I'd like nutritional advice for homemade dog food and maybe treats, using easy-to-find ingredients. I haven't been able to find high quality commercial dog food where I live, so I make most of her food myself, but I would like to make her homemade food as healthy as I possibly can with the resources I have, which are somewhat limited. Current routine, and many(!) more details inside.
Our dog is a rescue that we've had for five months, and she's a completely different animal than we got - in the best way, so I know we are doing pretty good now, but I'd like to know more and do better.
We don't have access to most fancy health food ingredients, so I want to use ordinary ingredients as much as possible.
I currently feed her one of: turkey, chicken, fish, or liver, + brown rice or crumbled whole wheat bread, + vegetables (shredded carrot and zucchini with a bit of cooked spinach, or cooked and lightly mashed frozen veggie combo - peas, green beans, carrots, potato, lima beans). I portion these (protein, carb, veg) as roughly 1/3 each. At one point I upped the protein, but she began straining to poo and her poop was very hard. Normally her poop is very good/solid - never soft or runny, but not too hard, either. That may have just been an adjustment thing, so I'm not averse to increasing the meat to veggie/carb ratio if it's a better diet. I once tried cooked oatmeal instead of rice, and she seemed to really dislike it, but it was probably just because it wasn't what she expected, and we can give that another shot - if it's better for her. (She's really not picky or spoiled - she'll eat what we give her to eat, though I might have to feed her from my hand a bit at first to get her going...)
To this I add a spoonful of nutritional yeast, a small bit of chopped or dried garlic, a half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a small splash of olive oil. About once a week I give her a scrambled egg or two instead of meat/fish, and a couple of times a week I give her a few spoonfuls of low(er)-fat yogurt as a treat.
Her regular treats are slices of banana, frozen peas (which she is inexplicably crazy for), or a small bit of feta cheese. She'll eat a couple of bites of pear and apple as well, though not her favorite stuff. She's not crazy about fruit, generally. We don't feed her our leftovers (we eat 'em ourselves!)
I worry, expecially, that she's not getting enough calcium. I don't really find the proper sorts of raw bones for her here (we once asked our butcher for a dog bone, and he gave us something that looked like it came from a dinosaur... really, there was no way that was happening). And she could probably benefit from other additives, but I can't find a lot of health food ingredients here. The nutritional yeast, which should be available as a powder, I have to buy from the one place I can find it in pill form (and expensive), which I then grind up. There just isn't a lot of health food stuff available here yet.
I got the very nice book Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats
, but I can't find most of the holistic ingredients in the diet section. I ordered a book of dog food recipes that are supposed to be "Veterinarian approved" and the recipes were totally silly, plus even from my little knowledge, not really that healthy. So I'm up for a good book on this, but it has to be something that relies on regular ordinary ingredients that you could find anywhere, and of course it should actually have some canine nutrition science or background. I'm really, really not looking for something like "Bow-wow Brownies" with "Bow-wow Brownie Frosting" (actual, real recipes from the second stupid book I got).