Homemade Dogfood

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Gonna Smoke

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Sep 19, 2018
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South Carolina
First let me say that our dogs are our 4-legged, fur covered children and we love them dearly. They are a very important part of our lives and everyone in our family has at least 2. That being said, I have been making my own dogfood for probably 10-15 years. I use this in addition to their dry kibble, not in place of it, but I've been reluctant to post the recipe here as I fully understand what our dogs mean to us all and would never want to do anything that would harm one of yours or mine.

So it's time once again to make another batch and I've decided to post my recipe that I developed after doing a lot of reading about what's good for dogs and talking to my vet. Not saying that this is the perfect recipe for everyone, but our dogs have been eating it for a long time. It all started with Molly. She's gone now, but the last few years of her life she had lost most of her teeth and I started buying really good canned food for her. Well as anyone who has bought quality canned food knows, it is very expensive so that's what lead me down the path of developing my own recipe and besides, I know what's in it.

Here it is for those who may be interested...
  • 3-4 lbs. Boneless meat cut up into small pieces. I use either boneless pork loin or boneless/skinless chicken breast, whatever I can find on sale. Usually it’s around $1.99/lb.
  • 1 lb. Dry beans re-hydrated overnight in 6 cups of water. I use pinto beans and buy them in bulk from Walmart, usually 10lb. Bags.
  • 2-3 lbs. Fresh carrots chopped. I buy the whole carrots from Aldi or Walmart. Do not peel.
  • 3 lbs. Sweet potatoes chopped. Do not peel. I buy them at Aldi or Walmart.
  • 3 lbs. Fresh apples chopped. Remove the seeds, but do not peel. I buy whatever is the cheapest at Aldi or Walmart.
  • 1½-2 cups brown rice. Walmart brand.
  • 4 12oz. bags of frozen green beans. I use Walmart brand.
  • 4 12oz. bags of frozen leaf spinach. Walmart brand.
  • 3 1lb. bags of frozen sweet peas. Walmart brand.
I combine everything except the frozen vegetables in a large pot (24 quart), including the water the beans are soaked in, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 1 – 1½ hours until all is very tender, stirring often to prevent burning on the bottom. The frozen vegetables are cooked/heated in a separate pot (12 quart) without water until warm or hot, stirring regularly to prevent burning. As they thaw/cook, they'll create their own moisture. Once hot, I combine them in with everything else in the big pot and cook until all is very tender or falling apart stirring regularly to combine well. I puree it all using an immersion blender and then put it in quart containers. Should yield about 10-12 quarts and lasts us about 6 weeks or so. Allow to cool before putting in freezer. The cost is, or was last time I did the math, around $25-$30 total whereas a quality canned food is $3-$4, or much more, for each 12oz-14oz can.

I use no seasonings or canned vegetables. I have used broccoli, but it gave my dogs TERRIBLE gas so never again. There is a debate about the effects on dogs' health when eating a grain free diet, dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, but that's another topic altogether...

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Yeah, it looks very unappetizing, but really doesn't taste bad, just could use a little seasoning...:emoji_wink: I feed our dogs a ½&½ mixture of my wet and the dry I buy. By the way, I heat it up a little in the microwave. Yes I know...spoiled rotten...
 
I fed my last springer before Bob chicken and rice all of her 13 years, ate it as a side dish a few times myself. My vet says grain free is a no-no, my partner fed his springer grain free, died at age seven from DCM. RAY
 
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I've been mixing the fresh pet with my dogs kibble, and am over the price. Been considering making food for them for a while and you might have nudged me just enough.
 
Thanks for sharing! My three say they want to come eat at your house! Our 3 year old Dobie been having issues, for awhile all she'd eat was burger and rice. Might have to give this a try. Price of dog food is terrible. My not quite 1 year old would love your grandkids! Not sure if she's spoiled or I'm a softie... probably both!

Ryan
 
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I've been mixing the fresh pet with my dogs kibble, and am over the price. Been considering making food for them for a while and you might have nudged me just enough.
As an update, I went to Walmart this morning to buy everything I needed to make a batch today and it cost $26.75. I already had 3lbs. of B/S chicken breast and the pinto beans so add in about another $7.00 for those and the cost of this batch will be about $34, give or take a few pennies, and should yield 12 quarts...
 
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Thanks for sharing! My three say they want to come eat at your house!
We often dog-sit our friends' 2 dogs and of course they get the same food I feed ours. My friend says that when he gets them home and feeds them, they give that WTH look like something is missing...🤣
Our 3 year old Dobie been having issues, for awhile all she'd eat was burger and rice. Might have to give this a try. Price of dog food is terrible.
We often have a houseful of dogs and I haven't had a single one turn up their nose at it...
My not quite 1 year old would love your grandkids! Not sure if she's spoiled or I'm a softie... probably both!
Our grands love dogs and they love them back...
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My biggest fear is they don't understand that there are vicious dogs out there...
 
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Thanks for the recipe! We made our own food for several years. It all started because a breeder required a raw diet for her pups for the first year. We have German Shepherds and it is tough to find good lines. Now we belong to a local CO-OP and buy our raw food in 50 lbs boxes. I applaud your dedication to your dogs and thanks for sharing an option.
 
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Thanks for the recipe! We made our own food for several years. It all started because a breeder required a raw diet for her pups for the first year. We have German Shepherds and it is tough to find good lines. Now we belong to a local CO-OP and buy our raw food in 50 lbs boxes. I applaud your dedication to your dogs and thanks for sharing an option.
Interesting that you brought up a raw diet. While not their primary diet, I do feed Lucy, our Springer/Boykin mix, raw chicken wings regularly. Bailey, our Cocker, has had too many teeth removed and can't eat the bones, but he gets raw B/S chicken breast and raw boneless pork as a treat. When I clean fish, they always get some of that raw, as well...
 
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The GSP (Maverick) in my avatar, was lost to DCM at the age of 4 a few years ago. He was on a grain-free diet, we didn’t know at the time and I don’t think it was really understood at that time if there was a link from dcm to the grain-free diet. We beat ourselves up over it for awhile.

We often thought of making our own dog food, at least as a healthy supplement. Yours looks like a great start. My MIL makes her own for her dog because his liver enzymes were abnormal in his bloodwork. After a few months it’s at normal levels now.
 
my partner fed his springer grain free, died at age seven from DCM.

The GSP (Maverick) in my avatar, was lost to DCM at the age of 4
I've read a good bit about DCM and certain breeds are more susceptible. Our Bailey is full blooded English Cocker and that's one of the breeds that's more susceptible along with Dobermans, Boxers, and Great Danes...
 
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I've recently started making my own dog food after Lucy and Cookie suddenly REFUSED to eat FreshPet after inhaling it since I had them.

So far, I'm doing ground turkey (I had 5lbs in my freezer) and brown rice and they have kibble available at all times. They're loving that stuff!

I know I need to add some veggies/fruits and that's next on my agenda as soon as what I've made runs out.
 
I've never trusted store bought dog food, so I've been making a supplement dog food and adding it to dry dog food for our black labs ever since they graduated off puppy kibbles. Roxy just turned 14 and Addy died of bone cancer about 8 years ago. They both loved it.
Mine is pretty simple and varies with what is in the fridge and freezer, but always runs pretty uniform.

-4 to 5 pounds of meat (all the trimmings--beef, pork, chicken, turkey, ham, chopped raw bacon)
chopped into roughly 1" pieces. All cartilage is considered meat
-about 3 pounds sliced carrots
-1 bunch of sliced celery
-1 large yellow onion coarse chopped
-any left over veggies in the fridge (usually broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, or blanched swiss chard)
-some tomato sauce or paste
-1 quart of beef or chicken broth
-2 quarts of water

The liquids and veggies go in a BIG pot and boil for a couple of hours. Then the meat is added and boiled for 1 hour. The pot is moved to the back of the stove over low heat for about 4 hours. When cool, it is packaged up in 6 plastic tobacco cans and frozen.
When a container is thawed out, all the fat on the surface is removed.
At meal time, I mix a generous amount into 1 cup of the dry dog food. Visiting critters get the same thing to eat and the bowls always come back licked spotlessly clean.
Gary
 
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We've been dogless since Skidmark passed. It's the first time I haven't had a dog in 62 years. I never really made him or any of our other dogs their main food, but would always make sure to cook up a special treat for them when I fired up the kettle.

Point for sure
Chris
 
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First let me say that our dogs are our 4-legged, fur covered children and we love them dearly. They are a very important part of our lives and everyone in our family has at least 2. That being said, I have been making my own dogfood for probably 10-15 years. I use this in addition to their dry kibble, not in place of it, but I've been reluctant to post the recipe here as I fully understand what our dogs mean to us all and would never want to do anything that would harm one of yours or mine.

So it's time once again to make another batch and I've decided to post my recipe that I developed after doing a lot of reading about what's good for dogs and talking to my vet. Not saying that this is the perfect recipe for everyone, but our dogs have been eating it for a long time. It all started with Molly. She's gone now, but the last few years of her life she had lost most of her teeth and I started buying really good canned food for her. Well as anyone who has bought quality canned food knows, it is very expensive so that's what lead me down the path of developing my own recipe and besides, I know what's in it.

Here it is for those who may be interested...
  • 3-4 lbs. Boneless meat cut up into small pieces. I use either boneless pork loin or boneless/skinless chicken breast, whatever I can find on sale. Usually it’s around $1.99/lb.
  • 1 lb. Dry beans re-hydrated overnight in 6 cups of water. I use pinto beans and buy them in bulk from Walmart, usually 10lb. Bags.
  • 2-3 lbs. Fresh carrots chopped. I buy the whole carrots from Aldi or Walmart. Do not peel.
  • 3 lbs. Sweet potatoes chopped. Do not peel. I buy them at Aldi or Walmart.
  • 3 lbs. Fresh apples chopped. Remove the seeds, but do not peel. I buy whatever is the cheapest at Aldi or Walmart.
  • 1½-2 cups brown rice. Walmart brand.
  • 4 12oz. bags of frozen green beans. I use Walmart brand.
  • 4 12oz. bags of frozen leaf spinach. Walmart brand.
  • 3 1lb. bags of frozen sweet peas. Walmart brand.
I combine everything except the frozen vegetables in a large pot (24 quart), including the water the beans are soaked in, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 1 – 1½ hours until all is very tender, stirring often to prevent burning on the bottom. The frozen vegetables are cooked/heated in a separate pot (12 quart) without water until warm or hot, stirring regularly to prevent burning. As they thaw/cook, they'll create their own moisture. Once hot, I combine them in with everything else in the big pot and cook until all is very tender or falling apart stirring regularly to combine well. I puree it all using an immersion blender and then put it in quart containers. Should yield about 10-12 quarts and lasts us about 6 weeks or so. Allow to cool before putting in freezer. The cost is, or was last time I did the math, around $25-$30 total whereas a quality canned food is $3-$4, or much more, for each 12oz-14oz can.

I use no seasonings or canned vegetables. I have used broccoli, but it gave my dogs TERRIBLE gas so never again. There is a debate about the effects on dogs' health when eating a grain free diet, dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, but that's another topic altogether...

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Yeah, it looks very unappetizing, but really doesn't taste bad, just could use a little seasoning...:emoji_wink: I feed our dogs a ½&½ mixture of my wet and the dry I buy. By the way, I heat it up a little in the microwave. Yes I know...spoiled rotten...
We made a batch of your dog food. Our dog seams to really like it. How much do you recommend to giving her? We feed her twice a day. She's 17 and doesn't get a lot of exercise (bad hips) and weighs around 40 pounds.
Thanks, Mike
 
We made a batch of your dog food. Our dog seams to really like it. How much do you recommend to giving her? We feed her twice a day. She's 17 and doesn't get a lot of exercise (bad hips) and weighs around 40 pounds.
Thanks, Mike
I'm not a vet so I can't make a recommendation, but my Lucy is around 40 lbs. and I give her about 1/2 cup of dry kibble and 1/2 cup of my wet twice daily, 7am & 7pm approximately. My vet said 1 cup total per day should be enough for her, but to increase it if she's active. Lucy is 3 years old and VERY, VERY high energy so I give her more. Bailey is 10 and weighs just under 30 lbs. He's not nearly as energetic as Lucy and I give him about 1/2 of what Lucy gets. Both are normal weight according to the vet...
 
I'm not a vet so I can't make a recommendation, but my Lucy is around 40 lbs. and I give her about 1/2 cup of dry kibble and 1/2 cup of my wet twice daily, 7am & 7pm approximately. My vet said 1 cup total per day should be enough for her, but to increase it if she's active. Lucy is 3 years old and VERY, VERY high energy so I give her more. Bailey is 10 and weighs just under 30 lbs. He's not nearly as energetic as Lucy and I give him about 1/2 of what Lucy gets. Both are normal weight according to the vet...
Thank you for input, Helps us have an idea what to give our dog. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
 
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Great post , good recipe. I have 2 85lbs Bracco Italianos and they are our babies too. I used to do something similar to your recipe only I used and instant pot. Well I just got a decent meat grinder to make sausage. So now I get a couple of roast chickens from Costco. I take all the meat and skin off the bones chill it and grind it. I add a couple of sweet potatoes that I microwave and some green beans. I press it into 3oz patties. We add this to their kibble and they lap it up.

This is way easier and faster for me then using the instant pot and cheaper too.

Joe
 
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