Nourishing

Well, it was my plan to write more or less chronologically for a while now, and tell you more about Brigadoon and the six pack.  But I’m having trouble uploading past writings from one computer to another, so that’ll have to wait a day or so.  Instead, this post is for a friend of mine who is fascinated about what and how I feed my dogs.  She asked me to photograph their dinner tray for her.  She’s an artist, and I love the way she finds beauty in places I never even look for it.  Now that she finds our dinner tray beautiful, I’m finding it so, too.

I’m absolutely positive that what I’m feeding is contributing to the excellent overall health of my dogs, and to their longevity.  I don’t want to get involved in discussion or argument about which is the ‘right’ diet for dogs–dry, wet, raw, cooked, etc.  I feel like I’m constantly making progress, in this area, and I’m not going to get locked into anything, because a better thing might come along.  I’ll just tell you what I’m doing now.

This is what the tray looks like. I haven't dropped it yet.

I use a high quality dry food as a basis for their meals.  Twice a day, morning and late afternoon, I boil some water or broth, if I have it, in a very large saucepan.  I add brown rice or oatmeal, trying to make sure they get both grains within each two day period.  When the grain is almost cooked, I add vegetables or apples, and lastly, precooked unprocessed meat, usually chicken or turkey.  If I have raw meat, I start the process with the meat.  But usually I’ve done the meat in my crockpot the day before, and it’s ready to be added from the fridge or the crockpot, depending on timing.  The dogs’ favorite vegetable is canned pumpkin, hands down.  After that, they love apples and peas about equally.  They love corn, but I feel like it can’t be very nutritious, as it looks the same once it’s been through them as it did before it went in.  What’s up with that, anyway? 

Grace’s Rimadryl goes into a glob of baby food beef, at least until she gets completely used to my cooking.  I have a feeling she ate only dog food before.  But things are changing, and tonight I was thrilled to see that, for the first time, as I brought in the dinner tray she hurried over to me as the other dogs did, and when I put her bowl down, she ate immediately, and standing up, surrounded by three of the others.  Before tonight, she’d eaten lying down, and at every single meal she’d done what dogs (and wolves, so I hear) do when they have food but wish to save it for later–they push it with their noses, as if to bury it.  Tonight she wasted no time, and her meal was gone within seconds.  That made me very happy.

So here’s a picture of the dinner tray.  I hope you like it as much as my artist friend does, but I won’t be surprised if you don’t, so don’t worry!  And here’s a link to my friend’s website–I’ve never seen anything else like her beautiful painted jewelry (you’ll see why she might be fascinated with a dog’s dinner when you see all her creatures):  http://deetopham.weebly.com/

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2 Responses to Nourishing

  1. Anja says:

    I do the same with my dog! The base is a well-chosen kibble but instead of buying way over priced canned …. I cook my own and Panda loooooves it!
    I do chicken and sweet potato, maybe a little rice, carrots, apples and parsley….
    As with most things in life, I call it “STEW”.
    A recipe for stew is not etched in stone. We all have our base ingredients and will vary here and there…. be more or less adventurous.
    My “STEW” is ever evolving….and so is the stew I cook for my dog! : )

    • cellopets says:

      Yes, and mine is going to evolve right away, because yesterday, while I was reading about raw food and following links, I came across something smart. The writer said that she mushes up the veggies she serves, because that’s as close as she can get to the way wolves would have received greens, partially digested. I wonder if that would make even corn, which seems so little used by the dog, more nutritious. Re. canned food, I do keep a case of canned Harmony Farms in the house at all times, in case something unexpected comes up and I’m short on time. Then I’ll make the rice or oatmeal, add the fruit or veg, and the Harmony Farms, added last, functions as the meat. I’ve learned not to actually cook the canned food, just to warm it, because if it’s ‘cooked’ the smell changes to something less enticing, so I assume the taste changes, too. This is actually one of their favorite meals. I forgot to write that I often add eggs to their meals. I get free range eggs from a farm, real free range, so I feel good about them and use a lot of them. I add anywhere from one to three, last thing, and scramble them in the broth. They love eggs, too. Every once in a while, I fry them each their own egg. I haven’t done one for Grace yet–we’ll have to see what she thinks of it. By the way, last night I think I discovered what she’s been used to eating. She had had the baby food beef part of her dinner, with the Rimadyl tablet, but she wasn’t very interested in the rest of her dinner. I wanted to make sure she had a full tummy, so I got a can of Harmony Farms and scooped half of it into her bowl. She was very eager to get to it, and ate fast and steadily. I’d bet money that she was a ‘canned food only’ dog, and that would also explain the state of her teeth. Dealing with her teeth is on today’s ‘to do’ list.

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