A Green Pet – Making Your Own Pet Food

When I bought my little cutie, Rex, I felt like a new parent. He was so tiny and dependent on me. I had many questions about what food to feed Rex or how to care for his health, now that I was living a more green life style. I had some nay sayers that couldn’t believe I cared, he was an animal. Go to the pet store and get whatever. Well, yes but he deserves to be well taken care of and if I don’t take good care of him he won’t live as long. Taking care of our pets will decrease costly vet bills.

Recently, I had to take Rex to the vet and it was not cheap. Rex had fleas after visiting our pet sitter while we vacationed and luckily we found a natural solution. I thought Rex was acting funny after our flea incident but one morning I woke up to puppy vomit. Rex continued to vomit and was very lethargic so I rushed him to the vet. This is where I felt like a scared new parent. I didn’t know what was wrong and how I could help him. He was very dehydrated and after a blood test they discovered he had an unknown infection and he would need antibiotics. They almost kept him overnight but luckily after some medicine and re-hydration he perked up. We don’t know how he came to get the infection but the fleas could have triggered his infection to spike.

This vet experience allowed me the opportunity to try making Rex some homemade dog food. He wasn’t allowed to eat dry dog food for a few days and so I had to cook his food. At first I thought this was a pain but then I realized how easy it was and gratifying. I boiled a cup of organic whole grain rice and mixed in a cup of organic shredded chicken. I have never seen a happier dog. He ate so well and couldn’t wait until I fed him again. I joke, at least someone in my house likes my cooking!

Here is the recipe I am using to now make Rex’s dog food:

1 cup of whole grain, organic rice, oatmeal, or pasta-cooked.

1 cup of organic shredded chicken or fish-cooked. I use canned if I have not made chicken or fish during the week.

1 tsp of safflower oil

1 unflavored crushed tums

Dash of salt

1 crushed up all natural children’s vitamin

I make this once a week and store it in the refrigerator. For variety, I process any organic cooked veggies we are having.

Rex was doing great on my homemade dog food but then I began mixing it up and feeding him the dry dog food that was recommended to me. I really wanted to go with Grandma Lucy’s but I can only get this natural dog food online. So I trusted a good friend who said she loves Nutro and it’s all natural. So once I began adding this back into his diet, he got sick again. I went online and discovered a scary consumer report about Nutro and pets dying and having the EXACT same symptoms as my puppy. The sad part is, nobody was fessing up and dog owners had no answers. This sent me to the pet store with all sorts of questions. I got an “unofficial” report from the no named pet store, that they have many problems with this brand which is now owned by Mars, which had a recall of dog food. Hmmm??? Apparently when stuff like this happens the dog food suddenly “cannot be stocked” because “ingredients are being changed”. However, there is never any admission of a problem. So the pet store clearly steered me away from this brand and to another product that is holistic and all natural with a clean track record.

I only want to have dry food mixed with my homemade dog food, in case I were to ever not be around. I want Rex to be used to dry food but not if it will make him sick! Was there a connection between Nutro and my puppy? I’m not sure but I don’t think I’ll ever know. Another reason why it might not be a bad idea to make your own dog food, if you can. There are other recipes on making your own dog food and when I spoke with my vet, she advised I just make sure he has a complete and balanced diet. I don’t think that everyone has to make their own dog food, or that it is necessary, but it is economical and a great option. There are lots of great dog food companies that supply organic dog food so there isn’t a need to buy foods that have fillers or nasty ingredients in them, as I have discovered! Giving Rex, or any pet, quality food helps keep them healthier and happier–and that means fewer vet visits.

Original post written for 5 Minutes for Going Green

Read more from Sommer over at Green & Clean Mom, where she writes about being some shade of green every day. Subscribe to her blog here and don’t miss out her latest finds, contests, giveaways and sexy and sassy green tips!

11 Responses to A Green Pet – Making Your Own Pet Food
  1. Avie
    August 23, 2008 | 1:39 am

    I am just wondering if you could use that recipe for Cats, I have cats and feed them Nutro which I may quite doing! Everyone said it was the best but now I am contiplating that. Any suggestions on cat food organically?

  2. Adrienne
    August 25, 2008 | 9:15 am

    Please, PLEASE know that it’s NOT OKAY to make a homemade diet for cats without educating yourself on their specific dietary needs. Dogs are omnivores and can pretty much eat anything. Cats are carnivores and have more specialized needs. If you’re going to make a homemade diet for cats you need to be sure it’s going to contain everything they need. Here is a good place to start reading: http://www.felineoutreach.com/ Lots of links to more at the bottom of the page.

  3. Adrienne
    August 25, 2008 | 9:16 am

    Oops. at this link: http://www.felineoutreach.com/ Click on Education, then on nutrition. (I can’t get it to link directly.)

  4. Sommer (Green and Clean Mom)
    August 25, 2008 | 10:37 am

    Thanks for writing this Adrienne. I never replied because I was trying to do some research on this to see about making cat food. I know nothing about cats.

  5. Avie
    August 25, 2008 | 10:39 am

    Thanks Ladies
    I was doing some research as well and cats need to have an all raw diet it seems which wont work well having kids around, but I will keep searching for a more healthy alternative for them :)

  6. Adrienne
    August 25, 2008 | 10:45 am

    Actually cats do not need to have an all raw diet. That would be ideal, but like yourself many people are unwilling or unable for various reasons. The next healthiest alternative is canned food; it’s (much) higher in protein than dry, contains lots of moisture which prevents various health problems, and usually contains little or no grains, whereas dry food is mostly grain which carnivores do not need and in fact it often causes obesity and other health problems! My cats eat this: http://www.naturesvariety.com/instinct_cat_can
    It’s darn pricey so I also feed them some canned grocery store Friskies, less than ideal but still way better than dry!

  7. Avie
    August 25, 2008 | 10:46 am

    thanks :) I will check that out.

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  9. eve
    July 31, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    thanks for this post, it was informative and interesting. I have a 13 year old standard poodle and JUST started cooking chicken and rice for him. I add plain yoghurt, boiled carrots always, I throw in acidophilus and sometimes I sprinkle supplement powder from HONEST KITCHEN on it. If he’s still super hungry I’ll put some of the Merrick Sr. Dry food in his bowl. He doesn’t usually overeat. He’s been getting diarrhea a lot lately and our Vet recommended cooking for him. WELL, his diarrhea went away in a DAY and he’s vibrant and playful again. It’s incredible. I’m hooked! Organic ingredients, boiling, de boning and lots of love….

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