Anatomy of a Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Introduction

If you have been scouring the Internet for a good homemade dog food recipe, I thought it might useful to share a simple set of core ingredients that you can use to create a wide variety of delicious homemade dog food recipes.

A Few Core Convictions

I am a firm believer in two things:

1) It is better to teach principles than specifics This belief is best captured by the adage, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

As an example, when a person learns the principles of cooking, they can easily improvise for specific meals based on the ingredients, equipment and desire that they may have at any particular moment. The same holds true for learning the principles of a good homemade dog food recipe.

2) I believe you have what it takes to control your dog’s nutrition The pet food industry has done you, the dog owner, a great disservice by making you feel as if only chemists and nutrition doctors truly understand what is best for your dog.

Nonsense! I believe you have everything it takes (love and motivation) to experiment and create your own delicious and nutritious recipes for your dog, recipes that are far more nutritious than the pablum that is served in most doggy bowls today.

Homemade Dog Food Recipe Principles

Thus, without further ado, here is the anatomy of a good homemade dog food recipe:

1) Begin with animal meat of some kind

This can be beef, chicken, turkey or lamb ground up or served in chunks. If you wish to serve ground meat you can purchase whole and use the excellent Maverick Meat Grinder to prepare ground meat.

In addition to these meats, you can feed fish (fillets) or even wild game such as rabbit, elk, venison, etc. (50% of your recipe should consist of one of these ingredients)

2) Add in organ meat of some kind

This can include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or pork liver as well as beef or lamb kidney. (10% of your recipe should include one of these ingredients)

3) Add other fresh ingredients.

Add in either eggs, yogurt or cottage cheese. (15% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)

4) Add a vegetable of some kind

This can include broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, cabbage or cauliflower.

NOTE: Vegetables must be mashed or puréed in a blender. (25% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)

5) Supplement every meal with calcium.

If you are not feeding raw meaty bones to your dog, which contain calcium, you must provide a supplement in your meals. (You can add ½ pound teaspoon of ground eggshell to every pound of food.)

Feeding Suggestions

Finally, feed once or twice a day (these would be ½ portions) at about 2-3% of your dog’s body weight. For a 100 lbs. dog, this would be 2-3 pounds of food per day or 1 to 1 ½ pounds of food per meal if feeding twice a day.

Conclusion

And there you have it. Mix and match these various ingredients in the right amounts and your dog will receive great nutrition as well as healthy, homemade, delicious recipes.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients altogether.

Feeding your pet a diet of homemade recipes allows for great flexibility as well as variety!

Three Simple Tips for Making Raw Food Recipes for Beginners

Raw foods can be thrilling when thoroughly explored. However, it can also be daunting to those first learning about them. Many recipes include the use of several kitchen appliances that are not the staple of every household including dehydrators, food processors, and Vitamix blenders. Such factors can deter many new raw foodies who simply looking to find raw food recipes for beginners that are quick and easy to manage.

Though these recipes may be intimidating at first glance, there are four easy tips that can help beginners navigate complicated recipes and create simple raw food recipes for beginners.

Tip #1: Recipes that require a dehydrator. Many recipes require the use of a dehydrator in order to achieve different textures and allow for the illusion of “warmth” without actually heating food above temperatures that denature a food’s enzymes. While a dehydrator could be an investment you may want to make in the future, many raw food recipes for beginners can be made by substituting a dehydrator for a conventional oven.

Though it will be more difficult to monitor the “exact” temperature of a conventional oven, one can achieve very similar results by setting the oven to its lowest setting and cracking leaving the oven door ajar by about one to two inches. One can use an oven thermometer if “exact” temperature measurements are important. Follow the original recipe in regards to time needed for proper “dehydration.”

Tip #2: The Magic Bullet Solution. Whether you are preparing an advanced gourmet recipe or simple raw recipes for beginners, you will undoubtedly encounter recipes requiring the fine chopping and grinding of nuts and seeds. Many recipes may call for a coffee grinder to accomplish this task, and while this is certainly a viable option, there are many people who do not own a personal coffee grinder. (And those that do may not be particularly fond of using it to grind nuts.) The Magic Bullet attains the same results as a coffee grinder and can serve a dual purpose of blending and mixing for other recipes.

Tip #3: Pre-planning and Freezing. A common difficulty encountered with many recipes is what to do with the leftovers. Because raw foods are devoid of any preservatives that would prolong their shelf life, they often need to be eaten immediately or soon after preparation. What is one then to do with the leftovers of such raw food recipes for beginners? Pre-planning for meals is one simple answer. Do your best to be aware of how much of one recipe you are making and don’t be afraid to cut a recipe in half (or in fourths!) if you are afraid you will not consume the entire thing. But as life is often unpredictable, freezing can be another viable option to elongating the life of your food. For instance, many raw soups and pates can be frozen after preparation, as can any fruits or produce that may be threatening to spoil.

Tips To Remember When Looking For Dog Food Recipes

If you are like many other pet owners across the United States, you may have been really frightened by the pet food recalls that happened this past year. The last thing you want to happen to your pet is food poisoning. Of course it is important that your dog does eat well, but if you are afraid to give your dog pet food from the stores anymore, there are some other options. You may want to consider finding some dog food recipes and making dinner for your dog by yourself. Many people actually believe that a home made diet is better for dogs anyway; however, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for these recipes for dog food.

Tip #1 – Never Ever Give Bones to Dogs – First of all, when you are looking for recipes for your dog and making them up, it is important that you never give them bones, especially if they have been cooked. If you are dealing with meat in the recipes, make sure that you have totally removed all the bones. Bone fragments can actually get lodged in the throat or digestive tract of the dog and cause injury or even death.

Tip #2 – Learn What Foods Can be Dangerous to Dogs – When you are looking for dog food recipes it is also important that you take the time to learn what foods can be dangerous to dogs so that you can avoid giving these foods to your dog. Some of the foods that you should avoid giving dogs include garlic, grapes, mushrooms, chocolate, onions, avocados, macadamias, and raisins.

Tip #3 – Look for the Easy Ones – The last thing you want to do is to get involved in making a recipe for your dog that ends up taking hours, so you may want to look for the easier recipes. Sure, you want to provide your dog with some great food, but you don’t have time to get involved with complicated recipes. Before you start the recipe, read it over to make sure it won’t be too difficult or complicated to make.

Tip #4 – Check with Your Vet – Since your dog has definite requirements nutritionally, it is important that you check with your vet if you plan on making dog food recipes on a regular basis for your dog. They can let you know what your dog should have in his food and give you a good idea of how to get your dog used to a new diet. So, before you get too carried away with these recipes, take the time to talk with your dog’s vet.

Tip #5 – What Should Be in the Recipes – You should know what types of things should be in these recipes as well to make sure that your dog has a good, healthy, balanced diet. Usually it is best to make sure that about 1/3 of the food has protein in it, from diary products, meat, or eggs. Then, the other 2/3 of the food should include vegetables or grain to make sure that you dog gets a balanced diet.

There are a variety of great places where you can find these dog food recipes. You may want to take the time to check at a bookstore for a doggie cookbook full of excellent recipes for your dog. Of course one of the best places you can look for these recipes for free is the internet. There are many great sites that offer free recipes for dog food and they are very easy to find. So, when you do go searching for dog food recipes for your dog, whether in a book or on the web, just keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll be sure to come up with food your dog will enjoy.

Overlooked Reasons to Choose A Homemade Dog Food Recipe Vs Processed Food: Part 1

Introduction

There are many articles that tout the reasons one would choose a homemade dog food recipe over manufactured dog food such as kibble when feeding their pet. Some of the more common reasons include: 1) Increased health, well-being and vitality for your dog; 2) Fewer allergies, illnesses and vet visits (in other words you save a ton of money!) and 3) The questionable quality of many processed dog food ingredients.

However, in this article, I wanted to highlight reasons that are often overlooked in choosing a steady diet of homemade recipes vs. processed food for your pet.

Overlooked Reasons To Go Natural

1. Control

When you make your own recipes, you control every, single ingredient that goes in. For dogs with allergies, remove ingredients from his favorite recipes until you find the culprit. Or better yet, start with just a few basic ingredients.

With processed food, you have to switch foods and it is likely that the heavy grain concentrations or additives in his kibble are causing the allergies in the first place.

Is your dog overweight, does he/she require less protein? Again, you can control every ingredient to match your dog’s nutritional need perfectly.

2. Community

There is such an incredible community that exists on the Internet now for owners who prepare their own dog food recipes.

When you join the ranks, you will be embraced and you will meet some of the most passionate, caring dog lovers who have as their mission your dog’s full and vital health. (This is not something that can be said for your average corporation in charge of profits for selling dog food.)

You needn’t stagger around not knowing what to do, or where to buy the best supplies or how to prepare delicious and healthy recipes. There are plenty of people to help you along the way with advice, books and other recommendations.

You will be among so many friends who will love you and your dog.

3. Creativity

With homemade dog food recipes you are free to experiment with so many varieties of food for your pet. I shudder to think about millions of dogs who live their whole lives eating sub-standard, processed food every single day. (They must truly love us because they hardly complain…)

Feeding our pets has turned into a boring, meaningless routine based mostly on convenience (not necessarily the best nutrition.)

But with only a small amount of effort and really not too much additional time, feeding time can turn into a great adventure for you and your pet. The smile on your dog’s face at feeding time will make your heart burst because he / she knows that a wonderful surprise awaits.

Conclusion

There are several more less common (but important) reasons I can highlight for choosing a homemade dog food recipe over processed food; however those will have to wait for another article.

In the meantime, remember the three C’s (control, community, and creativity) as you being to experiment the joys of feeding fresh homemade recipes to your dog.

Woof, woof!