A year ago, that title would have sounded absolutely ridiculous to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog person. I am most definitely a dog person. My two dogs, Princeton (an 11 yr old lab) and Charlie (my 9 mo old schnauzer) are my fur-children. We stuff their Christmas stockings, we throw little birthday celebrations for them, and Charlie even may have had pro pics of him in a graduation cap when he graduated training school, but I never thought I'd be making their food.
That was, until recently. A couple of years ago our lab started developing allergies. I could see in him some of the same symptoms I was experiencing, so for almost two years now, he has been gluten and grain free. We buy high end dog food and treats for both, but it wasn't until our little one had an allergic reaction and started licking his paws (at only 9 months!) that I realized I wanted to look into a healthier, more natural approach to caring for our fur babies.
My first thought was of course, we can't afford to feed another two mouths the same food we eat. We are, after all, trying to have a human little of our own & that isn't cheap. But as I started doing more research I realized it can be a lot more affordable than I initially thought. (JOY!)
My plan is to switch Charlie to a natural food diet (consisting of proteins, minimal grains, vegetables and some fruits for snacking) with the added fats and supplements he needs as a growing puppy. For Princeton, since he's so large and WOULD eat us out of house and home, I plan to stick with his higher end grain-free dog food and add in healthy fats to the food to help heal some of his issues.
In comparing the options, raw against cooked food, I have decided to do an all-cooked food diet. Since we are trying to conceive, there is just too much risk to have raw meat in our home. So while I support the decision of those who want to feed their dogs a raw diet, it just doesn't make sense for our family to do so.
I will be updating along the way with our journey and some of our recipes. I'm excited for the journey to give our little fur boys a healthier life. I'd love to hear your stories on natural food diets for YOUR fur babies and advice on how you supplement.
I also posted a handy pinable post on the top foods to NEVER feed your dog.