The Basics of Making Your Own Dog Food


We've owned several dogs since we got married almost 10 years ago. They have all been Labrador Retrievers, with the exception of one evil beagle which we dare not speak of. We love our dogs like we love our child. Our first two labs were like our first children, as they came before our son. They were sisters and they certainly acted like it — constantly in competition with one another. We added a beagle into the mix a few months later, and all heck broke lose. The beagle went to a new home, and all went back to normal here. Until that winter day when our beautiful Red Fox lab, Roxy, tore a tendon in her knee.


We tried nursing the knee as long as we could. There was nothing we could really do to fix it, other than pay $5,000 for a surgery that would only last a few months. It was inevitable, we would have to let her go. We kept her as comfortable as possible, and she was always in good spirits, until the evening she snapped at our newly crawling son. We knew, it was time. She was miserable, and there was no good reason to keep her in pain.

Fast forwarding to last year, five years after Roxy's death. Our seven year old lab (her sister, Lacey) started vomiting up her food every single night. She lost function of her left side, went blind in the left eye, and would have several mini strokes each day. How could such a young dog have so many health issues? I noticed on certain days, when I would make her strictly homemade dog food, she would act "better". But I wasn't fluent enough in my "crunchy lifestyle" to understand what was happening. So I didn't pay much more attention and kept her on her regular, overly processed dog food.

We lost her last year. The strokes became too much, nothing helped, and day by day she was even more miserable than before. It wasn't right for a dog her age to go so soon.

We replaced Lacey with a spunky black lab puppy named Samson. We needed a quick replacement for our son, and honestly, for myself. I'll be honest, he is quite likely the most amazing lab we have ever owned...and he is most certainly like my second child. But as he started to grow, I noticed something. He couldn't hold down his food, and I found him vomiting quite often after his breakfast and dinner. No way was I going through this again, and his sweet soul wasn't even a year old yet. I had to do something, something was wrong.

2/16/2016 7:41:51 AM

This is typical of Mother Earth News. It is unresearched dangerous misinformation. I also feed a home-cooked recipe however rather than just throwing some scraps together and hoping for the best I had my recipe formulated by UC Davis. That is why I can't tell you That this recipe is dangerously lacking in many areas including but not limited to the lack of vitamins and choline also then the amount of calcium being fed is no where near adequate. I truly wish you would quit publishing this crap. It is dangerous and all of your posts suspect

2/8/2015 11:52:14 AM

KCCompton -- I don't believe they were made in China, but that's a great point. I will have to investigate!

2/6/2015 9:26:01 AM

Amy, thanks for the great post. I wonder if you know whether the dog food you had been feeding was manufactured in China. There have been so many pet deaths and illness from food -- even brand name food -- manufactured in China, where their manufacturing and regulatory system are so corrupt and flawed, products can include anything from plastic to heavy metals. I agree that making from scratch is the way to go, though I've found that Lamaderm is also a good brand. My dog's allergies to wheat make me very vigilant about ingredients. Sorry you lost your good friends, and I wish Samson a long and happy doggy life.

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