Sunday, March 24, 2013

Feeding the Family Dog–Making Your Own Dog Food

Oakley with Toy

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.

Oakley 009

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. 

Oakley 014


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!

Oakley March '13

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?


From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I feed my Bella a no grain dog food by Earthborn Holistic. It is made in the US and is top rated 5 stars. Once when she got into something in the garbage I had to put her on a ground chicken and rice diet for a few days. Then I researched some recipes for homemade dog dood. I read that dogs shouldn't have to much rice. It seems it has some level of arsenic in it. Google Your Oakley is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Love your post today! We have been watching what we feed our golden also.
We're feeding him more vegetables.

Thanks, good info!

Susan said...

You're such a good mama to Oakley. Excellent advice for cats too!

Ti said...

We had a golden mix that died rather suddenly and the vet and vet techs told us it was the Beneful we fed her. I have a lot of friends now who had pets fall ill who were also eating Beneful. Snopes says the reports findings are undetermined but it seems like many have chosen not to give their pet that brand.

Our pup eats Blue Buffalo. It's more costly but she seems to do well on it. I think what you are doing is good too. My friend, who raises Aussies feeds them a totally raw diet. She throws eggs on the ground and raw chicken and they thrive! You don't need to cook it! They don't get sick like we do from raw meat.

Tina said...

Oakley looks like a sweet dog!!
Also... look into the benefits of including organ meats - liver and kidney are great natural "vitamin pills", full of all sorts of goodness.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this article!! I am surely gonna feed him Chicken, Rice, and Green Beans,Beef, Rice, and Carrots, and also cheese. I have a rottweiler, i feed him chicken with bone 4 days per week and also veggies. Can you suggest me healthiest dog food brands for my rottweiler?