After much research, hemming & hawing, and perseverating, we finally figured out what to feed our pups. We ruled out feeding Bernie a raw diet.
With his atypical Addison's Disease we just can't risk exposing him to salmonella poisoning. We also learned that many therapy dogs are not allowed to eat a raw diet, especially if they want to visit hospitals. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has a guide for Animals in Healthcare Facilities that specifically states no raw diet within 90 days of a visit.
We decided to feed Bernie and Lizzie kibble, specifically Castor & Pollux's Organix Puppy Recipe. We like that this food has an Organic label, which means that at least 95% of the ingredients are Organic, and that we can easily add this dog food to our Amazon monthly Subscribe and Save order.
After watching Rodney Habib's TEDx Talk "Why Don't Dogs Live Forever?" I was inspired to start adding even more people food to our pups' kibble every day.
I found a great deal of inspiration on Rodney Habib's site Planet Paws. His infographic Fridge Foods was incredibly helpful as I started experimenting with adding different people foods into kibble. While our pups haven't liked every supplement, many of these human foods are a big hit!
Our simple plan for organizing different people foods...
1. We use two different sets of food containers to help us remember what's safe for the pups. We have an older set with red lids and a newer set with gray lids. Anything that goes in a container with a red lid is safe for the pups to eat. If we place foods in containers with gray lids, the food is either not safe for the pups or we're not sharing those yummies.
2. I keep a shopping list of "Dog Food Supplements to Try" in my Evernote shopping notebook. I clipped the Fridge Foods infographic into a note for easy reference. As I'm preparing my weekly grocery list, I'll look over these choices and determine what I want to add to the shopping list.
What do our pups love the most?
- spinach and kale mixed with a little coconut oil
- chicken liver
- chicken breast
- hard-boiled eggs with the shells crushed
- plain Greek yogurt
- cottage cheese
There are still so many veggies and other human foods to try. And the pups don't seem to mind the variety. Even their digestive systems handle these small variances well. If I get too gung-ho with the chicken livers, then I may be picking up softer poops. Otherwise, output has been consistent.