Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pet Food - Back to Basics

This is Maxi our picky eater. (She is not amused in this picture)

After reading Alta's post on Pet Food I find myself a little bit distressed. You see up until 18 months ago, our oldest dog Maxi (9)"NEVER" ate commercial pet food. Being such a little dog, she ate whatever we ate for dinner. A few people told me that I should be feeding her dog food but I didnt see why and indeed at her last check up 18 months ago, other than a slight heart murmur she was perfectly healthy and we could expect her to live for up to 9 years longer.

This is Isabella Pickles aka "Bella" who will eat just about anything!
(including grass, leaves, rocks and just about anything else she can find)

However, after Bella joined the family, we found that there was not always enough left overs to feed them both. So I began supplementing them both with tinned dog food and dry kibble. Maxi has since developed a tumour on her face. Next week she has to go in for an operation to have it removed. The worst thing about it is that because she is old and has a heart murmur, the vet has decided that it is too risky to put her to sleep. He intends to sedate her and give her a local anesthetic and then remove it while she is awake. Bella and Rupert will both be going in on the same day to be desexed.

While I am happy to leave them for the day as is the usual. I am very nervous about leaving Maxi. I would really like to stay and hold her and give her comfort but I dont think that they will let me. Every time I think about it I feel like crying. She is just like one of my kids. If she is in pain she will whimper and cry at me and it breaks my heart. The only alternative though is to leave it on her face, which the vet says is not painful to her at the moment but it could spread and become full blown cancer. I dont want her to die but I dont want to hurt her either. Its so heart wrenching. At least with the children you can explain to them whats going on and they know whats happening to them. She will probably be thinking we are punishing her for some reason. Its just not fair is it?
This is Rupert the Rat who also eats what we eat

Back to the Pet Food. I have decided to start cooking seperately for the dogs when there is not enough or we are eating something they cant eat. Here is a basic recipe that is good for dogs and cheap to make.

One kilo of mince. (beef,lamb or chicken is fine) Pet stores sell cheap versions, I buy the regular stuff)
About 4 cups of rice
A packet of frozen mixed vegies
One Tablespoon of minced garlic
One Onion (I have been told this is bad for dogs but mine have always had it and been okay)
Gravy Mix

Boil the rice and set it aside. Brown the mince, then add the onion (chopped finely) and garlic. Once cooked add the vegies and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add your gravy mix then mix it all with the rice. Once it cools you can seperate it into suitable portions and freeze it till you need it.

This recipe can be changed by using offcuts of meat, liver, kidney or bones and boiling them instead of browning. You can also change the vegies and use whatever you have available or whatever your dog prefers. So that there is plenty of variety. Maxi's favourite food is Spagetti Bolanaise so when we have that I always make extras. It is very inexpensive to make as well. We do still give them kibble occasionally but I buy the top of the line variety (Maxi is fussy!)

For those who dont have time to cook for the animals. Try the organic brands. You'd be surprised how many are out there that are produced in small scale. They cost a bit more but you can actually "SEE" whats in them so know what your pet is eating.

Not to be left out (ever!) here is Mookie who likes to eat seeds and the occasional corn chip!


Alta aka k9 said...

I love the pictures of your pets. They are beautiful. I guess I best be gettin the camera out and showing off our furry kids.
You are so right on target about the pet foods. When we feed processed food to our animals, we are poisoning them. I will post my recipe for homemade dog food. Thank you for sharing your pets with all of us.

Me: said...

I am so soprry abou Maxi, I hope he(she) will be allright. Keep us updated won't you?