Cooking for her

#1
Now that Cassie is 12 months post spay I'm really having to fight the post spay weight and looking for ways to keep her satisfied without too many calories. I'd like to get started with cooking her food myself, but I'm not sure how to begin.. I know several of you cook for your dogs, do you have any advice on what sort of quantities I should give her at the outset? She doesn't have any allergies, so I'm free to use anything really, although I will avoid lamb as it doesn't altogether agree with her.

I was thinking along the lines of having veg, rice and perhaps pasta as her meals and using meat and fish as her training rewards. I'm sure it's a case of juggling and seeing how we go, but I'd be glad of anyone's thoughts.
 
#4
I give Maisy a cooked meal once or twice a week only, the rest is dry or raw. I tend to use the same percentage as @snowbunny with chicken (1 large chicken breast) or fish (tin of mackerel) as the meat and carrots, broccoli, sprouts, peas, cauli as the veg (unsalted) but I have to hide that under the meat so she doesn't realise. This is new to me still as Maisy has been such a picky eater and has only recently started accepting veg in her meals. Eventually I will try sweet potato and look into other veg. She also gets a rice bone for pudding.
 
#6
This is new to me still as Maisy has been such a picky eater and has only recently started accepting veg in her meals. Eventually I will try sweet potato and look into other veg. She also gets a rice bone for pudding.
Ginny was very picky and wouldn't eat veggies at all when she first came to us, but by chopping them small and mixing them in with the rest of the food, she started to take little bits, and now gobbles them down even if they're not mixed in.

I love that Maisy gets pudding :cwl:

The group recommends pureeing all veg because otherwise the dogs don't digest it well. I don't bother with that; I just cut it up and cook it with the meat and fish until it's nice and soft. I don't see any trace of it in the poo, so it seems to be digested well enough. It likely varies from dog to dog, though, so poo monitoring (as ever!) is useful :poo:
 
#7
Oh, and, as you'll discover in the group, one of the most important things for dogs who are home cooked for is ensuring they get enough calcium. Even feeding a raw bone now and again won't be sufficient, as bones also contain phosphorous, and it's the ratio of those two chemicals that is important. I supplement with a calcium powder which I mix into their food, but you can also use powdered eggshells.
 
#9
Oh, and, as you'll discover in the group, one of the most important things for dogs who are home cooked for is ensuring they get enough calcium. Even feeding a raw bone now and again won't be sufficient, as bones also contain phosphorous, and it's the ratio of those two chemicals that is important. I supplement with a calcium powder which I mix into their food, but you can also use powdered eggshells.

That's useful to know about the calcium, I give an occasional egg and she has several raw meals a week but I will get some powdered eggshells and add to the cooked (y)
 
#11
I will get some powdered eggshells
You can do it yourself. Dry off any eggshells you use, then grind them in a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle or so on. A dog won't absorb very much calcium from eggshells if they eat them without being ground, as they have short digestive tracts, so it needs to be powdered to increase the surface area and increase absorbability. I just buy calcium in a tub because I can't be bothered to do that :D
 
#14
Totally agree with @snowbunny about ditching the starch. When I started out cooking for Brogan, there was a lot of rice involved and eventually I learned he did better with no grains or starches (rice, potato, pasta, etc.).

With Carbon, when he's looking a bit chunky I just boost up the veggies which are usually broccoli or broccoli/cauliflower/carrot. Out of his bowl, I'd say 75% is veggies.

I used to puree when I had all the equipment back in California, but steaming veggies in a big bowl in the microwave is what is the easiest for me now. I just buy big bags of the frozen stuff in the supermarket - it's already cut and honestly seems to come out nicer than the fresh stuff. It's done when it's soft enough to easily slice through with a spoon. I add in sliced fresh apples right at the end so they are also lightly steamed - Carbon won't eat them raw. If I'm doing fish, it can go in right at the end as well if there's room.

Carbon also gets raw egg with the shell about 5 times a week plus sardines for calcium. There's also bone mixed up in his raw beef and chicken. As he's not doing so well with raw meat anymore, I just got a thing of egg shell 'flour' so we'll see how that goes.

If you can find it, I also give sauerkraut a big thumbs up. Super low calorie, lots of bulk and as it's fermented, it does really great stuff for their insides. If you try it, let me know what Cassie thinks. I've often wondered if Carbon loves it just because he loves everything, or if other dogs would also chomp in down. :D
 
#16
If you can find it, I also give sauerkraut a big thumbs up. Super low calorie, lots of bulk and as it's fermented, it does really great stuff for their insides. If you try it, let me know what Cassie thinks. I've often wondered if Carbon loves it just because he loves everything, or if other dogs would also chomp in down
I managed to find a big jar of sauerkraut today in the Polish isle in Morrisons. I think it's fair to say Cassie gives it the thumbs up! As soon as I opened it she sort of started smacking her lips, I've not seen her do that before her tea before. Interestingly she sometimes does it before she poos, although I think not lately. I just mixed in a desert spoonful into her kibble, she ate it all up, went on sort of lip smacking afterwards :).

I'll see how it goes!
 
#17
I just mixed in a desert spoonful into her kibble, she ate it all up, went on sort of lip smacking afterwards :).
Thumbs up for Cassie! However, how on earth do you measure a desert spoonful of Sauerkraut? It's all long and stringy. I give Carbon what amounts to a couple fistfuls of the stuff. Which reminds me, I need to hunt down some down at Morrisons. :D
 
#20
Does Carbon do that lipsmacking thing beforehand?
No, I think Cassie wins the prize for that one!

He doesn't smack his lips, but of course all food is met with the "I'm going to die of starvation' thousand yard stare and drool strings. He really doesn't discriminate much on the type of food. Or even if it's actual food, really. :rolleyes:
 
Top