I looooove my beagle and that’s putting it lightly! Bailey Frederick (aka Doggielama) has been my main squeeze and constant BFF since he wandered into my life in 1999. Being of a hound mind, he spends most of his life sniffing for food, digging through the trash for food, singing for food, etc. Suffice it to say, his world revolves around how to fill his belly and his spare time is spent requesting belly rubs.
When he refused to eat in March 2010, I was FRANTIC – I tried all the usual methods of bribing him to dine: adding broth to his meals and topping his kibble with cheese, but he became more and more withdrawn and disinterested in eating and wouldn’t participate in the usual fun activities of going out for walks and car rides. Our regular veterinarian recommended IV fluids and antibiotics, and those treatments seemed to help a little, but we still had to encourage him to eat and that was a definite sign of digestive distress.
In November 2010, I made our first appointment with David McCluggage, a holistic veterinarian in Longmont, CO. He spent a whole hour assessing the beagle (and ME!), gave Doggielama an acupuncture treatment for strengthening digestion and suggested that I home-cook the beagle’s meals. Dr. McCluggage informed me that all kibble (even the good stuff we were feeding our dogs) is heated to such a high temperature that there is no nutritional value in it.
Willing to try anything, I cooked up the mildest diet that Dr. McCluggage recommended in the following proportions: 1/2 chicken, 1/4 rice, and 1/4 sweet potato. The beagle gobbled it all up and his health returned in about 48 hours! He became more alert throughout the day, his fur softened and the spring returned to his step. He got back into his old routine of sniffing through the trash for treasure and he had a renewed interest in car rides every time I picked up the keys!
Here’s the recipe that we now use to feed both our dogs: 1 lb of chicken or beef, 2 cups of rice or quinoa, and 1 vegetable (1 sweet potato, 6 carrots, or 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies) and 5 cups of water. Using HIGH heat, I bring it to a boil, cover it and reduce the heat to LOW for about 20 minutes. I serve about 1/2 cup for the 23lb beagle (who naps most of the day) and 1 cup for the 28lb border collie (who runs around all day).
These days, we have very happy, healthy dogs (13yo beagle and 3yo border collie) whose only medicine is food!