Aug 1, 2011

Animals are not immune.

Many of us are turning away from processed food and are moving back to simple, honest home made food., be it organic or not we no longer want to ingest chemicals and preservatives that can cause us ill health, not to mention those allergies so many folk are falling victim to these days so with our families making a change - what of our 4 legged family members? Do we still feed them things out of a can or out of a plastic tube? I used to and my dog itched and scratched. I even found a docking ring in one roll - seriously. It was not part of the animals 'pluckings' it was a bright orange docking ring. I was horrified! so I started my dog on chicken and some kibble. Wow he itched and scratched worse than ever.. how off to the vet we went.
I had a rather enlightening conversation with our vet. Did you know most dogs who have allergies, that are not due to plant contact actually come from chicken, beef and wheat. My vet suggested a couple of options, a kibble made from beetroot and potato or I could make my own.. I opted for the bought variety, partly through ease of use and secondly my dog is a fussy little feral. The result of this diet was a little butter ball on legs.

In the last month I have changed from the vets kibble and now make him a mix he loves, much to my surprise. There are a number of recipes for home made, economical dog food.. however they don't seem to cater to the poochikin with an allergy. No wheat, no chicken, no beef. What does that leave us with.. Well, not many people have the suggested Emu tucked in the deep freeze - don't shoot the messenger here ok, but Kangaroo is another good choice for the allergic dog -  then there is Turkey, which is what I use ( Mr P doesn't like Kangaroo) to bulk it up we have to find a wheat free alternative, so we use Barely and Balsamic rice but potatoes, is another good additive.
I made a batch today. I got two turkey drumsticks - $7.40 - yes they where drumsticks.. I forgot to photograph them first :-P  I simmer them for a couple of hours in enough water to just cover them.

Now there is another photo missing here, the barely and rice.  So in the pot below is 1/3 of a cup of rice and 1/2 a cup of barley, which I soaked overnight in water - then drained and added to the stock the drumstick were cooked in. 

Then I add the chopped turkey leg meat there is good amount of meat here.

I then grate up a carrot, and add a very large clove of garlic

Now your pooch may be more accepting of veg then mine, so I only add 1/2 cup of mixed vege (peas, carrot and corn), I am going to slowly start to add a wee bit more broccoli etc. 
I cooked all this for about 30 to 45 minutes, it really depends on the barley and how quick it is cooking, do soak it though, it makes for faster cooking and makes it a little more digestible.
When it is cooked, I take it off the heat, add 1/3 of a cup of canola oil.. This helps with the coat and skin and also helps there... number 2's.

Here it is close up.. now I have got a teaspoon and eaten it.. gosh it is good. Turkey leg has such good flavour, so even the fussiest hound with eat it.. now if you have a whopping hulk of a dog, just double or treble the recipe.. 

I put this mix into old canola spread or butter containers.. there are three, 1/2 cup portions per pot.. one pot will do him three days..

I do not count the cost of the barley, rice or vege, as it is something already in the house.. so for a few cents over $7.00  for 2.5 weeks meals, it is economical.. but this was not all about cost, it was about my dog not turning into a mini blimp while eating calorie ridden " vet formula"  and to ease the discomfort he has with food allergies. Yes, this mix has made a difference to him, so the time I take to make it is worth it.. and if we ever run short of a meal, I know where to find one in the freezer :-)


Tania @ Out Back said...

Thanks for this post Wendy, my daughters dog has allergies so I will pass this onto her.

I think she is trying him with turkey mince at the moment to see how he goes.

Rose said...

I'm with you Wendy, we dumped the regular dog diet about ten years ago after a similar vet conversation. Our previous dog, a lovely Border Collie, had a terrible time with skin allergies. We had medicated shampoos, medication etc etc prior to this and then we talked with the vet. We changed Jake's diet over to cooked fresh food and the difference was amazing. We had thought we were buying the "good" food but of course our poor dog was living on processed food prior to the change.

Our little fellow Bill has known nothing but cooked home food and bones. He is a very robust, strong, healthy dog.

nellymary said...

This looks good...I'd try it....I made Rhonda's dog biscuits and added a few extra's from the fridge....I now have a lot of dog biscuits and some very fussy dogs......They do eventually eat them, but not until they are sure that nothing better is being handed fussy.
Great recipe....I might try something similar, seeing I know they love Turkey...I gave Rusty and Cindy a turkey bone last time I baked Turkey drumsticks...and Rusty decided to have a midnight snack on DS16's bed at 2am..Yep half a turkey was not impressed......
thank-you for a yummy recipe

xo.sorcha.ox said...

I have a spoodle that suffers allergies. I'm trying to ween him off canned food as we've not determined the source of those allergies, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is in the processed foods. But he's a fussy little bugger! He likes rabbit and kangaroo, but they have a very strong odour and I just cannot stand cooking them all the time. So, this week I tried him on turkey mince, which costs around $5 for 500g. I cooked it in the slow cooker with brown rice and finely chopped vegetables (carrot, broccoli, zucchini, spinach and cauli). It has made enough to last the week, and he seems to like it. But as I said, he is a fussy bugger and may decide today that he's had enough of turkey.
I am still feeding him regular, store-bought dog biscuits, although we do use the kind that are supposed to be good for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies. I'm hoping the home cooked food with these biscuits will be a suitable solution!

Lisa said...

I'm a bit late commenting here....however,good for you for giving processed pet food the boot. I been feeding my dogs and cats a raw diet for the past 15 years and they thrive on it. I know raw diets are not for everyone, but it's how dogs and cats have survived for thousands of years.

Anyway, one thing I would suggest is adding raw meaty bones to any home cooked diet. Cooked meat and veg do not supply your pets with enough vitamins and minerals especially calicum. You might be better off finding a good natural pet supplement and adding that to the food if your dog can't tollerate raw bones. Another tip is to add the oil to the food just before serving. For skin and joint problems try fish oil or better still virgin coconut oil. I would steer clear of canola oil as it may be GM.
OK I'll get of my soapbox.

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