Today I’m going to be talking about home made dog food.
Home Made Dog Food
In days gone by, home made dog food was the staple diet for domestic dogs – whether pets or working dogs (e.g. farm dogs). And those dogs fared pretty well. They were pretty healthy, on the whole, and the average life span for dogs fed a home made diet was considerably longer than the average dog’s lifespan today. In fact, those dogs thrived.
So what happened?
Let’s just look at some facts:
Fifty or sixty years ago or so, commercial dog food did not exist. Read that again – did not exist.
So how did people feed their dogs in those days? With home made dog food, that’s how – either prepared especially for the dog, or more likely, the dog ate basically the same meal as the rest of the family, or ate the table scraps from the family’s meal and/or the offcuts from the meat before or after it was cooked, along with some vegetable scraps, and fruit scraps.
So where did the commercial pet food industry spring from? If pets weren’t going hungry and were perfectly healthy, where did the need for commercial food arise?
The short answer is that it didn’t – there was no need. The commercial pet food industry started because some enterprising manufacturers decided that they could repackage the wastage from human food preparations, sell it as pet food, and make a huge profit. So gristle, sinews and cartilage that were cut off meat for human consumption were processed into pet food.
But soon that wasn’t enough. The public actually started buying commercially prepared dog food, and the manufacturers wanted more profits. So they added plenty of grains to bulk the food out. (Grains are not an ideal diet for dogs).
And while they were at it, some manufacturers also got the bright idea to add into the mix diseased carcasses, road kill, and even euthanized pets.
It all went into commercial pet food (and still does).
So the idea had been born, and production had commenced. All the pet food manufacturers had to do to make massive profits was convince more people to buy the “food” that they were peddling.
How? Expensive advertising campaigns have been run to convince pet owners that commercial dog food is good for their pets.
But what about veterinarians. No one could pull the wool over their eyes, right? – Wrong. The pet food manufacturers sponsored the nutrition portions of veterinary training (which was, and still is in most instances, a very minute portion of veterinary school training), and persuaded budding students of veterinary science that commercial dog food was better than home made dog food.
What a coup! These pet food conglomerates have succeeded in convincing huge sections of the general public, including the veterinarians to whom pet owners go for advice, that commercial food is better than home cooked dog food.
For some fabulous dog food recipes, in an ebook that you can download directly onto your computer, and read online or print out, and cook for your dog, click here.
Interesting. Could you please correct the link to “dog food recipes” in the text portion. the http is missing a “t” and doesn’t work.
I think I like this blog format. It will be interesting to return and read what others have commented on this subject. I’ve tried to purchase the healthier, more natural, albeit much more expensive dry dog foods for my Scottie that contain no by-products. Depending on what ingredients are suggested in the recipes (and their cost) this is something I might consider. Looking forward to seeing the recipes.
Seems the comments don’t post here. Was that intentional?
Thank you for all your new you have sent me all these past months. I am sorry I did not ansewr to any one of these but I was in bed with a broken leg and hand. Now things are going better.
Thank you for your blog. I suppose all the manufacturers of pet food will be very much unhappy reading all you write. I agree with you. It is so much hopfull when you meet people to react against all the advertisements of the companies that make peoples mind as a soup, unable to think their own thoughts.
As I wrote another time, my dog has the problem of diarhea (sorry if the word is written by wrong way) when he eats raw or cooked meat, no matter how it is cooked, but he has no any problem if he eats tin-food. So, most of the times I mixed cooked meat with the tin -food and no problem.
I wish you a great succes to your blog.
I DO COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU- I ALWAYS LIKE TO FEED MY DOG FRESH HOMEMADE FOOD , I AM SURE IT WILL BE HEALTHIER EVEN MY DOGS PREFER IT
Thanks for pointing out the error in the link.Â Oops!Â I’ve corrected it now and it goes to the home made dog food recipes ebook page here – http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com/DogRecipes .
Aspasia and Alice,
Thanks for your comments on the Home Made Dog Food post, and on the Healthier Dogs blog generally.
Aspasia, sorry to hear about your broken leg, and that your dog is still suffering from diarrhea.
Home cooked dog food or raw food should not cause this.
As it’s an ongoing problem, you should see your vet. It could be something very simple, but could also indicate something serious (I hope not).
Hi there Brigitte
I am so pleased that in his world there is some person strong enough to stand up and speak the truth about what we are feeding our dogs.
I have a small miniture Maltese who is 5 years now. She is a very fussy little thing and refuses to eat any dog pills. She used to eat tin food, we buy in South Africa, but one day I noticed that this seemed to have a very black colour, which she refused to eat. the tins I had left was thrown away immediatly.
A I said, she refused to eat it and I decided that was it. No more bought food ever ragain. All I give her is cooked veges with either minced, lean, meat or even the white of a chicken. I mix this and put some potatoes in as well and she enjoys every bit.
To me she is everything and I am responsable for her health and happiness. Spoiling her with healty food is what I do and keep away from fat as much as possible. she loves to share with me what I am eating and I don’t like fat food, so feel this is good for her as well. I have tried giving her fruit, but this she doesn’t eat yet.
Thank you for all your radvice it sure helps a lot.
Keep well greetings from South Africa.
A comment about the dog with diarrhea, maybe try some probiotics with digestive enzymes and certainly try different food.
Thank you so much for this website Brigitte, and for your help that you just gave me privately about trying to stop my puppy from barking.
I have tried giving my dog raw roo meat and also raw liver but she refused to eat either of them. I bought some small bones but all she did was play with them and try to bury them in the lounge suite. If I cut the meat off the bones then she would eat it. Do you have a recommended meat to give to her? We are raw vegan ourselves so do not have any table scraps or meat offcuts from our own diets, we eat only raw fruits and vegetables. I once read that cooked rice is good for dogs but have reservations about that as I would not eat it myself and see no goodness in it.
Thank you so much!!!
love the blog format.
keep up the good work.
So nice to hear from someone in South Africa. HealthyHappyDogs.com and now HealthierDogs.com have readers from all over the world!
I’ll bet your little Maltese is a lot healthier now that you’re no longer feeding that canned food?
Thanks for your kind words.
Great suggestion for Aspasia. Thanks.
There’s a good probiotics product here (not sure if we discussed this via email earlier?) – http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/digestion
Once you’re at that site, you’ll also see a link on the left hand side to a diarrhea specific natural remedy as well.
Take a look and see what you think.
Hi again May,
Thanks for your kind words.
I had to laugh when I read that your dog plays with the bones and tries to bury them in the lounge suite. That’s really cute.
Dogs readily eat all types of meat. It’s more a matter of personal preference than anything else. But small dogs, in particular, do very well with chicken and chicken bones, which are softer than most other kinds of bones.
But lamb, beef, and kangaroo meat are all perfectly good.
Liver and roo meat are fairly highly flavored, so that may be why your dog isn’t too keen. I’d try her on some chicken if I were you. And certainly give some raw (or lightly steamed) vegetables and fruit with the meat if she’ll eat them.
A small amount of cooked rice is okay for dogs, in that it’s certainly a better grain than processed wheat and some others. But you’re right, there’s very little nutrient value in it, so go easy on it.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback on the new Healthier Dogs blog.
Thank you Brigitte, you are a star. I shall get her some chicken/bones.
She would be fully grown now at 7 months and only weighs 4.5 kilos. A real sweety, cavalier king charles spaniel/chihuahua, but also a little monster at the moment 😉
I’m very keen to get her off the doggy ‘polony’ rolls she has been accustomed to. We lost our last dog at only 8 years of age to a large brain tumour. I wish I’d known about the damage all these foods, injections and worming treatments did before I lost her, but now it’s my duty to do my best for our new puppy.
Many thanks again,
Brigitte are you sure about the existance of commercial dog food? I was feeding my dogs with “Penny” brand dog food and “Ken-L-Ration” brand as far back as 1954. I still suppliment with commercial food today, but I am very selective of what I buy for my dogs. At the present I am trying Paul Newman’s brand. I am for most part, feeding my dogs raw.
I am happy to see someone tell the real story about the vets. The only ones who are more understanding are the holistic vets. I have been feeding raw for 3 years and i have been vaccine free for 2year. I don’t give my rotties anything that i can not consume myself. I even do all natural heart worm prevention, thats a huge money grab at the vets too. They only reason people put there pets on food that comes out of a bag, is b/c the media and the vets make us believe thats whats BEST for our pets. If there were no pets getting sick from the very food we give them, then what money would the VETS make!!!!
You’re welcome, May!
You may well be right.
I’ve read in a number of places that commercial dog food reared its head around forty years ago, and that prior to that everyone fed their dogs home made dog food.
But perhaps commercial pet food started to become the norm around forty years ago but actually started earlier. Let’s see – 1954 – that’s 53 years ago.
Certainly in the past 40 years or so dogs’ health generally, and their life expectancy, has been in decline. And even more so in the past 20 to 30 years. I suppose these time frames tie in with larger and larger proportions of dogs being fed exclusively commercial food.
In the last 20 years or so, I believe that more and more vets have actually been recommended extruded, pelletized, dry dog food over raw or home cooked dog food. Some actually believe that these overprocessed colored hard chunks of garbage actually contain an ideal diet for a dog that is superior to fresh food. ???!!
I’m not familiar with the brands of early commercial dog food you mention. What form did they take, out of interest? – dry, canned, or some other form?
Thanks for your input.
Thank you so much for all the helpful imformation on your site , keep up the good work! I have a question about a skin care problem that I did not see in the skin care section. My question is about yeast infections in dogs , what is the cause an any possible cures that i can manage from home. I have a 3 year old chihuahua an recently within the last 6 months this has showed up. Any insite on this problem?
Thank you so much,
Hi Rottie Girl,
A girl after my own heart!
First, let me say that you have great taste in dog breeds (by owning a Rottweiler, like me!), and secondly, you not only feed your Rotties raw food, but you’ve drawn the line at dog vaccinations and other chemical preparations like heartworm prevention.
All those who have been on my HealthyHappyDogs.com newsletter list for any length of time, or who frequent that site, know what I think of annual vaccinations for dogs – I’m not a fan (to say the least) – see http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com/Vaccinate as well as the list of links at the bottom of that page.
And I’m also very keen on natural worm treatments that are great for heartworm as well as other internal parasites.
In fact, along with my stance on home made dog food, including, needless to say, raw dog food, those are two of my other favorite bandwagons.
[And I’d better add in my little disclaimer right about here, lest anyone thinks I claim to be an expert – no, I’m not – I’m not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever. I speak only from my own limited experience as a dog owner.]
Thanx for all your interesting e-mails. I have learnt a lot. I agree with you. In my former country I used to cook fresh food for my Dobies. They were so healthy and glossy. I am shocked to learn from you what goes into processed foods. Having said that, I have a cocker and feed her commercial food for convenience here in the uk. But she still gets scrap veggies and meat from the table. She is healthy and I try to convince myself the commercial food is ok. It all comes down to convenience.
Intereting reading but I cannot fully support it. First off, us lazy human species will not ever admit to being able to cut corners and are just plain lazy to begin with. Raw Diet I totally avoid for the fact that I and others will make mistakes (un willingly and willingly) and try to cut corners after the repetative (sorry for the mis-spellings for this is not my forte) stuff associated with Raw Diets. Try doing this for breeding stock and you shall and will find out that your costs will be shooting towards the atmosphere. Home Cooked Diets are somewhat cheaper but in the end it is the same results. I sometimes do prepare home cooked meals but this is for muscle mass building and expected mothers but they do get most of the foods from High Grade Dog Food but you first much do your research and not fall into the trap of what the industry is telling you. For exaple, Holistic Food!! Now this is biggest Junk and Bull Crap ever. There really is NO SUCH THING!! How do you think that they make holistic food not spoil??? One does not go and buy holistic food evey time you dog eats!!
We feed all of our stock high grade dog food but we did our research first. Yes other will still choose to follow the other road but start adding up the costs. I am not talking about 2-6 dogs but multiple breeding stock that you show and breed from.
Plus speaking of vaccinations, for me living in Europe it is mandatory for we are in multiple Counties and in the EU. Try going to dog shows and you shall find out no vaccines no Shows, this also goes for visting dogs not participating in the Shows but this is becoming common practice to ban dogs that are not paricipating.
The blog looks very nice! Glad to see more information out there on homemade food. We took the easy route and just went totally raw and the dogs are thanking us for it! 🙂
Love your blog. I have 5 Jack Russells. I too am not letting my dogs get annual rabies shots, etc. This is only the first year however. I have learned so much from you. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you.
I do have one question. I give my babies brewers’ yeast tabs with garlic to repel fleas. I just read that garlic is poisonous to dogs. If this is true, do they mean raw, or is all forms of garlic bad? How can the manufacturers’ get away with this?
Thank you for all of your articles- I have loved and learned from every single one of them.
I have a 16yr old Cocker Spaniol ( Ollie) and a 9 yr old German Shepard (Jadeyn) .
My Cocker kas kidney disease, she was diagnosed 4+ years ago, the vet told me she only had very little time left. I switched her to almost 100% human food which contains mostly organics, because that is what we eat and she has strived since the switch.
She has become a little slower now, which I guess is to be expected, but at least we had 4 more years than we thought we would have w/ her. Our Shepard loved the food switch also.
How do I get away from giving my dogs the vaccinations? In Massachussetts its the law for Rabies Vacs, I do say no to all of the others though.
I like the blog !! Keep up the good work. And for any of you who has lost a pet or had to put one down-any advice? I know the time is coming soon and I am a complete basket-case about this. Ollie has been w/ me for 16 years ! Its hard to let go-
Thanx again Brigitte-
I have made homemade dog food for my dog Frisco for quite some time and he loves it. I had deer meat given to me by a friend and I cook that along with green beans and carrots and organic wild blend rice. I blend the veggies before adding to the meat broth. I also by some Paul Newmans organic premium dog food to add a small amount to it. Usually I just give him the homemade but he loves both. He also loves squirrel so when we can hunt him a fresh one we give him that for the calcium of the bones.
I also ordered the natural worm treatment for parasites and am anxiously awaiting that. I love your website. Keep it going.
Sincerely, Rita Eakes
My dog is generallyfed table scraps, and loves chicken necks as a treat. her intake of commercial food would be about 5%.
What is your position on dogs being fed cooked meat? It is my understanding that dogs should not eat meat as a staple without bone or bone meal being added?
Also, I want to add that I don’t give my dog too many “treats”, especially dog-designed treats. Although some of the dog receipes sound tasty, bacon isn’t that great for man nor beast, red meat is…well, red meat, peanut butter for the most part is loaded with sugar, apples physic both me and my dog if we consume too much. Those few “treats” that I have purchased and tried with my dog all have had very wholesome ingredients, but I have found that they are way too rich. If I give him more than a little bit, it is too much, his stool gets loose. I for one don’t like picking up loose stool and a dog’s stool should not be loose in the first place.
I usually just “treat” my dog with lots of love and good food. Now, my policy is, if it is good for me, it is probably okay for him and a little bite becomes his occasional “treat”. He loves that. Sometimes he is just happy with his own human-grade kibble being his “treat”. From my experience, I really don’t believe that dogs are able to diferentiate to the extent that the dog “treats” business and/or the buying public thinks they can.
I have 3 beautiful labradors who are only given raw meat vegetables fruits rice pasta oatmeal tuna cod liver oil kelp apple cider vinegar brewers yeast and wheat germ.
I use homeopathic treatments to detox the liver and a natural ear treatment flea and worm treatment. Also natural treatment for cuts abrasions and most wounds.
I am an animal healer and have helped many animals.
I’ve put up a post for you about yeast infections in dogs and how to treat them.
In my humble opinion, the vast majority of commercial dog foods are NOT okay under any circumstances.
If it’s convenience you’re after, there are some higher quality premium dog foods available, of which I actively recommend only a few. You can read about them here – Dog Food Information.
I see you’re in the UK. The foods I mention on that page are available via home delivery directly to your door if you’re in the US, but I believe that at least one can be sourced in the UK.
Thanks for your input.
I hear what you’re saying about the holistic dog food. And there are numerous commercial pet food manufacturers now jumping on the bandwagon and promoting “holistic” type foods for pets. A lot of it is complete rubbish.
But there are some infinitely better dog food brands that do contain some good nutrition – see the information here – Dog Food Information for my specific recommendations.
Personally, I prefer raw food for my dogs, with my second choice being home cooked dog food. For people who prefer the convenience of a pre-prepared dog food, I have researched and recommend a few healthy dog food brands.
Hope this clarifies my position.
As for vaccinations, yes, it is a big problem that some dogs basically have no choice. Some vaccines (most notably the rabies vaccine) are compulsory in some places. And it’s extremely common for dog kennels to insist on dogs having “up-to-date” vaccinations before they will board the dog. And the same for dogs being shown professionally, it would seem.
I subscribedÂ happy healthy dogs almost two years ago when my best friend in the whole wide world was still with me. I live in Chicago and my little buddy was suffering from severe seizures. I did not feed him store bought food- In the morning, I would mix an amino acid shake for him, and than give him liquid minerals- and for supper only the best- fresh ground sirloin with grated garlic. On the weekends, hard boiled eggs and livers. He ate like a king!
Thanks for putting this info out. So many people are not aware of what is in commercially pkg’d dog food. It’s a business and that’s all it is. Most consumers are innocent and are not aware of the filth that’s in these dog foods.
Hi Brigitte, I have been reading your emails for a long long time now, you are right on track about all these things! (IE: vaccinations, holistic foods & treats, raw foods, natural flea & heartworm preventatives, ect.) As you know we have been breeding pugs for many years now, & they all (13 right now, 2 litters) are living proof! Our pugs last anywhere from 18 to 20 years! Yes that is right 20 years, it makes A HUGE DIFFERENCE in your pet’s life if you start them on the right path as soon as they are born. We also give our buyers an education on health & nutrition and how detrimental this is to your pet!!! If the buyer does not agree to our conditions they don’t get one of our pugs. Sorry that’s just the way it is, we care too much for them from the minute they are born! We celebrate their birthdays, Christmas, & have annnual family reunions to make sure each puppy/dog is healthy & happy, the owner too! So keep up the excellent work, more people are becoming more health conscious about their pets!!! I look forward to recieving more emails (love the blog) from you in the future! PugTona Pug Breeders
Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it!
I’ve put a post up in answer to your question about garlic and dogs.
Again, thanks so much for your feedback!
I’ve had several readers ask me about articles on dealing with bereavement. I just have so many dog health care topics to contend with! But I’ll try to come up with something suitable some time soon.
I’m so happy that switching Ollie to home cooked dog food has given her so much extra time with you.
Switching from commercial pet food really does work, people! 😉
What a great idea 🙂 I think this can be a wonder support system for those of us who are in love with our pets!
I actually switch between a high quality natural pet food and home made. I particularly have an abundance of home made food when I harvest my garden in the fall and throughout the early winter. Charlie my toy Manchester Terrier totally loves the garden vegetables and I buy bulk chicken (his favorite) and a good organic brown rice. Using about 75% meat, 20 % vegies and 5% brown rice I can make about a months worth at a time and freeze in single servings. Works great when someone else needs to feed him. He also enjoys a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese and some fresh fruit as a midnight snack.
People think it is a lot of work to make your own pet food but the way I do it is fast and easy and only has to be done 10-12 times a year. It is rewarding to see him gobble it up! He eats about 1/2 to 3/4 cup a day in the late afternoon and nibbles on Merricks kibble in between. I also use Merricks canned when I am not making his. He loves Grammy’s Pot Pie and all of the other varieties except anything with fish in it. He didnt even like my home made catfish dinner. Funny because I dont like fish either but he does LOVE chicken which seems to be typical for small breeds. Must be the mild flavor of this comfort food! Who doesnt love chicken and dumplings ?? Except for the vegetarians of course 🙂 Although I was vegan myself for a couple of years and chicken is what I missed the most myself.
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts… I think we are onto something great here! Thanks Brigitte for starting this up.
~Charlie’s mom, Diane
Hi Briarwood Pups
Thanks a million for your comments. I really appreciate them all.
And I’ve bundled you all together because you’re all so on the right track!
Home made dog food rules!
And by saying home made dog food, I include both raw dog food and home cooked dog food.
I hope you’ve all read Kimberley’s post – I love it! I’m sure many breeders think this way, and only give their progeny to people they consider suitable. But it’s always great to hear from a reputable breeder who is also an advocate of holistic dog health and feeding the dogs home made dog food (including my favorite – raw food).
And as for Jean – as Jean points out, she’s an animal healer. She’s located in Australia. So if you happen to live in Australia in the Port Macquarie area in NSW, you can contact Jean at jeanhrose @ optusnet.com.au if you’re interested in her wonderful animal healing service.
A very interesting and informative read, it is amazing how we do get sucked in by commercials that promise health and quality, when in fact it’s not truth and the products only there to line a rich mans/womens pockets with gold.
Thanks for your input.
Firstly, as you know, I don’t claim any expertise in dog nutrition.
So far as I am aware, raw meat is the best main feature of a dog’s diet you can feed your dog. It’s perfectly balanced nutrition, especially if you use organic meat. It should include the bones.
Dogs are not true carnivores, so the addition of some vegetable and fruit is a good idea.
You’re asking me about cooked meat. So far as I know, cooked fresh meat is the next best thing to raw as the basis for a dog’s diet. Again, my understanding is that bones should also be given (although as most people know, you must NEVER give a dog cooked chicken bones).
Young puppies may need added bone meal, but I’m not aware that it’s required for grown dogs.
As for dog treats, you’ve correctly identified that they should only be given as a treat – which by definition means that they should be given occasionally. They should also be given in small quantities (hence the reason why most pre-prepared treats come in small sizes).
Secondly, treats are not necessary (just as human treats like chocolate and cake are not necessary for us). Most people do like to give their dogs treats, because the dogs do seem to find them tasty, and they seem to love them.
There are some healthy dog treats here, if you’re interested.
As to whether dogs can differentiate between plain old dog meals and dog treats – well, my dogs certainly have food preferences. There are certain foods that they absolutely go crazy for (e.g. raw chicken that they get as a meal, and roast chicken that they sometimes get as a treat), and other foods that they seem to eat more because they’re hungry than anything else (their raw lamb and beef bones).
As for “treat”ing your dog with lots of love and good food, I certainly wouldn’t argue with that!
Good morning, thanks for sharing with me on how to keep my dogs healthy, we were very busy for the past few months we are very fortunate that we have these two adorable doggies they seem to understand that we were very busy and they are so obedient and play among themselves only at times when we were home late my Ungayoi would bark at me (maybe he might be asking why are you so late?). We are really sorry we didn’t spend much time with them. I agree with you that home made dog food are really good for them. My two darlings are having home made food I will normally prepare either early in the morning or late at night and keep them in the fridge.
Hey Diane and Tamara,
Thanks for your comments and encouragement!
I think chicken is a favorite with most dogs – not just small dog breeds. It is with my Rottweiler and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They both LOVE chicken!
Cottage cheese is a great supplement for dogs. A couple of spoonsful as Diane suggests every now and again is perfect.
It must be great to be able to make food for your dogs with produce from your own garden, Diane.
Thanks Brigitte for keeping me updated. Im fairly new to the natural way after losing my to beloved doggies 18 months ago to cancer, even though they were old, not the greatest way to go. I am also now studying small animal naturopathy, so im a natural information junkie. Would never never never touch another can or bag of commercial dog food, and also will never vaccinate again. I rescued an old sick dog from the lost dogs home, they were going to put him down and after 10 months he is like a puppy. My younger dog is also in good health and hopefully will stay that way for many years to come.
I’ve been feeding my 11 1/2 yr. old Maltese organic dog food for a couple of years now. I’ve never had any problems with it. She does get chicken and turkey in her diet as well. I feed them to her cooked and mix them in with her eye and joint supplements.
I always look forward to the e-mails with all the good info you provide. The web site is great and I think the blogg format is a great ideal…its always good to hear what people are thinking and doing when it comes to our pets.
I use a dog food now, that I buy online that is distributed by a local family owned kennel that are animal loving folks. Full of good stuff and dosnt have all the bad stuff that we have come to know about sense the recall started..I was shocked at what was in the commercial food..after I started researching things….and I bought a name brand…Ought to be a law, hey our pets are people too you know. I think the people food / natural food is a great ideal. Im a country boy  and thats all our dogs use to get was table scraps…But I am very comfortable with this online dry food that I feed my border collie…Sadee May..Her stool is a 1/3 of what it use to be because of good digestion.
Anyway keep up the great work and will try to let you know about things more..Seems like I let the busy world control me at times and I just read your info and thats it…Ill have to stop in here more and see what folks are saying about our cool pets.
Have a great day!
I am a fan of homecooked diet. There are times that I run out of time for food prep and they spend a few weeks on a commercial diet again (also means their tums don’t just get used to just homemade). I find they stack more weight on with a commercial diet. I just feel I am doing a good thing by giving them their vitamins and nutrients from home food, like we get outs from. They have acidopolis yoghurt every night before bed (someone told me having that last thing at night is best as it is the last thing into your tummy and it eats any baddies on its way through leaving a clean digestive system for the next day). They have supplements with the homecooking – some being omega oils, brewers yeast, kept, dolomite, touch of vitamin c and garlic. I don’t feed pork, mainly meats are chicken, beef, lamb and fish with veges, pastas, rice or kumera (sweet potato) and cottage cheese. Alot of preperation goes into their diet and there are many more foods added than just the ones written above, including home made biscuits for them. I don’t feed bones, when I did it was brisket bones, but with large breed dogs I always worry about choking, would love to feed chicken necks, but they are just too small. I don’t like some vet brands, and with any commercial food I always read the food label to see what it is based on – too many are based on things like corn, or meal – byproducts of meat, many I think are just ‘fillers’ rather than good nutrition for the dog. Each to their own though, above is just what happens in our house, but some of my familys dogs who are on commercial diets full time still have long happy healthy lives.
Read all your mails and really loved the advices it has helped me love my dog much more, I have a doberman bitch she is the most loving dog but very often there is foul smell coming from her I don’t know what to do I really love her but foul smell keeps me away from her .I have very little time to spend after her can you suggest home made remedy to get rid of the smell. Hope you will send some more interesting mails on dogs.THANKS
Hi Bridgett and Fellow Dog & Cat Lovers,
I’ve leaned so much about raising a healthy/happy animals from your articles and linked sources over the past years that I am actually starting my own pet food business. I have a 5 year old. 57 pound Ibizan hound mix named Tosha, Queen and Defender of all the Back Yard. I’m testing my recipes on her and her friends – 2 neighbors’ dogs, a neighbor’s cat, and her cousin – my sister’s dog, Tiffany, a pedigree little ‘yap-yap’ dog that weighs less than 5 pounds. I’m using ground meats – beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, grains such as brown rice, oats, bulgar, and barley. I tried both raw and cooked veggies but I always use raw fruit – usually apples. Even the picky eaters really enjoyed it; the cat especially. My neighbor told me the cat had worms. It was sickly and loosing weight. Since finances are limited going to the vet was her last reserve so I told her I would mix up some remedies for her cat. Because the need was immediate, instead of using fresh fish I used canned salmon that was on hand, a small amount of brown rice (for energy) cooked with lots of water to digest easily, a few cooked greens and some anti-parasitic and de-wroming herbs, i.e. clove, wormwood, black walnut shell tincture and some other things. The cat ate this for a week. My neighbor notice a marked improvement in the cat’s energy and strength after the first 2 days.
I could go on and on about the importance of sound nutrition but I want to respond to Robert Clubine: Feeding your breeding stock more wholesome food will pay off in the long run and it cost about the same or less to prepare their food than using a true high quality commercial food. It will however take more time to do. (That is why I’m starting the business. Many people don’t have that time.) But the holistic food concept is not “Junk and Bull Crap”. The more natural the food source, the easier it is for the body to metabolize it. Feed animals (cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys) given antibiotics, growth hormones, commercial feed made with other animals plus by products and grazing on chemically fertilized grass produce an inferior souce of protein compared to organic raised animals. Ingesting meat with such additives reduces the nutritional value and over all weakens the immune system, the chromosones and the DNA. This is true for humans and wll as pets. Hip dysplasia and other weakness tendencies might be elemenated by better nutrition. For a breeder, isn’t the DNA and gene pool the life line of the business? Diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and cancers that we associate with humans we now commonly hear about in pets. Why? Because we are giving them the processed food we have succumbed to for generations. (Frankly, I think it was pure luck that the melamine found in the contaminated filler use for the pet food that was recalled was not found in human food. But it is just a matter of time.)
So what are the vets doing about the diseases? They are prescribing drugs and medications that have harmful side effects for the life of the pet and preforming costly surgeries. Business are now profiting from the sales of pet health insurance.
Holistic foods, organic foods just like any other non processed food must be fresh or frozen fresh. It is not fast or convenient. Real food is always perishable! Thus, it’s often called living food and that is not a bad thing! Preservatives block and/or destroy most of the the nutritional elements of food. That is why the food takes longer to spoil – its life-giving, cellular maintenance and repair properties are “inhibited”. Empty calories is the term. You will have a stronger, healthier breed by improving their food quality. So in the long run, doesn’t a superior breed have a higher monetary value?
The Wysong company makes human quality foods for animals. They suggest a using variety of foods for a rounded diet. Many vets recommend and use this brand for ailing and recovering pets. Wysong canned products include pure rabbit, venison, beef. The quality is great but it is quite costly.
Detroit Leslie a.k.a. Tosha’s Mom
P.S. Bridgett, Ken- L- Ration, the brand of choice from the fifties was a canned product. I don’t think there were any dry brands. Back then no one stored food in the cans so after opening, the left overs were put into some other container. Plastics were not that popular then either. Lots of families used glass bowls or jars for refridgerator storage. Way too often someone used the dog’s food thinking it was a sandwhich meat spread like deviled ham!
Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, and so glad you’re all giving your dogs home made dog food to a greater or lesser extent.
Robin, I think your family’s dogs being fed commercial dog food are just lucky if they’re living long and healthy lives. Of course some dogs are hardy and will live long lives no matter what (just like with humans – e.g. some heavy smokers live into their 90’s – but not many of them do, and it doesn’t mean that lighting up is healthy). What you’re feeding your dogs is infinitely better, and you’re giving your dogs the BEST CHANCE to live long healthy lives!
Not sure what you’re saying. Does your dog’s skin give off a bad odor, or is it your dog’s breath you’re talking about?
Either way, a healthy diet will help.
You don’t say what you’re feeding your dog, but raw food for your dog or home cooked food for your dog is so much healthier than commercial dog food.
A healthy dog should not smell, and should not have bad breath either.
Thanks for your kind comments. I’m so happy I’ve contributed to your starting your own pet food business with home cooked food! That’s so cool!
I absolutely agree with everything you say about ensuring good nutrition for dogs being bred so as to ensure an optimal DNA and gene pool.
I think what Robert was talking about when he said he thought holistic dog food was crap, was the commercial dog food which is increasingly being labelled as “holistic”. That’s why I said I understood and, in the main, agreed with what he was saying.
And I 100% agree with you that holistic food for dogs (authentic holistic food, that is), is the best food source we can give our dogs. Holistic and organic food that comes from animals not subjected to antibiotics, growth hormones, commercial feed made with other animals plus by-products and grazing on chemically fertilized grass, is of course the ideal food source.
I’m of two minds about Wysong. On the whole it’s undoubtedly one of the better brands. I just have a thing about canned food, for dogs and humans alike. I know that Wysong is highly recommended by some experts. As a canned food, it’s certainly top quality, containing something like 95% meat.
I love the new format! especially with it being interactive.
Thanks for all the great info. You are a real blessing to all of us pet lovers. Keep up the good work.
I have two American Hairless Terriers, one a little over 4 1/2 lbs and the other one almost 6 lbs. Both had problems (skin and allergies) as puppies but thanks to sites such as this they are now healthy. At 14 months old you wouldn’t know it’s the same two dogs!
Thanks for the feedback on the new format. I’m glad you like it!
I’m so glad the information about healthy dog food – home made dog food, and other info, has assisted your dogs to get over their skin problems and allergies.
Could you send me a basic dog food recipe?
I try to read the ingredients very carefully on the commercial food I do buy -but am still concerned.
I’m wondering what I can feed him at home and the quantity to feed a 75 pound dog.
Also, in fixes where you feel it’s necessary to purchase commercial dog food what would you purchase for your pets?
Okay, I’ve posted 2 dog food recipes here – Raw Dog Food Recipe
and here – Home Cooked Dog Food Recipe
If you’re wanting top quality convenience foods, the three I most highly recommend are:
here – Life’s Abundance dog food
here – Sojos dog food mixes
and here – Honest Kitchen dog foods.
For more dog food recipes, check out the Dog Food Recipes.
I’ve been contemplating switching to home made food for my poodle but wasn’t sure how to get started. This is great (and timely) information! I’m still not sure about raw vs. cooked. Any advice is appreciated.
BTW – love the format (blog).
Personally, I prefer raw food for dogs. But many people disagree, or just have a preference for home cooked food for dogs.
Just so long as you don’t go for the vast majority of commercial dog foods, you’ll be on the right track.
I think this is GRATE, you learn something new every day, I always wanted to know about homemade dogfood and commercial dog food, well now I know. I just want to thank you for your help in all you do for are pet,s and for the readers on the healthier dog page. I have 4 dogs,(my babys) and I cant never find a dogfood they want to eat and I know they love what we eat, I didnt think that it was,nt good for them, or they would like to eat it dog are smarter then we think they are. I know I would,nt eat it. lol. so Please KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK your friend Lynn Elgines
I want to thank you very much for sending me information, it is very helpful, such as this one on dog food. I knew there
was a lot of crap put in the food but did not know what exactly, now I do. They dont care what they put into our food so
it does not surprise me that this goes on with pet food. Its all about money!! I’ve been very careful as to what I feed
my pets. I’ve got 3 labs and 2 cats and you can imagine the cost of feeding eveyone. So I do alot of it myself. I
make alot of the food and mix it with a little bit of dry and I make sure there are not by-products in the food. I really
wish people would be more educated, many people think dog food is dog food, all the same!
Tks again, Karen
Thanks for your comments. And what a great job you’re doing with feeding your dogs and cats!
Hello again Brigitte ,
The 1st dry food that you mentioned to Brenda is the one that I use and like so much…Have a great day!
Took our Blue Heeler off that nasty kibble & started easy homecooking for him five months ago. There are NO MORE lumps on his body (Cutaneous Hysteocytosis). He had more lumps than I could count. We are so impressed! His fur is soft & shiney, breath is fresh & he dropped 10 lbs!! I totally recommend homecooking for your fur baby. Keep it simple: cook up brown rice once a week, keep steamed/cooked vegies in fridge & simply add a meat source (hamburger, chicken, sardines, fish, egg). A third of each: rice, vegie & protein. You will be amazed with the changes.
I wanted to ask what you think of my recipe, I feed this to my Rottwielor, Shitzu and Toy Poodle and also add their vitamin supplement once a day, I just want to make sure this is a healthy recipe as I made it up, to make sure there is nothing in it that will harm my doggies.
I sautÃ© 2 garlic cloves(chopped) in about 4 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, In my food processor I chop very fine (minced) about 1 cup each of Fresh Green Beans, Broccoli, Baby Carrots, Swiss Chard, Kale and add to the Olive oil mixture simmer for about 20 minutes then I add 1 can of low sodium chicken broth and simmer again about 10 minutes. I chop 1 sweet potato and add to the mixture with 2 cups of steamed rice. I then add about 8 to 10 pounds of chopped chicken breasts, thighs and liver and add to the mixture. When I serve them dinner I heat up their portion then add a few Tablespoons of Fat Free cottage cheese and maybe 1X a week add a raw egg to the mixture.
Thank you for your time, I just want to make sure I have the right amounts and the right ingredients for my babies.
Your recipe sounds great. The only possible comments I’d make are –
1. Fry the garlic in the olive oil on a medium – not hot – heat destroys nutrients.
2. I’m not sure why you cook the vegetable mixture for 20 minutes – I’d try a much shorter period – you could try 3 to 10 minutes and see how that works (the shorter the cooking period, the greater the retention of nutrients).
3. The low sodium chicken broth you mention – is this a powdered or cubed type stock? If so, I’d try the meal without it. If it’s low sodium it may not be doing any harm, but on the other hand, with all the fresh ingredients you’re using, I’m sure it will taste great without the chicken broth (just use water if you need liquid to cook the sweet potato and rice in).
But these are just minor things. Otherwise, what you’re giving your dogs sounds great!
Thank You Brigitte, anykind of shortcut helps, I have noticed since I have added the vitamins to the meal (I use Missing Link it has al vitiamins needed with Glucosamin with chondrotin w MSM (sp??) my dogs run and play more, my Shitzu is 14 and Toy Poodle is 11 years old the Rott is only 5 years.
Thanks for your advice, and have a Great Day!
Anyone have any suggestions on what to feed a 10yr old diabetic dog? I just found out 3 months ago that my 10yr old dog is diabetic and it has been a hard 3 months. After many infections and trying to find the right level of insulin, we have almost got him back to his old self. The only thing is, he is a very picky eater and since he got sick, all he will eat is boiled check and ground beef and rice. I have him on a dry science diet for 7+ years and he will eat it as long as I put chicken or some other meat or broth in it. I am running out of ideas. I am afraid he is not getting the proper nurtiion. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or recipes.
To the comment about diarrhea dog!!!
Try rice and cooked chicken breast!!!
Kayla, did you get any response re suggestion of what to feed your diabetic dog? I have just found out my old timer of 13 yrs has diabetes. He was a good eater before being diagnosed but now is fading away & I’m at a loss as to how to help him. If you have any advice re food please let me know as I’m worried he may not be getting enough nutrition. Also that his sugar level is up too high. Thanks.
If anyone can offer any advice re feeding a diabetic dog, please do so. Max is over 13 years old and was up until about three weeks ago in very good health. He has lost a lot of weight and some days is very weak. We are seeing the vet every few days & having trouble with his levels which skyrocket then plummet quite low. Vet thinks it is his diet as we have him on insulin twice daily. Max has always loved his fur Mum’s home cooking. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
My 2 babies (rotty x boxer) have been fed good ‘clean’ food since they were pups (now 13yrs young) and have thrived on it. Their food is all home cooked from fresh vegies and meat and only a very small amount of high quality dog biscuits which helps their teeth and keeps their weight stable. (My girl loses too much weight if she only eats the fresh).
Whenever either of them have had an upset stomach, as previously posted here, I feed them plain rice or add a little cooked chicken breast for a few days – it works perfectly.
I know I’m repeating a lot of what has been previously said here sorry, but I will say this:- If you are concerned about the actual health of your dogs, look at the colour of their tongue. It should be bright and pink – too many times I’ve seen friends dogs tongues that are grey in colour and they’re only fed commercial dog food.
Here is Australia there is talk of the commercial dog food containing oxide to colour it – thats the same stuff you use to colour cement!
All the very best to you all
The food recipe you gave was so cool and I think also it will good for my pet also. can you please share some dry food recipes for dog?
Thanks for your feedback! I appreciate it. I’ll add your request to my (very long) list of things to add to the site at some stage 😉