Since we’ve been focusing on our bff’s (best furry friends) this week (see our posts here and here), I wanted to share with you my recipe for homemade dog food. Yup, I make my dog’s food. Crazy right? But there’s a good reason why I do it!
Please note that this is a diet that has been designed specifically for my dog, with the guidance of her veterinarian. By no means am I suggesting that you change your dog’s food, or am I suggesting that any other food (store bought, dry, wet, raw, etc.) is wrong. This is simply my story about the cleanest eater in our household. If you are interested in changing your dog’s diet, please consult a licensed animal care practitioner before doing so.
I never used to make our dog’s food, and I had absolutely no intention of starting. I mean, I could barely figure out what my husband and I were going to eat during the week, when would I have time to meal plan for a dog?
When I lived in Canada, I fed my miniature-dachshund, Lucy, a store bought, dry food from a company called Acana. She loved it, her weight was stable, she was healthy, and all was good. Then we moved to Barbados and that all changed.
We found out that the food she ate wasn’t available on our tiny little island. And it’s not easy to pack a big bag of dog kibble in my luggage every few months, and sneak it through customs! With the advice of her vet, I slowly transitioned her to a food that was available. Unfortunately, within a short time of being on the new food, Lucy had some issues in the bathroom department (no need to go into detail). Good times. So we tried another brand. Same thing. By the time we got to the third brand of food, she refused to eat altogether. I could hear her stomach rumbling from across the room! She wouldn’t eat her food, she refused to drink water, and then she refused to get out of bed in the morning. My poor pup!
One night I noticed that she showed a lot of interest in the chicken I was cooking for dinner. Desperate to get some food into her, I gave her some cooked chicken and she gobbled it up, and then, of course as any dog would, begged for more.
~ delicious ingredients ~
The next day I called her vet, and asked them about a homemade diet. They provided me with recipes and suggested serving sizes, and I went about making my first batch of dog food. That was almost three years ago and I haven’t looked back!
Lucy’s food is very clean and pretty easy to prepare!
- 1 cup of diced baked chicken, turkey or beef (boneless, or bones removed)
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice
- 1 cup of mixed vegetables (ie. corn, carrots, green beans, lima beans, peas, sweet potato, broccoli, brussels sprouts)
- Combine ingredients in food processor.
- Portion them out in freezer bags.
- Thaw as needed.
- Drizzle food with coconut oil at feeding time.
- Every two weeks add some sardines to the bowl, for added calcium.
- NOTE: Before changing your dog's diet please consult with their veterinarian or animal health care provider.
- NOTE: Certain foods are toxic for dogs. Double check that the ingredients you use are safe.
I am considering increasing the amount of protein as it seems a bit carb heavy for her current activity level. And I always use the same frozen mixed vegetable medley, consisting of green beans, carrots, corn, peas, and lima beans. Then I cook and add whatever veg we have leftover in our fridge. I’ve used broccoli, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato, and she loves them all.
Please note that there are certain fruits, vegetables, and other items that are either not recommended, or are toxic, for dogs. Go here for a full list of items to avoid.
~ a big bowl full of dog chow! ~
Once the ingredients are cooked, I blend them up in the food processor and that’s it! The food gets portioned into freezer bags and thawed as needed. Without preservatives, the food will spoil if left in the fridge for too long.
~ freezer ready ~
When I’m dishing out her evening meal, I’ll drizzle it with coconut oil, and every two weeks I’ll open up a can of sardines and portion that out over the week. Homemade dog food can be lacking in calcium, and I was advised to use either bone meal or sardines, to supplement. Let me tell you…sardines do NOT help puppy breath! Whew! Finally, she gets a doggy multi-vitamin every second day.
After almost three years, Lucy’s coat is shiny, her skin, teeth, and eyes are bright and healthy, and her weight has been consistent.
While this may not be the right approach for everyone’s four-legged friend, it’s one that’s worked really well for us. We have a happy, healthy pup, and that’s what matters!
What do you feed your pet?
Have you made any food or treats for you pet? I’d like to try making homemade dog treats one day.