This week I have a guest post for you from dog lover & rescuer, Holly Lindsey, who will help you SAVE money, while still giving the dogs in your life a healthy diet.
I have two beautiful dogs, both strays that found their way to me. One is a half lab, half chow that used to weigh 110 pounds. The other has some lab in her and is only about 50 pounds.
They are my babies. I had struggled to afford getting them healthy food. I used to buy the cheap ten dollar, twenty pound bag that lasted about a week. I knew this was not the healthiest choice but I figured I took them in and they were fortunate to have a home. The healthy dog foods were upwards of twenty-five or thirty dollars a bag and I could not afford that on a weekly basis.
But then I had a wake-up call. I used to have a third stray as well, a beagle, named Lucy. I had to put her down last year because of cancer. She stopped eating one day and on the second day I took her to the vet. They did an x-ray and there it was. The cancer was everywhere. She had shown no symptoms until the day before. There was no way it could all be removed. It was then that I decided I had to change the diet of my remaining two dogs.
I had already been making my way into a healthier home by introducing fruits and vegetables into my family’s daily diet and eliminating all processed foods, and by making my own laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and hand soap. I began researching homemade dog food.
First I had to find what dogs were allergic to. The list was longer than I had thought. Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate, avocado, dairy products, fat trimmings and bones from meat, persimmons, peaches, plums, or condiments such as salt or added sugar are poisonous to canines.
Dogs can eat lean meat, especially organ meats because they have a higher nutritional value, apples, oranges, bananas and watermelon, with the seeds removed, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, potatoes and sweet potatoes if cooked, and white rice and pasta if cooked as well. Dogs can also eat cooked eggs and even the shells if they are ground up. Egg shells also have a lot of nutrients. In addition, dogs can also eat grains, whole grains are best. Like humans, dogs can be intolerant to gluten so I use steel cut oats, bought in bulk.
My mission had begun with my first big hurdle completed. Per my veterinarian’s recommendation on serving size, my larger dog, Jezzebelle should be fed about three cups a day and my smaller dog, Baby, two cups. With this in mind I calculated the recipe with a week’s worth of food.
Keeping in mind my normal budget of ten dollars a week on dog food I decided to use frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, one dozen eggs, three to four sweet potatoes, grass fed chicken livers, and steel cut oats. I also add turmeric for inflammation and cinnamon for fresher breath, and yes that really works!
How to make healthy homemade dog food
- 2 bags frozen broccoli
- 2 bags frozen carrots
- 2 bags frozen cauliflower
- 3-4 sweet potatoes, chopped
- 1 pound steel cuts oats
- 1 dozen eggs, I scramble them first
- 1 package, about a pound, of grass fed chicken or beef livers, or organ meat of choice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
I have a 20 quart pot that’s actually for tamales but it is the perfect size. I put everything in the pot and fill the pot with water up to just covering the ingredients. I bring it to a boil and then turn the temperature to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours. I usually put it in the baggies for the freezer the next morning since the dog food will be too hot.
The dogs absolutely love it. Below is the finished product.
Holly Lindsey is a lover of animals. She regularly rescues dogs and cats with the help of her favorite local rescue group Duck Team 6 in addition to the two dogs she already has, Jezzebelle and Baby. Her passion is in incorporating as many natural elements into everyday living and repurposing items for home décor. Learn more about Holly’s DIY projects and uses for natural elements on her Facebook page at: https://facebook.com/hollyshomespun