Years later after my mastiffs died, I lazily went back to commercial dog food for subsequent dogs, paying for the highest quality food I could find. The dogs liked it and it was easy for me, but it got rather expensive. After Nutty was diagnosed with diabetes, I returned to the homemade diet. I wondered if the commercial food, which is much higher in carbohydrates, contributed to his diagnosis.Making their food is a huge time investment for me, but these dogs are not just pets, they are my friends.I discovered that feeding my dogs homemade dog food, using human-grade ingredients, costs less than buying high-quality commercial food that uses non-human-grade ingredients. By supplying the labor, I can improve the quality of their food at the same or a slightly lower cost. I buy the ingredients in bulk at a wholesale/warehouse food store, and I have experimented a little to make things easier to cook as well as what my dogs like. I have had to buy seasonings in bulk as well, as my dogs were quite bored with straightforward meat, vegetable, and brown rice. I tried several seasoning agents before settling on basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. They want their food flavorful, after all! I avoid seasoning with onion and garlic, as these can be harmful to dogs. The food I make is gluten-free (as is the food I eat) as I think it is healthier. I discussed the homemade food with my veterinarian, who was quite concerned that my dogs would not get sufficient calcium. However, I add a nutritional “mix-in” with each bowl, using a recipe from my 1995 edition of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. The nutritional supplement adds calcium and a whole host of vitamins and minerals. I’m not going to share recipes here, as that there books available, and it’s a very personal choice. Some people cook for their dogs at the same time they cook for themselves, using the same or similar ingredients. That doesn’t work for me, so I have tried several other techniques. I usually cook a large batch of food in the oven or crockpot. I find that when I grill the chicken, the dogs really love it! Sometimes I’ll throw in some bacon or sausage into the beef I serve, too, trying to add a little special flavor for them. Figure out what works for you and your dogs, but I encourage you to give homemade food a try. As a serving tip, I’ll add that I quickly discovered that dogs don’t like cold food. It has no smell, and the scent is what tempts them to eat. So, you guessed it, I warm it up in a skillet before serving it. Our mastiffs were happy with a cup of hot water over the top to take the chill off, but they would eat just about anything; my current pack is a bit pickier. Bon appetit!