This post refers to an allergy. Please read my disclaimer and proceed mindfully.
For more information on Mammalian Meat Allergy (MMA) also referred to as Alpha-Gal Syndrome, refer to my website Joanna Haley Homestead.
Now, onto the cute puppy photo…
Recently we brought home a gorgeous little puppy and needed to introduce him gently to a quasi-vegetarian diet. He joined 2 older dogs who were already eating home-cooked quasi-vegetarian meals plus a little supplementation of chicken dog biscuits.
I cooking my dog’s food and even though I’ve had many months and even years at time of not cooking for them (cue: baby crying or toddler screaming), it is still one of my happiest moments in motherhood when all is flowing well in my schedule and I get to cook for my fur babies.
I can cook their food right here in the kitchen next to my own, even with my own special health needs, because the dog food I cook is healthy and hygienic and … real food
If you have (or know somebody who has) Mammalian Meat Allergy (MMA) or what is also known as Alpha-Gal Syndrome, caused by tick bites, it is very important that red meat is not contaminating the kitchen utensils, for your own safety and health. Equally, a pet dog or cat should ideally not eat a red-meat based diet. This is because they lick their fur, or their owner, and subsequently contaminate furniture, bedding, clothes, and so on, with the alpha-gal protein that is present in their saliva from their last meal. Most dog and cat biscuits labelled as “chicken’ still contain red-meat products. Check with the manufacturer if you have any doubts. I choose to buy an expensive brand that is more nutritious and health-conscious, and it explicitly says on the packet that it does not have any contamination from red-meat products. I often ring food producers and manufacturers.
In the photo below, my dog is enjoying chewing on a cow bone from the neighbour’s farm. This is a red-flag and should be avoided by owners like me who have MMA. Chicken wings are the best alternative to red-meat bones to give dogs something to grind their teeth on, and to receive the micro and macro nutrients available in meat bones. When my dog finds a bone like this, we remove it with plastic bag and take care around his mouth and saliva for 24 hours, giving him plenty of water to drink and even a bath.
I like to make a mostly vegetarian meal and enough for the week – and I feed 3 dogs (1 large and 2 small). Even though I don’t include any mammal meats such as beef, pork, lamb or any other red-meat, I do like to add some chicken. I do this by either baking chicken fillets first in the oven then dicing them to add to the completed rice dish once it’s all cooled, or I will pour a shop-ready Chicken Broth over the completed vegetarian rice dish and stir-it through. I don’t actually like having chicken in my kitchen or in the oven or cooking on my fry pans at all (we are a family of animal lovers and voluntarily vegetarian, so it’s a stretch feeding our dogs chicken at all!) so I am most likely to leave out the chicken when I cook their meals – and instead, my husband will freeze chicken necks or wings and feed them to the dogs as snacks during the week.
My method of cooking dog food is SO simple! It’s easier than buying food.
In one large pot, or a crock pot, I add in plenty of water and rice. Then I simply add in whatever left-overs are available in the fridge as well as pantry ingredients, such as:
- stock powder
- italian herbs
- fresh garlic
- frozen peas
- frozen carrots
- frozen spinach
- frozen beans
- frozen corns
- vegetable gravy powder
- seaweed / nori
- bread leftovers
When it’s all cooled, I add in:
- flax seed oil or hemp oil
- turmeric powder
- garlic flakes if not already added, and only on alternate weeks
- coconut meal (horses supplements are good for dogs, too).
I pack their meals away in chinese containers and one container per night feeds 3 x dogs along with a duck egg stirred-through.
When I’m in this routine, I keep my dog bowls in the house and wash them after they eat, so they too, are hygienic in our kitchen where we make all our family food.
My dogs are mostly vegetarian with the exception of this chicken or fish and they also get to eat ALL our leftovers. From young age we’ve given our biggest boy, Siah, cheese, butter and garlic and even leftover coconut yoghurt. They also get to eat beans, grains, toast, tofu, mushrooms, porridge, bread and roast vegetables. It’s all very colourful and they thrive – so much healthier – than when eating commercial biscuits all alone outside.
Best of all, because I have MMA (mammalian meat allergy) also known as Alpha-Gal Syndrome caused by tick bites, cooking their food means my dogs and I can have a beautiful, loving and cuddly relationship with licks included, especially important for my dear old boy Siah who is 11 now.
Share with anyone you know who has MMA and who would like to know how to feed their dogs.
These ingredients were researched by myself 10 years ago when our first dog passed away very suddenly and I realised that commercial biscuits were “not enough” for dogs health. A Vetinary scientist and dietician had a recipe very much like this on his website. All these ingredients are safe but please do your own research to check on quantities.
Day by day we aim to repair our bodies and have trust, faith and optimism for the future. You can join me as I walk to wellness in the private facebook group Joanna Haley Homestead (Journey to Wellness)
Joanna Haley, Author
NB: This idea MAY BE a suitable and safer diet choice for people diagnosed with mammalian meat allergy (alpha-gal allergy) following a tick bite, whereby it becomes unsafe to consume all products made with, fermented with, or cross-contaminated with, foods of animal origin including cows, sheep, lamb, pig, kangaroo, rabbit, possum, whale, dolphin. Many people with MMA allergy find that poultry is safe to consume so long as cross-contamination has not occurred and the poultry have not consumed animal products, and some people with alpha-gal can also consume dairy, but overall it seems healthier and helpful to adopt a plants-based diet with a strong lean towards vegan-inspired recipes and whole food plant ingredients. Please note that research is rapidly involving and ingredients that are deemed safe for MMA or alpha-gal syndrome at time of publishing this post are based on current knowledge. It is suspected that some seafoods, seaweeds and “vegan thickeners” used in mayonnaise and seaweed nori may not be suitable for MMA patients. Please research extensively before using any ingredients suggested on any website INCLUDING this one. This website is not a substitute for your doctor’s advice. While all care is taken, no liability is accepted.