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I Was Working Way Too Hard! Home-Cooked.


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I did a ton of research and put Diana on home-cooked after she was diagnosed with kidney disease and absolutely refused to eat the Hills brand food the vet recommended. I was cooking once per week for her, and it was not a big deal. Cook once, feed for a week.

 

I cooked rice or pasta, boiled eggs and chopped the whites, then dried and ground the shells to add. Then cooked ground beef or chicken thighs. And cooked sweet potatoes or acorn squash. Not a big deal, it took an hour. Easy, cheap, and my girl is thriving on it!

 

Last weekend I was doing research again, just to make sure I was getting everything right..... and I read and article about crockpot cooking for a kidney dog. Basically you take all the stuff I was cooking separately and just toss it in the crockpot. So I tried it. It took 5 minutes to dump it all in the crockput, and I let it cook on high for 3 hours, and it looked overcooked to me. I even added green beans for fiber which she never will eat. Diana is slurping it up like it's the best food ever.

 

So I was basically cooking 5 or 6 things separately, dirtying all the dishes for each of them then mixing them together..... when all I actually had to do was dump all of it on ONE crock pot and walk away. Hmmm... lesson learned. My dog apparently loves over-cooked rice and all the goop it's mixed with. I think the flavors actually blend and she likes it better. I still have to dry the eggshells overnight then grind them, but it's way easier if they're just eggshells from raw eggs cracked into the crockpot rather than peeling boiled eggs.

 

I thought the way I was doing it before was easy enough... this crockpot way is super easy. And she likes it even better!!!

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Are you putting the whole egg in there or just the whites ? When it is cooked, do you mash it all up or has everything pretty much mushed itself all together ? What about the ground beef ? Are you breaking it up somewhere along the way ?

Curious about her poo. Is it normal on this diet ? Are you giving any other supplements ? Sorry for all the questions but I want to write your recipe down.

This sounds like a good thing to help get Ruby to eat, except I would substitute chicken because of her beef allergy. She also has mild kidney issues.

Thanks for sharing !

Karen

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I'm so glad you found something your pup will eat!

 

for add'l ease, just use bone meal (human grade, not garden variety) in lieu of the shells. or add the bones of a chicken and cook until the bones crumble (~8-10hrs in the crock pot). Some apples (seeded & chopped) are an inexpensive fruit to add if you'd like some variety.

 

If you were dealing with a healthy dog, I would recommend adding necessary organ meats (hearts, livers) for additional balance to the diet (these are readily available at Chinese markets). But I'm not familiar with how to adjust for a dog with kidney issues ... there may be some vitamins & omega fatty acids that need to be added to the mix for completeness.

 

Keep up the good work, and I'm glad you found something easy and appealing!

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Another couple of questions: How much do you feed her? How big is your crockpot? I'm assuming it's a very big one to accommodate the quantity of food needed to feed Diana for a week. I don't have a need for a special diet now, but one never knows what the future will bring and I'm keeping this info to refer to it.

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I used to make up batches of food like this for Karma..and you are right, they like it way more when everything is cooked together! I am guessing the broth/flavour from the meat makes the other foods have a more appealing smell and flavour.

 

 

FYI (I'm sure sobesmom already knows this :) )

The eggshells are for calcium...for kidney dogs you want to stay away from bonemeal and bones as a calcium supplement because they contain higher levels of phosphorus which you don't want.

 

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Thanks, Redhead! I hadn't researched the differences to get the calcium without the phosphorous.

 

Feisty49 - I feed 9oz protein plus an additional 2oz fruits & veggies to my hounds twice a day. When added to the healthy treats my dogs get (which is a lot), my dogs maintain their weight on this diet (I had to cut back on their food because I use a lot of treats; I also have to remember to add those calories back into their meals when I go out of town). If I didn't feed a lot of treats, I would start with 10-12oz of food twice a day and watch my hounds' weight as a guide. I also leave kibble out for free feed, which my boy likes to munch on in the middle of the night.

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If I may ask, what is the benefit of egg shells? Is it calcium? Just curious.....

Calcium carbonite (or carbonate?) from eggshells is a phosphate binder. Phosphate is really bad for dogs with chronic kidney disease because their kidneys can't process it out, and most meats have some. The calcium carbonite chemically "binds" to the phosphates and they poop them out instead of their kidneys trying to filter them out. (That's my highly un-scientific understanding.) You can google it and get the "proper" words and definitions, but that's the gist of it. You can buy powdered calcium but I've got the eggshells so I use them.

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Are you putting the whole egg in there or just the whites ? When it is cooked, do you mash it all up or has everything pretty much mushed itself all together ? What about the ground beef ? Are you breaking it up somewhere along the way ?

Curious about her poo. Is it normal on this diet ? Are you giving any other supplements ? Sorry for all the questions but I want to write your recipe down.

This sounds like a good thing to help get Ruby to eat, except I would substitute chicken because of her beef allergy. She also has mild kidney issues.

Thanks for sharing !

I only use the egg whites. The yolks are very high in phosphates. They're fine for a normal dog, but one with kidney issues shouldn't have them. When it's cooked I stir it all up, making sure the sweet potatoes and veggies are mush. Some people run it all through a blender but I don't. Diana likes a bit of texture. The ground beef breaks up when I stir it.

 

Her poo is fine. Normal. I do give a kidney-support vitamin supplement, and fish oil capsules.

 

If you are thinking of going this way do your research. It's important to get the proportions right. A dog with kidney issues gets more carbs, and less protein than most dogs, and you need to make sure you use high-quality, low-phosphate meats.

 

Check out my posts from a while ago when Diana was first diagnosed. People gave me a ton of advise, and resources. dogaware.com is amazing. There's also a Yahoo group.

I'm so glad you found something your pup will eat!

 

for add'l ease, just use bone meal (human grade, not garden variety) in lieu of the shells. or add the bones of a chicken and cook until the bones crumble (~8-10hrs in the crock pot). Some apples (seeded & chopped) are an inexpensive fruit to add if you'd like some variety.

 

If you were dealing with a healthy dog, I would recommend adding necessary organ meats (hearts, livers) for additional balance to the diet (these are readily available at Chinese markets). But I'm not familiar with how to adjust for a dog with kidney issues ... there may be some vitamins & omega fatty acids that need to be added to the mix for completeness.

 

Keep up the good work, and I'm glad you found something easy and appealing!

Thanks! Actually, I think bones are a no-no for kidney dogs. They're very high in phosphates, which we need to avoid. It's a shame, because I've always fed raw bones occasionally, but no more for Diana. So - eggshells are our best bet for the calcium with no phosphates. Egg whites and shells are practically the perfect food for a dog with kidney issues.

 

Organ meats are a definite no-no (again, those darn phosphates!)

 

You're totally right about the vitamins and omegas.

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I bought calcium carbonate and just added a teaspoon of it to Bullitts meals.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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  • 2 weeks later...

How fine do you chop eggshells snow has kidney disease would like your recipe

I don't chop the eggshells. I rinse them, dry them overnight on a paper towel then pulverize them in my Magic Bullet until they're dust. It's a personal-size blender for smoothies and such. You could probably use a blender, or a food processor, spice-grinder or coffee-bean grinder. If you don't have any of those, I'd put them in a bowl and grind them down with a spoon. Or try putting them (dried) in a ziplock baggie and rolling a rolling pin over them. Get it to powder form if you can. Some dogs will just eat eggshell, but most don't like the texture, it's sharp!

 

I do my own because it's quick and easy in my Magic Bullet - and I get my eggs for free. If I didn't have that I'd probably buy calcium carbonate at a health-foods store. I just figure since I have free eggs, and I'm cracking them - might as well use the eggshells!

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New find today! I found no-sodium beef broth packets. I've been using low or no sodium beef or chicken broth to make Diana's food and also to dump on it at each meal (kidney dogs need as much water as you can get into them). I was paying 2.49 for a container of broth - and I got the packets for 8 for that price!!! Super bargain! Tasty food - even less expense. I added it to the crockpot tonight and when DH came home he sniffed and said "Yum! What's for dinner?" Um.... sorry ... that's dogfood! LOL!

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Do you suggest Distilled water only if you have well water or use for kidney doggies?

From what I've read well water has a lot of minerals in it that a kidney-compromised dog will have trouble processing out of their body. I totally believe this based on the mineral stains I scrub out of my sinks and toilet every week. If you have municipal water - it has additives, too. Municipal water is processed, and chemicals are added it to make it sanitary for use, but those same additives that a "normal" body processes easily through their kidneys can get stuck in a "kidney-compromised" dog and build up. Not good.

 

I may be wrong, but personally, I'd use only distilled water for a kidney-compromised dog. It just reduces the "extras" hitting their kidneys, that they can't filter out anymore. And - distilled water is cheap, so why not?

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where'd you score the beef broth packets?

I've only found low sodium chicken broth packets (at Trader Joe's) ... they are the ONLY chicken broth item that I've found that didn't taste like salty water (I'm smell-compromised, which is why I get all of the liver-cooking for doggie treat baking days).

 

BTW ... try throwing your doggy food into the crock pot just before bedtime (set crock pot to LOW heat) ... set out some larger storage containers before you go to bed so the morning cleanup is about 10 minutes (esp if you use a crock pot liner - worth every one of the 50 pennies!!). I also invested in those 2 cup round Ziploc bowls with screw-on lids .... I measure & serve my 2 dogs' dinner, and then portion out their breakfast (or perhaps the next THREE meals if I've got enough cooked food prepared) into single-portion containers. It makes my mornings MUCH easier, and the containers freeze as well (careful if you drop a frozen plastic container though ... they don't seem to survive the fall).

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where'd you score the beef broth packets?

I've only found low sodium chicken broth packets (at Trader Joe's) ... they are the ONLY chicken broth item that I've found that didn't taste like salty water (I'm smell-compromised, which is why I get all of the liver-cooking for doggie treat baking days).

 

BTW ... try throwing your doggy food into the crock pot just before bedtime (set crock pot to LOW heat) ... set out some larger storage containers before you go to bed so the morning cleanup is about 10 minutes (esp if you use a crock pot liner - worth every one of the 50 pennies!!). I also invested in those 2 cup round Ziploc bowls with screw-on lids .... I measure & serve my 2 dogs' dinner, and then portion out their breakfast (or perhaps the next THREE meals if I've got enough cooked food prepared) into single-portion containers. It makes my mornings MUCH easier, and the containers freeze as well (careful if you drop a frozen plastic container though ... they don't seem to survive the fall).

Walmart! LOL! Herb-ox brand, sodium-free. Beef flavor bouillon, by Hormel. Red box, yellow top.

 

I don't bother to portion out the food from the crock pot into single-serve containers. I just put it all in a big Gladware container in the fridge and just scoop out whatever she'll eat whenever she'll eat it. Might be 3, 4, or 5 times per day. I add water or no-sodium broth each time. My goal is to get as much food and water in her as possible, so if she looks at the food dish - we put a scoop from the big bowl in it. I wouldn't do that with a dog that didn't have medical issues, of course. Just for this medical situation.

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Another couple of questions: How much do you feed her? How big is your crockpot? I'm assuming it's a very big one to accommodate the quantity of food needed to feed Diana for a week. I don't have a need for a special diet now, but one never knows what the future will bring and I'm keeping this info to refer to it.

We feed her as much as she'll eat, as many times a day as she'll eat it. Wasting is a big issue for kidney dogs. They just wither away. I don't measure, but I'd guess it's close to 5 cups per day, total, on a really, really good day. On a bad day - one. Or none. We have those days. The average is probably 3 cups per day. It's certainly not right for a normal, healthy dog.

 

I use a 6 quart crock pot, 3/4 full. That lasts about a week. Sometimes less. She had a really good eating week this week, and I cooked again after 5 days. We also supplement with canned Hi-Tor, as needed.

 

I could fill the crock more, but then I'd freeze some of it. I'm just not comfortable with it in the fridge beyond a week.

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