What We Feed the Dogs
Posted by Admin Date August 1, 2015
Initially, we fed the dogs regular dog food, canned as well as kibble. But some dogs had skin issues, so on the advice of our vet we switched to premium dog food after a few months. Premium dog food is different from economy dog food because the main ingredient isn't corn or some other grain.

All premium dog food available in the Philippines is imported, and the cheapest premium brand we could get hold of reliably comes from Australia. The canned kind comes in two varieties, beef or lamb. Ken didn't like the idea of feeding the dogs baby sheep, so we only bought beef.

The cans cost 88 pesos (about US$2) each. As the number of dogs in the shelter started to grow, we were spending a lot of money on dog food every day.

Beef in the Philippines comes from cows that have a relatively good quality of life. Locally produced beef is relatively cheap, costing slightly less than PHP200/kg. We decided to try make our own dog food. We bought a grinder, mixing bowls, and a couple of huge pots.

The grinder.

We started off by making the same dog food every day. But dogs get bored if they eat the same stuff every day, just like humans. So we then started making two kinds of dog food, alternating every day between beef, fish, and liver.

But as the number of dogs continued to grow - and many of them were allowed unlimited food due to their being young or sick - even making our own dog food with beef became too expensive.

Nowadays, we cook dog food consisting of chicken entrails, pork fat, duck gizzard and other ingredients which cost less than 100 pesos per kilo.

When we do a good job cooking the food, even the picky eaters finish their food quickly. Sometimes even Whitey, who is used to being spoiled by Ken and his crew, polishes off her food in minutes.

The ingredients are bought fresh every day, between 8:00 and 9:30 AM. By 10:30 the dog food is usually cooked and distributed into bowls. The dogs start eating between 10:45 and 11:00 and on most days all the dogs, even the slow eaters, are done eating by 12:00 when the staff start their hour-long lunch break.

Potatoes and carrots are mixed into the dog food 3-4 times a week.

The potatoes and carrots are given a quick preliminary mash.

The potatoes and carrots after getting mashed for about a minute.

The bulk of the dog food is either beef, pork, fish, or boneless chicken. The pot in this photo contains a mix of liver and fish. Mmmmmm!

The potatoes are mixed into the main dish.

Prior to grinding, the dog food is a mush that looks like this.

Grinding is a two-person job. One person feeds the grinder, and the other rotates the handle.

The dog food coming out of the grinder.

The food is weighed for those dogs that eat individually, to make sure they get neither too much nor too little.

At this point the dog food is still quite hot.

In the afternoon, the dogs get premium dry food from Australia. For some of them, we make it more yummy by mixing in pork chunks or pork fat. In the evening, very weak dogs or dogs recuperating from operations get a bowl of pork chunks and/or canned food, which they usually finish overnight.

In addition to the mashed up dog food, we also cook pork chunks in a frying pan. These are used as snacks and for getting the picky eaters and ailing dogs to eat their dry food. As of August, 2015, we cook 5 pounds of pork chops every day.

Fun fact: we let the dogs lick the cooking pot, since the cooking pot is used only for dogs and never for humans. The dogs love it and it also helps us save on dishwashing liquid!

Sometimes the local market gets a shipment of chicken skin. At only p68/kg, it's a treat for the dogs that's easy on the budget.
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