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. It’s hard to believe she is 11. Her eyes are bright and she has a healthy coat. Yes, she has arthritis but on homemade dog food and supplements, we have been able to keep her off 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, since Marmalade is older, she does not tolerate a raw diet so I am back to cooking. It takes me just over an hour to cook enough food to last four days.
Currently I feed ground turkey with cooked rice, fruit (blueberries, apples, bananas) and vegetables (canned pumpkin, canned green beans, and fresh cooked carrots). Since ground turkey is low in fat, I add a stick of unsalted butter to the rice while it is cooking. The butter is a great source of fat! In the mornings, each dog gets one raw egg with shell mixed up in their food. (I know it sounds gross but they love it.) The shells are a great source of calcium. I include rice in their diet since both Marms and Buck seem to do best with it in there.
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. I am feeding a Great Dane and a Golden Retriever, for a total of 12 heaping cups a day. 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, fresh vegetables and rice, your dogs will love this gluten-free dog food.
- 5 pounds of ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken), cooked
- 10 cups white rice, uncooked
- 20 cups liquid (chicken broth, vegetable broth, water)
- 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 until done. Do not drain.
- Mix all ingredients together in a very large container. and refrigerate.
If using canned green beans or canned carrots do not cook.
If you are supplementing their daily diet with raw, meaty bones eliminate the bone meal
Mix in one raw egg, including the shell, to 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.