Bram has been struggling with intermittent stomach issues for the last few months, the origins of which remain unknown. His blood work is normal, his health is otherwise fine, but his tummy-and god only knows why- feels compelled to rebel in a very unpleasant way for both Bram and his humans. I'm pretty sure it's a new food allergy or intolerance but despite endless elimination and reintroduction diets, I've yet to figure out which ingredient it is. I'm thinking it may be more than one, with one of the culprits most likely corn, a food that is not in any of the dog food he or Edison eats but which I must admit I am guilty of feeding them in tiny amounts when noshing on my own unhealthy human snacks.
I've spoken with my vet about homemade diets, and although I'm willing to take the time and pay the expense of it all, I worry about my men getting the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy for many, many years to come. My vet has seen horror stories played out before her very eyes, and of course she shared every last gory detail with me (thanks, doc!) so I've decided to strike something of a compromise. I will continue to use the holistic kibble and organic wet food I know the little boy can eat without incident, and will also continue to add bits of human meats, veggies and fruits to their meals as well, but I've started to buy some of the better doggie cookbooks to use in creating those yummy, healthy foods to be used as supplements to dog food meal time.
The boys have had their first organic chicken livers; a meat that I really struggled with poaching while suffering from a flu-like virus. I've found that boiling fresh organ meats requires a stomach of steel, at least in my kitchen at any rate. They've enjoyed the recent addition to their diets of grass-fed sauteed buffalo and next we'll be testing the tummy waters with some salmon and possibly a bit of fresh tuna. Veggies are always welcome (except for the much-despised peas) and fruits are being kept to a minimum till Bram's stomach is fully settled.
As someone who was raised by an executive chef and who has an almost obsessive need to keep buying and using new cookbooks, moving into the realm of fine doggie cuisine is not only going to be healthier for my boys, but absolutely hands-down fun-as-hell for me too.
The Healthy Dog Cookbook: 50 Nutritious and Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love, Jonna Anne with Mary Strauss and Shawn Messonnier, DVM, Ivy Press Limited, 2008
The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats, Wendy Nan Rees with Kevin Schlanger, DVM, Wiley, John & Sons, 2008.
Photos courtesy of Barnes and Noble.