The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Andi Brown and The Whole Pet Diet

Andi Brown and The Whole Pet Diet
Doc’s Stew

Get ready people!  Andi Brown is coming out with a new line for our doggies!  It’s named after Doc, the pup she adopted from us!  I can’t wait to get my hands on this!


History:  It’s been four weeks since Holly and I started making our own dog food.  There are three reasons for this:

First, when we rescued Jordan’s Prize, he was such a mess,  Maria DeRosa started investigating alternatives.  Maria dove into her research and was convinced that she would never buy dog food again.  She lost a dog at a very young age, and the more she educated herself, the more she realized the difference that nutrition could have made.    She motivated us to change!

Second, several months ago, Andi Brown adopted our Jangle,   fostered by Cathy McIlroy.  Andi presented Cathy with a copy of her cook, The Whole Pet Diet.

As Cathy started reading Andi’s book, she called me with her comments, and said it was like having one Ah Ha Moment after another.  Her experiences with dog allergies, and having dogs literally pass away at an early age, Cathy attributed it to poor diet.  Cathy then gave the book to Holly!

Holly had already been making some chicken casserole for her pups, but now she was going to take it a step further.  Every day, the more she read Andi’s book, the more we brainstormed with ideas.  Holly cooks  Andi’s “Spot’s Chicken Stew” overnight in her crock pot, then freezes it in ice cube trays, and measures the puppy chow by counting the number of cubes (genius).

536031_271012119647551_142012077_nThird, I have never been able to afford high end dog foods like Honest Kitchen, Blue Buffalo or Call of the Wild, but what I’ve learned lately is home made is better.   I’ve heard time and time again that the affordable high-quality dog foods like Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Iams are just not preferred, especially when it comes to dogs with food allergies.  When I did the math, I figured if I shopped wisely, while items are either on sale or buy in bulk, I could give my dogs the best quality dog food, eliminating foods that cause allergies (like corn), increase their protein intake (no by-products in my kitchen) and kiss kibble good bye!

Gisele’s Stew for Collies

It’s been two weeks, and I’m learning even more shortcuts.  The crock pot allows me to prepare their food over night.  Freezing containers allow for future use.

How have my dogs done on the diet? Ozzie has demonstrated a calmness and a coat that is to die for!  The first night I fed them their home made meal, Ozzie walked around with an empty metal bowl in his mouth!  So far, Lady Di has had a hard time adjusting.  Because of loose bowels, I just added more pumpkin and brown rice.  This is one of the aspects I have enjoyed the most:  the control of adding and taking away as the dogs’ systems demand.
Both Lady Di and China are also showing more shine in the coat.

Holly’s Chicken Stew

So while I can’t personally afford the extreme high quality dog foods out there, I surely can afford what my super market has to offer, and my grocery receipts are showing me that making the dog food is the same price as buying low-quality kibble.

Updates on Jordan’s Prize are very promising, and sharing this with other fosters is huge.  There are always dogs that are itching, have suffered loss of hair, or have loose stool.  Changing their diet is one option that we can use immediately rather than depending on medications that aren’t going to solve the problem.

To date, what I have noticed is that my Ozzie comes when called!  He is so excited to have his dinner, regardless of what time of the day it is, the dog that never came when I called him, is racing to the door now – every single time!

We urge our readers to get a copy of Andi’s book, and post your comments on this post with your findings.  Both Holly and I are tweaking our recipes quite often, so while we are all still learning, this is probably one of the most exciting things our rescue has done!   Holly says, “Let’s be different!”

Now without further adieu, here’s Holly’s comments!


Because I foster the puppies, and I believe puppies do best in groups, I have had a huge number of dogs pass through my home.  When you care for that many dogs, you start to see statistics.  One of the things that I have seen is that at least 10% of dogs present food allergy symptoms.  Those are the ones presenting; who knows how many have inflammation that I am not seeing.  I started looking into dog food recipes in February, but all the books seemed too complicated and cutesy.  I needed something basic, or nothing at all.  I went with nothing at all.

In April my fosters included Moses, a rather quiet Border Collie.  He was adopted by Marilyn and Win.  Imagine how I felt when I found out that their vet said he was extremely anemic.   Granted, I’d only had him for a week, but the idea that a puppy could leave my care still anemic was a wake up call.  I remembered my conversation with Andi Brown when she first inquired about Jangle, so I looked up her website.  There was a video on how to make Spot’s Chicken Stew.  This is what I was looking for.  Simple, basic and quick.  I could do this!  I started throwing into my crock pot a chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, rice…. whatever I had on hand.  When my May puppies arrived, I started mixing their kibble with the chicken stew.  And they loved it!

When Flipper starting eating chicken stew, I knew he’d make it

I’m very glad that I had that month, because it turned out to make all the difference in June.  You see, in June, my worse fears were realized.   My June puppies got sick.  First Flipper.  He started throwing up, stopped eating, had diarrhea…. it was parvo.  I thought for sure I’d lose him.  Two nights in a row, when we went to bed, we braced ourselves for him to be dead in the morning.  But he pulled through.  All of the other puppies seemed to have mild cases as well, but I didn’t lose a single one of them.  Why?  I believe it is due in no small part to the nutrition they were getting.  At that point I had received the long awaited autographed copy of Andi’s book.  I was making Spot’s Chicken Stew to her recipe.  I was supplementing their diet with occasional yogurt, alfalfa sprouts, cooked chicken liver, cottage cheese, fresh carrots, …..  When Flipper stopped eating, I tempted him with the chicken broth from the stew, eventually adding the puree as his appetite kicked in.  I think that the other puppies were able to fight off the virus because their bodies were getting great nutrition.  Usually parvo kills about 50% of those who get it.  I didn’t lose a single puppy.

June puppies enjoying Chicken Stew with alphalpha and yogurt on top

What am I seeing now?  All the puppies are doing well.  They have put on good weight, their coats have lost that “shelter look”, they are energetic and happy.  Gus and Ralph, my basset mixes, are having a hallelujah break down every time I feed them (I add extra water to theirs so they feel like they are getting more and making the experience last longer!  lol)  My cats?  Well, they’re still on a hunger strike, but between you and me, I’ve seen Baranov sneak in there an eat when Sitka isn’t looking.  Cats….  “change” is not in their vocabulary!

Last week, when I spoke to Kurt, he asked me what I was feeding the puppies.  I told him about The Whole Pet Diet by Andi, how I make Spot’s Chicken Stew, and my experience with it.  Yesterday, Kurt came to pick up Rhody.  I was delighted when he told me that he had already cooked Spot’s Chicken Stew for his new puppy and had it in the refrigerator!

Even if you cannot see yourself cooking for your pets, I strongly encourage you to get Andi’s book.  It is an easy read, full of anecdotal tales of pets and how a change of diet changed their lives and health.  She explains the benefits of different foods and how you can incorporate them into your pet’s life.  You may not go pure homemade, but perhaps you’ll be able to pick up one or two tips that make the difference in your pet’s life!

Vita Glo Dream Coat

Andi also created a product called VitaGlo Dream Coat by Halo, that is available in stores, including Whole Foods and online, including  Amazon .  Holly and I are currently using this product and achieving wonderful results!  It isn’t cheap, but you only use a little each day.  In fact, I recommend that you measure it with a medicine dropper, for accuracy and to keep it from dribbling down the side of the bottle.

Here’s great news!  Our Maria DeRosa has created a Dog Food Recipe Exchange on Facebook! Join the group, and let’s have fun cooking for our dogs!

Note:  The Whole Pet Diet makes reference to a dog food brand that Andi developed, however, since Andi sold the company she is has seen changes in the recipe and does not recommend it.

4 thoughts on “Andi Brown and The Whole Pet Diet

  1. “Holly had already been making some chicken casserole for her pups, but now she was going to take it a step further. Every day, the more she read Andi’s book, the more we brainstormed with ideas. Holly cooks Andi’s “Spot’s Chicken Stew” overnight in her crock pot, then freezes it in ice cube trays, and measures the puppy chow by counting the number of cubes (genius).”

    You guys are some dedicated dog lovers! I love reading your stories & keeping up with everyone you rescue & re-home. What a great group of people – you should all be very proud of yourselves and each other.

  2. I so love that you are all making my Stew. Your rescue dogs are the luckiest dogs in the world. Not only are you giving them the opportunity to experience glowing, great health for the rest of their lives, but you are giving an incredible gift to all the folks who are adopting these wonderful creatures. Thanks for the cudos on my book. It was written out of love and a desire to give back to the animals in my own way. I’m on my second book now. The Whole Pet Diet Cookbook. I’m collecting recipes from caring, conscious pet owners who read my book and have begun creating their own culinary masterpieces. The best ones will be chosen for my next book. Please submit your own recipes to and make sure you sign up for my newsletter while you’re there.
    Big HUGS to everyone at The Dog Liberator.

  3. I have bought the book by Andi, “The Whole Pet Diet,” and have found that I need to tweek a few ingredients based on my cocker’s allergies.

    I think that for those of us who have put our faith in Andi and follow her advice, it would behoove her to divulge the dog food recipe that has been compromised due to her selling her company.

    I am also curious as to why she sold her company.

    Thanks Andi for providing us with alternatives for our pets’ health. Please do not compromise your integrity and our pet’s lives for dollars.

    God bless you.

    1. Andi retired in 2006 to spend more time with family and friends.  While she had hoped that the new owners would care for the products as much as she did, it turns out that all of the products and formulas were changed. Andi recommends that we all roll up our sleeves and take the lives of the ones we love into our own hands. Here is a link to her website and an explanation:

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