Lately their has been a drive to feed your dog the highest quality food money can buy. It seems that more and more dog food companies are spending time making sure that they express how healthy their food is. I have always had dogs while growing up, and we always fed them kibble plus some table scraps every once in a while. Over the last year or so I have seen a big drive with in the social media community to stop feeding your dogs kibble. The idea that my dogs needed to be switched to a different type of food didn’t hit me until mid way through this year, and it all started with getting my dogs teeth cleaned.
Currently I have two dogs. One is a 5 year old Dorkie and the other is a 9 month old Cockapoo. My Cockapoo was not exactly excited about the kibble. She would generally sit next to the food bowl and watch her brother eat until he finished. Only then would she start eating her kibble and never with any gusto. My Dorkie has always been a picky eater. I usually have to resort to putting chicken on his food to make his kibble look more appetizing. This was a constant stressor because he would always eat the chicken and spit out the kibble. No one likes to step on kibble with bare feet. But he acted normal and had a lot of energy so I tried to put it out of my mind.
This all changed when we brought him in for a routine teeth cleaning. He ended up getting a massive infection, and I truly believed that I was getting ready to say goodbye to my beloved pet. He developed sores that took three months to heal, and now have become some massive scars. We had been going to this Vet since the beginning, and they have always been great. But when he got infected they suddenly went from being competent to not having any idea what was going on. They had us bring him back three times in a week and all of those times they acted confused. Though they certainly had no problem charging us for every visit and all the new pills that they kept giving us to try. The first part of my lesson in life started here. This is when I should have immediately brought my dog to another Vet. Especially after they started to accuse us of beating and poisoning our dog! I would rather saw through my own arm with a butter knife than hurt my dog. I felt like I was in a different reality and I am going to have to say bye to this little dog who stole my heart. The second I made the decision to go to another vet it all got better so fast my head spun. When we switched to a different vet all she told us was that it was an infection, gave us different medication (that really worked), and sent us home with an appointment in two weeks. He started to look better the next day, and we were so relieved.
But during the time I was stressing out that my dog might be dying I was creating negative energy. This presented itself in an odd way. One day a news article popped up in my news feed that stated the dog food I was giving my dog was on the FDA’s watch list for enlarged hearts. I immediately thought that maybe all of his problems started with a poor diet. Now this is where being negative about the situation compounded itself. A day after we found out about the dog food something else popped up on the news on how the process of making kibble is potentially very harmful to your dogs. Now I am finding out that the kibble I am feeding my dogs is not just going to enlarge his heart but also potentially give him cancer. All I could think of is that I am going to have to say goodbye to my dog because I was feeding him stuff that was bad for him!
So when I finally stopped beating myself up I started to look into different options. Which brought me to the raw diet for dogs. I contacted a local provider of raw food for dogs, they told me to go do research, and come back when I am ready to order. So I researched it and found out that its actually a lot easier, safer, and in some cases cheaper to home cook my dogs food.
I spent 4 weeks researching what they need to switch them over to home cooked meals. I learned a lot. The most difficult thing I ran into was finding the correct supplements for them. I posted them below if any of you are trying to do what I have done. Almost all of our food is fortified with the essential vitamins and minerals that you need. The same thing goes for kibble. When changing over to home cooked dog food I needed to create a plan that included every thing they needed, and supplements are important if you want to be cost effective. I got a food processor, supplements, and now my puppies cant wait for their food!
This situation taught me two lessons. One is that its always a good idea to get a second opinion from another Vet. I feel that if we had done this earlier he might have healed faster. What was stopping me from doing so was not trusting my dog. He is a shy dog which makes it hard for me to want to change Vets. I was afraid that he would not take going to another Vet well so I waited longer than I should have. But when we did bring him to the new Vet he enjoys it there so much more. I can tell you that the new Vet treats my dog better. They are so much more focused on making sure he feels safe and happy that I came down pretty hard on myself for not switching earlier. The other lesson is that when you are constantly being negative only more negative stuff will continue to happen. Once I switched from thinking negatively about the kibble to thinking positively about developing a plan to feed them better, life got better. My dog was healing, and both of them can not wait for meal time! I am very grateful to have switched my dog’s food. They are both very happy, and I feel better knowing that they are eating better.
If you are looking into switching over to home cooked meals here are the few supplements and other things I needed to get started.