Starting home cooked food

#1
So, because life isn't hectic enough already I've decided to do some home cooking for Monty's evening meals. I'm not especially concerned about the balance, as I've learnt a lot from all of you and understand it's about averages over a week or so, not daily ingredients. I've bought the calcium supplements so will add in a few days when they arrive. Just a few questions:

- I'm not planning on adding any rice, pasta or potatoes (though will use starchy veg from time to time) but what about pulses, lentils,- I've got a load of dried pearl barley and buy lots of red lentils for us, would these be of benefit or are best avoided?
- I sometimes make chicken stock out of a carcass in my instant pot. After 2 or 3 hours the carcass has completely softened and the bones crumble like biscuits. There's no danger here of splintering, but would adding this bone(meal?) have any benefit, or would all the calcium have gone into the stock?
-eggs, Monty isn't keen on raw so could these be cooked up with some veg and frozen? Just wondering if anyone has frozen hard boiled eggs?
-offal, is it best to add in to other batches of food, is there any danger of eating too much if it was the main protein source in a meal along with veggies?

I've also joined the Facebook group suggested by @snowbunny , though haven't been approved yet.
 
#2
OK I my two are raw fed, their diet is meat, bones, offal only. I'm answering the offal part, yes there is a danger of adding too much offal, it's the vitamin A. Offal only counts as 10% of the diet. Too much liver etc can also cause diarrhea.
 
#3
Thanks @Cupcase , I did think that liver in particular could be a problem. I should have added that the reason I'm not using raw bones is that Monty frequently brings splinters of them back up in the night , whether he's not chewing them properly I'm not sure, but apart from the odd raw chicken wing or drumstick which seem to be ok, I think the risk for him outweighs the benefits.
 
#4
-eggs, Monty isn't keen on raw so could these be cooked up with some veg and frozen? Just wondering if anyone has frozen hard boiled eggs?
I used to hard boil egg for Brogan. I didn't freeze them but don't know why you couldn't. Unless you're really limited on fridge space, they also last forever in there so you can just add one to whatever meal you want.

I've got a load of dried pearl barley and buy lots of red lentils for us, would these be of benefit or are best avoided?
I've not tried red lentils with Carbon as I don't want to add carbs to keep his weight down, but I tried them with Brogan along with things like chick peas. No matter how much I cooked the darn things, they's come out in his poo exactly the way they went in. I finally just gave up! Slow cooked steel cut oatmeal was a winner, though - easy on the tummy and good for energy.
 
#5
For raw, we are told liver should not be more than 5% of daily rations because of the potential for Vit A toxicity. The other 5% can be other organs (brain, etc). 5+5 = the 10% organs quota. Organs = secreting parts of the body. Some people feed more tripe because it’s cheap. I know I do. And it contains macerated greens (I feed dirty tripe). You need to make sure you’re also including muscle meat, which can make it more expensive.

Apparently legumes affect the uptake of taurine. I have not looked into it too closely—it was written about regarding the feeding of grain-free food, which also contains a lot of legumes. The thinking was: what replaced the grains? The answer: high-fibre beet pulp and legumes for protein. It is thought they affect the uptake of taurine. Apparently if you feed enough heart and hard-working muscle meat (contain a lot of taurine), you should be fine to also feed legumes in small amounts, but they shouldn’t form the bulk of the meal. Our boy eats legumes by way of licking pots clean—we are vegan and eat lots lentils and beans, and Snowie adores dhal and other curries. But the bulk of his protein intake is meat.
 
#6
@Natalie ,Cassie doesn't digest bone the way she used to, I've found chicken wings to be a good compromise as a one 50g chicken wing gives her roughly 23g bone, she only gets about 250g of food a day. I never get any bone fragments from the wings but we do if she's given lamb ribs. They are getting pork ribs today but they're a much softer bone and at £6 a kilo it's I do not buy them often.
 
#7
What you’re referring to with the cooked bones is known as “bone broth” and it has a high nutritional value, I believe. I actually blitz up bones in my Nutribullet and use them for treats :D
Eggs, mine eat them raw but I do boil up a few at a time and keep them in the fridge for human consumption. They last a long time if you don’t peel them.

These days, I don’t feed any starchy carbs, and only green beans as legumes. I am a little wary about the potential link between legumes and DCM, but I have largely moved away from them firstly because I suspected them of causing Squidge’s rash, and then because I felt they weren’t bringing anything to the party.

I also don’t add offal to my dogs’ food, as Squidge can’t eat it. So I cook it separately, slice and freeze it then put it on their meals, straight from the freezer, once a day.
 
#8
Thanks all for your feedback, I've kept the pearl barley in today's two dishes to under 10%, though realised there were quite a few garden peas in my veggie content so will consider this too. Good that I can use up the remains of a chicken carcass too. The frozen eggs have become a moot point as there is no room in the freezer for what I've cooked let alone any frozen eggs.
Today's meals were basa fillets with broccoli, a little spinach, an Orange smoothie mix I found in the freezer- carrot, squash, mango and kiwi, plus some mixed frozen veg- peas, sweetcorn, carrot and the pearl barley.
Batch two was minced beef, mixed peppers, and mixed veg.
 
#10
I think if you ensure a variety of ingredients and as whole food/unprocessed as possible, you’ll be doing very well. Variety of meats, veg and fruit ensures a variety of nutrients. I always offer Snowie my food so that he’s exposed to lots of variety. Obviously it’s got to be healthy food to start! He has a weakness for bread and carbs!! He certainly would not make healthy choices if it were left up to him!

Well done for cooking for your dogs. I’m sure they’ll love it!
 
#11
When home cooking, the recommendation is normally 75% meat/fish (by weight) to 25% "other". Yours looks a little less than that. However, from my point of view, if I want to increase the volume without the calories, I'd rather do that by adding more low-calorie vegetables, so mine does sometimes tip more towards 50:50.
 
#12
These food threads always interest me. I am not currently cooking for Maisy, I use raw 'natures menu' complete nuggets or tripe blocks or beef chunks or raw chicken breast - and add veg, with some filler biscuits added or a rice bone. I make up about 10 plastic tubs with a selection of veg and about 10 nuggets in each and freeze but we are limited in our freezer for space so we are now going to get Maisy her own freezer. I can increase the 'ready meals' and start making some broths etc. I'm quite looking forward to that.
 
#13
When home cooking, the recommendation is normally 75% meat/fish (by weight) to 25% "other". Yours looks a little less than that. However, from my point of view, if I want to increase the volume without the calories, I'd rather do that by adding more low-calorie vegetables, so mine does sometimes tip more towards 50:50.
Yes you are right - once the minced beef mix (batch 2) was cooked, it was probably 50/50. The fish one had some large fillets at the bottom but was probably still only 60/40. It's difficult as Monty is not necessarily on restricted exercise, but it's very low impact so he would burn far fewer calories on an average walk than a dog with no joint issues. I think this is probably where the chicken wings and sardines need to come in to bump up the protein.
Ha - now I've joined that facebook group I am confused - whereas a few days ago I was fairly confident in my choices!!!
 
#14
If you want low calorie protein, then sardines and chicken wings probably aren’t ideal. White fish and white meat without skin would be better.
Yes, there is a lot of information on that page and it’s pretty overwhelming! Read the files, read them again and again.
Take aways: feed a variety of proteins, including red meat; add liver or other offal for 5% of the meal weight; 75% of the weight from animal protein source, but add extra veg if you want to increase meal size for few calories. Starchy carbs are generally not required but if you do add them, ensure you’re keeping protein sufficiently high; feeding bones generally does not increase the calcium input by much at all because they also contain lots of phosphorus, and it’s the ratio between the two (with more calcium) that is important.
 
#15
Yes sorry, my reply about chicken wings sardines didn't make sense in relation to being low calorie! I want to feed these anyway as wings / chicken legs are the only bones I am happy giving Monty, (though I do take on board your point about calcium/phosphorus) and sardines once a week will be another protein variation and a quick meal if I've got nothing defrosted.

I think I was just generally a bit mean on the beef mince and fish in my first batch... And I need to be more careful about the starchy carbs too. And I haven't even bought any offal yet.

However tonight I come home and OH has already fed Monty... A bowl of kibble . 🤦🏼‍♀️Hey ho.

My calcium powder has arrived which is good so I can regroup tomorrow.

I do appreciate your advice thank you @snowbunny , I can see this is going to be one of those topics that the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know...
 
#16
Hah, totally, but I think it’s easy to over complicate it too. You don’t have to feed bones at all, they are more of a fun crunchy thing than adding any benefit for being bones (I really don’t see the tooth cleaning thing; I believe that’s far more to do with not feeding a carb-heavy food, plus genetic predisposition). My lot love their carcasses without a doubt, but I don’t feel they’re necessary for the balance of the diet.
 
#17
Yes I don't see any teeth cleaning benefit at all.. Monty just eats them too quickly..it's just the sheer joy of watching his eyes go wide at the smell of raw meat when it comes out the fridge, and his excitement when it turns out it's for him not us! I won't stress the bones, if Aldi don't have them in stock I won't detour to sainsbury's especially 😀
 
#18
Monty gets a rump steak


Hmmm, so the home cooked food is going ok, but reached new levels of luxury yesterday. I ended up with 3 steaks, and there were only 2 of us. OH suggested Monty should have a whole rump steak to himself. gone in just a few seconds. (I decided he could have it raw for a change though I've been cooking most of his food)
How long before he turns his nose up at kibble?! He was so funny, he checked back at the bowl another 5 or 6 times after the video ends just to see if there was any left 😂
 
#20
How long before he turns his nose up at kibble?!
Snowie eats raw meat and bones, and has done so since he was 5 months old. He’s now 7.5 years old. Given half a chance, he’ll raid the dog food bowls full of kibble at the neighbour’s house. He loooooooves kibble! I liken it to myself: I mostly eat raw salads. But I absolutely cannot resist a bowl of crisps!
 
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