Wednesday, December 28, 2011
THE DAWN OF A NEW WAY OF EATING
While all of this was going on, I took a few stabs at creating meals for Annie by adding vegetables to her store-bought food but she still wouldn't eat so I gave up and tossed all the commercial dry food. While surfing the net, I stumbled across Ann N. Martin's book "Foods Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food". To say that this book opened my eyes would be an understatement. The information inside was major scary and incredibly upsetting.
The bottom line? You don't want to know what makes it into pet food. It was a shocker to find out that the pet food industry isn't regulated at all. Did I want to keep feeding this stuff to my cat and dog? Hell no! When I told Dr. Young I was considering cooking for both Annie and Buddy, she thought I should give it a try.
And so started a dialogue about what books would be good to read in addition to Ann Martin's book. Dr. Young recommended "Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" and Andi Brown's "The Whole Pet Diet: Eight Weeks to Great Health for Dogs and Cats". We also discussed the types of commercial foods to try if I found cooking too daunting but Dr. Young assured me that it would be easy once I developed a routine. After all, other pet lovers do it.
How bad could this be? There were people who started home cooked pet food businesses - that was how Andi Brown started - by cooking for her cat who was ill. She eventually developed Spot's Stew and started Halo Foods.
I never realized my biggest problem would be me. Bad habits are never good to have and my biggest bad habit is that I love to jump around when reading informational books - OK, I confess, I even jump around when reading novels and sometime (gasp!) I read the end before I read the book.
So I started on my new cooking regime by reading a little bit here and a little bit there in both the books. Annie still wasn't having what I was serving but after a couple of meals she must have realized the food was different and hey! this is what the people in this house eat (meaning the same ingredients not the same finished product). The thought of getting the same as everyone else must have been appealing and Annie began to eat better. The amount of coaxing was diminishing, Annie was eating almost all of her meal with every meal I served. Even though she was taking in more food, after 2 or 3 days I noticed she was looking better and she definitely had more energy. I was finally starting to relax.
Buddy, however, was another story. NEVER, EVER try to get a cat to do what you want him to. Once you learn this lesson, life with your cat will be wonderful. I cooked a few recipes I found in the books and met with total indifference at worst or a small "taste test" at best. Dr. Pitcairn's contained a recipe for felines with kidney failure so I cooked up a big batch intending to portion it out and freeze it. Was I ever excited - this recipe yielded approximately 2 weeks worth of meals. If I cooked a few more recipes, I would be ahead of the game as far as feeding Buddy which would give me time to focus on Annie. The recipe contained egg, rice, parsley and some other ingredients and I thought Great! cats like egg. It turned out that cats do like egg but not my cat. Annie ate the food I cooked for Buddy with vegetables and grain added.
All of this took time but I was hopeful we were on our way to better health and greater control of our canine and feline medical issues.