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Nov 8, 2004 06:14 PM

Home made dog food recipes?

  • b

Hey all, I'm thinking about making my dog's food since it's getting really expensive to buy him food with all of his food allergies (corn, wheat, soy, rice) which means we're essentially down to raw food (which is going to cost me about $50 a week!) or a few brands of canned food and one or two dry foods I can find. He'd been on a rice and lamb diet until he developed the rice intolerance, and the advice I've gotten is that he might also develop an allergy to potatoe if he gets that too steadily.

So, I was thinking I could make things with barley, oat, quinoa maybe? But I need to make sure it's nurtitionally balanced for him. I know flaxseed oil is a must, and some sort of protein (he shouldn't get more than 25% protein) and some kind of veggie. But I don't know what beyond that to go for.

If anyone has advice on making pooch food that won't drive me into the poorhouse I'll be quite thrilled. Thanks.

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  1. B.A.R.F. and Titers
    BARF - Biologically Arranged Raw Food diet a.k.a. Bones And Raw Food diet. Search the Net - There are numerous sites, articles, books about this. I have a 2 yr. old Labrador Retriever. I chose the BARF diet to keep his weight down. Labs, a.k.a Hoover dogs b/c they are canine vacuum cleaners, tend to be overweight and can have joint issues. And, there is very little nutrition that he needs in all of the components of the carbohydrates in "pet food" that can cause allergies. There are co-ops that provide this type of diet. But I buy the stuff at the super market. I do not spend $50/week! In a nut shell: raw chicken backs & necks (basically cartilage - no hard bones to splinter), raw gizzards, liver, ground turkey/beef, etc. All types of veggies your pet can eat. You'll need to cook the sweet potatoes & carrots. I spend on hour in prep for the month. I make sandwich bag servings for the month. It's not that much work.You could just give your dog a few raw left overs from dinner. I share my vitamins w/my Lab: Vit C & Omega-3. Just dip them in some peanut butter. A few meaty bones (marrow bones) and your done. We should eat so well. :)

    Titers - Testing a dog’s serum antibody titers can prevent overvaccinating
    A blood test to see if your dog is immune to the diseases that we "over" vaccinate our dogs for. This is a real issue when addressing allergies. We over vaccinate which reduces our pet's immune system. A simple blood test will tell you if you need to vaccinate. Many (including myself) give rabbies 2 weeks apart from other vaccines. And, many of us are not vaccinating our older dogs.

    So much has been written about this stuff. Please search the net for information and/or email me and I'll fwd what information I have.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Linda

      What does your vet say about the chicken backs and necks? Even considering the cartilage content, there are enough bones there that I would be uneasy about giving those to my dog.

      1. re: Zorra

        Actually, it's the bone that is critical.

        Without it, the calcium/phosphorous ratios.

        I have small dogs who ADORE their chicken necks. They happily chomp through them. My smaller one is a gulper, so I will sometimes make her eat out of my hand.

        These bones are not problematic unless they are cooked, in which case they can splinter and it becomes a problem.

        Regardless, I recognize that BARF and raw feeding are not for everyone. :-)

        1. re: Fatemeh

          I agree with Linda. We have been feeding our greyhound (a breed notorious for digestive problems a raw diet for over two years and have never ever had a problem. As a matter of fact, he is a totally different dog.
          1)no more doggy smell
          2)no more doggy breath
          3)boundless energy
          4) and this may be my favorite and best evidence of this working; he poops once a day, sometimes twice, and they are not smelly and hard and easy to pick up. (sorry to be so specific, but this is important)

          As far as bones are concerned, I worry about choking, not splintering. My dog has eaten pork necks, hocks, ribs, turkey necks, any part of the chicken and has NEVER had a problem. If your dog can't break it, he will more than likely leave it. That said, I have seen my dog crunch lamb ribs down to nothing. Just supervise your pooch whenever he eats something new.

          Finally, I don't spend 50 bucks a month, and neither should you.

          My dog eats twice a day. The first meal is like a sort of continental breakfast. Some muscle meat (whatever is cheapest, like ground pork or meat) about 3/4 ounces and either and egg or a few ounces of raw liver and a tablespoon of good yogurt, like stonyfield

          Dinner is a meal consisting of about a pound of something that bas bones....and is cheap. I can usually find something on sale if I am in a pinch but it is really worth finding a butcher or farmer's market where you can buy in bulk. We have it down to a science where we pack every 6-8 weeks and then just yank stuff out of the freezer the morning before. That's it.....easy peazy...japaneezy.

          ANY store bought food, no matter how high quality, is nowhere near as good as feeding raw. It's all in the poop and water. Oh yueah, water. Now our guy takes one drink before bed and that is IT! He no longer is in this hydrate/de-hydrate cycle now that he is off kibble.

          The only supplement we gibe is fish-oil tabs. I tab for every 25-30lbs of dog I was told. His last check up the vet wanted to know all about raw feeding after his physical. Finally, and I mean it this time, his teeth are much money with THAT save?

          good luck

          1. re: thegreek

            I am really curious to hear more about this diet. The thought of feeding my dog raw meat turns my stomach (specifically when I think of salmonella and such), but I would like to learn more. Would you please e-mail me with links, books, your own experiences, etc. that have been helpful?

            1. re: thegreek

              I am really curious to hear more about this diet. The thought of feeding my dog raw meat turns my stomach (specifically when I think of salmonella and such), but I would like to learn more. Would you please e-mail me with links, books, your own experiences, etc. that have been helpful?

          2. re: Zorra

            You do need to find a vet that supports this. My vet Dana Bleifer (Google her w/Chesapeake Retrievers, Warner Center Pet Clinic, CA) and her partner Dr. Johnson, are raw food people. Investigating the BARF diet takes some time to understand what it is and then if it's right for you.
            What breed of dog do you have? A tiny one will require cutting up the backs or a Lab like mine that will devour the stuff so he requires some cutting up...:)
            I hold the chicken & turkey necks as my dog chews on them so he won't swallow them. His teeth are beautiful and worth the 30 sec effort 4-5 times per week. These are the only bones he gets to digest, chicken backs (cut up) and necks. The 'meaty bones' are marrow bones - center cut. Nothing else. NEVER cooked bones or any bone that will splinter. Add some liver, gizzards, sardines, and you're on your way...
            Here are a few links to get you started on BARF - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food:
   My friend, Janine, has a terrific web site - which has many dog related links, including the BARF diet:
            Here's another link
            I shop at Trader Joe's - my dog and I share the same vitamins - he gets an Ester C, Omega-3 and Very Green tab every other day or so, 1/2 papaya tab each day is nice if you can remember.
            Surf around and you'll be able to make up your mind...L

            1. re: Linda

              Thanks! My pooch is a monster shar pei (he's about 60 pounds and still looks a little skinny) and he's an extremely aggressive chewer (thos beef pizzle sticks from TJs that take my nieghbor's dog a few days to get through mine has reduced them to nothing but a burp in an hour or so).

              I'm going to consult a puppy nutritionist before I go ahead. He's had so many digestive issues that I don't want to do anything that might upset the delicate balance we seem to have going, and the idea of feeding him chicken bones or fish just seems potentially scary. But I'll definitely bring them up. Thakns.

              1. re: Bunny-Bunny

                Hey Bunny-Bunny,

                Have a full blood panel done also to test his liver function. It's important before starting a raw diet.

                It'll also give you a baseline - our "kids'" bloodwork is so perfect now it's amazing!

                1. re: Fatemeh

                  Good advice, and actually, I did already have that done after he finished the meds he was on for his yeast infections, which can be really hard on the liver, so I can take the results of that to the nutritionist. Thanks again.

          3. re: Linda

            A lot of interesting ideas have been presented...I forgot to mention that I also give my Lab 3 raw eggs w/shells per week. When I think about it - he has a better diet than we do :)
            I feel that you know what's best for your dog - here are a few things to consider:
            There is this site that among other things lays out a daily/weekly barf diet. I think it's very informative - the rest of the site is another story - look beyond that and check out the diet.

            Glucosamine & Chrondroitin - this is interesting - some vets feel that you inhibit your dogs production of the joint elements if you give it as a supplement...

            Back to Titers & Vaccines - here's a copy of an email I received about vaccines:
            Recent editions of the Senior Dogs Project's newsletter have reported on the ever-broadening trend of eliminating vaccinations for adult dogs, except for rabies, where required by state law.

            We have now had a report that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats.

            Here, in a nutshell, are the new guidelines under consideration:
            "Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces immunity,
            which is good for the life of the pet (i.e., canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies
            from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not 'boosted' nor are more memory cells induced.

            "Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines. Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies and kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced.

            "Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress
            rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another
            vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 months) will provide lifetime immunity."

          4. I confess that I am a freak and I love my dogs and often cook and share my meals with them. One of my (our?) favorites is cut up chicken sauteed with veggies-- carrots, peas, squash, and garlic, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. I salt my bowl to taste, the dogs get theirs without added salt. They (we?) also love broiled or baked salmon, they love the skin along with the meat. I thought I read somewhere that onions can cause anemia in some dogs so I avoid them when I'm feeding the pups.

            You may be able to find a brand of canned dog food at your local pet store called "Spot's Stew". It's not cheap but it looks like real food when you open it. Chunks of real chicken and veggies in a gravy. It's good if you just want to feed the dogs quickly.

            6 Replies
            1. re: chococat

              Do they make cat food too?

              1. re: gina

                Spot's Stew has recently come out with a cat food version. I saw it at the pet store the other day! Your cat will just adore you!

                1. re: chococat


                  He'll probably still nip the ends off my take-out pizza slices, though. :b

              2. re: chococat

                Hey there -

                I'm not sure where you are located, but you should be cautious about feeding your pooches salmon from the Pacific Northwest. It can carry rickettsia. (Same goes for Pac NW trout).

                This isn't a problem in canned salmon.

                1. re: Fatemeh

                  Thanks-- I forgot to mention the local salmon problem. We dipnet them ourselves in Alaska.

              3. Here is a link to an interesting article on commercial pet food. After reading it I switched my dog to Flint River Ranch. All human grade ingredients. There are some food recipes at the end.
                It should be noted that about a year after switching to the "good" stuff, my dog died of cancer. Sometimes I guess you just can't stop it.


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