Here is a thought:  We think every day about how to make our lives healthier, how to lose weight, or how can I get more energy.   What foods should I eat?  Which ones shouldn’t I eat?  Is that really that bad for me?  Then there is the dreaded word; exercise. Have you ever thought about these questions but pertained them to your dogs? Are these ingredients good for my dog?  If this is doing this to my body what is it doing to my dogs? How long should I exercise my dog and where?polly playing

My husband and I lost two wonderful beagles at a very young age.  We really started thinking about how not only how to make our lives better but our dogs as well.  We had read so many different articles and reviews about dogs and their health issues, as well as, vaccinations and the food they eat.  My husband instantly started researching after our first beagle and then when our Gracie passed; he went into full motion on researching.  Several things really caught our attention when treating and tending to Gracie on a daily basis.  Making sure she was eating, at which we fed her anything in our kitchen she would eat to keep the weight on; and trying to keep her active.   Prior to the illness, Gracie had no health issues except she had gained a little weight ( a year or two before) and was extremely active; we were instructed to keep her on a Science diet to maintain her weight.  Which I felt we should be able to trust, but after having her on the food and then starting a second beagle on it we really started thinking about what they were eating.  We wanted to trust the food but we were also very worried about what it was doing to their food

After Gracie passed, my husband just said we are done with store-bought dog food.  I was having to buy three different kinds of food, every two to three weeks, for four dogs and it was the higher-end food. It was costing more than our grocery bill.  So, we started making our own dog food.

As I have mentioned many times, we researched which foods were the best for them, foods that were high in the vitamins and minerals they needed, and we also read and researched other people’s experiences.  We started out with brown rice, mixed vegetables, a hamburger (nothing under 80/20), and broccoli.   From there, we now mix it up between beef, shredded chicken, and the occasional salmon.  Also, we have tried other vegetables to see what they like the best; from mixed veggies to Squash.  I must add they have eaten it all! I also don’t buy treats anymore unless they are some sort of a bone for them to chew on but even those are real bones from our butcher or an occasional dental bone (which Tiny loves).  I make their treats as well.  All I can say is Google has really helped me.  There are so many recipes online but I always research the ingredients if I don’t know much about them.  I make sure they are ingredients that are really good for our dogs.   Also, look for the best deals on the ingredients.  (Hint: I use a lot of frozen vegetables or anything that can freeze well.) Plus if you have the time and like being in the kitchen remember fresh is always better.  With us making their food we are saving money in the long run.

The other thing we came across is needing to make sure our puppies were getting the nutrients they need.  I admit we still research this and try different things all the time.  I suggest looking into flaxseed, chai seeds, calcium (grounded eggshells are good for this), and which vitamins are in the foods you are cooking. Our new favorite friend to make their food in is the Instant Pot.  It is life-changing and time-saving when it comes to their meals and ours!  If you are looking into making your own food I highly suggest an Instant Pot if you don’t already have one. There are different versions and sizes so researching is the best tool in making a decision.

Within a week of having our dogs on the homemade food, we saw a huge difference.  Keep in mind our Lab is 11 years old and our 2 beagles are 10.  They have a lot more energy.  One of the beagles, Tiny, loved her sleep (don’t get me wrong she still does), but now she runs and chases her sister and has a lot more energy throughout her day; especially when daddy gets home.  All three of them look healthier and eat a lot better since we have switched.  We have had them on homemade food for about a year now.  Their grandparents (our parents:) are still commenting on how different they are since we have switched them.  Tiny doesn’t sleep all day, Tess can be more of a handful, and Duke, being the old man, is like a 6-month-old puppy.  Duke has always been more of a puppy but now I am really trying to teach him how to put up his own toys!

I couldn’t write this post on food without giving you some of our histories.  We found out that store-bought food has been a trigger for many illness and lawsuits in which kidney issues is a huge problem.  We don’t have everything down perfectly yet as in minerals and vitamins they need but every day is a new day of researching and trying new things.  I highly suggest trying homemade dog food and researching all the different food that they really can have.  So many of the foods we eat are extremely healthy for our dogs as well.


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