Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dog Food

Our three dogs were included in my 10 so I figure I should add a recipe for them too. I've cooked our dogs' food for a little over a year now, the health benefits have been AMAZING.

You learned a little about Tuffy's battle with Cancer in my first post. We really thought we were going to lose him right before the Christmas of 2008. I am happy to report that he is thriving over a year later.

Bumper had CONSTANT ear infections. We had them on premium allergy formula dog food and cleaned his ears with medication twice every day.... nothing seemed to help. After a couple months on homemade food the ear infections and sores on his ears from all of the scratching were gone and have not returned. Not to mention it makes him super cool.

Our Oscar Meyer would get a bad skin rash on regular food as many small dogs do. Food allergies seem to be more apparent in the smaller breeds. All of his problems are gone after being on homemade food.

We used to have to refill the gigantic water dish three or more times a day for the dogs, they were ALWAYS drinking water. And you would too if you ate that store bought kibble. Have you ever tasted it? Do it. I dare you. Or just ask Joshua, it was his first solid food courtesy of big brother Michael. It is dry and salty.

Now that I make their food we clean the water bowl once a day, but it's never empty. I rarely see them go over and take a drink. Why? Because with fresh food that actually contains water they aren't so dehydrated.

Now I'm not a vet, so please talk to your vet before changing your dog's diet... this is just what I do. And after talking to our vet, he said this was the best food for them (he didn't give me a high five, but I think he wanted to.) He added in some good treats would be frozen pieces of raw liver. Our dogs love ice cubes so I'm sure a raw liver ice cube *gag* would be well accepted. We haven't gotten one yet, but we will because it does pack a ton of healthy nutrients for them. Once nasty cube a day should do it. The other supplement he suggested was fish oil. We got a HUGE jug of it and squirt about a Tablespoon of it on their food once a day (they eat twice a day). We also give them doggy vitamins just to be sure they are getting what they need.

One of the things I love about making their food is the variety they get. There are so many ways to mix it up, change the veggies, meat and grain. It's also a great way to use up leftovers rather than throwing them away. Move over Dad, there's a new garbage disposal (or three) in town. Any veggies I need to use up, but they might be passed their prime before I get to them..... throw them in the food processor and add them to the dog food. Any leftover dinner that doesn't contain anything harmful (like onions) to the dogs and won't be eaten by us for whatever reason... goes into the dog food.

Do the dogs enjoy homemade food? Duh! You should hear them while I make their food or get ready to feed them. They whine and wag their tails and wait so impatiently. They know I'm messy and something will surely end up on the floor.

So one recipe is as follows (remember I mix this recipe up with new ingredients for variety and to be sure they are getting the proper nutrients) :


5 pound roll of ground turkey (this costs us between $5-$8 per roll)
5 pounds of veggies (it's usually cheapest and easiest to use frozen which still pack most of the same great health benefits)
3 cups uncooked brown rice (good alternatives are oats and quinoa)

** Be sure you are aware of what foods may be harmful for dogs before making their food. Onions, garlic, chocolate to name a few, but there are many more. We don't use corn because there really is no nutritional value, it comes out looking the same as when it went in... gross.


Cook meat until browned all the way through.

Cook rice in a rice cooker until done.

You can steam the veggies in a steamer or chop them in a food processor raw. Keep pieces small to avoid choking, dogs tend to skip the whole chewing thing and just swallow their food. Processing it first helps "chew" it for them ensuring they get the most nutritional benefits.

Mix it all together and eat a bowl if you want, I bet it's good.

This recipe gives us enough for our three dogs for about 2 1/2 days. I keep wanting to get ahead and freeze some, but they eat A LOT. Ask your vet about how much to feed your dog. Because there is actually water in this food you feed them a bit more. Our big Labs get 3 cups twice a day and our Doxie gets 1 1/2 cups twice a day.

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