Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cooking For Your Dog on a Budget

For those that have been following this blog, you have seen me posting recipes for what we feed our dog, a total holistic, home style diet. I have heard for a long time from some that they would never be able to afford to do this, I myself use to think the very same thing, thinking how pricey it would be compared to buying the commercial foods. It may surprise  you however it does not cost me any more a month than it would to buy the generic commercial foods that are probably the worst thing you could feed a dog when it comes to commercial foods.

While the lamb and rice versions are better for a dog, if you check the labels they still have Carmel coloring in them, or use large amounts of corn as a filler and most dog foods use meat by products not fit for human consumption. Many commercial dog foods are no better for a dog than the highly processed foods we eat. It is no wonder as we start to review our healthy eating habits, we also start to review the foods we feed our pets as we all move towards awareness of what we put in our bodies. We want our pets to be as healthy as possible to when we realize what we have been putting into our bodies! 

There is a huge rise in pet owners switching their dogs over to a home style diet for this reason! Some of what we feed our dog here is A Dogs Chicken Stew  , Natural Dog Food #2 and Homemade Treats.

I have found what we feed her are things I typically buy for the family and have in the house all the time anyways. The things that would be on a grocery list for our dog would be:

Home style Dog Food Grocery List

Brown Rice
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Fresh Carrots
Frozen Green Beans
Chicken Bullion
Beef Bullion
Peanut Butter
Whole Wheat
Brewers Yeast tablets
Cod Liver Oil Soft Gel tablets

Rye Flour
Whole Wheat Flour

When feeding a dog a home style diet, they need 40% protein, 30% veggies/fruits and 30% grains/starches

I cook up a Batch of the Chicken Stew  about once a week which gives her her dinners and a couple of lunches.

Breakfast and lunches are things like a bowl of oatmeal or whole wheat hot cereal with 2 eggs cooked into it and strawberries or green beans added to it. Peanut butter is added occasionally to her cereals. In her breakfast we add 1 brewers yeast tablet for every 10 pounds of weight and 2 cod liver tablets to her cereal.

Lunch can either be a chicken stew or another dish of either oatmeal or whole wheat hot cereal (depending on which one she got for breakfast, she gets the other for lunch.)

The other day when I cooked whole wheat pancakes for the family, she got a whole wheat pancake torn up in her bowl with sliced strawberries and slices of fresh carrot.

Homemade treats are offered to her throughout the day for her to get something really hard to munch on for her teeth to stay healthy.

While dogs are not meant to eat everything we do, in fact things like onions , grapes, raisins, citrus fruits or chocolate can be toxic for dogs, you can feed them a home style diet that keeps them in top health at a price that would be relative to buying generic dog food for the month.

When deciding to go this route, it is important to make a gradual switch from dog food to home style as  sudden changes in diets can be too much for a dogs system. Start by replacing just one meal out of 3 in a day with a home style dish for about a week. After this go to 2 meals a day for another week and then finally replacing the third dish the third week.

Warning: Your dog will get much more eager for it's meals!

To be safe, I recommend doing a few searches and finding out what foods are really harmful for a dog to eat and keep that list on your refrigerator!