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Have you seen all the scary major dog food brand recalls?! There have been so many that it started to spook me out and pushed me to finally start changing to homemade dog food. Read on to learn what to use and how to make the switch easily!
Raw Food – Is It Right for Your Dog?
Raw feeding is a more primal type of feeding, where dogs are provided with raw meat, uncooked bones, organs, plus fruits & veggies.
I thought about switching Roxy & Rico to a raw food diet, but Rico is a struggle eater. For a pup that was living on the streets of Puerto Rico, you’d think he’d eat pretty much anything. Granted, he was very young when we found him, but man. This kid has been known to spend 15 minutes trying to eat a single goldfish cracker! He’s an extremely picky, painfully slow eater, so I decided to try cooking meals for them instead. Plus, he has a very high metabolism and if he’s fed too little, or he eats dinner too early, he tends to get a bit pukey early the next morning. My main goal is to provide the best food possible and try to resolve his tummy issues.
Is It Truly Easy To Make Dog Food?
YES!! It was surprisingly simple to make their dog food, and way less expensive than I thought it would be! The reason I’m calling this an Un-Recipe is because it’s easy and SUPER adaptable and doesn’t follow a traditional recipe. I used Balance IT, which is a wonderful resource to give TONS of ideas of what you can add in or subsitute.
Dog Food Un-Recipe
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts (about 3 large breasts)
- 1 cup rice (I used white as it’s gentle on the tummy)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 large sweet potato
- Bag of frozen peas & carrots
- Bag of frozen spinach
Place chicken breasts in Instant Pot with 1 cup low sodium chicken broth. Press Manual button to 6 minutes, and let natural release. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this can be done in a Crock-Pot or oven/stove. Shred up the chicken, either with forks, or I use my trusty KitchenAid mixer. I just put the paddle attachment on and let it do the work for me! Set aside and cut the sweet potato. I cut it in half and cooked it in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes, then let cool. Dice up the sweet potato into small bites. Add 1 cup rice to the chicken broth still in the Instant Pot.
You can also get creative here and add flaxseed or sorghum grain. Flaxseed is great source of fiber and boosts cardiovascular health, plus it’s been shown to have benefits against cancer. Sorghum is gluten-free, so if your pup has gluten allergies, this may be a great option! Here’s a terrific article from Animal Bliss explaining the benefits: Are Sorghum and Flaxseed Good for My Dog? I added one tablespoon of each with the rice.
Pour in the bags of spinach and frozen peas & carrots. If you want, you can substitute/add broccoli, brussel sprouts, okra, or green beans; just adjust the water levels as needed. Stir and add another cup of water, then cook it all on manual for 10 minutes. Let natural release, and then mix in the shredded chicken. From here you can decide whether to add a bit more water if it appears dry, or cook a bit longer if it’s still pretty soggy. You can also add hard boiled eggs if you’d like. I also added sprinkle of crushed egg shells before serving, along with diatomaceous earth, to boost their calcium intake and add lots of other health benefits!
Serve to your pup and watch them scarf it down! This made just over 5 pounds of food, and all the ingredients only cost me $12. I also bought a bag of Freshpet® Select Tender Chicken with Crisp Carrots & Leafy Spinach Dog Food to compare. That bag cost $22 for 5.5lbs, so I saved quite a bit!
The ultimate test was when I put a bit of both in their bowls. Both Roxy & Rico went for the homemade food first before going to the Freshpet food, which they do love. I consider that a win! Plus, with that amount, I was able to seal portions with my Foodsaver and freeze for later. I had purchased some organ meat to add, buuuut Roxy DID NOT LIKE. Honestly, I totally forgot to add it to the food until the next day, so I tried serving some raw mixed in, and when she picked around it, I tried cooking it and adding it to the next meal. It was still a no-go for Rox, who we affectionately call garbage gut because she NEVER refuses food. Shockingly, Ri was fine with it!
Overall, cooking their food was way easier than I expected, and they both loved it much more than their processed food. I’m definitely going to continue with this, and encourage you to give it a shot! You may be surprised by how easy it is, and how much better you feel knowing where the ingredients come from.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
I recommend discussing the amount to feed your dog with your vet. Transition your dog’s food slowly over the course of a week or two so you avoid any potential stomach issues. Roxy and Rico are both right around 50 pounds so I give them a ½ cup of their dry dog food and ½ cup of homemade dog food while we’re transitioning. Once they’re fully switched over, I’ll judge the amount of food based on how hungry they are.