Thursday, May 20, 2010

The things we do for our dogs.

The other day I was in Thrifty Foods. I already knew that some of their organ meats (for the dogs) were cheaper than other places I shop, so if I am in White Rock and am out shopping with my mother, I make a point to pick up a few more packages.

I am always on the lookout for variety, and was really excited when I found some bags of fish trim. They worked out to $1.77 lb, which is fits in my guidelines of trying to find meat for $2 or less. The best I have done so far is to get whole turkeys and chicken legs for $1.00 lb.

When I was going through the checkout, the cashier asked if I wanted the fish bagged seperately from the meat.  I said no, it was just for the dogs.  So she asked if I cooked it.  I said no, they get it raw.  Even the fish heads? she asked.  Oh yes I said, and smiled to myself at the look on her face.  She asked what kind of dogs I had.  I wondered if she was expecting me to say a wolf cross or something similar.  I smiled again and said two border collies and a lab.  I left her thinking about that one:)
Two of the packages of fish looked like sockeye, really I am just guessing, as it was a very orangey meat, and the other one was a bit lighter.  I hope it wasn't one of those farmed salmon, but that was the biggest head of all, and I don't think the farmed fish are allowed to grow as big as that one.

Fresh raw salmon can have dire consequences when fed to dogs, so it must be frozen first.  Read about that here  So I spread the salmon out on trays so that the pieces would be frozen individually.  That way I can just pull a piece out of the bag later without have to thaw the whole lot.  You would get kind of a shock right now if you lifted the lid of one of our freezers!

I took one of the packages of kidney and diced it up and spread it on a cookie sheet to make training treats.  I cook it slowly in a 250-275 degree oven until it is very dry and firm.  It gets firmer as it cools, so you have to be careful not too cook it until it is too hard.  I like it when it is firm and dry, but I can still break it into even smaller pieces if I need to.

Unfortunately I got a bit distracted and left the kidney in too long, and it got harder than I would have liked.  There was a fair bit of fat left in the bottom of the pan, so I rubbed some plain cheerios around in that and added them to the mix.  Into little baggies they went, and into the freezer to be grabbed when needed.

So for just over $2 and a bit of time, the dogs have some healthy treats.  Oh yeah, if anyone has any 'old' or freezer burnt meat in their freezer that they want rid of, just let me know:)

And speaking of getting distracted, I forgot to turn a pot of marmalade down before I went outside this morning, and when I came back inside it had boiled dry and was burning on the bottom of the pot.  You know, I can see myself in my mind's eye turning that dial down, but obviously it was just my imagination.  Sure was frustrating, when I think of the time it took to juice and chop those oranges.  The joys (not) of aging:(


  1. Good deals - I never thought of trying Thrifty. There's one not far from me.... I just got a big box of whole herring from Red Dog/Blue Cat but I've forgotten how much I paid for it :-(
    Yeah, the brain, she is a goin....I'm pretty sure it was between 2-3$. I've heard that in the summer you can get buckets of herring right off the boats in Steveston.

    I make my own training treats too but I've never tried a slow cooking like that. How's the smell when it's doing this? Is it a 'do it only when you can open all windows' task? I'm guessing liver would be worse than kidneys.

  2. The buckets of herring sound good, but that would mean I'd have to go to Steveston:) So far I've managed to not go too far out of my way for the dog food.
    My kids complain about the smell of the cooking organs, although I don't think they did when I cooked the kidney this last time. Maybe they are just resigned to the fact now:) You are right though, the liver does smell more. Doesn't bother me though.
    I actually really like the taste of the cooked liver, especially when it is dry and firm like that. Sounds weird, but I eat a fair bit of it while I am getting it off the pans and into bags:) Even the kidney, I was snacking on that too:)
    I got tired of waiting for it to be done, so put the oven up to 285 from 250. That temperature is fine too, or even higher, you just have to watch it more closely, as the window for it being just right is much smaller.
    I have come across this company, and didn't think their prices were too out of line, so might try the chicken and tripe mixture, which is under $2 lb.

  3. I think telling people I feed my dogs raw meat is one of the regular highlights of my day.

    I love the "What kinda of dogs do you HAVE?" question. Half the time they're expecting me to say Pit Bulls. (which makes me mad for many reasons but I just ignore it to keep sane)

    I regularly buy chicken and turkey for less than $1 a pound. My local grocery will order me kidney for right around $1 a pound, but I'm not very good at planning and always cut it close with my meal prep days. I need to start checking around at the local ethnic markets.

  4. We here in Canada can't get meat as cheap as you Americans:( I don't live very far from the border, but figure I have to support the Canadian farmers.
    Sometimes I luck out and find meat reduced, and if I have a big pile with bright pink 30% off stickers on them, I always tell the cashier that it is for the dogs. Like you, I get a kick out of their reaction:)


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