Monday, September 6, 2010

Considering taking the homemade pet food plunge....

I have been making home made dog biscuits for a few months now. They are fun to make, I know what is in them (and therefore, what is going into my dog's bodies), I can make them into fun little dog, heart, star, and even cat! shapes, plus the dogs LOVE them!! This change was an easy decision, it costs less and is much healthier.

Switching to home made dog food though...thats a bigger decision! I've wanted to for quite a while for a multitude of reasons; I don't trust the dog food labels, I think variety is needed, plus the quality of what is put in pet food is so low, its scary. I was at Half Price Book's 20% off sale this weekend (side note; yay for 20% off at one of my favorite stores!!!) and found this book on making the switch. Ive only started reading it, but have made it through the introduction, which includes all the reasons why a natural diet is so important. It was exactly what I needed to push me over the edge! Did you know that road kill is occasionally used to make the lower end dog kibble?! Obviously that is one of the dramatic statements, but even the less disgusting information was surprising to me. It can basically be summed up by the realization that pet food labels that say "USDA inspected" are true in a disgustingly ironic way. The meat is inspected, but not in the way they want you to think, its the pieces that don't pass inspection that make it into pet food! This means that feathers, fecal matter, bones, and fat are the main ingredients making up the "protein" that our furry family members are eating. (Reading through this information also reiterates my decision to be a vegetarian by the way!)

So, how do I solve this problem and relieve my newly increased anxiety over what my furry family members are eating? I make it myself! This book also includes recipes and tips for making the change. I know I have a lot of other pet lovers and owners out there in blog land though. Has anyone else considered this, done it, know someone who does it, anything?! Im nervous that I won't include everything that they need, won't be able to do it, they won't like it...you get the idea.

6 comments:

rachelgab said...

I did that for my dog when he started getting health problems and the vet wasn't helping. There is a veggie mix at the fancy pet stores you can get and you just add water and meat and let it soak. He loved it and his conditions improved :)

kym said...

I agree, dog foods are GROSS. Especially the wet food...it smells like...a sewer.

I agree with the previous commenter, I'd try the veggie mix wher you add water and your own meats. Then you know they are getting a healthier balance.

crystal said...

Thanks Rachel, I didn't know there was a veggie mix!
Kym - yeah, the book talks about why they smell...you don't even want to know!

Heathrow's World said...

I've thought about this many times as well, but like you, think I might leave something out. And people wonder why I'm such a freak about my child's food! If I care this much about my dog, of COURSE I'm going to try my damndest to make my kids food the best!

Mel's Way or No Way said...

Back in the day when I had 2 or 3 dogs, I did a lot of fresh food preparation. There are also some great mixes (like the veggie one)but they can get expensive. There are also vitamin/oil additives for home food (Solid Gold makes one)so you can make sure they get the right balance of nutrition. Watch out for some foods that are toxic (like grapes/raisins) or are likely to cause allergies (corn).

These days I do a combo of a good quality kibble and I add chicken and pumpkin, sweet potato or squash (I have pups with IBS and these things settle the tummies). Good kibble is out there and with some research you can find it. Of course you get what you pay for so expect a higher price.
Sorry to ramble. I could go on about this for hours. Good luck.

crystal said...

Heather - I know, Im worried about how crazy Im gonna be about kid food!

Mel - I do have pretty high stipulations for kibble, they eat pretty well! Im thinking that Im gonna compromise and just start making meat supplements to add to the kibble we feed. Someday when we can afford it, we will go all out!