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Chow for chowhounders' hounds

  • w

I have three Aussies and a little dachshund. I feed them dry dog food, Beneful, supposed to be healthy, mixed with a little wet dogfood. They'll eat the dry, but they like the wet better of course. What they really want is my food! Of course they do! My food is better tasting than theirs. I feel bad for them! Sometimes I'll boil a chicken for them, rip it into lovely juicy pieces and serve it for dinner. The dogs are in heaven! Once, I made slow cooked scrambled eggs for them. Beautiful, creamy eggs. The dogs watched me like I was a cooking show, frantic for the eggs. They loved them! I will give them little pieces of raw beef when I'm chopping it for stew or stir fry. I know they cannot have certain foods, like onion, grapes, chocolate..... they like cheese, they love milk (not supposed to give it to them), bean soup, they love pizza and will steal one if they have any opportunity. Once, the little dachshund stole a whole pizza and ate it. Unbelievable. The doxie wiill also dive into my bowl of Thai curry, onto which I have generously sprinkled diced thai chilis and it is hotter than most humans can tolerate. She loves it. So what do other food lovers who are also dog lovers do for their doggies?

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  1. We set aside a little "scrap cup" at the edge of our dining table, and place a few morsels of our dinner in it for our American Eskimo, Gretchen. She hovers at the table, eagerly anticipating her scrap cup. In a sense, Gretchen dines with us.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Perilagu Khan

      Perilagu,

      I like the idea of dining together and if you don't have any behavioral problems with Gretchen, why not? My dogs are a handful. We went through a training course and I know all about my responsibilities to be the Alpha. I'm not supposed to let them sleep with me. I'm supposed to put them in the stay position during dinner and make them sit without getting up while we eat. I don't do that but I get it. But it's hard.

      1. re: Willa

        Oh, pshaw. That's actually a pretty old fashioned method of dog training, the whole "alpha" thing, and not letting them sleep with you. It's like parenting, there's not only way, and new methods come and go; don't feel bad if you like your dogs to sleep with you. Mine do to no ill effect.

        1. re: christy319

          Love your response and thank you, christy319! I'm temporarily living with my sister and I have my own room with a day bed and pop up trundle. Every night, the trundle comes out and pops up. We all have nice pillows and comforters. Two doggies are on the trundle. The other two are in my sister's room.

    2. Hi Willa,

      There are a bunch of cool threads like this on "Not About Food"...though of course, this and the other threads *are* about food for the furry ones we love. I think the mods might move this!

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        Thanks, Pinehurst. I'll check out the other threads. But you're right, this is definitely a food topic. For example, let's talk about the gaeng pa curry that the little dog stuck her face in and gobbled when I looked away for a minute. Is it okay to let her eat thai chilis? She didn't even seem to notice the heat! I'm inclined to keep her away from that kind of spice because I don't want to clean up any messes if she has a problem with it. And I would think it would hurt her! It hurts me! But I like that kind of pain!

        1. re: Willa

          I am more apt to let Ben be adventurous with foods that I cook---then, I know every single ingredient.

          That said, I like to make simpler homecooked things for Ben--meals with one or two ingredients, like chicken and egg, or canned salmon with a little minced raw carrot.

      2. I grill for my three dogs 365 days a year. Yes I was out there in Hurricane Sandy grilling Turkey thighs for the dogs. The grilled meat is mixed with a minimum of Purina One Healthy Weight dry food.
        I grill poultry, beef, lamb and veal for the dogs all the time. They do not care for meat cooked inside on the stove.

        BTW>>>My late Greyhound, Bailey (see avatar) was a victim of the fake Chinese Wheat gluten in Beneful about 4 years ago. Kidney failure, painful death and $8K in vet bills, I'll never feed Beneful to another animal as long as I live.

        10 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          I didn't know Benefu was the brand involved in the Chinese Wheat gluten tragedy! I didn't have all of these dogs at the time and I guess I missed it. On no! The reason I wrote this, in addition to my strong feeling that the dogs deserve better meals, is that the new giant bag of dry beneful looks like it has strange webs of something in it. Like paper thin dried caul fat. Good for you to take such loving care of your dogs! I'm dropping Beneful as of today. Thanks, bagelman01! Do you give the dogs anything but meat and Purina? Cheese? Grains? Legumes?

          1. re: Willa

            my dogs eat their share of lmost anything we are eating exept, grapes, raisins, dark chocolate and lox

            1. re: Willa

              As near as I can determine Beneful was not on the Chinese gluten recall list. Most of the brands on the list were store brands.

              1. re: johnb

                Not every brand that used the fake gluten were on a recall list. In this case it was Beneful small bites that did in our greyhound. Unfortunately, I have the laboratory tests to prove it.
                This was NOT Beneful's fault, they were duped by a dishonest factory operator in China (who later committed suicide).

                1. re: bagelman01

                  If they had used it, why were they not on the recall list?

                  1. re: johnb

                    You would have to query the government agency that made the list. I now that Beneful was very quick to make me a settlement offer (disclosure: I'm an attorney) of $5K to cover vet bills (problem was bills exceeded $8K). But, since animals (even those we consider part of the family) are considered goods under the law, Beneful's real liability was for the cost of replacing the dog and reasonable vet care to save it's life.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      I'm sorry about what happened to your dog -- I have sight hounds myself (Irish Wolfhounds), and certainly can appreciate the hardship of the loss of any pet.

                      That said, as an attorney you would understand that companies in situations like that make settlement offers for many reasons, sometimes even though they may not be culpable. Having done some research on the topic, it appears to me that at most very very few Beneful products were contaminated; Nestle Purina did in fact recall two products, neither of them in the Beneful line (one Mighty Dog and one a particular Alpo Prime Cuts canned food). If there actually was any Beneful that was contaminated, it is unclear to me why they wouldn't have recalled it as well, but I have been unable to find any corroboration that there was or that they did.

                      The vast majority of the problem eminated from a single factory in Canada operated by Menu Foods, which produced a wide range of pet foods under dozens of labels, little of it for Purina (see above). I think that painting all of Beneful's products with the broad brush you have is unfair to them and to other readers of this thread, who may be left with the highly incorrect impression that it was Beneful brand products that largely led to the pet deaths, a conclusion that would be far from accurate as will be clear to anyone who checks out the history of this very unfortunate episode.

                      1. re: johnb

                        I only refer to the death of ONE dog and the food she ate and MY decision never to use the brand again. I do not advocate that others follow my decision. It is for individual choice.

            2. re: bagelman01

              That's very sad about your Greyhound. I will only feed my dogs food sold by a local chain here called Mud Bay--it's kind of a Whole Foods in that they only sell "natural" dog and cat foods. The employees are very knowledgable about foods and they don't sell anything that comes from China. It seems like I can't pick up a paper without reading about another dog food or treat recall, and it's all crap sold at regular grocery stores or cheaper pet stores.

              There is a lot of info online about how to look at pet food ingredient lists and determine if its a good quality food. Your vet can help too. Hopefully it goes without saying that meat should be the first ingredient. I find it very hard to believe Purina produces anything good quality.

              I am also a big believer in scraps. Dog evolved into dogs by eating our scraps! A diet of only kibble is so sad.

              1. re: christy319

                I'm not adverse to made in China, our youngest daughter is from there. I am against fraud anf adulerated food no matter where it is made.

                Vets, like doctors are not nutritionists they push the brands they sell.

            3. We have two dogs. One is a total beggar and is always underfoot in the kitchen, looking for dropped items. I'm don't feed while I'm cooking nor hand over table food but my husband does so the dogs know to shadow him. I do like to buy giblets and quick cook them, chop and mix with their pricey natural dry food. They also sometimes get scrambled eggs, mashed butternut squash, and chicken. All are appreciated. And, they both sleep in the bed with the humans. Spoiled, yes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: tcamp

                Ben also sleeps in the bed, with his long legs and enormous feeties. He snores and steals blankets, and occasionally drags one off the bed to the couch around 3am, where he crashes for the rest of his beauty sleep.

                1. re: tcamp

                  I'm so happy to read all of these responses! Giblets! Very good idea. Turkey legs. Inexpensive. I love the idea that the "alpha" training is not the only way to go. I lost my fiance to lung cancer last December and since then, my aussies and I have been living with my sister, her aussie and her doxie for most of the last year. Can't stay in my own house yet, too empty and sad. So I'm the dog lady and I love them all. I have worried about my two doggies and really all of them because the four dog pack is sometimes difficult and because my two are traumatized by the loss of their "father". So we have bonded more than ever. They are family. I am on my way upstairs right now to change the sheets on our beds and fluff the pillows and comforters.

                2. My dog passed last year, but when she was a pup, we never fed her human food, or items associated with what we ate. She never associated the two and never begged. Then one day we boarded her when we had to go out of town, and when we came back, she knew that she could eat what we ate....

                  Anyway, I varied what she ate. Sometimes it was dry kibbles. Sometimes it was ground raw de-boned meat (mostly chicken and turkey, but sometimes lamb, beef, pork) with a little bit of diced organs like heart, kidney, stomach, sometimes liver, also with a little pulped veggies, like kale. When serving larger cubes of red meat, I would sometimes pan sear the outside. All the meats were bought in bulk from a butcher and frozen in individual serving sizes. In the end, especially after adding in the offal, it was not that much more expensive than the fancier kibble or commercial wet food.