A little while ago, I posted about replacing commercial dog food with homemade meals for our dogs, and included the recipe that I started out with. After receiving some great advice from readers and friends, reading up a bit more about canine nutrition, and paying close attention to my dogs, I’ve made a few changes to that first recipe of mine.
To begin with, now I use more sweet potato and less potato, more carrots and less apple, and more raw meats/fish. I cut out tuna due to concerns about mercury, and have replaced that with salmon, sardines, sole and herring. I was feeling that fish alone wasn’t enough animal protein, so I checked out the meat aisle in the grocery store (I have never in my life shopped in the meat section of the store! It was a strange experience…). There is a section of the cooler that is full of deals, 30% off and so forth, so I stocked up on some chicken legs and ham. Now, in the morning the dogs will get a raw chicken leg with bone or a chunk of raw ham. In the evening they get their rice mix (with the tweaks I mentioned above), topped with fish, flax oil, and a scoop of cottage cheese. I still throw a raw egg in there from time to time, as well, and mix in the broken shells for added calcium.
On their new diet, the dogs have shown some awesome changes. They have more focused energy (as opposed to hyperactive, unfocused wildness), seem better able to follow through on commands, and have brighter eyes. Their fur is shining and so soft. Oddler, 11 years old next month, had been suffering from a bad arthritic limp that has now completely disappeared (he had been nearly unable to walk some days, before the diet change). They sleep better and poop less – and, speaking of poop, their stools are smaller than they’ve ever been, not much bigger than our cat’s poop! This tells me they are absorbing most of the nutrition from their food, instead of taking in lots of fillers that pass right through them and come out as large stools.
So, I think it’s safe to say that the dogs are thriving on their new diet. They exude health. It’s easier on our wallets and life is just all-around better for everyone!