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.

October 26, 2010

Is Homemade Dog Food Cheaper Than Commercial Dog Food?

Is homemade dog food cheaper than commercial dog food?
[See my next post for an actual cost comparison]

It depends what type of commercial dog food you're comparing it to. Also, to make a fair comparison, it's important to consider the amount of food used. Real food is a lot more nutrient-dense than commercial dog food. With real food, you get more for your money.

When considering the cost of dog food, keep in mind the cost of veterinary care and medicine when dogs are ill or plagued with chronic health problems. I'm certain homemade dog food improves and prolongs a dog's health better than commercial dog food.

I'm pretty sure Gracie's homemade food costs more than the commercial dog food available at my local grocery store. I'm going to work on comparing the price of Doggie Chef meals to commercial dog food meals. Hopefully I'll have some information to share in my next blog post.

Homemade dog food doesn't have to cost a lot more than commercial dog food. Sometimes it can even cost less.

Meat and fish are the most expensive components in Gracie's meals. Yet I don't feed Gracie fish that frequently and I usually purchase meat for her when it's on sale. A large freezer is especially helpful, as meat often costs even less when purchased in bulk. Oatmeal; brown rice; homemade wheat bread; peas; carrots and sweet potatoes cost little, per serving, for the nutrients they provide.

I didn't become a Doggie Chef to save money. I think of the cost as an investment. Gracie earns every penny I spend on her food. She's a contributing family member and more like a working dog than a pet dog.

Gracie is an excellent watchdog who protects our home and family. She's a devoted, fun companion whose loyalty is often unmatched; even by friends and relatives.
And, although it feels a little ridiculous to say this; Gracie, like all pet dogs, is the embodiment of love. I know I'm not alone in this opinion of my dog. Throughout the ages great poets and painters have immortalized their beloved dogs because they share this feeling. Ancient Egyptian royalty mummified their dogs and shared their tombs with them. I'm guessing they felt the same way about their dogs as I do about mine.

As soon as I can collect and organize the information, I'll do a post comparing how much it costs to feed Gracie versus how much it would cost to feed her commercial dog food.

Instead of wondering if homemade dog food is cheaper than commercial dog food, it makes more sense to wonder if it's worth the cost. Is it worth the extra time required to prepare the food? Is it worth the health benefits? Is it worth a hungry dog's pleasure?


October 19, 2010

A Dog Under A Dogwood Tree

As you can tell by her tense, patient expression; Gracie was NOT interested in posing for pictures on this beautiful autumn day. All she wanted to do was play ball in the sunshine. So that's what we did for a while.
"Going gray" is part of the normal aging process but it's kind of weird to watch it happen to your dog. Maybe it's because a dog's life span is so much shorter than a person's and the "going gray" happens more quickly.

In the bright sunshine you can see how white Gracie's muzzle has become. For now, most of the white is on her "chin," just under her mouth.  Gracie's beautiful brown eyes remain clear and alert. And just look at her shiny coat and great muscle tone!
All those Doggie Chef meals have paid off.

There she goes, leaping for a tennis ball and looking wild-eyed. No matter how fast it's moving or bouncing, Gracie always keeps her eyes on the ball until she gets it. Focus and perseverance. Some of the many life lessons a dog will teach us if we watch closely enough.

October 12, 2010

10-12-10 Doggie Chef Meatloaf

We had a few cold, dark autumn days this past week. It was perfect weather for making Doggie Chef Meatloaf. I made a huge one and froze thick slices for future meals. The meatloaf baked in the oven for about 90 minutes, which warmed up the house nicely. Gracie caught the scent about 20 minutes into baking time. I think she knew something good was cooking! For instructions on how I make Doggie Chef Meatloaf, click here.

Here's what Gracie had for dinner:

Doggie Chef Meatloaf (made with lean ground beef, oats, grated fresh carrots; see link above for other ingredients)

Whole Wheat Bread

Cottage Cheese, low-fat

Green Peas, cooked

October 5, 2010

SOME Chinese Takeout 10-5-10

You're probably asking yourself, "What kind of Doggie Chef feeds a beloved pooch Chinese takeout?" Please note this post's title is, "SOME Chinese Takeout." And look carefully at Gracie's bowl of food pictured above. Most of her meal is homemade fare: chicken and brown rice (there's more brown rice concealed under the fried rice you see pictured).

Yes, I did share my dinner with Gracie this past weekend when I had Chinese takeout. Takeout and any kind of fast food is nothing I want to feed my dog (or myself) on a regular basis. Yet occasionally I enjoy it very much. Gracie can see and sense my enjoyment and it's only natural for her to want to be part of the fun. And it's only natural for me to want to share with her. I'm sure Gracie thought last weekend's Chinese takeout smelled irresistible. I knew if I didn't give her some she'd watch me eat with sad, hopeful eyes while droplets of drool fell from her mouth. So I incorporated some Chinese takeout into Gracie's dinner for the evening. To home-cooked chicken and brown rice I added some pork fried rice, some chopped broccoli, a few bean sprouts and two sesame shrimp with most of their battered coatings removed.

I don't bring takeout or fast food home very often. Yet when I do, Gracie gets a bite of whatever it is. In the past she's eaten some of my burgers, french fries, pizza, and a bit of meat, vegetables and rice from Mexican takeout. From Chinese takeout Gracie's eaten fried rice and some meat, vegetables or seafood.

I want to make it clear that Gracie eats takeout and fast food VERY RARELY. She turned 11 years old this year and most of her meals are comprised of home-cooked, whole foods. And when I share takeout or fast food with her, I don't give her much.

There's no way I could sit and eat a meal in front of my best friend without offering a morsel.  I share my food with Gracie because it wouldn't taste as good to me if I didn't.