I had such a huge response on Instagram from making my own dog food, so I wanted to share it with all of you! Lately, I’ve been doing a ton of research and stumbled upon the documentary on Netflix called “Pet Fooled“. This spawned the whole “homemade dog food” thing. The documentary did a pretty good job explaining what kind of diets our pets need and what they would eat in the wild. Seemed logical enough for me. There’s a lot of misleading pet-food advertising out there, and I have definitely fallen victim to it. It’s kind of frustrating, because if something is labeled “organic” or as having “real-ingredients”, you expect it to be safe and to mean what it claims. But I guess it also makes sense that kibble is highly processed, even if it’s the top tier kind, so how can it be that great for dogs? Idk, really. Right now we are doing a mix of their kibble with the homemade food, and will eventually switch to either 100% homemade or mix a dehydrated food with the homemade food. I’ll keep you updated on the difference it does or doesn’t make. As of now, they are loving it and have no tummy issues!
Raw vs. kibble vs. cooked? There’s a ton of arguments about diet as there are for us humans. I’d like my pups to eat as close to natural & biological as possible. But I have to say, eating raw is super expensive, especially since we have two dogs. This is why we chose to do the cooked meals as an in-between. Even supplementing meals with home cooked food is an option. It’s all about doing the best you can with what you have. I love knowing what’s in Winston & Evra’s food and seeing how happy they are when they eat!
*BTW, Please consult your veterinarian to discuss your dogs dietary & nutritional needs or allergies before changing his diet. I’m just a dog mama that has made a personal decision to feed my dogs homemade food.
A little Q & A:
If you have a smaller pet (around 20 lbs) this recipe makes about 3 weeks of food. Because I have two 50 lb. dogs, this will last around 5-7 days.
How much does it cost?
For two dogs my cost is about $3 per day, since they eat 1 to 1.5 pounds each daily. I buy whatever organic meat is on sale and buy in bulk when there is a sale! This has been helpful in keeping costs down. I also get their veggies from the frozen section and use the carrots, sweet potato, and apple that we buy for our weekly meals. The old dog food we used costs us about $60 every 3 weeks, so even though this is a little more, it’s worth it to our family. It’s definitely less expensive than feeding raw, which we calculated to be around $200 a month, woah!
How long does it take to prepare?
Around 15 minutes of prep! Throw it in the slow cooker and let it cook on low 5-6 hours or until cooked and easily broken down.
How much do I feed my dog?
General rule: 2 to 3 percent of their body weight in fresh food daily. Try this resource for more information. My 45-50 lb. labradoodle will get 1 to 1½ pounds of food daily. So a little over 1 cup in the morning and the same at dinner. Puppies need about 4-6 % of their weight.
What are the general dietary needs of dogs?
According to Dr. Becker from Pet Fooled, dogs need:
- Lean meat as well as organs, veggie and fruit puree, & vitamin and mineral mix using 75 percent meat & organs and 25 percent vegetables/fruits. Basically your pet needs protein, fat, and carbs (vegetables). This recipe may not be exactly this proportion, but for cost & comparing to other recipes, this seemed best. Again, tweak recipe according to your pet’s needs.
- Supplements they need: calcium (egg shells or kefir), zinc, omega oils, & essential fatty acids. I have an awesome multivitamin supplement I found for super cheap at TJ Maxx. This along with the protein, carbs, and fats from the homemade food, allow my dogs to meet all of their nutrition needs.
- Other options (not needed) are things like probiotics & bone broth. I use kefir a few times a week for some calcium and probiotic.
- 3 lbs. lean ground turkey or boneless chicken (cube the chicken prior to putting in slow cooker)
- 1 lb. organ meat (chicken or beef liver)
2-3 cups water
- 1 apple, peeled & cubed (no core)
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled & cubed
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 cup frozen green beans
- 1.5 cups frozen spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
*I also feed the pups a cooked egg about 3 times a week. If you want, you can mix those into the slow cooker as well. I’d add about 3-4 eggs to this recipe.
- Add the meat to the slow cooker and cover with water.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until done. I like to stir mine several times throughout.
- Mash up the mixture using a potato masher or large fork, just to ensure there are no large chunks of meat or veggies.
- When cooled, store daily servings in containers or ziploc bags and place in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw overnight.