Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

January 26, 2010

Gracie LOVES Snow!

Jumping through the snow... fetch a tennis ball!

Not bad for a dog who turns 11 this year!

Watch this soundless video of Gracie playing in the snow:

January 19, 2010

Calcium & Eggshell Powder

I ran out of bone meal powder this week.
I'm having a hard time finding bone meal powder containing only calcium and phosphorus, with a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio close to the recommended ratios (click here for an earlier post explaining this important ratio). Until I buy some new bone meal powder I decided to make egg shell powder to supplement Gracie's meals.

Several books, including Dr. Pitcairn's, tell how to do this. Over the course of two or three days I saved some egg shells and washed and dried them. I then put them in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes, even though 10 minutes is the recommended oven time. I feel like the extra five minutes might help kill more bacteria but I'm not even sure that's what the oven time is for. One source said it's to help remove a type of wax that's sometimes put on commercially produced eggs.
After removing the eggshells from the oven I cooled them to room temperature and ground them in a coffee and spice mill. I ground them thoroughly, to avoid leaving any large or sharp pieces. I've added small amounts of this eggshell powder to some of Gracie's meals, for a calcium supplement.

According to Dr. Pitcairn's book, eggshells contain a 1,800 mg-to- 6 mg calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, so excessive use can supply way too much calcium in a dog's diet. Bone meal provides a better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio for a calcium supplement so I'll keep searching for a brand I like.

*** POST UPDATE: The ground egg shells were just a temporary calcium supplement. I'm now using KAL Bone Meal Powder. According to the label on this new bottle, 1 teaspoon (6g) contains: 1620 mg calcium (from Bone Meal), 540 mg phosphorus (from Bone Meal) and 18 mg magnesium (from Bone Meal). It's not an ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio but Gracie's meals contain enough phosphorus to balance it out.

January 12, 2010

So Much Snow!

Gracie's REALLY enjoying all the snow we've had. Look at her "swimming" in the snow to fetch her tennis ball!

After retrieving her ball she drops it on the ground in front of me, shakes the snow off her coat and is ready for another round of fetch!....And another, and another, and another......

January 5, 2010

Poached Ocean Perch Dinner 1-5-10

 I don't buy perch very often because it contains sharp, thin bones. The bones are so thin, they're not easy to see. I'm afraid if I miss removing one it could hurt Gracie's mouth, throat or stomach. I also remove the skin from the perch after cooking it.

Gracie's Dinner:

Skinned Canadian wild ocean perch (BONES REMOVED), poached with olive oil, water, white wine, parsley, and a dash of garlic powder

Fresh spinach

Homemade whole wheat bread