How To Make Your Own Healthy & Natural Pet Food and Treats.
There is a significant increase in the market share of Natural and Holistic Pet Food, and it is predicted to double over the next five years. But why the sudden increase in our pets health? It seems that as we become more concerned with our own family’s health and what we eat, it’s natural to also be more concerned about what our pets eat, as they have truly have become part of our families. Today, it is now easier to provide a complete healthy meal for our pets. In fact, our pets may be eating better than we are!
What to Expect from All Natural and Holistic Pet Food?
1. Switching to All Natural and Holistic Pet Food, produces substantial results over time. We all are accustomed to using synthetic drugs which can stop symptoms quickly. But, in many cases, the problem reoccurs because it was treating the symptoms, not the problem. Holistic Pet Foods provide an environment that allows the body to health itself, not just treat the symptoms. This results in a more permanent cure and a healthier pet.
2. A good, high quality diet is the foundation of your pet’s health. What we find in the market today for our pets, often contain chemical additives that can be detrimental to their health. Many commercial premium foods contain chemicals known to be toxic, as well as low quality meat that is not fit for human consumption. Many of the ingredients are hard to digest, so the nutritional value is diminished because it doesn’t reach their bloodstream. An animal’s immune system is worn down over time because of poor diet and the lack of a complete balanced diet doesn’t foster a long life. There has been a significant increase in kidney and liver failures in young dogs and cats that has recently been linked to the amount of chemical preservatives. That’s why the FDA recently recommended the manufacturers of pet food cut the amount of certain chemical preservatives in half. Our pets eat the same food everyday, so the food they eat will have a heightened effect over time on their health, that’s why a good, high quality diet is best for your pet’s health.
Domestic pets are descendants of animals that have been existing in the wild. Many vets feel that pets should eat natural and less processed food. They recommend feeding pets fresh food with some supplements, or choose an all natural or holistic pet food. Your choice is to select the healthiest food for your companion pets.
What is All Natural and Holistic Pet Food?
Of course, we know that the proper mix of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats are needed for a healthy diet for our pets. Along with the 23 essential amino acids, pets also need vitamins and minerals. But the types of proteins, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats is what holistic pet food is all about. Holism is the theory that animals should be viewed as interacting, complete entities, that are more than the sum of their elementary particles. Holistic food is naturally balanced, and provides the pet’s body with much more than just the sum of its ingredients. Each ingredient is chosen for not only it’s nutritional value, but also for it’s interaction with other ingredients. In selecting ingredients, manufacturer’s must know how an ingredient aids digestion, and select the ones that provide the most health benefits. Many ingredients are known to be good anti-oxidants, so why not choose an ingredient that has that added value. Then the combination of ingredients as a whole can be evaluated to understand the total value of a complete and balanced diet.
Holistic pet food manufacturers choose the most digestible meats, vegetables and carbohydrates so that the nutrients are almost 100% bio-available, meaning that it actually gets into their bloodstream. If it is a meat that can’t be easily digested, then it just passes through their digestive system, and less is really available. The sources of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates are just as important as the amounts. We also know that certain meats, vegetables and carbohydrates are prone to produce food allergies, and therefore it makes sense to avoid using those ingredients which are known to have a high incidence of digestive problems or allergies.
Given that we can determine the proper mix of ingredients, it also makes sense that we should utilize the best available ingredients for your pet and avoid using questionable ingredients such as by-products or meat digest. The source of the ingredients should be held to the highest standard of human grade food, and as natural as it can be. That means meat that is free from contamination from animals that were not given steroids, antibiotics or hormones, and to avoid meat by-products or meat digest. Vegetables should be free from pesticides or herbicides. We should avoid known food allergenic ingredients (beef, wheat, or soy), and not use chemicals preservatives, dyes, or genetically modified organisms. Holistic pet foods come as close to organic in nature without any chemicals or drugs, or as we say, “The Very Best for Your Best Friend!”
This recipe can be made cheaply and will store refrigerated for up to 5 days. The funny thing about this recipe is that it sounds like human food! Depending on your dogs size and feeding schedule, this recipe will make enough food to feed your dog for 2-4 days. Obviously fresh vegetables can be substituted for canned.
1 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained
8-ounce can corn, drained
16-ounce can sliced carrots, drained
8-ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon plain wheat germ
1⁄2 teaspoon brewer’s yeast
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix together all the ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese and then transfer to the casserole dish. Spread the Parmesan cheese on top.
3. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Today we hear all the Whole-Health buzzwords like functional foods, nutraceutical, organic, natural and holistic ingredients. Every natural, holistic, and organic ingredient we use has been researched for safety and efficacy. Natural, Whole-Health Holistic ingredients in our formulas use meat as the first ingredient because cats and dogs are primarily carnivores. All meats have different grades depending on the source, look for the best sources for your pets.
Regular meat meals are cooked to almost burning temperatures at many manufacturers, which greatly reduces nutrient values. They do this to increase the production speed, and then add back nutrients near the end of their process. We use moderate temperatures to insure that the natural nutrients aren’t destroyed in the manufacturing process.
THE VERY BEST CHICKEN, PORK, LAMB, FISH AND DUCK
Our Chicken Meal originates in facilities handling chicken for our dinner table. Our Chicken Meal is antibiotic free and has no added hormones. It is an excellent source of Omega 6 fatty acids, a natural coat and skin conditioner.
Pork is the most consumed meat in the world. Pork Meal digestibility is second only to Fish Meal and far more digestible than beef. Fat levels are about the same as our fish meal. Our Pork Meal comes from facilities preparing meat for your dinner table, and is shipped fresh. Parasites are non-existent in the U.S. hog industry today. Pork Meal, unlike bacon, is very low in nitrates. Pork Meal is an expensive ingredient so you seldom see it in other pet food brands. It is a hypoallergenic ingredient. It has an excellent amino acid and Omega fatty acid profile.
Lamb Meal is imported. The sheep are free range and grass fed. Lamb Meal is a hypoallergenic ingredient and is used in several of our hypoallergenic formulas. Lamb is also a very lean meat.
Anchovy and Sardine Meals used in our formulas are harvested from pure, cold, Antarctic Ocean waters and put on ice. We buy a special premium grade that is cooked at moderate temperatures. Our darker fleshed fish are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, so beneficial to coat and skin health. “Whitefish” (not used in our formulas), is a generic name for a number of species of white fish used in some brands. The species will vary bag-to-bag, formula-to-formula. They have minimal Omega 3 fatty acid levels. Most fish meals are preserved with ethoxyquin; our meal is preserved naturally.
Duck Meal is a protein rich, hypoallergenic meal, imported from Europe. If you appreciate the natural, holistic approach to nutrition, you will appreciate how these ducks are raised. Use of medications of any kind are highly unusual. No hormones are added.
WHY THREE DIFFERENT MEAT SOURCES?
The benefit of three animal protein sources is that there is less protein from any one source and therefore less chance of an allergic reaction, or at least a less severe reaction, to any specific protein in the diet. Allergies are caused primarily by the protein content of an ingredient. Fats have no protein content. Thus, a pet could be allergic to chicken, but not chicken fat. Beef is not used in any of our dry formulas because it has been found that along with wheat, pets have developed allergies.
WE DON’T DILUTE OUR MEAT INGREDIENTS WITH WATER.
We use a very concentrated form of meats known as meals, which are 11 times more protein-concentrated than “meat”. Foods that list “real chicken/beef” or chicken/beef first include the water weight in this ingredient. Chicken/beef in this form consists of 70% water. Other manufacturers count the weight of the water, and lists chicken first. With the water removed, your pet is getting 70% less “chicken” than you were led to believe, and it is probably the fourth or fifth ingredient.
NO GENERIC WHITEFISH.
Used in some brands, “Whitefish” is not a specific fish species. Merriam-Webster dictionary and the human and pet food industry define Whitefish as “any of various market fishes with white flesh that is not oily”. Brands using this less expensive, generic fish will not be consistent, bag-to-bag. Whitefish is usually preserved with ethoxyquin. The meat filleted from the carcass goes into the human food chain…the head and carcass go into other brands of pet food.
author: Fred Ege
A healthy dog is a happy dog. This basic dog food recipe is safe and healthy for your pooch. Store the food in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
2 cups nonfat milk powder
2 teaspoons bone meal – [Buy Bone Meal Online]
1 cup plain wheat germ
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup corn oil
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
4 cups cooked ground chicken
2 cups cooked and puréed sweet potatoes
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Ahead of time, boil and purée your sweet potatoes. You can either boil or saute your ground chicken in a little oil.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare two large cookie sheets by spraying them with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, rye flour, milk powder, bone meal, wheat germ, parsley, and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and then blend them with the oil. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
Add the water to the flour mixture and mix well.
Fold in the egg mixture until it is combined.
Add the chicken, sweet potatoes, and spinach and fold them into the dough.
Spread the dough on the cookie sheets. You can use a rolling pin to make it flat and thin. Next, use a knife to cut it into small squares.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the dough is golden brown and crisp.
Then turn off the oven, and let the pieces dry out with the door closed for a few hours or even overnight.
Do not serve the food until it is completely dry and cool.
Makes 25 Servings