Sunday, October 17, 2010

Now we're cookin'

Let's talk dog food.

As you might recall, in July Clover's kidney levels were elevated. After a discussion with the vet(s), he was moved off his no-grain, higher protein food. Please note that I think higher protein foods are fine; I personally believe that 40% protein or more is pretty absurd for a toy dog, but I was feeding Wellness CORE which was around 32%. However, his older and weaker kidneys seemed stressed, so we switched.

He'd been on no-grain food because we thought he had a grain allergy. But he'd since been diagnosed with year-round environmental allergies, so we thought that moving him back to regular wellness dog food (which has healthful grains like oatmeal and barley, not filler grains like corn) would be all right.

Apparently, Clover is pretty allergic to grain. Whoops. His oinking got worse again, and he was so itchy that even petting him made him pick up his hind leg and scratch. Even when he was on grain-free food before, I was kind of lazy in that he still ate treats and canned food with grain in it. I clearly had to cut all of this out.

So I did some research and asked for some input and Clover is now on what must be the only moderate-protein grain-free food in the world, Taste of the Wild (the salmon variety). Check. Wellness makes grain-free biscuts that he likes. Check.

But grain-free canned dog food costs almost $3 a can. (I picked up a case of high-end but healthful-grain cans at Job Lot for $1 each, and with some sale searching I usually find about the same).

As I stood their looking at a 200% increase, I thought, "It has to be cheaper to make this."

So I did.
  • Pork (three organic boneless chops)
  • Apples
  • Fresh frozen green beans and carrots
  • Cottage cheese
  • Parsley
  • Dried Seaweed
  • Olive oil
I had seaweed and olive oil. Everything else cost me about $20 at Trader Joe's. I cooked the meat, cubed everything, and threw it in the food processor with some water. The result does indeed look like canned dog food.

I refrigerated some and froze some. We'll see how long it lasts and do a cost-benefit analysis.

When I offered Clover a taste on a spoon, his eyes literally bugged out like a cartoon character. I'm lucky I didn't lose the spoon.

Note that I used canned food for supplemental feeding only. Please discuss diet changes with your vet or qualified pet nutritionist.

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