Friday, July 25, 2014

Dog Food

We decided to look at our dog food when our family pet, Bosley began displaying weird behavior.  He was lethargic, he seemed sad (yes I said sad), he was shedding more than usual, he just was not himself :-(
We thought that it must be either something environmental or nutritional.

We were not giving him table food or too many treats. 
He only got maybe 2 treats a week. We were feeding him an expensive "organic", grain free brand of dog food.
Since we use non-toxic cleaners from Shaklee, we knew it was not a toxin from exposure to cleaners. 
We looked at our back yard thinking maybe he ingested something, we found nothing.
We even kept him from the groomer for couple months, thinking maybe it was something he was getting washed with.
After a trip to the vet, blood work and a physical, not even the Vet could find anything notable.
Then, I had an ah-ha moment (or should I say a "smack myself on the forehead moment"…DUH!), it had to be nutritional. 
After my own experience with food and supplements it should have been much clearer that what he was feeling was from what he was eating.
This prompted me to do some research, I learned that many of the commercial brands on the market used euthanized animals in their "proprietary" blend of protein. Disgusting! 
On top of the fact that euthanization is horrible to begin with, this means that the toxins in the deceased animals are being ingested by our pets! Slowly killing them.
Time to find another dog food!!
I did find a few brands that seemed safer that Bosley would eat, 
but he was not excited about it and his symptoms did not improve.  
So, back to research and how to make our own dog food. 
I found several recipes that included long hours of prepping & cooking, who has time for that? Certainly not me!
Here is a simple recipe that Bosley runs to the kitchen for every day!

Disclaimer: I am not the best at detailing actual amounts because I determine how much of something I need as I am making things. 
I know not very helpful, so you may need to tweak this just a bit. 
If too dry add water, small amounts at a time.
3-4 lbs Ground Turkey 
(I chose turkey because it is much easier to digest than beef or bison, but you can use whichever you like. Chicken would be great too!)
(follow cooking directions on rice, we use the GETCLEAN water)
Broccoli & Cauliflower 
(about 1 lb each, frozen works too!)
TIP - add green beans for variety 
Brown Rice 
(1-2 cups uncooked)
Garlic Tabs 
(see chart)

Start with cooking meat in a deep pot.
Add water 
(the amount you need to cook the rice, typically 2cps per 1cp uncooked rice).
Add rice & garlic tabs, cook for about 10 minutes.
(garlic tabs will dissolve as rice cooks)
Add vegetables and cook until water is absorbed by rice.

This is the part that may get tricky, if the water is absorbed but the rid is still hard, add more water, 
continue cooking until rice is cooked.
Once it is done (possibly 30 minutes from start to finish!), let cool covered.
 (you don't want the rice to get hard/dried out)
Once it is cooked, scoop into individual containers 

(I used snack size bags, I'm on the hunt for mini glass containers!)

I found a special place to store the doggy food! 

On the door right next to the homemade frozen jam and the "boo-boo" ice packs!

I take one bag out daily and let sit on the counter top until it is time to feed Bosley later in the day.
He comes running when he can hear the bag being opened (super sonic hearing!!)

COST? The cost is based upon how much you pay for the ingredients, I estimated mine cost about $9 a week since most of the ingredients are organic & fresh.
{Pet food is a billion dollar business, so I am not sure where all that money goes (its not in the quality), but this food cost about half as much as commercial brands do & this is homemade which means you know exactly what is in it!}

Garlic & Pets?
“Garlic comes from the Allium family, and counts onions, leeks, chives, and shallots as relatives. Onions, and to a lesser degree garlic, contains a compound called n-propyldisulfide. This compound can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells when taken in large enough doses. The effect creates Heinz bodies and the body will reject these cells from the bloodstream. After injecting large amounts over a long period of time, it can lead to anemia and even death.”
Garlic has had a bad reputation with dogs for a while after there was a study that showed an effect on the red blood cells of dogs, however the study also indicated no signs or symptoms of toxicity. Very confusing, so what we do is go with history. Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicinal aid by humans, so why not canines? 
In fact we take the Garlic Tabs daily and increase at the first sign of illness.
They are also great to crush and sprinkle on food. Since I know that with Shaklee they are safe and are going to be the purest (even better than organic), I have no issues giving these to my family or our pet.

Here’s a guide on the garlic levels safe for dogs per day, based on a dog’s weight:
Fresh Garlic 
*from The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Pitcairn
10 to 15 pounds = .5 clove
20 to 40 pounds = 1 clove
45 to 70 pounds = 2 cloves
75 to 90 pounds = 2.5 cloves
100 pounds or more = 3 cloves
{note: one Shaklee Garlic tab = 1 raw garlic clove}
Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Garlic 
The reason why garlic is added to dog food and treats is because it has many health benefits. Even if you’re not sure about dogs and garlic, and decide to start with a very low amount, your dog will still reap the health rewards. Its main claim to fame is the benefit it has on a dog’s digestive tract. But there are lots of other wonderful health reasons why garlic can help your dog:
Tick/Flea Repellent
 It won’t kill the fleas and ticks, but those little buggers don’t like the taste of it. One sniff and they’ll be making their way off your dog.
Immune System Boost
 Garlic has proven to do wonders with dogs with suppressed immune systems and as well has those fighting cancer. It gives a boost to bloodstream cells that kill bad microbes and cancer cells.
Liver Boost
 Garlic is known to have detoxifying effects, which can help the liver get rid of toxins from the body.

Fights Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal Infections 
Bacteria, virus and fungi are no match for garlic! With its potent antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, it fights parasites and protozoan organisms as well.
Lowers Blood Cholesterol and Triglyceride
 Mix the proper dose of uncooked garlic with your dog’s food and it can help lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cardiovascular Boost
 Wonderful in older and overweight dogs, garlic can prevent blood clots, and reduce cholesterol levels and fat build up in the arteries.
Now he is happier, full of energy, and has his SPRITE back!
His coat is shiny and he is no longer shedding like crazy.

Give this a try, your pet will thank you with lots of cuddles!

Stacey & Bosley!

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