Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dog Food Sunday

So now I'm that lady, the one who makes her dog's food. The lady who calls the butcher and orders 80 lbs of roasts and 60 lbs of heart for the dog, who sources ingredients like I'm hunting Carmen San Diego and not only tracks what goes in but also what comes out. It didn't start out this way, I swear but he's so worth every bit of the process.

Max eats like we should. 
It took a good long while to get to this place in dog food-land. Max has eaten everything from grocery store brands (at previous adopter's homes) to high-end kibble and, most recently, commercial raw. We've done fish, chicken, turkey and finally beef, we've done grain and grain free, potato or not, Chinese herbs, probiotics and most anything else we could to get him to be not-itchy.

We thought we had a winning formula. We were feeding a commercial raw beef diet along with probiotics and fish oil. Max's coat was never great but the sores stopped erupting on his belly. The vet considered it a success and we stayed in our secure routine.

Then disaster struck. The pet food store stopped carrying his raw food. At first we got a warning saying they were going to stop in 6 months or so, then Sweetie went in for our monthly buy and we were told they had actually stopped immediately and were just selling off what the store had in inventory. Eek! The store blamed the company, the company claimed ignorance, I really didn't care. We needed something for him to eat. We found one other store in the Kansas City metro that carried his food with regularity and getting there was a hassle.

Sweetie and I had been batting around the idea of making Max's food but wanted to make sure it was done right so we contacted Sabine at Better Dog Care to design a diet that would meet his nutritional needs. There were two lengthy forms to fill out to help formulate his specific diet so this was no generic "cross your fingers" cookbook recipe. We got the new diet last week but had to run it by Dr. Awesome. Once she was on board, Sweetie and I went shopping.

First we went to the butcher for organ meats (who also just so happens to have awesome tacos on Saturdays too). Then we were off to the natural food store for some supplements, then to our grocery for meats and veggies. I've never bought that much beef roast at one time in my life and the meat counter guys thought I was a little strange for asking all my questions. Last week I called around and grabbed a better price from another butcher but that 80 lbs of roasts and 60 lbs of heart? Yeah, that's really happening. Thank doG for a deep freezer!
We bought every roast they had in the cut we needed!
Sunday night we started prepping. Sweetie did the veggies and fruits, dairy and supplements, I did the meats since she can't handle raw meat (literally and figuratively). There was some arguing as we worked out the best way to get this all accomplished but, 3 1/2 hours later, we got it done. I am now fully appreciating the food processor and grinder we got as gifts for Christmas. I don't think I would have wanted to grate all those veggies by hand!  Now we have almost a month's worth of dog food sitting in the deep freeze and I don't ever have to worry about the pet food store running out again. What does Max think of it, you ask? He whined over the good smells last night and ate with gusto today so I think we're on the right track! Do you fix your dog's food or add tasty bits now and again?

We're part of the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop hosted by Kols Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever. Don't forget to check out what's happening on the blogs!


  1. Woof! Woof! Love the colorful vegetables. Best meat is to go to the butcher. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Golden Thanks for joining the hop. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. Way to go! I'm kinda afraid of raw so I cook Kirby's meals and treats. We do mostly homemade with some commercial kibble in the am.

    1. We were scared of raw too at first. It was really easy with the premade and Max did really well on it so we kept at it. Some brands come pre-portioned in patties or bits but we ended up with the chubs that look like hamburger. We portioned those ourselves because it got to be more cost effective. Having done it, I wouldn't go back.