Dogfood recipe: How & Why I make my own dogfood

If you’ve followed my instagram you’ve probably noticed that I make my own dog food.

 

And before we begin there is obviously gonna need to be some backstory

Preface

Before I started making dog food I would run all my dog treats and foods and supplements by my vet. And you should too, I mean what are you paying them for? I want to get all the information I could about my dogs needs and one of the most useful happened to be about my dog’s kibble

I wanted to know if the brand I was using was nutritionally sound, was it giving my dogs everything they needed? And it was!

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How do you know? Well apparently there’s an organization called AAFCO that checks whether or not animal feed meets the requirements to be labeled as 100% complete and balanced nutrition. If the pet food that is sold in the US does not have the statement below on it, that means AAFCO didn’t check it and it might not be nutritionally balanced.

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And there’s actually a nice resource from AAFCO that goes into depth on what goes into dog foods/pet foods

http://talkspetfood.aafco.org/

The ASPCA also has some nice pet resources if you like to read up on that sort of thing

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-nutrition-tips

And as always your family’s vet will also be a good source of information.

So why make food?

Well it’s all because of this little girl. She gave up on eating kibble

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such focus. Oh pancake

Sometimes I wonder if Pancake is on some type of Dog-autism spectrum. I’m being serious, she will refuse to eat some things, even meats and will just starve herself unless she is given exactly what she wants. Or maybe she’s like those pet snakes who are fed only pinkys and once they’ve had live mouse they’ll never go back…. or fish when you feed them blood worms, they won’t want the flakes anymore.

We’ve done what I think many parents have done and try to let hunger win over a picky mouth. But I just got sick and tired of cleaning up bile vomit (the kind you get when you are hungry and your stomach is empty) all over the house since she refused to eat the kibble, and I’m not going to let my dog starve for days.

Clearly, it’s not entirely spectrum related but I think that some of it might have come from the last vacation Brian and I took. Both dogs at that point were eating kibble (we had somehow weaned Pancake off the chicken), but when we’re gone they’re in panic mode, because the world is ending, and they will only eat boiled/grilled chicken. After our last vacation last year she got hooked on the chicken only diet and refused to eat anything but. We tried to get her back on the kibble

So here is a quick summary of some of the hundreds of things we tried

  • We tried many different brands of kibble
  • We tried many different brands of kibble mixed with wet food
  • We tried some nutritionally sound wet food
    • But I personally don’t like giving these dogs wet food since it builds up the tartar much faster on their teeth, the kibble keeps it down
  • We tried to mix chicken with the kibble
    • She just ate the chicken
  • We tried mixing broth and various other tasties with the kibble

She couldn’t be pleased.

And clearly a dog can’t live on only chicken alone.

My old dog Jojo

Last year my mom’s toy poodle JoJo was suffering from failing kidneys, and some other health issues like weak lungs, but hey she’s like 15 years old. That’s like expecting a 90 year old human to be spry. She was nearing the end and wasn’t eating much. And with half her teeth gone she could only eat soft foods. I remembered my fiance’s father had made some dogfood once for their sick dog and I took to google. I couldn’t find the original post but I can offer this:

  • When searching for dog food recipes for specific dog diseases/conditions
    • Include Dog Food Recipe
    • Include Condition
      • For example you could search Dog food recipe for Renal Failure
        • Low Protein Dog food recipe for Renal Failure
        • CHF Dog Food Recipe

There’s a surprising amount of people out their making food specifically for their dogs altered dietary needs

I would like to add that I have not run my recipe through a nutritional analysis yet so it might be tweaked in the future but for now it works really well for both my dogs and especially Coco who get seizures occasionally (thought to be triggered by hypoglycemia)

By now you must be wondering where the food is

By now you must be wondering where the food is

The Recipe

  1. Tools
    1. Kitchen Knife
    2. large cutting board
    3. Veggie peeler
    4. Large/medium pot
    5. small strainer
    6. Extra bowl
    7. Tupperware to hold finished product
    8. Measuring spoons
  2. Ingredients
    1. Veggies
      1. Butternut Squash
      2. Carrots
      3. Honeycrisp/Fugi Apples
    2. Protein
      1. Chicken Tenderloins
      2. Eggs
    3. Grains
      1. Cooked Rice
        1. I use basmati or Calrose
    4. Flavor
      1. Beef Boullion
    5. Supplements
      1. Olive Oil
      2. Fish oil
      3. Kelp Powder
Boom here it all is

Boom here it all is

Step One: Cook up the rice for the whole family

Step one cook up some rice for the whole family

Basmati here, not sure why I showed Korean rice lol

Step 2: Start boiling up your water with some beef flavor

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I’m using Dashi Korean beef soup flavor 1 tsp

You might be wondering why I’m adding this, well I’m trying to flavor the water with beef and chicken flavor so that the veggies, fruit and grains can absorb it a little and that will make the dogs more likely to eat them.

Step 3: Add in Chicken

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I buy the big costco bag, and I use around 12 tenderloins for the week

Step 4: when chicken starts boiling strain off the weird foamy scum. It doesn’t hurt the food to leave it in since it’s just lipoprotein (I think)

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ew

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much cleaner

Step 5: while your chicken cooks you have to dice up the veggies

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I’ve altered the recipe to use two apples since I noticed the dogs eating more of them last week

small bits of carrots

small bits of carrots

small chunks of butternut squash

small chunks of butternut squash

Small bits of apple

Small bits of apple

That's about 1.5 cups of carrot and apple and 2 cups of squash

That’s about 1.5 cups of carrot and apple and 2 cups of squash

Step 6: Once the meat is cooked, take it out and put it in a bowl. USE THE SAME WATER to boil the veggies

Sweet soup

Sweet soup

Gotta use the same water since it has both chicken and beef flavor now

Cook until it is fork soft or leave it crunchy, it’s all up to your dog’s needs

Step 7: While Veggies are cooking dice up the chicken

I didn’t get a pic of this… I hope you understand

Step 8: Strain the diced veggies, discard water.

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Add a couple eggs and a couple tablespoons of olive oil while the mixture is still hot mix it around to cook the eggs

Step 9: Add in Rice about a cup

mmm rice

mmm rice

Step 10: Add in the chicken and mix around

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Step 11: I added in a tablespoon of Kelp Powder Since I was trying to up the dogs vitamin and mineral content20161030_220118

Recap

Boom here it all is

Boom here it all is

Recipe quick version

  • 12 chicken tenderloins
  • ~1.5 cup of carrots
  • ~1.5 cups of apple
  • ~2 cups of butternut squash
  • 2 eggs (free range)
  • 1 tablespoon kelp powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 tsp of beef soup base/boullion

Cook as described above and store in the fridge

I portion out 1/4 cup servings for each dog twice a day. They rarely finish each serving so maybe each day they get 1/4 cup -1/3 of a cup of food

I even added a little cheese on top

I even added a little cheese on top

Clearly you can alter the recipe and add other things in or take things out, substitute and make bigger chunks if you have a bigger dog (lucky you)

Coco still eats maybe 1/2 a tablespoon of kibble a day so I’m not too worried about her nutrition as her seizure have become very infrequent, when they used to be monthly. Pancake still reverts to being picky, but I’ve found mixing a teaspoon of wet dogfood in sometimes breaks up the monotony I’m sure she’s suffering from.

At some point I will run this through a nutritional analysis and report back!

Thanks for reading




2 Comments

  1. This is so amazing and healthy! I wish I could know about making healthy food myself for my cats. I tried once and they did not like it 🙁 it had some toppings that consisted in raw hearts… they absolutely disliked the and did not eat what was underneath, so I had to throw out everything to the trash:(

    • Thanks for reading! I wonder if your cats would maybe prefer fish? I know that there are some companies that make frozen minced meats for dogs, I wonder if that is something that maybe exists for cats too?

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