How I am transitioning to homemade dog food for Jernee
Recently, I began cooking Jernee’s dog food after dealing with several middle-of-the-night races down three flights of stairs to get my baby the relief she needed from her bowels. Waking up at the asscrack of dawn to ensure your dog does not spew bubble gut juices all over your bedroom carpet several times a month is not the look, people. I am not built for this type of awakening.
I like my sleep.
Jernee has always had some form of digestive issue. She is prone to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and has GERD, so I have had to maintain a strict diet for her. But as she ages; it is truly getting worse.
We have tried several *luxury* brand name dog foods meant solely for senior dogs and their digestive health. However, The Little Monster, at times, still cannot get relief from the changes in her system.
I finally put my foot down two weeks ago after I jumped up from my bed because of her insistent whining, slipped on some clothes in a fit to pull her from her crate, and rushed outside to get her to greener pastures for business doing.
I had HAD enough! I said to my sleep-deprived self, “Something has to change. I can’t keep doing this!”
And something did. I am making her dog food myself, and so far, it has proven to be the best decision I have made for her. (And for me, too.)
Our First Batch of Homemade Dog Food
I started our new journey with the rest of her Freshpet chunky chicken & turkey roll, some ground beef, white rice, and green beans. This combination/dish (pictured as the cover photo) was/is a hit with Jernee.
As I was making the batch, I placed two teaspoons on her dinner mat for her to taste-test, and she slurped it up as if it would be her last meal.
I smiled. Batch #1 of homemade dog food had passed my baby’s palate test, and I could bask in the pure essence of DogMomhood knowing I was stepping into the light of something huge for both of us.
The first batch lasted for about two weeks. Knowing what she could eat and what she likes, I began to research a few other safe foods for dogs for future recipes:
The above foods are considered safe for dogs to eat, and I will be incorporating them into future dishes for my sweet, aging girl.
When you have a senior dog, and you are in tune with their health and well-being, you are going to do whatever you can to keep them on a healthy journey as they age.
I am doing whatever is necessary to give my girl the relief she needs while managing to keep her active and alert, too.
The Next Batch Was Small But Jernee-Approved
On Sunday morning, February 12, 2023, I made a small batch of a salmon-based dish because I knew the first batch of food would be finished/gone later that evening.
In Batch #2 I put: salmon, scrambled eggs, white rice, and green beans. Did Jernee approve? Yes, she did!
I prepared the salmon the night prior by simply cooking it in the oven — no seasonings — just its natural flavor. After it cooled, I let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. I cooked the rice, scrambled eggs, and green beans on Sunday morning and mixed everything together. When the batch was at room temperature, I placed it in the fridge.
I intended to have The Little Monster savor this dish Monday morning and Monday night as well.
She has fallen prey to my luring abilities with these homemade dishes, and I think it is safe to say, she will not be reversing or converting back to actual dog food.
I am okay with this.
Homemade Treats and Batch# 3 Are Life Savers
Jernee, I’d say, isn’t too hard to please, she just has . . . limitations of which I have to be aware, and that makes cooking for her hard. However, I am making my way along this journey smoothly, and with each batch, I have made thus far, The Little Monster has enjoyed them. So, I am doing something right.
Enter sweet potato, apple, and banana treats . . . I didn’t taste-test them myself, I did not! That may or may not be a lie.
These goodies are like candy for Jernee. I place one in her food in the morning and one in her dinner in the evening. She devours every morsel and leaves not one crumb in her bowl.
The treats weren’t hard to make at all. I simply took some cooked sweet potatoes, diced apples (Gala), and sliced bananas, and mixed them together. I formed them into little balls and baked them in the oven at 400° for 20 minutes. I allowed them to cool for 30 minutes, then placed them in the fridge overnight.
She loves them!
Batch #3 of her actual food is probably my favorite blend of all things delicious. I bought a Freshpet Select Tender Chicken (and veggies) roll and made some ground beef, brown rice, and green beans. The tender chicken roll already has carrots and a bit of brown rice in it as well, so I did not need to add any more veggies to this batch.
So far, this batch seems to be her favorite when gauging the excited dance she does before every single meal versus the slightly kick-step she did with the previous two batches. It is really quite a sight for sore eyes!
This behavior proves that Jernee is benefiting from the homecooked food and treats more than the store-bought dry and wet foods.
Will This Be Our Go-to From Now On
As long as her digestive system seems to be on the up and up, I will continue to make various dishes and batches of homecooked meals for her. I doubt anything will change in the future as I have noticed taking this route is saving me some money as well. A 4lb bag of the Wellness CORE Digestive Health for Senior Dogs costs me $22.46 after taxes.
Add her Freshpet wet foods and Blue Buffalo small biscuit treats, and I would typically pay around $52.00 as my monthly fee. With this method, I am saving close to $18.00 per month so far from my calculations.
Listen, I will take every bit of savings I can get these days. It’s a win-win for both of us. She’s happy with the recipes I am concocting and I am happy with the results — a happy senior dog who seems to have a better digestive system from the change.
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