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How to make homemade dog food

Home made dogfoodRemember Mark's bean sprout experiment?  I was intrigued by the idea of feeding beans to Lucy too, but wanted to get a bit more information before I headed straight into the world of dog cookery.  So I ordered Earl Mindell's Nutrition & Health for Dogs through interlibrary loan --- yesterday it arrived and I tried out Lucy's first home made meal.

The result?  Lucy was head over heels in love with her dinner of overcooked oatmeal, raw ground turkey, blended sweet potatoes and mustard greens, and raw egg.  She continued licking the bowl long after it was bare. 

Here is the basic formula for home made dog food:  (Note that some sources say that the meat component should add up to 25% rather than 50%.  There's also debate about raw vs. cooked.)

  • 25% raw organ meat (or plain meat if you can't come across kidneys, livers, and hearts)
  • 25% raw muscle meat (aka plain meat)
  • 25% grains (cooked more than we'd usually cook them.  Suggestions are brown rice, oats, buckwheat, barley, grits, amaranth, whole wheat couscous, or quinoa)
  • 25% raw vegetables (grate them or blend them in the food processor.  The best veggies are leafy greens and red, orange, or yellow veggies.)

Lucy enjoys home made dog food.The book recommends adding a multi-vitamin, but after looking over their list of required dog vitamins, I discovered that every one is found in leafy green veggies and/or eggs --- both of which we have in profusion.  So I'll probably just add a pinch of salt to Lucy's food now and then and see how she does.

As for what not to feed your dog --- check out this list.  Basically, leave out the onions, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, grapes, raisins, nuts, and avocados (and, of course, chocolate.)

Now that we've figured out the basics, I'm curious to see whether we can replace some of the meat with cooked or sprouted beans.  We tend to buy lots of last-chance ground chicken and turkey pretty cheap, but even so it would probably cost about a dollar a day to feed Lucy the recommended meat amount.  Stay tuned for further details!



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