Home cooking for canines?
Seems like everyone is talking about whether to cook for your dog or simply purchase a "good quality" "organic" dog kibble, and what's better for the dog. I have heard people vow never to give their dogs "people" food because then the dogs won't eat their "regular" dog food. And, truly, it is easier to simply dole a cup or two of dry dog food (wet dog food is the same as dry dog, but with more moisture!) than to "cook" for your dog.
However, a few simple facts about dog food might help change your mind about what you are feeding your dog.
First of all, "dog" food is food that is unfit for human consumption. You don't need a vivid imagination to understand what that means in terms of quality. Secondly, dog food is meant to be produced as cheaply as possible, with an 18 month shelf life. Lots of fillers, road kill, and other things too horrible to mention go into the making of dog food (it's called dead, dying, and diseased). Everything is tossed into a huge vat and cooked at very high temperatures, then squeezed into kibble shapes. If this is unpalatable, the kibble is sprayed with the greasy scrapings of the restaurant grills that have been saved in barrels until full (through heat and cold) and then sent to dog food manufacturers. This makes the food so tasty that you could spray wood chips and dogs would eat it.
All in all, the dogs are eating very poor quality "food" that is coated with grease, making them fat - but lacking in proper nutrition. (It seems that most of the big dogs I encounter are always very hungry). The more they eat, the more weight they gain, and then they are put on a diet to reduce the weight!
I cook for 7 dogs every night. I started cooking for my dogs 20 years ago after feeding my 5 dogs a very popular canned food, which all 5 promptly vomited withing minutes of ingestion. The internet told me what I needed to know, and that was the last time my dogs ate any commercial food. One of my recently adopted dogs - a 76 pound greyhound/boxer mix found starving in the street - was therefore on my food just a few months after he came to us. He lived 18 years!
I strongly recommend cooking a mixture of grain (don't be horrified, dogs need carbohydrates!), fresh finely chopped vegetables, and meat in 3 equal proportions. Add salt to the grain, a quarter teaspoon of kelp for trace minerals, add some pro-biotics in powder form (if they won't take it in capsule form). You can blend the veggies in a blender and pour it on the grain, mix the meat in (either cooked or raw). Your dogs will love it.
You will ensure that they are getting plenty of vitamins and nutrition from real foods, and if they have a little bit of diarrhea in the beginning, it is only because the body is flushing out the dog's system, and cleansing it. Persist, and you will notice the different in the your dog's hair, smell, breath, and general health in a few short months.
The money you spend on good food will save on vet visits as your dog regains health and vitality.