I’ve made comments before on this blog that I make my own dog food. Cris asked if I could share some recipes. Since I’ve gotten to the point where I kind go by memory, I’ll have to share the recipes as I actually make them so I can measure things out. The first is Aggie’s turkey, oatmeal and yam dog food that is probably one of her favorites…
First, there is a reason why I started making my dog’s food. It’s not like I was sitting around with an extra couple of hours every weekend twiddling my thumbs… One day I woke up to an alarming smell and thought that my septic tank was backing up in the house. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know exactly how awful and stressful this problem is. After detective work and a total sense of confusion I found that it was business as usual in my bathrooms. Long story short, it was Aggie. A trip to the vet taught me that it was store bought food that was causing this smell along with a whole lot of pain for my gal.
There are things to remember when making your own dog food:
- It is doesn’t have to be costly but it is time consuming. In order to save time, I try to make two big batches on a weekend. I store the food in gallon sized zipper freezer bags. Two batches will make 6 gallon sized bags and last Aggie about a week up to 2.5 weeks (she is a pretty big girl).
- You need to get your vet’s okay before taking this on. I spoke with my vet and was told that the best ratio to follow is quarters… Your recipe should be 25% protein, 25% veggies, 50% grain and/or starchy veggies. Too much veggies and your pup may experience some runny tummy troubles. Too much protein can cause the exact same problem. My vet said to watch your dog to see if they react negatively and change the ratio as needed.
- There are things that you must steer clear of incluing: onion, garlic, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, avocado, uncooked meat, chocolate, yeast, pork, milk, some nuts especially macadamia (among others). When making your own recipes be sure to reference either your vet or a trustworthy resource online or in print.
- A homemade diet can have insufficiencies in vitamin C, zinc, and calcium. The best answer is to purchase doggie vitamins and give them some plain yogurt regularly with their meals.
- While dogs may not care for veggies at first, they will grow to love them. Aggie is especially keen on raw apples (no seeds as they are toxic), raw carrots and any kind of raw squash as a special treat. We have some store bought dog treats that were left behind by my family and she gets them sometimes but I normally stick with veggies.
- Beware, my sister started making her dog’s food but quit because her husband and children were always eating it. This is food that anyone can and will eat not just dogs!
- Last of all, I’m not a vet, doggie dietician or anything like that. I’m simply a gal whose vet told her that store bought food was causing my dog’s incredible gas and causing her an intense amount of pain.
Let’s get it started. You will need:
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 pound of traditional oats (FYI the largest Wal-Mart brand tub is 2 pounds)
- 1 pound of peeled and sliced raw yams (about 3-4 small sized)
- 1 pound of raw squash – I used zuchinni squash (about 3 regular sized)
- 4 liters of water
- plain non-fat yogurt
- If you have a food scale, now is a good time to bust it out. I tend to just throw my veggies in a sack at the store but you can also weigh them in the produce scales when you buy them to save some hassle and unnecessary peeling and chopping of veggies.
- My stove was experiencing worse than normal light so I made a temporary set up for this one shot. Aggie always seems to know when the food I make is for her. I guess she decided to check in since this isn’t normally in the routine… This was hardly the best pic but it sure was the cutest!
- Pour 4 liters of water into a tall pot and add your raw turkey and yams. Place a wooden spoon over your pot to prevent boil over and place on your stovetop at medium high heat.
- Check on your pot often and when the potatoes become soft turn off the heat but leave on the burner. Pour in your oats and lay your squash on top.
- Let the pot sit for about 30 minutes or when the oats appear to have soaked up as much as they are going to. There should be very little liquid left. Since your squash was on top, it was mostly steamed and still has a lot of good nutrients for your pup.
You have two options when making your dog’s food. You can either cut up your meat and veggies into bite sized pieces and give the pot a stir when it is done, or you can toss it into a food processor to chop it all up together.
I’m not sure why, but Aggie tends to prefer it all mushed up so that is what I do, but it will save you a lot of elbow grease if you don’t take the food processor out at all!
The most important thing to a lot of you is going to be the cost. Here is the break down:
- $2.77 for ground turkey
- $1.59 for oats ($3.18 for 2 lbs – used 1)
- $2.18 for plain yogurt (won’t all be eaten by Aggie!)
- $0.88 for yams
- $0.97 for squash
Total – $8.39 for about 11 meals. (same amount will feed a small dog for much longer) Per Day – $0.76
Happy Hump Day! Be good to your furry ones and in the words of Bob Barker “Have your pets spayed or neutered”.