Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Taking The Plunge

Yup-I'm going to do it.

For the past year I have been feeding my dogs a very high quality kibble mixed with other foods. This includes meat, vegetables, and broths. I have found that despite being quite lazy, I rather enjoy making food for my (deep breath) I am taking it to the next level and transitioning to feeding an exclusively homemade diet.

The dog refrigerator stocked with ground meat
I should say right off the bat that I believe dogs in this country are very, very lucky. Even the poorest dog in the United States being fed the poorest kibble is at least being fed, while village dogs in other countries must survive on garbage and the occasional unlucky mouse or frog.

But...I have been reading about kibble and manufactured dog food in general and I have become more and more uneasy. My trepidation increased considerably after seeing this short video of an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) official admitting that pet food can contain rendered remains of deceased cats or dogs. Worse yet, there is no way to tell from the label if your pet's food contains these. Now, granted the video was posted to YouTube in 2006 and I have no idea how old it was at that time, but seeing it was enough to turn interest in preparing my own food for my dogs into action.

Today I completed the following steps:

Step One

I bought a spare refrigerator. Pet food takes up a lot of room when you have five dogs. I paid $100 for a used refrigerator in excellent condition. Another $10 delivered it, including dollying the bulky appliance into my dog room.

Step Two

I purchased a guide to homemade diets. For this, I turned to The Whole Dog Journal. The Whole Dog Journal and their unbiased reviews of pet food have been my guide to feeding for years. Dogs do have specific nutritional needs and I want to make sure I will meet these. I have a lot to learn but this short series of guides will give me a good start. I still have two large bags of kibble to go through-this will buy me some time to learn how to prepare my dog's meals while allowing them to transition to a home prepared diet.

Dexter has volunteered his services as a taste tester.
Step Three

I stocked up on containers. I have decided to portion out meals into two servings per day so I bought several reusable containers in various sizes.

Step Four

I paid a visit to my local pet supply store ( I like Bend Pet Express) where I found a variety of frozen organ meats, nicely packaged. This will be my starting point until I feel confident enough to buy my own meat and process it into meals.

Happy Training!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Christina, I'm glad I'm not the only one who cooks a good meal for my dogs...Sometimes they eat better then I do...