They started this diet in January when we started going to our new vet. He sent us home with instructions to help Nana lose weight by replacing about 1/2 of her food with green beans (in addition to going grain-free).
Since January, Nana has dropped 10 pounds going from 38 to 28 and our vet is exceedingly pleased. Nana scored about a 7 on the Body Condition Score in January and now she is at an ideal 5. She is much more spry and active than she was when she was overweight. Izzy is such a high energy dog that she has always been scored around a 5.
Nana was never starving during this time because of all the vegetables. Around April, encouraged by the positive effects of her new diet and at the casual suggestion of our vet, we switched over to a completely homemade meal for breakfast and dinner.
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They eat the following recipe of homemade dog food twice a day, which is relatively low calorie compared to other dog food options.
They still receive some commercial dog food throughout the day including Taste of the Wild kibbles, as well as occasional dog cookies, both commercial and homemade such as our Homemade Banana Peanut Butter Dog Cookies. They also get frozen raw beef shank marrow bones to chew on a couple times a week for about 10-20 minutes. We will blog more about that later this month.
***Consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet. This article is about our experience and is for informational purposes only.***
Izzy and Nana’s Favorite Homemade Dog Food
The first ingredient is chicken. Chicken Legs are usually the cheapest at about 67 cents/pound on sale. However, we mix it up and sometimes do a whole chicken or bone-in chicken breasts. They love it all! We shred the chicken and take away the bone, skin, and fat.
Next, we get out our scale, set to grams, and and clear the tare with the food bowl on the scale.
Then we add veggies. We steam vegetables every night to go with human dinner, so it was not much of an adjustment to cook a little extra more for the dogs. We cook broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini, and green beans.
We cut it up into smallish pieces, a lot like the aforementioned Chicken Stew. Izzy gets 80 grams of veggies because she LOVES them. Also Izzy is a bit bigger than Nana. She is at her ideal body condition score and still weighs 35 pounds. Nana gets 55 grams of veggies.
We cut the chicken and veggies with kitchen shears like these from Kitchen Aid.
We add about 60 grams of chicken for Izzy and 50 grams for Nana.
The last ingredient is sweet potato. 40 grams for Izzy and 30 grams for Nana. We usually feed them the orange sweet potatoes, but accidentally got white flesh sweet potatoes at the store last week.
We have tried to corner our vet into giving a precise amount of protein, veggies, and sweet potato for our girls, but he says whatever we are doing is good because they are very healthy.
They always finish their meals at the same time and they are maintaining their ideal body weights. Consequently, we have stuck to this meal plan. It is important to remember that they also get a fair amount of nutrient dense kibbles throughout the day.
Izzy is excited to eat her breakfast!
Good to the last lick!
Another possible variation on this recipe: Put an Egg on it. If you watch food shows, you know how popular this has become in recent years for human food. Dogs can try it, too!