August 6, 2012

7 The Trials of Overseas Shipping, or Homemade Dog Food

We do something I'm kind of ashamed of- or at least my inner hippie is ashamed of.
We order the dogs' food from the States. 
There's a reason... really.
Sloan has irritable bowel disease, and her puppyhood was sometimes an uphill battle of dietary issues. She's allergic to lamb, and doesn't do well with chicken or beef as her main protein.  She stops eating (once for four days before I gave in) if her kibble is fish-based, although she likes fish-based treats. She does well with venison or bison as her main protein, and we found a great dog food that uses human grade ingredients and she does well on. So we stuck with it.
I did try the kibble recommended by our vet here after we moved- it was the fish-based one, and the time she refused to eat for four days. 

Anyway. All of that non-eco-friendly mini-confessional was to set up what I've spent my time doing this weekend- which, if you follow me on Twitter, you've heard about. The dogs' food normally arrives 5-10 days after I ordered it, and I ordered it at the beginning of July. Well... it hasn't arrived.  We were in Spain and Portugal for two weeks and got home Saturday to find out that the dogs had about one meal left in kibble. 
We went to our usual meal for when Sloan's having a flare-up: plain chicken and rice. 
She about jumped out of her skin in excitement- she LOVES chicken and rice. We've even (jokingly) accused her of vomiting just so she'd get chicken and rice. 
I've always known in the back of my head that I'll probably have to start making Sloan's (and, therefore, the caboose, Max's) food someday, as her dietary needs get more limited.  
I actually tried a raw diet several years ago, but Max never seemed to adjust to it (i.e. he had sporadic diarrhea) and, about three weeks in, Sloan began only eating the beef heart- refusing the chicken, tilapia, and other bits.  So we quit the raw diet.

Back to current events.
Yesterday (Sunday) I added in some peas, and their usual every-other-day canned pumpkin.
Today, when the kibble still hadn't arrive (it apparently shipped July 7...),
I went to the supermarket. I bought organic green beans, sweet potatoes, and blueberries,
then went to the local farm shops for free-range, organic chicken breasts and eggs. 

I then started cooking (the chicken was grilled, since that's infinitely easier than boiling it). Two hours later, I ended up with this.

The little circle in the middle of the rice is frozen chicken broth- I was trying to get it to thaw. The bottom left is oatmeal. Top left is eggs.

 Odd when you put it all together, but, hey. They ARE dogs.

 Despite them both STEALING my blueberries regularly, they both left a few in their bowls tonight. Eh. Max will eat them.

 I realized that if this is going to go on for a while, they need a little more. Obviously, if I were doing this long-term, I'd get them some vitamins or supplements, but we're hoping the kibble arrives any day now. Until then, however, they need some iron and calcium, so I added some yogurt and the crushed egg shells, then puréed the green beans and blueberries into the yogurt. I'll get some beef for them tomorrow, as well.

While I was doing all of this, and cursing the shipping systems, I started thinking about doing this seriously in the future.  Max's orthopedic issues and osteoarthritis have him on a daily NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory), which means we have to check his kidney and liver levels regularly- and lately his kidney levels have been borderline worrisome.  I don't know anything about kidney-disease dietary needs, but I'm wondering if, should I put enough research and effort into compiling the ingredients, his health might benefit from this. Of course, I'd have to customizing another diet for Sloan. It'd be tedious, but we've already adjusted nearly every other aspect of our lives for them- so why not add this?!?

In MY food news, I made homemade ramen for myself the past two nights- and it was DELICIOUS!
Miso soup mix, thai rice noodles, shrimp (prawns), and green peas!

Hopefully their kibble arrives, and I can spend my time doing other things- like editing the 2000+ pictures I took on our holiday!


  1. Both the dog meals and your meal look amazing!

  2. ok, so we almost had to do this same thing for Sherm. we also believe that he's allergic to chicken and beef (who knows about lamb). we tried about 10 different dog foods until we finally found the one sent from heaven .... and cheap too. we do Purina ProPlan Sensitive Stomach (Salmon). It is seriously the only thing that we've found to work for him. so, he's a fish dog. :) he loves it but some people say his coat smells like salmon. ha.

  3. p.s. your pups are so lucky to have you make all of that for them. such a good mom.

  4. hey, that looks pretty good. can you make my dinner, too? :)

  5. Wow, that is some true love. :) Luckily our dogs will (and do) eat anything so I don't have to do anything so extreme. Good for them, cuz I am too lazy for all that!
    Yes, please get to the editing soon! My life long (since high school Spanish) dream is to go to Spain.

  6. Great job with the dog food! I'm impressed. We tried a raw diets with the cats earlier this year. They loved it at first, and then they didn't want anything to do with it. :-/

    Also, your Ramen looks SO GOOD right now.

  7. Seriously, that dog food looks good enough to eat!

    My first dog when I was growing up was sickly, so the vet recommended making our own dog food. My mom discovered it was easy enough and cheaper than regular dog food, she continued doing it for our second dog. She would make a huge batch up and freeze it until needed. Once I get a normal sized kitchen it's something I'll definitely be doing - they are worth it after all!


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