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Problem number one - I have two large dogs and they sure can consume a lot of dog food!
Problem number two - like any dog owner, I like to treat my dogs, but I don't want them to gain too much weight or start helping themselves when I'm not looking.
How have I resolved these two issues? I have started to make some of my own dog food, well, adding to their food, actually. I frequently use my crock pot to make meals and that same crock pot leaves behind yummy smelling liquid. Sometimes, I use this to flavor rice or make a gravy for biscuits. Other times, I use some of this to add nutrition and flavor to my dog's meals. I'll add leftover rice or potato or some stale bread to this broth. By adding this to my dogs' bowls, along with their regular food, I am stretching the food, I reduce my food waste, increase the nutrition of their food, and give them a yummy treat that isn't being given off of our plates.
I have also been known to add leftover bits of pasta, broccoli, carrots, and apple. None of these bits would be usable for us humans, but are a nice bonus for my pets. I should add, it makes me very popular, too!
By firedogemb from CT
Have just become a member, great site, lots of useful stuff! I noticed someone asking about dog food recipes; and I make a dry food for my Border Collie, 2 Chihuahuas, and 1 Papillon.
Grate a range of veggies to make about 2 cups: potato, carrot, or pumpkin (don't use onion). Mix in 1 lb (1/2kg) of minced beef, chicken, turkey, 2 eggs, and about 1/2 cup good plain yoghurt. Blend thoroughly and add enough plain flour to make the mix 'rollable'.
Press into scone trays or similar, score the top with a knife into the size pieces you want (little pieces for small dogs, larger for your big guys) and bake in a slow oven until the biscuit is quite dry.
I find the dogs just love them, they contain all the goodies they need and are also very handy for traveling. I actually add a few capsules of fish oil and empty capsules of glucosamine into my mix as my Collie gets arthritis. It helps her tremendously and certainly does no harm to my other babies either! Just break up the pieces when cooked and cool and store in airtight containers. Get a few trays done and freeze some also.
By Vicki K from Australia
This recipe was fed to my dog on occasion when he was at the veterinary hospital following back surgery.
Mix and place in 2 large or 3 small loaf pans. Bake 350 degrees F for one hour or longer, depending on your oven. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
Turn out on cutting board and cool completely in order to slice well. Slice and put in containers to freeze.
It is easier to mix ingredients if you puree beans, stock, eggs, garlic, salt, Worcestershire sauce and veggies before adding remaining ingredients
By Betty from Lubbock, TX
My dog was out of his dog food so I fried up some ground beef and ground chicken. After washing and draining it in a colander to get some of the grease off, I put it back in the skillet and added turnip greens, cooked rice, and a squirt of Worcester sauce. It was a little dry so I added the liquid from broccoli I'd cooked. He loved it and begged for more.
I learned a year or so ago that many overweight dogs will eat green beans. Substituting generous amounts of them in your dog's bowl for higher-calorie ingredients is a way to fill him/her up without adding fat.
I used canned green beans (whatever "cut" is cheaper). If I can get "no salt" green beans economically, I use them; otherwise, I just rinse whatever kind I have.
I prepare several days worth at a time, and I use a stick blender to puree them slightly. I have also used a potato masher successfully.
I started my mini Rat Terrier, Sarge, on a teaspoon a day, and gradually went up until he overcame his suspicion of them. He is now eating over 1/2 cup per day, and LOVING them. When I am opening the cans and pureeing his "gee-bees" (that's what we call them so the little brainiac won't know they're vegetables), he is begging for them.
I think Sarge would have lost some weight by now if I hadn't been sharing portions of my snacks with him. Unfortunately, we have both gained, but that's MY fault.
By Jayni from Richmond, TX
When I peel my veggies, I microwave the skins and any good parts, in microwaveable bowl. Use just enough water to cook thoroughly.
To them, I add a small amount of olive oil or cooked fat from meat, for a shiny coat.
I then pour it over the dry pet food and mix together. If it makes a large batch, put in sealable bag, save in refrigerator and use it for next meals.
Caution: don't use too much liquid or it will make dry food soggy. Make sure it is cool before serving to your pet!
Pets love it and it is "Umm Umm Good for them."
Editor's Note: This post originally suggested adding garlic. Feeding garlic to dogs and cats is prohibited by most vets but endorsed by some. Please discuss this issue with your pet's healthcare provider.
What is good enough for the queen's dog is good enough for my pug.
Our Pug was suffering from very bad skin allergies. It was so bad that there were raw patches in her skin. So we took her to the vet and they took care of the symptoms, but not the source.
Well, I heard that certain dog foods causes allergic reactions, and that is when I started making my own food for our Pug.
I buy a 5-lb bag of chicken legs with the thighs and drumsticks attached for about five dollars. I bone them, but then pressure cook the bones for about thirty minutes so that even if there are bones left, they are soft. I do leave the gristle and other chewable parts; she's a dog for heaven's sake! That does not mean I am careless and not pick out all the bones that I can find. I save the broth for soups and so forth.
I add 1 cup of cooked rice. I mix this with 1 cup of cooked cabbage and 1 cup of cooked carrots. I have used a can of mixed vegetables without trouble. If using the canned veggies, reserve the liquid to make everything easier to stir together. Otherwise, use 1 cup of the broth. I think this adds more protein for the animal.
The reason why I say that this is the food served to the royal dogs is because there was a TV special where the former chef to Queen Elisabeth II showed how he prepared the food for Her Majesty's Corgies. It was almost the same recipe with just livers substituted for the leftover meat on the bones. He actually added cabbage. Livers would probably be easier to use than boning the chicken; I just like making sure I have used everything to its fullest potential.
Our dog's allergies cleared up! Then we all remember about the tainted dog food from China.
Don't feed this to your dog while it is hot. My Pug is too comfort controlled to eat it hot, but my aunt gave in to her begging Boxer and then she had to clean up where he got sick. Her vet said it wasn't good to feed them homemade food. I think her doctor gets commission for every bag of canine products he sells.
I am not quitting. I save money and my dog is healthy. Healthy enough to run with royalty.
I think it is funny our Pug will even eat raw cabbage now. It is funny she doesn't like lettuce. And carrots have become one of her favorite snacks. They just need to be cut to the size of her mouth.
By Tim from Science Hill, KY
With money in short supply due to our economic times, the ones most likely to go without is our dogs. My tip is to buy a bag of cheap cornmeal and follow the directions for cornbread.
Add leftovers and at least 2 tablespoons of cooking grease or oil to it. Bake in 450 degree F oven in iron frying pan or large pan until golden brown.
As a little girl, I made 2 large pans of cornbread everyday and we had 4 large dogs. This is a very well balanced diet for dogs and cheaper than premade dog food.
Note: Do not feed your dogs or cats bones as they don't digest and slivers can harm your pets.
By fuzzytufts from Folkston, GA
I freeze frozen dinners made out of oatmeal and hamburger patties cooked with olive oil, for the dogs. So I can supplement their food about twice or three times a week, depending on what meat sales are on. The dog food we buy doesn't have meat as a first ingredient which is not good, so I supplement it myself.
Then I add about one dropper full of infant vitamins per big dog, a half dropper full of infant vitamins for medium dogs, and 1/4 dropper full for small dogs.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
I love to cook for my 2 beautiful poochies. Here is 1 of their all time love dinner recipes! Use 1 cup cooked boneless salmon, 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked carrot, 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked broccoli, 1/2 cup cooked green peas, 1 1/2 cup cooked long grain brown rice and 1/8 tsp of dried basil leaves.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix well. Separate into 2 equal servings. Pre-heat oven at 350 F, bake for 15-20 mins in your preferred shape (both my dogs love them in a heart shape). Let cool on rack and serve cool.
WARNING! Please allow the food to cool before serving. Happy munching for your loveable poochies!
**Mecole from Singapore
This is for dogs. It's a liver cake they will love.
Source: came from a breeder friend of ours.
By Chandra from Greenwood, NS
Editor's Note: This recipe contains garlic, which can be left out at your preference. Most veterinarians recommend avoiding garlic for dogs. There is a vocal minority that supports the health benefits of garlic and recommend it in small amounts. Please consult with your vet or other pet professional regarding garlic to make your own opinion. Also note that many pets have corn allergies, so you may wish to use a substitute for the corn meal.
When cooking a full chicken, hen, or turkey, remove the insides and save. Later when you have time, boil and save in fridge as a treat for your pet. Not too many people eat the heart, liver, and kidneys anyway, but your pets will.
By LRP from LWL, MA
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Here are questions related to Homemade Dog Food Recipes.
I want to put my Chihuahuas (I have 3 of them) on homemade food. I am looking for a recipe for homemade dog food for a healthier, leaner dog. I had them at a doggie daycare and they are getting too heavy for my liking. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
By J. Matheson
Can you please let me know of some grain free dog food that I can buy here in Australia? Thanks, Vicki59
Is there another cereal you can substitute for Total it's only available in the states and you need a binder besides oatmeal as well as flavor. I thought rolled Captain Crunch for calories, sugar, and flavor, but what do I know lol.
By Debbie T.
Are there any recipes using deer meat for a Lab mix with bladder stones? I have a Lab mix that has bladder stones. The vet has her on Hill's Prescription Diet C/D and she does not like it and its ingredients do not seem to be very healthy for her. I also have 2 Pitbull mix, 4 beagles mix, and 1 other mixed breed. I would like to start making their food using deer meat instead of beef. Are there any recipes for bladder stone prevention using deer meat?
By Michel J. from Statesville, NC
By Amy M.12/13/2013
My lab mix had a bladder stone that had to be removed, and we fed her salmon and sweet potatoes and anything that was by-product free and no grains, for the first year. She is absolutely healthy now, but I am still cautious though about what she eats.
Please assist me with a homemade vegetarian recipe for dog food to feed my 2 month old German Shepherd.
Your puppy needs protein (meat) in his diet as dogs are a carnivore. Your puppy will not be healthy eating that diet. Please call your veterinarian for advice on this diet.
I have a 3 month old Pit Bull. What type of food can my baby Pit eat if I run out of dog food?
By da kidd
In a pinch what you eat or cornbread or biscuits or light bread from the store. It is your pet and as long as you care for it and it doesn't go hungry then you can't go too far wrong except for candy and choc. Those will kill him/her.
We are making our own recipes for our dog. Will rice be OK as his basic food mixed with finely diced chicken or beef with just a little gravy?
Yes, it is okay to include rice in your dogs diet. I give my dog rice quite often and she loves it. If you look on dog food labels you will see they have added it to the food. Also it is very good for puppies a lot of puppy foods will say chicken and rice or some other meat but always include rice, brown or white I have only ever given white rice to my dogs, and they are thriving. Also my dog loves sweetcorn so when I open a can for my family I will pop some in my dogs meal she loves it.
I was watching your videos on how to make your own dog food, but unless I'm crazy, I didn't see anything about the types of vegetables to use in the dog food. Can you suggest what can be used? Thanks.
By Tess Vowels02/27/2012
I use sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, pinto beans... avoid onions. I also add fruit: apples, bananas, whatever is in season. I also add oatmeal, barley, brown rice, & wheat germ. Make a stew. My dog loves it! Sometimes, make a fish stew... dog & cats like.
I would like a homemade dog food recipe for my two dogs. Thanks.
I have been making my dog food like this:
I cook beef bones or chicken bones for a couple of hours in a large stock pot on low heat. When all bones have cooked down in the water it makes for a very nice broth, then I remove all the bones and add all the odds and ends of vegetables I've been cooking with all week (for ex. carrots, celery ends, potatoes with skins, green beans etc.)
I do not add any onions or garlic salt or pepper to this. I will also add a handful of lentils, quinoa, brown rice I may have leftover and a cup or 2 of rice to the broth and cook until all the veggies are soft. I have noticed that my dog doesn't take well any broth left on the "mush" so I try to leave it pretty dry.
I mix this with his regular dog food, I try to buy my dog a good dog food so he gets the necessary nutrition from the dog food that may be missing in the homemade food but I notice that I save a lot of dog food by supplementing with homemade food and my dog certainly likes it. I hope this helps.
It has certainly has helped me save some money on dog food, and I know what my dog is getting too. Oh and by the way I got this recipe from "the Hillbilly housewife"
I am making dog food with chicken, organic brown rice, and veggies from the garden. Is it OK to put beaten eggs in while I am cooking the rice, like "egg drop soup"? I freeze the food in canning jars. My dogs are large breed, 6 years and 3 years old. Thanks.
By Jennifer 03/31/2012
Yes, it is OK.
When including potatoes in homemade dog food, should skin be on or off?
By Lizzie M.
By vicki hood02/08/2012
I always soak the potatoes in a little vinegar water, then scrub them or even better is to scrub and then soak. Seems all growth mediums are being polluted by Monsanto poisons. I want as little poisons in my food as possible. My animals deserve the same.
There are certain nutrients in potato skins that are good for all of us, minus the poisons. Careful of your chicken ingredients. Latest chicken jerkey recall (Not all brands) for pets was a product of China and caused lots of dog deaths. Easy to Google dangers in dog foods like our own chicken is raised with arsenic to make them grow fat faster. Plant chemicals and poisons are nasty as well. Some can make you sick, some can make you and your pets fat faster, some can ruin your lands forever and your waters as well.
I used the 2 ends of an onion in a large pot of chicken stock that I was making for my dog. Would that amount (strained) harm my dog?
I just returned home from the vet, and she specifically said never to feed dogs onions, garlic, grapes, or chocolate. The same was said to my sister who visited the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center with her pup. From online reading, I have also learned that even onion or garlic powder can cause problems.
I want to make meatloaf for my elderly toy Poodle who is in reasonably good health. I considered putting grated carrots and brown rice with the ground chuck. What about cheese and perhaps tomato sauce?
Do you have a healthy recipe or are any of the ingredients I listed detrimental for my little, tiny Peanut?
Thank you for any input.
By Nancy E.
I use a pound of deer meat, fry it in the skillet and drain the low content of grease before adding a drained can of vegetables either chopped green beans, carrots or peas along with 3/4 cup of rice and additional water. If I use the beans, I wash the brine off them to remove salt. Salt should not be in their diet, nor onions, or darker vegetables such as spinach or broccoli.
Any leftovers are placed in a container with lid and stored in the frig for later. Can also add the extra to a new batch later. If you choose to use chicken or turkey, make sure the skin is removed from the meat before preparing; this part is not good for dogs. Because there is natural fat in chicken, I boil it in water and remove the grease content as it can make a dog vomit as my dogs are sensitive to chicken fat. You can make this into a meat loaf or as a casserole type skillet dish.
Also, my dogs enjoy a meat pizza for their birthdays. I used a can of biscuits rolled flat, cooked and drained ground beef or deer, boiled hot dogs to remove salt and fat and a thin spreading of low calorie cottage cheese sprinkled with a garden tomato diced.
Place the biscuit dough in a pizza pan, generously sprinkle the meat and sliced hotdogs over it and add other ingredients and bake. Cut into bite size pieces and serve warm. Leftovers can be heated in microwave with a wet paper towel placed on top to keep the bread moist.
I looked at recipes for my toy Poms, but many use corn flour and some fish. According to the breeders and vets corn and fish are bad for them. Where can I find proper recipes?
By heather inwood08/08/2011
Love your dogs. Beautiful.
My mini Schnauzer had to have a kidney stone removed. My vet recommended "Hills Prescription diet C/D. She hates this food, plus we have 4 more mini Schnauzers that we would like to feed the same thing. I am thinking about cooking for them. I need simple recipes that would be good for her and also healthy for the rest of my babies. Also do I need supplements to add to this?
By Schnauzers R Us from McKee, KY
Please check out this website. The web link for your Mini Schnauzers is: http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/Miniature_Schnauzer This website is wonderful! You can click on the top "Food", then click on "How to Choose a Health Dog Food", then at the bottom under "Related Videos" click on the one that says "How to make Healthy food for dogs". This website has a lot of different information for all breeds too. Good luck and God Bless!
*For Fonja you can go to this website as well & this one for skin problems and allergies:
I have a 13 1/2 year old black Lab with colitis. I can't afford the ID food from the vet anymore. What is a good home-made food for a 100 pound dog?
I/D food is the easy/more expensive alternative to hamburger and white rice. Cook up a big batch (do not fry), freeze it, and heat it up as needed. That way you aren't making it every night and you aren't spending a fortune on it in the store.
Malox can be used in dogs if he gets an upset belly. Try syringing 6 cc into his mouth when his tummy is a bit sour.
Vanilla yogurt is a great supplement and easy to digest. Maybe a cup before bedtime will help keep him on the right track. :)
I am looking for a homemade recipe for a dog that has pancreas problems. My dog is 15 years old and the food that the veterinarian gave me is not working for my dog. She is still sick some times. I would like to try a homemade recipe to see if I could make her feel better.
By Trudy from Nephi, UT
By Tommy S.01/29/2013
Black beans are great for dogs with pancreatic issues.
I need homemade dog food recipes that contain no sodium.
By Darleen from Dolgeville, NY
Not sure if you are still looking, but I have some dog treat recipes you can check out. I use oatmeal, wheat flour and molasses, and a few spices. Had to buy a book. leekelly245 AT gmail.com
Is white turkey meat OK for my little dog to eat?
By Monte from Fairfax, CA
As long as you remove the skin and bones from the meat prior to feeding your dog. There's something in the skin of turkey/chicken that is not good for the dogs and the bones are brittle and splintery.
I have a very sick little Chihuahua, she has heart problems. I have been told to change her diet to a no salt diet, I have planned to start making her food. Could anyone please provide me with some recipes for dog food with no salt. Thank you.
By Pocomookie from Innisfil, ON
This recipe comes from Hill's Pet Products:
Canine Low Sodium Diet
1/4 lb. ground round or other lean meat
2 cups cooked white rice NO SALT added to water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons dicalcium phosphate [health food store/ or Bone Meal]
Cook beef in skillet, retaining fat, stirring til lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Keep covered in refrigerator. Also add a balanced supplement which fulfills the canine MDR for all vitamins and trace minerals.
Protein: 6.3% Fat:5.5% Carbohydrates: 17.6%
Moisture: 68.5% Sodium: .01%
Body weight: Daily feeding
5 lbs - 1/3 lb.
10 lbs - 1/2 lb
20 lbs - -1 lb
40 lbs 1 3/4 lb
I have heard that it is not good for Yorkies to eat homemade dog food, made with meat and veggies? Aren't they better for the dog than most dog food? Considering how they make dog food and what they put in it. What is right? Can you please tell me.
(Submitted via email)
My dog is a picky eater and she loves homemade food. What should I do I have a yorkie. Sheila
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
The pet food recalls are making me freak out! Does anyone know how to make home made dog food? I LOVE my Dog, and am going crazy as to what to feed him. He is 2 years old, and is a small dog.
Homemade food recipe for my 7yrs old small yorkie dog? Who had surgery because of oxalate calculi stone and does not want to eat any of the dog food his vet doctor suggested to make homemade meals.
Jackie from stamford ct
With the recent pet feed recall, a lot of pet owners are nervous about giving store bought food to their dogs. Some readers have expressed an interest in recipes for making their own pet food. Do you have any homemade dog food recipes to share? Feel free to post them below.
This is a recipe I came up with for my dogs: Doggone Delicious Pumpkin Protein Shake
1. Stir the yogurt / kefir and pumpkin together in your dogs food bowl, until well blended.
2. Add your peanut butter and fruit / vegetables, stirring until they are evenly distributed throughout the mix.
Makes: 1 serving for a 5 - 20 pound dog.
I feed this to my toy and miniature poodles every 2 days, especially in the spring when they are most active.
Note: I freeze the canned pumpkin and kefir into serving sized cubes, and pull out the morning I intend to make this for my dogs. (05/01/2008)
Simmer a large (family pack) of chicken thighs with just enough water to cover. Cool. Remove chicken and clean meat off the bones. Save stock and chill.
I am looking for yummy recipes for my dog who has little interest in food right now. She's been put on Prozac recently and she's underweight already.
I'm looking for a homemade dog food recipe.
By Heather from Grand Rapids, MI
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.).
I need to make homemade dry and wet food for my Shih Tzu who I think is allergic to wheat or something in commercial food. Can anyone help with some recipes? I have lots of canned salmon and vegetables, but need to know how to bake it and recipes.
He looks so sad scratching and he does not have fleas. The vet says it is from contact dermatitis, but the shot did not help and the holistic food is so expensive.
By Susan from Hamilton, Ontario