I have 3 picky dachshunds. A 1 1/2 year old and two 6 month olds. I am looking for recipes that are healthy for them. They seem to prefer chicken and turkey. I would like to experiment with either lamb or liver. I see so many different recipes. I was wondering if anyone had any for chicken livers or gizzards?
Muriel from Tenaha, TX
I did a pretty good amount of research, and my boyfriend and I just tested out our new homemade recipe with his very picky wiener.
Here's what we did...
2 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in worked for us)
1 medium potato
about 1 cup raw veggies (we used broccoli and cauliflower, and I don't recommend anything starchy like peas or corn)
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon each olive and coconut oils
oatmeal, as needed to thicken
In a small slow cooker, we put in the potato, washed and chunked, not peeled, the veggies, and the chicken. If you have it, you could also add a small chunk of cabbage at this time-- our guy loves it. This cooks on high until the chicken is cooked through, about 2.5 hours.
When that's all finished, we turned off the slow cooker, removed the chicken, and used a potato masher to smash up the potatoes and vegetables in the cooking liquid. It looks a little fatty, but this is healthy for a dachshund's coat. Then we added dry instant oats a little at a time. After the oats absorb the moisture, the mix should be nearly thick enough that it could form into balls if you wanted to.
After cooling, we deboned the chicken and placed the meat (skin and all, because the boy tends to drop weight, but we'd discard the skin if he tended to get plump) in a blender with a little bit of water. You could use a food processor if you want chunkier meat, but we just blended because we planned to dirty the blender anyway.
Add that chicken mixture back into the veggie mixture, now would also be a good time if you wanted to incorporate some fresh or frozen veggies like small diced carrots or shredded zucchini.
Next, place the three whole eggs, shell and all, in the blender (this could be done in a food processor if you have a really good one that will be able to grind down the shells). The shells go in because they're a fantastic source of calcium and good for a dachshund's potentially problematic teeth. This may seem strange, but the more you blend, the less noticeable they become, and the texture comes out fine. Blend these as long as it takes not to see any remaining egg. If the egg shells settle to the bottom, you can toss a bit of oats or the chicken mixture into this as you blend to thicken it and keep them suspended. They should be nearly invisible until you look closely. We don't want any scratchy bits to be noticeable.
When all that is finished, stir in the eggs, the oils, and any other supplements you like to add. (Check with your vet on these-- if you're using this as a sole source of nourishment, you'll definitely need more vitamins in there. We feed him one serving or Royal Canin kibble a day, to get his other nutrients.)
All of this goes into a large loaf pan (or two small ones) and bakes at 350 until set. A 3-pound pan took us 1 hour 20 minutes.
As soon as we deboned the chicken, we weighed it, then we weighed veggies and starches as we added them to make sure the mixture was at least 50% meat before adding the eggs. If your dog will eat a more veggie-filled food, that's fine, but make sure you put in a spare egg for the additional protein.
Unless you have a severe weight issue on your hands, I recommend using dark meat, like thighs, rather than white chicken breast. If you're using a red meat instead, this is not an issue.
We cooled the loaf and cut it into pieces about large enough to last one week each, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and put them into a large freezer bag. We're freezing the whole batch, except one chunk at a time that we'll thaw in the fridge to last the week.
The reason for the potatoes and the oats is that we've read that rice, brown rice, and other grains aren't great for dachsies. If you prefer not to use potatoes, you could add more oats, or vice versa, or you could substitute another grain like corn or barley. I also saw a previous comment that broccoli isn't good for dogs-- because this batch makes so much, a cup of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) is a good idea (so many vitamins!), but I wouldn't recommend doing much more than half a cup to every pound of finished product. These vegetables can be hard for dog to digest in large quantities.
Sorry for the long post, but I hope that's helpful!
There are plenty of websites available and some where people provide their own recipes for their pets. After checking on the ASPCA, I learned what human food ingredients to avoid when making a healthy and safe recipe. Please check this out first for there are lots of foods one should avoid giving their pet (s). Here's their link.
Not only do I have two picky dachsies, I have one who is allergic to chicken, lamb, wheat, eggs, dairy and rice so we have to be careful what we feed him. We tried some vegetables but they hate green beans and peas but love pumpkin as long as it is not mixed in with their food.
We feed them a treat at night of raw venison and he eats a special food from Natural Balance called Fish and sweet potato. They also get a rare treat of duck jerky and once a day I try to give them a spoonful of pumpkin
I tried cooking for them but it really is difficult to cook for your pets and hard to find recipes that last. When I did try cooking for them I just did a Google search for "recipes for dogs" and I got a bunch of hits. Hope this helps.
Are you looking to feed raw? My dog has eaten raw since I got her and it's pretty simple as in no recipe required. It's more about ensureing they have a balance of nutrients. Mine loves chicken but not turkey and some people are saying turkey is not a good food for dogs because of something or other in it (don't know if it's the tryptophan or whatever, just that it can be bad for them and since mine won't eat it anyway I haven't pushed it). Anyway, I just give mine a raw chicken leg or thigh, bone and all and it's gone in no time. Other things she likes (and she is picky beyond belief) is canned salmon and tuna, beef in any form, and whatever I'm eating (which she doesn't always get). I won't feed her any grains, some people do, I don't.
As far as chicken livers or other organ foods, you really have to watch how much you give them at a time as they can be really rich (which means runny poo for some dogs).
There are lots of ways to feed whole foods. Some people buy the premixed sold at independent pet stores, some make their own, some are like me and just feed it whole. It's very much up to you and what you believe as dog diets have as many versions as people diets. Certainly being able to pull a thigh out of the fridge is fast and easy IMO. BTW, I would never cook her food (some people do) and you can never give a dog a cooked bone or they could be in trouble.
If you want to learn more you can do a search by 'raw diet' or 'barf diet' as there is a lot of info on the web. You can even find raw feeder forums which can link you to suppliers in your area for whatever you like. Do be warned, some sites are pretty yucky, so keep going until you find what appeals to you. Personally I can't do yucky which is why the premade foods are nice for some things.
BTW it is a little more expensive to feed whole foods but I have found it's very true that you make up for it in vet bills (or lack of). My vet didn't like the idea at all when I told him what this pup was eating but he's now on board and recommending the diet. His only complaint is in 4 years now he makes no money off my dog because she hasn't been in for illness or infections once.
My dachshund likes the liver as well. Then I was told nooo! That is bad for him because that where all the body process's the "ickey"s". Don't give it to him it's bad. I thought, how bad could it be there is a lot of dog food made with the liver, due to the vitamins and care for there joints, back.
Funny too, he like when I shred carrots up in it too. Not cut in little pieces. He is picky spits them out LOL! But shredded with a potato peeler adds like a sweetness and he also has good bowels. Good luck. They are so LOYAL aren't they!
I was told watch the livers due to the fat content as well. Use only one. I boil chicken or turkey in water. Keep some of the juices, add to the dry food because, don't forget, some of those have good nutritional value as far as vitamins. Mix a little of each and serve. LOVE IT!
Another is; I mix the meats with plain white steamed rice. Easy on stomach and don't forget to add a little veggies. (no broccoli. GAS! Not good for dogs any way!) Carrots are good.
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