Dog food can be expensive and confusing, with so many choices between commercial foods or choosing to make your own, the options to feed your dog are endless.
In this blog, I am going to talk about what I feed my dogs. This is just my opinion and what has been working for me, I am not a canine nutrition expert and if you have a dog that has special dietary needs please consult with a canine nutrition consultant.
I am currently feeding my dogs a combination of Acana/Orijen kibble mixed with homemade food. I travel a lot and I am either taking my dogs with me or I have to leave them with someone, so I like to feed something that is easy for me on the road or easy for someone watching my dogs.
I also like mixing in the homemade with the kibble so they get some fresh foods and variety in their diet. Acana/Orijen is not a cheap food either, so by combining it with some homemade food I can also make the bag last longer, which is a win in my book! 🙂
I am mixing up a batch of homemade food today, which consists of:
Mix of veggies
Beef muscle meat
Yes, I do feed grains, none of my dogs have any issues with grains so I include them in their diet. (I will probably be writing more of why I include grains in a later blog)
I cook the grains and veggies in my large roaster pan, once they are cooked. (very, very cooked, I want everything to be squishy. we want the grains and veggies to be mushy so the dogs can digest them) Then I will mix in the raw beef and eggs. If you would prefer to cook your protein, you can add everything to the cooker also.
Once I have everything mixed really well, I will sometimes add some yogurt or cottage cheese to the mix as well.
From here depends on how much time I have and how I want to feed my homemade. If I am traveling or leaving my dogs with someone I will freeze the homemade into little burger size patties, this way I can just defrost patties for each dog. Most of the time I store everything in containers and just pull containers out for the dogs as I need them. One of my containers usually lasts around 4 days for all 4 dogs. (again, depending on how much homemade I am feeding)
If I am making patties, I will form them and then freeze them on parchment paper. Once frozen I will put them in ziplock bags.
You can also use a food saver to make patties, I have used it to make large batches of patties that I freeze without taking up much room.
When I am not traveling I tend to feed kibble in the morning with some fresh food like cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, etc. At night, I will feed only homemade, usually from the big batch I have made. If I don’t have any made up, then I will feed what I have available, some meat, little grain and maybe some veggies.
Some days, if I am busy, or I don’t have any homemade, they will get just kibble. Any time I feed kibble I always add water.
I try to also feed only homemade at least 2-3 times a week. On those days, I will feed just raw/homemade food that I have made with no kibble added. I feel like this keeps variety in my dogs meals and lets them have access to a “fresh food day” with no kibble.
The main supplement that all my dogs get is Auburn Lab’s Advanced Protection Formula. Their website is: http://www.auburnlabs.com/ I love this blend of herbs and it has done wonders for my dogs. I see a huge difference in Try who is almost 13, yet she acts like she is 3! I take the human version of this supplement also, and I notice a difference with myself as well.
All in all, that is pretty much what my dogs eat. I will rotate their fresh foods, different veggies, proteins, and grains. I have been rotating their kibble as well, between Fromm, Acana, and Orijen, but I have been really happy with Acana/Orijen so I haven’t rotated their kibble in a while. I have been just rotating between flavors in the Acana/Orijen line.
I am really happy with the way my dogs look and I like this method of feeding. I can choose when to add fresh food depending on my travel schedule, and money. (lets be honest, feeding dogs is expensive, so saving some money is a huge plus!) It is easy for them to get just kibble if I am on the road, or need to leave them with someone, they are used to getting both fresh and kibble so switching back and forth has never caused any upset tummies.
In future blog posts I will go deeper into the herbs and supplements I feed.