Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A history of dog food......part two

After Mr Spratt had started to make his dog biscuits and sell them worldwide, the next big thing to happen was to be when machines took over from horses in doing all our hard work. Around the early 1900's there were just too many horses surplus to requirements and so they were turned into dog food. Eventually horses were bred just for the purpose and sold as a tinned dog food.

The next big change was during World War II when a shortage of tin meant that the dog food manufacturers had to come up with a new idea. Essentially this was the start of the dry kibble type product we know today and what's interesting is that the nutritional needs of the dog were not considered at all - it just needed to have a long shelf life and not be a tinned product. The simple reason there are so many unnecessary carbohydrates in commercial dog food is because they dry easily, keep for a long time and are much cheaper than protein - not because it's what dogs should be eating.

In 1964 the Pet Food Institute began a campaign to stop people feeding their dogs anything but commercial dog food.

Last year, pet food companies in the US spend $16 billion promoting their products.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Too damn hot

It's still rather hot and while Ruben had a cool off in the lake, another frozen treat recipe is perhaps needed.

Fill an ice cube tray - preferably one with larger shapes - by gently pouring in natural low fat yogurt into each section. When you're done, squeeze a tiny amount of honey into the centre of every one and then place  in the freezer until solid. The honey might not completely freeze but the yogurt will. You can always make larger versions in a old ice cream tub if your dog is on the big side.

Pop one out of the tray and feed to your hot dog.

Feeding outside is fairly essential I'd say, they're a bit messy.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hot Dog

It's suddenly got very hot and Ruben is all floppy and panting in the garden.

So, it's time to cool down those hot dogs.  Just giving them an ice cube can be amusement enough but if you want to go that stage further, dissolve a low sodium chicken or beef stock cube in some boiling water and, if you have some to hand, a little chopped parsley as well. When it's cooled down, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray, either regular squares or novelty shaped, and stick in the freezer.

Feed to your dog as an ice lolly treat whenever the heat strikes.

Just don't put them in your G&T by accident.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

As fit as a butcher's dog - for real

I really enjoyed being part of BBC Radio London's Barking at the Moon programme on Thursday night and it was good to find out that presenters, Jo and Anna, are also fans of feeding a natural diet too.

I mentioned that my local butcher makes a pet food mix which is made up of all the offcuts of beef, chicken and lamb which is then mixed in with a little bit of heart which I then feed raw. It's an inexpensive meal and packed full of organic, free range meat. If your local butcher doesn't make a similar product it may well be worth asking if they would consider making one - they have something to do with all the offcuts and you get a protein packed meal for your dog. Win, win as they say.

My local butcher is

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Not just for cats

Fish and fish oils are a fine addition to a dogs diet. One of the quickest meals you can make is to open a can of mackerel and add an egg or mix in some cooked veg. Tins of sardines are also good to feed and they make for easy travel food when you want the convenience of something that can be stored and transported without mess.

Fish oils supplements are especially good for bones, joint mobility, easing arthritis and for maintaining healthy nails and skin. Dorwest herbs make a cod liver oil capsule and you can also buy Alaskan fish oil supplements which are very pure.

The lovely ladies, Jo Good and Anna Webb have invited me as 'Owner of the Week' onto their doggie programme, Barking at the Moon this Thursday 17th May on BBC Radio London 94.9 at 11pm. I shall be chatting to them about my love of feeding dogs a natural homemade diet so it should be fun.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

You're a good egg

The humble egg is one of the easiest and cheapest proteins you can feed to your dog. They are the original whole food as they contain all the nutrients that are needed for the growth of a new chicken.  The egg itself is a perfect protein, the most digestible of all the animal proteins and of course completely unprocessed. Even the shell is good to feed as it contains calcium - they can be ground up in a coffee grinder and sprinkled onto food.

You can feed them whole to include the shell or broken raw over some crushed vegetables or meat or you can feed them lightly cooked. 

Eggs are especially good for growing pups and nursing mums and if your dog suffers from skin problems, then egg yolks can be particularly beneficial.

Good old eggs.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Treat yourself

Making treats instead of buying them will mean you'll know exactly what went into them and might even save you money.

Buy some calf liver and cut it into biggish chunks. Boil it for 10 minutes, (have the windows open/extractor fan on - not the most pleasant smell!) and then place on a baking sheet and bake it in a hot oven for 10 minutes, turn it over and then bake for another 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let in cool it bit and then cut it into small treat sized pieces. Keep the treats in an air tight container.

Other little nibbly treats that are good and healthy are chopped up boiled egg and small pieces of a hard cheese. No need to serve on cocktail sticks - this isn't the 70's.......