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#284726 - 06/05/13 01:39 PM Homemade Food, Processing Ideas
MSD Offline
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Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 501
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We have been feeding homemade food for over 3 months using Dr. Karen Becker’s book and feel it is better for them, but I’m not sure if we’re doing things as streamlined as we could because it seems to take quite a bit of time in the preparation of meat, veggies, and supplements.

I have a food allergy GSD and a SIBO GSD (both 4yrs old, intact, males). One boy needs to have limited ingredients (for now), the other needs to eat frequently, about every 4 hours (because of this, they eat 5 times a day). Because of the food allergies we are going VERY slow to introduce more into the diet, and that’s not the issue at the moment.

Here’s the summary, and I hope I haven’t missed anything:

Each Dog for One Day
Eats 5 cups of food (Meat: 30 ounces [1 lb 14oz]. Veggies: 10oz)
Supplements (vitamins/minerals) for their program 1¼ tsp
Calcium (Bone Meal) for their program, 2½ tsp

My Processing Technique
Weekly: Buy 40 pounds of meat for them per week. Roast all the meat within two days of purchase. Then vacuum seal into smaller portions and freeze. Defrost in refrigerator the day before the needed servings.

Daily: Cut that meat into small pieces and put into their individual serving dishes by weight for that meal. I puree the vegetables right before I make the individual serving dishes. Label everything and store in the refrigerator ready for their meals. Supplements and bone meal gets added to the appropriate meal right before they eat.

You may be reading this and not grasping the actual amount of time I am expending physically to make, prepare, store, weight out, and serve these meals. So please take your own experiences into account when responding.

Do you think I ‘process’ their food correctly or is there a better, faster, easier way?

I am not concerned right now what food I am processing, but rather the process itself of preparing the meals. I am asking here if there is another owner like myself who has done this successfully who is willing to share any secrets, or give advice.

Thank you in advance.
_________________________
AllergiesSIBO

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#284749 - 06/05/13 03:56 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: MSD]
BowWowMeow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4747
Loc: Buffalo
Likes: 127
Hi MSD,

I made food for my dogs (and my cat Cleo) for about 10 years. I made a huge batch (bought a really big pot) every 7-10 days. I did everything as a stew so it was a big one pot meal (and supplements were added at mealtimes). I also pureed veggies but would add that into the meat (and potato) mixture after the mixture cooled. I would freeze about 3 days worth per container. That cut down on my overall prep time a lot. Is there a reason you can't combine the meat and pureed veggies and freeze them together? I use glass Pyrex storage containers.

Some of the supplements (like the bone meal) would be fine to freeze, mixed in with the veggies.
_________________________
Ruth

Rafi, the german malaroo, age 9.5ish
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/693238

Varda & Gio (the crazy cattens)
...............
Warming my heart:
Queen Cleopatra
Chama
Kai
Basu
Massie

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#284754 - 06/05/13 04:26 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: BowWowMeow]
MSD Offline
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Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 501
Likes: 20
Hi, thank you for responding! smile Yes, we DO have the glass Pyrex bowls. Do you think it’s possible to make everything with the supplements and freeze it in the glass pyrex dishes in the deep freezer (is that possible)? Then per se, would you ever consider warming the food up before serving it, for example microwaving it?

I just burst out laughing, realizing that I use 10 Pyrex dishes a day, so for a week, I would need 70. Does that make sense, or am I still way off. By coincidence, they’re having a sale on the Pyrex dishes this week, so this would be my opportunity to buy more and save a little too.

And then on Sunday, say I then make another 70 dishes for the next week???

So would it be worth it to say, spend the time one day a week to make everything or spread it out every day???

So then did you transfer the food to a like another dish that had to be cleaned? Right now, they’re just eating out of their glass Pyrex dish, so I’m cleaning 10 dishes and 10 lids a day. I’m sure I’m doing it wrong.

This is why I’m trying to talk (write) it out until it makes better sense to me.

Again, thank you.
_________________________
AllergiesSIBO

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#284763 - 06/05/13 05:29 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: MSD]
BowWowMeow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4747
Loc: Buffalo
Likes: 127
I don't know if you can freeze the supplements. I think I would check with the supplement manufacturers to find out if that would alter their effectiveness in any way.

I did not make individual portions, I froze 3 days worth in one (large) container. For Rafi (who eats ground raw) I can store about 2.5 days worth in the biggest Pyrex container. I do have a bigger glass container in a rectangular shape but it is made by Igloo. Anyway, I defrost the food in the refrigerator about 24 hours before I am going to feed it and then I scoop it out and put it in Rafi's bowl. So, each large Pyrex container is about 8 meals for Rafi (he eats 3x day).

Hope that helps!
_________________________
Ruth

Rafi, the german malaroo, age 9.5ish
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/693238

Varda & Gio (the crazy cattens)
...............
Warming my heart:
Queen Cleopatra
Chama
Kai
Basu
Massie

Top Likes: 0 
#284774 - 06/05/13 06:37 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: BowWowMeow]
MSD Offline
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Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 501
Likes: 20
Hi, yes. Thank you very much. Appreciate the help.
_________________________
AllergiesSIBO

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#284777 - 06/05/13 07:32 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: MSD]
MaxaLisa Offline

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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
MSD, I have read that the minerals are reasonably heat stable, but the vitamins typically aren't. When I was using the meatloaf recipe from the nutritionist, she would add the minerals to the meat before cooking (iron, calcium, etc.), but maybe the recipe was adjusted for that, I never asked. Anyway, definitely something to look into.

I don't know if this is any easier, but here is how I have always done it....

I bake the meat, and cut it with an electric knife right after ( http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-EK700-Electric-Carving/dp/B0000DAR49 ) - cutting when it's warm is MUCH easier than cutting it after it has cooled or been in the refrigerator. (I have tried a Hamilton Beach knife electric knife before, hated it, it did not fit my hand.) With Indy, I cut it into pretty small pieces, which I don't have to do for Jazz since I mince it it my Ninja Prep. I used to cut in pieces for Max, until the last months when I was mincing his also.

Depending on how much I make, some goes in the fridge, some gets frozen. I use the glass Pyrex containers to keep the cut-up meat. I have never been organized enough to put in measured out containers. I might put 5-6 days worth in the fridge, and the rest in the freezer.

I use a steamer for the veggies ( http://www.amazon.com/Oster-5711-Mechanical-Steamer-White/dp/B00073HLMU/ ), and only make enough of those for a couple of days, usually three at most, and keep them in a glass pyrex container in the fridge. (She does not do well on raw veggies.)

When I first started cooking for Indy, I used to cook the veggies on a daily basis, because I think that they are best that way in terms of maintaining nutrients. However, that's completely impractical, something had to give, and I started pre-cooking the veggies. It is possible that mincing them and then freezing them is actually better than refrigerating them. It might be worth trying for a week and deep freezing them. Part of this is that you have to find a way to make this workable for you in the long run. I was just dying trying to keep Max fed and moving when he was so sick - he was either going to get better, or not frown , but, with your boys, this is a long term situation, and give yourself some room (without guilt) to try to make your life easier.


I have pill containers that I fill each week with needed capsules or tablets, and also when I fill these, I fill the powder supplements - for the powder, I use little plastic containers (BPA free, but wouldn't mind finding some very small glass ones) - they are small, maybe an inch and half wide. All the supplements are done on a day I don't have to cook.

So.....

In the evening, I measure out the meal for that night (meat and veggies, etc.) by placing the Ninja container on my scale and using that to hold the food, then mince to a bit of a mush, put in the food bowel, add water warmed from the electric kettle to keep the food from being cold (and to bring out the smell which helps her eat in the mornings when she is finicky), and then add the powdered supplements once it's no longer hot. (In the evenings I also add fresh ground flaxseeds, I grind some for each of us.)

At this time I also mince the meat and veggies in the Ninja for the next morning and put it in the fridge (without the water). In the morning I add the warm/hot water, and once the temp is stable, add the powdered supplements. Adding hot kettle water to cold food takes very little time to stabilize temp.

I think that's about it? Sounds more complicated than it feels like.

I did this with Max too, though I didn't pregrind his breakfast - don't know why it took me this long to start doing that. I DO know how much time this takes, and with two "special needs" boys, you are doing an amazing job with them!



Edited by MaxaLisa (06/05/13 07:33 PM)
_________________________
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
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#284975 - 06/07/13 10:44 AM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: MaxaLisa]
Grakira Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 748
Likes: 19
Have you thought of using a slow cooker?

I feed raw and that takes a lot of time, but I cannot imagine the time and effort that goes into cooking! Kudos to you smile
_________________________
Melissa
Vigo von der Gauss (Vigo) CGC, CGC-A
Vendetta vom haus Huro (Fawkes)
Akira z Khaos (Kira) CGC, CGC-A
UCH Qahlua vom haus Huro (Ayla) CGC, CGC-A
Rest in Peace, Amazing Grace 2/10/02 to 2/20/13

http://www.amazinggracerawpetfood.com/


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#284986 - 06/07/13 12:16 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: MSD]
HeidiGSD Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 123
Likes: 3
Hi MSD,

I am tired just reading about how much food you prepare...LOL!!! I cook for Nikki (EPI, food allergy, SIBO) and she eats a limited ingredient diet - Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potato.

I don't have any tips on how to make this less time consuming but maybe someone over on K9 Kitchen could help since many feed a home prepared diet. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/

I cook Nikki's food about every four days and it does take a lot of time. I boil the meat and bake the potatoes. I cut the meat into small pieces and process the potatoes in my Vitamix blender. I add her minerals (not vitamins) to the sweet potatoes and then I weigh everything and divide into containers for each meal.

Michaela
_________________________
Michaela

-----------

Olivia von Jagenstadt "Nikki" - 11/21/2009
Heidi von Shiloh - 2/10/1995 - 2/21/2009

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#285479 - 06/13/13 08:17 AM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: HeidiGSD]
m&j Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 108
Likes: 1
I break it up over two days.

Friday night I do the carbs (rice and oats). Let them sit in the fridge overnight.

In the morning I do the steaming. I WAS doing everthing individually-took four hours total just for this--until I bought this: No BPA!

http://www.amazon.com/Secura-Stainless-E...s+steel+steamer

It has DRASTICALLY cut down on the time.

While the food is steaming, I do the meats on the stove. I keep supplements separate. I also use this time to clean the house.

I food process the vegetables, chicken, and tripe together, then hand mix with the rice, oats, cooked eggs and meat. I let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before I scoop into individual meals.

I was using pyrex when I was only doing one week's meals at a time. However, with the steamer, I can do two weeks at a time. I switched to BPA free one gallon Hefty zip bags. I couldn't fit all that pyrex in my freezer. I can fit it with the bags b/c the food goes flat, and is easily stackable.

For reference, Rudy eats about four lbs a day. Oddly, he will only eat it if it's fresh out of the mixing bowl, or if it's frozen solid. I defrost the night before and it's just right in the morning. Frozen, but not mush.

ETA: The steamer is not as big as it looks in the picture. You can also steam the meats if you want less cleanup.




Edited by m&j (06/13/13 08:19 AM)

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#285558 - 06/13/13 05:53 PM Re: Homemade Food, Processing Ideas [Re: m&j]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
Originally Posted By: m&j


In the morning I do the steaming. I WAS doing everthing individually-took four hours total just for this--until I bought this: No BPA!

http://www.amazon.com/Secura-Stainless-E...s+steel+steamer


This is neat!
_________________________
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

Top Likes: 0 
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