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Why You Should Make Your Own Dog Food – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

Dog Food is sooooo important to the health and longevity of your dog’s life that there are no good reasons not to make food for your four legged family member.

The Pet Food Institute says:

People have fed, domesticated, and kept dogs and cats for work and/or pleasure for millennia. While scientists aren’t yet certain exactly when these animals transitioned from work animals (employed primarily to guard livestock, assist with the hunt, or catch vermin, etc.) to our best friends, dogs and cats have a long history of living with humans.

A Long-Standing Relationship

Research suggests that dogs were domesticated 16,000 years ago, and possibly were keeping company with humans for more than 30,000 years. By 2000 BCE, humans were giving consideration into what to feed their dogs. Roman poet and philosopher Marcus Terentius Varro wrote a manual on farming, “Farm Topics,” that advised providing dogs with meat and bones, and barley soaked in milk.

Near the end of the 14th century, Gaston III, the eleventh Count of Foix Count in Southwestern France and an avid hunter, wrote a book in which he described how his beloved greyhounds were to be cared for. This included reference to what they were to be fed: bran bread, some of the meat from the hunt, and if the dog was sick, goat’s milk, bean broth, chopped meat or buttered eggs.

In common households during the middle ages and through the mid-19th centuries however, little consideration was given to feeding dogs, as a dog’s diet was much like that of its owners, consisting of whatever owners could spare, such as knuckles of bone, cabbage, potatoes, onions and crusts of bread. In the mid-1800’s, a dog or cat’s diet may have been more slightly more varied in cities where it was common for people to purchase horse meat for their pets, as working horses would die in the city streets.

Since then, dogs and cats have become an integral part of our households, and the scientific understanding of pet nutrition and food safety has advanced to help better protect the health of four-legged family members.

With the Industrial Revolution and rise of the middle class in the 19th century, families with disposable income began to keep domesticated dogs and cats as companion animals – rather than just as working animals.

Businessman James Spratt introduced the first commercially-prepared pet food in England in approximately 1860. After seeing dogs being fed leftover biscuits from a ship, Spratt formulated the first dog biscuit: a mix of wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot and beef blood. Spratt’s business venture was a success, meeting a new market demand and selling to English country gentlemen for sporting dogs.

A British public company took over Spratt’s formula and production began at a U.S. operation in about 1890. Additional companies began to develop their own recipes for biscuits and dry kibble, using the current nutritional knowledge of the time period. Canned dog food, “Ken-L Ration,” was introduced in 1922. Its main ingredient was horsemeat, which was considered an acceptable ingredient source at the time. Our understanding of and relationship with horses has since evolved, and as they have become pets, there is no longer a market for horse meat.

Horse meat

Eat What?

Safety Standards for Pet Food

Since commercial pet food was first introduced over a hundred years ago there have been evolving quality and safety standards for the industry, but….  As we all know a growing percentage of all of our goods are being produced and shipped from China.  There seems to be a lag in the product protection needed for the consumer.

A disturbingly large number of pets lives were lost or cut short due to tainted food and treats produced in China in the last few years.  If you buy commercial pet food, please research its quality and ask your Vet what they think.

Nutrition

The following is a chart of the average calorie needs for dogs.  Or go to this site.

calorie chart

Calories for your dog

Example

My dog Raizin is a female Chocolate Lab around 4 years old and weighing in at roughly 80 lbs.

Chocolate Lab

Raizin

According to the chart above, Raizin needs around 1250 cals per day if she doesn’t get any exercise.  She usually gets to run and ride so she burns a few more calories than that.  We like to change her foods every so often to keep her interested.  Right now she is getting ABOUND Lamb & Brown rice recipe. The product is distributed by an American company out of Ohio and sold at Kroger, but it doesn’t say where it’s made.  I kept looking and found the Dog Food Advisor.

Abound Dog Food (Dry)

Needless to say Raizin isn’t getting any more ABOUND.  Check out the DOG FOOD ADVISOR site for your dog food.

Ten Great Selections
from Our Best Dog Food Lists

SO LETS MAKE OUR OWN

Most dog foods have a protein, lamb, beef, chicken or fish.  They also contain rice, peas & carrots.  That’s not hard to do.

What We are Doing How

Breakfast – Raizin seems to be most hungry in the morning.  I usually have poached or fried eggs and so does Raizin.  She likes her eggs over light mixed into a cup of dry kibble with about an ounce of cheese grated on it.  Around 600 calories.

Lunch – 1 hamburger patty. Around 300 calories

Dinner – What ever we are eating I’ll make a serving for Raizin.  Chicken, beef, fish etc.  She also gets carrots, peas and brown rice.

Recipe Sites

Healthy Home Made Dog Food Recipes

10 Best Natural Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes

Top 20 homemade dog food recipes your dog will love

Spoil Your Older Dog with These Homemade Soft Dog Treats

What is good for your dog

Conclusions and Recommendations

I can already hear the shouts that cooking for another mouth is hard and expensive.  Considering the cost of dog food, another 1600 calories isn’t that expensive.  Plus if you look at the list of ingredients in the dog food, it’s as long as your arm.  That can’t be good.

I want my dog to be healthy, happy and live a long life.  I’m sure you do too. Try it for a while.  Maybe just once or twice a week. – Jughandle