Thursday Thoughts: If your pet is a member of the family…

no blog is complete without a photo of a pug

…feed him/her like one!

Our hairy monster is very much a member of the family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the sort that refers to him as our ‘baby’ or myself as ‘mummy’ (that kinda creeps me out) but he is definitely a paid-up member of the pack and we love him.

Since we love him we want to keep him around as long as possible and decided to feed him accordingly.

A healthy diet makes for a healthy dog, especially now that he is getting older and creakier, which is why we put some thought into preparing his meals.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet, nor have I had any training in animal nutrition. Please speak to your vet if you have any concerns or questions about this. I’m merely providing a reference point and opening it up for discussion.

Although dogs such as ours need some dry food (it helps clean their teeth), we try to limit the amount of kibble he has.

When he was sucking down a bowl a day he threw it all back up with alarming regularity and – those of a sensitive nature should look away now – it came up mostly undigested.

Yep, it looked just as plasticky and chemically after it had chilled out a while in his stomach as it did in the bowl. Gross.

Once we cut back on the kibble and started giving him a fresh meal each evening, the puking curse was lifted.

The recipe below is what we give him for dinner every night.

We've all been there buddy

The amounts may vary a little but it basically follows the same format – starch, veg, fruit and meat.

I buy in bulk and make around ten portions at a time, shove them in the freezer and hey presto! Just take ’em out as you need ’em.

If you are worrying about cost, don’t. I buy ground turkey or beef from my local grocery store where it costs around $4 for a packet that will do six meals.

The oats are also the cheap kind and the veg/fruit usually comes from leftovers that we never get around to eating or the scraps that we are just too delicate to ingest (“oh no, my celery is slightly brown“).

Our dog is a pitbull mix who weights around 90llbs and we find this is ample for him.

A Single Serving of Our Dog’s Food

  • 1/2 cup cooked porridge oats (or rice)
  • 1/3 cup chopped apple (de-cored. Some dogs don’t tolerate the pips well)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped vegetables (I usually do celery, broccoli stalks or carrot, best to start with small amounts if you are giving your dog anything new)
  • 3/4 cup meat (usually ground turkey or beef but pretty much anything will do here when you’ve a dog like ours)

NB: We also give him some supplements. He is an old dog with a lot of muscle on spindly legs so we give him fish oil tablets and glucosamine. I’ll also throw in the occasional tablespoon of coconut oil.

Again, please do your own research on this if you are interested. I was hesitant to put this meal plan out there because I know it’s a very divisive issue and my approach is quite unscientific.

We just wanted to get our dog off the processed junk that’s so freely available and onto something more wholesome. This works for him.

If you are interested in snackage, take at look at this extremely helpful post on making your own jerky at immacrafty bitch.

To all the pet owners out there, what do you feed your animals? Do you think I’m missing something? Any advice on what to give an old dog with stiff joints and a penchant for resting his enormous bulk on your toes is very welcome.

And since you managed to get this far into the post, here’s a small reward for your trouble. This video freaks me out, but in a good way. Their dog training skills are to be applauded.

9 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: If your pet is a member of the family…

  1. Hahaha, that Pug made me smile so hard that I had to come and read the rest of the story – in spite of the fact that I have no pets!

    In childhood though, I had a beautiful Welsh Collie/German Shepherd cross named Rex, who I grew up with. Along with dog biscuits and whatever canned food was considered “good” at the time, we spoiled him rotten – he got his roast dinner on a Sunday just like the rest of us.

    In his old age he developed rheumatoid arthritis, so the vet put him on medication (which he would happily take mixed in with his food – he was a good boy) and advised us to give a spoonful of olive oil with each feeding. It helped his joints a little, and he deeloped the most wonderful, glossy black coat!

  2. I agree about limiting the apple cores. My husband was feeding our pup a lot of apple cores — that dog LOVES apples (and oranges, and cheese, and, ok, really everything). He developed an unexplained high white blood cell count. We cut back on the apple cores and he seems fine now. I guess apple seeds contain traces of arsenic.

  3. My family has always treated our pets like family – to the point we even give them family names. For example our late yellow lab: Daniel Patrick.

    Our current labradoodle, Harriet, is an usually picky eater. She never touches dry kibble.. so my parents have taken to feeding her rotisserie chickens from the grocery store (which I thought was an improvement since they’re not highly processed). I’ll have to share this recipe with them 🙂

  4. Pingback: Sweet Potato Fish Cakes | Things My Belly Likes

  5. A bit of a late comment…but since “going Primal” I know feed my 2 year old West Highland Terrier a raw diet…he gets chicken wings, drumsticks, carcasses, necks, beef bones, liver, heart, raw eggs and anything else i can get my hands on. He has a bone deformation issue, so he also gets doggy glucosamine (human glucosamine is too rapidly absorbed so he needs a special dose) as well as fish oil and the odd veggie scraps now and then…

    He loves it! and has a very shiny coat and healthy teeth..

    Remember though, any bones you feed to your dog MUST be raw!


    • Thanks Rio, we’re trying to transition our guy off the grains but now it turns out he has an allergy to something so we’re doing a complete diet overhaul to figure out exactly what it is he can’t take….looks like we might go the 100% raw meat route too!

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