It was dark and rainy when I left the house this morning. As mentioned previously, this is a regular event for one or the other of us every six weeks or so. It starts with a silly o’clock scramble out of bed on Saturday morning, followed by some bumbling around to find a random assortment of (preferably our own) clothing, whilst trying not to disturb the rest of the household. I usually manage to sneak in a rushed cup of tea before the next step, which is loading a trolley into the car and heading off on a foray to the local meat markets.
Whilst this may seem like a daft thing to choose to do on a weekend, having two dogs on a protein rich diet makes it well worth the effort – particularly since I have an antipathy to commercial dog food. Firstly, it smells dreadful (both going into and coming out of the dogs). Secondly, the sulphur dioxide, sodium and potassium sulphite preservatives in ‘fresh pet meat’ can cause health issues. Thirdly, after having had a few dogs with gut problems in the past, it’s now my policy to feed my dogs human-grade meat products wherever possible – and to have as much input into it’s production as I can.
Yes it is time consuming, but it’s also well worth the effort. With Cassie growing in leaps and bounds and Molly still heading towards her full size, meat consumption is at an all time high. This means that our food production regime has had to be bumped up a notch to keep pace; today I bought 10kg beef mince and 8 ox hearts (no liver this time).
When I got home, I trimmed the fat off the hearts and cut them up into chunks that could be fed through the mincer attachment on our Kenwood. Once this was all done we added the packs of regular mince and 2kg of tinned sardines-in-oil, then mixed it all up together. This is a rather messy process and rather fraught with danger, since the dogs both reckon that the best place to be at food processing time is as close as possible, i.e. under foot. Clearly what they’re aiming for is to nab any morsels that might fall on the floor; what they achieve is to ramp up the general chaos factor several notches. Sigh. #lifewithpuppies!
So the next step is generally to take a break and feed the dogs their breakfast. This settles them down for a while and allows us to package the meat and clean up the mess. We measure the mix out into (a lot of) appropriate plastic containers, pop them in the freezer, then stack the dishwasher – before finally sitting down for a well-earned cup of coffee and (this time) a banana-pecan muffin.
In total we processed 2.16kg of meat/fish this morning. Combined with an appropriate amount of kibble with each meal and occasional added vegies, this’ll feed the dogs for the next 48 days. Total cost for the meat (excluding time) was $84 (meat $72, fish $12). We’re pretty happy with that, the dogs love it – and we’re off the hook for another six weeks!