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.

November 30, 2010

This & That Breakfast 11-30-10

A kitchen project at our house is making cooking a lot more challenging this week. I have to admit I bought Gracie a box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits yesterday because it's been a while since I made her Homemade Doggie Chef Biscuits.

Leftovers provided a "This & That" meal for Gracie:
Ground beef, cooked in corn oil, with salt, pepper, parsley, basil and rosemary
Whole wheat bread
Oatmeal, cooked in milk
Grated, cooked carrot
Bone meal powder

November 25, 2010

11-19-10 Autumn, Age 11

In 1913 American poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer wrote, "I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree..."

I would add, "or a dog..."

Although I took these photos of Gracie Nov. 19, I'm posting them today, Nov. 25, 2010, which happens to be Thanksgiving Day where we live.

When life's troubles get in my way I try to remember the things I can be thankful for. Gracie is definitely at the top of my list. She's the physical presence of love, loyalty and fun.

And in my eyes she rivals the most colorful autumn trees to represent nature's beauty.

[Taking Gracie's picture by this tree as the seasons change has become a tradition for us (see her photos from autumn 2009 and spring 2010).]

November 16, 2010

Ricotta Cheese For Extra Protein And Calcium

This week I discovered Lamagna Ricotta Cheese -- a good food supplement to add to Gracie's meals for extra protein and calcium.

Gracie likes it. I like its simple ingredient list: whole milk, skim milk, vinegar and salt.  And it doesn't contain a lot of salt like the cottage cheese I sometimes feed Gracie. One Gracie-sized serving contains 27.5 milligrams of sodium, or 1 percent of a human's recommended daily value for sodium (based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet).

One Gracie-sized serving of Lamagna Ricotta Cheese contains:

Protein: 3.5 grams
Calcium: 7.5 percent of a human's recommended daily value for calcium (based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet).
Sodium: 27.5 milligrams, or 1 percent of a human's recommended daily value for sodium (based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet).
Sugar: 1.5 grams (which seems like a lot for a Gracie-sized serving)

I wish Lamagna Ricotta Cheese contained less sugar. However, it does contain less sugar than one of the two yogurts I regularly feed Gracie (click here to find out what they are) and more protein and calcium than both of them.

It doesn't contain less sugar than the cottage cheese I sometimes feed Gracie but it contains significantly less sodium, the same amount of protein and more than three times as much calcium as the cottage cheese!. From now on, instead of using cottage cheese in some of Gracie's meals I'll use Lamagna Ricotta Cheese. I think it's a good dairy supplement to add to Gracie's meals a few times each week.

November 9, 2010

Egg Breakfast 11-9-10

1 sunnyside up egg, fried in corn oil

Whole wheat bread

Steel cut oats, cooked in milk

Fresh spinach

Bone meal Powder

November 2, 2010

Is Homemade Dog Food Cheaper...continued from my last post

Since my last blog post I started recording the prices of the ingredients I use to make Gracie's Doggie Chef meals. I wanted to figure out how much a Doggie Chef meal actually costs.

I also started recording the prices of some commercial dog foods, the recommended feeding amounts for a dog of Gracie's weight and how much these commercial dog food meals would cost.

I'm still in the process of collecting and organizing the data but I do have some results to share today:

ONE DOGGIE CHEF MEAL (pictured above):
Roast chicken, cooked with corn oil
Whole wheat bread
Brown rice
Green peas
Corn oil
Bone meal powder
Doggie Chef Meal Cost: Approximately $1.23


One meal of California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $1.41

One meal of Alpo Prime Cuts canned dog food
Cost: Approximately $2.10

One meal of Dad's Economets Beef Flavor Two Tasty Pieces dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $.54 cents

How I Figured Out the Cost of the Above Doggie Chef Chicken Meal:

One, 5.23 lb, whole chicken, at $.99 per pound cost $5.18.
After cooking, it yielded about 8 meat servings for Gracie (when amounts and figures weren't exact, I estimated and rounded up, in favor of costing more) or $.65 cents per meal.

Gracie's store bought whole wheat bread cost $2.09 per loaf and yields 19 slices. One slice costs $.11 cents and equals 1 meal serving.

A bag of brown rice cost $.68 per pound, or $.34 per cup, uncooked. One cup, uncooked, yields 10 meal servings when cooked. Cost: $.03 - $.04 cents per meal serving.

A 1-pound bag of frozen, baby sweet peas cost $2.20. When I serve Gracie peas I use about 15 peas, or less, per meal. There are too many peas in the bag to count so I  estimated a minimum of 22 servings (22, 15-pea servings;) in the bag (yet I'm sure the bag contains more servings), so $.10 cents per meal for peas.

When I feed Gracie yogurt, she usually eats Greek yogurt. It costs $4.99, from the local grocery store, for 16 ounces (or 2 cups). I usually include about 2 tablespoons in a Doggie Chef meal. Since 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons, or 2 meal servings, I figure the whole container = 16 meal servings for $4.99. $4.99 divided by 16 = about $.31 cents per meal serving.

A few times a week I add corn oil to Gracie's meals. I can't remember how much my 48 ounce bottle of corn oil costs but I'll overestimate and say it cost $4.00. 8 fluid ounces = 48 teaspoons. So 48 fluid ounces = 288 teaspoons. Which equals 576, 1/2 teaspoons, which is about the serving size I give Gracie. The corn oil costs less than $.01 cent per meal serving.

A few times a week I add bone meal powder to Gracie's meals. One, 8-ounce bottle of KAL Bone Meal Powder cost about $8.50. The bottle lasts longer than a year and Gracie gets bone meal powder only a few times a week. I figure it costs less than $.07 cents per meal serving.

I was pleased to learn the Doggie Chef meal pictured above cost less than a meal of California Naturals dry dog food, or a meal of Alpo canned dog food. Of course, time is money. It does take extra time to prepare Doggie Chef meals for Gracie. Yet I consider it an enjoyable hobby. In a future blog post I'll share the cost of other Doggie Chef meals and other commercial dog food meals.