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Momma's Healthy Homemade Dog Food

When my puppies Gus and Lola get upset tummies, are switching between dog foods or it's their birthday, I cook them their favorite dish: Momma's Healthy Homemade Dog Food.

After countless hours of research and calculations, I believe I've crafted an ideal mixture of wholesome proteins, carbs, and fat for canines. Typically I mix it in with their regular dog food to ensure they still chew on crunchy texture (good for teeth) and receive some level of added vitamins and minerals with which commercial dog food is enriched. Momma's Healthy Homemade Dog Food, however, is pretty comprehensive and is very close to what they'd eat in nature—maybe even more healthy!

Important Reminder: always consult your vet before starting your dog on any health regime. Every dog is different and has different nutritional needs, so consider customizing these suggestions to your dog's needs.

If you're considering moving away from commercial dog food entirely, I'd recommend looking into canine nutritional supplements to add to this recipe.

Important Nutrition Notes

  • Meat: I use ground beef where I remove the fat during cooking because it is easiest and cheapest, but you could substitute for chicken, buffalo, or any other lean meat. It is also highly suggested to use some kidney or liver meat on occasion for trace minerals.
  • Fish & Healthy Fat: Mackerel contains the highest amount of omega-3s of any fish and is relatively inexpensive. Sardines or salmon are good as well.
  • Carbs: White rice is much easier to digest than brown rice. Unlike humans, dogs need a limited amount of fiber. I prefer for half to most of my dogs' fiber to be sourced from fruits and vegetables, which is closest to what they'd eat in nature.
  • Fruits & vegetables: No corn, garlic, onions, etc. are recommended as they are hard on dogs' digestive systems unlike peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes. You could also add in cooked cranberries or apples.
  • Calcium: Calcium will come from the egg shells. Some people might want to mix cottage cheese into this recipe, but I personally limit my dogs' intake of cow milk dairy.
  • Herbs & spices: For taste as well as digestive health benefits. Use sparingly as too much of herb and spice oil can be toxic.
  • Supplements: You can always add probiotics, molasses or brewer's yeast for trace minerals, but that’s up to you and your dogs' needs.

Sources and Nutritional Makeup Information

Recipe

  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Produces: ~9 lbs of high quality food

Ingredients

  • ~3.5 lbs of 80/20 ground beef (or 90/10 if you are willing to pay extra)
  • ~1.3 cups of white rice (to make ~4 cups of cooked rice)
  • 15 oz can of mackerel
  • 16 oz/1 lbs of frozen peas and carrots
  • 12 egg whites
  • 6 egg shells (I'd encourage you to to cook them all, however, and use the remaning egg shells in your own cooking as a natural calcium supplement.)
  • 1 - 2 tbsp of herbs such as Rosemary, Basil, Sage, Parsley, Aloe, or Chamomile, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp spices such as Cinnamon or Ginger finely chopped (optional)

Typically I follow this standard list, but I’ll throw in quality leftovers if they fit within the guidelines. So one recipe might have some leftover sushi fish, while the other has half an apple. Adding your extras to the mix is a great way to not waste your human food!

Tools

  • One large pot with lid
  • Large bowl
  • Masher (or heavy cup that can mash cooked veggies)
  • Foil
  • ~10 paper towels
  • Mortar + pestle or coffee grinder
  • Freezer storage containers
  • Cooking spray

Part 1: Bake egg shells and sweet potato

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Separate egg whites from yolk and shells. (If one or two yolks fall in that's ok.) Lay out foil and spray with cooking spray. Put shells on foil and put in oven.
  • Pierce sweet potato, spray with cooking oil, wrap in foil, put in oven. This will need to bake ~45 mins., so you'll take it out toward the end of the cooking process.
  • Set timer for 7 minutes. After 7 mins, take the shell out of the oven and let cool.

Part 2: Remove fat from meat

  • In pot, cook meat for about 10 mins to medium-well state. Drain fat as you go via slotting out with a spoon or dipping paper towels into the skillet.
  • Once cooked, place three paper towels on a plate, move meat onto it, and let sit. Option to place three more paper towels on top and press down to drain more fat.

Part 3: Cook veggies & rice

  • Put frozen peas, carrots, herbs and spices into cooking pot on medium. Cook according to package directions.
  • Once cooked, stir and smash down with a masher or a heavy cup. Ideally, it is the consistency of baby food for increased vitamin absorption.
  • Next cook the rice in the same pot WITH mashed vegetables according to rice package directions.

Part 4: Put egg shells into coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to ground into a fine powder

Part 5: Drain mackerel (it’s stinky!)

Part 6: Combine ingredients

  • Take out sweet potato and let cool.
  • Layer rice with vegetables, fish, egg shells, egg whites, and meat back into the large pot over low heat. Once the sweet potato is cool, remove skin and mash insides into pot.
  • Stir thoroughly until egg whites are cooked.

Serve alone or as a supplement with regular dog food. Note, refrigerated portions can last up to 48 hours and freezed portions can last up to 2 - 3 months.

Currin Berdine

A very special thank you Currin Berdine, an SF native and fellow pet lover, for this interesting and informational blog post. Keep an eye out for more posts from Currin in the future. If you'd like to contribute to Whistle's Community, drop us a note at hello@whistle.com.


Jun 12, 2013

Tags:   pet health   pet tips   pet parenting  

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