I know I’ve been howling and whining about my sick dog, Biscuit, for months now. She got really sick in February, and after a rough couple of weeks we found out she is diabetic. Things have improved remarkably since the vet put her on a routine of two insulin shots a day.
The vet was also concerned about her liver and kidneys, said she needed a less protein and more grain, and put her prescription food. She didn’t like it, and we had to try all kinds of tricks to get her to eat it. When she was really weak and emaciated in the beginning, we put it in our bullet blender with some chicken broth and gave it to her with a child’s food syringe. She barfed a lot, we fed her more, she started to hold it down. After tests showed her liver was better, but she was still reading a little high in certain toxins, the vet switched to another food, and gave us the option of dry food. She eats it just fine – unfortunately it’s restrictively expensive.
I read the ingredients on the prescription food – higher in grains like rice, corn and barley – and started to adjust the wet food I make. I read online that barley is a “low glycemic” grain, better for diabetics, so I added that to the chicken, rice and pea food I’ve been making for many years. I lowered the ratio of chicken to one third.
After a couple of weeks, we took her in for a blood test. I’d been weaning her off of the vet food, giving her more and more of the homemade food, and I wondered what the results would look like. When the vet didn’t call with the results right away, I figured there wasn’t anything particularly wrong. I was correct – when we called to get the results, she said most of the tests showed normal, there was only one test that came back a little high, and that was not anything alarming. She still wanted us to keep our dog on the prescription food – we didn’t tell her, we’d been giving Biscuit about 50-50 homemade food. We bought another bag of the prescription food just to be cooperative, and we’ll see how the next test comes back.
Meanwhile we read that healthy dogs, like our young ACD Badges, should not eat too much grain. We bought a grain free dry food for Badges, and began feeding them both a combination of the homemade wet food and their respective dry foods.
Unfortunately, Badges is not crazy about his new grain free kibble. He’s jealous that Biscuit gets a different food – he’s not stupid, it looks completely different, bigger chunks, a different color. He’s a funny little dog, finicky. At times he just won’t eat his commercial food. It drives me nuts because I can’t make enough of the wet food to sustain them both, we need to supplement their diet with some good kibble.
People might say I spoil my dogs, but I say, why have a pet if you don’t take proper care of it? A pet is your partner, don’t be dumb. Our dogs take care of us, when we’re down they cheer us up, and I pity the fool who tries to get in our yard. Dogs are part of our lifestyle, and we’ve learned painful lessons over the years. So, I started watching Badges, and one day I noticed, he tried to eat the kibble, but the little bb sized pellets were just plain hard to chew. He’d take a mouthful and most of it would fall out of his mouth while he crunched a single rock-hard pellet between his teeth. It looked just plain annoying. I noticed the pellets in Biscuit’s food were bigger and shaped differently.
So, you know me – I have waaaaay too much time on my hands. I looked online and found a neat recipe for dog treats that I could cut up smaller and make an easy, delicious, nutritious kibble for Badges, with a few to share with Biscuit.
I’ve used liver in my dog food before because it’s easy and cheap to get at the grocery store and they love it. I don’t know how healthy it is for them, but having read the ingredients in the veterinary prescription food, I don’t really think I can do much worse.
I got a pint container of chicken liver and dumped it into my bullet blender. Oh yeah, it was gross, good thing I was raised in Glenn County, ate plenty of chicken livers as a child. It came out like blood soup, I was too grossed out to take a picture. I dumped it into a pile of flour and corn meal I had waiting in a mixing bowl. It mixed right up into sort of a pinkish brownie dough. I spread it on some lightly oiled foil I had laid in a baking pan.
As instructed, I baked it in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. The house started to smell very good. The dogs started to whine at the screen door.
This was very easy, easier than the oatmeal biscuits I used to make for my dogs. Would you believe, this amount above is enough for almost a week, in addition to the wet food I already make. I can make both foods at the same time, make enough to last 4 – 7 days at a time. Yes, it’s cheaper than quality store-bought food, and I really believe it’s healthier for them than the pile of chemicals and fillers listed on the bags and cans of commercial food.
And yeah, I didn’t have to cajole Badges to eat it like I have to cajole him to eat the store-bought food.