Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meat for dogs

It should come as no surprise that some people cook for their dogs. Some dogs are picky eaters, others have bad reactions to commercial pet foods, and some are just pampered pooches. Callie is in the unenviable position of living with thrifty humans. I can't see paying the prices for canned or pouched wet food for her. Her main staple is store-bought dry kibble, but that can get boring.

All this dog food for €1.50!

So whenever we have table scraps of meat, cartilage, fat, or cheese rinds, they go into the fridge for Callie. I add a little of the tasty stuff to her kibble and that gets her appetite going. We actually used to cook rice for her, but she started gaining weight, so we cut that out. I don't think she misses it.

Here's the cooked and cubed meat, ready for the freezer.

Just the other day, when I went to feed Callie, I noticed that we were out of meat scraps. No cheese rinds, either. Nothing. I was heading out to the grocery store and Ken suggested I look for viande pour animaux (meat for animals) at the butcher section. Our local Super U grocery frequently has bits of meat they sell for pets, but the cost is not much lower than standard stew beef, so we don't make a habit of buying it.

But on Saturday I checked at our other local market, Intermarché, and they had a big package of viande pour animaux. It must have weighed about a kilo and a half (about three and a third pounds) and they were selling it for €1.50 (about $1.90 US). That works out to about one euro a kilo or 58¢ a pound. And it looked pretty good. I mean, there were whole steaks in there!

Normally our supermarkets will mark down meat items on their sell-by dates. I assume that if they don't sell by then, they will then get repackaged for animals. These cuts, as you can see above, are not at all attractive for human consumption, but Callie isn't as discriminating when it comes to meat. As I said, the package had several whole steaks, some organs (mostly liver), and long strips of trimmed fat and meat. I cooked it all in the oven then cut it up into chunks.

I ended up with four ziploc bags full for the freezer and one container for the fridge. The cooked meat weighed in at about 1.2 kilos (2.6 lbs.). That should keep Callie happy for a while.


  1. Why do you cook it? She'd get more health benefits from it raw.

  2. We also augment our Max's kibble
    with meat but definitely cooked.
    I just can't face the thought of
    handling raw meat chunks twice
    a day especiaaly given the
    sanitation considerations.

  3. A raw diet would be much better for your dog. Our two Labrador Retriever canine athletes (both Master Agility) have been on raw diets all of their lives. We prepare it ourselves from meat purchased from the grocery. If you do this, be sure to do some research first to be sure the diet includes the veggies (what natural prey might have in its stomach) and other ingredients necessary for a healthy dog.

  4. We wouldn't want to pamper her, would we?

  5. susan, well, I'm not sure I want Callie to acquire a taste for raw meat.

    sheila, Callie's used to eating cooked meat bits, so we're not doing anything new as far as she's concerned.

    lois, I think her diet is balanced based on the ingredients in her kibble. The meat just acts like an appetizer. But I can appreciate that different dogs have different requirements based on their breed and their activity level, and the preferences of their humans, of course!

    starman, no. Of course not. *Cough, cough*

  6. Great regimen, and our Casey would adjust nicely, no doubt. But we have to be careful of feedlot scraps in the good ol' USA, and the cost or availability of grass fed beef or lamb...forgettaboudit.

    So our boy gets small portions of carefully vetted canned foods to liven up the kibble.


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