HomeMade Dog Food and Treats
When you have a dog as a pet they tend to be much more than that. Your dog is your companion and the one who loves you no matter what. Because of that you want to give your canine the best.
When it comes to the food you feed your dog there is a huge variety of brand names to choose from. You can give them hard food or the softer canned food. You can spend $.15 a can or $5.00 a can. But with the purchase of commercial dog food there exists a risk that many owners would not like to take.
What exactly is in the food you feed your dog? Do you really know what is in the product that you purchase at the store and serve up to your companion? Just like the ever popular hot dogs that children eat we would be disgusted to know the ingredients. Commercial dog food is comprised of meat including organ meat but there is so much more to it than that. There are tons of chemicals and preservatives that are used that in reality can be dangerous.
So what do you do? Making your own dog food and doggie treats could be just the answer.
Why Make Your Own Food?
There are several reasons that making your own dog food is the way to go.
- Purity of food - As I have already mentioned what goes into your dog's food could be a concern. Most of the people who make their own dog food do it out of a concern for their beloved pets diet. They have researched the products and come away alarmed at it all. The results is meticulously preparing their dog's food.
- Expense - Another reason to begin making your own dog food is the expense that adds up over time. If you chose a more expense brand due to implied better quality, you could spend $5-$10 a day on your dog. That adds up over time. In making your own food you can take ingredients that you already have on hand and share them with your pet.
- Going Green/Self Sufficiency - We are a wasteful society. So much we throw away and so much could be shared. Some begin making their homemade dog food to be more green and be more self sufficient. Why throw something away that could be used in a healthy way for your pet?
Amazingly you can easily make your own food for any of the above reasons and any others that you can come up with. It is not that expensive and your pet will be highly satisfied.
The Main Entree
So where do you begin? Your own kitchen.
From dinner last night, were there left overs? Don't throw them out. Use them in your dog food.
Did you go out to eat? Remember to always ask for a doggie bag even for scraps and pieces of fat. Whenever I eat a steak, I keep the gristle, the fat, and any that I just cannot eat and take it home for my pets (I do not eat any spicy food so my leftovers are perfect for them.)
Need more than the leftovers? Check out your local butcher. We go every Monday to a local butcher who gives us the "scraps" from the day's cuttings. For less than $6.00 we got a large bag of meat edging with a portion of fat on it. This is the part of the meat that the consumer will not purchase for their table. In truth, this meat looks great. We get pork, beef, and lamp. It varies depending on the business of the day. That large bag of meat lasts us about a week and a half with two dogs and two cats (yes, even my cats love the meal we serve up for them). Check your local butcher for what kind of deal you can get for the scraps.
The Homemade Recipe
- I begin by cutting up the meat in bite size portions. This can very based on the size and age of your pet.
- Some people prefer to give their pets raw meat. I have found that though they will eat it, my dogs prefer to have it cooked. I brown the meat if it is not already cooked (leftovers). I do not make sure that all meat is completely cooked. Just brown enough that the majority is not red is perfect.
- Cook the rice. Dogs need their carbohydrates. And rice fits the bill. Brown rice is supposed to be the preferred choice, but I have used both with success. I have also added dried bread that would normally have been thrown out.
- Once the meat is cooked, remove the meat only from the skillet or pot. Take some flour and sprinkle in the juice or drippings. Keep adding flour and/or water until a gravy like consistency has been achieved.
- If the meat was already cooked, take some bacon grease or any other juice/grease from previously cooked meat (I highly recommend saving this in a suitable container for just such a time) and place it in a skillet. Make the same gravy mixture using the grease.
- Vegetables are important in a dog's diet. If you have access to fresh vegetables, that is great. But that is not always the case. Fresh, frozen, or canned will work. Cut the vegetables in bite size pieces. Leftover veggies can work well, too, if they have not been too overly seasoned.
- Once all of this is done, mix the ingredients. The quantities of each can vary. Every now and then I add some fruit that is about to go bad and the dogs seem to love it. Be creative and see what they will gobble up.
- WARNING! There are some foods and seasonings dogs cannot have. I have found so many "experts" that contradict themselves in what they can and cannot have. I highly recommend that you talk to your vet to get the final word on it.
Don't Forget the Treats
Dogs love their treats. The great news is that these can be made at home, too. There are tons of recipes but in all honesty treats can be made simple and easy.
- The base of the treats are the same drippings and juices from the meat. Use it with flour and maybe some wheat germ to make a doughy mixture. Add some extremely small chopped up veggies if you like. Bits of meat are a great addition, too.
- Roll the mixture into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet.
- Flatten it with the back of a fork.
- Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown.
- Cool and serve.