Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Whole Food Diet: Revisited

Back in early July, I wrote about feeding our dog Molly whole food.  I figured two months have gone by since we started it, and I should probably revisit the topic and how its been going.

In one word:  awesome.

I love doing this.  I can't imagine not feeding her whole food now.  It is as much a part of our routine as doing laundry and washing the dishes.

I have stuck with the "Crock Pot Dinner" recipe that I originally started with, altering it here and there as need be.  I vary the meat she gets, ranging from whole cooked chicken, to beef liver, to beef heart, to whatever else I find.  Sometimes I cut the cooked meat up into bite-sized portions, other times I run it through the food processor so its more of a ground texture.  I still use brown rice.  And I still use a variety of veggies; sometimes frozen, sometimes fresh.  The other thing I've started doing is adding eggs, for additional protein.  I scramble a few, and then put them in the food processor.  By using the food processor on the meat and eggs, I can better ensure she is getting equal amounts of meat and eggs from serving to serving.  Also, once a day (usually in the morning), we put 1 tablespoon of fish oil (for the omega-3 fatty acids) on top of Molly's food.

Now let's talk cost.  Since we bought quarter of a beef this year from my parents, we were able to use the liver and heart and some other meat from that.  Which meant we weren't buying meat from the store or butcher.  So, the only cost is one 2 lb. bag of brown rice (~$2) and one 1 lb. bag of frozen veggies (~$1-$2), along with 5 or 6 eggs, which breaks down to about $.75.  If I do buy, say a package of beef liver, it runs about $2.50.  So for around $7, I can make a batch of Molly food, which lasts about a week.  To me, that isn't a bad price at all!  Next year, we plan on buying a half of a beef, and having a garden full of our own veggies, which will further cut down on the cost. 

Seeing how exited Molly gets when its time to feed her is what really gets me though.  If you take something out of the refrigerator or freezer, or microwave something, or heck, even if you're just in the kitchen, she goes nuts.  She sits down right away, but does this little "I'm so excited I can't sit still" thing where she shuffles around the whole kitchen while still trying to sit.  And if you take her food bowl (full of food) outside to her kennel, she runs ahead of you the whole way, spinning around in the air, never taking her eyes off that bowl.  She doesn't get this excited over anything else; just her food.

Also, her coat is shiny and silky, she isn't shedding nearly as much, her teeth are cleaner and her breath isn't as stinky.  She is staying lean and muscular, and isn't at all fat like a lot of Labradors get.  She's a lean, mean, duck-hunting machine!!

From now on, any pets we have, we will most certainly be sticking to our whole food diet.  Give it a try!