Dog health is a process. After making your own dog food you may begin to notice bad dog breath is gone, hot spots are healing and there's less itching, scratching, and dandruff but here's my favorite.
Before I get to my favorite, I must say each dog is has a different healing rate depending on previous health problems and genetics.
I can attest to this because of my own five dogs.
That's Helen in the picture with me. She looked worse before she started looking better.
Why? Because she had more toxins to get out of her system. In fact, she was
still working on it after a year.
Why didn't I give up on her? Because I've learned real health doesn't happen overnight. Dog health is a process, just like dis-ease is a process. What kept me going was I could tell she was feeling better.
It started with the look in her eyes.
This nine-year-old girl progressed to not looking so stiff when she got up in the morning. And then . . .
I started making jokes about putting her back on junk food because the
crazy dog wouldn't slow down. She seemed enthusiastic to get up in the morning,
thrilled to go outside and at dinnertime - Holy smokes!
Like a dog on a racetrack, 80 pound Helen ran a big circle using all the free space in the living room and kitchen.
Because of her speed, when she got to the kitchen, she created her own form of drifting. Her legs stopped running as she slid six or seven feet nearly crashing into the back door.
Then there was the scramble of feet to help her change direction. (Think of Scoobie Doo scrambling.) Once the turn was made she headed back to the
living room for another round ...and then another.
All this energy and she still had a lump on her back near her tail. Did I worry about it? Not too much. It seemed a better choice to monitor it and it began shrinking at an extremely slow rate.
If you're not a regular reader, I eventually made the switch to a raw dog diet but I saw improvements from home cooked dog food as well. It was a slow process for me but I believe the two most important factors were getting rid of the kibble (see 27 Top Toxic Dog Food Ingredients) and gaining confidence while learning what each dog needed.
I read books by about homemade dog food and started out using cooked meat, vegetables and alternated grains (brown rice & quinoa) with legumes. Yes I actually fed my canines pinto beans* and lentils.
Here's what was going on inside:
For me, the change:
*If you are surprised to see beans and legumes on the list, I understand. They are high in protein and if cooked correctly, will not cause gas. They are the most time consuming ingredient in making your own dog food.
I had big doubts about beans so they were the last thing I tried. I cooked pinto beans after soaking for 12 hours. Amazingly, my dogs loved them. This entire step by step process has amazed me many times. But I must say beans and rice went by the wayside after three years or so. Why?
During poop patrol those two items began showing up as recognizable, meaning they were no longer being metabolized by the body and useless.
While I understand BARF dog food feeding (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) means no grains, I had a huge problem. It was impossible for me to come up with the needed 10 - 12 pounds per day of raw meat my five dogs would consume.
I also felt, and still do that by providing my canines with human grade food I was still far ahead of the kibble game.
Eventually I came up with a good affordable meat source through a raw feeders group. For ideas click over to the Canine Raw Diet, The Search for Meat.
In closing, remember health is a process and even if you don't get your meat, vegetable and grain ratios perfect when making your own dog food, you are so far ahead of the game by not buying pseudo-food dog kibble, it's not funny.
Just keep learning and tweaking that menu. For ideas including my two favorite supplements, visit Raw Dog Food Recipes.