For Jeangenie, and anyone else interested.
We've had several dogs over the years, mostly rescue dogs. As children both husband and I had dogs at home too, cats as well. When I was a child, the family dogs were mostly fed on table scraps, with the occasional tin of dog food. The dogs husband and I previously had were all given tinned or dried dog food.
I've been making dog food since our lovely Betty was a puppy.....when we first got her I did a lot of reading up on commercial dog foods. She wasn't a rescue dog, she cost us a lot of money from a breeder, and I wanted her to have as healthy and happy a life as possible. I was quite shocked at the amount of rubbish (cheap, unhealthy ingredients used to pad out the food) in some commercial dog foods, and found no end of evidence to show that dogs' behaviour, as well as their health, can be adversely affected by cheap nasty dog food with little nutritional value. Betty is a mix of two breeds (mother a SharPei, father an English Bulldog) that can both have certain health problems, although the (very reputable and licenced) breeder we got Betty from has been selectively breeding the pups to try and minimise the health risks. Being a brachycephalic dog (short flat nosed and wrinkly face) means some of them have breathing difficulties - Betty doesn't, although her muzzle is short and fairly wide, she's not flat-faced like her father the Bulldog, although even he didn't have a completely flat face. She does snore quite a bit though! Some wrinkly dogs can also have eye problems - their eyelids are so wrinkly that they can droop and even turn inwards, meaning the lashes constantly irritate the eyeball.....they can also get cherry eye, a red bulge in the corner of the eye. Betty suffers none of that, her eyelids and eyes are perfectly fine. Her only health problem is that she does have recurring ear infections, caused by her ears being small and very hairy inside, meaning there's not much air flow to keep the inside of her ears clean. We clean her ears and keep an eye on her and take her to the vets whenever we notice an ear infection starting (2 or 3 times a year).
Anyway, to get back to the food.....we feed her good quality commercial food (high meat content with vegetables but no artificial ingredients) every other day, on the in between days she gets home made food and some kibble. I make the food very simply and easily - it's just minced chicken, lamb or beef (bought frozen from the big well known pet food store). I cook it up in a big pan on the hob with a splash of oil, with some dried parsley. At the same time I boil some veg - cauliflower, broccoli, squash or carrots usually - until soft, then roughly mash them. I mix the veg in with the cooked mince, adding in some of the veg cooking water, a couple of beaten eggs sometimes, or a sprinkle of grated cheese. I used to add some cooked brown rice but no longer do that, as Betty gets allergies and itchy skin sometimes, so I now try to give her a grain-free diet. Someone told me some weeks ago that dogs can be allergic to chicken - I'd not heard of that, but did a bit of research and found it is possible. I cut chicken entirely out of her diet as an experiment for a few weeks.....it made no difference to her itchiness, so she's clearly not allergic to chicken. So I now give her chicken again, as she loves it. I make about 6 days' worth of meals at a time, freezing them in 1-meal sized portions. (I think, as does our vet, that her itchiness is probably an allergy to the chemicals our farmer landlords spray on their crops).
Occasionally we give her fish, which she also loves - either tinned sardines or tuna in oil, or cooked fish if we're having cod, haddock or salmon. She generally has fish once or maybe twice a week, again with a little kibble. We still give her kibble or commercial dog food every other day as they contain all the minerals and vitamins necessary for her, meaning I don't have to add things to her home made food to make up for any mineral/vitamin deficiencies in the fresh food I make for her. She also gets a bit of our cooked chicken or other roast meats sometimes, although I don't give her things like sausages or burgers - unless I've made them myself and know exactly what's in them.
I stress that this is only what I do, for MY dog - I'm not advocating it's suitable for other dogs. Betty is a healthy happy 5 year old dog who loves all her home made food and licks her dish clean every time.
It sounds like she has a great diet and if it suits her that's all that matters. We have had to react to all our various animals little foibles and diet preferences over time and it's been fun watching the likes and dislikes of them allReplyDelete
Sophie, the Border Collie hated anything she thought might be a pea and would pick green flecks out of her dried food and place them carefully on the floor, and the only food she really enjoyed was Whiskas canned cat food in any flavour.
Ginger the cat will not eat tinned or pouched cat foods and eats a can of tuna every day for his breakfast and has 24 hour access to dried cat food for the necessary vitamins and minerals ... of and he LOVES the dogs dried dog food so has some with his tuna every day.
Mavis will only eat if we sit still and everything is nice and quiet, and if her dog tag touches the dish she stops immediately.
It's a good job we love them all to bits isn't it.
Haha Betty doesn't like peas either, she leaves them on her dish, but will happily eat other veggies.Delete
Fabulous thank you so much that’s very informative … has given me so much help… my Scruffy is Cockerpoo and was a rescue puppy 10 3/4 years ago he is now 11 ..but has started to have so many problems with itchy skin and ear infections …vet said ears are a yeast infection and try different food .. so will be trying as you suggested ..so grateful to you replying to my question have a good evening look forward to reading your daily post tomorrow xxReplyDelete
You're most welcome. I hope you find a different diet helps your Scruffy. Going grain free I think has helped with Betty's itchy skin.Delete
It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with Betty's diet.ReplyDelete
No pets for us anymore (can't face that awful, final visit to the vet), but oh, the things we do for our beloved fur babies! We used to have a cat who loved crisps, and could hear a bag being opened from miles away. Ever tried eating crisps quietly? LOL. xxReplyDelete
Crisps haha! Yes I know what you mean about the final vet visit, it is horrible. I hope we won't have to face it for a few years yet. xxDelete
We buy quality cat food online for our lot but at the moment they are completely out of stock due to the container problems, they get their new stock in on Jan 4th. good job I have a load of boxes already. I think a lot of the pet food in the stores is utter rubbish and like you I was appalled when I read what goes into it.ReplyDelete
Husband sometimes says Betty gets fed better than him lol (no she doesn't!).Delete