Organic food has become a staple in the diets of many people around the world. I buy organic when I can, and it's so popular, I can find it in the most mainstream grocery stores in bigger cities. People like me choose to spend more money on the costlier organic food for a variety of reasons -- higher quality food, grown without pesticides and hormones. There are other reasons, and ones that make a lot of sense when when we are talking about our pets. Organic food, as an approach, can significantly lessen the impact of humans on this planet. Less pesticides and hormones going into the system in agriculture, dairies and ranches, means less going back into the waterways, air and food chain. You dog as a consumer is part of this food chain. Even though he's happily gazing at you right now from the couch.
The organic movement also goes hand in hand with the 100 Mile Diet: eating closer to home, and in season to stay closer to the cycles of the earth and reduce one's carbon footprint. This is a prelude to my recipe on organic dog food. Don't bark and say the idea is ridiculous. There are already successful brands in America selling health food for pets and you can even buy organic dog food online where you can find labels like the Honest Kitchen, a brand of food that is made with "turkey, oats, vegetables and love". A box of dehydrated food that makes up to 40 pounds of doggie chow costs $54.
But let's face it, food made organically and with love costs more than the regular stuff made in factories with leftovers. That's why people who shop ethically, and organically look for ways to make dog food at home. Search online and you can find any number of recipes for making your own dog food. The most important things about making organic dog food is the quality of the ingredients you buy. If you have a good relationship with your vet, it might be good to talk over your plans first to make sure your four-legged loved one gets all the vitamins she needs.
According to Organic Love To Know dogs need a certain ratio of protein to carbs to fat in their diet: 18 percent protein, 15 percent fat and the rest complex carbs. A very basic recipe they offer has a shopping list that is (thankfully) very easy to cover:
Organic Dog Food Recipe
• 4 cups organic meat, finely chopped
• 3 cups organic vegetables, finely chopped
• 4 cups of organic whole grains
• 1 teaspoon of organic olive oil
The site goes over how the food should be cooked, and also lists things you should never add to the food including onions, raisons, garlic and avocado.
As long as the food is fresh, you can also spare your vegetable scraps from the compost bin, along with meat scraps, and your uneaten morning oatmeal. If Rover drinks water from the toilet, then no harm in eating some leftovers, right? I think this recipe would work particularly well for families who buy whole organic animals or families who are hunters. When you buy animals whole there are bound to be some less desirable parts. Some of the trimmings that are tough and too chewy for you, are probably really tasty for your pet. You might snub eating the testicles, brain or innards of a deer or cow, but your pooch will likely thank you for it.
If making organic dog food is too much work for your busy schedule then start with your hand at making healthy treats, or go over to Mr. Chewy (one of my favorite pet food sites) which sells natural dog treats from moose antlers to freeze dried liver.