At the moment I'm doing lots of research on home cooking for our two dogs, something I did a couple of years ago (the cooking, not the research) when we just had our one bichon and I didn't want her to eat the junk that constitutes most commercial dog food. Then we got our rescued bichon with the tragic history (kept in a tiny room with 15 other dogs, not enough food, never saw light of day, living amongst poo and wee galore) and I decided to switch to a top quality dog food which we imported here from Holland. The trouble with that was two fold; first the shipping cost was the same as the cost of the food (which was very expensive anyway) and second was the unreliability of the food producing side of things. Sometimes it would be out of stock and I'd have to bring it in from elsewhere or we'd do a trip to the UK and fill up the car with the best food we could find.
So, anyway, I recently switched to a top quality Swedish dog food (they have loads of regulations regarding animal food, far more than the rest of Europe) but the rescued bichon began having lots of itchy hot spots. Which has brought me full circle into deciding to go back to home cooking and I've read much much research online about what is best for dogs. Now some experts say that the canine stomach is not designed for complex carbs such as pasta and brown rice whilst others - including some very big names such as Dr Pitcairn - say that grains and carbs are excellent. It can make your brain hurt a bit, reading lots of conflicting reports. I guess it's like any field of professional expertise. Two people - two opinions.
We had a dog whilst I was growing up and this little dachsy thrived on bowls of raw meat and a daily bone. In fact commercial dog food has only been around since the sixties and - one shocking thing I read but I think it applied to the USA - road kill is regularly put into certain dog food processing places, which means that dogs could be eating their own kind. Mind you that's almost the least of our worries when you read about what else can go into dog food. If you love your pet why would you want them to eat sub-standard rubbish that is picked up off the abattoir floor. Yes, all the sawdust shavings are included in the finished weight that will go into the cans - not to mention the chicken beaks and eyes!
People go on about the stuff that vets sell - Hills and the like - about how good it must be because it is only sold by vets. Don't they realise that the company behind Hills sponsor a lot of vets through college and donate large sums to the various veterinarian colleges worldwide. It's still full of rubbish, only maybe marginally better rubbish than the usual crap.
So our two little bichons are now on chicken, pasta and carrots and their meals look and taste as lovely as ours. I've still got to tweak things and give them various supplements which will not be easy sourcing in our little French town. I tried to get some top quality bonemeal over the net yesterday but the best stuff is in doggy obsessed places like California and the shipping to France is prohibited. But I won't give up until I've found what I want.