14 November, 2008

Gone to the Dogs

Oh blogaverse, how I have neglected thee! And the first thing I must do upon my return is to ask for a little advice.

Someday soon, I will spill all on the organic, green beauty that is the Barossa Wine Valley, but for now, I need to introduce a new family member.

This is our, as yet unnamed (though we're leaning toward Laney), newly adopted dog! She is a beauty, and will be making her way through our front door on Sunday afternoon. I have no shame in saying I've been like a whiney kid before Christmas, waiting for Sunday to arrive.

We're adopting her from a wonderful, generous woman who operates a rural no-kill, non-profit, non-government shelter on her riverland farm. In addition to her work with abandoned pets, she and her helpers also bring local folk's pets into the city, four hours away, for less expensive medical care. Should any Aussies read this, please consider adopting your next pup from the Moorook Animal Shelter, just west of Renmark, SA. They will rehome at least a number of their rescues interstate.

On to the needed advice! We've decided to make Unnamed Beauty's food, at home. I have done some research and have devised the basic recipe below, subject to change in protein types and available starches and veggies. With 12kg of quality dry food running nearly $40 AUD, this seems a much more sensible option.

Meat Week Pupper Dog Food
1 cup cooked ground turkey, with ground bone
1/4 cup cooked sheep heart
2 cups diced potato
1 cup rolled oats, dry
Slow-simmer above in enough water to cook and soften, but not enough to make soupy, then add:
1 cup raw veggies*, chopped or grated

Veggie Week Pupper Dog Food
2 cups green & brown lentils, dry
1 cup brown rice, dry
Slow-simmer above in enough water to cook and soften, but not enough to make soupy, then stir in 1 beaten egg and heat through until egg is done. Then add:
2 cups raw veggies*, chopped or grated

*varied amongst green beans, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and pumpkin/squash

My plea for advice is this. Do any of you make your own pet food? If so, any words of advice, changes to my recipes, or other thoughts? I'm also unsure how much to feed to a medium-to-large 18 month old dog. Usually these things are printed on pet food packaging, which we obviously won't have. I also plan to try my hand at homemade crunchy treats and biscuits, but will need some practice first.

So, dear blogaverse, share your expertise with an expectant and nervous doggie-mom?


Anonymous said...

Daughter, dear...I'm proud of you for your interest in making your own dog food. "Aunt" Helen used to make food for their hunting dogs and I think Debbie still does out on her farm in the midwest. I will email her to get her recipe.

Kelly the City Mouse said...

Thanks mom! I did a bunch of research and pieced together these recipes from a bunch of resources, but I'm still a bit nervous. I figure homemade food must be healthier for the dog, and definitely cheaper.

A day and a half til she's here!

RazorFamilyFarms.com said...

I know that Rhonda Jean makes her own dog food. I've used her recipe (slightly different but only because we would go broke feeding our dogs Vegemite) with great results.

I made her recipe and then just divided it out into fourteen portions -- to last one week for two dogs. I can't tell you exactly how big each portion was but our dogs loved it.

A new feed store opened in our area which offers organic and wonderfully healthy dog food at reasonable prices so we've opted to buy but I keep Rhonda Jean's recipe handy.

Here's the link:


Kelly the City Mouse said...

Lacy: That's very close to the recipe I came up with! I might add some vegemite if she seems not to like the taste without it. The stuff does have a fair bit of vitamins and nutritional yeast, so that's good. Three more hours til we go pick her up!

Margo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margo said...

and now with all my typos corrected!!

Oooooooooooh what a cute poochie!! We got our 2 "black hounds of destruction" from the RSPCA as 14 week old puppies. They are just he best dogs ever, even though they grew to at least 2x the size they were supposed to be (supposed to be 15-20kg blue heeler kelpie crosses, but are now 32 and 41kg kelpie german shepherd crosses!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes for a cosy time when they both want to be on the sofa with you!) but the loveliest dogs in the universe. Bias? Me???? NAAAAAAAAAAAAAH LOL.

acrosstheblueridge said...

I don't know how available ostrich meat might be in your part of the world; but I do know it is starting to be recommended for dogs. I suspect it may have more nutrients than turkey and might be less expensive in OZ.

Kelly the City Mouse said...

Margo: Ha! Well that's a fun trick. We thought Laney was going to be about knee-height on me, based on photos. Ohhhhhh no. She's a horse! And still has much to grow. It will be an adventure.

She ate her homeade dinner right up, scarfed it happily and asked for more.

She's a stubborn devil, but an absolute doll.

Kelly the City Mouse said...

Dad: Not a bad idea! Don't know about ostrich, but emu isn't hard to come across, and I'd imagine it's similar, nutritionally.

We may also look at some kangaroo meat, when it's culling time. They tend to make a great deal of petfood out of roo meat here, as it is.

Thanks for the tip!