PureBites liver treats are freeze dried liver treats. Ingredients: liver. Simple. My dogs love these treats. They're small and can easily be broken up into even smaller pieces, so I use them for training a lot. We practice our sits, stays, and even high fives with these bites of liver goodness. We have also tried and enjoyed the chicken PureBites, but the liver ones are the favorites.
Yesterday, a dog park friend asked me if having two dogs was twice the work of having one dog. She is the proud mamma of the sweetest and gentlest grey hound ever. And he needs a doggie buddy.
My family has always had only one dog. Three kids and one dog was my parents' limit. And even though my dogs are litter mates, I got Amelia first. Kitty just kind of joined our pack later, and we just didn't have the heart to give her up.
I'm glad I have the two dogs now, and would not have it any other way. They are definitely not twice the work of having one dog. It's not twice the work to take two dogs to the dog park. You're already going, so whether there are two dogs or one is not that different. As a bonus, on the days when you're the only ones at the dog park, your dogs can still run and play together, and get more excercise than just one dog would.
And it's not twice the work to train two dogs. I find that my dogs will learn from eachother. And if one sits quick and gets praise or a teat, than the other one will sit right away. Doggie peer pressure. Also, if I call them and one comes running, the other will most likely follow.
Of course having two dogs is more work than one dog. I have to cook twice the amount of food each month. I have to wash two dogs when it's muddy, and I have to clean twice the amount of dog hair. The price tag of two dogs is also higher, especially at the vet.
But I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. My dogs are so much more active because they play together and chase squirrels on our hikes together. They also keep eachother company when I'm not there.
So if you're considering getting a second dog, I highly recommend it. Millie, Kitty and I are having a great time together!
A while back I found a scale that is very useful for evaluating the ingredients in kibble. Here's how it works:
Start with a grade of 100:
1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points
5) If the same grain ingredient is used two or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than two meats in the top three ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
9) If corn is listed in the top five ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any animal fat otherthan fish oil, subtract points
11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point
1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one, count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point
94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 = F
For more info, check out The Dog Food Project.
Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 73 D
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Beneful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
Although I personally cook most of the dog food my girls eat, they do also free choice feed on kibble. I feed them either Kirkland brand kibble or Nature's Variety Prairie food. Both good quality but one significantly more pricey than the other. My girls definitely prefer the Nature's Variety, but digest both well.
The question I am most asked is what I feed my dogs. The answer is both simple and complex. They eat dog food. But about 80-90% of the dog food they eat is cooked by me. Not because I spoil my dogs and have nothing better to do, but because good quality dog food is hard to find and expensive, and I like to know exactly what my dogs are eating. I, myself, try to avoid boxed/packaged/processed foods as much as possible. Why wouldn't I want that for my dogs?
And the other 10-20%? They free choice feed on some high quality kibble. This way they can supplement their caloric needs on days when they have been more active.
So how does one make dog food anyway?
I buy what is in season (tends to be cheaper and fresher), what looks good in the store, and what is priced well. I try to buy good quality ingredients. As such, the food does vary somewhat from batch to batch. The dogs do not react to this variation in any way. Feel free to vary ingredients depending on what is available in your area or what you have in your freezer/fridge/pantry. It helps to be friends with your butcher to get good meat variation at great prices. The key is to stick to the proportions of Meat, Vegetables and Grains.
Ingredients: Meat (approx 40% total by volume)
Pork (including: shoulder, hocks, chops, leg)
Beef (roast, stew, shank, tendons)
Chicken (stewing hen from farmer's market)
Turkey (legs, wings)
Veal (breasts, chops)
Other as available (venison, moose, bear, lamb, etc)
Wash meat and add to boiling water, skin, bones and all. Cook until falling off the bone. Lately we have been puttng the pot into the oven and letting it cook slowly overnight. The beef tendons should be very soft and signifcantly smaller. Take meat out of pot and chop when cool enough to handle. Strain and save liquid. Discard all bones as cook bones are brittle, often break into shards, and can cut up your dog's digestive system. Add cut up meat back into pot.
Ingredients: Vegetables (approx 35% total by volume)
Chinese Long Green Beans
Any other veggies in season (avoid: onions, eggplant, peppers, tomato, citrus, corn, soy)
Fresh or Frozen Parsley
Process all veggies in food processor, until chopped. Most veggies can be shredded in your food processor. Shred cabbage first, add back to meat and simmer until well cooked (while you process the rest of the veggies). Add water as needed. Add some salt, though it should be very underseasoned by human standards. After cabbage is cooked, add the rest of the veggies and bring to a boil. Simmer with veggies for 5-10 minutes.
Ingredients: Grains (25% total)
Roasted Buckwheat (10-15% total)
Make sure there is enough water in your pot to completely cook the grains and that the pot is boiling. Add grains to pot and bring to a boil agin. Add garlic and parsley. Stir and cover and let sit in a 250oF oven for 30-40 minutes, or until grains are cooked.
Cool completely before giving to your dog.
We make huge batches of this food and freeze in portions. Defrost and serve.