Have any of you noticed the frozen food section in the pet food aisle? Our daughter surprised us with a gift of a healthy version of doggie “ice cream” one day last summer, and both of the Bassett hounds were overjoyed. We put them outside, and they chased those ice cream containers around the yard until every molecule of it was gone. It was fun to watch.
Since then, I’ve checked out the contents of the refrigerated dog food section from time to time, but, so far, I’ve resisted the impulse to buy anything. One thing we do feed the dogs pretty often is cooked brown rice, which we mix in with their regular feed. They love it, and the rice provides extra B vitamins and so on. No weight gain so far either.
I thought we were being wildly indulgent to actually cook for the dogs, but no. It seems we’re way behind the trend. It seems there are a lot of pet owners who are cooking organic, home-grown produce, etc. for their dogs — and cats. We’re probably never going to go that far, especially since we can’t raise chickens or goats in the back yard.
Still, if one is determined, there are ways to get around raising your own produce for your pet. You can simply make your own concoction of ingredients. Below is an excerpt from an article by Samantha Storey in The New York Times, January 18th.
“Rachael Scot Lingerfelt, a 25-year-old freelance writer in Bozeman, Mont., said the only meat she eats is either raised by an organic farmer or hunted by her boyfriend. When she began cooking for her beagle, Maddie-Sue, two years ago, she researched dogs’ dietary needs before coming up with a recipe of brown rice, cooked ground beef or chicken, peas, green beans, yams, dry milk and Tums tablets for calcium. Most of the ingredients are organic. All are bought at a food co-op nearby.
“The aroma is a little interesting,” she said. “You usually wouldn’t combine those ingredients.”
But each batch lasts about three weeks and costs from $10 to $12, she said, around the same price as inexpensive commercial pet food.
Since the fall, the butcher shops Marlow & Daughters in Brooklyn and Avedano’s Holly Park Market in San Francisco have been selling pet food made from grass-fed meat raised on nearby pastures. Melanie Eisemann, an owner at Avedano’s, said the store’s custom mix of ground meats, organs, vegetables, garlic, eggs, parsley and yogurt sells for $3.25 a pound. Avedano’s also reports a robust trade in marrow bones, many of them bought as snacks for dogs.