun and very helpful called: Can I Give My Dog. com ? It’s a fun and informative sight dedicated to answering your questions about what you can and cannot give to your dog. If you have a specific food or question you can plug it in and it will return an answer. Questions like “Can I give my dog a taco?” are answered seriously and without judgement. :) A taco. Really?