Homemade Dog Food

By May 28, 2015

Homemade DOG Food submitted by Anita W.

1 1/3 cup brown rice
1/4 cup green lentils
1 large potato, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
handful of kale or chard stems or several whole leaves, chopped several sprigs of parsley, chopped or 1 cube frozen
1/2 tsp salt, preferably sea salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 1/2 cups water
1 chicken leg quarter
optional: 1 chicken liver or other giblet

Combine all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot, laying the chicken on top.
Seal and cook on high pressure for 23 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.
Pull the chicken from the bone and mix it back into the cooked rice. Refrigerate.

Serving size depends on the nutrition requirements of your dog. I feed this as one of 2 meals daily to my black lab and it makes about 5 servings. At nearly 15 years old she is still extremely healthy and I credit that in part to this quality food.

I buy chicken quarters in a 10 pound bag and freeze the pieces individually. It can be added frozen to the pressure cooker.

When fresh parsley is abundant I chop it, pack it in ice cube trays and top them with a bit of water before freezing. I have frozen parsley cubes to add all winter.

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Comments

24 Responses to “Homemade Dog Food”

  1. Merry says:

    There is a great amount of evidence that dogs and cats DON’T NEED starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes. Go here for some articles to shed light on this topic. http://truthaboutpetfood.com/?s=carbohydrates&submit=Search Dogs do not have amylase to break them down as we do and they just turn to sugar in the body, creating problems with a dog’s natural yeast balance. Our dogs had persistent problems with their ears and we discovered that it was the kibble/wet food starch ingredients that was promoting yeasty ears, etc. My goal will be to either make my own carb/grain free dog and cat food with the aid of info found at mercola.pets or go to raw feeding which is an amazing way to give your pet the optimum species specific diet!

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  2. Jodie says:

    Just an FYI – Cooked chicken bones are dangerous for your dogs. They can splinter and lead to painful cuts to the mouth and gums, or, worse, can lead to choking, internal injuries, & punctured organs.

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    Lynda Neal Reply:

    Baked or roasted chicken bones are dangerous. But cooking them in a pressure cooker turns them into paste! You get all the nutrients and taste – nothing goes to waste!

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    Gwyn Reply:

    How long to you cook the chicken with bones to get them to turn to paste? I have been making this but pulling the meat from the bones after cooking because the bones are still solid. I would love to cook the bones long enough so that they can be part of the mix.

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    Lynda Neal Reply:

    My basic recipe:
    4 to 5 lbs of drumsticks (I but them on sale and freeze)
    6 cups of water.
    Pressure cook for 20 mins (chicken button)
    Remove the meat – skin joints and bones (drumsticks have 2 – don’t forget the tiny one!), back in the pressure cooker with all the liquid for 90 mins. Mash the skin, joints and bones releasing all of the marrow. Cook for another 90 mins. Mash again. Any small pieces remaining will be very soft and pliable.
    Add 3 cups of brown rice, (or quinoa, barley, maybe add some lentils or beans – whatever)
    2 large unpeeled sweet potatoes – or 4 big carrots large diced.
    1/2 a small container of chicken hearts, livers, or gizzards. Freeze the remainder.
    Cook 15 mins ish. (brown rice takes longer than white.) Then I mix in add half a bag of frozen green beans – or peas to the hot mixture and just let it cool in the pot. Once it is relatively cool I transfer the food to wide mouth quart mason jars and freeze. One quart lasts my 10 week old German Shepherd puppy about 2 days or so. I mix with a little bit of Kirkland Natures Domain puppy kibble. Once a week (we have had Xena for 3 weeks now) I feed her a meal of kibble mixed with one raw egg and a meal of kibble mixed with 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt. Xena loves her homemade diet. She hated the canned and dry food she was eating before. Her poop is firmish, and smells kind of sweet! Good luck:)

    Lynda Neal Reply:

    Of course I forgot, mix all the chicken back into the bone/rice/veggie mixture . . . Then pack into mason jars!

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    Amanda Reply:

    In the first paragraph of directions, it says to pull the chicken meat from the bones…

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    Teri M. Reply:

    I knew a lady who cooked the chicken bones for hours until they were soft enough for her to eat. They actually got mushy! not at all able to splinter. She ate them for the natural calcium.

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  3. Laurie says:

    I followed the recipe, but 23 minutes was not enough to get all the ingredients soft enough for my elderly chihuahuas (12 and 16) with dental issues. I even cooked it for an additional 10 minutes with NR… The carrots were still hard in the middle, the chicken was not soft and easily shredded. The dogs sure liked it, but I had to do a bunch of mashing at mealtime.

    This next batch has 2.5 lbs chicken, 2 cups rice, 3 fresh carrots, 1 sweet potato, 14 oz frozen peas, 14 oz frozen green beans, 1/4 cup each of oats and flax meal, 3 cups water for 60 minutes.

    Wish me luck!

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    Gwyn Reply:

    I cook the chicken in water for 20 min or so (depends on how much and what parts of the chicken) then take the meat off and cook the bones more, 2 rounds at 90 min each often, until the bones crumble and mash up. Then I cook the grains and vegetables in the broth with the crumbled bodes, there are remnants like sand, the length of time for that is dependant on what grains I use and how soft I want everything. I cook on the longer side because our dog is old too (18) and I prefer to give it to her soft. I sometimes even mash everything up a bit again after cooking and before putting the chicken meat back in but you can control how soft the carrots and other vegetables are can be controlled by how small you cut them up as well as how long you cook them.

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  4. Claire says:

    Is it okay to mix in the chicken skin and fat as well?

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    My dogs shiny coat says yes! Reply:

    Xena will be 6 months old tomorrow. Her coat is so shiny – I get so many comments from other GSD parents at their weeekly playdate. I can visualy compare to others – and frankly – there is no comparison:) The other fur parents feed with dry food, or dry food supplemented with canned food. Xena has no dandruff, rarely any itching or scratching. I say yes to fat! BTW – Xena and none of her GSD friends eat a raw diet – I wonder about that. I am just concerned with contamination. I don’t have a source for raw bones that I trust otherwise I would give it a try. Good luck!

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  5. Michelle says:

    I have a 13 lb maltipoo. Any suggestions on portion size /day?

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    Gwyn Reply:

    This just came to my inbox but I see here is dated over a year ago. Not sure if that’s because you are still looking for an answer and sorry to say I don’t have an exact one but have always used the rule of thumb, give her what she will eat in a sitting. So I would start with about the same amount you have been giving of other food and if she finishes it looking for more as soon as you put it down give her (or him) a little more the next time. You will figure out how much is right. Now that said amounts may change based on various things so it isn’t carved in stone, for instance when ours was more active she ate much more but she never had an eating/weight problem so of course if that’s an issue you would need to compensate. Hope that helps a little.

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  6. Mark says:

    I’m assuming the chicken is boneless?

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    meri Reply:

    Not necessary. Dogs need a lot of calcium and minerals. I pressure cook a whole chicken with sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach or whatever veggies I have lying around. When it is done cooking the bones crumble apart in my fingers, I can break the large bones easily in my bare fingers and they don’t splinter. I also toss in giblets and livers occasionally. I add instant rice to the broth. ten pounds of chicken legs, assorted vegetables, 2 pounds of giblets, and a pound of chicken livers will feed three 70 – 100 pound dogs for 4 days or so.

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    meri Reply:

    My oldest Bouvier is almost 14, in a breed with a 12 year life expectancy he is doing well. He has arthritis and has slowed down. I give him tumeric and fish oil supplements.

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    Gwyn Reply:

    Thank you for this input. Our 17yr old Aussie/Beagle mix has a heart condition that’s been catching up with her and robbing her body muscle and fat among other things so we have been trying to add weight as well as minimise salt per cardiologist’s (yes dog’s have them too) recomendations. It’s a hard balance with the meds because they can take away her appetite and she was never an over abundant eater anyway. Her favorite treats have always been carrots, healthy girl. Anyway as much as I have always resisted table food and scraps for her, with the change in diet I have been looking into making food for her myself. Not as easy as dried but hopefully more appetizing and the ability to control the salt (add none) is huge since sodium content is so hard to get from commercial foods. I haven’t had the bones disintegrate in the pressure cooker yet the way you describe but I haven’t made chicken just for her yet either, maybe adding a little ACV will help get some of those nutrients out? Do you add black pepper to help absorption of the Turmeric and how are you giving the fish oils? Again they have been “prescribed” at higher doses by the Dr and I have been giving a big gel cap inside a pill pocket thing but I’m not sure she’s enjoying that and I worry she might stop taking them. So inspirational to hear how well your Bouvier is doing! Thank you!

    Ronnie Reply:

    I make bone broth for my dogs and have wondered about the super soft bones. I have blended them up in the blender and added them back in. It was interesting to see a post about using soft cooked bones….(CRUSHED):-)

    If you see this….can you post the times you PC the food? I am new to pressure cooking but have been feeding raw and cooked (when my older dog was alive:-(.

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    Gwyn Reply:

    I’ve been following the process someone posted in above comments using chicken bones. When using parts I PC 30-40 min whole in 6 cups water, then remove meat putting bones and cartilage back in the pot of now broth, PC that 90 min remove op and mash bones with a potato masher to break them up more, cook another 90min. At that point after mashing again I will often put it through a strainer or just put gloved hands in there (when it cools) to make sure nothing larger is left, if it is I can usually crush it in my fingers. That’s just me being overly cautious for a very old dog though (18) it is a little sandy but not dangerous to eat. Then I add the other stuff, lentils, Barley, rice, flax…vegetables and turmeric or whatever else you want then PC that 15-30 min depending on what you’ve added (cook for longest cooking item) I can’t really over cook it for her now, I prefer it all be soft but leaving some stuff firmer is fine too. Then I mix the chicken meat back in and store. It’s not an exact science and you will get to know how you like it. It’s cooking the bones down to nothing that takes the time and if I’ve used a whole carcass or larger bones that take longer I might give it another round of cooking before adding the rest of the ingredients. Hope that helps but look back through the comments a woman posted a great recipe which is what I follow with various tweaks depending on what I have.

  7. Florence banuchi says:

    T hank you for recipe .I have a yellow lab on all raw veggies n beef. Since dieT he lost 34 lbs.he is eneginic n healthy. Also on blk seed oil n turamic powder.to help with seisures

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  8. Bonnie says:

    I would swap out the regular potato for carrots, better for dogs.

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    Dee Dee Reply:

    I agree on using the carrot in place of the white potato. Squash or pumpkin would work nicely too.

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    Gwyn Reply:

    Oh, pumpkin is a great idea! I have read that pumpkin is really good for them and I think recommended when they are having digestion issues or need bland diet for some reason, along with or in place of (can’t remember) rice in chicken broth.

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