Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Dog allergies and sustainable meat choices

Our eldest Jack Russell, Chile, has had skin allergies since she was a pup in Adelaide.  As part of the desensitisation process that we went through with her to stop her itching constantly (so badly that she pulled her own fur out in yucky patches) we had to limit her diet to low allergy foods for 6 to 8 weeks. This included leaner or gamier meats (goat, horse, donkey, kangaroo, venison and buffalo) with carbohydrate sources of sweet potato, pumpkin, lentils, barley and kidney beans.  For those of you who are struggling with itchy animals here is a link to some information that might be helpful.
Our gorgeous dogs- Chile is the on the right
For the international readers - yes, we do eat kangaroo in Australia!  But there are plenty of them and it is a good idea.  Kangaroo is a sustainable meat.  Kangaroo can not be farmed and so there are less impacts from land clearing and nutrient application.  When compared to traditionally farmed animals like cows the Kangaroo has less impact because it does not produce large quantities of methane as part of its digestive process.  Since methane is a big contributor to global warming it is important to reduce these emissions.

Unfortunately the low allergy diet didn't stop Chile itching but it did help us to realise how many bulking agents and additives tend to be in pet food.  We are not really strict about the dogs diets now but we try to make homemade food for them in big batches to freeze.  Another good reason to make homemade dog food is to try and reduce the dogs greenhouse footprint (or paw print!).

That is why we use kangaroo meat in our homemade dog food (recipe to come later this week!).  It is more sustainable and our dogs love it - I hope yours will too!

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