The Dog Food Chronicles – Part 1

Anybody who finds it easy to make money on the horses is probably in the dog food business.” -Franklin P. Jones

I have a dog.

And he likes to eat. Since I love to cook, I got to thinking that maybe I could make his food, rather than buying it.

I started doing some research on the internet. This was a disaster; no one has any idea what the hell they are talking about. Some sites claim you needed 50% protein, 10% fat, 40% starch. Others claim you needed 20% protein, 30% fat, 40% starch. Still others claim that dogs should never have a starch. Some recipes include “garlic and salt” for taste. Uh, what?

So I moved on to calling local pet stores. The first place I called told me that it’s impossible for you to make your own dog food, but they will sell me some! Dogs have been around for thousands of years, pet food for about thirty, and you’re telling me I can’t fucking make pet food? What the hell does Purina have that I don’t? Of course, being told I can’t do something means I have no other option but to do it.

I’ve regrouped. I was at my parents’ over Easter and I sat down with my dad to discuss the dog food dilemma. I was born on a farm and my dad has been involved with livestock for a long time. I figured that even though he doesn’t have much experience with dogs, he’s had plenty with cows, horses, chickens, hogs, and a number of other creatures.

He had an excellent suggestion: get the ingredients and nutrition off of the food the dog is eating now, and use that as a basis. So I did. We came up with a bunch of ideas, general recipes, etc.

And I found an amazing local pet store whose owner is supportive of the idea and will be meeting with me on Sunday to further discuss nutrition and recipes.

While investigating what I have in my pantry that may go into the dog food, I realized I have a large container of steel cut oats. Oats were included in several of the brands of dog food and I wondered if my dog would eat them.

Well, I accidentally found out the answer to that question when I spilled the oats all over the floor and the dog cleaned them up.

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