If you have been scouring the Internet for a good homemade dog food recipe, I thought it might useful to share a simple set of core ingredients that you can use to create a wide variety of delicious homemade dog food recipes.
A Few Core Convictions
I am a firm believer in two things:
1) It is better to teach principles than specifics This belief is best captured by the adage, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
As an example, when a person learns the principles of cooking, they can easily improvise for specific meals based on the ingredients, equipment and desire that they may have at any particular moment. The same holds true for learning the principles of a good homemade dog food recipe.
2) I believe you have what it takes to control your dog’s nutrition The pet food industry has done you, the dog owner, a great disservice by making you feel as if only chemists and nutrition doctors truly understand what is best for your dog.
Nonsense! I believe you have everything it takes (love and motivation) to experiment and create your own delicious and nutritious recipes for your dog, recipes that are far more nutritious than the pablum that is served in most doggy bowls today.
Homemade Dog Food Recipe Principles
Thus, without further ado, here is the anatomy of a good homemade dog food recipe:
1) Begin with animal meat of some kind
This can be beef, chicken, turkey or lamb ground up or served in chunks. If you wish to serve ground meat you can purchase whole and use the excellent Maverick Meat Grinder to prepare ground meat.
In addition to these meats, you can feed fish (fillets) or even wild game such as rabbit, elk, venison, etc. (50% of your recipe should consist of one of these ingredients)
2) Add in organ meat of some kind
This can include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or pork liver as well as beef or lamb kidney. (10% of your recipe should include one of these ingredients)
3) Add other fresh ingredients.
Add in either eggs, yogurt or cottage cheese. (15% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)
4) Add a vegetable of some kind
This can include broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, cabbage or cauliflower.
NOTE: Vegetables must be mashed or puréed in a blender. (25% of your recipe can include one of these ingredients)
5) Supplement every meal with calcium.
If you are not feeding raw meaty bones to your dog, which contain calcium, you must provide a supplement in your meals. (You can add ½ pound teaspoon of ground eggshell to every pound of food.)
Finally, feed once or twice a day (these would be ½ portions) at about 2-3% of your dog’s body weight. For a 100 lbs. dog, this would be 2-3 pounds of food per day or 1 to 1 ½ pounds of food per meal if feeding twice a day.
And there you have it. Mix and match these various ingredients in the right amounts and your dog will receive great nutrition as well as healthy, homemade, delicious recipes.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients altogether.
Feeding your pet a diet of homemade recipes allows for great flexibility as well as variety!