Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pet Food: What to Feed Your Dog (How About, Um, Food?)--- Updated

Re: the massive pet food recall which includes Iams, Eukenuba and some 50 more brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food. So, what to feed your dog? My own dog (pug) goes for:
--->1/3 meat (chicken, livers, fish, and/or beef)
--->1/3 starch (rice, tortilla, noodles, potato, oatmeal, barley)
--->1/3 vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, carrot, zuccini, sweet potato--- basically, any cooked vegetable except onion)

Note: some dogs also like to eat fruit such as bananas and apples. (Careful: do NOT give your dogs onions or chocolate, as both are toxic to their systems).

Clearly, dogs can eat our leftovers---- as long as (common sense) the food is not overly spiced or containing onion or chocolate or troublesome little bones. Actually, dogs have always eaten our leftovers. The most unnatural thing is kibble! I don't buy the argument that it's cheaper than homecooked food--- after all, if your dog gets cancer or kidney failure, the vet bills can go well into the triple digits. There's plenty more to say about it.

My pug has been on this diet for 7 years and is in excellent health.

According to Rudi Edelati's Barker's Grub (our recipe Bible) different breeds do better on certain foods. All dogs can eat a wide variety of foods, however, for example, pugs do especially well with barley and beef (very true in our experience). Airedales do especially well with fish, beef, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and oats. Labradors do especially well with fish, poultry, lamb, dairy, wheat, olive oil and green vegetables.

I feed my dog three times a day. The dogs I had before (who died of old age) were fed once per day, and that worked well also. But I think the smaller, more frequent meals are easier on her digestive system.

I throw it all in a big pot and boil it up, then mix, then freeze in plastic tubs (and thaw as needed). I also sometimes cook the meat in the oven. Additional benefit: I find that I end up eating more fresh vegetables and soup myself as a result of cooking for my dog!

Update: Lots of information on the blogs. Read a bit into this one for some very interesting thoughts. She writes, "Am I the only person questioning all these diverse foods being made in the same location? How can a more expensive and theoretically higher quality food be made side-by-side with lesser products? If this one gigantic food plant was making food for all those different companies, then where is the quality control or oversight by the companies whose names are on the cans? Who would be the watchdog to oversee that the origin of the ingredients and their processing wasn't the same for all of them and packaged differently? If each brand was actually being made according to a separate recipe, then what need would there be to recall every can made for every company during a three month period - unless they all shared common ingredients before being labeled and priced differently?" Yeah, well, when I was a little kid my class at school got a tour of the Leslie Salt plant. I saw with my own eyes the same salt go down the conveyor belt into the one blue cannister, and also, into the cannister labeled "organic sea salt" which, as you might suspect, retailed for a higher price.

Update #2: Here's another interesting link about the problems with commercial pet food.

Update #3: Where have we come to as a society when we don't know how to feed our animals? It's Orwellian.