home renovations & recipes
We're no chip and joanna gaines, but we try our hand at diy home reno & cooking
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This is our fur baby Chevy. He's a shelter dog that we rescued when he was 2 months old in Florida. After a canine DNA test, we found out he had a purebred Pyranees line in him in addition to a mix of Lab and Rottie.
Chevy (ironically now we own a Ford truck, not a Silverado) started having stomach issues around two years old, although he was always sensitive to food changes. While he was eating 4Health kibble the first two years of his life, he happily chowed down on his food. We even had to get one of those plastic "slow down" bones for his food bowl because he ate so fast! See the bottom of this post for products listed here.
We're really not quite sure what happened at two years old-- we had moved up to Maine from Florida when he was one and a half, and he went from apartment living to having an acre and a half to run on. He loves the snow too! However, he started having issues eating. At first, we thought he had eaten something outside when we weren't looking. He'd wake up in the morning and throw up exactly three times, each time bringing up bile. This continued on and off for weeks. Each time, yellow bile. Each time, he'd still eat his food afterwards as if he had purged his stomach.
We started troubleshooting after three weeks. Were his two daily meals too big? Too small? Too far apart? Too close together? I had tab after tab open on my computer looking up dog stomach issues. Oddly, he was still acting like the happy-go-lucky goof he always had been-- just add a side of puke almost every morning.
We changed kibble flavors, then tried the more expensive sensitive stomach kibble. He'd go a few days without vomiting-- we'd get excited. Then-- nope. Still vomiting, now refusing to eat afterwards. There were days he'd go without eating at all, even his beloved frozen broccoli treats. When he would eat, it seemed out of necessity. Gone were the days of happily gobbling up his food.
The vet was as stumped as we were. By that point I was keeping track daily of what he ate, when he puked, etc. His poop would be fine, but sometimes it would reflect his stomach issues-- runny and unhealthy. As far as the vet was concerned, though, after a full battery of tests, he was a super healthy dog.
After almost six months battling this unknown illness (I'm still convinced he has the dog version on IBS), we realized something. Every time Chevy would vomit, we'd give him chicken and rice afterwards. We'd boil a chicken breast plain, and add a plain cup and a half of rice, This was the only food he'd actually finish. We'd both sit on the couch and watch his eat all of his food, happy to know that at least he wouldn't starve.
Eddie suggested we try to feed him chicken and rice for a few days, to settle his stomach. That turned into a week. No puke! Happily gobbling down food like a pup again! We knew that chicken and rice wasn't going to cut it nutritionally, but we decided then and there that our (spoiled) fur baby would be getting home cooked meals. After okaying this plan with our vet, we started researching the best foods to introduce to Chevy. Below are his breakfast and dinner recipes, Now, this didn't completely heal his stomach-- he still has days, usually once a month now, where he will have an upset stomach. But, he finishes his food each time now, hungrily paces outside the kitchen every time we make it, and is maintaining healthy skin, teeth, etc.
We tried the BARF diet and other various raw food diets but those didn't work for Chevy. All of his food is cooked. He also vomited after getting doggie vitamins, so we stopped giving those as well.
In addition to these meals, we give him marrow bones a few times a week and various healthy snacks from the kitchen, like broccoli, celery, and the occasional small piece of apple. A note about marrow bones-- don't cook them. Give them raw, and supervise the first few times, as some dogs can break their teeth or naw off large chunks. Chevy likes to nibble on the bone then lick out the marrow. It doubles as entertainment when I'm busy with the baby!
Of course, like with anything, check with your vet first if you want to try this food out with your doggo!
We also add "treats" to his food, usually about once a week. Since we meal prep human food on Sundays, Eddie usually brings home the "Chevy meat" from Cosco on Wednesdays and spends about 50 minutes cooking and storing the food.
His "treats," which we add usually at least once a week, include:
-peanut butter, no xylitol (only after bath time)
-Greek yogurt (about half a cup)
-frozen squash (cut into thumbnail-sized cubes)
-frozen broccoli florets
-pumpkin (cooked at 425 degrees with olive oil for 45 minutes, sometimes replaces sweet potato in meals)
-celery (one stalk, in pieces)
-cabbage (thumbnail-sized chunk, usually raw)
-lettuce leaves (usually leftovers that didn't make it into our salads)
In total, we usually spend about $80 a month on his food, buying in bulk from Cosco. We are hoping to lower this cost by growing some food for him in our garden in 2019! We usually spent about $60 in kibble a month, $70 with the sensitive formula, so the extra ten bucks has been well worth seeing him eat with fervor again. He's been on this diet for a little over half a year now, and he is maintaining his healthy coat, weight, and demeanor (minus the constant puking)!