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Cheap Home Cooked Dog Food Recipes

Updated on September 8, 2012
My wolfdog, Dezzy
My wolfdog, Dezzy | Source

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My wolf hybrid dog
My wolf hybrid dog | Source

Recipes For Dog Homemade Food

So, you have decided to try and make food for your dog at home and do not know where to start. Putting together something for them is the easy part, especially if your dog is not a picky eater, but there are a few things to consider as well before you get started.

What is important to remember when deciding to make your own home cooked dog food is that whatever recipe you use still provides all the necessary nutrients for your dog. Making sure they have a balanced diet with enough protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and some fat is essential. Do not get caught up on thinking of what ingredients need to come together, just focus more on what nutrients they need instead since that is the most important thing of all.

Please note that vegetables and carbs aren't necessary components to a dog's diet. Dogs can get enough with just the right amount of protein and fat. Vegetables are only added as a way of providing phytochemicals to prevent some chronic diseases.

The cheapest part of good home made dog food is the carbs. These are usually rice, potatoes, or pasta and not only provide your dog with energy but they also give them some essential amino acids and fatty acids. The most expensive part, of course, is the protein, which commonly comes from lamb, chicken, or beef. Vegetables are a great thing to add as well, if you so desire. Just be careful. Avoid onions, too much garlic, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate (or any candy in general), walnuts, mushrooms, moldy foods, yeast dough, mustard seeds, and raw meat, which can be toxic or can expose your dog to salmonella and E. coli.

You may be surprised to learn that homemade dog food is not always reliable when it comes to providing your dog with all of the nutrients they need. This is why supplementation may be necessary in order to make sure your dog is getting all they need out of their diet so consult a vet to make sure they get what they need to keep healthy. The most common deficiency in home cooked dog food is calcium, as well as magnesium, zinc, and iron.

No matter what, making dog food at home is going to be more expensive than buying some at the store. It is also time consuming, which sometimes leads to the owner making adjustments over time that are not always the best choices for their dog. If you find a recipe that works, keep using it without making changes and be aware that the bigger the dog, the more money and time it will cost you. Also, make sure you have enough time set aside to do this and do not just rush through it.

One benefit of home made dog food is that it is fresh. However, this is also a disadvantage because it means that it has a much shorter shelf life than store bought food. For small dogs, freezing the food is possible and recommended until it is time for them to eat it but for larger dogs refrigeration is recommended, since it is much more likely for them to go through the food faster.

© 2012 Lisa


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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      I misunderstood, Lisa. I didn't realize she was getting commercial pet food as well. At least you're giving Dezzy good stuff. Some folks think pretzels and beer are fine!

      Does any of Dezzy's wild heritage manifest itself in her behavior? I know a guy who had a hybrid that was very protective of him and his wife. Even a handshake would bring an aggressive response. I think he lived to age 13 or 14.

    • LisaKoski profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from WA

      I understand where you're coming from but what I made her isn't a regular thing. Like I mentioned in the article, I just had some extra chicken I needed to get rid of. She normally gets food I buy her at the pet store for a considerable price so she definitely gets what she needs, just in this instance I put something together for her real quick then wondered about home cooked dog food so I decided to do a little research and then write about it. Thanks for reading!

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Your advice in the second paragraph, to make sure the diet is complete and balanced, is admirable but I'm not sure if the recipe you suggested complies.

      Complete means that the dog gets all the nutrients necessary for optimum health; balanced means that all of those nutrients are in proper proportion to each other, and that's a pretty sophisticated balancing act.

      Wouldn't it be better to follow home-cooked recipes from Board Certified animal nutritionists? That way you'd be certain that a proper vitamin/mineral package supports the protein, fat and fiber that's being provided.

      Dezzy is a handsome animal! Wolf hybrids are illegal in MA, too.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Love the hub. Heck this is a great start for chicken soup. Hope your dog enjoys.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      That looks good enough to serve my hubby. Wow, wolf hybrids are legal? They sure aren't in Alaska and it's a shame, I think they are beautiful creatures. Great hub, voted up and more! :)

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      This hub has some really good information for dog owners. I prefer to cook for my dog because most kibble-type dog food is just corn and byproduct, anyway. I don't eat a lot of processed foods, so I don't feel right feeding them to my dog either. Voted up.

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      We had to cook for one of our dogs when he was going through chemo. I usually give them chicken and broth when I cook a whole hen. I voted up.