5 June 2007

Homemade dog food

Alice with her 'baby'.
I have struggled to justify the keeping of pets in a simple life. I know it's not an issue for most people but I want to cut unnecessary expense and non-productive animals from my life. I have tried to be practical about this, and examined my need to keep non-working dogs, but all I came up with is this: I love them and they make my life better. I don't think a simple life should be devoid of pleasure, quite the contrary, it is about finding joy in the everyday happenings of ordinary life. So for those of you who are mathematically minded, here is the equation: airedales x 2 + rj = happiness. Okay, now that's out of the way...
I want to keep my two Airedale Terriers in good health but also spend the least amount of money on their food, so I make their food myself. Rosie and Alice are 10 and 11 years old and still very active and healthy. They've only been to the vet a couple of times - to be treated for the paralysis tick - and both times the vet was amazed at their excellent condition and asked what we were feeding them. This is the recipe.

1 kg beef mince - or pork, chicken.
1½ cups raw brown or white rice
1 cup raw barley OR lentils
1 cup raw pasta
2 cups chopped vegetables - it can be whatever you have on hand but NOT ONIONS or LEEKS.
1 spoonful of Vegemite (optional)
Place all the above ingredients into a big stockpot. Cover with water and stir to break up the mince. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. When it's finished cooking, top up the stockpot to the rim with water and leave to cool.
When it's cold, place into portion sized plastic containers and freeze until you need them.We make this once a week. It feeds our two dogs for seven days. The dogs love it and it's got no preservatives or artifical flavourings in it. It costs around $7 a week.
They also have a scoop of Omega 3 dog biscuits in the morning.
ADDITION: Alice weighs around 22 kgs and she gets two cups of this food per day.
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