Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade dog food

I have some favorite blogs I read on a daily basis which educate, inspire and motivate me on my journey towards a simpler life. My favorite blog is Down to Earth. Rhonda is a wonderful writer and her blog is full of recipes, how to's and inspiring posts. Once such post is about homemade dog food and homemade dog biscuits.

I few days ago I made the dog food and wow does he like it, or should I say , loves it. It's very simple to make with very basic ingredients. The meat I used was very old left over beef.

Several years ago I purchased a quarter side of beef. I was very disappointed with the flavour and it took me some time to get through most of it. Of that quarter I had 1 1/2 kilos left over which I chopped in my food processor as a substitute for the minced beef the recipe calls for.

Going forward I'm not sure where I'll get the beef. I called a local feed store and they don't carry raw animal grade beef and store bought beef will make it too expensive. Soooo...this might be a once in a lifetime treat for my dog.

I made the dog biscuits some time ago but my dog did not like them very much, he ate them but he was not very excited about them. The liquid I used was most likely not beefy enough so I'll be making them again this weekend but with a much more concentrated beef broth. Hopefully he will like them this time around. I will keep you posted.

Have a great weekend everyone.



scrappy quilter said...

We tried homemade dog food with our dog however it didn't work well. We are back to regular dog food (the expensive kind). Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Betty said...

I use to make home made dog or cat food depending on what we had. The last time it was a cat. I had the food simmering on the stove it had veggies and fish and other thing that are good for cats. My olderest son walked in said that smells good Mom,and before I could tell him he grabed the spoon and took a big bite.Even after he found out what it was he still thought it was good,but he didn't eat any more

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

If you look at the ingredients of most dog foods you will see that the bulk is mostly grain, usually corn. The protein needs to be supplemented with meat, broth, or eggs and dairy, or soy. Eggs and soy are the cheapest proteins.

I've been cooking grain for our dogs for years. We started out with rice, and have since switched to chicken scratch from the feed mill, much cheaper. The scratch consists of corn, wheat, barley and oats. You can also opt for a laying ration for hens (without grit and oyster shell), which will include soymeal and minerals for not much more. Or you can buy a bag of soy meal separate and mix it in when you are short on egg/meat/broth/dairy protein.

Once the grain is cooked, and still hot, mix in raw eggs so that they cook up in the heat of the pot. Figure one egg a day for a small dog, two for medium, so on. Our 30lb dog eats about 1/2 lb grain, with an egg, or any kind of meat, broth, bones, lard/fat, milk/whey, etc.

Dogs also love cooked vegetables, I usually cook up some potato, carrot, parsnip or squash in the grain. Or peas and beans when in season, even greens like Kale/chard. Basically whatever I have a lot of in the garden or coming out of the pantry in the winter.

Dogs can eat a very human diet. They are omnivores and have very similar requirments as we do for nutrition and protein. Of course an active dog will need more protein, like an active human.

You may be able to get some bones for free from your local butcher, from these, you can cook up some great broth which you can use for the water base of the grain/veg. You can usually get some of the lard/fat scraps with the bones, and these can be mixed in, especially in the winter.

And this is also a great way to use up cooked leftovers that simply arent going to be eaten, better than composting I think.

Be sure to keep an eye on your dog in the garden, after you start feeding vegetables! Our dog helps himself to the peas on the vine, and digs up potatoes, but he's never too happy with the taste of the raw ones, just leaves the mangled remains! He's even fond of gnawing on a raw carrot or parsnip, like a bone.

We usually also mix in some brewers yeast, and occationally some bone meal if there's no bones to be had. You can cook in some seaweed/kelp (which you can buy from the feed mill for a much lower price than the human grade, if you have none fresh), for minerals and some salt. And if there's no natural vegetable sodiums in the mix, or very little, then a touch of sea salt every once in a while.

You can cook up a big mess once a week and keep it in the fridge. It may take some convincing to eat it cold, try warming it up if your dog is reluctant, and pour a drizzle of milk or yogurt or something like that on the top to perk up the appetite, or a bit of cooked meat or broth.

Cooking like this for your dog, is not only healthier for the pup, but it's easier on the budget, and it incorporates your own household foodcycle and produce from your own garden.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a great response from Freija and Co...was going to suggest you use whatever meat you get yr hands on...deer, kangaroo etc

And Betty...I have caught DN about to warm up some doggie num nums for his lunch ;)

My own dog(11yrs) loves Rhonda's mix...any odd bits of vegies can be added...

coffeee from DTE

Margaret said...

Since Freija's comment my husband has gone hunting and we have a years supply of moose meat. I'm using the bones and meat trimmings to make dog food and I tell you my dog dances like a puppy when it's getting close to dinner. :)