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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Dec 24

I used to think we did well by our dogs with our kibble.   They eat 4Health Grain Free from Tractor Supply.  It is mid-range on Pet Food Advisor, and the controversial ingredients in the food (which is like pea skins, or something like that)  didn’t bother me much.  More importantly, the price was right.  In the past few months, I’ve done much more reading and research, and I have no doubt we could do better.  There’s way too much information out there, and little is clear cut—there’s many choices, and much is open to interpretation.  Nonetheless, time to think this through and try harder, in particular in regard to supporting Fallon’s treatment for cancer.

 

We decided to jump right in and fine-tune along the way, because I haven’t found what I think is the perfect thing for us…yet.  I found a recipe on the K9 Medicinals website that contained ingredients I knew I could procure easily, was pretty clear cut with do-able choices, and didn’t look hard to throw together (more on this later).  Yesterday I went out and bought all the ingredients, and set out to make our girls’ first homemade meal.

 

The recipe needed ground meat (I got beef and turkey), carrots, apple, other veggies (I got cauliflower and broccoli), egg, and yogurt (as an alternative to raw goat milk, as where do you get that on Christmas Eve eve in Latham?). The veggies were harder than I thought.  I looked in the frozen section, as I’m new at this and relatively unequipped with veggie knowledge—and lazy.  The thought of prepping fresh veggies was enough to turn me off from continuing on this mission.  The website gave a rather limited list of veggies to add, in the form of “such as…”, so I probably had more liberty than I took.  Nonetheless, of what was listed, all I saw in frozen bags without sauces or added stuff was broccoli and cauliflower.  So broccoli and cauliflower it is.  I’ll read more and find some other choices before the next time I shop.  Or perhaps suck it up and shop in produce?

 

So shopping wasn’t bad (factoring out the crowds—not part of this story, but horrible.) I brought all the ingredients home and set to building the recipe.

 

Live and learn moment—I bought a food processor, a nice one, yesterday at Kohl’s.  It is the biggest I could find, 14 cups, and not a bad price with the sale, a 30% off Kohl’s coupon, and a kickback of Kohl’s Cash coming that we’ll put toward (a Foodsaver?  Muffin Tins?  Meat grinder thing for the food processor?  Something to support this project.)  You probably knew this, but do NOT fill up the whole food processor bowl—it works awesome, but only when it’s less than half full.  I tend to read instructions on a need-to-know basis, or when I’ve run into a problem I need to fix.  I would have saved lots of time and mess with prior knowledge of this.

 

Once it was all mixed up, I took the time to measure out half pound portions, because I read somewhere that the amount of this recipe the girls should eat in a day should be 2% of their weight.  Because I still have kibble in the diet, I cut that in half.  Hope my math and reasoning is right.  I froze the half pound meat patties in big muffin tins, until I ran out, then moved to small muffin tins (2 will be the serving size of these), and when I ran out of those, just lumps of meat patties frozen on a cookie sheet.

YUM, right? Fresh from the freezer. That’s ice on the top.

Live and learn moment number 2—these take a few hours to thaw out.  Tonight I will pull a couple out of the freezer so they will be ready in the morning.

Ummmm…Mom. Where is my breakfast?

Anyway, once the meat patties thawed this morning, I added the Omega 3 Fatty Acid caps to Fallon’s, as they were prescribed by Dr. Sue.  This is a messier proposition than you might think, as the skin of these capsules is bulletproof, it was rough to pierce with a knife, and the oil may squirt in your face once it is liberated. I understood them better by the time I did the third one.  This is available in liquid form; we’ll get that one next time.  I also added the girls’ usual supplements that I have not been giving them since Fallon’s diagnosis:  glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, vitamin C, and for Fallon, yucca.  These in theory help with mobility and achy joints.   Then I added digestive enzyme caps to Fallon’s because I read somewhere that that’s a thing you can do, plus I had some.

 

The verdict—super delicious!!  The girls wolfed the food down and really seemed to enjoy it.  So I decree the homemade food experiment a success to this point.  I will monitor for adverse after-effects.

 

So there’s a new master plan, until I read something that makes me second-guess my master plan and I change it—but I have made enough food for 2 dogs for about 6 more days, so no changes until this is gone and I need to make more.  I’ll feed the new homemade, raw diet in the morning, first thing (starting tomorrow, because it will be thawed.)  Late morning, I’ll give Fallon her Apocaps, as they are best on an empty stomach.  A couple of hours later, I’ll put down the kibble (we’ve always free fed the girls), and I’ll pick it up about 3—4 hours before bedtime.  Then Apocaps again at bedtime.  Right now this feels like a decent approach, especially since I have been doing a halfassed job of adhering to the Apocaps rule of it being more effective on an empty stomach.  I think with this approach, we’ll have the best bang for the buck on the Apocaps.

 

Future considerations:  I have to find a better approach to storing the home made food.  Maybe more muffin tins, then pop them into zip lock freezer bags?  I have a sinking feeling, however, that these will not “pop” easily from the muffin tins…we’ll see.  Then we’ll need to decide whether we’ll aim for 100% home cooked meals, or keep a proportion of kibble— I will probably look into a more highly rated dry food.  And is this a healthy, balanced diet?  Who knows, but it’s got healthy ingredients.  There’s a website, BalanceIt.com that I’ve been referred to and have briefly explored, and their schtick is you can plug your recipe in and it will tell you what secret potion you need to buy from them to make a balanced diet.  So maybe that, although not spending extra $$ is more attractive.  Finally, it wouldn’t be bad to weigh Fallon and make sure her weight stays stable, because it is perfect now.  Maybe tomorrow…

 

More to come…

 

Oh, and Merry Christmas!!!

3 comments so far

  1. benny55
    1:09 am - 12-25-2017

    WOW!!!! BRACO! Your pups are mighty lucky to have a CHEF and NUTRITIONIST as their hooman!

    Thanks so much for takr the time to share your plan, learning lessons and humor included!!! Yeah, I read “directions” on a ” I can figure this out without directions”! Usually not though!!

    I could look at pictures at beautiful Fallon all day.

    Thanks again for sharing Fallon’s plan! Sounds like a powerful one! 🙂

    Have a wonderful Christmas and take lots of pictures of the girls…and share with us! 🙂

    Hugs
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  2. kokomo
    3:03 pm - 12-25-2017

    Sounds delicious!!! I used to cook Kokomo’s food based on the recipe in the book “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide”…. I must admit that I hate to cook and this all became too much for me. BUT! A few months ago I got a recipe to make in the Crockpot! So now it is super easy I just make enough for 1-2 weeks! Chop up the veggies and mix everything together, throw in the Crockpot and let it cook on low heat for 8 hours, and freeze! I highly recommend this!

    • dawn3g
      4:58 pm - 12-25-2017

      Whoa. Crock pot?! I love this idea! I’m going to look into this. Thanks so much!!

      I was initially aiming toward using the Dog Cancer Survival Guide recipe, but got intimidated by all the ingredients I didn’t know how to find, like necks and livers. But once I find out how to find these (meat market butcher guy!) I planned to try that recipe. Now this crock pot idea is edging it out for my next adventure in cooking.

      Merry Christmas to you and Kokomo!!

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