Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cooking for Berry and Basil

What can dogs with or prone to pancreatitis eat? This question has been keeping me up at night! Berry and Basil’s Pancreatitis seems to be all cleared up now, however they are both quite thin, especially Berry. We have gone almost a month with no tummy issues, however I have been very careful about what they eat…I don’t like to leave them on their own in the garden, I fear they will eat too many worms and grubs, not to mention peanuts planted by the squirrels.

When the pancreatitis was first diagnosed our vet suggested Hill’s I/D (Science Diet), I read the first five ingredients (Corn, Brewers Rice, Dried Egg Product, Chicken By-Product Meal, and Corn Gluten Meal) and said “no way”. We have tried to feed our dogs a high quality diets with only limited grains and certainly not corn; switching to the highly processed food when the dogs got sick made no sense to us (no mater how easily digestible the Hill’s I/D might be). Once they were well enough to move off of their boiled chicken breast and rice diet, we tried a high quality low fat kibble…it was the wrong choice, they had another attack. Our vet suggested a home made diet…I am a pretty good cook, but making food for my dogs scared me; how to know what nutrients they need?

I decided to try a recipe from Dr. Pitcairn’s book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (there is a link to it on the sidebar of this page), the main ingredients are rice, chicken, and beans, along with vitamins; I added shredded and steamed carrots. The dogs have been doing well on it, however the food doesn’t have enough calories, the dogs are thin (despite being fed 3 meal and two snacks, plus training treats). Our vet recommended a recipe specially formulated for them by the UC Davis Veterinary Nutrition Department. We have been waiting for the arrival of this recipe for WEEKS. We got a call a few days ago asking us more questions about what we want to feed the dogs, so I think it is close to ready. I excited about this recipe, since it is formulated by a veterinarian just for our dogs needs, I will feel confident making it for them.


Cottage Smallholder said...

I'd be really interested to hear how the new diet turns out for Berry and Basil.

I do hope that it suits them.

Sarah said...

I am way behind on posting! The recipe is working out well. They ended up with Chicken, rice, carrots and peas. They are putting on weight and have not had any tummy problems for 2 months. I'll write a full report soon.

Thanks for checking in!