|Well, I'm new to site and new to this forum, so here goes... I have 4 dogs - A beagle, 7 yo, a rescue boston mix, 4 yo, and a breeding pair of french bulldogs, 3 1/2 yo. My boston has always had severe allergies, tried wheat and grain free food and she has been on predisone for her whole life (also tried everything else under the sun to stop her scratching, even my vet is frustrated lol).
Anyway, about 10 weeks ago, my beagle (who has always been healthy) started showing signs of severe allergies which we ultimately traced back to her kibble - a limited ingredient very high end end product that very nearly killed her.
So, I threw out the store bought crap and began making my own dog food - I had done this once before a couple of years ago because of my boston (what one eats, they all eat) but gave it up because I didn't see any change. This time however, I am using my own recipe and it has turned out to be SO successful that my beagle has made a total recovery (I think she regressed all the way back to puppyhood lol) and even my boston is making huge strides towards living a scratch free life.
Here's what I put in my dog food (wet) - I start with meat, but I change it regularily, I use beef, chicken, fish, pork (only because I am adding new protein sources), liver (occaisonally), crocodile, venison, bison, ostrich, duck and kangaroo and then add vegetables - carrots, peas (just remember, peas are a protein source so I go easy on them), sweet potatoes (not white potatoes very often because they can cause arthritis issues and exacerbate any inflammation that the allergies have caused), green beans, blueberries, cranberries, spinach, yellow wax beans, pumpkin (also a great thickener for the "gravy") once in a while corn, apples, brocolli, cauliflower, various types of squash. Whenever possible with the veg, I use fresh but frozen is never a bad alternative. I also add green tripe with every third or fourth batch as an extra treat.
I rotate the meat source with each batch and mix up the veg - sometimes only adding one or two and sometimes adding as many as the pot will hold lol. I exclude all forms of dairy because most dogs are lactose intolerant and my male bulldog who has had vomiting issues since birth totally stopped vomiting when I removed the dairy so I took it as a clue and just cut it out completely. I also add either canola oil or sunflower oil but right now, no vitamin additives. My vet says the diet is varied enough that they should be getting everything they need without adding supplements. I am currently on the hunt for a good grain free kibble recipe and will share when I find one.
I cannot emphasize how much better all my dogs are doing now - all have high energy levels, their weight is now stable and optimal, they have shiny coats and bright eyes... clearly, I must be on to something because even my vet has noticed a huge difference. Bonus - no loose stools, and no stomach upsets and they LOVE what they are eating.
I admit, I go a little overboard when cooking for them (which I do weekly) and I go so far as to boil all bones, fat, and undigestable meat bits into a broth that I use for gravy which I thicken with a small amount of cornstarch. I spend about 4 hours preparing thier food and slow cook it, it's a lot of work, but like I said, it's only once a week, and it's well worth the effort. It also turned out that even adding in the exotic meats, I save a ton of money.
Edited by author Thu Nov 17, '11 6:45am PST