Monday, January 21, 2013

Homemade dog food

Yesterday I received an email from a new reader named Nicole on the question of storing dog food in terms of preparedness. I've looked into this issue quite a bit, but since I hadn't yet addressed it on the blog, I asked permission to post her email:

I just recently found your blog (my very first introduction to self-sufficiancy/ survivalism, etc) and have started following your posts. My husband and I have recently started "prepping" and, though I am absolutely clueless when it comes to canning (we are from New Jersey and the idea is pretty foreign around here!), I was wondering if you were able to can or store dog food long term? I haven't seen any mention of this in your archived posts and I know you have dogs as well -- what are the long term storage options when it comes to dry dog food? Any advice you can give would be much appreciated!

Obviously there is nothing wrong with storing cans of commercial dog food; however if you have Big Dogs (as we do), then it won't last very long. Besides, canned dog food is expensive.

But that doesn't mean dry dog food is a good option for long-term storage. Many years ago, we were feeding our dogs a good-quality but off-brand (meaning, it wasn't available in grocery stores) dog food. Because the store where we bought it was in another town, we bought a lot of dog food at a time and stored it in clean dedicated garbage cans. At one point we bought enough to last for about a year.

It didn't work. By the time we got down to the bottom of the can, the dog food was going moldy and rancid. We wasted a lot of dog food and learned the hard way that the oils in dry food (which are essential to a dog's health) don't translate well into long-term storage.

Because we love our dogs and want to make sure they won't go hungry if their food becomes unavailable, I've looked into making homemade dog food and found it's quite a common thing to do. I also found that many online sites dedicated to making homemade dog food seem additionally to be dedicated to the concept that ALL commercial dog food is poisonous to your pet.

While I won't go that far, there's no doubt that certain dog food components originating from China have been known to kill pets. This spurred a great deal of interest into making homemade dog food. Type "homemade dog food" into your preferred search engine and take advantage of the wealth of information.

A couple years ago, I copied-and-pasted a variety of info into a file on my computer. Unfortunately I didn't think to copy the sources, but here's some of the info I have in my file. I'm not an expert, so if you have questions about anything, you'll have to do your own research.

• There are endless variations on the theme of homemade dog food, but the basic ratio appears to be 40% meat, 30% vegetables, and 30% starch.

• Oatmeal, pasta, rice, or potatoes can be used for the starch component.

• Healthy foods for dogs:
- Meats
- Poultry
- Organ meats, liver (don't overuse)
- Eggs
- Cultured dairy products such as yogurt, buttermilk, cheese
- Complex carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, beans, legumes
- Fiber sources such as bran, fresh vegetables, whole-grains

• Foods to avoid:
- Grapes
- Raisins
- Onions (except small amounts for seasoning)
- Garlic (ditto)
- Chocolate
- Artificial sweeteners or artificial fats

• Some sites recommend against feeding raw meat because of the potential for bacterial contamination, salmonella, parasites, or viruses. "Your dog can suffer from food poisoning just as humans can," noted one website. "Only cooking will make these foods safe for consumption." I concur, especially if you're feeding your dog meat from wild game.

• Most homemade dog food must be cooked. This means starches (whether it's pasta, rice, potatoes, whatever) should be cooked; legumes should be cooked; etc. Believe me, you don't want to put a bowl-full of dry beans and dry rice in front of your dog. He'll break his teeth and possibly choke (if he eats it at all).

Now this is all fine and good, but what should a good pet owner do under preparedness or survival conditions? Obviously no one will be trotting down to their local grocery store to obtain the fresh ingredients (meat, veggies, whatever) to make dog food if society is disrupted.

This question is especially pertinent to us since a good snowstorm is all it takes to strand us. While we always try to make sure we have at least one (40-lb.) bag of dog food in reserve, things can happen.

What we decided to do is to store the components for dog food, with some of these components (namely, the meat) canned up.

Look at the three basic ingredients for homemade dog food: meat, vegetable, starch. Dried starches are easily stored. Rice is the classic example. It stores beautifully and, when bought in bulk, is cheap (50 lbs. for about $20 at a wholesale grocer such as Cash & Carry).

Ditto with pasta and oatmeal -- bought in bulk, it's cheap and stores well (though rice is still the least expensive option).

What about vegetables? Canned vegetables will work, but isn't a practical solution since they take so much room to store and (frankly) are too expensive to "waste" on dog food. On the other hand, if you have a bumper crop from your garden, more power to you (green beans seem to be the first choice for green veggies).

We have dried split peas stored away. Soaked and cooked, these will work just fine for the veggie component of dog food.

Legumes such as lentils or beans (soaked and cooked, of course) are also an excellent choice.

So this leaves meat, the most expensive and perishable component.

We're fortunate that we have livestock and chickens, so for us, meat is available on a long-term basis. But for short-term convenience, I have some cheap cuts of meat canned up.

Where did we get this cheap meat? Well, a few years ago we were the clean-up family for our local Second Harvest distributor. Since our area is so rural, any Second Harvest items that didn't get distributed can't be distributed elsewhere because of the travel requirements. So the pastor who runs the distribution would call us if they had leftover items.

That's how we came into possession of numerous five-pound bags of frozen chopped Mystery Meat. Apparently nobody wanted it because, frankly, it looked awful. The pastor told us it was chopped bologna, but I've since seen similar-looking bags at Cash & Carry (our regional wholesale grocer) and realized it's chopped ham. Didn't make any difference -- it still looked revolting.

At any rate, I must have had ten of these bags of chopped Mystery Meat taking up space in the chest freezer and had no idea what to do with them. They hung around for almost a year before I got tired of pushing them around to reach other items. So I decided to can them. I figured, in an emergency, even Mystery Meat is edible.

I was startled to find that each five-pound bag yielded about nine quarts of canned meat. I canned up 35 quarts before I ran out of jars and got tired of canning such blech-looking stuff. I then discarded the remaining bags of meat. I now realize in retrospect that such an act was criminal, but at the time I wasn't thinking in terms of dog food. Now I wished I'd canned it all up, because I've earmarked this meat for the dogs should the time come when we need to make their food. Now that I have more jars (and more knowledge!), someday I might actually buy a case of this meat (six 5-lb. bags) which would give me over 50 additional quarts of canned meat.

Like all stored foods, our canned meat will eventually run out (unless I can up meat from our own animals), but portioned out with vegetables and starches, this should last us quite awhile into an emergency situation. For people with smaller dogs, canned meat (which can be done in pints or even half-pint jars) will last even longer.

I also feel compelled to point out, however, that canning meat specifically for dog food is an inefficient use of space. What else would work? I'm not entirely sure. Don suggested dehydrating cheap cuts of meat which could then be re-hydrated for dog food. If you can find meat cheap enough, that might be an option. Alternate protein sources might include eggs or cheese.

Let's not forget one thing: dog food is a fairly new phenomenon. For hundreds -- thousands -- of years, dogs ate pretty much what we ate. It might not have been an scientifically-balanced nutritionally-optimal diet, but then neither was human diets. Under "bleep" circumstances, assuming you have food to spare at all, your dog will eat what you eat.

What about cats? Well, I copied over this note into my files -- make of it what you will:

Homemade Cat Food
2 cups of ground or chopped chicken, cooked
1 cup of cooked brown rice
¼ cup grated carrots
Put chicken, brown rice and carrots in a blender and mix well. If there is any fat from the chicken, pour about two teaspoons over the mix. Serve at room temperature.

(This website stressed that cats require more protein than dogs do, but they should also have grains and vegetables. Grains need to be cooked, but vegetables and fruit can be served either steamed or raw.)

My $0.02. I'd love for readers to chime in with their ideas.


  1. Patrice, you had a little note in there about not overusing organ meats. Would you please explain? - We are the dumping grounds for liver for people who hate it and get some with their beef. I love it, but I'm the only one in the family who does, and I can't eat it fast enough. I have quite a bit that I could use for dog food if need be. Any input would be appreciated.

    1. Sorry, I can't explain because I don't know. The note was copied long ago from an unknown website so I don't know the reasoning behind it. Might be worth a call to your vet. (If you find out, please post it here!) My guess is that liver is so rich that too much in one meal might backfire.

      - Patrice

    2. too much organ meat can give a human gout. perhaps it is something like that?

    3. from a murder mystery on tv i learned that liver-only diets will poison. it was on 'new tricks' on pbs.
      deb harvey

    4. Organs, especially liver, are a HUGE source of vitamins and other essential nutriants. To much can result in an overdose that can do BAD THINGS to your animal.

    5. The thing about organ meats mostly, but liver in particular, is, as already noted, very high in particular vitamins. TOO much can be a bad thing. One meal - even a few days of meals - should be no problem. I've heard 10% of the diet for liver, and up to 30-40% for organ meats overall. But I stick with 10-20% of total diet. And some days, that will be all they get. Other days - none.

    6. Organ meats like hearts, gizzards and liver should make up 10-15% of a dogs diet with no more than 5% from liver according to many online resources.

      On another note, I would caution against mystery meat which is ham based as a regular part of a dogs diet because it may contain to much sodium but if one is talking an emergency then by all means a little extra sodium is better than starvation in my book.

  2. One thing to note is that dogs can be vegetarian (my parents' dog had to be due to liver issues) whereas cats cannot due to their need of Taurine and unless you buy the synthetic version, it is only found in meat and is easily cooked/processed away.

  3. This is a fairly new issue for us: we were dogless until 11/2012. Since that time, we have tried numerous dog foods, but our dog either looked at it and walked away, or she ate it, vomited frequently and seemed to suffer UTI's and ear infections. We bought the range of foods beginning with the chow she was on when we got her to high end specialty dog foods that listed the same things we were eating that cost as much for a bag as a comparable bag of people groceries.

    I had to compete with her in the garden this year. She became a hoover vacuum when she was near the peas. We began using them as training treats. Then, after her spay surgery, she would not eat anything. Her second favorite vege was canned green beans, and hubby suggested we try to coax her to eat those. I had store bought-on-sale canned green beans and I dumped them into her dish. She immediately got up and drank all the water, and then after a few minutes returned and ate the beans. She perked up after that, and I gave her another cheap can along with some browned ground beef (we have one butchered in the freezer). She ate it all. We continued doing this, changing from beans to peas, adding carrots or yams, and changing the meat. I added rice and white potatoes in as starches, and when we have oatmeal that's the base for her food too. Not one bout of vomiting or diarrhea, she cleans her dish twice a day and she's at a good weight, where before she was underweight. No more stinky ear fungal infections or UTI's.

    I was thinking aloud one morning and hubby heard me planning to can up "dog food". He opined that the only thing to go in the canning jars should be people food that the dog could eat, not dog food that people might have to eat some day. I have some "stews" made and in baggies in the freezer in case we ever have to have someone else feed her. I omitted onions and garlic, but if a "people" has to eat these items, they can be seasoned when being heated up. I have some jars of canned people food that were made with the dog in mind, also. Generally, I keep a container of rice, some cooked potatoes and yams, and buy green beans when they are on sale and some peas also. I bought chicken for 99 cents last week and cooked that up.

    My biggest problem is that so much of what I fix for the dog is getting consumed by the people! I find my husband warming up all the "leftovers" and putting them out for our consumption. I just laugh, dish the dog up her portion and we polish off the rest.

    I have extra dried beans stored and I put some in a jar to sprout today. They will be cooked up and served to the dog, if there's any left after I do so. I just let them get tails on and then cook as usual. Not a big deal, it seems to help with hubby's tummy and I certainly don't want to cause the dog problems at a time of year when it's too cold to open the windows. Hope that is not too much information.

    BTW, all of this is much cheaper than the dog foods we were buying which ended up not eaten (and donated to shelter) or which caused us vet bills to get infections cleared up. Vet was dubious at first when I confessed what I was feeding, but the proof is in the pooch, so to speak.
    My grandfather's good hunting beagles were never fed anything from the store, they ate pretty much what the family ate; the farm cats were fed a couple scrambled eggs and grandma used the mornings grease to make a gravy and all leftover of that type were fed to them. When she stepped outside and yelled "kitty, kitty" cats scrambled for position about the humongous cast iron pan that was used for their feed (nothing could carry it away!) Mama kitty lived to be 16 and ol' Tom was probably much older.


  4. My mother asked my grandma what she used to feed her dogs when she was growing up in the 30's and 40's. She said they just fed them table scraps and the dogs did fine. Granted, the table scraps were probably a little different back then. My point is though, that it may be a better idea to just can people food and use it as dog food. That way you can eat it too.

  5. I have a Great Pyrenees who is allergic to commercial dog foods, so I cook for him! About every 5 days or so, I prepare a large pot of rice, and mix in 5 shredded cooked chicken thighs and a large can of green beans. I substitute other green veggies from my garden on occasion. I save the broth from the chicken thighs to moisten the mixture. He's thriving on the diet.

    My SHTF plan for my dogs will be to slaughter yard birds and share my garden veggies, plus some of the 500 pounds of rice I have stashed. Keep prepping!

  6. Thank you for this post - some good info here. People really should research a lot more because dogs do not need to eat starches and neither do cats. My pets are on a raw diet. My holistic vet told me that the ideal canine diet is 85% meat, 10% veggie, and 5% fruit.

  7. "What about cats..."

    I can think of a solution there that would solve BOTH problems?


    1. ha ha I get it.... still love my two putty- tats though!

  8. I make my own dog's food and have learned just a couple tips I'd like to share. First, many dogs are very lactose intolerant, so test any dairy products on your dog(s) now, then plan accordingly. If they have diarrhea or loose stools, you should not depend on milk products for much more than an occasional small treat. Many dogs are also unable to digest beans very well (cooked of course, never raw). So while they would probably eat them, they would suffer intense gassy discomfort and often diarrhea as well. This is more than an unpleasant problem, it means they would be unable to derive much nutrition from their food because it doesn’t get broken down properly. On the other hand, rice and oatmeal are very well-tolerated by most dogs. Finally, it’s been my experience that carrots and sweet potatoes/yams are often favorite veggies. My dog LOVES sweet potatoes. And they are easy to keep on hand.

    1. cats can be lactose intolerant,too. not a problem here as i am, too and they only get what i have.
      could a dog take Beano and build up a supply of ability to digest legumes?
      my dog has no problem but he gets variety. it is good to plan now and start feeding the intended-for-hard-times foods now so as to avoid tummy upsets later.
      deb harvey

    2. Try sprouting some of those legumes and see if that helps. It changes some of the undigestible proteins that cause gas into complex carbohydrates and greatly increases the nutritional value.

      I do this for our tummies, and I've started putting just a table spoon of cooked beans in the dogs dish along with her usual. If gastric distress occurs I can stop feeding them. I have a variety so will try one every other week and keep track.

  9. Too much starch and vegetables in ALL of those recipes. This is why vets cringe when people discuss a home cooked diet. :( I expect to see better and more well-researched recommendations here.

    Long term those diets are going to cause pets harm. In the short term they will seriously impact a puppy. Dogs need bones along with muscle meat in the correct balance. Starch should not be a component at all. Veggies should be a small component.

    You would do better to just grind up chicken leg quarters, backs or other suitably meat/bone balanced foods than try to feed a carnivore a starch based diet.

    Dog and cat digestive systems are well equipped to handle raw foods including raw meaty bones. Almost all cases of salmonella I've heard about have been from kibble. Cooking bones makes them splinter.

    That 40/30/30 ratio is for humans. Dogs are not humans. Cats are not humans. Cats are actually an obligate carnivore meaning they ONLY eat meat.

    1. depends on the individual. one of our cats loved peas and green beans. his sister loved fruit. so i gave it them as a treat.
      deb harvey.
      p.s.- dog loves potato so i give him some from time to time with butter or a little meat grease on them.

    2. It does not "depend upon the individual" cat as to whether or not he is an obligate carnivore---he is what he is: a cat. Cats do not process vegetable matter properly, they get VERY little nutrients from it. Your cat might eat a pea or bean once in awhile as a treat (probably out of curiosity), but a diet of it would eventually kill him.

    3. A little bit of "junk food" now and then is fine. The dogs get leftovers a lot but split between 4 dogs it never amounts to the majority of their dinner. Our dogs get canned green beans, sweet potato, pumpkin, etc on top of their food.

      Many children would happily eat candy at every meal. That doesn't make it good for them. It's the owners responsibility to make sure they eat a fairly decent diet.

  10. I can deer meat with rice. My dogs love it. To make it last longer, put it over dry dogfood. Our dogs love it.

  11. I had a friend who made homemade dog food. One component was raw chicken ground up-skins, bones and all raw. Mixed with rice and other stuff. Dogs did great on it. Don't know his exact recipe.

  12. I am so glad to hear someone else does this also! I started out not wanting to throw away carrot and apple peelings so began saving them along with meat scraps. When I had a bag full in the freezer I would cook it up with some brown rice and call it "dog stew". It was a treat. It has evolved into an every night addition to their dry dog food. I had been freezing it in pint containers but just pressure canned 14 quarts with Tattlers to save freezer room. I left out the brown rice for canning and used only fruits, vegetables and meat. All the green beans, spinach and zucchini that got too big in the garden goes into stew along with cheap canned pumpkin. I will buy a discount piece of beef, have a rotisserie chicken carcass and also plan to bbq or smoke salmon to have fish skin(which dogs think is very good). It's really more nutritious than our diet but we would need salt. I think about all the people in the world who would love to have such wonderful food! Our dogs are spoiled but I don't waste food this way and they get some extra nutrition.

  13. I store dry dog and cat food and get a good 6 months or more from the feed.
    I store in food safe buckets with a gasket lid and add about 2 tblsp. of DE for every 25 pounds of food. Cool dark place along with my other food storage. The dry food smells very fresh with no off odors and the dogs and cat are healthy and a good weight and love the food.
    In fact my cat turns up her nose at canned cat food.

  14. Patrice, I would urge you to add salt to the list of foods to avoid.

    This is true for cats, as well.

    It should be listed in the 'never' category, along with chocolate and cooked bones of any kind.

    A. McSp

    1. Also, NO ONION in ANY form ever. They contain high sulfur compounds which can (and does) cause anemia and kidney failure in dogs. Some are more sensitive than others, but the toxin builds up with a cumulative effect. Garlic is from the same family, but has less sulfur and can be fed sparingly. Also, I'd like to second about NO COOKED bones. I've been feeding raw for nearly three years now. I'm about to move to a RMB diet as I've decided the research better supports dog as carnivore. Just because they CAN eat veggies and starch doesn't mean it is doing much for them...

  15. Awesome post! Can't forget our furry friends!


  16. I have been using ground turkey from Aldi, rice (or barley, peas and carrots, and eggs. I cook that up for our Anatolian. When she came to us she was on a commercial cheap food - she was underweight and seemed to have an uncontrollable thirst. Since changing her diet she has gained 20 lbs and is thriving. I am no expert either but I like the comment about what dogs and cats ate in the 30's and 40's and beyond that.

  17. "Puppy" is a large German Shepherd dog. His name isn't Puppy but, when he was little, I said things like "Oh, what a cute puppy! Good puppy! Puppy, time to eat!" and now he doesn't answer to his name.

    Puppy does not like kibble. We can get him to eat it by mixing it with a large can of dog food, but he really doesn't like it. He prefers table scraps. He gets a *lot* of eggs for the hens produce at least a dozen eggs a day even in the winter. He gets eggs boiled (fed in the shell), baked, fried, and scrambled. If he gets hungry between meals, he'll find a hidden nest and help himself to raw eggs. He particularly likes rotten ones (ewwww). He gobbles up rats, moles, and mice. He'll kill and eat the occasional possum. If a coyote or fox kills a chicken, he'll chase the predator off and save the carcass for a later feed when it gets pretty rank. I've stopped feeding him big chunks of raw meat because he'll bury it until it's really nasty then eat it. Cooked meat he'll eat at once. He gets meaty bones pretty frequently or else he'll chew something up.

  18. Patrice,

    Thanks so much for answering my question - I have a lot of new info to consider!

    I'm glad I thought to ask you about this PRIOR to buying a bunch of dry 40lb bags and having them go to waste!

    Thanks again,

  19. Great to know. We have a 34 lb senior sweetie dog and are in the process of adopting a mastiff mix. I'll be sure to stock up more rice than I was planning & the bags of chicken quarters.

  20. Well, I feed both my dogs a completely raw meat diet.

    Storing and handling meat: I freeze all mine, which means I'd be in trouble if we ever had a huge power outage. I've been looking at canning meats. I handle the raw meat just like I do when I'm handling raw meat to cook for myself. Bleach water in a spray bottle is a handy clean up too. The dogs are fed in their crates, or on a plastic placemat, for easy clean up.

    Any meat you're suspicious off, and especially when talking game meat, freeze solid for at least a week before feeding raw to your animals. In theory 24hours frozen solid is enough so I suppose if you're desperate you can go shorter. Freezing kills almost all parasites and does a number on bacteria too.

    There's a HUGE fear of bacteria with raw meat, we're programed to that from a very young age. Keep in mind that many societies have been eating raw meat with very little problem for centuries (steak tartar anyone?). Also, despite fear mongering by certain folks who ought to know better, the actual incidence of a HEALTHY dog getting sick with salmonella or ecoli from raw meat is really really really small. And the risks of your dog somehow passing those bacteria onto you is even smaller, and definetly no higher than the risk that you'll catch them from store bought kibble. They don't recall kibble cause animals get sick, they recall kibble when the HUMANS start getting sick.

    Lets see, organs, especially liver, are a HUGE vitamin source, to much can first cause diarrhea (and nasty diarrhea at that), and then overload the dog's own filtering organs as they try to cope, this is bad.

    I don't personally feed vegi's and starches as part of my dogs' diet, though you're not the only ones I know who do. I have to admit that to me your recipe looks a bit high on the starches, but if your dogs are healthy on it I'm not going to judge. My dogs do get fruits and vegi's as treats.

    1. We tried the raw meat diet but couldn't get the dog to eat any of it, instead it was buried and then dug up after it became rotten, yet pup didn't eat it then either. Mostly worried over it, moving it to a new hole and pacing the perimeter of the yard. It was a problem in that we have black bears and mountain lions, so I didn't feel I could wait this situation out until she finally ate. We tried the kennel route, also; she sat for hours and wouldn't touch the stuff. We had to let her out to potty and put her back but the next morning, all that had occurred was attempts to bury it in her kennel.

      Interesting you should write about the fear of bacteria on meat. I read an article yesterday that studies are being performed with huge success, treating autoimmune diseases and autism by ingestion of parasite eggs (that do not hatch). The hypothesis is that our clean, sterilized environment and foods (and I'd wager chemical preservatives and cleansers) have caused such a reduction in things our bodies are used to fending off, that our immune system attacks our own body.
      Third world countries do not have these issues. They don't sterilize food or their environment, either.

    2. Not unfortunetly the first dog to react that way. Raw's not for everyone, owner or dog. But my two are thriving on it. Though I'll admit that if I allowed Arty to he'd probly try to bury at least half of it....

  21. I'm going to try the cat recipe. Fussy cat. I found a "better" commercial dry food that he enjoys (as does the dog). But wet food is another story. If I didn't feed the old dog wet food, the cat wouldn't look for any. Geesh. First all he wanted was pate' and now its one specific kind that's little chunks of chicken is gravy in a pouch (not a can!!!). He sucks up the gravy and leaves the remainder for the dog.


    The dog had a spell a while back losing his balance for several days, wouldn't eat. .. So I cooked up a tube of ground turkey I had in the freezer and added some rice, souping it together with a can of gravy dog food. Brought him back from the brink.

    1. Reporting back . . . .

      The dog LOVED LOVED LOVED it. The cat came running in to see what the commotion was about, sniffed it and looked at me. . .

      "Are you kidding?" And stalked off.


    2. With dogs I'd say "They'll eat when they're hungry."

      With cats I know not to even suggest it. Stubborn critters. :)

      Check with a vet about the Taurine levels. If they are out of whack that diet WILL eventually kill your cat.

  22. We process 100 - 150 meat chickens each year for our extended family. Some are left whole, but most are cut up. The feet, necks, wingtips, skin, backs, hearts & livers (if no one wants them)are frozen and later pressure cooked and then pressure canned into dog food. Sometimes we'll mix in cooked (scrambled) eggs if we have excess, or any other meats from cleaning out the freezers (You know, the stuff that ends up in the back corner will severe freezer burn). We do the same with the boned chicken we can for our own use; after pressure cooking, the skin, bones, etc., get canned (in broth) for the dogs. Once the chicken bones have been pressure cooked (twice) they are soft instead of splintery.

    Handyman in da U.P.

  23. Look at all the replies! We do love our pets!

    Just want to add that my dog (a terrier) LOVES raw green beans. He will eat them until I run out of them.

    1. That's great that he'll eat raw veggies! I fairly recently learned that it's better to feed them raw since cooking them gets rid of the enzymes that otherwise help clean their teeth. I've met dogs that get raw veggies as treats and chopped into their food mix. They have such gorgeous healthy mouths. Just wish I'd have known that for some of my dogs I've had in the past. They are individuals, of course, and some like everything while some have their favorites, haha. Carrots are the only thing I was cautioned about feeding too much of since they do contain lots of sugar.

  24. All of my grandfather's farm dogs ate table scraps.
    As was mentioned above, the table scraps were a bit different then, probably more wholesome.

    Certainly the food was better - my grandparents pretty much ate from the farm products.

    The dogs ate cooked and uncooked food.

    I'm not sure about the bones - I've heard that cooked bones are dangerous because they will splinter when chewed.

    - Charlie

  25. I have friends that insist on buying their pet foods on sale and stock pilling them in the freezer. Which in my opinion negated any money savings with the electric cost. Running the freezer with little or no thermal mass (dry pet food) would have cost more than just paying full price for the pet supplies.

    Family members always canned up meat parts (skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, even left overs after supper, etc) not for human consumption but for animal consumption and mixed it with dry dog & cat food later.

    Just Make sure to label it well and keep it separate from HUMAN food.

  26. We feed raw meat. meaty bones, and about weekly organ meat. Starches and scraps are treats as are veg/fruits. Meat is whole - not ground. Very important for teeth and tartar which causes lots of modern canine disease.
    Cats get raw meat but I will grind bigger meat/bones. They get twice weekly high taurine organs.
    Yes, we raise our own rabbits, chickens and goats.
    Never cook the food.
    Both animals get RAW goat milk offered. Lots of important enzymes and easily digestible. Some love it, some don't. Up to them.
    Been doing this for 15 years and we raise livestock guardian dogs and have lots of cats.
    LGD's (the big white breeds) are often allergic/intolerant of commercial dog foods, wet or dry.

  27. Thanks for posting... This is the brand i feed my dogs, guess I am switching their food today dog foods

  28. Nowadays more than ever it is becoming more and more challenging to know exactly what we ought to be providing for our dogs. With the latest tainted commercial dog food and treat scares which keep popping up, homemade dog food recipes have become really popular as apprehensive owners endeavor to do precisely what is right - and what's safe - for their pets. home made dog food

  29. There are many views concerning this specific matter as well, with many individuals recommending a meat-only diet and others using grains as well as some vegetables - however the important issue that includes both these opinions is having the capability to only use particular ingredients, whether they are organic meats, vegetables and grains, or maybe just meats on their own. home made dog food

  30. Thank you sharing for this post , Wrote here some good's so important for dogs to get a proper diet.
    Dog food

  31. I have a Golden Doodle and a mini Australian Shepard how much do I feed each one and how long will it last if I can it? What is your canning process water bath or pressure cooker and how long? Thanks

  32. I have a Golden Retriever who is almost 9 years old. He always had itching problems, ear infections, would lick and chew on his feet incessantly, and was always digging at his anus. Finally, he began to loose all his hair and was braking out in a red pimply rash all over his body. In desperation I turned to the internet where I read about yeast infections and leaky gut. After taking him off commercial dog food, bathing him every 3 days, and applying/feeding coconut oil to his ravished body, he began to turn around in a few months and within 6 months was looking good. He eats a diet of 1+ lbs. of chicken or hamburger per day. Added to that is the broth it is cooked in and about 1.6 oz. of low glycemic veggies or fruits. He also gets a no-at yogurt, fish oil capsules and 1+ tablespoon of coconut oil with each meal. However he still digs at the anus. The vet says his anal sacs are not the problem. When I added in 2/3 cup of bran a day, he quit digging at his butt but began to break out in hives again. Any ideas out there what could be added for bulk to his diet and would be low glycemic? My vet is of no help because he doesn't believe a dog should be fed anything but dog food. Otherwise he tells me they are not getting the proper nutrition.

    1. Sounds like your Golden has an allergy to a grain. Figuring out which one is difficult. My guess is corn; dog food manufacturers put it in everything & disguise it by using assorted names on the labels. Pet food labels aren't seriously regulated unfortunately.

      Adding 2/3 C bran seems like a lot to start with. You might have to start with 1 or 2 Tablespoons of a fiber per meal & work your way up. There are several kinds of bran; did you use the wheat bran sold in cereal aisle? Low glycemic foods are usually associated with trying to lower sugar levels. How about a quarter or half slice of whole wheat or a mixed grain bread, toasted & cut into small pieces?

      Flax seed is good source of fiber but only a teaspoon or one & a half teaspoon per meal. Another thing to try is to go into babyfood aisle. You could try a jar (for older babies, not infants) of oatmeal with applesauce (apples are fiber). Gerber also makes baby cereal in a box, oatmeal with apples & a rice cereal (very gentle on tummies). You can start with mixing small amount with warm/hot tap water until desired thickness then add to dog's food.

      When introducing anything new, always start with a small amount for a few days & watch for any symptoms (rash, runs, etc). If none are noted, slowly add more over a week or two.

      No salt, sugar, sugar substitutes. When making broth or cooking hamburg you can use onion/garlic for flavor but remove it before serving (I use 1/4 onion with a toothpick shoved all the way through so I can easily remove; same for garlic clove which can be hard to fish out of stockpot).

      FYI many vets are resistant to homemade dog food. See if you can find a holistic vet in your area (yes there is such a thing) & a few phone calls can possibly lead you to one. Even if your vet disagrees with you, he/she studied dog nutrition in school & should be able to suggest some foods. If not, I'd find a new vet. Your dog's well being is the issue, not the vet's hurt feelings.
      Good luck.