I have a best friend named Ms. Kennsington....She is an adorable Chocolate Lab, now 8 years old.
Last year, she started drinking a lot of water, and losing weight. JRS even became concerned, and he's a cat person. So, off to the Vet we went. The result: Doggy Diabetes. Started her on Humulin, and she went blind...That pissed me off to no end. Thought about putting her down, but decided to give it a chance and see how she would do. Glad I did. It took some time for her to adjust, but she is pretty good now. Back to normal, or close to it.
As part of all of this, we had to change her diet.
So, Diabetic Dog Food is expensive. You get half as much for twice the price. And you NEED A PRESCRIPTION! What a bunch of CRAP!
Ms. Kennsington will eat as much as I will give her. So, in an effort to give her more food, while not starving my kids, we started making her "Dog Rice". Cheapest white and brown rice, mixed half and half, to add to her food. She likes it, sort of. But she does not always finish her food, which can be bad when you are giving her a prescribed amount of insulin. So, we tried store bought chicken broth as a little spice up. That works, but it costs $2.50 per quart....Now, I am not really a cheap bastard. But, her meds cost $131 per month, and we are tight on money as it is. So, we tried milk. SHE LOVES THAT!, but same kind of issue. Too costly, but a nice change every now and again.
So, I called a dietician that I know and took her out for some coffee. She had some really good suggestions that I thought I would share:
1. Dogs will eat anything, if it tastes good to them.
2. There are always leftovers that get thrown out.
3. There are always throw-aways from normal cooking, like chicken skin and bones, carrot tops, potato peelings, etc.
4. All of this waste can be stored in the refrigerator until enough is there for the below recipe.
Her suggestions were these:
Take any chicken or meat leftovers or discards (fat trimmings, bones, skin, etc.) and boil it up in plain water. Add a SMALL amount of salt, like a teaspoon or a cheap bullion cube. Boil it for 30 minutes, add any vegetable stuff that is left over and boil for another 20 minutes. Remove any bones, and discard. Use a plunge blender and puree the rest into a thick sauce, and add water if needed. Cool and store in the refrigerator. When feeding the dog, we give her two cups of dog food, a half cup of dog rice, and a half cup or so of this "Gravy" and mix it up.
Stand back, the food is gone in 3 minutes or less. Ms. Kennsington is happy until dinner time. A lot less whining, and little or no begging at the table. Awesome nutrition for her, and it costs next to nothing since it would have been thrown out anyway.
My friend also suggested that I email all of the big dog-food companies to ask about nutritional content in the food. As it turns out, Diabetic dog food just has no sugar, and very little wheat or corn or soy added in. Mostly rice. So, we have identified two, Duplo and Purina that make blends that are similar that we are going to try.
The other suggestion, which came from my Lawn guy, was to stop burying the dog poo, and instead just blast it with a hose until it disintegrates. Instant fertilizer (I have lots of really green spots now), no smell, and no flies. As a side note, I have been able to turn my back-yard sprinklers down to 2 minutes or so. Saving water!!!! and out here in Kalifornia, that means real money too!
Last one....How do you get the dog to fetch a tennis ball when she can't see it?????
Answer: Make a small slit in it, and throw in one or two of those silly Christmas bells. Then attach some paracord to the ball, and throw it, while keeping a hold of the other end of the paracord. She will run after the sound, and you can just yank the cord a couple of times till she gets it. Great fun! We can even do that at night, although my neighbours are not too keen on that.
Call me a sap, but I love my dog. I am glad that we did not just put her down....