Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homemade Dog Food

My dog is, and has always been, guided pretty much solely by her own whims.  She does not care about me, about food, about any form of discipline I've tried (other than the shock collar, those things are boss).nUnfortunately, that meant that she basically didn't eat a full meal for almost 2 years. Partly it was health stuff - she is sensitive to high protein food, but it's tough to buy high quality kibble that isn't protein based, and the poorer quality kibble REALLY didn't agree with her system.  Basically, I spent two years mixing and matching foods and treats, always teetering on the edge of actual malnutrition. Her vet was concerned, I was concerned, and I suspect that part of my girl's sass is actually just hunger.

Finally, I stumbled across a recipe for homemade dog food and, in a fit of desperation, made some.  Lo and behold, sister child ate the entire damn bowl in about 45 seconds.  A month later, she has put on 5 pounds and my sass theory has been thoroughly disproved. Alas.

My current recipe formula is below, but I do my best to switch each batch up.  It's important to me that she gets lots of different nutrition, hence the produce jumble. So far, the only food we've ruled out is corn (she made a tiny pile outside her bowl of all the kernels) and she definitely prefers meals with more sweet ingredients. Try a few things out with your own dog and see what they like!

Directions - Add the canola oil to a large pot over low heat. Add the meat, then the produce, rice, fish oil capsules and peanut butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns into mush. Let cool, portion out, freeze. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt to each meal at serving, for calcium.

Makes about 14 cups of food. My 60 pound, highly active dog gets a cup per meal.

Notes - I buy boneless meat, mostly because I cannot handle meat in general, and boneless requires the least managing, but as long as the bones come out before serving, you could probably use those cuts of meat. I also buy the highest quality meat I can afford, but skimp on produce (get the hideous ones from the back of the store, you'll stew them anyway).

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