Before we go any further, we have to say a few things.
Making your own dog food is not easy and not for most. And it may not be the best thing for you.
If you don't get homemade food, it doesn't mean your parents love you less. Our previous post did not mean to imply that at all. We'd be willing to bet that if money and time weren't a problem, everyone would get homemade food. But in many, many homes, it just isn't feasible. Especially in households where there's more than 2 dogs. Homemade food is not inexpensive, and it is seriously time consuming.
In total, it probably takes 12 hours to make our food. Mom breaks it up over a weekend usually, making stuff in the crockpot when she can. We get an average of one cup of food a day, plus our vitamins and supplements and yogurt with blueberries at bedtime. We also get half an apple and treats.
Your parents probably do things outside the house. Mom doesn't. She doesn't go out to the movies or out to eat. She doesn't go shopping. She might go to a party twice a year, and then only because she goes to visit the dogs. She doesn't date. No human children to tote to soccer practice or ballet lessons. No husband with football parties or poker games.
She studies, she does chores (sometimes) and she takes care of us. For the normal person, her solitary lifestyle would send folks to the nuthouse. She does go to classes twice a week and work Monday through Friday so she does interact with other humans.
Seriously, the house only gets cleaned if someone is coming over. Sometimes, she has to hire someone to mow the lawn before she gets a ticket for the grass being too high.
Why go through all of this?
Starting at about 6 months old, Tallulah and Petunia both started experiencing problems with food. Severe, horrible itching, upset stomaches, hives.
|Tallulah's crate pad after an upset tummy|
|Ick. Poor baby had to sit in her own mess while mom was at work.|
We went through about 16 ounces of Benadryl a week and that only took the edge off. It was horrible. The physical problems we had made us super cranky and angry. It was around this time that we started fighting like hockey players, too. We were at the vet at least once a month for hot spots or digestive problems.
|Petunia's cheek. She did this damage in less than 8 hours.|
When Petunia broke out in hives that made her look like she had golf balls under her skin, mom knew she had to do something.
This was also the same time that all the pet food recalls were happening. Many pets were getting sick or dying because of greed and a mind boggling lack of oversight. There has been a lot of education and changes and many people are making better, informed choices about their pet food now. And there are so many better choices and options now.
So mom started doing research on making our food. She consulted a nutritionist, bought and read more than 20 books and prepared a giant spreadsheet with analysis of our diet using NRC and USDA guidelines. After a lot of trial and error, she found the best formula for us. Fortunately, it works for Isabelle, too. Now, when Quincy was alive, he got a different food because he had different nutritional needs.
Between the food and treatment for hormone imbalance (whole 'nother story!), we are healthy and happy. It took about 2 years, but we got there. We are at a great weight, our skin and coat looks great, our vitamin levels are good. We aren't itching and scratching and having upset tummies. We haven't had a hotspot in 2 years. We are happier and fight so much less than we did before.
You might envy the homemade dog food, but don't envy the process that got us here. It's been awful, expensive, and took so much time. It works for us, but it doesn't work for every pug or every pug's family. If you are eating a food that works for you, feel blessed!