Dog food

Now I know I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been making my own dog treats.  The reasons for this are a couple, first he’s on a gluten free diet and that all by itself cuts out over half the treats on the petstore shelf.  The other reason is concern over where the products IN the treats came from. 

Did you know that a company can import partially processed meats and other ingredients, complete the processing here in the USA, and legally put “Made in the USA” on the package?  And unless the package specifically says SOURCED in the USA that is likely whats happening.  Now not all imported ingredients are bad, the only country you REALLY have to watch out for is China, pretty much anywhere else in the world is fine as a food source.  But the problems with products from China never really went away, they just got relegated to “old news” and thus are rarely talked about any more.

Needless to say these concerns didn’t take long to make it over to what he was eating regularly.  Now he was already eating a gluten free kibble specifically recommended by his breeder.  So first off to do some research on them…..and no information on the package or website telling me where their ingredients comes from.  Not cool.  Now true, I can’t find any record of them being involved in any recalls either, BUT their parent company has a reputation for not always handling recalls well with some of their OTHER petfood brands.  Not cool.

So a bit more research and digging around.  I’d prefer to feed a raw diet but worry about making sure he’s getting the right balance of “stuff,” especially since he’s still a growing boy, not to mention the need for someone else in the family to feed him on the occasion we’re on vacation.  Ran across a company called The Honest Kitchen, they make a dehydrated raw dog and cat food.  Hey, they list where their ingredients are from!  Even better, they’re FDA certified for producing food for HUMAN consumption.  Thats right, unlike every other dog food company out there when they say their food is human grade they can prove it.  Thats really cool.  And cost wise, volume for volume its actually a bit cheaper than the equivalent amounts of Taste of the Wild canned foods and kibble.  Thats really cool.

Been feeding The Honest Kitchen’s Embark and Zeal foods for several weeks now and he quite enjoys it.  I’d been supplementing them with raw ground turkey or chicken for variety, when I ran across this post by Heather over at Raised by Wolves.  Now Apollo certainly doesn’t need the extra fat and whatnot that those babies do, but I like the concept of the “meatball” format, make ’em up, freeze ’em, pull out as much as you need for a meal.  Takes a bit more time cause they have to thaw, but not as much as if I was making it from scratch each time.  So I modified the basic recipe to fit my needs:

2lbs ground turkey or chicken
2lbs 90/10 ground beef
2 cups whole oats
a small splash of olive oil
a small dash of molasses
4 eggs
plus whatever else I feel like throwing in (sprinkle of ground dried garlic, a 1/2 cup of grated peperoni, left over cooked turkey, etc)

Mix it all up, use an ice cream scoop to make into meatballs and place onto a parchment or freezer paper lined cookie tray, place tray in freezer till meatballs are frozen (several hours, I just usually leave them over night), move meatballs into ziplock bags, and presto easy, predone supplements for a growing puppy.  And since I was usually making his food several hours ahead of time anyway due to the need to rehydrate it, adding in a meatball or two to thaw isn’t a huge deal.

I have to add, cause someone’s sure to wonder, I’ve tried REPEATEDLY to get my cats onto a raw diet, I highly suspect that it would help Janie’s health problems immensely, but they steadfastly REFUSE.  I keep trying!