Make High-Quality Dog Food at Home

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As of this writing, there is a huge commercial cat and dog food poisoning scare in the US – from contaminated dog food. About 60 million cans and bags of pet food were recalled.

Some owners have lost their dogs and cats because a plastic called melamine has found its way into pet food! This was traced to melamine-tainted wheat gluten sourced in China. Why pet food manufacturers use wheat gluten in pet food is a mystery – it’s a very poor source of protein!

There are many reasons why we make our own dog food – one of which is that the ingredients in commercial dog food are unknown!

Why do canned or packaged foods look and smell so similar no matter what brand you buy?

I’ve always been skeptical, the adverts show a lovely pile of beef or even chicken breasts with veggies etc. How could they put it there, those cuts are so expensive?

Well, basic economics says they don’t! But what pissed me off was their attempt to cheat!

We started making homemade dog food, and after a while I let the insider know about what I called a “protein recovery unit.”

I nicknamed it “The Beak Factory” because the factory takes the leftovers from a chicken processor – the head (beak and all), feet, feathers and gizzard – and turns it into a foul smelling Dirty brown powder destined for pet food!

It smells so bad, that smell gets into my hair and clothes, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been around me all day!

This protein powder is usually one of the first ingredients listed on the package or can and is known as meat by-products, or sometimes meat meal. This is part of the reason commercial dry cookies almost always smell the same! If you’re on the game – try eating a biscuit all by itself – and see what your dog puts up with!

But you see, because this protein powder is heat-treated during the manufacturing process, it is considered safe for pets.

But the huge bins I saw of heads, corpses, feet, feathers, etc sat at ambient temperature for who knows how long – so can you imagine the state of decay they’re in?

I refuse to feed this crap to our dogs, it’s real crap! Because while they may have killed the bacteria in this garbage, what they may not be able to destroy is some of the toxins the bacteria produce in the course of their activity!

Besides bacterial toxins; there may also be toxins produced by molds and fungi; known as aflatoxins and mycotoxins, some of which are known to be heat resistant!

Now I don’t want to bore you with tons of technical information about toxins – but I do want you to see that I’m not exaggerating!

So there’s only one article here – about one bacterium – Staphylococcus aureus. About 1/2 of the way down the page, you’ll see a comment about the toxins it produces and its resistance to heat when cooked:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/staphylococcus_food_g.htm

That’s just one type of bacteria – there’s more! Try Googling words like aflatoxin, mycotoxin or bacterial toxin yourself!

Also, pesticide residues can build up in concentrated bird feathers…and I won’t even mention the stories we read about veterinarians or slaughterhouse animals euthanizing animal carcasses – or road deaths!

In short – it’s been potentially contaminated dog food! But even if you completely ignore the contamination issue – it’s still a very cheap and nasty source of protein!

Because it’s labeled pet food not for human consumption – much less scrutiny, attention and accountability! The truth is: they must have marked it as unsuitable – ask yourself why?

Why would you feed these things to any pet you care about? We love our dogs – so to avoid crap based foods with added soy protein, colorings and other additives – we make our own exclusive dog food!

Here’s the thing – homemade dog food is not only better for your dog, it’s also much cheaper than commercial dog food – in Australia we can feed an adult Staffordshire Bull Terrier for about 45 cents a day!

Now pet food companies and some veterinarians comment that the food you make needs to be whole. It’s like some kind of mystery; as if we’re too dumb to do it ourselves! I am furious that they are trying to manipulate us into buying their products!

Dogs have shared life with humans for thousands of years (long before the pet food companies) – and never went extinct due to malnutrition!

Let me state this – anyone who can read and cook – can make high quality homemade dog food! All it takes is a little time and planning, and since it’s easier to make in batches – a little freezer space.

Canine nutrition is also well researched and published, and now that we live in the information age; this information can be freely distributed worldwide!

There are some basics of course – when making homemade dog food, it’s important to remember that dogs are meat eaters (carnivorous). Since meat consists almost entirely of protein – protein is an essential ingredient in a dog’s diet!

But did you know that many canned or dried foods are based on plant based protein sources (usually soy – no wonder they fart so much); because plant protein is much cheaper than animal protein

But the amino acids in plant-based proteins like soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils don’t contain all the amino acids found in animal proteins like meat, fish, and dairy.

To overcome this lack of complete protein, pet food manufacturers add that smelly powder I mentioned earlier!

Donald Stromberg has this to say about commercially prepared pet food in his book Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, Healthy Choices:

“Pet food costs are reduced by using no more animal protein than necessary. Costs are also reduced by using animal protein sources that are not suitable for human consumption. For example, animal meal is not suitable for human consumption. Some meal protein comes from animals that are dead and starting to rot .” (p. 35)

Stromberg gives figures of 13 percent protein for growing dogs and 19 percent for older dogs. I’ve been working on getting homemade dog food to fall into this higher protein range.

Since dogs in the wild eat mostly meat, most of their dietary protein will come from animals or insects – I use animal protein.

However, dogs can also eat fruit – foxes have been known to eat blackberries, but of course other fruits such as grapes from the vineyard or fruit from the orchard. Our Stafford loves all kinds of fruit – including bananas!

I also vary the protein content of my homemade dog food based on my dog’s needs.

One of our girls (an Australian terrier) is now 11 and diabetic so her diet is high in protein and low in fat. Pregnant bitches and growing puppies require more protein and also a larger total food intake.

However, when using meat as a protein source, it can cause problems for dogs if the food is not balanced in minerals. Eating red meat alone; will provide good levels of protein and iron, but little calcium and phosphorus.

Dogs in the wild feed on a variety of foods, such as eating the whole rabbit – fur, bone gizzards and more! When they do, they’re able to extract all the minerals in the animal’s bones and intestines – so their diet is more balanced!

When making homemade dog food, it’s important to strike a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals! When you use my homemade dog food recipes, you will find that one of my main sources of protein is skinless chicken necks.

I use them because of their high protein/fat ratio and low price – plus – the added bonus of having minerals like calcium, phosphorus and potassium in your bones!

In the deli section of many supermarkets or poultry stores, skinless chicken necks are often available at low prices as human-grade meat, which means they must be fit for human consumption!

It’s here and now; your homemade dog food is streets ahead of commercial pet food because you’re using high-quality, nutritionally balanced protein from clean, safe food sources!

Try making your own homemade dog food I guarantee your dog will love the real food you’re offering – not the fake food he’s been forced to eat so far!

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