I lost my job awhile back and money is very tight. I have 5 dogs all over 45 pounds (46, 47, 55, 59, and 65 lbs.). Out of necessity, I switched them to a cheaper brand of dog food, but I'm not happy with the result.
Is there any way I can make my own dog food without going broke? Right now, they are eating an inexpensive kibble with a little canned food mixed in. I supplement a little with dog-friendly table scraps (for instance, we all had split pea soup the other night). Thanks in advance for any help.
By Happy Dale from Austin, TX
Dogs are omnivores and scavengers, so I think variety is important in their diet. I also like having a basic raw recipe that I can alter according to what ingredients I have, or whatever is in season, or on sale. I use roughly half protein, 25% veggies, and 25% grain. Some claim dogs don't need grain, but if your dog is pregnant/lactating, or very athletic, you must give them carbs of some kind, and oats are the best carb for this purpose. Nothing in this recipe requires cooking, you only use one pot, and it is pretty quick, easy, and cheap. All ingredients can be found in your average grocery store.
In a huge pot or baking pan, combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, yogurt, green beans, eggs, yogurt, liver, and if you are using them, molasses and/or cider vinegar, these just provide trace minerals). Stir in the eggshell powder and the oats. The oats will absorb the liquid and create a mush. Then mix that mush with the ground beef. Done! Keep it in the freezer, and thaw the portions out before you feed them to your dog.
I feel raw is the best, but you could bake this meatloaf style, or make a stew out of it, and it will still be better and cheaper than the finest commercial kibble. If you have a coffee grinder, that makes crushing the eggshells simple and quick. Calcium is essential, so even if you don't want to grind eggshells (I just use them cause they're free) you must find another source of calcium, and add it at a half tsp per pound of food.
For the sake of variety, it's good to substitute the ground beef with different ground meats, the green beans and pumpkin with other green and orange veggies, and you can certainly use rice instead of oats, but the rice would need cooking.
Here is my dog Penny, she's about 11. If she had her way she'd live off a diet of roadkill and cat turds, but she will have to settle for my homemade food. (06/08/2010)
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