Sunday, March 18

Worried about Pet Food? Make Your Own!

Recent news of a recall of major cat and dog food brands made me even more appreciative of the benefits of preparing a homemade raw-food diet for our 18 year old retriever, Sam. If you read the list of brands being recalled, you might wonder if there is any commercially available food for your beloved pets. I bet there will be a run on raw meat, eggs and oatmeal over the next few weeks!

Now I worry about the millions of cats and dogs in families across Canada and the USA, who have been fed the commercial pet foods that were recalled this week. Some pets have died of kidney failure after eating food made by some of the major brands.

Menu Foods, the Ontario, Canada-based company that produced the pet food, said Saturday it was recalling dog food sold throughout North America under 48 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was distributed by major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.

The company said it makes pet food for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies, including Procter & Gamble Co.

Our cat Sadie, died in late January after an acute and very sudden kidney failure. She lived at Tim's woodworking shop -- and was loved by everyone who came in contact with her. We nursed Sadie for a week and finally had to make the decision to euthanize her when it became clear she would not recover. It was really sad -- and we were left wondering how the kidney disease could come on so fast! Now we are suspicious that the food Tim was feeding Sadie, Special Kitty Meat Pouches, was the cause of her sudden disease. Special Kitty is on the list of Cat Food Brands being Recalled this week.

Unfortunately we haven't come up with a recipe for raw cat food that our other cat, Baggins, will eat. He's pretty picky. My mom feeds her cats exclusively a raw food diet that she purchases from my sister, Dr. Moira Drosdevech, a holistic veterinarian in Kelowna, BC. I may just have to redouble my efforts to concoct something Baggins will eat. I don't want him to suffer the same illness Sadie had.

Many of my readers are familiar with my frequent posts about Sam -- our flatcoated retriever who, at 18 years old, has outlived all the other flatcoats I know. We have been feeding Sam variations of a homemade diet for many years. Currently he gets 100% homemade diet. Sam relishes his "Healthwise Raw Food Cakes," and I'm convinced that this homemade organic diet is largely responsible for his longevity.

We were amazed when Sam turned 16 a couple of years ago .... now that he is 18 years old, we consider him kindof a "miracle dog."

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about homemade dog food, including a list of ingredients I use for Sam's Healthwise Raw Food Cakes. That post also had other notes and recipes for homemade dog treats. Over the years, I have refined my dog food recipe and recorded the amounts I use so I could share it with my readers. The dog and cat food recall has motivated me to write out my recipe today, knowing that thousands of pet owners will be looking for what to feed their pets until the commercial pet food companies can convince us their foods are safe!

Here is my tried-and-true recipe with some photos I took during preparation.
This is a document you can print out and use for your own pets. For write me an email for permission to reproduce the recipe for anything other than personal use. Thank you and Enjoy!

List of Dog Food Brands being Recalled
List of Cat Food Brands being Recalled
List of FDA consumer complaint numbers, to report a suspected link between your pet's health and the food you have been feeding.
Google search results for recalled pet food stories

My Recipe again, for Sam's Healthwise Rawfood Cakes


Pat Shaughnessy said...

great posting Maureen

Sherry said...

Thanks for posting your recipe. It is so sad what is going on with the pet food. I feel for all that have been impacted by this tragedy.

Maureen said...

Thank you for taking the time to put this recipe out there. This is the best one I have seen and I will be making it this weekend. I can't give my little buddy any more Nutro food...I don't trust them anymore. And if it helps him live to 18 (he's 3.5 now) I would be ecstatic! Thanks!

maureen said...

Thanks, Mom. I know your cats are fine because you've been feeding them a raw diet for a long time, right?

Sherry and Maureen -- nice name, btw ;-) you are very welcome for the recipe. I hope you can find a way to fit "cooking" this recipe for your pets, into your life. It really doesn't take me that long anymore now that I know what I'm doing. Good luck and may your pets live long healthy lives!

Maureen said...

Thanks...I like your name too! :) There's not too many of us out here, so it's always nice to 'meet' others. I will make the time to make the food for my furry friend. He is very small and I am afraid that if he got even a little bit of the bad food it would make him very sick or kill him. I won't risk it...he's a part of my family and we all need him here!

Christy said...

I guess I'm lucky, neither my dogs or cat eat any of the foods on the recall list, but I've always had doubts about feeding the animals little hard pellets of food - I would get tired of it myself. I'm going to try your dogfood recipe, though I will make a suggestion: spirulina. I buy it in powder form at the health food store, it's got lots of antioxidants and B-12. I make a mixture of cooked canned chicken (for humans), cat food and spirulina; everyone gets a spoonful in the evening as a "treat".

maureen said...

Christy, your "treat" would go over really well in our household. Our Sam loves food -- almost anything. heheh. Anyway, spirulina is a great idea for a supplement. I think I would probably sprinkle it on the good at the time I serve it to our pets, rather than mixing it into the "cakes" that I then freeze. but for no other reason than aesthetics. Call me weird.

We use ground chicken and ground turkey, added separately also at the time of serving the food. I buy only organic meat -- I'm just paranoid of all the hormones and antibiotics given to commercially raised huge-farm poultry in our country. Can you get organic canned chicken? My only other thought on the canned meat is that I believe it is better for cats and dogs to have raw meat -- as long as it is clean and organic and it comes from a source you trust.

Good luck with the recipe. I'd love to know how it turns out -- how it's received, I guess!

Meg in Nelson said...

Gee, Maureen, I'm bookmarking this for when I eventually DO get a dog! It sounds so healthy if it didn't have eggshells, I might even have a taste.

Kim Carney said...

I love that. Thank you so much for posting that!

maureen said...

To anyone considering leaving a comment in an obvious attempt to drive traffic to your commercial website: Please don't do it.

All link-spam will be removed immediately. If you have a non-commercial website (meaning you don't make $ from selling products or advertising on your site) go ahead and leave a link -- i it is related to homemade pet food.

Thanks for your consideration. I am not making a penny from posting this recipe online. I would appreciate comments about your pets, discussion of the recipe or other pet-health related concerns, but don't just do it to get traffic on your site.