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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Make Your Own Pet Food

DOG FOOD

Due to the continuing pet deaths we're seeing, I am considering making my own dog food. I decided to do some research, and was surprised to find that some people are submitting ideas and recipes that include foods which are poisonous to dogs such as GARLIC, ONIONS, and CHIVES. These contain thiosulfate, which causes Heinz body anemia, a condition that could cause circulating blood cells to burst.

OTHER FOODS THAT MUST BE AVOIDED ARE:

ANIMAL FAT & FRIED FOODS: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis. It's wise to keep fat to a minimal, as it can easily pack the pounds onto your dog and cause further health issues.

AVOCADOS: The fruit, pit and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.

BONES: Despite the fact that our parents always saved a soup bone for Rover, bones can splinter and damage a dog's internal organs. The most dangerous are chicken bones, and fish bones come second. However, it's recommended that you avoid ALL animal bones.

CHOCOLATE: Chocolate contains theobromides, which can cause seizures, coma and death. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromides as humans can do.

COFFEE & TEA: Drinks and foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes.

DAIRY: Use sparingly. Because of it's high fat content, it creates the same problems that animal fat does. However, non-fat or low-fat products are acceptable in small quantities.

GRAPES & RAISINS: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.

MACADAMIA NUTS: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis.

NUTMEG: Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and can lead to death.

PORK: This is a meat that is not easily digested by dogs.

RAW EGGS: Raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning. Since there's no need for raw eggs in a dog's diet, this is easily avoided.

SALT: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems. Since dogs really don't need salt in their food to begin with, it's a needless ingredient.

SEEDS OF APPLES, CHERRIES, PEACHES & SIMILAR FRUIT: The seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, so if you're going to give your dog fruit, make sure there are no seeds present.

TOMATOES: Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR HOMEMADE DOG FOOD

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not carnivores. In fact, like people, they are omnivores. A dog's natural diet should be 40% meat, 30% vegetables, and 30% starch. Meats should NOT be prime cuts such as humans eat. It's a simple waste of money when dogs thrive on the stuff we usually throw away; organ meats. Of course it's fine to use ground turkey, chicken, or beef. But it's important to avoid large cuts that a dog could choke on, and it's unnecessary to spend money on sirloin when low-fat ground beef is as acceptable.

If your dog has a delicate stomach, try a more digestible combination of ground lamb/mutton, boiled and finely mashed vegetables, and rice. Otherwise, any combination of cooked meats, cooked vegetables, and starches (such as ground oats, rice, flour, cornmeal) is a good choice.

CAT FOOD

I know The Lazy Iguana will want a cat food recipe, but cats are carnivores and so the recipe is very simple: Meat.

Although some cat foods contain things other than pure meat, they are not as good for your cats as a pure meat diet. If you are going to make your own cat food, some veterinarians recommend including digestive enzyme supplements in a homemade diet, so check with your vet first.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read a few of the articles on the recall and I think some people are overreacting. I feed my puppy Nutro foods, although MenuFoods does supply some of their wet foods they do not supply any of their dry foods and there is not wheat gluten in any of the dry foods. My puppy only gets dry food as he overeats when its wet food. I had not really been paying attention to the rest of the reports the last few weeks but my roommate kept bugging me to double check since our dog is so little. I really do not think most people have enough information to make food for their pets and I don't think its necessary.

Ange

Saur said...

Ange, I'm not too worried, myself. However, some people are understandably concerned, as the problem continues and additional pet foods are being recalled (including some dry foods). There was a concern that the same flour that is responsible for the problem may have made it into the human food supply, but it seems as if they've changed their mind on that.

United We Lay said...

This is great information, Thanks!!

~Deb said...

They were saying on the news to cook your dog ground beef (fully) but don’t give it bread or anything. It’s scary for pet owners- regarding this food scare. I don’t trust anything that’s processed by factory personally, but then again, you have to wonder how healthy it is when some dogs eat their own feces.

Matt said...

I don't know. Is PETA recommending that people make their own puppy chow? What are the experts saying?

Reminds me of the time I attended a dog's birthday party.

Ed Abbey said...

Well I broke a number of the food rules with my dog Ted and never saw any harmful affects. He ate animal fats, ate bones though they were always large ones, drank Pepsi whenever we took a break, had dairy and some fruits and loved nothing better to gorge himself on dead pigs at a neighboring rendoring pit. I would hated to have limited him to strictly an Old Roy diet. Maybe some of these rules are breed specific?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ed, not breed-specific, but there's no doubt that there are tough dogs that could rival a billy goat in their diet. ;o) Yours was one of them. And I know of some dogs that can eat pork just fine... but others that have diarhhea EVERYwhere afterwards.

Matt, actually, many experts have been recommending this for many years. Personally, I've been too busy/lazy/whatever you want to term it.

Deb, definately we need to thoroughly cook meat. Bread? They probably recommend against it because of the fillers that are often found in commercial breads.

UWL, ;o)

Matt said...

I'm definately concerned about the (lower) animals, myself.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Matt, ;o)

green said...

saur:

I have not dropped anyone from my links list who I regularly read. The only way I drop someone is if they do not post for 3 months or so or if I click on the link and they are no longer blogging.....

You're still there. Look again

Hans said...

Don't consider PETA the experts on animal care. Their recommendation would be to not make Puppy Chow out of puppies.

I've always worked under the assumption that changing their food regularly is hard on the dogs digestion. My own limited research finds this to be true (and messy). After much trial and error I've found that Nutro Large Breed Senior works good for my dog.

What is a real eye opener about this whole affair is that all of these different brands are manufactured by one company. I thought was were spending the extra money for pet store pet food that was better for my dog. Turns out there could be some Ol' Roy in the bag.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Green, oh good! That's the same policy that I have.

Hans, true enough. ;o) That's been my experience, too.

actonbell said...

This is all so scary! I'm just making sure to stay away from wheat gluten, wet food, and certain brands.

Curt said...

I have to say that I am troubled by the number of people out there that are feeding thier dogs incorrectly in a misguided attempt to save them.

First of all meats fed to dogs should not be cooked. Protein strands in cooked meat become tighter leading to a longer digestion process. This results in a greater percentage of wastes expelled from the animal. Meats should be slightly below room temperature and by no means cooked.

Bones are an essential part of a dog's diet. The myth that dogs should not eat bones at all stems from the dangerous practice of feeding dogs cooked bones as table scraps.

Uncooked whole bones are not brittle and do not splinter the way cooked bones do b/c they still have colagen (sp?) in the bones. The bones along with the marrow digest quite well in the dog's system. And the process of actually eating the bones keeps teeth cleaner, free of tartar and generally healthier.

There is no greater danger in feeding your dog eggs due to fear of salmonella than there is in feeding yourself eggs.

Teas are not entirely bad for dogs. In fact there are a number of professional trainers and owners that make green teas a normal part of thier dogs' diets. However personally speaking I can't think of any reason one would NEED to feed tea to a dog.

While pork is not at the top of the list of meat or bones that I feed to my pack there is no particular reason it can't be fed on occassion to add variety to a diet.

Organ meats should be a staple in your dog's diet. As well should be vegetables. However, where meats should not be cooked vegetables do require some cooking.

You have to understand that the cellular structure of vegetables is hard for the dog to digest. In the wild a dog gathers vegetable nutrients from the intestinal contents of it's prey. In that case the matter is predigested. While none of us will predigest veggies for our dog's we can blanch the vegetables. Blanching will begin the celluar breakdown and make a greater amount of the matter digestable.

All of these things come together to form what is called a raw pet food diet. The lifestyle is easy and more in line with what nature intended for our dogs. We have been feeding raw for a number of years and appreciate that there are NO chemicals, NO additives and the health differences are evident in our pack.

Our dogs have better coats, better teeth, smaller (and less stinky stools) and no anal glad problems.

You can Google "raw pet food" but be careful of the term "BARF" (biologically appropriate raw food or bones and raw food depending on who yiu ask). Some BARF products are actually not raw at all and are more like processed lunch meat.

We get all of our supplies from Oma's Pride through http://www.thedinnerbowl.com and it is super easy. Plus the meat is all human grade. There is sure to be a raw supplier where ever you may live. And it's alot cheaper than Krogers!

Raw is not at all new but these news stories are making it more main stream. I just hope that good intentioned people don't hurt thier pets by accident.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Saur - I checked and all the foods my cats were eating were wheat gluten free. The kitten has been on Iams kitten food and the fat cat (and my default the rest of the adult cats who are not fat) were eating Nutro reduced calorie food for fat cats. Also wheat gluten free.

Publix brand dry dog food is also wheat gluten free.

Now I did run out of Nutro and the place I get it from in not that close - so I got Purina One. It has wheat gluten. Purina has not recalled it and stands by the assertion that it is safe - but when I checked the label I stopped using it and went back to the store for Iams.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Curt, I'm familiar with the ideas you present. There is no doubt that there are some dog owners that would agree with you very strongly. However, when I researched the raw food movement for dogs, I discovered that there are more experts and vets that disagree with you.

Of course some of the guidelines are written to protect the simplistic, foolish person. I will agree that green tea can't hurt a dog (or at least, so we currently believe) but anything caffeinated is bound to harm them because they cannot metabolize it as we do.

You are correct that uncooked bones are better. But, then how do you protect the dog from the foolish owner that leaves it out, with meat attached, so that it contracts bacterium that lead to food poisoning? And, although most large bones don't splinter, some DO. If an owner isn't watching constantly, he won't know until it's too late.

As for eggs, as you might notice, I said RAW eggs are bad, and they are (just as they are for us) BUT since the dog's intestinal tract is shorter than ours, he is more susceptible to food poisoning than we are. So not only are raw eggs bad, they are potentially life threatening. Of course COOKED eggs are fine.

No matter what the case, dogs evolved to be omnivorous so that they could best make use of the scraps that came from their master's table. When they get fat or unhealthy, it's usually because we would also get fat or unhealthy on what they're eating. Of course, as I point out, there are some foods they definately CANNOT eat. However, for the most part, they can eat as we do.

Acton Bell, isn't it?

Lazy, interesting!!!

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

I don't think Smellie Dos has to worry about this, she eats anything. And if it doesn't agree with her she spews it out on the carpet. I guess there are advantages to adopting a stray.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Senor, That's why I'm eliminating carpets. :P

The Lazy Iguana said...

I fed a dog some extra super rare tuna I was eating. The dog barfed, ate the barf, barfed again, ate it again, then had liquid poop all over the place.

The extra super rare tuna did not cause me any problems at all.

How to dogs in Japan survive?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, I didn't know you had a dog(?) Where've *I* been? Yeah, they really like eating vomit and poop. It makes me wonder how they survived... and I don't mean that I wonder how they survived without dying of the mung. I mean, I wonder how it is that people didn't kill them for that a long time ago. Bleah!

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Thanks for posting about this. It was and still is a horrific tragedy! My Mum always fed her dogs from the table food rather than pet food and believes that`s what made them live longer than these days. I think old Teddy cat has lived as long as he has due to having access to hunting. I hate the fact that they kill such sweet creatures, but also believe that`s what keeps them thriving. I never knew that dogs weren`t carnivores!! Amazing facts here :)

tea
xo

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Jenn said...

I didn't know about the avocado.

My dog's been getting organic dry food, so I think he's safe.