Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Make Homemade Dog Food Tutorial ~ Part Two

A few days ago, I shared my reasons for making homemade dog food here.  Today I will share Make Homemade Dog Food ~ Part Two!

A few points about making homemade dog food:
  1. Talk to your vet first!  Your vet knows your dog and his specific needs, I don't.
  2. Go to the ASPCA website for a list of foods that are poisonous to your petI cannot stress enough how important this is.  Many dog food recipes on the web cannot be trusted to adhere to this list, always check this list against any recipe.
  3. Have fun, and if your pet turns up his nose at your cooking (a serious ego blow, I can tell you) keep trying.  Fido may hate broccoli, but love peas.  Some experimentation may be necessary.
  4. Homemade dog food should include:
    40% meat (protein), 30% veggies, and 30% carbohydrates. 
    Some websites suggest:
    40% meat (protein), 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrates. 
    (This is why you need to talk to your vet!  Different breeds need different ratios.)
I am still learning and adjusting the ratios of my ingredients.  The recipe I am sharing with you is roughly 40% meat (protein), 25% veggies, and 35% carbohydrates.  I have since started cutting back the carbs and have increased the protein and veggies.  It is an ongoing process, but really not as difficult as it may sound!  I know that my food is much healthier than store bought kibble, so I am confident that I am taking good care of my doggies even if I need to adjust my recipe as time goes on.  (In fact, I found a new recipe today that I plan to try, I will share it with you at the end of this post.)

My recipe changes almost every time I cook dog food, it all depends on what I have on hand.  The most important thing to do is stick to the correct ratio of protein/veggies/carbs and of course to use foods that dogs can eat.  I have a printed list of poisonous foods on my fridge that I reference any time I change up the recipe.  The recipe I am sharing with you can be changed to fit what you have already or what is on special at the store - for example, I have used ground turkey, chicken, ground beef, bacon, and eggs as my protein source.  If I have meat that we planned to use, but didn't, it goes into my dog food instead.  I virtually never have wasted food anymore!

Whew!  Let's get on with the tutorial, shall we?

Ingredients: brown rice, olive oil, fish oil, canned green beans, canned carrots, ground beef, and bacon:
(the pots I use are vintage, one from my Grandma and one from my Momma.  They are well used, so they don't look pristine.  I promise they are clean!)

Boil water with  3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, add brown rice, and cook until VERY soft (overcooked, really.)  Add more water than you think you need, the rice should be runny and moist.  When it's almost done, add 2-3 fish oil capsules (these are good for people too!)
The olive oil and fish oil are good for the eyes, fur, digestion, and heart.  The fish oil has the added benefit of flavoring the rice.  (When I cooked this meal, I added a piece of bacon to the rice for flavor as well.)

Cook the beef and bacon thoroughly.  NEVER give your pets raw or undercooked food. 
It's better to overcook than undercook.
Bacon is fatty, so I rarely include it in my dog food.  We had about three pieces leftover that wasn't going to be used, so I tossed it in.  I made sure to drain the fat and rinse the meat well after it was cooked.

Once your meat is cooked, turn off the heat and add green beans...

and carrots...

Cut them up into the meat.
The remaining heat from the meat will "steam" the veggies.  Overcooking the vegetables will reduce their nutritional value.  You can use fresh or frozen veggies as well, simply steam them lightly or add them in with the meat and cook until they are soft enough to break up.

All mushed up!  YUM!

Spoon in your rice...

and mix it all up!

I then transfer everything into a plastic container that fits well into my fridge.
The extra water from the rice provides plenty of moisture, and after it sets up in the fridge, it will be easy to serve to your dogs!  (I used to heat up their bowls of food in the microwave until just warm, but that was tedious and my dogs seem to prefer it cold for some reason.)

My puppies were giving me the "I'm starving" eyes, so I dished it up as soon as it was cool enough to eat.  My dogs are all around 25lbs, so I give them about a 3/4 cup or so each.

Prior to serving, I add a scoop of Teddy's Pride Probiotic Oral Care to each bowl.

I will be hosting a giveaway of this FANTASTIC product soon!
It has made a HUGE difference in my pet's breath and dental health - no kidding.

One little scoop...

Sprinkled over the food...

Be sure to count your fingers after you set the bowls down, because your dogs will be gobbling everything up!
nom nom nom

I have three dogs, and I feed them twice a day, so we go through one container of food every 3-4 days.  Food can be prepared in larger amounts so you don't have to cook as often, but if you aren't going to use it in 3-4 days, freeze it.  This food freezes beautifully!  Just pull out the frozen food and leave it in your fridge overnight and it should be ready to serve by the next morning.

Here are some of the other ingredients that I have used in my homemade dog food:
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Eggs
  • Ground Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Steak (we froze it and the hubby wasn't too excited about grilling it anymore, so, since it was still good, I used it for the dogs instead.)
  • Cheese (small amounts)
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Beef or chicken broth (this adds great flavor to the rice, but DO NOT use broth that has onion or garlic listed in the label.  Make sure to use sodium-free broth as well, as too much salt is harmful.  One trick I have used is to add chicken legs, fat and skin removed, into the rice water and boil them with the rice until fully cooked.  I then remove the meat from the bone and toss the meat back in.  This flavors the rice and cooks meat all in one step.  Just be careful to get EVERY bone, as bones are a terrible choking hazard.)
This is not an all-inclusive list by any means!  There are so many options to try!  In fact, I found this recipe today, and am eager to try it next.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  If you make your own dog food, or try this recipe, please let me know!  I would love to hear any tips or suggestions, and I will be more that happy to answer any questions you may have!

Stay tuned for the
Teddy's Pride Probiotic Oral Care Giveaway!

I am linking to a ton of great parties, so many that I simply cannot list them all here!  Pretty pretty please visit my list of Craft and Tutorial parties HERE to see all the parties I linked to!  A wealth of insipration awaits you!


Beth said...

Following you from Following Me Back Tuesday- please follow me back :)and be sure to enter my giveaway while you're there.


Happy Tuesday!

coffeyhouse said...

so i think we definitely are long lost friends! i am a HUGE dog lover, i have a yellow lab pup. :) he would be all over your homemade dog food for sure! following you now from TTA! :) nice to meet you!


Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

What a smart idea! I have a nosy little beagle who would love this! :) Thanks so much for sharing.

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

I bet my dog would love that food! Thanks for sharing :)

Cheryl said...

Good & healthy idea for doggies. Will have to pass that onto the dog owners I know. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday!

BLJ Graves Studio said...

I never thought to make my own dog food. It has to be better for them than the stuff at the store. I will give it a try. :-)

Kaysi said...

Great idea! I never thought of making dog food, bet it saves a lot of money!

★All Thingz Related★ said...

This is so great! Thanks so much for sharing @ Anything Related!!

Jennifer Rudolph said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm so happy that I did! I have thought about making my 3 dogs their food many times, but you have inspired me to make the commitment! You have totally grossed me out on the ingredients for dry dog food (which is a good thing!). My precious pups will never again eat store bought food. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you would add corn, its is undigestible to dogs just like humans.

Anonymous said...

Omit the corn. It is highly undigestible for dogs. And I would also omit the bacon. All pork is horrible for dogs, yes even a little. I work in a vet office and tell people this all the time!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious the quantity if rice and meat is. 1lb for each? And I've read pork is just fine for dogs

the Living MindFully Team said...

Our dogs also love it when we include venison or fish. Our vet told us not to forget high vitamin and nutrient ingredients like blueberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach or kale. Our dogs love when I make homemade food for them, but with three dogs (2-50 pounds, one almost 80) we reserve this as an occasional treat. It is a great way to clean out our freezer when we are getting ready to buy fresh meat in bulk, or are in the middle of our garden harvest time and need more room. Thanks for the preportions, it will help keep me on track. We rarely use canned veggies though, because of the high sodium content.

Anonymous said...

This really is not a good diet to feed ongoing - it's very unbalanced and unhealthy!

For one, the ratios are terrible. IF you feed veggies they should never be more than 5% of the total diet, and they aren't even needed - they are just filler. And dogs do not need carbs.

RAW is the best diet to feed your dog. The ratios for that are 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organ. It's REALLY simple and the most balanced and healthiest diet you can feed your dog.

Making your own food is a step in the right direction, sure, but misinformation is harmful and scaring people away from raw feeding. It is what dogs' bodies were made to digest, and they absolutely thrive on it. People have just been fear mongered out of feeding raw from their vets (who make money off the food they stock - plus most are uneducated in nutrition) and are too afraid to try raw since they have been told all their lives that it's harmful and bad.

Shannon Brown said...

I recently started making my dogs food and feel like we are kindred cooks. Lol. I also vary my meat and throw in leftovers. My dogs get so excited when I'm cooking and dishing. I like to add chunks of sweet potato and apple.


Shannon Brown said...

I recently started making my dogs food and feel like we are kindred cooks. Lol. I also vary my meat and throw in leftovers. My dogs get so excited when I'm cooking and dishing. I like to add chunks of sweet potato and apple.


Anonymous said...

If you like raw diets that's fine, but you don't need to down another type of food. She clearly stated to talk to your vet as different dogs have different nutritional needs. You don't have to be a negative nelly.

eagleman.Paul said...

Hi, l am so happy finding your blogg. I have always cooked for my dogs. It is healthy, cheepper and l am sure l make my dogs very happy. Thanks for giving me more confidence.

Anonymous said...

An animal nutritionist would be,a good person to seek out to get advice on your diet. They can also show you how to calculate the amount of protein and fat in your dog's diet. As noted by others, canned vegetables and cured meats like bacon contain too much sodium. Pork products may upset their tummies. This is not good for your dog. Stick with fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fruits and meats (and certain grains like brown rice, if those are added at all). Stay away from too many grains, or skip them entirely. Also may need a vitamin supplement, depending on the content of nutrients in the foods you use. Good intentions of preparing your own pet food can be harmful if you are uninformed or you don't seek information you need from people who know animal nutritional needs. Please do this for your loving pets!

Pam Davis said...

I'm concerned with the bacon in your recipe. I just read a list of toxic foods for dogs and bacon was on the list. Please check that out. Thanks.

Pam Davis said...

I'm concerned with the bacon in your recipe. I just read a list of toxic foods for dogs and bacon was on the list. Please check that out. Thanks.

Dianne said...

I love my dogs and I do what ever I can that's best for the health of my precious family. Thank you so much for your recipes. Keep them coming.

Dianne said...

I love my dogs and I do what ever I can that's best for the health of my precious family. Thank you so much for your recipes. Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Please leave the corn out of your pets food as well as cheese and bacon. Sweet potatoes are great as well as apples. Consider adding egg shells, make sure you clean them and dry them, grind them in a coffee grinder,they have to be powdery form and add it to your pets food, it's a great form of calcium for your pet.

katie lander said...

Can this recipe be frozen?

Unknown said...

You are forgetting that dogs are scavengers. Although they may not readily seek it out, They do eat plant and carb material both in the pursuit of survival and in the stomachs of their kill. They also pick up some off the ground.
It may not be 60% of their diet but it's certainly present

Cathy Whitney said...

The site that led me here, had an article of 12 dangerous foods for dogs bacon causes pancreatic problems and cheese, just like any dairy, has too much sugar and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Wished she had recipes with NO GRAINS,corn, and peas.

Anonymous said...

What can be used in the place of rice, oatmeal,corn, potatoes, I need to stay away from carbs

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