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Home made dog food vs. store bought???

Started 1294875167.523 in Pet Lovers | Last reply 1295146203.333 by dreamytoo

Hello everyone! Wondering if anyone can help make my decision on home made dog food vs. store bought kibble any easier??? I currently have 4 chihuahuas and awaiting the arrival of our new addition. She will be a mastiff probably weighing in over 100 pounds. The reason I am on this home made dog food kick is because of what I have been reading on the internet about store bought kibble. I am sickened by the fact that every vet recommends these popular dog food brands and they consist of nothing but corn and fillers that our pups don't need. Over the summer we rescued one of our chihuahuas and we noticed him scratching a lot. Of course I was afraid he had fleas, but that was eliminated. After a few weeks we noticed he had an awful odor even a few days after I bathed him. We assumed he had allergies so we changed his Purina dog food to Blue Buffalo which is organic and more expensive. After about 2 months of him being on this he still has the itching and the odor. I have read that it could possibly be a yeast infection especially because of the odor. He isn't due to see the vet till summer and I hesitate to take him now because I know they will run test after test after test. I read that most the diseases and illnesses dogs get are because of their diet. I practiced my dog food making this past week with home made dog treats and they loved them. I am just afraid that if I start making their food I may lack the supplements they need. I can guarantee the vet is not going to support my idea. Hopefully, with this forum it will help me make a more educated decision and give me a better insight on what is best for my pups. Thanks!{#emotions_dlg.biggrin}

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MalteseMom­ma1294878672.947292 PostsRegistered 8/15/2006Formally Corgimom

A little while ago we had a great thread going on this,with lots of great ideas.Maybe someone can find it and revive it.We shared and learned a lot.

I cook my own dog food most of the time.It's really easy and I do not even cook for myself.It sure beats worrying when I'm gonna give my furbaby the next contaminated can.

When you reach the end of your rope,you will find the hem of His garment

MoJoV1294887600.0971379 PostsRegistered 10/1/2010

Wow,Luvn, 4 chichs and a Mastiff! That's quite a pack. I have an elderly Boston Terrier and a Dash/MinPin mix. I feed them Royal Canin and I cook ground turkey mixed with brown rice and mix it up. I give them canned green beans for treats (a bean at a time.) They are both healthy and at good weights. Like you, I worry about the junk they sell for pet food. My Boston used to barf a lot ( they are a barfin breed) but since I've been giving him this...no barfin. Good luck with the new pack member and hope you hit on the right mix for them.

There is a natural comfort in the company of creatures.

CrazyDaisy1294888164.131790 PostsRegistered 6/19/2008

There are a number of high quality foods available on the market. There are several web sites that rate and compare them. If you do choose to cook for your pets you can find many books that will provide you with the information you need to prepare balanced meals. It is important to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients.

nunu4u1294888595.538619 PostsRegistered 9/22/2006

You are on the right track! Don't be afraid to cook for and feed your own dogs, people have been doing this for thousands of years. Smile The pet food industry is recent and largely disreputable. You can get more background and recipes from a book on amazon called Food Pets Die For.

We cooked chicken and beef for our dogs, added some kibble and some veg. One prepared pet food they would eat was Fresh Pet Select. Its a roll of real human grade meat in the refrigerator section of some stores or pet stores. Their website will give you locations. It even smells good!

angelsareo­ut1294889393.6976912 PostsRegistered 11/19/2008miami

You sound like you are on the right path. How do you think dogs survived before Purina? get a pressure cooker and do it, and also you can do a bit of both. We buy kibble then add things to it that are good for the dogs. Mostly you just have to get their systems used to it so they arent pooping all over inside, good luck though.

BurbankKate1294889660.2776188 PostsRegistered 11/18/2007Home of: Disney Studios,W. Bros, Nickelodeon, Cartoon network, media capital of the world

I buy the lamb and rice NUTRO natural choice for my dog. It does not have fillers. For wet food, I cook up chicken thighs (which are cheap), I shred them and use that to add to the kibble. It's very cheap that way, and healthier then canned food.

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- A government big enough to give you everything you want, is then strong enough to take everything you have.
- Thomas Jefferson

Glass Lady­ K1294916076.113802 PostsRegistered 11/21/2006Northern California

I too started to make my dogs food. I started doing this when I discovered most of her treats were made in China. I would never trust China for food for me OR my dog.

I found she was getting really bad tooth problems and gas. The food was packaged with a "natural food" label and was supposed to only contain chicken and some inert sounding ingredients but I don't trust them.

I started making her food from chuck roasts with potatoes, carrots,peas and pour this over kibble.

She's doing MUCH better.

When they run you out of town, get out front and make it look like a parade.

Success in life depends on how you handle plan B. Anybody can handle plan A.
Life isn't about how you survive the storm, but how you dance in the rain.

nyc11294917923.331414 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006chicago

We were going to purchase one of the better foods like Wellness or Blue. Our vet recommended HOLISTIC SELECT (not sold at Petsmart, only sold at specialty stores, feed stores, certain vets, OR you can get on Amazon.com and have delievered for FREE), for quality and content. We bought the Giant and Large breed puppy food since we just got an Airedale puppy, who is now 14 weeks old. She LOVES this food, and so far, it loves her too! If you go on line and read the ingredients, I think you'll be VERY IMPRESSED. You can always mix with home made food, but you want to make sure that the pup and doggies get all he nutrition they need. Also, making your own food is very time consuming as a long term commitment. GOOD LUCK with your new arrival and whichever decision you make.

MalteseMom­ma1294930902.817292 PostsRegistered 8/15/2006Formally Corgimom

It is not time consuming to make your own.I put sweet potatoes, veggies and meat all in a slow cooker ,let it simmer all day and thats it.I do it once a week and freeze daily portions.So good I want to eat it myself and I can........lol ... thats whats so good about it. {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

When you reach the end of your rope,you will find the hem of His garment

Emy1294932140.8134064 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Silver Spring, Maryland

Corgi,

I'll try to get that thread going again. First, I have to find it. It was packed with great information.

Emy

Emy1294932435.0374064 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Silver Spring, Maryland

Luv,

The thread is long, but worth the time to read.

Give your new baby a hug for me!

Emy

JLLH3581294962578.95015 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/12/2011 Corgi Mom said:

A little while ago we had a great thread going on this,with lots of great ideas.Maybe someone can find it and revive it.We shared and learned a lot.

I cook my own dog food most of the time.It's really easy and I do not even cook for myself.It sure beats worrying when I'm gonna give my furbaby the next contaminated can.

I've been looking all over for that thread, only to come back to the first page and find someone had already bumped it. Glad it was found!!

JLLH3581294962803.315015 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/12/2011 CrazyDaisy said:

There are a number of high quality foods available on the market. There are several web sites that rate and compare them. If you do choose to cook for your pets you can find many books that will provide you with the information you need to prepare balanced meals. It is important to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients.

Thank you for posting that. That part is vital. I can recommend as one good book to consult, one authored by holistic vet Shawn Messonnier - The Healthy Dog Cookbook. I would be sure to consult books co-authored by holistic vets and/or animal nutritionists to be sure you are getting the right info., luvnpups. It is essential to get the proper amounts of calcium and minerals. HTH! (And I absolutely recommend reading Emy's thread below regarding feeding our babies naturally - when you can.)

luv n pups1295137933.4232 PostsRegistered 1/12/2011

Thank you so much for all of the input! I did order a book written by a holistic vet and it has been VERY interesting. I think I can handle making the dog food, but it is all the supplements that are suggested to add to the food. Can I just buy a multi vitamin at the pet store to take care of this??? The book really goes into depth with supplements and it is worrying me that if I make the dog food will I harm the pups if I don't give them all these vitamins??? Ugh! Homemade just seems so much healthier vs. store bought kibble.

dreamytoo1295139787.2431866 PostsRegistered 11/21/2007
On 1/15/2011 luv n pups said:

Thank you so much for all of the input! I did order a book written by a holistic vet and it has been VERY interesting. I think I can handle making the dog food, but it is all the supplements that are suggested to add to the food. Can I just buy a multi vitamin at the pet store to take care of this??? The book really goes into depth with supplements and it is worrying me that if I make the dog food will I harm the pups if I don't give them all these vitamins??? Ugh! Homemade just seems so much healthier vs. store bought kibble.

I will probably get flamed for my opinion on this...but here goes.

I think you will do fine just adding a good multi vitamin to start. I know how overwhelming it can be when you read those books, all the different vitamins minerals etc. Years ago, before there was dog food, dogs were fed table scraps (by nature they are scavengers). My grandma kept a slop bucket for Wolfy, their dog...Wolfy lived a healthy almost 18 years - never saw a vet in his life, never had any vaccines, etc. Wolfy was a very large dog, most likely at least half timberwolf.

JLLH3581295142603.7435015 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/15/2011 luv n pups said:

Thank you so much for all of the input! I did order a book written by a holistic vet and it has been VERY interesting. I think I can handle making the dog food, but it is all the supplements that are suggested to add to the food. Can I just buy a multi vitamin at the pet store to take care of this??? The book really goes into depth with supplements and it is worrying me that if I make the dog food will I harm the pups if I don't give them all these vitamins??? Ugh! Homemade just seems so much healthier vs. store bought kibble.

I would NOT recommend getting a multi-vitamin for the following reasons: the different vitamins and minerals found in them are not necessarily the needed amounts and the CALCIUM needed is a very specific amount (and you also don't know the source of those different vitamins and minerals). I do not recommend cooking for your pets unless the vitamins, minerals, and calcium are closely and carefully monitored. Holistic vets have found that many of their clients who home-cook have inadvertently harmed their pets by not monitoring these amounts. I know it can be overwhelming, but no, there is no substitute for following the directions carefully. (As for the comparison with formerly feeding table scraps, just because something used to be done doesn't mean it's a good substitute for good food and nothing says those pets "thrived". There's a big difference between "living" and "thriving". As our knowledge of what constitutes good food increases, why should we not do what we know is better?) I would not risk it with my babies.

Having said that, luv, there are some great supplements which do it all - and are careful about the sourcing of the calcium (another concern). One such source is Furoshnikov's Formula:

http://shop.cookforyourdog.com/main.sc;jsessionid=E79108818F4533D2EB41610B2F97903F.qscstrfrnt05

Seems to have it all. HTH.

P.S. I don't know what book you bought, but some are more "dense" and overwhelming than others. Shawn Messonnier's book (cited above) is one I have found to be far less so than some others.

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dreamytoo1295146203.3331866 PostsRegistered 11/21/2007

As I mentioned...start with a good multivitamin supplement, as you feel more comfortable and have done more research you can tweak it. Too much supplementation can be far more damaging than too little over the short term. You can take cues from your dog, the way their coat looks, smells, brightness of eyes, energy level, weight, etc. I have cooked for dogs, but mostly sick dogs, using the guidelines of my Vet....I did cook for a few months after the massive dog food recalls - they loved it, but it became time consuming (I could never keep up with 3 hungry large dogs) and costly. DH thought they were eating better than we were (actually they were) {#emotions_dlg.laugh}.

I have read that egg shell is a great source of calcium, grind them up and add to food. Before the egg recalls I would give my dogs a raw egg to play with every week or two (great outdoor fun LOL). Raw meaty bones are also a good source of calcium, clean the teeth well, and fill that need to chew. Olive oil added to the food, or fish oil, great for skin and coat, vitamin E capsules can be punctured and added in as well.

Try to relax and have fun with it...really your dogs will be fine. Keep reading and researching...

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