Your Dog will “Woof” this down!

July 21st, 2014

make dog food from scratchThere are a lot of choices for dog foods out there and it’s easy to get lost in the pet food aisle. With increasing prices, random recalls of products and vets telling you to buy one brand while your friend swears by another, it’s no wonder dog-owners are starting to prepare homemade meals for their beloved pets. A lot of us (myself included) think of our dogs as our kids or at least one of the family. We want what’s best for them.

Preparing a home cooked meal also gives us the advantage of knowing exactly what is going into our dog’s bowl and it may even give us a sense of reward when our dog gobbles up every bite. I have a very picky eater at home and I have tried countless substitutions to add to his kibble so I am always trying something new. Some parents can be thrown off by the idea of homemade meals but it can be as simple as adding diced chicken and veggies to their kibble. We can mix the variety as the season changes to give our pups something to look forward to other than the same old kibble every day. Making your own dog food can mean a little more effort and maybe even money but if it’s for your furry best friend then it’s worth it. Here are some recipes I tried from allrecipes.com.

 

Homemade Dog Food

I typed “dog food” in the search engine of allrecipes.com and chose the recipe with the most stars and the most reviews. I chose “Homemade Dog Food” because the recipe was simple with common ingredients.

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ (16 oz) package frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower combination

homemade dog foodPlace the water, ground turkey, rice and rosemary into a large Dutch oven. Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until using.

I substituted low-sodium chicken broth with half of the water but other than that, I stuck to the recipe. The end result: my dogs loved it! My dog Spartacus (picky eater) licked his bowl clean! I still used the kibble but half of the amount and just substituted the rest with the rice mixture. This is a really easy recipe and you can make alterations as you need, depending on what you have. You can feed all the rice mixture or supplement your kibble as you see fit. Plus, my house smelled like rosemary for the evening!

 

Bacon flavored Dog Biscuits

I made these for my dogs and they loved them! I can’t wait to make them again. They are really easy to make.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons bacon fat, melted
  • 2 ½ cups brown rice flour
  • 2 ½ cups oat flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet (I always use foil so I don’t have to clean the cookie sheet).
  2. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in milk, water, salt, and bacon fat until well blended. Mix the two flours. Gradually stir in flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 2 inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for 35- 40 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Doggy Birthday Cake

This recipe had a lot of reviews and was rated five stars. It doesn’t have to be used for your dog’s birthday but might make for a good treat every now and then.

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup cooking oil ( I substituted ½ cup of apple sauce to make it healthier)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey (optional, I opted out of it)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. homemade doggy birthday cakePreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a six cup ring mold (I don’t like the idea of adding a lot fat to my dog’s diet so I used one of the mini cupcake pans and put in the paper cups instead. You just have to take off the paper before giving the treat to your pup but at least they aren’t getting those fats).
  2. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil (or apple sauce), vanilla, and honey if desired, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes, or if doing the mini’s bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

My dogs went nuts over these! I also had some steamed sweat potato left over in the fridge so I mixed that with some apple sauce and it made a great “frosting”.

 

Other Tips:

These items can be added to kibble for flavor and/or supplement:

  • hardboiled egg
  • shredded cheese
  • mashed sweet potato
  • salmon oil
  • cottage cheese
  • grilled chicken
  • chopped apples
  • chopped carrots

On hot days I give my dogs “pupsicles”: one part chicken or beef broth to two parts water in a plastic cup (solo cups work the best). You can also add chopped, dried chicken or turkey to make it more fun. Freeze overnight. On hot days let your pup enjoy! I checked with my vet to make sure this was safe and as long as you do not give them out every day, it is safe for your dog.

Do you have any favorite homemade dog food recipes? Share them in the comments below!