So, as I stated earlier this month, I wanted to explore the world of creating natural, real meals for our dogs, Princeton and Charlie. Our lab, Princeton has suffered from allergies and inflammation for the last few years, and I find it a blessing that in learning so much about how what WE eat affects US, I can use the same tools to help extend the life of our fur babies.
Charlie, our baby schnauzer, at just nine months old, started to have seasonal allergy reaction and itchy paws and I knew I didn't want him going through his life suffering if I could help strengthen his little system.
So much of what's in conventional dog food, or "kibble", is processed fillers and harmful grain ingredients that react in dogs bodies much like they do in ours.
Now, I am not going to say this is cheap. But I believe in giving them the best life I can for what I can afford. We already bought higher end dog food before starting the natural dog food endeavor. Princeton has been on a grain-free food for a few years now, which has definitely offered him improvements in his health. However, the vet and our trainer has Charlie on an Iams Puppy, which I'm just not 100% comfortable with him consuming.
So, I went for it, and I got some meat, eggs, and veggies to make them a "Pup" loaf. The full recipe is below, but the process was SUPER easy and this was pretty affordable. When I did the math on the cost of the trade off natural/higher end dog food, it ended up $10 more a month for Princeton and around $5 extra for Charlie. To me, that's totally worth it.
I have about nine recipes that I'd like to try, and to make it a permanent switch I will be talking to a holistic vet so I can make sure they get the fats and vitamins they NEED to thrive. Always make sure you speak to your vet or a naturopathic or holistic vet to supply your pet with the best diet for them. We decided to make this switch because they are both regularly at the vet, and are in great health.
Sprouts carries a full line of supplemental coconut and flax oil and vitamins for dogs for those wanting to feed their pups a natural food diet. I loved seeing all of the healthy options. They also carry a line of dehydrated "real food" packaged items, but beware, my pups tummy's tolerate the natural diet well, but something in the dehydrated mix made them quite sick as they didn't keep the food down. It may have been the barley, as I feed them a mainly gluten-free, grain-free diet with lots of healthy fats.
I'd love to hear your plans for feeing your dog naturally, your experience or any questions you may have as I take on this journey. The recipe below is easy to pin to save for later.