Pat Leff
Your pup trusts you for so much including his diet. Many owners, new and old, rely heavily on the commercial dog foods available at the stores. To educate yourselves on the pros and cons there are things you should know and reference sites that can help you make the right decisions about your fur kids diet. Let's start with Dr. M's Blend. Unfortunately this video is to sell VERY expensive dog food to us, but, the points to take note of are the good and bad ingredients inside the dog foods we currently purchase. So, watch this video, take notes and then go read the ingredients list on the pet foods offered for sale.  Things I noted BAD; Fillers- barley, oatmeal and white rice, (I don't necessarily agree with these three) also corn, wheat, soy (I totally agree). Ingredients-any GMO's, soybean oils, meat by products, meat meal, deli meats containing preservatives. Preservatives-BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, Propalene Glycol. It should be noted that generic vegetable oil may be recycled deep fry oil from restaurants. See this website for more info, remember that what is bad for humans was likely discovered through testing on animals, enuf said!    Good things for dogs; Organ meat-heart, liver, tripe, kidneys etc. Prebiotics-(super nutrients) Pea flour, carrots, flax, ginger, chicory root, Omega3, dark berries, and Vitamin E.

Adding a quick note here-there are new tests showing that a grain free diet may cause heart problems over time. The studies say grain free dog food leads to cardiomyopathy and veterinarians are backing this up to their patients. My advice is try to find a happy medium. To much grain isn't healthy either.  
Dogs and puppies sometimes get diarrhea or constipation just like human kids do. The food they eat can help them and is the same trick for humans as well. For diarrhea, rice cooked in broth will help. For constipation, sweet potatoes or yams cooked in broth and mashed a bit will help. So, not every veggie is a bad veggie like onions!
NEVER feed onions, or their family to your dog. The onion family includes: scallions, garlic in large amounts*, leeks, chives, green onions or salad onion. I have seen a case of a Great Dane who suffered a long and horrible death from eating onions while his vet and family tried every trick in the book to save him. If your dogs have access to your onion or garlic garden then fence it in. How hard a toxin affects an animal depends a lot on the individual, some are more sensitive.  

Plants are all around us and there are numerous ones that should be feared by parents of young children and pets. Azalea, Lantana, Oleander, Rhodendrion, Sago Palm, Caladium or elephant ear is highly toxic and all are dangerous, found all over, and they pose an actual threat. These plants are responsible for hundreds of vet and emergency room visits every year. If it is on your property do some research.​

It is not worth the risk.

Keep track of recalls on various foods. Not only for the health of your pets but also yourself and your family. The FDA keeps a running list of these things. On a personal note, I try to never buy pet food or snacks manufactured overseas as there is no regulation of ingredients in many countries, China is responsible for the melanine pet poisoning about 2007. That caused a massive recall of Old Roy and some other brands made there. Our regulations in the USA are poor and not enforced some of the time but they are better than what some countries offer.

Old Roy and others made in China (again!) was recalled a couple years ago after it poisoned with tainted gluten, killing a number of pets and sending many others to their vets seriously ill. The FDA has it and others back on the recall list in 2018 for containing pentobarbital. Because pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients suggests that euthanized pets were rendered and used in pet foods. In some states in the USA it is legal for animal control & "shelters" to sell cadavers to pet food companies. CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine) scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of dog food. A dear friend of mine works for a pet food comany and claims this is all lies made to harm the dog food trade.

I am not sure what the lies would accomplish and there are alot of folks willing to attest to the truth of these claims. Whoever or whatever the whole subject makes me sick to my stomach and I hope the laws have changed or will soon change nationwide.

    This is not something they show on the ingredients list except as 'meat meal'. However any company with such a history will, never, ever be trusted by me now or in the future and all of them deny the use of such cadavers when asked.  Alot of folks feed the RAW diet now and believe that it is good for your dog. However due to greedy meat producers and unscrupulous supermarkets that have been caught repackaging and redating meat I prefer to cook (especially poultry). Organ meats like chicken or beef heart I wash and can give raw if I am confident in their quality. You may also notice on the FDA list at their website several recalls of commercially prepared RAW diets for listeria and such. This is why I don't advise buying prepackaged RAW food from stores. Can you be sure of the ingredients? How long has that been on the shelf? Has it been out of refrigerated control during shipping, storage or stocking. Remember that many people could care less how a product is treated, but, it could be life or death to your pup!
While some dogs seem to come alive after switching to raw meat, casting off inflammatory disease and stubborn health problems, the debate rages on as to whether raw meat truly is the best (and only) thing for our furry friends to be eating.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of evidence supporting the recent canine movement  to raw meat. The studies conducted don’t paint a promising picture for the pro-raw meat dog diet. One study published 2018 raised concerns about the safety of feeding raw meat to dogs, having found E. coli on 28 out of 35 commercial frozen raw meat products. (a good reason to cook!) Lab analyses also revealed high counts of Listeria, Salmonella, S. cruzi and S. tenella in a high proportion of raw meat products intended for dogs.

Recipe time!
Let's be clear, I often cook for my dogs to supplement the dry kibble they get. I use a lot of organ meats, beans, sweet potato, quinoa, peas, carrots, kale, cabbage and others. I never add wheat, onions or mushrooms, and sometimes a bit of oatmeal or rice are good for upset tummies.

Today I am making them a stew using the items on hand.
Todays Ingredients Are: One 1 pound tub of chicken livers (set aside), 2 cups of (chicken or beef broth to start, 1 tblsp olive oil, 1/4 cup red quinoa, 1/2 cup each of dried lentils and split peas, 1/2 cup jasmine rice, 1/3 cup spinach, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp *garlic powder, 1 tsp sage, and 1 tblsp chopped rosemary leaves fresh from my garden. Cook all ingredients except livers, on medium heat, until the peas, rice and lentils are tender (about 1 1/2 hours), add water and stir as needed. Add livers and cook until they are no longer pink in the middle. I then use tongs and kitchen scissors to cut livers into 1/2 inch cubes. By now there are many eyes watching my every move! Let cool. Serve in separate bowls (in different rooms if needed) 1 cup for each dog. Their meds such as chondroiton for joint strength or Ivermectin for heartworm, both taste truly awful but can be hidden in the stew and they won't even notice. My Blue will actually close his eyes and relish every bite, he is a bit of a diva. Ellie hogs hers down and goes looking for more (hence the need for seperated doggie dining)! Leftovers can be refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen, but it never lasts that long at my house! { FYI- my dogs often get a raw or hardboiled egg in the morning } 
Herbs and spices that have desired properties for humans and dogs alike!
leaves are a richer source of vitamin A than carrots, and the cleaned root is an excellent source of inulin, which encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Dandelion also contains vitamins C, E and K, as well as calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and zinc. My korean neighbors eat those that pop up in their yard steamed with rice!
Rosemary is a great pathogen-fighter against common food bacteria, meaning it can help keep food from spoiling. Those pathogen-fighting capabilities extend to your pet’s body, where it can help against various fungi and bacteria. Because of rosemary’s antimicrobial prowess, it can be used in antibacterial skin or eye rinses, to help with minor cuts and burns, and for infections in the mouth area, urinary and digestive tracts. Because of its antispasmodic (spasm preventing) abilities on smooth muscles, rosemary can also help the heart in some cases of cardiac arrhythmia, as well as to generally strengthen the heart. Rosemary will repel fleas while leaving your pet's coat silky, glossy, and smelling beautiful. To make a rosemary wash, take two quarts of water and bring to a boil add two cups or more of fresh rosemary leaves and keep it boiling for 30 minutes. Cool and strain out the leaves and save the water in a bottle with a lid, store in fridge. To use, bath dog as normal and rinse. Pour cool (not cold from fridge) rosemary wash all over them especially flea hiding spots such as the base of the tail. Do not rinse out the rosemary infused water, let it dry naturally. I planted a little 7" high rosemary years ago which is now more than 2' across and over 3' tall and one of my favorites in my yard, we use alot of it!
Ginger is recognized as the best anti-nausea herb and is well tolerated by companion animals. It acts as a digestive tonic, relieving stomach aches and intestinal gas. Blue can get very gassy! It also stimulates the digestive juices and helps expel worms.
Oregano is a herb often referred to as the “cure in the cupboard.” It’s a source of calcium, fiber, iron, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C and K. It also contains the volatile oils thymol and carvacrol, which inhibit the growth of bacteria. Oregano contains more antioxidant power than apples and blueberries!
Parsley is the world’s most popular herb and one of the most concentrated food sources. It’s rich in vitamins A, C and K, iron, folate and a variety of minerals, and contains a variety of volatile oils, including myristin, which is thought to inhibit tumor formation, especially in the lungs. It also contains histadine, an amino acid that has also been found to inhibit tumor growth. Parsley is a “chemoprotective” food because it may help neutralize a variety of carcinogens, including the benzopyrenes in cigarette smoke. (please don't smoke around your fur babies)

Sage was introduced to China from Europe. The Chinese developed such a taste for sage tea that they traded their own precious tea for it. Sage is still very popular in medicine. Powdered sage leaves were sprinkled on food, just like pepper.
Slippery Elm is good for very young, old or weak cats and dogs. It contains vitamins A, B, C and K, calcium, magnesium and sodium. It coats and heals inflamed tissues and is used for the stomach, ulcers, bowels, kidneys, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery and colitis. You can use it externally for wounds, burns, rashes or insect bites, and internally for the lungs, coughing, vomiting, and for stomach and bowel cancer. Use slippery elm in convalescence. Just mix one teaspoon of the dried inner bark with a teaspoon of honey and water.
Thyme contains vitamin K, iron, manganese, calcium and dietary fiber. Its primary active ingredient, thymol, helps inhibit the growth of fungus and bacteria. This herb also contains a variety of flavonoids which increase its antioxidant properties.
Turmericgets its color from curcurmin, an orange-yellow pigment. It’s a perennial herb that belongs to the ginger family and is gaining recognition for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant impact. It has more antioxidant properties than vitamin E, and its potential as a cancer preventive has been supported by many studies increases bile production and flow, and protects the stomach and liver. It is the perfect herb to sprinkle on your animal’s food.
Sodium is an essential mineral in the balanced diet of every dog. It helps your pup's body maintain an ideal balance of fluid in his cells. Sodium also helps conduct nerve impulse generation and transmission. Too much can be deadly but the occasional bite of bacon is always appreciated by all dogs!
FYI-a lot of the information here has been gathered from my poking around on the internet. The more you read the more you learn! Now go hug your pup and cook him/her up a nice stew!

Copy paste any of the web addresses shown above into your address bar at the top of your browser page to access the website and read for yourself.

*Garlic has caused some controversy in the dog world because of its onion family ties. I have sprinkled a small bit of garlic powder on my dogs dinner with no ill effects and they love it.  A dog who is sensitive to garlic may react badly so caution is wise. 

The information on this website is based on my opinion of the research I have read. It is not meant as a 'carved in stone' method of feeding and there are a lot of different opinions on this subject.

The best advice is to scan the internet for information and decide for yourselves what is best for your pet.