Our first dog (20-odd ago) had early arthritis- our vet said she was otherwise healthy and could possibly make it to 7 or 8. Started reading up on what was in commercial dog food and, with the help of a chef friend with scraps, starting cobbling together a crockpot mash of brown rice, vegetable parings and meat scraps. She improved noticeably within a few months and lived happily until almost 14.
Our current boy Trevor came as an adolescent with terrible skin allergies; with trial & error, we found he’s reactive to fowl. His current mix is mostly beef, barley (or rice/pasta/beans) and veg with a splash of oil and a bit of liver. We try to change ingredients with availability and add a spoonful of kibble for crunch. Daisy gets the same but with chicken/turkey because she needs a lower-fat diet. We make a “cauldron” full once a week and freeze.
Both dogs are doing well and our vet thinks they eat better than most kids. My husband loved the cooking smells (as does everyone who visits), so we now make a beef, barley & carrot casserole for us as well.
– I have three dogs.
Sweet potato (one or two small steamed chunks) or pumpkin
I have a dog, two cats, a snake and a variable number of rats.
I’ve made a couple half-hearted attempts to switch the cats from their
expensive dental kibble stuff for several years now, but they love
their kibble (preferring it even over canned tuna!) and their teeth
have shown marked improvement, so I’m just not sufficiently motivated
to switch their diet. And I think a home made diet for the snake would
involve my own breeding colony of mice which is also a no-go for now.
The dog and the rats, though, get mostly home made food. It’s handy
that their dietary requirements are similar to ours, so we all eat
basically the same stuff.
I mix up a batch about once a week of whatever is in the
cupboards/freezer/garden/farmer’s market. It usually involves a mix of
grain (rice, oats, noodles, potatoes, etc), broth, veggies, dairy
product, eggs, cooked or canned meat… the list goes on. The dog also
gets some raw meat occasionally. Chicken necks, wings, backs, and
organs. Neither me or my husband like chicken wings, so before
roasting a chicken, I’ll cut off the wings and toss them to the dog.
If I don’t feel like eating all my salad, I’ll dump it into the mix.
The rats love gnawing on left over bones.
I’ll be honest, in the three years I’ve had my dog I’ve gone back to
“high quality” kibble off and on, sometimes for months at a time
depending on how busy my life is and my level of motivation. I’ve
never seen a change in her health either way. She’s young and very
healthy, anyway, and her coat, weight, nails, teeth and energy levels
are the same no matter what she eats. (The rats will have skin/coat
issues if they get too much protein for too long). Although they
obviously enjoy fresh food, I feed homemade mainly for me, I guess. It
makes me feel good knowing exactly where all the ingredients came
Here’s Zelda with part of her camping dinner:
Here’s a batch of food in-progress with some of the ingredients:
The rats also like wild dandelion:
– From Suzanne (of the Hoof & Paw blog)
Thank you for sharing your homemade pet food recipes and experiences! I always enjoy reading about how people feed their pets.
Lastly, dinner at our house last night was boiled potatoes (which I chunked after boiling), buttermilk, and minced greens (broccoli leaves, parsley and mint). I sprinkled on some ground flaxseed before serving. Also, I had handed out raw carrots as a snack while I was cooking which gave me 5 minutes of peace.