Bearnaise Sauce Dogs

The Cooked Diet

Sam thanks all who expressed concern the other day and wants me to assure you that his remarks were premature. He has missed no meals in the absence of his Papa. In fact, his meals have been delicious. We are moving into the third week of cooking for him, because we could not find a kibble that agreed with his digestive system. We started with boiled chicken and rice, but the goal will be to achieve a more balanced diet over time.

And let's just say he gets to eat a lot more than I do.

I'm feeding him a ratio of 2 parts grain (just rice at the moment) to 1 part protein and 1 part vegetables/fruit. So far that has been chicken and carrots, except for this morning when he had butternut squash. Later in the week we're going to try oatmeal, since he likes mine, and it's usually okay for dogs who are sensitive or allergic.

We've also started adding fish oil (Grizzly brand salmon oil), and I guess he's going to need another fat source, too. But the key is to figure out what he can tolerate and not add too many things at once.

I need to say that a 109 pound dog eats a lot of food. And he is always ready for more. Tonight I gave him some yogurt, the plain kind with active cultures, which we hope will help his tummy. He loves yogurt, lapped it up and then surveyed the kitchen, following his nose to the spoon still holding traces of it.

I'm a little worried about being tied to the kitchen, but I will freeze some portions for him and that will help in the event of culinary emergencies/droughts.

It's kind of like having a giant baby, and although I can see it will be an effort, I'm also glad to have the tasks to do right now. The house always feels empty right after Pure Luck leaves, and we are still grieving for Molly, each of us.

15 thoughts on “The Cooked Diet”

  1. Re: another fat source, flaxseed oil was recommended for Amie but now I have forgotten why. She gets yogurt for her digestion too, and pumpkin–both of which she loves.

  2. Wow! And I thought a 58 lb dog ate a lot of food…with Sam’s activity level he must eat (at least) twice as much as Fenway.

  3. Our departed Katie was on a cooked diet for a couple of months after Fellow Traveler adopted her just because of stress/doggie PTSD…she had symptoms of ulcers. Anyway, she did the cooked chicken and rice regimen, with carrots added very slowly, and fish oil and flaxseed oil; and a treat of yogurt every day, but no other dairy products. And all other foods — like sneaking the cat food — were verboten. She was on a six-small-meal-a-day schedule. FT says it took about two months for her tummy to heal.

  4. Ah, you give me hope! Thanks, LC.
    Sam is eating 3 cups of rice, 1.5 cups of chicken and 1.5 cups of vegetables–twice a day. It’s a lot of chicken.
    Flaxseed Oil has Omega 3 fatty acids, as does fish oil, so they’re probably serving the same purpose. We’re adding a little olive oil now, too, and we’ll see how that goes.

  5. I hardly dare to ask such a personal question, but what effect does this have on Sam’s BIZNISS? According to the pet food article in the Times magazine a while back, kibble is formulated to produce doggie-do that is (at least in quantity) acceptable to the humans who have to pick it up. Just curious….And does he get free-range chicken or just the Hannaford’s kind?

  6. This exercise is pretty much ALL about the Bidness, Auntie Knickers, and it is working. He had some ailment in September and his tummy never got back on track, no matter what kibble we tried. Everything brought on more diarrhea. We were able to give back two enormous bags of prescription kibble (no refund, but at least someone who needs a free sample will be able to get it, and Lord knows, we did at times), but I still have a big bag of Wellness Simple Food Solutions in the Duck flavor. Don’t know what to do with that.
    As for the chicken, we’re using boneless breasts and were lucky to get four big packages on sale last Friday with a “use or freeze by” date of last Saturday. I have two more packages in the freezer, so that will get me to next weekend. I may be courageous enough to give hamburger a try at that point, since he is doing so well.

  7. zorra, I’m going to buy some canned pumpkin and keep it on hand for vegetable emergencies, thanks for that suggestion!

  8. Just an addendum that after Katie was better she was transitioned to Wysong dry food — this is quite spendy, but it’s supposed to be ultra nutritious and natural and well-made. (And little did I know, until rather recently, that Wysong HQ is right in Midland, Michigan — I’ve driven past it countless times without knowing it was there. They make the food in, I think, Minnesota or Wisconsin.) We have Gertie on Wysong right now just to fatten her up — she is soooo skinny her bones stick out, even after living with us for a year (!), and her coat needed some help too. It seems to be working for her.

  9. I like Wysong. That’s the food he ate as a puppy. It’s hard to remember now why we changed, I think because we were trying to feed both dogs the same food and Molly got tired of it. Or because he had an early hint of these problems and we switched to lamb and rice of some formulation. We’ve tried a lot of different things for this dog!

  10. I wish you could send the duck kibble down here. My schnauzer-in-law has lots of allergies, and lives on duck-and-potato something or other. I’m glad Sam digests the rice well; my vet says a great many dogs are allergic to rice.
    Pumpkin seems to be good for whatever ails Amie in the digestion department, whether the bidness is too much or not enough, if you know what I mean. I think it saved her life once, when I thought she was constipated, gave her pumpkin, and later discovered that somehow she had swallowed a small plastic bag!!

  11. Songbird,
    For what it is worth — Trevor, my smooth collie has some allergy issues and we found that the food was exacerbating it, and the results, as you can imagine was BAD BIZNESS in addition to having puffy mucous membranes (not just the nose, if you-know-what-i-mean). At the time, I was feeding him the most expensive food that I had access to — the EVO vegetarian formulation, but he did not do well with the high protein. I have since switched all of our dogs to Natural Balance LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) Lamb and rice formulation. It only has 5 ingredients. For the last year, his allergies and associated issues have been minimal. Apparently, Dick Van Patton, knows about BIZNESS too!
    Hugs to you and Sam 😉

  12. We had F on Dick van Patten’s venison/rice formula, for a while, until all the problems with melamine contamination. That’s when we decided to switch to home-cooked (which he likes much, much more than kibble). In retrospect, we’re glad that we switched, since it made it easier now that he’s on the cancer diet.

  13. I cook for our four all the time. A couple of them still eat kibble, but they like wet food, and I just decided to cook it instead of giving them the gross stuff from the can. It’s a little bit of work, but it gets routine.
    I used to boil chicken, and then add brown rice and frozen carrots/peas and olive oil and wheat germ. I feel it so much better for them. Anyway, good luck, and I know Sam is loving the new diet.
    Peace, K

  14. Wow, that’s quite a job to cook for a 100 pound dog. Not that he isn’t worth it, but with everything else you have to do . . . I commend you for doing this. We had to do it for Smokey for six week until his beef allergy was diagnosed, and I know I’d still do it if I had too, but I know it’s a time commitment.

Comments are closed.