Yep, I cook for my dogs and have for almost 11 years. Seriously, since we put our dogs on homemade gluten-free dog food, their overall health has visibly improved. Homemade dog food does cost more, but we are saving money with fewer trips to the vet.
I often get looks from people like I am crazy for cooking for our dogs. The looks are usually followed up with, “You certainly must love your dogs.” Yes I do love our dogs and all of our animals, including Charlie and Grace our cats!
After we lost our Hannah to cancer many years ago, I switched to homemade food for our dogs. When we rescued Marmalade (our 11-year-old Great Dane), she had the doggie version of Celiac disease. It was awful. She could not digest any processed dog food and was literally starving. Our vet recommended that I switch her to natural diet. We were told we would be lucky if Marms lived to be 6. Marmalade passed away one month shy of her 12th birthday. Yes, she had arthritis but on homemade dog food and natural supplements, we were able to keep her off of Rimadyl. Yay!!!
What makes up a balanced diet for a dog? There are four essential requirements:
- Protein in the form of animal meat, seafood, eggs and dairy.
- Fat in the form of meat or oil.
- Essential fatty acids found in plant oils and egg yolks.
- Calcium in dairy, bone meal and egg shells.
When I started making my dog food, I cooked all the meat. I just could not stomach the thought of feeding our dogs uncooked food. I don’t even eat sushi so why would I feed our dogs raw meat? I remember talking to a dog nutritionist who told me that I would eventually get our dogs on a raw diet. It was about a year or two later when I did just that. However, when Marmalade was in her senior years, she did not tolerate a raw diet so I cooked the meat instead of serving it to her raw. It takes me just over an hour to cook enough food to last four days.
Currently I feed ground turkey with cooked brown rice, fruit (blueberries, apples, bananas) and vegetables (canned pumpkin, canned green beans, and fresh cooked carrots). I will use canned carrots if I am in a hurry or out of fresh. Since ground turkey is low in fat, I add in a stick of unsalted butter or avocado oil to the rice while it is cooking. Both are great sources of fat! In the mornings, each dog gets one raw egg mixed up in their food. (I know it sounds gross but they love it.) The shells are a great source of calcium.
The size of your dog will depend on how long this homemade dog food recipe will last. If you are feeding a tiny guy, it’s going to last quite awhile. When I was feeding our Great Dane and Golden Retriever, the food lasted about four days. Buck, who is 60 pounds, eats three cups a day and the food lasts for 12 days. The above recipe lasts me about four days. I keep a batch of this gluten-free dog food in the freezer so I always have food on hand.Print
Made with ground turkey, fruit, vegetables and brown rice, your dogs will love this gluten-free dog food.
- 5 pounds of ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken), cooked
- 10 cups brown rice, uncooked
- 20 cups liquid (chicken broth, vegetable broth, water)
- 8 ounces of beef liver, cooked
- 1 pound carrots, cooked or 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen carrots, or 2 cans of carrots
- 2 cans green beans
- 1 large can pumpkin
- 1 cup blueberries, or chopped peeled apple, or 1 banana sliced
- 1 stick unsalted butter, or 5 Tablespoons of avocado oil
- 5 teaspoons bone meal, optional
- In large stock pot, bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in the rice and butter. Lower temperature to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
- In large pot, bring carrots (raw or frozen), water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft. Remove from heat and drain.
- In a large skillet, cook ground meat (including beef liver) until done. Do not drain.
- Mix all ingredients together in a very large container. and refrigerate.
Do not cook canned carrots or green beans.
If you are supplementing their daily diet with raw, meaty bones eliminate the bone meal.
Mix one raw egg in their breakfast food.
Our dogs love eating their gluten-free dog food! I hope your pets do as well!
You might also enjoy 3 Reasons to Feed Your Dog A Natural Diet.
Be sure not to miss Why I Cook For My Dogs.