Our dogs are not only livestock guard dogs, but they are also a part of our family! Further, they are an investment in the framework of our homestead, and we strive to keep them healthy! That’s why I make and use balanced homemade dog food recipes.
It wasn’t until the 1940’s or so that there were commercial pet foods on the market. Prior to that, dogs ate what the humans didn’t finish….food scraps.
Later, by the 1980’s or so, the pet food market picked up steam and became the mega-business it is today. In 2011, it was a $61 BILLION market, and $23.05 billion was spent on food alone!
Americans will spend about 1% of their income on their pets annually, vet care being the number one expense, food is second.
Can you say “sticker shock”??!! I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like paying upwards of $50 for a bag of better dog food. First of all, that’s just insanely expensive and secondly, I can do better to make my own homemade dog food!
Personally, I’ve never really felt like I had a handle on exactly what is in these commercial dog foods. Yes, I can read the ingredients, but sometimes I feel like I’m either short-changing my dogs or getting ripped off.
Not to mention the rash of dog food recalls! I want to protect my dogs!
I came across this very disturbing article (Warning: this could ruin your day) about what could be in dog food, and while I can’t verify it’s accuracy, the information is enough to make me reconsider commercial dog food.
So, what exactly do dogs need in their food to make it nutritionally balanced?
The core ingredients for a balanced dog food recipe should include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 25% fats. Of course, there will be some variation depending upon if your dog is a pup or an extremely active dog.
Now that we can see what balanced homemade dog food should consist of, let’s get down to some wonderful recipes for our pups!
I have found that when I coordinate what I’m already cooking for my family with a dog food recipe, it makes the whole process much easier and time saving!
The three following kibble supplement recipes are from “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats“, one of my favorite books on pets.
Fresh Meat Supplement for Dog Kibble (by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM and PhD)
When mixed with kibble, this recipe yields at least 30% protein, 20% fat and 50% carbs.
Servings: 6 cups
- 3# or 6 cups of chopped or raw turkey, chicken, lean hamburger, lean chuck or lean beef heart
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (cold press, organic)
- 1 tbsp. Healthy Powder (see below)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. bone meal
- 1 tbsp. Animals Essentials calcium (or equivalent for 3,000 mg. calcium)
- 50-200 IU Vitamin E
- 5,000 IU vitamin A with 200 IU vitamin D
Mix the oil, powder, bone meal and vitamins together.
Then, combine the mixture with meat, coating it well.
At mealtime, feed about 6 tablespoons of mixture for every cup of dog kibble served.
Fresh Egg Supplement for Dog Kibble (author Dr. Pitcairn)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. Healthy Powder (see below)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Group I bone meal
- 50-200 IU Vitamin E
- 4 large eggs
Mix ingredients together. At mealtimes, add about 2 tbsp. per cup of kibble. Use raw eggs.
Healthy Powder (author Dr. Pitcairn)
- 2 cups nutritional or brewers yeast
- 1 cup lecithin granules
- 1/4 cup kelp powder
- 4 tbsp. bone meal
- 1,000 mg. Vitamin C
Mix all ingredients together and store in refrigerator.
Slow Cooker Homemade Dog Food Recipes
What could be easier than making dog food in your crock pot?? Check out some of these amazingly simple recipes!
Use fresh ingredients when you can, but using canned foods is acceptable.
Crock Pot Chicken Homemade Dog Food Recipe
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 lb. green beans, broken into segments
- 1 medium sweet potato, raw, cut into medium-sized chunks (leave skin on)
- 3 carrots, sliced into about 1″ thick rounds
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin)
Put the ingredients in your crock pot in the order listed. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Let food cool and store in frig for about 3 days.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Dogvills.com
Easy Crock Pot Dog Food
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned
- Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
- Let cool completely.
Recipe and photo courtesy of damndelicious.net
Bark Post Crock Pot Dog Food Recipe (Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!)
– 2 lbs. Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks (with skin & bone intact)
– 1 lb. Ground Turkey
– 2 Small Sweet Potatoes (diced)
– 1 Potato (diced)
– 2 Cups Butternut Squash (diced)
– 2 Cups Carrots (diced)
– 2 Cups Green Beans (chopped)
– 1 and 1/2 Cup Brown Rice
– 4 Cups Water
Warm 3 cups of water up in your crock pot and then place chicken in water.
Put the remaining ingredients in, one by one, pouring the remaining water over them.
Cook on low for 8 hours and cool. Remove bones and store in frig for 3 days or freeze.
Recipe and photos courtesy of barkpost.com
More Amazing Dog Food Recipes: