I make dog food myself at home for my pets. I do this for a few reasons; one being that it enables me to be in full control of the ingredients used and another is to endorse my sense of caregiving.
It is all too easy in the modern outsourced commodified world to believe that by buying a manufactured product ready to go you are doing the right thing over making it yourself because you are saving time, effort, mess that you are better using for... watching TV, facebooking, gaming?? I don't think so.
After some research (google searching and speaking with my Vet) I came up with the following basic recipe that I alter weekly with variation to ingredients.
1kg of minced meat (kangaroo, turkey, chicken, lamb - I rarely use beef. Have you ever seen a dog take down a cow?)
500g of frozen vegetables (I use diced broccoli and cauliflower stem, peas and carrot)
2 cups brown rice
Handful of blueberries
It is very important to be mindful about what is used in the dog food because some food items should never be fed to dogs like onions, garlic and cooked bones plus many more. If you are going to give making your own dog food a go, do some research like I did and don't just rely on what I have written down here as I am a car mechanic and not a Vet.
I will now take you through my process.
Cook the rice. I use a rice cooker and make it a wet cook. That is I add more water than normal in an attempt to cook a soggy rice.
I wash the rice to remove excess starches and debris with a strainer then transfer the rice into the cooker bowl and add water.
Now as the rice is cooking I start the frozen vegetables.
I shallow boil the frozen vegetables because I am going to blend them and the water together later on. The vegetables need to be covered with water and brought to boil for about 10 mins to really try and break down the veggies. Yes, you want over cooked mushy veggies.
Now the rice and veggies are cooking I can start the meet.
The meat is cooked over a low/medium heat as I want to preserve the meaty juices and to break up the mince into granules. Only at the end when the meat looks ready do I turn the heat up to full to help seal the meat and evaperate off the excess moisture.
Now the veggies and rice are ready to blend together.
Pouring the boiled vegetables and liquid into my blender jug.
Adding the rice.
I then blend the mixture until the veggies and rice have broken down into a fine slurry.
Now it's time to add the blueberries.
Just a small handful.
You will see the colour change from a bright yellow/orange to a grey/brown colour as the blueberries break up into the mixture.
This is when the whole mixture starts to look like bought canned dog food.
At this time the veggie/rice mixture should be freshly blended and still warm and should be ready to combine with the still warm mince meat. The veggie mixture just needs to be poured into the mince.
The mixture is then combined with a large spoon.
Once combined, it will be ready to transfer to a container.
I store the container in the fridge.
I have four dogs, 3 of them are around 5kgs and the other 10kgs. I feed one spoon scoop, which is about 100g or so, each to the little ones and a double serving to the larger of my dogs.
I still buy and use bought dog food however it has taken a back up roll now for when I choose not to make the dog food. I made the switch over 6 months ago and I have noticed better health in my dogs, smoother coats, stabilised weight and healthy energy levels.
My dogs are 15 (Max on the right), 14 (Mini left front) and 13 (Bobo white and Amber) year old are a family.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you have any comments questions I look foward to reading them.