Natural Food…

bowl_beef_squareMy regular visitors will know that our dogs are our lives, we quite literally live and breath for them.  When it comes to food, the same applies.  Years ago we did not know any better and thought that the leading brands of dog food were the best, and as such we always fed our dogs the top brands, along with dried kibble.  However, there has been large-scale campaigns, adverts and other media surrounding what is really in dog food.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the food that we were feeding the dogs was good, but when you look at the composition of it, it is meat/animal derivatives, lots of grains and, alarmingly things I would never give my dogs.  Lilu who was the first dog we had together, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, supposed to live only to 12, was 17 when she passed away, so we were doing something right.  She was given lots of other food apart from standard dog food, including tuna, salmon, cod, fresh meat, vegetables etc.

With the new campaigns, we have looked long and hard at what we feed our dogs which coincided with us getting Mazakeen.  We have moved from the so-called top foods that contain stuff we do not like to feed them, to a natural diet.  We have always fed the dogs both wet and dry food, let’s face it, no one would like to eat just dried food all their life, therefore we mix both.  Today I have taken the next step in the process and have been cooking kidney, rice, sweet potatoes and carrots to add to the store bought natural foods that have to be a minimum of 60% meat/poultry/fish the rest vegetables, minerals and vitamins, and gluten-free, oh yes, no derivatives, just propper meat etc.

Mazikeen is not the best eater as being an English Springer Spaniel, they are not food obsessive.  When training her I have been using 100% natural treats like sheeps lungs, squid, pigs intestines, tripe and other stinky dried items, and she loves them, but with her dinner, she’s never too interested, unless we make it into a game, or have Harper sit next to her and tell her that we’ll give Harper her dinner, and put the bowl next to Harper when disinterested, then Mazikeen eats.

Today was a triumph as I mixed some steamed rice, sweet potato carrots and some kidney in a dish with Scottish salmon oil (both have always had the oil for their coat and joints) and put it down for Mazikeen.  I have never seen her finish her food so fast in all her life.

As Mazikeen has had lots of protein in her diet she has always been very active, and of course, puppies need lots of it, but we are now adding more bulking foods to her dinners as she is very slim, and at six months she needs to put on size now.  Every four weeks I have taken her to the vets to see the puppy nurse for weigh-ins, check-ups and worming treatments, and she has put on weight each time, but I think she is still skinny.  Maybe I am used to large and bulky dogs rather than slender ones, but my 48 years of having dogs tell me that she is skinny, and it is not just that she was the smallest of the litter.  On saying that, if I was to run about as much as she does I would be skinny too, but alas I am not.

I have bought lambs livers for the next cook-up and will be adding more sweet potato, carrots and peas along with some rice for starch.  But I have also been perusing the internet for recipes for dog treats and other delights they will love, and at this rate, it may become a full-time job.  I may post some of the recipes I make if people are interested.

Real Milk

I love milk, it is one staple that I have to have in my life, and under no circumstance would I give it up. I always get full-fat milk but have yearned for proper raw (unpasteurised) milk for many years now. I found places that would send it by DHL, but all in all, for 12-pint pack we were talking about the best part of £30, so I never bought it, and I really wanted to find a dairy farm local that sells it. The problem was that raw milk is sort of shunned by the general public as they have been brought up thinking that pasteurised milk is proper milk and we should only ever drink this. However, having worked in the farming industry I know that is a load of bull (pardon the cow pun).

A few weeks ago a farm not far from here started selling raw milk. M and I decided that we would go out for lunch to one of the pubs on the canals and then pop up to the farm for the milk. The pub we went to does not do food on a Monday or a Tuesday, so we just had a pint there, sat in the sun, looked at the boats then headed over to the farm. I decided to not go mad as I know that I would just drink it all in one go, so bought 2 litres, and what a bargain, only £1 per litre.

Needless to say, I could not wait to get home to drink some. I made M try it, he thought it was just okay, and didn’t like the after taste. He prefers the heat treated watery rubbish from the shops, I, however, am in love with it, it’s creamy, rich, and tastes amazing.