Susanella Noble: Flutist & Composer
Anybody can be a pet chef! You don't have to have a degree from the Culinary Institute of America or wear a toque. Just cook healthy meals for yourself and your family and simply give some to your pets. Variety is the key to a balanced diet -- some days your pet might get more grain than meat or more vegetables than grain. Remember, what they don't get one day, they can get the next. If you use your common sense, cook plenty for your family and stay away from chocolate, grapes and onions, you can instantly become a pet chef by giving your dogs the leftovers from your meals.
If you choose to homefeed raw meats to your dogs, please read all about Dr. Billinghurst's BARF Diet
There is now evidence to suggest that the dog has been man's best friend for more than 70,000 years. Our primitive ancestors would have shared their hard-earned food only with creatures who were worthy. Hunting dogs would have been the favored canine, earning their keep at the kill. When early humans moved out of their caves and began building towns they took their 'best friends'. Guard dogs began to evolve with other loose-knit sorts of breeds such as herding dogs and every community developed their own variety of vermin-hunting dogs, the terriers. Companion dogs became smaller and more stylized as societies evolved and they became status symbols.
Think back to the year 1900, several decades before the creation of commercial pet food. Farmers and ranchers all kept dogs for guarding and herding and town folks had their smaller watch and lap dogs. Hunters depended upon the sporting breeds to help them provide food for their family. The wealthy and the royalty all had their own special breeds. Pet owners had to take the time to prepare meals or share their own food with their dogs. They fed them meat, grains and vegetables without chemical preservatives, artificial vitamins and colorings and dogs lived longer and were healthier.
Each variety of breed types have their own nutritional requirements. For example, companion dogs have been eating the same food as their owners and over thousands of years have adapted to eating more cooked meats. Hunting and sporting dogs would be fed from the kill and should fare better eating more of a raw diet. Herding dogs would never be offered lamb by a shepherd for fear that it would develop a taste for it, hence those breeds would fare better on poultry or beef. Sporting dogs would be fed from the kill to stimulate their hunting instincts.
Canine Feeding Formula
(I use a small clove of pressed garlic in every meal to ward off fleas and ticks)
Mix together approximately 2 parts meat, 1 part cooked grain and 1 part raw, puréed vegetables
feed ½ cup for every 10 pounds of dog's body weight
A 30 pound adult dog would get 1½ cups of food a day
A growing puppy should get twice the amount or ½ cup of food for every 5 pounds of body weight
(If your dogs is too heavy, feed less; if he is too skinny, feed more)
You can use the suggestions in Wm. Cusick's book about breed appropriate foods
(I'm cheap and lazy so I've learned to take shortcuts. At night I'll put rice, water and frozen hamburger in my rice cooker or crockpot, turn it on, and the next morning I'll have dog food!)
Geriatric Canine Feeding Formula
Many older dogs become intolerant to grains. When you see signs of indigestion, coat/skin problems, an unusual odor, it may be time to eliminate all grains from your dog's diet. Good substitutes would be yams, sweet potatoes, burdock root or potatoes. Experiment carefully to see what is best for each dog.
Meat and Protein Sources
Cooked Grain Sources
Barley, oats, brown rice, quinoa, tabouli, couscous
Breads, cereals & pastas
(remember that ANYthing is better than commercial dog food!)
Vegetables, Raw or Cooked
Artichoke hearts, arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, garlic, green and wax beans, kale, lettuces, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tat soi, yams
a puréed "salad" of broccoli, lettuce, kale and celery
Note: All raw vegetables need to be broken down to be digested by dogs, especially green vegetables which contain cellulose. You should grate, purée, juice, steam or mash vegetables.
Water - H²0
Water is the foremost essential requirement for life and should be kept in front of your dog 24/7. Clean and refill the bowl daily. Use purified or distilled water because most dogs are sensitive to chlorine and fluoride.
If your dog has eaten an excessive amount of any of these contact your veterinarian immediately.
Or call the following:
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435)
National Animal Poison Control Center ( 1-900-680-0000)
Supplements for Dogs
Dogs require more calcium than humans but it needs to be natural and digestible. I would suggest finding a balanced supplement made from chelated amino acid complex vitamins and minerals. I have seen radical improvements in my dogs and am THRILLED with the Dynamite Specialty Products.
Once you see that you can feed your dogs virtually the same food that you're eating, it becomes easy to homefeed. Just make extra and give them the leftovers.
Buckaroo's Favorite Breakfast Meet The Buckaroo
Slowly cook the hamburger in a large skillet. Drain off half the fat into a freezer container to save for dog cookies.
Add oatmeal and water and stir while bringing to a boil Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 1 minute.
In a blender or food processor, puree the lettuce or chop finely (may also be juiced). Let hamburger mixture cool before adding lettuce.
Serve a mixture of all ingredients at 1/2 cup for every 10 pounds of dog's body weight.
The hamburger/oatmeal mixture may be stored in freezer or refrigerator in individual portions. Keep the lettuce stored separately in refrigerator to serve fresh with every meal as a salad.
Please feel free to contact me with questions
© 2011 Susanella Noble