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Pet Diet & Nutrition Articles
How To Make Your Own Dog Food
By Lacy Sheppard
There are several benefits to making your own dog food. The most obvious is that you have
complete control over the ingredients in the food, allowing you to choose the healthiest options
for your pet. The second most important feature is that you can make the food in smaller
batches and feed it while it is fresh, eliminating the need to preservatives or chemicals of any
kind. This is a very important consideration for many owners, especially those that are striving to
feed their dogs organically without going fully to a raw foods type of diet.
There are two distinctive types of dog foods that can be easily made at home. The first is a
fresh food that is prepared every day or every two to three days depending on the ingredients
that you use. If you are feeding this moist type of food it will be essential to also provide a few
good knuckle bones or longer marrow bones to allow the dogs to have the chance to chew and
keep their teeth clean.
Making your own fresh dog food needs to start with a balanced approach to the ingredients.
Since it is important to provide the dogs with at least 20 percent protein for adult dogs and up
to 28 percent for puppies, using high quality lean meats is a must. Typically lower cost cuts of
meat will do very well including chicken thighs and turkey legs which are considerably less
expensive than white meat. Whole carcasses of chickens or turkeys can be a good option as
well, however once the bones are cooked they need to be carefully disposed of to prevent
possible raiding of the garbage by the dogs.
Cook the lean meat in a roasting pan or in boiling water until fully cooked. Remove all fat and
skin and, if using the liquid, strain off the fat. Add one portion of cooked brown rice to three
portions of the chopped lean meat. In addition add one portion of steamed, mashed vegetables
and fruits and one to two tablespoons of canola or olive oil. Good combinations of fruit and
veggies include apples, pears and berries with peas, carrots or green beans. Always steam the
veggies and mash them with the fruit for maximum digestibility. This food will need to be
refrigerated until used and should only be made two to three days in advance.
Dry kibble can be made just as easily, all that is required is the extra step of baking. Combining
whole wheat flour and slow cooking rolled oats with cooked brown rice is a good base mixture.
The total amount of each ingredient depends on what you have on hand but combined they
should equal about 10 cups. To this add 2 cups of powdered fat free milk, three to four eggs,
one cup of shortening or 1/2 cup of canola or olive oil and three cups of water from boiling the
meat. Mix until moist but not wet, adjusting ingredients as necessary. To this add up to 4 cups
of shredded or cubed meat (turkey, chicken, beef), from which the fat is removed.
Spread the mixture in crumbled bits on cookie sheets and bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes
or until dry. Cool and then place in bags in the fridge or freezer for use when needed. The
kibble will stay fresh for about three days in an airtight container out of the fridge.
Content written by Lacy Sheppard of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a
incredible assortment of dog food containers online.