Thursday, March 8, 2012

Make Your Own Healthy Dog Food

The rumors are true, a happy dog is a healthy dog, and vice versus. My boys have sensitive stomachs but they LOVE to eat. In order to keep a balanced diet, but still making sure they get the nutrients they need, I make them a special meal that I wanted to share with you all.
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This recipe is for dogs weighing between 35-60 pounds, I suggest doubling for bigger dogs. Ollie gets one and a half portions.

2 cups high protein dog food in which the first ingredient in a solid meat. We use and suggest Nutro Venison and brown rice, which is our go-to food. It is high protein and venison is the first ingredient, brown rice is the second.
I cook plain chicken breasts, NO BONES! Chicken bones can split into shards and rip up a dogs stomach lining, so make sure you either buy boneless or de-bone the chicken. Cook it all the way through and add a hearty green vegetable. I use brussels sprouts or another green veggie.

My dogs love tomatoes, more than anything. I could give them tomato treats all day long and they would be happy little campers. I mix tomatoes in with some more cooked brown rice and greek yogurt (or another plain white yogurt with low sugar.) A cap full of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water all mixed together. I chop up some fresh baby carrots too, but only for Ollie. he loves them! Top it with a spoonful of yogurt as a special treat, or peanut butter, but PB is pretty high in fat, so maybe only on Sundays.

The apple cider vinegar is for fleas. I HATE that we have to use flea medicine. It's a personal opinion, but after doing boat loads of research, and trying out a billion different natural methods, the apple cider vinegar seems to work the best. A cap full a day will deter the fleas from biting, you may still find a few, and I still use a low dose of external flea meds, but I can totally tell a difference using the vinegar. ACV has a trillion other uses and is a great thing to have around the house.
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Your dogs will thank you by living extra long and healthy lives! Their fur will be healthier and they, just like us, will live a fuller life with a better diet. I know it's hard to spend extra money during rough times, so a little trick I use is when I know I'll be making chicken for us, I make a little extra and put it aside, or freeze it. I give them the veggies that we eat, and don't get anything extra.
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Do you feed your pups anything special? Do make your own dog food, I would love to see your recipe!

xo,
Beca

PS I forgot to add that we often put apples in their food too, I was just out of them and completely spaced it!

19 comments:

  1. I think this is brilliant. :) We add brown rice, veggies, and sometimes yogurt to our dog's food as well. (No chicken around here since we're vegetarians although I'm sure Shiva would looove to have some.) I am so excited to try the ACV! Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Of course, Lesley. I should have talked about how to add vegetarian substitutes to your dogs food too. I used to house sit a cat who's owners were vegan and she had her cat on a strict vegan diet. Do you buy vegetarian dog food, too, or just regular?

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    2. We give her food with meat in it. I figure she's a dog and by nature, a carnivore. :) I just won't be cooking up any tasty bits of meat for her. She's funny though. She hates some raw vegetables but will glady eat them cooked. As far as in her food though? As long as the veg is mixed in with dog food, rice, and yogurt she eats it all up with no hesitation. I never thought I'd be a dog person and here I am talking about customizing dog food for my beloved pet. Life is so funny. :)

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    3. my dogs have always been the world to me, but I totally get the feeling. I never thought i would like cats, but i have one and hes pretty rad. it's just funny that way...

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  2. I always add meat and veggies or fruit and yogurt to finn's meals along with his dry food. and I always share my veggies and fruits with him for treats. he loves them.

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  3. My dogs love when I make them homemade food but their favorite is a cracked egg on top, which I grind the egg shell up into as well.

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    1. I've never tried that! I bet my boys would love it!

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  4. your lucky pups! we've talked a lot about making food for our dogs, but i'm so lazy about cooking my own dinner, i'm afraid they would go hungry! hahaah. there is this interesting dehydrated food at the local shop i buy their food at that i have been thinking about trying. they get veggies for treats though. pugs can get overweight fast, so we don't even buy dog treats. carrots and apples and sometimes lettuce are enough for them! they always beg when i get out the chopping board.

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    1. oh yeah! and thank you for the apple cider vinegar tip! we do nutritional yeast and garlic for the dogs, but i haven't heard of that one! i hate putting those gross chemicals on them too.

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    2. Garlic is good too! I just never have any, but always have acv!

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  5. what a great idea! i am going to have to try this out...

    I have been thinking about making my pup her own chicken jerky also (supposedly its really easy), she loooves that stuff and I can't seem to find any that isn't made in China :-/ I've heard so many bad things about the dog food that comes from there that I just can't bring myself to feed her anything imported from there, regardless of how much more convenient it is. yet another motivating factor to be as conscious of a consumer as possible, and to support local & handmade as often as we can!

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    1. I want to look into chicken jerky. and i agree with you, i would never buy food from overseas. they dont have the same regulations, and a lot of times have horse meat in it, which totally freaks me out.

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  6. Haha, my dogs get excited about the cutting board too! They love fruits & veggies. I used to feed Josie a raw dehydrated food called Addiction and was feeding Penny Orijen (a high protein, grain free kibble) among other things. I feed them the raw diet now though. I think it's the healthiest way to go (when done properly). Your mix sounds great though Beca! Delicious & nutritious :)

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    1. I'd love to hear about your raw diet for the dogs. i always cook their meat, are you feeding them meat free then, or just uncooked meat?

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    2. Uncooked meat, basically (definitely think meat is an integral part of a dog's diet :) ). I feed them prepared raw meals - there are various brands that make it. You buy it frozen and it's generally raw meat & veggies all ground up. Some come without the veggies. It's something you could also do on your own if you knew what you were doing & had the resources. You'd want to make sure they're getting different proteins (so not always chicken, or always ground beef..) and getting bones & organ meat every now & then if not all the time. They can chew on raw bones (femurs, knuckles) and can eat things like chicken necks & wing tips (am I grossing people out yet? And I'm a vegetarian! haha). This is raw we're talking about though, cooked bones usually splinter and are dangerous for dogs to eat! I can talk more about this if anyone
      s curious :)

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  7. I think it is SO awesome that you do this! I've been curious about making food for my cats but they are such carnivores and I don't eat meat so I wouldn't be able to prepare it for them. Also they are SO freakin' picky! This inspired me to look into it more though...

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    1. there are definitely alternatives to meat that your cats might be into. my cat eats just about anything, so I never worry much about him. He likes to hunt outside....oh, you know, cats...

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  8. Actually, I believe dogs are omnivores Lesley.I have seen vegan dog food at the store now, although I bet if you could make your own it could be healthier.


    My dogs love tomatoes too! They steal them from my garden in the summer. I have to watch my doxie, because she'll make herself sick from eating too many :) What kind of dogs do you have?

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