Going to the dogs

Forget commercial dog food and make your own

By
April 3, 2007

The recent recalls of millions of pounds of moist pet food containing wheat gluten, spurred by the kidney failure and death of cats and dogs across the country, exposed one of the dirty secrets of the industry. From a single plant in Canada, the formerly relatively unknown Menu Foods was churning out pet food and selling it under dozens of different names, from high-end labels like Eukanuba and Iams to budget house brands for the Winn Dixie, Save-A-Lot, and Publix supermarket chains.

Now, other companies are also recalling their pet food.

It’s unclear what, exactly, has contaminated the food; the New York Times has reported that both a rat poison and a fertilizer have been detected in laboratory tests. But whatever the outcome, pet owners are justifiably worried about their animals’ food supply.

Our household includes a pair of pugs. But Marty and Carlo weren’t affected by the recall, and it wasn’t just because they lived on dry kibble. For the past five years, I’ve been making their food from ingredients available at the corner supermarket.

I wasn’t motivated by a need to improve their diet. The boys had been eating one of the better brands of kibble and, according to the vet, were doing just fine. But Carlo, the younger of the pair, was prone to a mild form of canine dermatitis.

Every few weeks he’d break out in a hot pink rash, and we’d slather him with an expensive prescription ointment. It got rid of the rash, but it wasn’t a cure. Our vet told us that the rash was a self-inflicted bacterial infection that resulted from Carlo licking himself too much. She said he probably had a food allergy that made him itch.

Great, we thought. How do we deal with that?

It turns out that corn, soy, and wheat, common ingredients in commercial dog food, are also common dog allergens. Switching to a kibble made from rice helped a little, but didn’t solve the problem entirely. After yet another session with the skin ointment, I started thinking seriously about finding something better.

And then I landed on the idea to make it myself.

The author’s pet pugs, Marty and Carlo.

I learned that a balance of protein, grain, and plant foods is necessary to meet canine nutritional requirements. The grain for our dogs, obviously, would be rice. Carrots provided plant fiber and complex carbohydrates. Finding a source of protein took longer, since it needed to be both affordable and relatively easy to prepare. One day at Safeway, while looking for Häagen-Dazs, I stumbled onto pug protein in the form of frozen ground turkey.

At first I cooked everything in a single pot. I’d brown the turkey, then add diced carrots, rice, and water. I’d let it cook very slowly, covered, until the rice was done. Since my goal was to keep preparation and cleanup simple, this seemed to work. But if I wasn’t paying attention, the rice would stick. And cutting up the carrots took more time than I was willing to spend.

After tweaking my approach a few times, I finally landed on a method that’s simple and quick, even if it does require a little more cleanup. I brown the turkey in a heavy skillet with a little olive oil. There’s not much fat in the turkey, so it tends to stick, and the oleic acid in olive oil is good for dogs. And a cheap supermarket olive oil works just fine.

I no longer bother cooking the carrots. I grate them in the food processor, which takes about a minute. And I cook the rice using the Italian technique for making riso in bianco, which means adding rice to boiling water, turning off the burner, and covering the pot for about 15 minutes. You do need to drain the rice, and that means washing a colander, but the rice never burns.

I can’t provide a detailed nutritional analysis of my homemade dog food. But the vet was impressed by how good the dogs look. She did recommend a multivitamin, but noted that the boys’ weight was down (pugs will eat everything and, like the rest of us, tend to be obese). Carlo’s skin problems disappeared, and the coats on both of the dogs are softer. They even smell better.

It costs about $6 weekly to make their food, less than the premium-grade kibble they’d been eating. After several years on their homemade diet, both dogs are fit, happy, and as energetic as pugs ever get. They still shed, a notorious pug trait, but not quite as much.

The only drawback is that Marty, always an enthusiastic eater, has become even more so, barking impatiently if I don’t get the bowl on the floor quick enough.

Jim Dixon writes about food from Portland, Oregon. Check out his blog, Real Good Food.

Also on Culinate: More thoughts on healthy food for you and your pet, and an interview with a pet-food guru.

Subscribe
Comments
There are 208 comments on this item
Add a comment
1. by shelly on Apr 6, 2007 at 2:30 PM PDT

Cool! How long does it keep in the fridge?

2. by jdixon on Apr 6, 2007 at 6:07 PM PDT

The recipe fills 2 Nancy’s Yogurt 2 qt containers, and the boys go through that much food in about 8 days. I used to freeze one, but I’d always forget to thaw it in time, so now they both go in the refrigerator. Doesn’t seem to go bad over the week.

3. by anonymous on Apr 7, 2007 at 3:41 PM PDT

I have been making dog food (as a result of the recall), too. I created three recipes and have been alternating. One is 2 parts cooked chicken, 4 parts brown rice, and 1 part green peas. I cook the rice and the process it all slightly in the food processor, along with an egg. I then bake it like a meat loaf. The other two combinations are tuna, whole wheat pasta, mixed veggies--held together with a little cream cheese and egg (also baked). Or, oatmeal, egg and a little bit of bacon for flavor (cooked on the stove top). I have read that vegetables and whole grains are good, that onions are iffy and garlic is excellent. I think the only things to stay away from are grapes, raisins and chocolate.

4. by Loulou on Apr 7, 2007 at 11:44 PM PDT

Great recipe ideas. I started making my own dog food last year but gave up when I had to go out of town for a couple of weeks. I found our dogs became more impatient too! They wanted their bowls, NOW!

5. by anonymous on Apr 9, 2007 at 5:53 PM PDT

hmm. we should try this on crickey!

6. by anonymous on Apr 10, 2007 at 6:45 PM PDT

In point of fact, Menu Foods is a Canadian company, but the food was manufactured in the United States.

I lost my cat to the tainted food, and if I ever get another, it’ll only get a homemade raw diet.

7. by Beri on Jul 5, 2007 at 4:36 PM PDT

Posting this a little late, hope you still check back on this article. Obviously, the pugs are doing great with their dental hygiene on this diet, but do you have to take extra care with their teeth and gums since this is mostly a wet food diet? Thanks, Beri

8. by jdixon on Jul 5, 2007 at 10:01 PM PDT

Beri,

We give the boys greenies and other teeth-cleaning treats, but they still need an occasional trip to the vet for their teeth. It’s difficult to get back to their molars to clean them, and they really hate it.

Jim

9. by sue on Jan 5, 2008 at 4:50 AM PST

What quantity do you give them of the chicken,rice,carrot mixture a day?
I have been boiling chicken and mixing some wholewheat bread with it to bulk it up a little. Will add carrots next time

10. by jdixon on Jan 5, 2008 at 9:49 AM PST

We feed a half cup in the morning, the same in the evening.

Jim

11. by anonymous on Jan 24, 2008 at 10:52 AM PST

I do the same, but once every week and a half. I cook a whole bag of rice in a large pot, Boil a bag of chicken breasts with no bones, and boil 3 large bags of chopped carrots. I let them cool and then combine the whole lot with concreted chicken broth made from bullion cubes. Lastly I use my vacuum sealer, and individually seal around 25 bags to keep in the back of our freezer. This allows us to microwave our dog’s food on the go lasting a week and a half. I takes an hour to prepare and seal, but in the end; It’s nice to have quality food for our dog on hand.

12. by anonymous on Apr 10, 2008 at 1:47 PM PDT

Help. I’ve been doing all of this for 2 years now and someone just told me to research dog’s digestive system. They said I will see that they can’t break down the grains (like the rice I cook). sure enough, I do notice that all the rice comes out whole in my dog’s stool. Is he getting the nutitional value of the rice?

13. by Kami on Apr 12, 2008 at 6:28 PM PDT

oats or millet are better substitutes. Stay away from, corn, wheat, soy.

14. by Bob on Apr 25, 2008 at 9:37 AM PDT

I would love to do this but my boys go through about a dozen cups of kibble a day. That would mean restaurant sized production every few days and their own freezer. I love my Pyrs but I’m not gonna convert my kitchen to full time DF making. ;(

15. by Pita on Apr 26, 2008 at 10:12 PM PDT

Have been feeding my dog home-cooked for several years, and her teeth are great - the plaque from the kibbles is no more, and her coat and health are good. She has dropped weight to a nice amount. 3 cups a day of equal parts of:cooked brown rice, cooked meat and mixed veggies; with added kelp and vitamins. She is 70 lbs. A bit of a chore, but worth it (to me). The Great Pyrs would be tough!

16. by anonymous on Apr 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM PDT

We have a pomeranian mix who has been on medicine for siezures for 8 years, she is now 10.the vet gave me this recipe for her.(sometimes preservatives can cause siezures the vet says.) She seems healthy, and very active with regular check-ups and teeth cleaning.2 cups white rice 4 cups water. cook as directed. lightly brown 1/4th pound hamburger.2 slices white bread crumbled, and 2 boiled eggs chopped. mix all together.I freeze this in portions.He recomended fresh carrots, unsalted green beens,fat free cottage cheese and vitamins.I have added lean chicken to her diet. she digests the rice and never has gas.she’s only 7 lbs.I got on this site to ask if brown rice is good for dogs.

17. by JC on Jun 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM PDT

In the nearly four years we’ve had our terrier mutt, we’ve always fed her homemade food and thankfully she’s the picture of health and, I think, the most energetic dog at the dog park. Usually a quick-seared ground beef hamburger, cut up and mixed with brown rice and a vegetable. Sometimes the protein is ground lamb, calves or beef liver, fish or an egg, or plain roast beef cold cuts. (Chicken and turkey give her diarrhea.) The meat we buy in one pound packages and divide up into about 6 portions and freeze, taking it out daily to thaw. The brown rice is usually leftover from our last Chinese takeout meal -- it seems to keep much better than what we cook ourselves. The vegetables we boil in batches to keep 3 or 4 days in the fridge. She also gets a doggie vitamin, and we add fish oil to some of her meals, which has helped her coat. It might sound complicated, but once you’re a little organized with the ingredients, the prep time for the meal itself is five minutes. Of-course it would be much more challenging with a big dog.

18. by anonymous on Jul 2, 2008 at 9:52 PM PDT

My yorkie age 6yrs. has allergies, was feeding him rabbit and potato,he was doing ok still scraching a little but, not as bad. This diet sounds great and my yorkie loves vegestables and fruits. My question about this diet is, does it make the stool loose ?

19. by jdixon on Jul 3, 2008 at 5:50 AM PDT

anon #16:

We’ve switched to brown rice because it provides more nutrients

anon #18

No loose stools from the pugs. And the carrots actually make the poop stand out in the yard so you’re less likely to step in it.

Jim

20. by Sharon and Gordon on Jul 21, 2008 at 5:32 PM PDT

We have a Westie and a Cockapoo that scratch constantly. The Westie takes 3 different pills every other day for allergies. He constantly has hot spots. The doctor said to use Rabbit and Potato food - very expensive. Haven’t tried it yet. Your recipe sounds great, thanks for all the information. Do you have any recipes for doggie treats?
Sharon, Gordon, CAPT Nemo and Bella

21. by jdixon on Jul 22, 2008 at 11:40 AM PDT

Sharon & Gordon,

Sorry, but I don’t make any dog treats. We get bulk treats at our local market.

And I’m sorry to report that Marty, our older pug, died last fall. Carlo seems to have adapted to being the only dog in the house.

Jim

22. by anonymous on Sep 9, 2008 at 1:51 PM PDT

i have 3 boxers a german shephard dalmation and a little white dog how much do i have to make everyday to feed them.they go throght a 50lb bag of doog food a week.

23. by Kim on Sep 19, 2008 at 4:16 PM PDT

Jim - I enjoyed your article very much. I recently started feeding our pug, Buddy, and his black lab gal pal, Matty, raw food along with kibble. I seriously can’t get it in the bowl fast enough! What I’ve noticed about both dogs is that their breath is 100% improved - and their teeth are really looking good. We didn’t start these dogs out with brushing their teeth and the lab might let us do this, but Buddy would pitch a tornado of a fit, so that’s not happening. Anyway, I buy a large bag of carrots, apples, peppers...zuchinni (Buddy loves zuchinni!)- all kinds of veggies. If I chop a container (it will keep a week in a lock-n-lock) of 6 carrots, 2 apples and 3 smallish zuchinni (not the monster size) and I squeeze a 1/2 a lemon on it to keep the apples from browning...then throw a good handful in their dishes each evening (they still eat kibble in the morning (and some at night)...although I was gone for 6 days and my friend who took care of them gave them the “salad” morning and night and now they just stare at me like I’m impaired when they don’t get morning “salad”). The reason I began doing this is because our vet said Buddy needed to lose weight. She said to feed him lettuce. He will eat spinach, but won’t touch lettuce and gets really excited about the “salad”...loves carrots. And they love ground turkey. I make a mixture of ground turkey, sweet potato and onion and they get ultra excited about that. Buddy will bark at me to hurry up! I found your comments when I was looking for protein requirements for Buddy. This is the reason I’ve been continuing with the kibble along with the “salad”. My husband thinks I’ve lost my mind making food for the dogs. I love it that they are so happy. I think even supplementing this way for our lab is really good for her. It’s hard to tell if her coat is more beautiful, since she’s black and during the summer she rolls in the dirt. I would love to find the thing that causes less shedding from mister Buddy, but I doubt that will happen.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your pug, Marty. They are such funny, sweet little dogs (although Buddy is 28 pounds and completely handsome)!

I’m now inspired to add the turkey burger as the protein source (I personally love the stuff and buy it all the time)...and will consider the rice too or maybe try a few other things and decrease the kibble until he doesn’t eat it at all. He eats a good brand, but how boring for our dogs...seriously. I believe Buddy looks much better too since I’ve been feeding him the “salad”. Once in a while I give them corn on the cob. Watching Buddy eat that is very funny and he loves loves loves it. It is a really easy thing for him to eat with his little front pug teeth!

Kim

24. by Lee Cullens on Sep 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM PDT

There is a lot of confusion about a species appropriate diet for dogs.
The “why” is that we have crossed the line between science and prolific
industry propaganda. Since the 1950s vast sums of money have been
poured into shaping public perception because the profits are enormous.
Not to mention that “we the people” have a tendency towards
anthropomorphism, and convenience is a driving force.

For unbiased scientific information see the “Ol’ Shep’s Plight: Diet”
article at: http://achinook.squarespace.com/

There is also a “lighter” fabricated “Dr. P. Kibble Interview” :o)

My best to you and yours,
Lee C

25. by Lee Cullens on Oct 13, 2008 at 9:19 AM PDT

The persistence of varied views seen here has more to do with the “quality” of research employed, and not recognizing the potential shortcomings of our mental facilities in arriving at “beliefs,” than it does on the extent of unbiased scientific support. For a better explanation see the article:
http://achinook.squarespace.com/journal/2008/10/11/mankinds-achilles-heel.html

My best to you and yours,
Lee C

26. by Ron B. on Nov 1, 2008 at 5:49 AM PDT

The vet recently prescribed i/d food for our 12 year old Corgi. Which homemade recipes would approximate
or improved upon the benefits of commercially made
i/d food?

27. by Kya on Dec 19, 2008 at 7:55 AM PST

Making your own dog food is a good idea, however..I don’t see any mention of organ meat. Yes, I realize it’s rather gross, but according to the nutritionists and vets I have talked to, muscle tissue alone isn’t enough for a dog. They said to consider giving my dogs a vitamin supplement designed for dogs in addition to the human foods I was feeding. I’m with you on the nasty commercial stuff and hating to not know what’s in my dog’s food.

Dogs do not need grain. Do not. Need. Grain. They don’t. It’s convenient as a filler, but dogs cannot digest it. They get no nutritional value from it.
Dogs are omnivores, but you will not see wild dogs eating rice or wheat. That’s because it is not in their natural diet, nor are their bodies designed to ingest it.

I would just keep an eye on their weight and judge the amount of meat and vegetables I fed them accordingly. I have two large dogs and also had a shih tzu who did very well on a diet of chicken and vegetables mainly.

28. by anonymous on Dec 20, 2008 at 10:20 AM PST

Where can you get the right amounts of each meal ingrediants to make these? I have a small dog, and really would like to make her food.
Caren

29. by anonymous on Dec 25, 2008 at 9:28 PM PST

you may ask your vet for a recipe for food for your dog, this way it will be correct. I also buy a powder which I sprinkle on my dog’s food because she doesn’t have organ meat in her diet. i get it at a local pet store.

30. by anonymous on Feb 24, 2009 at 10:48 AM PST

I have been making my (allergic to everything) Boston Terrier’s food for about three years. After many struggles with excessive licking, loose stools, etc. he is 10-years old and the picture of health.

My recipe is to throw three/four chicken breasts, an apple, two carrots, one cup brown rice, organ meat (usually chicken livers), and a couple potatoes into a pressure cooker. Half an hour later it is done, and I add a handful of quick-cook oats, one tin of sardines, and a pinch of flax seeds. I then use an immersion blender to quickly mix and divide into 1-cup tupperware. Most all of it goes into the freezer. This makes enough - at one cup, twice a day - for about two weeks.

It is inexpensive and besides the half hour or so spent putting it into the tupperware, not too labor intensive. My costs actually break down to less than the frou-frou organic, specialty, dog food alternative.

31. by anonymous on Mar 10, 2009 at 10:42 PM PDT

Do you add some water, a cup or two, to the pressure cooker? (or the safety plug will blast out! :O)

32. by anonymous on Mar 11, 2009 at 1:51 PM PDT

Dogs have a hard time digesting carbs and, specifically, grains. Also, carrots have too much sugar and dogs can be prone to diabetes. Dogs really only need what is in their natural diet: meat and fat. Olive oil is a good, healthy fat supplement....avocados as well. I just cook chicken thighs with olive oil in the oven and feed them off of it for the week....skin, fat and all. Dog’s digestive system is totally different from ours so it is hard for us to understand that a diet high in meat and fat is actually good for them!

33. by djoh437938 on Apr 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM PDT

I use brown rice, chicken livers, carrots and add garlic and flaxseed oil for my dogs. The vet said it was a great food for them. I always was concerned that maybe the chicken livers might be too much. Anyone know? I like the pressure cooker idea. I had been putting the whole thing in my rice cooker another words, cooking everything together.

34. by Sean on Apr 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM PDT

@djoh: Using liver exclusively as the animal protein source might be too much (possible excess Vitamin A -- you should look that up). So I think you might want to consider varying it with a different, non-liver meat.

35. by cathy on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:14 PM PDT

I started implementing a mixture of fresh foods (part cooked meat, rice or potato, veggies & broth) with my dogs kibble when she became pregant (an accidental double back). She recently gave birth to seven puppies and looks fantastic on this new diet! I expected her to be super thin, but by feeding her a nutritous diet, you can hardly tell that she is a mom of many!
I have read that kibble is important in the crunchy aspect, and being a penny pincher, I was not going to just throw mine out, hence the mixture I make them until we make a full conversion to homemade kibble. I have noticed some looser stools with her, but not with my other two dogs. That might be somehow related to her pregnancy?
But now instead of growling at my other dogs because she is so hungry, she is very content...except for the antsiness to get that food on the floor!! I can’t make it fast enough!
For me this is really not super time consuming. I usually cook enough meat for supper plus them for a few days. Always have potatoes, rice or veggies on hand...so super easy to reheat the meat and cooked potatoes or throw some carrots in my food processor and mix all in with some dry kibble, top with some gravy or broth. Nummmm! Never a kiblet left at this house!
Homemade dog treats/bones are fun as well. I got sick of paying $3.99/lb at Petco so started making my own. My dogs won’t even tough boughten dog treats anymore! Plus, they get to lick the beaters clean :)

36. by Janeen Smith on Jun 13, 2009 at 10:11 PM PDT

I am needing an easy dog treat recipe for my Boston Terrier. I tried a liver recipe last week and she spit it out. We just moved overseas and Skooter is having horrible skin allergy problems. She was having it in the States before we moved overseas...which now I am realizing has probably been from her food. Most of the dogfood the vet here has fish oil in it and she refuses to eat it. She went three days without eating...would just sniff and walk away from the bowl. I really messed up and bought Puppy Chow which she scarfs down, but now the allergies have intensified. After doing so much research I know it is her diet and we are going to a home-made diet today! I just need to find an easy recipe for a treat.

37. by anonymous on Jun 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM PDT

Jim, or anyone else, my Pug has an allergy to milk bones (wheat) I am looking for something hard and cruchy to help keep his teeth clean. Any suggestions? Chewies are fine but he gets bored or them at times. Anyone have a recipe for crunchy treats? Also, when making the homemade food, rice and meat and carrots, how much do you feed them per day? Gus is a large male, 24 lbs.

38. by jeanne cole on Jul 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM PDT

I have made this recipe for my Maltese and she loves it, I am confused about giving one cup per 20 lbs. She weighs 7.9 lbs and I give her one cup. I can’t see less than that. Please comment. I used 1lb ground turkey but not in Chubs package, I guess this is the same, thank you for your response, Jeanne Cole email address: cole_roy@bellsouth.net

39. by anonymous on Aug 14, 2009 at 10:10 AM PDT

My Jack Russell is 15 years old and going on about 6! I give him a raw soup bone about every two or three weeks. At first I made sure that he doesn’t chew the bone, what he does is “worry” the meat off the bone. It means that his teeth are scraping the actual bone. This cleans his teeth like nothing else (I’ve found commercial teeth cleaning products don’t work) It is an added bonus that it makes his breath sweet too. Make sure your dog doesn’t actually chew the bone and then you have a cheap treat for both you and your dog!!

40. by Kim702 on Aug 14, 2009 at 11:19 AM PDT

I am curious about your soup bone! Exactly what do you purchase? I want to get some for my dogs, but need to know what to ask for. Thanks!

41. by Patricia Wood on Sep 24, 2009 at 2:31 PM PDT

Hello,

Remember what goes in must come out!! My name is Patricia Wood my husband Bill has invented pet waste a way it liquefies dog waste where the dog leaves it in 8 to 10 seconds. We are trying to get it licensed. Please check out our web site see how it works & e-mail us back with your thoughts. Thank you for your time. Hope you have a poop free day!!

Take Care,
Patricia Wood
www.petwasteaway.com
303-255-8392

42. by anonymous on Nov 15, 2009 at 4:51 PM PST

I cook my german sheperds food every day. All I do is put a pound of hambeger in a pot with about 4inches of water in it throw in 4 small sauseges and half cup of rice, hand full of carrots. I boil this for 25 minutes then throw in a handful of brocollie and some cold slaw and let sit for about 3 hrs with lid on . She loves it. At least I know what she getting to eat. You can subsitute the meat for different kinds , liver , hot dogs etc.

43. by anonymous on Nov 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM PST

Anonymous, comment #11- Boullion cubes have a very high sodium content, so I hope you aren’t using many when you prepare your dog’s food. Dogs seem to like food as it is without seasoning. (see the link below about not feeding certain things, salt is one)

Kim, comment# 23- You said you include onions in your dog’s food sometimes. Onions are not good for dogs- see link-
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:TG6ViihNpswJ:www.vetinfo.com/dtoxin.html+onions+are+bad+for+dogs'+hearts&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

44. by anonymous on Jan 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM PST

it is super important that your dog gets needed calcium. The recipes here are otherwise wonderful, but try to include milk/yogurt, other calcium-rich products, or vitamins. My vet also says Tums has a lot of calcium and is safe enough to give the doggies once a day.

45. by anonymous on Jan 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM PST

I do agree with a previous poster that organ meats are needed in a well-balanced diet. I make a blend of 3 c. uncooked short grain brown rice (cooked down until it is really soft for easy digestion), 1 1/2 c raw grated carrots & 1/2 c canned pumpkin (no sugar) for fiber, lg. bag of frozen peas, 1 c. finely chopped parsely for breath, 1 lb ground lamb, 3 lbs. lamb shoulder, 3 lbs. lamb hearts, 3 lbs. kidney, & 3 lbs. liver.

I cook the rice and meat together & save the water since it contains the fat. I sprinkle a little kelp over his food and give him a multi-vitamin once a day. I portion the food (3/4 c rice/veg mixture & 1/2 c meat mixture) and freeze. Feeding roughly 3 c. a day this normally lasts my dog a little over two weeks.

Pete’s allergies are gone, his coat is shiny, he has firm stool, and sweet breath.

Rabbit is also good if you can find a cheap source. I am lucky to live near an old school butcher shop where the lamb organs are cheap (no one seems to want them, though stuffed hearts are delicious) so this offsets the price I pay for the ground meat. Shoulder meat tends to be cheap & you can freeze the bones & serve as an occasional treat. Dogs love ‘em.

46. by Sean on Jan 9, 2010 at 3:42 PM PST

As noted by a commenter above, calcium is certainly important to bear in mind. I would think anyone doing home-cooking for their pet would also give a standard doggie-multi-vitamin, but yogurt is certainly a good thing to consider in addition to that. We first gave our little terrier some yogurt when it was recommended by a vet to combat the effects of a prescribed antibiotic on the digestive system; i.e. to prevent diarrhea. She loved it so much it was natural to make it a daily treat. So now she gets just a little fat-free plain yogurt every day.

47. by anonymous on Jan 16, 2010 at 6:04 AM PST

I have read the above, I make my own and did a lot of research, one concern what are you guys using for calcium ?. I use egg shells. As well I add oils which , and never heat the oils. Your dog needs calcium ever day and it needs to be balanced with phos in the meats. There is a ratio that is required. If you are not feeding anything than home made be careful with this

48. by anonymous on Jan 17, 2010 at 6:01 AM PST

My dog has been suffering from rashes, loose stools and worst of all, seizures. I suspect that it is possibly due to salt, phytic acid which I believe is a chemical found in all grain food, legumes and even carrots! For this reason I am searching the sites to find advice on what to feed him. I’ve taken him off his usual dry dog food, which incidentally was a top brand up-market ‘natural diet’ food, because it contains rice or other grains. Even pork and fish has to be checked that it doesn’t have salt in it. I’m thinking salt is the problem, sea salt and phytic acid or phytates because of the layman link of words such as electrolytes, synapses firing etc. Also having just returned from Sweden I overheard that the huskies there are never fed pork due to the salt content, they do not have the enzymes to break down the salt. I am no expert but I have a vague suspicion that if I treat my dog like his cousin, wolf and feed him what the wolf can obtain in his natural envirionment then maybe my dog’s central nervous system will recover and he may live a long life? I’ve noticed he occasionally eats a bit of grass and dandylion leaves too of his own volition.

49. by anonymous on Jan 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM PST

In addition to the above comment concerning phytates. Phytates or phytic acid, a form of salt found in grains such as rice, oats, wheat etc. and also legumes and nuts, is also found in high dosage within carrots. Please read up on phytic acid as I have. I believe it leeches away the vital vitamins and minerals needed to keep a dog healthy and fighting fit. Lack of vitamins and minerals will lead to serious ill health and even an early death. Sorry to be so serious, but my dog is very ill at the moment and I am feeling so guilty for feeding him the food that I trusted to be of optimum goodness! I’ve put him immediately on an all meat diet, sometimes he has raw meat, sometimes cooked. I’m boiling chicken bones and feeding him the resulting gravy, scrag and skin, I hope this will help boost the calcium intake. I’m a bit worried that this change will result in an overdosing of protein. If anyone can help please add a suggestion fast. I am so worried!

50. by Kim702 on Jan 18, 2010 at 10:02 AM PST

http://www.earthclinic.com/pets.html This site has amazing information and is one of the best self help resources - for humans and pets - out there today. Good luck!

51. by Pam Johnston on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:28 PM PST

We have two Maltese. One has an immune problem. At the age of three she nearly died. After a year of heavy steroids, she pulled through. The specialist told me her life expectancy may be half of the normal span. After the dog food scare, I decided to look into making my own. That was 4 years ago and she is doing very well. Here is my recipe for two small dogs for nearly a month:
6 cups water, 2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 2-lb bag boneless chicken breasts AND 4 drum sticks with skin and bone)
1 small head BOK CHOY-green only (OR 1 bag spinach)
1 lg sweet potato
3 carrots
3 garlic cloves
2 cups brown rice
1 cup barley
2 envelopes of knox gelatin
Bring water and broth to boil, add bag of chicken breasts and drum sticks. Simmer. In processor, chop fine all vegetables, set aside. Remove chicken breasts after about 10-15 minutes, dice and set aside. Leave drum sticks in broth to continue to cook and add the brown rice and barley. Simmer for about 30 minutes with lid. Add chopped veggies, stir, cover and cook additional 30 minutes. Remove drumsticks, debone and remove skin, add meat back to pot with diced chicken breast. Add gelatin and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
I pack the food into SNACK size ziplocks, (about 8 heaping TBS) and split a half bag in the am between them and the other half between them in pm. They also get a handful of “WELLNESS” dry each day that they share throughout the day. This dry food guarantees quality ingredients, and I order it through the internet. I fill almost 30 snack bags with remaining home made food and put them in gallon bags and into the freezer. My dogs are very healthy and not over weight. The Vet is amazed how well they are doing. I have used ground beef instead of chicken, and sometimes I will use chicken gizzards and hearts along with the breasts.

52. by anonymous on Feb 7, 2010 at 7:14 PM PST

i can understand everyones comments on dog food. i too worry about my yorkie and small toy mini schanuzeri too cook for my dogs out of worry about what is in dog food. i fix alot of lamb and veggies i puree everything if i don’t puree it upsets their tummy. i do make doogie treats and i fix one that is easy to share w/ people who come over to visit w/ their dog’s. 1 cup of wheat germ from health food store and organic baby food lamb1 jar and 1 jar of sweet potatoes how easy is that. and some times barley flour or oatmeal flour about 2 cups 1 egg, beaten 1/4 cup of lamb,groundand 2tbsp oil only extra virgin olive oil both treats you bake @350 degres for about 30 mins. but i don’t use alot of treats along w/ daily multi vitamin/minerals and omeaga3-6-9 dogs will have every thing they need i also grind egg shells to powder form and put 1/2 tsp into the food i hope this is helpful and if anyone has advice that will help me please let me know... also i do feed organ meats but only use live once a week as it can be vitamin over load any more than adding it to the meat i feed onece a week. my mother lost her dog in the recall. it is such ashame that all the sweet pets were lost. i know i sure cried my last pet was 21 years old and she was feed home cooked meals and she was a goldie and that was a long life meat is usually 2% of the dogs body weight a 50 lb dog would eat 1 lb of meat a day just example. i know it is hard to get the percentage right and it is a guessing game sometimes for us pet owners.. 40% meat and 30% veggies is what i usual try for. i do hope this was helpful. i know some one had asked for treat recipes... i do have alot to share if any one would like them. i make alot for pet owner for christmas gifts for their pets from my pets.i also make their toys to keep from buying lead filled toys even the squaker has lead i had it checked my babies loved to make their toy’s squeak but now they love the safe toys i make out of old jeans and thet are tuff toy’s that last my little yorkie maybe small but he can take a toy apart in no time 2 minutes flate but these are doubled stitched and he has had these for months... really strong toy’s. i worry about toy’s as well as the food they eat.also i make a pouch that has the stuffing that is also doubled stitched inside . that way they can’t eat any stuffing... i still keep my eye on them. my sweet babies!

53. by anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 9:50 AM PST

Our 10 lb dog gets a modest amount of grain free dry kibble - we used to do a duck/potato mix, and are now on one that has a wider variety of meats (including fish) and veg.

She gets little treats throughout the day - bits of apple, banana, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, tomato, snap peas - and loves them all. We regularly give her some organic yogurt as well, plus the odd bone to chew on.

I would worry about feeding her raw meat - the risk of bacteria is so high. This way, she gets the regular, predictable nutrients from her dry kibble, plus the benefits of “real” food.

Foods you should never feed your dog: onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate. They are all hard on the liver. Some say garlic is a no-no, as well as broccoli (our dog cannot tolerate it raw). Our dog is highly allergic to ALL grains, even rice (though not as badly as wheat and corn).

She’s 6&1/2 years old, and very healthy. Her teeth are amazing!

54. by anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 10:38 AM PST

I make my pugs food, with carrots, rice, and spinach, end a variety of meat: some day chicken, ground meat, tuna, white fish, cow liver, bacon, and the most important: chicken liver (for eye stain) chicken liver are fabulous for eye stain, they look much more young, but you need to add every day for about 2 months, then stop, and add every other day for the stain do not come back.
I don’t give raw meat never…

55. by anonymous on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:06 PM PST

I have a 2.5-3 lb. yorkie that I would like to feed homemade food. He can’t digest the regular dry dog foods since it tears up his intestines and he ends up with bloody stools. We currently have him on canned wet dog food but I believe homemade food will be a lot more better for him. Anyone know or have a very small dog around his weight that has their dog on homemade food? If so, what do you feed and how is it going? Thanks!

56. by djoh437938 on Feb 13, 2010 at 11:45 AM PST

I also had a small Yorkie which I made his food. This is what I did, in a rice cooker I put a cup of brown rice, a carton of chicken livers, some chopped garlic, grated carrot and flax seed oil. About a cup and a half of water and a chicken boulion. Turn on the cooker and let cook.
I then let it cool and cut the chicken livers down smaller. If you think your dog would like peas or some other veggie better, use it. You can use canned chicken stock instead of the water and boulion cube. I told a vet once I was doing this and he thought it was the best recipe ever that everything in it was superior good for the dog. Since the food is soft, you will have to pay special attention to his teeth, Yorkies are notorious for bad teeth.

57. by anonymous on Feb 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM PST

Recipe above is good but be careful about making liver the only meat protein source. Having some liver and organ meat in the diet is very important, but too much liver can actually cause Vitamin A toxicity -- look it up like this.

58. by anonymous on Feb 13, 2010 at 12:37 PM PST

Got that link wrong, sorry: http://www.petplace.com/dogs/vitamin-toxicity-in-dogs/page1.aspx

59. by anonymous on Feb 15, 2010 at 12:09 PM PST

i too have a small yorkie that i hand feed from day one he lost his mom and sibblings. the breeder asked if i would try to save the little boy yorkie. i took him to the vet and i gave him goats milk. and went on to feed him like i did all the pets i had i have always made my own dog food. i never use liver alone it seems to upset the stomach and too much is toxic to dogs about every two weeks i add a small amount to the other meats. and the percentage is easy after you cook dog food as long as i have 2% of dogs weight in meat example 50 lb dog would get about 1 lb of meat and a 12 lb diog would get about 3/4 lb of meat so a 7 lb dog would get about 4 oz.’s of meat. i have a little yorkie and a small toymini schanuzer my toy mini is almost 3 lbs she is 2.5 lb.’s i like to use lamb for the most part but i do use buffalo meat and deer meat and we have a store that has rabbit meat. i do not use rice or pasta in my dogs food i use oatmeal that i buy at a amish store along w/ steel cut oats for the stach in their food example of a recipe lamb, sweet potato,oatmealand 40% meat and 30% veggie and 30% starch. that is what the vet said they need and i have always followed to a point on what my vet say’s because i have a great vet who isn’t happy w/ the dog food on the market. or too many shots my vet run a test to see if my dogs need their shots.and it is important to see that the dogs get omeaga 3-6-9 and enough vitamin/ minerals but not too many as they are just as bad to give too much as not enough. my vet said every other day or 2 times a week with the good food.. it is hard to get it just right... but i will say home made food for dogs work i had a golden retiever who lived 21 years we had her from 5 weeks of age nothing but home made treats and home made food never one time did i buy bag or can food for macey and the treats i made was with wheat germ and puree veggies and meats.... she loved them and my yorkie and schanuzer loves them. and i have always gotten health foods and a family member raised lambs so i know how the meat is that i have always used. you are what you eat and so are our 4 legged babies. good luck with your little yorkie wonderful dogs.

60. by anonymous on Feb 17, 2010 at 1:49 AM PST

Ok, it’s been 1 month since I have changed my dogs diet, and I already can see a marked improvement. Not only has he developed a bounce in his step but his coat has become thick and glossy, so much so that my son, who hasn’t seen him for about 3 weeks asked me if I had bathed and brushed him. Not at all, he needs his oils for this winter cold. I’m boiling up chicken carcass’s and making a broth with the gravy it produces. I sometimes add white fish, I give him offal 2-3 times per week. But the vet was alarmed that I was taking him off his usual dry food, so I have continued with this also but sticking to one variety only which is hypoallergenic, and I have reduced the quantity drastically so that he can enjoy fresh meat. So far, no fits, more bounce, and firm stools. I NEVER let him have any titbits from our human diet. Not even leftover meat, as I know it has been laced with salt. I do occasionally let him have 100% natural treats. He’s a happy dog now, I believe. Beware of bones. Never give your dog a rawhide chew without supervision. My dog got one stuck in the roof of his mouth once and my neighbours dog actually died from choking on one. I still give my dog these chews as he loves expending energy on these and they keep the tartar down but I watch him until it has been devoured.

61. by anonymous on Feb 17, 2010 at 1:41 PM PST

ABOUT RAWHIDE CHEWS- They pose other risks beyond choking. Read this-
http://www.doglogic.com/rawhide.htm

62. by anonymous on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM PST

i am glad that your dog is doing well on his home made food... i feed my yorkie and toy mini schanuzer home made food. but i have always fed a home made food only. i had a golden retriever fed only home made and home made treats only she lived to be 21 years young.. we got her at a very young age at 5 weeks and made all her food. we never bought bag or can food for our girl and do the same for our babies we have now. i cooked for macey before people ever thought about doing this and we had our goldie when the recall came were we glad we did not feed her store bought food at her age she would have gotten it. my parents dog did die in the recall now they have a little fellow they fed as i gave her percentage and recipes and he is doing fine.the thing my vet can’t get over is the bright eyes strong legs and very sound dogs.. he too is feeding his own dog my recipes and can’t get over the change in his own pet.. shh don’t say anything it is between my vet and me ha! he really won’t tell he is doing this but he had taken care of our goldie and our sheltie and now these babies(well they aren’t babies.. but my babies)he knows that tere is something to this diet... that he is thinking of telling his siter to feed her dog this diet... everyone asks what brand of food do you use.. your dogs look like you polished them. i guess knowing a person who worked at a plant where dog food was made years ago is why i always made dog food ... that was back in the 1970’s when i made a special diet for my pets to now. they all lived to in their 20’s except my sheltie who was born with a heart problem and she lived 18 1/2 years if she had lived two more weeks she would have been 19 years old. we just didn’t want the breeder to put her down she just seem to have a way and special she was.and she was 7 weeks when we brought her home and put her on home made food in percentage for pups and she grew strong and played and didn’t seem to have heart problems until a week before she went to the rainbow bridge which broke my heart.. it has been a year since she went tobe with macey her best playmate that was our goldie they were they both left this word six month’s apart. but i can say home made food is better and my babies have proved it and even my vet is seeing the proof with his own pet.good luck and enjoy every minute with your 4 legged babies... they give us so much and it is sad they don’t have a longer life... they leave much happiness but sure a empty part in our heart that really never goes away.we owne it to them to do the very best we can for these 4 legged babies cause they can’t speak for them self.all they do is give their heart and we are their whole life.each of my babies have been so different and i love each one for being their own little self.if any one would like recipes i will be happy to put them down i keep it simple and healthy. and i do use alot of lamb and organ meat but not too much liver as vitamin A toxic to the dogs use it really only once amonth and only small amount w/ the main meat.

63. by anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 6:50 AM PST

Thank you for all your comments. I have read up a little on the rawhide and didn’t realise the danger other than choking until a reader kindly pointed me to a site that supplied me with the info. Thanks again. I guess I will be removing these from his diet too. Thanks also for the tip on liver. I’ll reduce it to once a month and less quantity. Does the vitamin A toxicity exist in other organ meat too then? i.e. heart, kidney etc.?

64. by anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 7:32 AM PST

no organ meat is so good for our babies it is just liver that cause the toxic vitamin A.i studied food for years in the 1970’s and just stuck with simple things that worked for my pets. i like steel cut oats and oatmeal i buy at the amish shop and have always used it for the starch in the food. it has never caused any problem and i have use whole wheat noodles but they lick their paws at that... but i can use wheat germ and it doesn’t bother them funny thing... but that is what happens.i make notes about all foods and that are new and watch for a week but that was when i first got the pets.. but i hand rasied my yorkie from day one i fed him goats milk for his first few weeks and added small amounts of home made and didn’t use alot of different things until he got older then started him on the same as my toy mini schanuzer who is not quite 3 lbs her self and she is 4 years old and my yorkie is 2 years old now... no problems that come with some yorkies. our vet is so happy becaus it is hard to fed a new born yorkie with a mother dog. but i have to say that andrew is sound mind and a very calm boy who loves every one meets stranges with kisses not much of a barker either but he plays about all day long he and leisel are active dogs but both are calm and i think alot of that is natural foods.the breeder lost the mother dog and all andrews sibbling at birth. my sister that worked with this woman and my sister told herthat i am good with dogs boy never did i see a new born pup so very small. but i took him to my vet who gave him fluid and sent me home w/ pup formula . it messed his tummy up really bad thaought we were going to lose him so tiny so young 2 day’s old ... i got goats milk it was 24/7 care between me and my husband. i believe in goats milk i have used it with pup before and now my vet puts pups on the goats milk. you can get this at a health food store i just thought this may help if someone may need to feed a newborn puppy at some time and you can order through some dog mail order catalogs too for the goats milk. and remember you always know your 4 legged children better than any one and you will know what works for one may not work at all for another dog.even same breeds and same size do not eat same amounts and ect.good luck and enjoy your pets.

65. by anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 7:36 AM PST

i get in such a hurry and type w/out looking i meant to say it is hard to feed a yorkie pup who is so tiny and young w/out a mother dog. sorry about that folks just say it is my old age goodness. i just want to say thing that i have done for my pets that worked for me and great for them... good luck

66. by anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 8:53 AM PST

what works for me in percentage amounts of protein,starch, and veggie’s 40% meats 30% veggies and 30% starch. we always have a garden so i freeze alot of veggies for the pets as well as for us.we also can food that is strickly for human use.and i never forget the omeaga’s 3-6-9 which is important for the pets i like the use of alfalfa for my pets give in the amount for the dogs weight you can get this at the health food store.and for some breeds vitamin C is not good to use. also my vet just called me to say that brewers yeast can cause bloat in some dogs... i have use brewer yeast for many years on all my dogs and never a problem.and in my home made food i put egg shells that i boil 20 minutes and i crush to powder form for calcium and i have cooked for pets since the 1970’s and i always say keep it simple and safe. the only veggies that i use are sweet potato’s, carrots and at time peas’s. celery at times and yellow squash and green squash and pumpkin. i do not use tomato’s at all the meats that i use are lamb#1, chicken, buffalo my dogs do not do well w/ beef or ground beef but do well on buffalo and not that often. i use organ meats but i only give liver once a month and yes i do add the organ meats with the main meat very good for our pets example my babies are 2(lbs.) and one is 2 1/2 (lbs) so the meat is together is like 8 ozs per day so the organ meat is in that percentage example only.i feed two meals a day to my dogs and i puree all veggies and oatmeal and meat together. the one my dogs love is lamb, organ meat ,sweet potato, oatmeal and small amount of apple and if i use too much fruit my yorkie’s stool is too soft. but i just use different veggies and meat . i keep it simple safe and healthy.and once a month i use liver. but i also add alfalfa and omeaga’s and crushe egg shell multi vitamins/minerals daily and the vitamins that i buy do not have vitamin C as schanuzer’s and yorkies do not get extra c dogs make vitamin in their bodies. if my studies were the right info i read upon.but my breeds do not need to take vitamin c if anyone has found more info please let me know as we all want to share what we know to keep our pets as fit and healthy as we can. and i have been at this for a long time and just learning more and more. i just made dog food because i learned how dog food was made back in the 1970’s and did not want my pets fed that way now it is so different we have to worry about our food as well and keep our pets safe and us as well.any info i will be so thankful for but i do know that our pets are healthy is better on home made i have used this form of feeding many years. and my pets had long lives.and i know that after the recall i am so sorry so many pets died and know for sure i will never buy bag or can food for pets.my parents lost their love little dog and now feed the new dog home made. by the way my parents are in their late 80’s and early 90’s and eat health food since the 60’s so we are what we eat as our pets also are what they eat. i never worry about cooking for my pets. that is why i keep it simple and safe i don’t change it too much and i never use garlic it is in the onion family and i play it safe than sorry and i owe it to using this system from the 70’s and my dog’s long lives. i had 3 other dogs on this diet from the 70’s and i will not change my view on home made dog food but will take any helpful info form you guy’s my way is a very old way but it has worked.but anything better i am not too old to change to better. ha!

67. by anonymous on Feb 22, 2010 at 11:28 AM PST

i hope everyone turns to home made meals for their pets.... if no one buy’s the bad dog food will make them make better and safe food or will stop making and home made is better.my sister dog is sick and the vet thinks it the food i tried to get her to let me make the meals since she thought it was too much troubleand now she is crying and begging me for help i am not a vet... i feel so sad because i have alway’s made food and she laughed at me now i think her little angel isn’t going to make it and this is so sad i have looked on line all morning to se if any recalls that are new and can not find any. if any one see’s any please let me know . i feel so sick over her little guy. he is so tiny like my dog’s i just couldn’t stand it and i was so close to this little boy dog he is only 3 years old. a little maltese.please everyone keep making your dog’s food that is why i have i was so affraid of this happening to mine and winston is like my family we always visit my sister and i and our dog’s played like children together. i am worried and if anyone hears of another dog being ill from their dog food please let me know i am affraid to say the brand of food. thank you.but i hope no other dog will get sick.my sister and i are old ladies and our pets are our children . and age doesn’t have anything to do with the love but my sister’s heart is bad and i have a double worry here.

68. by anonymous on Mar 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM PST

Interesting post, glad to see the home made diet I’ve come up with is very similar to a lot of what a lot of you guys are feeding, i.e. meat, rice and veg. I also add probiotics and flaxseed oil and human multivits to their meal. Fed both my dogs high end’organic, nutritionally balanced’ dog food for years, and i thought they were doing well, that is until i switched to home made food(main reason was because my veteran dog was recently diagnosed with kidney problems, and then subsequent serious yeast infection, vet recommended canned renal diet food,honestly, a lot of vets seem to treat what’s printed on the dog food cans as gospel!) I decided if I’m going to spend that kind of money on canned specialist dog food I might as well cook my own. I’ve always liked the idea of home cooked food, but been put off by the belief that wet food is bad for their teeth(not true, my dog’s breath and teeth are a 100% better now than when they were when eating dried DF) and pet food companies like to tell us home cooked food is not as nutritionally balanced as kibbles(UNTRUE, AGAIN!)Well, my dogs have always had runny eyes, vets went as far as performing entropian surgery and antibiotics etc nothing helped, but since their change in diet their eyes no longer run, they are a lot more energetic, my veteran dog’s skin problem is getting better(where no amount of antibiotics helped, in fact, i now realise I should have refused the antibiotic prescriptions, well, live and learn..). I can say i’ll never go back to feeding commercial DF to my dogs again, I just wish I have done this earlier. Dog owners out there, if you have the time and ability to do it, please seriously consider home cooked food, if nothing else the savings on vet bills alone will make it worthwhile, not to mention the joy of seeing the enthusiasm your pet shows towards their daily meals!

69. by anonymous on Mar 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM PST

@68: That’s great, reflects what so many people find when they switch to homemade food. Dogs should always be enthusiastic about their food -- I can’t understand when people at the dog park tell me that their dogs don’t seem to care much about their meals or “play” with their food in some zany way. It’s sad, I think -- a real indication that the dogs know that the processed dog food is just lousy. Our dog can’t wait for her homemade meals and consumes them in no time flat before licking the bowl for a good five minutes.

I do wonder about the human multivitamins you say you use -- that’s one area where I figure that the dog multivitamins are more appropriate. Is there a rationale for using human multivitamins?

70. by anonymous on Mar 6, 2010 at 2:59 PM PST

i was so happy to read about your home made food and how well your 4 legged child is doing i have cooked for my dogs for years from 1970’ in fact. never have any of my dogs had their teeth cleaned at the vet because they never had problems and i am the one who writes longgg. but i had a dog who lived 21 years... my first 23 years and one who the breeder was going to put the pup to sleep due to heart problems.... well that girl lived 18 1/2 years and now i have two small ones 4 years and 2 years old no store bought food only home made food. back in the 1970’s a dear friend a greman who had top show dogs gave me recipes that was used on the show dogs. my friend many times has updated the recipes for my 4 legged kids. my frist dog was a import from germany yes apup from my friend a german shepperd pup madchen,23 years that dog lived i think most of it was on love for her mama. my next was a gplden retrievr i got from texas macey lived 21 years and my next dog was a sheltie also from texas. lived 18 1/2 years she was born with heart problems and the home made food seemed to help her and she grew and acted like any other dog played and was such a lady sheena wasthe sweetiest little girl. and now my yorkie is on home made food and my toy mini schanuzer is on home made food she is still like a 7 week old pup at 4 years old.. my yorkie has never had a problem either . but the shiny coats they have and eyes mental alertness and calm but active both kids are. everyone asks what kind of food do you feed these dog’s. i alway say shhh they don’t know they are dog’s and proud to say home made food. then they say that isn’t good for your dog’s ha! i had dogs to live in their twenties. all it takes is good food and balance and what vitamins a dog need in amount with which mineral’s a dog needs to size.i believe we are what we eat and as our winged or 4 legged kids i also have birds and had one 41 years of my life noah is gone but we have ziggy a pionus parrot who loves his 4 legged sister and brother ziggy has been with us now 12 years and he too gets home cooking not just pellets and seed and fruit and is very healthy. as you can tell from my pet’s and their past ages that me and my husband are not young anymore but we still believe in what we have done all those past years to now in real food for our pet’s . i am so glad that other people are doing what we have done since 1970... for the love of their dear sweet pet’s. so much luck to you all and your pet’s.

71. by Christine on Mar 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM PDT

For all you that want advice on cooking at home, both raw and cooked - there are great pointers at this address
(http://dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html),
from the woman that writes the nutrition articles for the Whole Dog Journal.
One of the key things to remember when cooking at home is that dogs need calcium in their diet if you’re feeding muscle meat without bones.
The otehr key is that if you incorporate a lot of variety into the diet, you will do a better job of meeting your dog’s nutritional needs over time.

72. by anonymous on Apr 1, 2010 at 6:03 AM PDT

i was gald to see the lady who writes for the whole dog journal remind eveyone that calcium is one of the most important thing in our dog’s diet.you can boil egg shell and cush to powder form to add to dog’s food.and for oil supplement 1/4cup olive oil,1/4cod liver oil,1/4 flaxseed oil give 1/2 teaspoon up tp 10 pounds,1 teaspoon up to 40 pounds,1 1/2 teaspoon up to 80 pounds:dry mineral supplement 1 cup brewers yeast,1 cup calcium lactate,1/2 cup alfalfa powder 1/2 tsp up to 5 lbs.- 3/4tsp. up to 10 lbs.,1tsp- 3tsp. up to 50 lbs. store both in fridge i am a old timer who has done the natural food for my family and pets as well as birds i have always had parrots along with dogs who lived into their twenties.

73. by anonymous on Apr 1, 2010 at 5:53 PM PDT

just wanted to add always remember too much liver can be toxic too much vitamin a. but organ meat is so good for our dogs. just remember no more than the prey animal would have in organs to break it down would be 1/16 of organ to the muscle meat given.oatmeal is a good carb for alot of dog’s but still puree that and some times i add 8 oz.’s of barley and 4 oz.’s of oatmeal to the veggies and meat for my gang but i make a lot of food at one time and freeze some and lable and date it in case i could not cook... i always plan accidents could happen and if i had to go into the hospital my gang would have food to eat. i like to use carrots ,sweet potato,pea’s,green beans,yellow squash ,green squash,spinach,and some pumpkin... i like to grow my own veggies and freeze for winter months for my husband and me and have healthy veggies for my gang the 4 legged babies. i like to use alot of lamb,chicken ,and buffalo... can’t find rabbit or duck anywhere right now in any store... in my area. my dogs will not eat if i leave out one of the veggies in the recipe.... i have a yorkie and a toy mini schanuzer they are 2 pounder’s not really picky but they can smell great. and just one veggie missing like green squash or what ever they know.i gave the recipes for the dry suplement and the oil supplement... make a very shiney coat and healthy dog. my little guy’s are so muscled to be so small.example of one of my recipe’s 2-1/2lbs. meat 1 cup carrots, 1/2cup green beans,1/2 cup sweet potato, 1/2 cup yellow squash,1/2 cup g.squash,1/2 cup peas, 1/4 cup pumpkin,1/4 cup spinachand 1 cup oatmeal(sometimes i put 1 c.barley and 1/2 oatmeal)meat i use 40%meat and 50%veggieand 10% carb. but this is how i do it... but have done this since late sixties and had dog to live into twenties. but the new recipes say differnt. it has worked for me and i just keep it simple and true for what has worked for my pets. now they say different percentage than i used. but i have been at this for along time and all the veggies have good vitamins and i feel the vit/mineral’s should be natural and i use alfalfa which is the father of all foods has all the vit’s/mineral’s need by man and animal wheat grass powder is also good as barley powder.and i always puree everything and a coffe grinder works great to make the egg shells to powder form of course use the grinder only for egg shells. i like steel cut oats in more natural state with all the good stuff you do have to cook it on low until very soft old fashion oats cook faster.and all meat i use comes from earth fare. we use to have our own meat but due to a death in the family we no longer do thati always wanted my pets to eat as good as we do. that is why i have done this for so many years hope this helps some one and any help i will glady take it thank you

74. by Gina D. on Apr 4, 2010 at 9:59 AM PDT

Last June I brought home a Great Dane puppy. She was just 6 weeks old...a little too early for weening, but the owner of the parents had already put a stop to the puppies nursing. My puppy was extremely healthy and very much able to eat solid foods. I did a lot of research of what to feed a Great Dane puppy because I’ve heard and read a lot about how they are prone to certain health problems that are due to quick growth spurts before the body can really handle it. I found a fabulous dry dog food that is made specifically for the X-Large breeds, called Wolf Cub made by Solid Gold.
I decided to have that available to the puppy at all times, plus I hmemade her dog food. I use Livers mixed with ground turkey, chicken or lamb and cook that with garlic and dried sea weed, added to brown rice and chopped fresh parsley then I mix in either carrots, sweet potato, green beans, spinach, broccoli and/or yellow squash. (I like to use 2 or 3 vegies in each meal)I found that mixing about 1/3 C of the dry kibble with 1/4 can of canned food (I like Newman’s Own canned dog food)and the homemade food helped her to grow at a pretty steady rate.
Now she’s 11 months old and her coat is so shiney! She’s very muscular and toned. Since she was about 6 months old, she’s also been getting fish oils, flax seed oil, digestive enzymes and glucosamine.
This dog will pretty much eat anything from mangoes to tomatoes. I like to give her beef jerky (human grade) or dried fruits like apples, mangoes and papaya as treats. Also, as snacks throughout the day I’ll give her sardines, canned salmon or vienna sausages.
I’m very curious to see how long I can keep her around, as well as healthy, with this kind of diet.
I also have a 15 year old Shephard mix that has been eating this diet since she was 5 months old and people are amazed when I tell them how old she is. Even the vet was in disbelief, he said she has the muscle tone and agility of a 4 - 5 year old dog.

75. by anonymous on Apr 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM PDT

i think you are doing a great job w/ you pup great danes are so very sweet dog’s. i had a german shephard that lived to be a 23 year old and she was fed home made only that was in 1970 at the end of dec.that was way before most people egvr thought about home made diets. and my next 4 legged kid was a golden retriever that lived to be 21 years old . now i have a wonderful toy mini schanuzer who is 4 years old and a little yorkie that came from a very bad breeder who let her 8 year old daughter kill all sibbling of my yorkie and mommie dog andrew was only two day’s old when i got him, so very tiny i was so scared. my sister worked w/ this bad lady. that is how i found out about him took him straight to my vet he had to get i.v.’s and i was home with him hour latter and never had such a young pup. my vet and i thought goats milk whould be the best for him . he did great and is now two years old on home made food as i have done for all my pet’s.and i make a dry supplement for the vitamins and minerals and a oil supplement for their coats. and alfalfa powder is a wonderful thing for pets it has all the vitamins and minerals as well as trace minerals that is needed by human or animalthat is added to the dry supplement i will be happy to share the recipe if you would like. keep up the great work with you legged kids they sound great.

76. by Carol Noel on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:28 PM PDT

I thank you all for the great information in these posts. Thelma - a big labrador type mix - is 9 years old and since I have been supplementing her Senior Dog Food she has lost weight and looks so much better!!! I chop up everything we don’t eat (the chard and kale stems, some brocs, sprouts etc.), brown rice or oatmeal and vege.water. Ground flax seed goes on top...with perhaps a poached or scrambled egg twice a week. I think I will try the ground up eggshells...maybe 1/2 of my calcium tablet. I get whatever ground chicken or turkey is on sale.... She likes it and it makes me happy to do it!!!

77. by anonymous on Apr 7, 2010 at 6:42 PM PDT

i am glad that thelma is losing weight... so important as the dog is getting old for the joints to be slim .the powdered egg shells once a week are greatand oils are good for pets ... i like using olive oil, cod liver oil, and wheatgrem oil,and flaxseed oil together and keeping it in a brown bottle or white bottle in the refrigerator and using it at every meal i will be happy to share the amount i use if anyone would like to try this but i do this everyday for the life of my pets over their food as well as my dry supplement and i like alfalfa powder,barley juice powder, and wheatgrass powder but alfalfa has every thing for human and animals needs that is one i never run out of.and i use carrots, pea’s, yellow and green squsah,green beans, pumpkin, sweet potato,spinach, parsley,kale for the veggies for my pets some are way too gas.... ie for my pet’s tummy so these do great and i stick to what has worked from past to now and i love the steel cut oats and whole barley and even add them in balance together sometimes. i like whole chicken w/ organ meat once a week and i use lamb and buffalo can’t find rabbit meat now use to use that as dog’s eat rabbit in the wild but i do buy duck as dog’s eat that as well i like the buffalo as it is feild rasied no growth hormoned used. i buy amish rasied meats.i use kidney’s and heart meat as well as liver once a week as too much will be toxic to the dog’s. and i use around 10-10 1/2 % oats to each meal. my dog’s do not handle grains like brown rice at all. and i do puree everything. so they don’t waste energy to digest the food. it works for my small dog’s best.i balance it all to cook the meal and since i don’t have anything to do these day’s as i am a old lady i cook frsh daily. when i had large dog macey golden retriever who was 5 weeks the day we got her and lived to 21 years old ... she had a heart attack in a strom really stressed her out the house shook.and my other large dog was a german shephard madchen was 23 years old when she passed away. now i have leisel a schanuzer and andrew a yorkie that we saved he was a new born and the breeder lost the mom and all sibbling. we took him right away to vet who gave i.v.’s and home in 1 hour w/ a very helpless baby dog who was only a few oz.’s in weight sooo tiny i bottle fed him w/ goats milk and he grew and was stronger from day to day and i started him on home made food and he and leisel that is all i ever have done . it would be strange to feed bagged or can food have never done that. but my pets were all very healthy and i was a health food nut from the early sixties as my mom was in the late 1940’s and in the 1950’s so as i went out on my own that is all i knew. and i learned and studied food as what it does and doesn’t do for our bodies.what is good for dog’s and what is not and for human and ect and birds and cat’s as i had a cat who was 29 1/2 years old and had a parrots when i was three years old and i had that parrot his name was noah and he was a cookatoo he passed away when i was 47 years old but my uncle had noah for over 20 years before he passed away. my husband in the service we moved many times with the animals after we out we had them all many years and raise children with the pets. they went off to school and the pets were still home.i can tell you this we are exactly what we eat as the pet’s are what they eat. by the way i would advice read the book cold nosed at the pearly gate lol... i have the book and can’t remember if that is the exact name loned it out so can’t check it . but now i have grand children and i am a old lady who will have pet’s until the day i die if my mind stays well enough. i wouldn’t know what it is to not have a pet around... i was lucky that all my pet’s were from a breed who i knew that were gifts except andrew.... we saved him the breeder wasn’t going to care for him because the mama dog and sibbling died.he is a wonderful little boy. he can say i want my mama... everyone gets a laugh out him talking but i just love those soft bright eye’s... good luck

78. by Candace on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:12 AM PDT

Only problem here is since shes not giving the dogs organic meats and veggies shes not helping the dogs at all! What shes doing is no different than feeding them the commercial dogfood with all the chemicals in it! People PLEASE do not do this! This is probably more harmful for the dogs than feeding them the commercial dogfood that is aweful for dogs. The dogs are still being loaded up with the chemicals, growth hormones(proven to cause cancer in ppl and pets quicker since theyre smaller), pesticides, from the meat and vegs : ( It is so sad when people dont try an educate themselves on what they eat and feed their pets. Dont do this people! If you are going to make your dog a home made diet do it the right way and buy them organic chicken (Harris Teeter $2.59 a lb) organic carrots you can get a BIG bag at Harris Teeter also for about $4.99, organic brown rice, wild blueberries (Walmart), organic apples (mostly specialty organic stores). Here is a book that gives an organic diet in it for your pets and holistic healings with herbs and foods: Natural Pet Cures by John Heinerman. Again please do not feed your dogs like she is with the farm raised chicken and vegs! Did you know that our fruit and vegs are stripped of nutrients? It is because farmers dont let their land rest for 7 yrs like the bible says to. It takes 4 pieces of regular fruit or vegs to equal 1 piece of organics nutrition wise. When you eat reg fruit or vegs you arent getting anything but a little water, no nutrients! And people wonder why they are getting cancer its because their bodies are starving nutritionally and they have no nutrition to guard them against cancer and same for our pets. Be smart and educate yourselves on this, dont do like this woman. There are so many chemicals on our fruits and vegs that I have read in many sources that all the scrubbing in the world only gets off a small portion of the chemicals. This holistic vet I go to, his dog is a 20 yr old labador, yes you heard me right. The reason being is that he has fed him an all organic diet his life of organic chicken, wild salmon, wild blueberries, organic brown rice, org carrots, org broccoli,cold pressed flaxseed oil, barley powder, alfalfa sprouts, liquid aged garlic extract, beet juice powder, some of the things you can use. There are recipes in the book I mentioned above for cats and dogs. Be smart people, dont be led like sheep to the slaughter by uneducated people! Educate yourselves!

79. by Carol Noel on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:35 AM PDT

Your comments are well taken, Candace...but who’s to say the vegetables we feed our pets are not organic...or that the fruit mine eat is not organic. In fact, in my case they are. I DO have a problem finding grassfed beef so I don’t feed my dog organ meats as that is where all the nasty stuff is stored and filtered. We are not all ‘uneducated’...we are simply doing what we can with the sources available!!!

Carol

80. by anonymous on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:45 PM PDT

I started my dogs on homemade dog food 3 days ago and it seems to me they’ve gained weight/gotten heavier. Are homemade dog food more fattening than commercial dog food? He’s a Yorkie and was always on the chubby side and I’ve wanted him to slim down for awhile and was hoping that it would be one of the perks of making homemade dog food. Please give me feedback on how you’re pet’s weight has stayed same/slimmed down/gone up since on homemade food. He’s a 7.5 lb. or so 3.5 year old boy. How much food to give would be great, too. Thanks.

81. by anonymous on Apr 18, 2010 at 6:37 AM PDT

i don’t know but i think we all should help each other rather than put each other down.... i have had all my dog’s to live well into their twenties and they ran and played no hip and joint problems there in my old timer dogs and they didn’t lose their eye sight or hearing. i raised my own fruit tree’s and blueberrie tree’s and my own veggies and family owned meat. not everyone is as lucky or in different area’s it is really hard to find organic foods and meats and even health food store don’t have everything you need.and i do understand how hard it can be to find some good healthy food’s. i am lucky but all are not and i don’t think anyone should tell anyone off. you can say what you do and if asked say what you feel is best. i am a old lady who has done the health food thing for my family and my pets one cat lived 28 years with me and was a stray cat not a kitten.my dog’s have lived well in their twenties.and you can feed homemade and do everything right but thing’s can happen sometimes pet’s have thing’s wrong that organic food will not help just make it easier on the pet.so try not to put someone downif they are doing the best they can do. i think it is great that all these people are trying to give their pet’s what they feel is best and the love they are showing by doing so. i have been at this before most all of you were born from the 1960’s and 1970’s. i knew we were what we ate from my mom during the 1940’s she raised me and my sister that way... then she was the first health food nut i knew and i went on with that my sister just eats what ever and her health is not as mine and my parents are in their 90’s and still travel and put out a garden ... we are what we eat as our pet’s not all do their own garden’s and have organic meats also you can by amish grown chicken and yes the person who said organic organ meat is the only safe organ meat is right on best not to give if you don’t have but not everyone knows that or just learning. and i think it’s great so many are learning and doing what they can afford that is another biggie afford.but now i have been at this along time and i am still learning that is something we never stop doing.learning and help.... ing each other. have a great day.

82. by Carol Noel on Apr 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM PDT

#80...I think it depends a lot on how much exercise does he get and what you put in his food.... My labrador mix has slimmed down a bit because mostly I put vegetables and meat. I also get cheap bones and simmer them a long time with acid in the water (vinegar, lemon juice etc) to leach calcium out of the bones...then make her food with that water. I think the healthier the food, the better for all of us. I use the stems of my kale and spinach, the rind/seeds/flesh of a big squash we have here like pumpkin...shredded carrots etc.

83. by anonymous on Apr 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM PDT

i also have a yorkie.... i hand raised him from birth due to the lose of the moma dog and other sibbling’s co-worker had the yorkies and asked if i could care for the two day old pup or she was going to have him put down. and i just paid for him and tok him to my vet who gave him i.v.’s and off to home we went me and my very tiny andrew. i gave him goat’s milk and 24/7 care everything a mama dog would do. then i started him on not puppy food but homemade food and he is still on home made that has been for all two years of his life and he is so very healthy. he isn’t over weight but he is very toned. he is so very active a little busy body.but here is kind of a chart i got from my vet about calories and size:
Dog’s weight requirements
5 Lb.’s 250
11 Lb.’s 450
but i watch him from week to week to see his weight stay’s the same. sometimes it may take a few weeks before the weight start’s to come off... but you don’t want your baby to lose weight too fast. let it come off slow and take your baby for walks and it will happen. i give my baby lot’s of these veggies cooked into his food carots, pea’s, green beans , yellow squash, green squash,sweet potato, and celery,sipnach and i usually add fresh parsley to his diet in the meals.he does better on lamb and chicken i use the organ meat that is in the chicken... too much liver is vitamin a toxic. when i ad organ meat which i do i try to add about like it is prey 1/16 to amount of meat we raise our own meat and i grow and freeze the veggies for over the winter month’s and i use wheatgrass juice powder,barley juice powder and alfalfa juice powder but only a pinch as he is only 2/12 lbs.it gives him alot of energy.and alfalfa has every vitamin and mineral known needed for human or animal. but when adding new supplements start small over few weeks then start adding more to full dose and check your pet daily as with any new food. and you know your pet better than anyone as if it isn’t right for your pet. and if you have a dog that has lupus Don’t use alfalfa it bring on lupus flares as it does w/ people.i learned all this many, many years ago. i am the old lady who has had dog’s to live into there twenties and be very careful about recipes on line. some are not so good. that is why i never give out my recipes what is good for one dog may not be for another dog. and i wrote about alfalfa weeks ago. it has every thing you need but isn’t for dogs or human w/ lupus. i did not mention that and remember that i did not say. so i am now... and i am sorry i did not say about the lupus... sometimes i forget some are just starting out learning about homemade meals for their pet’s. and we are here to help one another. alway’s remember you know your pet better than anyone. and don’t do anything you feel isn’t safe because i say i use it or someone tells you always research and do the best you can and your pet will love you for doing all you do.have a great day everyone.

84. by Vickie on Apr 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM PDT

We have 2 Great Danes and allow them to graze. As much as I would like to prepare a healthy diet for them, 2 Danes at 150 lbs each would keep me in the kitchen all the time.

85. by anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:31 AM PDT

wow, 140 lbs.each but they are such sweet dog’s.have you seen this recipe on line it might help... it is balaced well i came across this one... it might help w/ big dog’s. it stsates it yields 20 cups.
2 1/2 lb whole chicken( the whole chicken-but you can find larger chicken’s)
1 cup green peas
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped green beans
1/2 cup celery
1 tblsp kelp powder
1tsp dried rosemary
1 tblsp fresh garlic
8 oz(1 cup) whole barley & 6 oz rolled oats
in a stainless steel stock pot add everything w/ enough spring water(springwater has minerals)bring to a boil then lowwer heat cook for 2 1/2 hrs. cool then puree everything in small batches. this recipe i like as well as the one i have used for my own dogs since the 1960’s and the 1970’s and i use now. i like chicken and i like lamb meat for my yorkie he has never eaten kibble and his teeth are snow white and my schanuzer is 4 1/2 with snow white teeth my dogs who lived in their twenties nevr had to have the teeth cleaned by the vet kibble only cause tooth problems in dogs so don’t worry about the need for dry food that is what it is dry and all dogs need oil that is good for the joints and and skin and fur the eye’s and the list goes on for oil supplement. friends that i have given oil supplements to them for their dog’s i have noticed that some will just shine the first week then some it takes about a month and after finding out what food they fed the ones on the really bad, bad dry food took longer to look better.i use to use olive oil during the 1970’s and it worked for my dog’s but over the years i started adding 2 -3 different oils with either fish oil or cod liver oil and i really like that for my dog’sbut each person know’s their pet best and what is good or bad for them just like their children and what works for one will not work for the other as with my guy’si think it is good that you want to cook for your danes and you are right they are large and will eat alot i had a 125 lb german shepard that was a import from a dear friend in germany that raised these beautiful dog’s madchen was 9 weeks when i got her and she lived a wonderful 23 years.and , she was veery active at 23 years young she ran and played and carried her lovey to bed every night. and weeks froim being 24 years old she went to bed as usual and had her stuffed teddy bear and just didn’t wake up the next morning that was really hard on me because by then my child was away at college and me and my husband cried for weeks then saw golden retriever pups macey was 5 weeks old when we brought her home and she lived a mere 21 1/2 years and both girls were are home made food back in the 1960 no one did that but me the health food nut lady. and now i have a toy mini schanuzer leisel and a yorkie andrew m. s. 4 1/2 yrs and y.t. is 2 1/2 yrs. and they too never ate one thing that is store bought food for dog’s now my vet is asking me how to’s for his and her own pet. and yes i weent after hours and gave info on how i feed my pet’s they are impressed with my dog’s. the new female vet who is taking my vet of many years he is a very old man and needs to retire i am a old timer too. and he is a dear friend.i have not had so many pets but always w/ a pet i was so blessed to have my dear sweet dog’s for years of love and was like part of me died at the passing .i wish you all well w/ your dear sweet pets much health and happiness. have a great day.

86. by anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM PDT

well for the person who has the two great danes i found the recipe i put down on line very balanced and i made a batch and froze it for latter use i like the recipe very much... and , i will be using this recipe for my gang.and the veggies would be right for a great dane... but having danes i would stay clear of recipes that call for brocolli,cauliflower and cabbage as danes have deep chest and seems to me the could get bloat easy and those veggies are very gassy not good for any dog. even alot of recipes calls for them very healthy but i would not use those i always say stay simple,healthy,and most of all save. and you can look up what each veggie has in the way of vitamins and minerals. if your breed can take sea kelp that is so good for dog’s too as well as alfalfa juice powder is great and i also us barley juice and wheat gras juice powder for my gangeach works wonder’s for human and pet’s alfalfa is the father of all the green juice powder’s but each is very, very good for our pet’s.i use the alfalfa in my dry supplement i make for my gang and give a pinch of the other great green juice powder here and there. and oil supplements are great for the dog’s and not only inside and out for the dog’s but helps to oil joint too.i hope i have been of some help that is what it is all about not a know it all and don’t want to sound that way i just like to help and get advice we are alway’s learning. and as i say over and over i have home cooked for my pet’s before health food was around and i have had dog’s to live into their twenties and they were large dog’s. i now have a yorkie and a toy mini schanuzer and each are in the two pound mark one is 2 1/2 years that would be andrew my yorkie and my little schanuzer is 2 lbs of mighty muscle she is my little leisel and they are so sweet they love everyone and love to play even w/ large dog’s they are not affraid of anything and i really have to keep both eye’s on them at all times.... they are very healthy and has never so much as tasted dog food. and andrew i have had since he was two day’s old so i can say he has never tasted the stuff and the vet is so pleased w/ their health. the vet who took care of my older dogs that have passed was so shocke that they lived and were active in the twenties and the new vet that will replace him next month(and i am going to miss him)asked me what i feed my pets and i told her and gave her the recipes for dry and oil supplements and she is going to use them for her own dog’s now. on homemade the dog’s teeth stay white because it is the kibble that cause the tarter really.... but dry food is just that dry and it is even more important for the pet cat or dog to have the oil supplements.i have done this for my pet’s and when i travel we alway’s have a kitchen for me to cook for the pet’s and it is no more than cooking for me and my husband except i puree everything and i alway’s did even for the bigger dogs. with madchen it was alot of guess work she lived 23 years and macey all the guess work was out now it would be strange to us dog food. madchen was from the early 1960 and she passed away in 1983 we got macey and thenin the middle of 1983 and macey passed away 4 years ago that is when i got my leisel the schanuzer how time goes by any way .maybe macey was older than i thought when she passed away. time passes so fast. have a great day

87. by anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:22 PM PDT

Paragraphs, people. Paragraphs! :)

88. by anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:54 PM PDT

to #86. Can you give me the recipe that you feel your teacup Yorkie? I have one around 2-2.5 lbs. with very sensitive stomach (since they are so small). He’s been eating Science Diet wet dog food since it seems to be the only thing he can tolerate. I stay clear of treats, etc... Please email me at sierrabear81@yahoo.com.

89. by anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 6:07 PM PDT

for my yorkie and my toy mini schanuzer i use these as i did when i had larger do’s but the amount for your size and my size dog;
OIL SUPPLEMENT:
1/4 cup olive oil( iget it at earth fare)
1/4 CUP CANOLA OIL (OR WHEAT GERM OIL)
1/4 CUP COD LIVER OIL( OR SALMON OIL)
1/4 CUP FLAXSEED OIL
I keep this in the refrigerator in a white or brown glass bottle (it keeps better) shake before each use and i put 1 teaspoon on the first meal and 1 teaspoon on next meal but when starting the oil supplement start off with 1/2 tsp and if the little does okay you can keep it there or add more its all up to what you feel is best for your baby being a tiny yorkie mine does better on 1/2 tsp at each meal and my schanuzer does bett w/ 1 tsp at each meal all dog’s are different even the same size and same breed.
dry supplement:
1 cup brewers yeast (or nutritional yeast)
1/4 cup kelp powder (HEALTH FOOD STORE)
1/4 cup lecithin granules ( health food store)
1 1/2 CUP CALCIUM LACTATE( HEALTH FOOD STORE)
1/8 CUP ALFALFA POWDER
i use 50% veggies to 40% meat and 10% barley and oats mixed in meals it works better for my small guy’s the reason for that is fresh veggies have so many natural vitamins and the a;falfa and kelp have so many minerals and trace mineral that the dogs are getting all natural and not made in a lab some where their bodies can use all the good natural stuff better. just in balance it is easy but from the 1960 and 1970 until now i have always done it this way so buying the other way seem not so natural for me and if i had to go store bought for my dog’s i would be lost. and why i use lecithin is back in 1984 i had a friend who had a dog with oily fatty things all over it and she had one on the conor of her eye... nasty looking and i took lecithin and knew what it could do she asked me if i could help her after a month on the lecithin the fatty thing at the cornor of her eye was gone she used it on her dog and it looked so much better i started using it that is why i do but you each have to do what you feel is best for your own pet.the only veggies i use for my dog’s are carrot, peas, green bean, green and yellow squash,sweet potato, celery,and spinachabout once a week or two and pumpkin. i use no rice brown or white my dog can’t eat it i do puree everything andi use stell cut oats and barley that is all they can handle and they can eat wheat germ i also use a coffee grinder to grind egg shells in to powder form no sharp edges. they get this once a week for more calcium and i clean their teeth with cq 10 10 mg’s and they have great teeth and the meats that i use are lamb and chicken and i use the organs and the heart is also added to the organ meat and i do use some buffalo at times never pork of any kind also they love raw carrot sticks and raw celery sticks w/ cottage cheese. i am not into raw diets and never did them and don’t want to use them on my yorkie i believe in healthy and simple and save and i like natural ways but everyone has to do what they feel is save for their pet it has worked for 40 years this way and i feel save using these thing for my pets. and i will be happy to give the recipes as soon as i know what kind you want for your baby being a yorkie i know as many of my friend have problems with their’s but andrew was just a lucky little guy w/out issuse as most yorkie have and i am lucky too.let as soon as you let me know if it the main meal i will email them to youjust take it very slow to see if your baby can change the diet.you are the mom and your baby depends on your judgement .but i will be happy to share .

90. by anonymous on Apr 27, 2010 at 5:57 AM PDT

remember: some say feed avocados but do your research avocados are great for humans but look up for your self.... avocados can do real harm and kill dogs just as grapes and raisins ... but alot of holistic foods contain avocados for our pets best to do research before taking words from anyone foods that are good and foods that harm. play it healthy and play it safe.... you may not know the harm it has done until too late. i home cook for my dog’s but i studied foods too... and avocados harm the dogs heart. and i always say look it up do not take my word or anyones use you own judgement what is safe and what is not.it just could be doing damage to your dog’s heart until it is too late you might not even know. i hope this will help you all to research... and make notes of everything you feed over a months time and then you will know what works for your dog and what doesn’t and always change to what is working and leave off the foods that do not work. and check the dogs weight often to make sure the calories are working. as my own dog’s age i did alot of adjustments to fit the dog.... and i have had my own dog’s fed homemade madchen we got her in 1960 and she lived until 1983 that is when we got macey in 1983 and she passed away 4 years ago that is when i got my schanuzer who is now 4 years and all have never had store bought food. but i studies the vaules of food from the very start of the 60’s and i am still learning new thing’s and my dog’s did get their teeth brushed and like a dumb thing in the 60’s i used crest on poor madchen did not know but learned as they made tooth paste for dog’s.but when she passed she had beautiful white teeth and no tarter as old as she was.... good she didn’t get sick with me doing that.... but we all learn and research .i believe we all do things meaning well for our pets and look back and say that could have reall damaged my 4 legged child. that is why i say research everything i learned from my mistakes but it didn’t hurt my girl and everything is made different now then during those times ingredients have changed alot in so many everyday things. that is why over the years i study, research and research everything.

91. by anonymous on Apr 27, 2010 at 6:37 AM PDT

i wrote something about research the food you feed you pets earlier(here is a sight... how to makehome made dog food...associated contient type this in has info for your pet and what not to feed and causes) i care very much for my own 4-legged kids and i care very much for all pets and i want to see them as healthy as they can be ... i do believe home made is much healthier for all pets. i have done this long before because i knew it was better. and i knew dog food was mostly grains and other things that pets did not need.but here is a sight that can give some in sight on the danger’s of raisins and grapes and avocados and the lenght of time it can take before they can kill yor pet but avocades damge is the heart of yor pet. alot of companies did not research the effects and thought avocados were only bad for birds and alot of companies ( i know one lady who works for ingridients for a very well known holist pet food company she travels to get some of the ingredients herself.. stated to me they sound good and are good for people and people want what they eat for their pet’s) well i really had a few words for her in a very nice way... and she only could say well people eat this or that. so please research everyone please. we only want to give our pets what is safe and take away the junk that is in our pet food from compaines who really only care of the money they make from us. and when we don’t really know and it is made to sound so very healthy of course we want it... not knowing a food could be so dangerous.keep making healthy foods your pet will be so thankful and you can be so proud to see the difference you have made... and not sorry you did not research. i do hope this will help and not be taken wrong. have a great day

92. by Carol Noel on Apr 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM PDT

I had always believed the info re: avocados for dogs, until we moved to Hawaii and we have 14 avocado trees. Our dog (lab mix) eats them all of the time...and she slims down for the few months there are none ripening and she has eaten her ‘stash’. Yes, if they aren’t ripe enough, she buries them until they are perfect. Most dogs here are avocado maniacs...cats too! Thelma is in very good health, has a beautiful coat ... but she gets a bit chubby during the season. She also loves bananas, tangerines, sweet oranges, macnuts, mangoes, Surinam Cherries etc. etc. etc. Lychees and Longans are some of her favorites....

93. by anonymous on Apr 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM PDT

i am so glad that avocados haven’t hurt any of the island 4-legged kids. my dogs love fruit but i will still not give the avocados... ha! my holistic vet said after two years of feeding her dog avocados it had heart problems and said the smaller dog the worse it was for them... and she stated that she has done much research on the subject and i have found pro’s and con’s to this i have not had this vet for long as my long time vet retired.but i do like her and think i will keep her as my vet.... i had one dog that i got 1960 and she passed away in 1983 and the dog i got after her death in 1983 lived until 4 years ago that is when we got our schanuzer and our new kid is 2 years old . we have always fed a homemade food to our pets and they have all been very healthy. my big dog’s that have passed even ate walnuts and that is a no-no... but with my small ones i am very ify on some thing’s that i feed them. as my schanuzer is a toy mini schanuzer weighing a mere 2 lbs she is very tiny wearing a x-x small and is big on her and my yorkie is 2 1/2 lbs bigger than my schanuzer funny thing. but i have always had pets just not many due to a long life and feel blessed at that due to my girls were very active into their twenties and i feel that there is something to homemade or they lived on love cause that wasn’t something people use to do but i am a old timer and always a health nut.and i am learning new things all the time and what i say i hope it wasn’t taken wrong.. but there are pro and cons to avocados that i have read and i do remember reading about another dog who was healthy also but ate avocados when they moved to a new home but didn’t bother the dog. but as for me i will take no chance and enjoy the island there in hawii a beautiful place.my dogs love bananas and they calm dogs or so some say i haven’t seen this in my gang they just like them and melons, blueberries... other fruits too.which is good for the dogs and cats.have a great day and glad your dog is doing well.

94. by anonymous on Apr 30, 2010 at 2:57 PM PDT

hell-o everyone ... it is getting that time of year that sometimes our 4- legged kids get fleas.. even though it is said that healthy dog’s do not get fleas... we all know it can happen. going to the groomer’s or even the vets office. the last time i went there was a dog there and the fleas were jumping off that poor dog and i picked fleas off me and my dog.. i have a few recipes w/out chemical’s. i worry about what i put on my dog as well as what they eat.you can put this into a glas salt shaker too and the other recipe is for shampoo
shampoo::::shake before each use
pure castile soap for shampoo
1/8 teaspoon of peppermint oil
dry flea powder:::
put equal amounts of
rosemary,dry powder
lavender,drypowder
eucalyptus, dry powder
mix well and put on back of neck and down the back...shake before each use... and put under the fur not on top.
after shampoo rinse: leaves coat shinny and also keeps fleas off:
boil 1 pint of water and add dried rosemary after the water has boiled, steep about 15-20 minutes and strain and after cooled pour over pet after shampoo. and castile soap is very gentle you get it at the health food store pure castile soap it does not dry the skin or fur and rosemary makes the coat very shinny, too. hope this will help if you don’t already have this.

95. by Nancy Sleger on Apr 30, 2010 at 7:36 PM PDT

I have a 14# daschund-pomeranian with terrible food and environmental allergies. Am starting to feed him homemade dog food, but not sure about how much to feed. If he is fed 1/3-1/2 cup dry food, is it the same with homemade? More? Less? Thanks for any feedback.

96. by anonymous on May 2, 2010 at 7:58 AM PDT

i have always fed homemade dog food not sure but i am sure someone who has went from dry to homemade food will give the amount they feed their dog... i think it is wonderful that you are starting your dog on homemade food. and even though your dog will want more do as you do if changing dog food brand add only small amount until yoour dog is on homemade in about a week. and remember oil supplements and dry supplements . their is a recipe on the above info that way your baby will get natural vitamins and minerals. not made in a lab somewhere.and alfalfa has every vitamin and mimeral also trace minerals that is needed for human and animal.i have anew adopted dog that i give home made food also my others are small and i give 1/4 cup of home made to my 2 lb dog’s and my 12 lb i give 3/4 cup and that is 1/4 twice a day and 3/4 cup twice a day for all. i think they do better on two meals but not everyone feeds twice a day to their pet... what ever is best for your pet and works. just remember to watch the weight from week to week if your baby loses too much add more and if they gain take awy a liitle un til you get what is working for your dog.i give home made treats 2-3 times a day. i have a begger but he isn’t over weight.. i do give blue berries and carrot sticks for treats and remember fruit can cause loose stool in large amounts and dogs seem to love fruit als melon like cantaloup is good too but small is more when it comes to fruit for some dogs. and i make cookies with about a 1/2 lamb and veggies that i puree and 1 egg {also (powdered) egg shell that has boiled 25 minuts and dried then i put it in a cffee grinder}and the egg is beatn first but meant and veggies and fruit is cooked and puree it . i put wheat germ which is good for the dog and i haven’t seen one that can’t eat wheat germ but sure their are some as w/ people and pet’s . mix it well and bake 350 for 30 minutes and these make a soft cookie or leave in the oven after turned off it your baby likes haeder cookies for about 15 minutes
wheat germ cookies
1/2 lb lamb cookedpuree
1/4 cup cooked veggies puree
for veggies what ever veggies you want to use
1 egg,beaten 1/2 tsp egg shell powder
1 cup wheat germ
mix well and it is just a bit sticky until well worked. form int what sige ball you want your dog to have. then press w/ fork to flaten on a greased cookie sheet.
i use to make the same cookies w/ blueberries and brown sugar for my kids and other fruit and i even pureed veggies when they were not eating veggies. and my children didn’t know they got healthy cookies they loved them and now use them on their own kids. you can do alot w/ this recipe. pets and children with the right ingredients for each.and some recipes on line some are better than other and their are alot of books with just recipes for pets.but some many people on this sight are more than happy to share and say what they do.. and will say what works for mine might not work for your dog... this is a great sight to find.

97. by anonymous on May 2, 2010 at 11:53 AM PDT

I started feeding my dogs homemade food about 3 weeks ago and everything has been going great. However, the last batch of food I made, one of my dogs vomits after an hour or 2 of consumption. My other 4 dogs have no problems at all, down to the teacup size. I’m trying to figure out what is causing my one dog this reaction. Could he be especially sensitive? Perhaps it’s the olive oil? I put just a tad more this last batch so I’m wondering if that could be the cause. Other than that, I have no clue. Any ideas?

98. by anonymous on May 2, 2010 at 4:58 PM PDT

i am sorry your baby got sick. try adding small amount example: 1/8 tsp. then 1/4 tsp. then1/2 tsp. then 1 tsp. if that is full amount. my 2 lbs dog’s get 1/2 tsp oiil over their morning meal then 1/2 over their evening meal.but they have eaten this way for years but anything new i start out very small and work up to full amount... just like w/ new food even supplements.and i keep a log of everything i feed and if just one dog has a reaction then i know what it is and not to feed that dog or try a small amount and if another reaction then i leave that off for that dog. but i find keeping ;ogs on my dog’s help’s if i see improvement or not. but it take’s about two months to see improvement w/ some dog’s and sometimes a dog system has to rid of toxins from dog food and might take longer to see a change. if you know a holistic vet ... they can help in the change over... and many times a holistic vet has lost a pet from 2007 recall and are more than happy to go a extra mile to help your baby and some holist vets have recipes for the dog’s w/ sensitive stomachs.and remember organ meats are good but too much liver can is vitamin toxic i always add organ meat but only about 1/16 the amount of organ meat that your dog would get if they killed the prey in the size they kill. but i cook my dog’d meat done some use raw but i do see a danger in that... but that is me.and i do use alot of veggies but never broccoli or in that family due to gas and again that is me. i have seen a friend s dog w/ bloat she fed broccoli and brussels sprouts some dog’s can’t eat it and then some are fed that and do fine... that is up to the owner but her dog did not die but came very close to it she now will not fed that or in the family of.and her dog is on a bland diet always but that was 3 years ago and the dog is fine now.just start out small and work up to full amounts. good luck

99. by anonymous on May 19, 2010 at 4:54 PM PDT

I’d like to know (if anyone can tell me) are cooked Nettles (Urtica Dioica, Stinging Nettles) OK to add to my dog’s food as a vegetable? I eat quite a lot of steamed Nettle tops in Spring before they flower, and a couple times added a small amount to my dog’s dinner with some grated steamed carrot. She ate it all up, and looks well, and no bad things happened to her....but now I’m reading online that Nettles are toxic for dogs! I can’t figure out if what that means is they are toxic RAW, (I would never give them to her raw! or eat them raw myself!) but am still unsure about when they’re cooked.
Does anyone know for sure please?

100. by Linda on May 26, 2010 at 7:53 PM PDT

I have a 80 lb lab that is allergic to most every dog food she has so many allergies from her allergy test ther is only 2 dogs food she can have .Not likeing dog food for the reasons of them causing so many health problems i make my own I cook a chicken in the pressure cooker i cook it for a couple hours on low after i have it up to pressure for 2= minutes i turn it down low , then i take that out and i let it cool and run it through the meat grinder i am told by the animal nutritionist that the bones are good as they just crumble and that is a good source of calcium ..Then i add 1 sweet potato 1 yam 8 carrots and i cook those in the pressure cooker for 8 minutes ..While i am doing that i cook 3 cups of oatmeal , i then put the vegtables in one tub and the ground meat in another which i then transfer to zip lock bags 3 cups of chicken in a bag i then put all the meat in freezer for every three days ...I take 1/2 cup meat and 1/2 cup vegetables and then some of the 1/4 cup oatmeal i put it on a plate and microwave for 1 minute then i put it in the bowl .I feed her that twice a day .Aboyut once a month I Roast 2 turkeys i buy them when they are on sale then i take the meat of the bone and run it through the meat grinder, i also use the neck and the organ meat ,and i put this up the same way in 3 cup servings per bag ,that is a 3 day supply of meat I mix that with the vegetables and also like to alternate and use peas, carrots, green beans and zuchinni, the bone from the chicken in the pressure cooker is good...she also get blueberries and strawberries and apples ,.I buy frozen and take a small amount of of each about a handful total out let it thaw and come to room temperture and throw that in with the night time food ever other night I do the same with one egg every 2 days..I was told nothing hot ,room temperature only as hot causes stomach upset She has NOT done well with the fish oil it makes her have the runs. I am told not to worry as she is getting a good variety of foods and is really doing well for a dog that has had problems since the day we got her she is going on 2 and she is just finally after taking her off dog food and doing this myself doing very well .....I am going to try barley now as she is allergic to all rice and potatoes and kelp and pork , and beef & brewers yeast her tests did not come back as allergic to fish but she does not tollerate that well. finding vitamins has been hard as the seem to have fish oil or brewers yeast or kelp .But as i said the nutritionist said not to worry as i am giving her very well balanced diet and i nthe wild they would not have been eating vitamins ..Now Her hair is all growing back in we have not had to go back to the vet for infections she is feeling and looking good ..She has not gained any weight as we do not want her to and the amount was hard to come up with the right portions but we have that all down now she is finally thriving ..Good luck all ....

101. by anonymous on Jun 13, 2010 at 5:26 PM PDT

i just put the meat, rice, carrots, peas, and I add some garlic to keep fleas away with the right amount of water into a huge crock pot and cook it until everything is ready. Then i put the amount for each serving into zip lock bags and freeze them in the freezer. I make like a months worth of food at one time. Take the food im going to feed her out of the freezer like 2 days before I give it to her and put it in the fridge. My Boxer likes it..

102. by anonymous on Jun 13, 2010 at 5:29 PM PDT

dont add oils.. try to think of what the dogs would eat naturally.. slow cookers are nice because you dont need to cook with any kind of oil. Sometimes some raw organic meat is a nice treat for them as well. My dog LOVES it and she never ever gets sick from it.

103. by anonymous on Jun 13, 2010 at 10:01 PM PDT

re Linda May 26th .I have been using the pressure cooker and it take very little time to do a big batch of meat then vegetables up ,since my lab is allergic to rice i use barley and oatmeal i am seeing allot of people say use garlic , I have read gralic is posion just like onion and i have read people have used Garlic for years i am told by the nutritionist do not use any kind of seasoning as dogs do not neeed it and they do not need salt or sugar abd since the class is still out on Garlic i am not going to take any chances .We are really doing wel and all three dogs have lots of energy and seem to NOT be having any allergy fair ups , or gas or runs which is what i have been striving for .Everyone on this sight is a inspiration to others as everyone is trying to do what is best for their 4 leggers .So if you find something that works if you find a easier or better way to do those big batches for those of us that have the big dogs to feed please keep it coming anything new in the big dog department is good news as allot of this seems they have small dogs so it is easier to make the batches and get portions down correctly i have a list from the nutritionist and it says 1/4 pound meat a day to 1/2 pound fed twice daliy along with the oatmeal Barley and vegtables and that tiny bit of fruit .Anyone with some good recipes for big dogs is needed like me i am sure there are other dogs out there both allergic to potatoes and to rice which made getting the grains harder but oatmeal and Barley are working well .with out paying for the allergy tests we would have still been trying because every recipe says Rice or potatoe I have lots of recipes but they all had things she could not eat and all of the recipes are meant for small dogs , so please got big dog recipes post them please .I feed my little dogs the same things as my lab but much smaller amounts .If i only had them to feed this would be a piece of cake but cooking for three allergic dogs has been a challenge ..we could all use the support thanks everyone for being so helpful ..

104. by Carol Noel on Jun 13, 2010 at 11:29 PM PDT

I have posted what I cook for my lab...and she thrives. BTW...we have 14 avocado trees and she is constantly eating avos... If they aren’t ripe she burys them! She is 9 and hasn’t died, not even once! Avos are not poisonous...just very fattening!

105. by anonymous on Jul 6, 2010 at 9:44 PM PDT

hey i have 3 dogs, a golden retriever, lab, and shih tzu. my lab has huge allergies and because of it the skin around her paws is raw from her licking. i really want to start homecooking food for them. i have read almost all the posts above but was wondering what exactly i need to feed my dogs. i dont want anything that is unnesecary, only stuff they could eat in the wild etc. i know you need mostly meat, also does anyone use raw meat? i hear that is good for them also. any specific recipes that could help my dog with her allergies? Also those that are homefeeding do you find that it is less expensive than using commercial dog foods? thanks for any and all info provided!:)

106. by SC on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM PDT

Anonymous with 3 dogs: You can get so many different answers to your questions, and many people argue about the pros and cons of raw meat. What is beyond question is that your dogs could really benefit from getting off the processed dog food. One thing I would suggest is going to HULU and watching, for free, an episode of “Good Dog!” with Dr. Stanley Coren ( http://www.hulu.com/good-dog )called “DIY Dog Food.” It’s in season 2, episode 24. He offers a good commonsensical approach and a recipe that would at least be a great start.

In my opinion, home cooking for your dog can certainly be less expensive than commercial dog food, if you shop in a thrifty way. And your dogs’ better health will save some money in the long run too. Best of luck to you.

107. by anonymous on Sep 5, 2010 at 7:25 AM PDT

toSharon and Gordon, I have a toy poodle, he used to scratch all the time. I heard from a friend that they can be allergic to the chorine in tap water. I started giving him bottled water and after about a week he stopped scratching constantly. He occasionally scratches but not all the time or even everyday. Hope this helps.

108. by Elliott F. on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:58 AM PDT

Jim, Thanks you ofr starting this post. Can you please give specific quanities of the turkey, carrot and other ingrediants you make up. Was sorry to read that Marty passed away.

109. by anonymous on Oct 4, 2010 at 10:56 AM PDT

I have been feeding my dogs raw red meat and fish with raw vegetable and uncooked eggs like wolves and Wild Dogs( Dingoe) would eat in the wild. Puppies grew up to be very beautiful healthy smart dogs. Sled dogs has been fed raw for years with no health problems so why i fed my dogs the same. I find dogs that fed raw meats are less likely to get in trash.

110. by anonymous on Oct 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM PDT

do you know if the portion size for kibbles is the same for portion sizes of homemade doggie casseroles?

i have been serving our st. bernard homemade food half of the week and kibbles the others half. the method i use seems even easier than yours:

in a large covered roasting pan, i bake uncooked rice & water, olive oil, meat (i use chicken hearts a lot), carrots, peas, spinach, and sometimes potatoes and or other veggies. it’s super easy as i only have to throw all ingredients into pan and bake:)

111. by anonymous on Nov 6, 2010 at 10:17 AM PDT

i too home cok my dogs food have seven dog’s.... i have anotherissue as i have small dog’s. are the shots... i think that it really stinks that one size shot for all dog’s 1 lb to nearly 300lbs get the same size. i feel that safety in food and in all care the shots such be talked about as all my dog’s this year have had really bad reactions to the point that now one of my dogs has cancer at the sight of the rabies shot. i am so scared of losing my much loved dog. safety is in the food as well as grooming to the supplements to the shots and keeping the pet safe at home and on leash and i fixed a fence with a top as i have very small dogs and lots of birds of prey which tried to get a dog then went on a top on my fenced yard. now the shots but it is the law we need to change it i believe in rabie shots but they need to be sized for the pet and the law needs to do it part in hearing pet owner’s with this concern for their pet we need to write and get as many people to help change the dose to size. thanks for hearing me out.

112. by Lesli on Dec 13, 2010 at 6:49 AM PST

If you do not have loads of time to cook, dumping oatmeal, ground turkey, beef or pork, a bit of organ meat, eggs and crushed shells, potatoes, carrots and some grens (broccoli or pees) into a pressure cooker for 10 minutes after bringing it to pressure is super easy and fast and healthy. And my dog (a 3 yr old Samoyed) loves the juice and the solids. A few minutes more and you can mash it all up. Only one pot to clean - no grinder or blender.

113. by anonymous on Jan 25, 2011 at 9:40 AM PST

Do dogs need hard kibble for the health of their teeth?

114. by anonymous on Feb 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM PST

If I am home cooking for my 10lb dog how much per day should I feed them? Any help would be great.

115. by anonymous on Feb 5, 2011 at 3:17 PM PST

i feed my 12lb dog but each dog is different... go by the weight if goes down feed more and a little less if the weight goes up.....
i feed about a cup daily. hope this helps

116. by Diane on Feb 13, 2011 at 7:52 AM PST

Just found this blog today. I am so surprised to read in earlier posts that some people are using onions. So bad for your pets. I wrote to Halo and they sent me the recipe for Spot’s Stew and have been making this recipe for my Maltese and Maltipoo for about 6 months. They are doing very well. It is a labor of love, but still learning how to keep things simple. Avocado’s are not good either...always research before giving to your pets. Also, be careful with carrots and peas, they have alot of sugar, so don’t over do. Best of Luck to everyone who is making their own dog food.

117. by anonymous on Feb 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM PST

i use halo’s spot stew(that i make) now for a few years and my yorkie does great and i do use lamb meat as well as chicken i also use their dream coat and eye wash and ear wash as well asthe shampoo made by halo. onions as well as othe things that people use are scary.i can say i have never had anything but luck with the dog shampoo and eye wash and ear wash by halo as i do trust using it and the dream coat.... what a coat my yorkie has it is beautifuli do make my own dog treats and asked halo about it they said very healthy and i will be happy to share if youwould like it and you can go on line and find manymore recipes from halo even for the cat owners and very safe and complete i do also use their vitamin and mineral mix... you do not have to worry using any product from halo over 20 years never one recal and they have their own factory used only for their products .i too have a maltipoo and she did have eye stains but the eye wash it works do as it say’s and no more problem and if your dog has isuses with ear yeast the ear wash stops it and if the pet doesn’t will keep the ears healthy.

118. by anonymous on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM PST

i for got to say diane that i also bought the book by:andi brown founder of spot stew called (the whole pet diet) great book. very helpful but you can find most all the other recipes on line w/ halo sight.but the book has more in it than the recipes very worth it.

119. by anonymous on Feb 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM PST

i haven’t read about anyone using pumkin in their dog food... it is so easy to grown and very good to add to the meals from time to time ... can help to remove hairballs and not only good for lose stools but if its on the hard side too.i buy lots of cranberries in the holiday’s wash and freeze to add from time to time not too many and to the treats i make along with blueberries. i hope the new kids i have will live as long as my last gang over 20 years. they are in great health but i know anything can happen. i know that i am doing everything that i can if i am leaving something out it is only because i don’t know... and i know homemade is better than dog food companies... but i do use halo shampoo... eye wash and ear wash. as it is all natural and i used it for over 20 years and never had any problems as i have from dog shampoo from pet supplies stores.and the ear wash took care of the yeast my adopted dog had for years... the meds for that can be dangerous now she has been yeast free for 2 years.we need to use safe things for pets not just the food we feed them and check this out halo has never one time been recalled for anything in all the 20+ years so that is why i use the shampoo... i control the food by making it for my dogs... but i want safe products to use for grooming too.we are what we eat and goes for pets but what we put on our skin and ect. is important also.and for our pets

120. by Evelyn Frame on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM PST

My papillion pup scratched and ripped her coat out. I tried every diet under the sun. Tried expensive creams and shampoo’s. My heart would break at times with her relentless ordeal.
I started making my own food a few months ago and it’s working.
I use frozen lamb, beef, rabbit and chicken, raw from my pet shop. Mixed with brown rice and veg. How much veg depends on your dog. I add a few cashew nuts and a few drops of salmon oil.
I have two dogs who have anal gland probs so they need more. Each dog is different.
I buy lamb rib bones from my butcher to keep teeth in tip top condition.
I give dried tripe sticks with no additives twice a week for the dogs with the anal probs.
This does make my pap scracth a little but nothing intense and it’s worth it foe her teeth and the need to chew.
Dont be afraid of the bone.s my 16 week Chinese crested deals with them no problem.
I do worry about calcium for teeth and bones.

121. by anonymous on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:22 PM PST

try crushed egg shells made into fine powder form.... that is great! and natural shampoo grooming natural is always best just like the food... what goes on the outside is as important as the food. .. that goes inside our pets after all the lick

122. by Kerrie on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:34 AM PST

Hi, I have an english bulldog and he seems to have skin problems as well but more like yeast. I have been battling this for about 2 years now and it just seems to be getting worse. I almost resorted to feeding him the raw diet that was recommended by many but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I was cooking him boiled, boneless, skinless chicken breast and scrambled eggs. Well he had the worse diarrhea. I fasted him for 24 hours and then yesterday started him on brown rice only but last night cooked him lean ground beef with frozen peas and carrots and brown rice. I am going to start feeding him this gradually to avoid stomach upset but last night he was really itching and woke me because of it. So I am wondering, if brown rice ok for him? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!

123. by DBL on Mar 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM PST

@Kerrie: The skin condition should be checked by a vet, of-course, especially as it’s getting worse. What if it’s not even be diet related? And even if it is, a change in diet won’t be able to cure it overnight.

It’s possible that either chicken or eggs don’t agree with your dog. So it’s best to feed him a limited number of ingredients at one time, so you can tell what works for him and what doesn’t. Many people give their dogs brown rice; but some say that white rice is more agreeable for their digestion. Some say dogs don’t really need grains at all. The meat/protein source should be the biggest portion, in any case, and the vegetables after that. You also want to think about adding oils to help his skin, like fish oil, and giving him a good multivitamin for dogs.

I don’t personally agree with the idea of GRADUALLY changing a dog’s diet. If you think the old dog food is causing him problems, cut it out and replace it with real food. It’s not a change in food that cause stomach upsets: it’s the wrong food. So I think. Good luck.

124. by anonymous on Mar 3, 2011 at 8:04 AM PST

i don’t know everything.... only what has worked for my dogs.i find too many eggs gives mine upset tummies. and i use veggies every meal like sweet poto, greenbeans and garden peas, celery, yellow and green squash... and even cooked pumkin also put a few fresh cranberries in and cook w/ veggies and if i use lamb or chicken i put right amount of meat w/ right amount of veggies... and i puree eveything together.if anyone wants recipes that i use will be happy to give.in right amounts and i use crushed egg shells that are baked or boiled to kill germs then make into powder form.i also use halo’s vitamin mionerl miz for supplements. that way they don’t miss trace minerals or minerals and i use dream coat for the oil my dogs get.i had al my dogs to live 20+ years.... so this is not new for me to do... and i do know how very scary this is for someone that has just started home cooling for dogs i have a new gang now ranging from 13 years to 1 year... never have they had any issues w/ tummy or skin. but i started them as young pups and my yorkie ... was only two days old and he lost his moma dog and his sibblings the breeder asked me to help her and i fell in live w/ him and he has been in our family 3 years very healthy and he was given goats milk and at 4 weeks i added small amounts of food to his diet until he was weaned at 12 weeks fully to home made food. and, that was scary as he was so tiny at 2 days old.i would never feed dog food to any pet i have. but if ... i had i would add it slow over the next week or two.and puree everything. veggies and meat... and don’t forget treats home make them too.. and remember shampoo and all grooming needs to be natural too... you want what goes outside to be as healthy as what you put inside your fur baby.i have 7 dogs and they are healthy as can be just ask my vet! and now my vet is doing the same for his beloved schanuzer as he lost one due to the food ... and yes... it was what he sold right in his office. now he knows just how dangerous our pet food is .i have a great vet.... and he is different now ... than when he didn’t believe in homemade food... he is seeing just how much better his patients are now and he knows it wasn’t just luck ... it was how i fed them my gang.but it is very important to not over supplement as it is not supplement... everything has to be in right amounts everything.and know what can kill or harm your petlook up what not to give a dog.then it is as easy as that.. and you can make it easy or as fancy as you want the food... and it does take about 3-6 months for the effects to fully show... as i have worked w/ people and pets... if it took years of bad food not know that you fed then it takes time to repair inside out.good luck all.

125. by anonymous on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:17 PM PST

I just wanted to talk about my experience with my dog. He is a 2 year old shephard/husky mix who started to have seizures. I think it maybe due to using hartz shampoo and tick treatments. After the first episode I began researching natural ways to help prevent seizures in dogs and also came across the book The Whole Pet Diet by Andi Brown. This was the best thing I could do for my dog. He now gets a home made diet like in the book along with the dream coat oil recipe (I make it myself it is way more cost effective), and the mineral mix(I also make it myself), some sea kelp and greens powder, vitamin c by Halo, taurine supplements and Epilepsy & Seizure Formula by DR Ackerman’s. He has been seizure free for over a month now and before he was having a seizure every two weeks. What really made a huge difference was the Epilepsy & Seizure Formula found on onlynaturalpet.com. I have noticed my pets skin is so much shiner and healthy looking. I feel natural omega oils is so important for the skin and dogs with skin issues needs these oils in their daily diets. I also give my dog a large beef marrow bone you can buy in the grocery store. I boil it and let it cool for an hour and give it to my dog. He loves it and it cleans his teeth beautifully! He loves the marrow and the bone so long. My dog chews on it everyday and it is so much better for him than raw hides. He no longer gets raw hides. My dog also has the worse gas I ever smelled from a dog when he was on comercial dog food and now feeding him homemade food and the supplements he very rarely has gas. For people with dogs having an intolerance to rice i recommend switching it for oatmeal. I am so happy not to have to put my dog on medication for his seizures. I seriously feel our dog having seizures was a blessing because it caused me to search for natural ways to prevent them. Everything I read said to switch to a homemade diet and now I am confident our dog will live much longer having made the switch to homemade food. This is very encouraging to us as he is like are son and we love him very much. I am very passionate about getting rid of all the preservatives and additives in a dogs diet and I wish there was more about this so people would know but most pet owners are fooled into think the commercial pet food is good for our pets when it is actually poison. It really makes me sad.

126. by Barb-in-WA on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM PST

@Kerrie: Agree with DBL comments! Have found “less is more” as a good approach to life, focus on great nutrition / enough sleep & exercise and then get out of the way so Mother Nature can work her magic healing. “Health of the host” is most important, if the immune system is well-supported, then vaccinations / medications / topical treatments are typically unnecessary.

My dog, Doot, is a long, leggy Retriever/CoonHound (?) mix, about 70#. Although I’m vegan, he isn’t so I HAVE been dealing with the raw food diet. That’s what seems to work best for him (I tell myself to “put on your big girl panties and just deal with it” when handling the raw meat). I was intrigued to learn some bodies can react differently to raw meat vs. a cooked version thereof due to chemical changes brought about by the cooking process. Doot has allergies and apparently a somewhat compromised digestive system. Best management technique is 4-5 smaller meals per day. Feeding too much at a time = vomit, especially just before bed because digestive system shuts down, 6-8 hours later he will have full rice grains in his vomit -- they haven’t been processed at ALL! Just finishing the 2nd month of Dr. Pitcairn’s “Dog Allergy” diets highly, this HAS definitely reduced Doot’s itching (although it’s not entirely gone so now I’m on a mission to figure out what’s contributing environmentally).

Doot’s itching takes the form of rub-the-nose-on-the-carpet-or-door-jam-or-chair-leg, and occasionally he would lick-lick-lick his paws. He gets a very red patch just under his chin and in the middle of his belly, THAT one has little pimply-blackhead-looking spots. This indicates an internal problem, manifesting outwardly. Since switching to this diet & smaller/more frequent meals, I no longer have vomiting unless I mess up with quantity/meal timing. Doot’s nose rubbing is now just a few swipes post-meal (have read this is a “clean-up/get rid of the smell” technique) and his red chin/belly spots are much smaller.

Have found the raw ground turkey + oats recipe work best for him, he really doesn’t like (but will eventually eat) the raw ground lamb (regardless of whether mixed with oats, rice or millet). Rice grains don’t process in his system unless I puree them first. Of course he needs the oil + bone meal (added into the grain/meat mixture) and daily multi-vitamin + sodium ascorbate (vitamin c powder) added fresh daily at the noon meal. I try to buy only organic rice/oats/millet, hard to find organic lamb or turkey so I opt for “natural / grass-fed”. I use NOW brand bone meal (yes, I know it’s from US cattle so potentially higher lead content but haven’t been able to locate any scientific studies proving cattle from countries with fewer cars have lower heavy metal content in their bone meal), NOW brand Sodium Ascorbate, Animal Essential’s Herbal Multi-Vitamin for Dogs & Cats and then unrefined, organic, expeller or cold-pressed sunflower oil (Hain brand is what my local store carries) or canola or safflower oil, alternating each time I cook.

Doot gets brushed a couple times per week and for the rare shampoo I use castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, dilluted) and a good water rinse & towel dry.

Hope your English Bulldog is doing better, best of luck!

127. by anonymous on Mar 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM PST

@Barb-in-WA to help with the rice issue, i would try to cut out the rice altogether. Dogs systems were not designed to handle grains. some dogs are also allergic or can’t tolerate them. If your dog is doing well on the oatmeal then i would keep him on that, but try to limit the amount of grains you feed him. His digestive system will thank you for it!:) the more meat the better, and also giving him a chicken or beef or other meaty bone every once in awhile is good also because not only does it give him lots of calcium, it also cleans his teeth and keeps them from gathering tarter.

also my dog has the same problem yours does with the skin conditions. her stomach was red and had little blotchy spots on them that looked like a bad fungus that won’t come off. She is doing much better now that we have taken all the grains out of her diet and its almost gone! hope this helps!:)

128. by Kerrie on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:39 PM PST

I have been feeding my english cooked food now for about 7 days and I do see a difference. I cook a pound of lean ground beef, frozen carrots and peas and brown rice and I cook a big pot, a weeks worth, and seperate it into tupperware and refrigerate. I thank you and I am sure my Zooba thanks you as well. I will keep you updated on our progress.

129. by Terry on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM PDT

Dogs do not eat vegetables in the wild and sometimes causes gastric problems and allergy proglems... I would stick to rice and a high protein meat... just sayin...

130. by anonymous on Apr 23, 2011 at 2:29 AM PDT

Dogs would eat fruit and veg in the wild. I know my dogs love raw carrots etc. Contents of prey’s stomach, if a hungry dog came across friut and veg they would eat it. Not sure if they would wake up and run to the paddy fields for raw rice which wold swell in their tum’s.
I make my own dog food and include blueberrys, nuts, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes and of course loads of meat.
It’s just what us owners feel is best for our dog’s and pray we are doing it right for them.

131. by anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:03 AM PDT

“Olive oil is a good, healthy fat supplement....avocados as well.”

Avocado is toxic to dogs.

dental hygiene: raw meaty bones (whole ribs or cut ribs but make sure they are larger then dogs mouth so he must grind and chew on them. MAke sure they are RAW, cooked or smoked tend to break and cause all those those horrors that vets warn about when feeding bones to dogs)

Feed them naturally: dogs HAVE e-colly and various other bacteria by default. They are RESISTANT to it, they are not humans. Dog can dig a 2 year old bone and eat it no problem. What they CAN get is increased number of e-colly (they dont suffer from salmonela, it gets digested/neutralized) but if that happens, just fasten them for a day or two or give them brown rice and some mild coocked chicken for a day or two. Fish is ok except salmon (contains toxins raw or coocked), you can feed raw fish with bones, dogs chew food to pieces they can swallow, they swallow bones WITH meat from fish therefore fish bones don’t get stuck, they just go into stomach and get “cooked” in there real fast. Egg, raw (no salmonella for dogs, remember) with crust. “white” part is ok also, it will reduce the B vitamin from yolk but there will still be plenty to go around. Crust = calcium and more. Don’t overdo it, egg or two per week is ok.

dogs dont eat grain, they cant digest it. Grain and white rice are just the fillers in the kibble that will give your dogs diabetes in few years. Paradentosis WILL happen eventually if grain/suggar/kibble is fed constantly.

you can find more about what dogs actually are and what do they eat by googling raw dog food.

132. by anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:34 PM PDT

My dog gets a mixture of boiled liver with brown rice cooked in the left over liver water, mixed with natures variety dog food. She loves her food, vet loves her visits for annual check ups and it is simple to prepare.

133. by Brit on Aug 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM PDT

I switched to making my own dog food several years ago. I was doing all raw but have now modified it. I know, I know, the latest craze is all raw meat, no grains or anything else BUT having now spoken to people who have given well cooked grains and have cooked meats for their dogs and their dogs lived long healthy lives I started to re-think the whole thing. So now I cook meats like chicken and turkey but I do give raw beef as long as its not ground. Yes I know, I know, dogs are supposed to be full of salmonella and e-coli but to give one recent example a dog died from the massive salmonella in some Costco raw chicken in the past month. Not all dogs can handle the vast load of this stuff now in meats. When dogs live in the wild and kill a fresh rabbit/raccoon etc that is alot cleaner than chicken from the filthy slaughterhouses nowadays. Juliette de Baircle Levy recently died, she was a famous afghan breeder whose dogs were the best in show and breeding. She fed grains btw ;) Please don’t forget to add calcium to your dog’s home made food, I use Animal Essentials Calcium from the Sea but dried (uncooked) eggshells can be powdered in a coffee mill and used instead (either one you use 1tsp per lb of meat. If feeding raw with bones then not necessary. My dogs love oat flakes soaked overnight in goat milk :) Organs should be fed NO more than 10% of the total muscle meat)but better abit too little than too much as the vitamin A in too much liver is dangerous, I give just an ounce or two or liver monthly. I feed raw leafy greens/zuccini/etc crushed through the adapter on my Green Star juicer, veggies have to be crushed or cooked in order for dogs to assimilate them. I also run some pumpkin and sunflower seeds through with the veggies for Vit E and Zinc. I do give a raw organic egg yolk several times a week also.

134. by lily vong on Sep 25, 2011 at 10:33 AM PDT

Can anyone please email me in regards to making home made dog food. I have 5 dogs, 143lb rottie, a 79lb pitt, 70lb english bulldog, 43lb pug and a 3lb pomeranian. Is there any good ideas on saving money on feeding them? my email is lilxpet@yahoo.com

135. by Teresa on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:04 AM PDT

I feed my dogs turkey burger, brocolli and rice mixed together or switch potato for the rice. I used to add garlic powder but dogs are not supposed to eat onions or garlic. Sometimes I add carrots or apples. Dogs should eat veggys and some fruits.

136. by Teresa on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:14 AM PDT

To #23 Kim... you should look up the problems with feeding onions to dogs. They are toxic and the extended feeding of onions could cause a cumulative effect. It also states that garlic used in moderaration is safe and actually good for dogs so I guess the small amount of garlic powder I cook with their turkey burger should be fine.

137. by Teresa on Oct 4, 2011 at 12:45 PM PDT

Yes, you can also feed salmon to dogs, it even comes in certain dog foods. It is an excellent source of proteins and omega 3 fatty acids. :)

138. by Al on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:13 PM PDT

I cook rice for my dog with a reduced sodium content. She only weighs 9 lbs (she’s got torque, though) 1 cup lasts me a week. On a daily basis I will blanche and add some vegetables.

I will add a different fresh meat or fish to every meal. She is going to live a long and happy life. I recently read a mainstream “news” story in which a “expert” (see dictionary, under corporate talking head) was saying that if you cooked for your pet that you would have to add all kinds of multi-vitamins, and cholene...etc etc...I’m calling BS!

My dog is 2 1/2, she is healthy and happy and this is backed up by my Vet who applauds my decision to feed her something other than processed MacDonald’s style CRAP, for dogs. Gimme a break. I don’t eat processed food, why should my dog?

I respect the writer of this article. I’m glad that I am not alone.

139. by Godwin Johnson on Oct 20, 2011 at 3:41 PM PDT

These dogs are healthy! Am actually taken with me a lot of useful insight. It beautiful having a healthy dog because I had to see them sick..

140. by anonymous on Nov 9, 2011 at 6:52 PM PST

My Chocolate Labs are 5 yrs old and weigh around 65 lbs. Just got allergy tests back after years of the one chewing herself raw and getting staph infections one after another. I was tired of putting her on steroids to calm her system down to only have her come right back down with it again after the steroids ended.
Now the allergy tests came back with A LOT of things she is allergic too.
All Poultry of any kind, even the meal, Dairy, Kelp, Peanuts, Soybean Products, Oats, and then there is Dust Mites, and Staph.
Staph is what she would get after she would chew herself raw until she was bawled from the mid section to her tail. The last Staph made her terribly sick and scared us and the vets. So the allergy testing even though was expensive was so worth it.
So I started feeding her browned ground beef and mixed in some cooked green beans and within a week she was itch free and her skin dried up and hair was growing back. For once in the poor dogs life she had hair on her rear end.
But then I added some Rice from the Vets recommendation to get some fiber in and I also got some frozen green beans and chopped them in food processor and fed her a 1/3 of each twice a day.
Then all a sudden within 2 days she started itching again and had her rear starting to show bareness again. So I had to get her on antibiotics because of the Staph and allergy meds. Now I have her back on just the browned Ground Beef and juices and put in refrig to cool and feed her 1 cup of it in the AM and PM. She is starting to calm down, taking longer this time because we refuse to use steroids again. She has been on them off and on for 3 yrs now.
The VET said since she is Allergic to Soybeans and Peanuts and they are legumes then maybe just maybe because the introduce raw green beans chopped up and fed her more of them, that maybe that caused the problem, or it could be the RICE. We do not know. I am just frustrated because I had her looking so good then I added to many changes I guess at once and now she is itchy again.
Anyone else have a dog with so many allergies as mine??
The Vet said to give her 2 TUMS a day for the Calcium in her diet and I have been giving her a salmon oil supplement on her meat too.
I am just ready to pull my hair out. I feel so BAD for her. HELP anyone!!

141. by Teresa on Nov 10, 2011 at 5:08 AM PST

Poor doggie and poor mama!!! :( Good luck!

142. by David on Nov 10, 2011 at 5:48 AM PST

@Chocolate Lab owner: I think that if your dog is good on just the ground beef and cooked green beans, then great: Stick with just that for a while. When and if you introduce any new ingredients, introduce them ONE at a time and give it at least a week to see if there is any reaction. Then you won’t be trying to guess which ingredient is causing the problem.

(And I don’t know why, if your dog is good with cooked green beans, that the vet would recommend you take frozen, raw ones and grind them in a food processor for her. Yuck!)

143. by anonymous on Nov 10, 2011 at 9:19 AM PST

please don’t forget that calcium is needed in this diet. I get Animal Essentials Calcium from the Sea, probably Dogs and Company have it, I know BARK does. You just add 1tsp per lb of meat :) For instance if I use raw that I buy which is ground with the bone in it I don’t need to add calcium because they get it from the ground bone but if I am feeding plain meat then I need to add calcium. Brit

144. by anonymous on Nov 10, 2011 at 1:12 PM PST

Thanks for the replies,
I am putting her back strickly on the ground beef and cooked green beans. I goofed up this morning and only had a 1/2 cup of ground beef left and no cooked green beans so I give her just a 1/3 cup of the mix with the frozen green beans and rice and after 2 hrs she went to digging and chewing her leg. I felt so BAD and I held her and cried. I gave her 2 of her Allergy pills and now she is sleeping on my Lap. Yes my 65 lb Lab thinks she is a Lap Dog and she is sooooooo SPOILED too, So tonight she is plain Ground beef and I will hold off the cooked green beans until tomorrow. The VET said to give her 2 Tums a day for calcium. I will look into the Bark/ Animal Essentials. I just have to watch the fine ingredients.

145. by Marko on Nov 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM PST

you HAVE TO cook the vegetables and cook them well! Dogs have very short digestive tract and are generally not suited to digesting raw vegetables. It’s just not in their genes/nature. They are fit to eat vegetables from prey that already partly digested them, therefore, domestic dogs, being wolfs in most of their genes, are also subjectable to millions of years of evolution. When you feed your dog, think about it and act accordingly. You can’t just ignore their true nature that dates thousands or millions of years because they are dogs. Dogs are just crossbred domesticated wolves, and they haven’t been crossbred with cows or chickens, but with other carnivores. You can’t get rid off all those genes in merely 500 years of domestication. Don’t even try. Vegetables shouldn’t exceed 15% of their food. It’s easy to see what you need to feed (if you are not feeding kibble) take a rabbit or a poultry of any kind and thiink what it consists of. Wolves live mostly healthy and long lives eating that kind of food. They don’t eat pills, chew corn or rice etc. Their prey does so they get that stuff in them in low quantities and already digested or half digested.
Raw rice into a dog? I doubt veterinarian recommended that, must have been a misunderstanding at some point. Rice IS VERY HARD TO DIGEST even for humans if not boiled enough.

146. by anonymous on Nov 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM PST

sorry you miss understood or I said it wrong. she said To use brown rice cooked thoughly. I did that and she reacted. So now I have her back on her Browned Ground Beef and canned cooked green beans. I split a small can between her and her sister at one feeding and they both get 3/4 cup of ground beef. Would this ration be sufficent? I am keeping them on that for awhile until things settle down for her. I totally misunderstood the Vet who I talk to today and she said to cook the frozen green beans. But she thinks I might have chopped them to fine and thus I was giving them more they what they needed.
I really do APPRECIATE all your HELP on this matter. I feel so BAD for her. She is our Baby girl.

147. by anonymous on Nov 10, 2011 at 5:38 PM PST

do make sure the canned beans are rinsed if they have added salt to them :) brit

148. by Marko on Nov 10, 2011 at 10:41 PM PST

well, I hear you. I have a French Bulldog, and they are, no joke, sensitive to food. I give him the best tune fish that I can’t even afford for myself (It’s sort of one in a month treat) and he vomits. Yes I drown all the oil out. It’s nasty. I had problems with diamond qulity kibble (taste of the wild, orijen) and then I switched to pure raw feeding, well, not pure raw, I switched to barf. Hey, he still farts, he’s a bulldog but he doesnt vomit. I recommend you try barf and just avoid things you know you can’t feed him/her. You will be doing doing two things:
1. Making THE BEST food your dog could ever eat out of the bowl
2. Controlling what he eats at the same time because you can modify the recipe according to allergies.

just don’t think of it as a chore, try some and if it is ok, make like 10 kilos of it, I don’t know USA units, but 10 kilos is like a small barrel of food. Keep in mind my previous post about relation of dogs and wolves. Wolves also don’t eat bread do they? So don’t give ‘em that. ;)

149. by anonymous on Nov 11, 2011 at 5:17 AM PST

oh yes I tried her on Tast of the wild and she broke out that day and it was even one of the ones the allergy test recommended for her. So needless to say she did not get that again.I am so Glad I am not the only one that has problems finding things for their dogs to eat. Not glad that your Dog is having issues, I am sorry for that but it is reassuring to me to know I am not alone in this battle.
Last night she got the canned green beans and cooked ground beef and she is fine. Not itching or chewing. Resting comfortably. So she will stay on this for awhile now. I am just concerned that I am feeding her enough. Like I said I mix 2 lbs of Ground Beef with a small can of cooked canned green beans rinsed and mix them well and her and her sister get 1 cup of this mixture along with Salmon Oil and alittle water mixed in. She also gets 2 Tums in the morning. She thinks they are treats but her sister doesnt so I chop them up and put in her food.
Since she has been on the Oil and Ground beef and I bathe her twice a week with the medicated shampoo and leave in conditioner that the Vet gave me, her Coat is not shedding as much and the hair is coming back in smooth and shiny.
The Vet said that it will take about 2 months or more to get rid of the toxins from the food that was making her sick and she would continue to shed out the old hair and she was right and now it is coming in so smooth and shiny and she is looking good and slim not chubby anymore.
She does not get any bread anymore or anything other then her food. I am not risking her breaking out again.

150. by Ana Camacho on Nov 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM PST

Reading over the comments...I can’t believe so many animals are having problems with manufactured foods. Not to mention that I just read yesterday about ethoxyquin being included in those foods. Just like all of you our household is not exempt. I have a Morkie and a Shih Tzu and both have shown sensitivity to all poultry, potatoes including yams and grains. I’ve had them on Natural Balance, Wellness, Primal, maybe others I don’t remember and now on Great Life lamb and Party Animal lamb. These last two are so far the only foods they can eat and they aren’t scratching and biting, However, lately they don’t want to eat it. I can’t buy any treats for my dogs because they all have poultry or potatoes. I’d love to make homemade food for them so I am sure that they are getting only wholesome food. I’ve taken books out from the library, but they all include ingredients I can’t use. Also I was told that homemade food is not enough and should have some ground up bones in it as well. Is this true? My Morkie recently was found to have blood in her urine with crystals and high ph. Is the can food causing this? I currently have all of my animals on probiotics and give my dogs plain yogurt, could any of this cause her problem? I don’t use flea treatments other than Capstar when it’s really necessary. I’m afraid to give them rice since about 11 years ago I had a Shih Tzu and she got a skin irritation from eating it. Is there anything else that can be used? Any other suggestions??? I would be forever grateful. Thank you.

151. by anonymous on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM PST

As I mentioned in a previous post, if feeding meat with no bone then use a calcium supplement like Animal Essentials Calcium from the Sea (1tsp per lb of meat). Capstar can cause bad reactions on many dogs. Consult with a holistic vet (Dr Julia Sturm at wellspringvet.com)she is near Clarksville. Usually crystals etc are from the diet being too alkaline, unlike us they need animal products which are acidic.

152. by Marko on Nov 23, 2011 at 6:57 AM PST

Bone contains more than just calcium. A lot more. Phosphorus is just one example.

153. by anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM PST

True but most calcium supplements contain more than calcium including Animal Essentials Calcium from the Sea :)Actually meat and other animal products are high in phosphorus btw which is part of the explanation of why people in the western world have so much more osteoporosis than other parts of the world where little meat or dairy is consumed :(

154. by anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM PST

Bummer I cannot use the Animal Ess Cal from the Sea. Our girl is HIGHLY allergic to Kelp which is a brown seaweed. So Vet said NO way. So for now she is on 2 Tums a day along with a all natural multi vitamin and mineral supplement called “Dancing Paws Pet Supplements Multi Vitamin & Mineral, Canine”
Her hair is coming back in and NO rash or itching or chewing on herself.

155. by anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM PST

Bummer I cannot use the Animal Ess Cal from the Sea. Our girl is HIGHLY allergic to Kelp which is a brown seaweed. So Vet said NO way. So for now she is on 2 Tums a day along with a all natural multi vitamin and mineral supplement called “Dancing Paws Pet Supplements Multi Vitamin & Mineral, Canine”
Her hair is coming back in and NO rash or itching or chewing on herself.

156. by anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM PST

Glad to hear she is doing so well. Btw instead of the Animal Essentials calcium you can use dried eggshells. I usually do it but have been using the AE instead this time. I use organic eggs and I rinse out the shell thoroughly as we use them and set them aside to dry. When I have enough I put them in my little coffee/nut mill and grind to a powder and add 1tsp per lb meat. Some people recommend baking them but that would harden them and is unnecessary, just be sure and rinse out the inside thoroughly with water and dry thoroughly. Here is a link http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/how-to-make-calcium-using-egg-shells

157. by anonymous on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:37 AM PST

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I recently started feeding my pet who is 7.6 lbs. male morky with homemade food because he started to have a shaking fit. In the few days that he’s been eating my food, he seemed to have improved a lot. I noticed that his eyes are less teary, he’s more energetic/happier and less anxious. I don’t know yet if he will have no more shaking fit, I have to give him another couple of weeks. I have been making his food consisting of veal or lean ground beef, carrots, yam, apples, spinach, brown rice, oats, wheat germ and olive oil. I just wasn’t sure about the quantity to feed him, I now give him 1/4 to 1/3 cup each in the morning and at night. He used to eat 1/2 cup of the store bought holistic dry food. Do you think he’s getting the right quantity of homemade food? Thanks again.

158. by anonymous on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM PST

Generally speaking you need to feed 21/2% of his desired weight. So if he weighed 8lbs you would feed approx 2ozs per day. Also veal is cruelly raised and is not recommended for other reasons so better to switch between the beef and perhaps chicken or lamb etc. He needs to have some organ meats occasionally so a little sliver of liver once a week would be good. Also as written above some calcium should be added but safest to follow the guidelines at http://www.dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html

159. by anonymous on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:05 PM PST

Btw if your dog has another seizure please seek the help of a vet. Any seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes, has more than one or happens more often than once or month may need medication. If not treated could be disastrous.

160. by anonymous on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:06 PM PST

sorry previous comment should have read “happens more than once a month”

161. by anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 6:22 AM PST

We have a shihtzu and I make his dog food similiarly to what you guys are writing about. I make a big batch and scoop it out in 1/2cup packed servings on cookie sheets,I put a couple of little plastic cup to divide the cookie sheets. I put them in the freezer for about 1-2 hours. Put all of them in a couple of big freezer bags. Then I take a day or two out at a time put in the frig. They are already in the right serving size. No containers to wash out. Nancy

162. by anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM PST

Olive Oil is bad for dogs.

163. by anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM PST

Olive Oil is bad for dogs.

164. by anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM PST

@66 I also use percentages and I find that best, though at first I had difficulty determining the right amount, in cups, for my 3 dogs. I went here and this is what I use for totals. http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/homemade-dog-food-recipes.html.

@74 just FYI in case you didn’t know Vienna sausages are high in sodium and are really like hot dogs, just the bottom of the barrel animal byproducts. No insult intended.

@100 I use almost the exact diet that you use. I have 3 that vary in weight from 48lbs to 70lbs, the latter being over weight by about 20 lbs. She had her senior bloods done last month and she has hypothyroidism so with the change of diet and the pills she has lost weight and my other 2 are also now at their ideal weight, have more pep and their coats are awesome. My youngest one is just under 2 and very energetic so she actually gets the same amount as the 2 larger dogs who are seniors.

What I use is this, I cook them ground turkey, Chicken or beef boiled in a pot with some parsley once that is cooked I grind it up and let it cool. Next I cook the veggies, which include peas, carrots, green beans, peppers and celery, once they are cooked I remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and cook Barley and oatmeal in the veggie juice. I then mix the veggies and the carbs in equal portions, so 1 Cup to 1 Cup and mix it thoroughly in a bowl and refrigerate. I then give them (for the time being) 1/3 cup dry kibble, 1/3 cup meat and 1/3 cup veggie carb mix, twice a day. They do really well on this and can’t wait to get it on the floor.

As an alternate meat source I get a 2 1/2lb whole chicken, I boil this until the meat falls off the bone, I remove it, cool it and then thoroughly de-bone it and then everything else including organs, necks and skins. I will alternately give them sardines, hard boiled eggs with the shell all ground up and include the normal mix of veggies with it. I also add fish oil once a day and the 2 older ones also get glucosamine for the joints.

165. by anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM PST

@150, I was told by the vet and it is also on a few web pages that I use to guide my dog food. Everyone has different things that work and don’t work and even though our dogs are just wild decendants they are still domesticated, just as we humans have evolved, we don’t eat just meat or the way the “caveman” did, our bodies have changed so much so as to the fact that we do not need our appendix any more, it serves no purpose to us.

I give my dog egg shells, tums (sometimes) and boil chickens bone in, the boiling process does leach out some of the calcium and as long as you use the “broth” from the boiled chicken you are getting calcium without giving them the bone. You could also add bone meal (human grade only) and yogurt, cottage cheese and a number of different sources. If you haven’t done so you really should check out Andi Brown’s “The whole pet diet” The book is awesome and her site and FB page has lots of insight as well. Good luck to you!

166. by anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 5:42 PM PST

@158-160, thanks for your suggestions, truly helpful. My morkie is doing so well with the homemade food diet. He hasn’t had a fit. My only problem now is he is too eager to eat that he can’t seem to wait for the next feeding time. I’m so glad that I changed his food to the homemade one. I’ve added egg, liver and bone to his diet (the latter two as occassional foods). Blueberry is his treat.

167. by anonymous on Jan 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM PST

@#14
I breed Japanese Tosas (they’re actually a bit bigger than the pyreneese) and I’ve been feeding them on BARF diets for some 6 years now. Allow me to be the first to say that you can have big dogs on a natural diet without having to turn your kitchen over to the dogs, lol! I worked out the numbers and the price is less than 10 cents per pound more than the cheapest dog food, and far less than half the cost of the most expensive brands. The prep time to set up the food is about 2 hours every week, and the prep time for each meal is about 5 mins(unless you count the time it takes for the microwave to defrost the meat, 15 mins, but I don’t because the microwave is doing the work not me). During this time I’ve lived in my parent’s house, a house of no less than three people and as many as 6, all sharing the same fridge/freezer, and I’ve gotten a complaint only once near when I first began, before I learned to separate things and prepare meals in advance to save trouble.
The health benefits are unbelievable, good teeth and gums, good breath, great skin and coat, great bone and joint development, vibrant energy in old age, small odorless poop(yes it is possible, and I’m a believer, lol!), virtually no vet bills, and many other things.
I’ll stop here because I tend to run on a lot (lol), and I mean no offense. I just wanted to let everyone know that just because you have big dogs doesn’t mean you’re stuck with processed food.

168. by anonymous on Jan 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM PST

in home cooking remember warming food over a double boiler keeps food with all the natural vitamins microwave destories the value of even our food.to get all the goodness from foods warm old fashioned way. but microwaves are easy but not as good for us look it up... do not mean this rude just to help with keeping everything healhty as we can just as bpa in storage of our pets food only leads free glass containers do i use for us and our 4-legged kids.

169. by anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM PST

I see a lot of people including white potatoes, spinach which I understand to be harmful to dogs as they are members of the nightshade family. Nightshades contain high levels of alkaloids, compounds that naturally occur in plants, bacteria, fungi and animals. Some alkaloids can be toxic. In the case of nightshades, alkaloids are said to stimulate calcium excretion from the bones and to leach the body of trace minerals. Bad for arthritis.

170. by Karen on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM PST

I have just started the journey on home made dog food for my 11 year old yorkie (6 lbs.) about 3 1/2 months ago. She had skin crusts all over her torso and when we switched to the homemade food it all disappeared...the black rings around the eyes that yorkies are supposed to have are even back. Her skin belly had been a very dark color and it is now a nice pink. However, after 3 months of this diet her skin has started acting up again, but the other things have stayed good. You all have mentioned giving vitamins and minerals and omegas to your dogs. Where do you get them and exactly what are they and how much? The food we give her is made much like the recipes posted above. I have carefully watched to see if any changes in the veggies or meat have caused the change on her skin. Her skin had cleared and remained so for a good 2 months. I was thrilled and believed we were on to something, but do wonder if she is getting all the nutrients she needs since reading these posts. Would appreciate any advice you all would like to give. I use mainly turkey, green beans and rice. Have talked to so many RVers like us that have gone to this combo. Was told by one person that chicken seemed to be an allergy trigger for their dog and turkey did the trick so I started with that first.

171. by Jerrah D Weaver on Jan 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM PST

I have 5 long coat Chihuahua’s and have always fed them people food. I got the daddy fixed and now he is fat so I started researching what to feed to make lose weight and still get the healthy food he needs. I use 2 parts lean meat to 1 part veagtable to 1 part brown rice then add 1,000 mg calcium, you can buy powder or crush a tablet. I do like the ideas I have got off of here(I’m gonna buy some fish oil) and I’m so happy you all care so much to cook for your babies too. I hate it when people tell me people food is bad for dogs they should only eat dog food. I have always believed dog food is so much worse, we don’t even know what kind of meat or the condition of it. Plus the companies can say they have no artificial preservatives legally. well they don’t but the company they bought the meat or meat by-product’s from did. Some of the chemical’s they put on the meat and by-. is banned for human consumption and some is just poison, like citranella they put on meat. Human food standard’s is not the best but dog food is so much more relaxed(that’s scary. You guy’s are great, thank you so much, I hope all your pet’s are heathy and happy and you too.

172. by doggie docs on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM PST

i use Mini Naturals Dog Treats

173. by anonymous on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM PST

This is in response to a rather old comment in which I noticed someone was feeding onion to their dog. onion is bad for dogs, can make them sick and even kill them. My dogs get into wild onion that grows in the yard and I can always tell when this has happened because the throw it up and have loose stool for about a week. before you feed something to your dog research it to make sure they can digest it.

174. by anonymous on Feb 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM PST

i have a yorkie that is 4 years old. i feed him meats: whole chicken cooked and deboned and lamb also those meats he loves and does well on. for veggies i use green and yellow squash, greenbeans,pumpkin when it is fresh picked (and freeze it to use during the year )sweet potato. and celery some carrots not daily i also buy cranberries and freeze them along with blueberries as i add a few of these as they are so good for dogs too. and i make a vitamin supplement i got out of a book for dogs i use barley juice powder 1 time a week just a pinch and use powdered egg shells but i use daily goat milk yogurt as it keeps red yest at bay never had that as a problem as i have a schanuzer too no eye stains at all.but i raise my yorkie as breeder lost the moma dog knowing i have raised pups before. i feel in love with this tiny baby and kept him of course i paid for him.when i got him he was 2 day’s yes two day’s old he is now 4 years old and in great shape. i weened him at around 7 weeks slowing to homemade foood and still goats milk and goats milk is so good to bring up puppies without a moma dog.24/7 care goes by so fast but the joy remains knowing you did what the moma dog couldn’t and you will be the real 4-ever mom... 4-real!but the goat milk yogurt is so good to add to the home made food. only add about a teaspoon to start off with.to see if your baby can handle dairyproducts you can get this from earthfare redwood farm.recipe for vitamin /mineral mix from the book. 1/12 cups nutritionalyeast-1/4 /cup kelp powder/ 1 cup lecithin granules/ 2 cup wheat bran/2 cups calcium late makes alot you can go in with someone and share this recipe.5 lb dog add 1/2 ts./6-10 lb dog 3/4 ts./11-20 lb1tsp/21-40lb 2 tsp/41-80lb3tsp/over 80lbs 4 tsp but add water to this before putting teaspoon in food as the bran will exspand...let stand in water for about 3 mins. then add to food and store the dry v/m mix in refrigeratorhope this helps . i like the food to be natural as well as natural vitamins and the minerals from food form.good for all who sees how bad some foods are in the bag or can so to say... 2007 taught us well.my babies get such good reports of health from the vet.. check out what the rabies shots are doing to our little fur babies too. my mothers dog just had a reaction 6 months after the shot his fur feel out and had a lump at the sight of shot. so now we have something eles to worry about... not just food.the shots are same for our 2 lb dogs as well as the 130 lb dog.same dose!and beef jerkey is making dogs ill or killing them from china. i have a treat recipe i make my kids. and i do use goodbuddy raw hide chews if anyone hears about those being unsafe let me know thank you

175. by anonymous on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM PST

sorry fogot the treat recipe above reply. use wheat germ in a glass jar found in the cereal at the store arond a cup or so add or take away depending on amouth made add veggies like sweetpotato, celery,apples dice smallbeat i egg and mix well. i use to make these with lots of veggies as cookies for my human kids that wouldn’t eat veggies they naturally have a sweet taste and they got their veggies. you can puree the veggies after they cook and mix all together and use table spoon to drop on a greased cookie sheet smash them down a little bake until light golden brown at 350 about 30-35 minutes. very good for the fur babies as well as getting veggies into human kids too you can even add a little goats milk yogurt to them. in the mix... hope this helps on a new treat that is healthy as well as dogs love em.about 1-2 a day at most ... will add some weight but not like store bought ones.enjoy!!!

176. by anonymous on Mar 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM PDT

Great article! We have two dogs and we cook meals for them. The protein is usually chicken, beef, fish, or eggs. The grains are barley, brown rice, black rice, or white rice. Mixed vegetables can be anything except ones they’re not supposed to eat. We also give them fish oil, multivitamins and glucosamine. We think they eat better and healthier than us! We brush their teeth or give them dental chews. They both look great and one dog’s arthritis has greatly improved. A food dehydrator also works great in making chicken or beef jerky.

You mentioned that cooking rice on a stove can be hard to manage, either burned or undercooked. Why not try a rice cooker? The better ones can adjust the cooking time based on the texture of the rice (e.g. brown, black or white). It’s basically worry free once you put rice and water/broth in the rice cooker. It can keep warm for up to 12 hours.

177. by Virginia Bruce on Mar 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM PDT

For those who say that dogs can’t handle grain -- in the wild, rodents eat grain and dogs eat rodents. You don’t think they just eat the muscle meat of their prey, do you? For those whose dogs weren’t digesting the rice -- it needs to be cooked with enough water that it gets VERY soft and mushy, like oatmeal. All the grains need to be very thoroughly cooked.

My old Vizsla was very ill with liver problems, and i discovered a Yahoo support group for people with dogs with liver issues, and the homemade diets they recommended saved my old guy and he’s doing fine. But to make sure he gets the micronutrients he needs, I fee half homemade and half high quality kibble.

I got tired of doing the home-made diet and experimented with canned food and he got sick again, so we’re back to the half-and-half diet. (rice, oatmeal, chicken, squash, sweet potato, green beans, white potato, a little carrot)

178. by Jason on Apr 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM PDT

You should consider creating a cookbook that gives recipes that you can make that is safe for your dog to eat as well.

179. by Simant on Jun 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM PDT

hey
Greetings from India, its a real pleasure to read through the article and all the comments.

I am a firm believer that fresh food does wonders thus I am totally against packed dog food, thus I have developed my recepie for my loving Golden Reteriver, he is 6 months.

I feed him on a mix made from crushed Basmati rice cooked with carrot, potato with either chicken (majorly boneless except neck) or variety of lantils for protein, flux seeds (for beautiful hair), pinch of turmaric, cooked eggs twice a week in this mix with oil. I cook it in pressure cooker till chicken is quite soft and all juices of veggies and chicken absorb well in rice and nutritions remain in there.

This mix is served with curd, diluted milk or butter milk.

He loves his food, too energetic and happy what a puppy should be at his age. He smells good, poops easily and keeps his michifs going on all through the day.

Well he is also fed fruits, raw veggies and tastes of snacks what we eat (not often) as snacks.

Cheers
Simant

180. by anonymous on Jun 17, 2012 at 6:09 AM PDT

sounds like a good diet Simant. Do make sure he is getting sufficient calcium :) If your dog is getting raw chicken necks that would be a great calcium source:) Btw if you are cooking the chicken in pressure cooker you can use chicken with bone and it will go to mush and provide the needed calcium easily. Usually cooked bones are dangerous but not when done this way (but only with chicken as other bones don’t disintegrate). anne

181. by anonymous on Jun 23, 2012 at 5:53 PM PDT

I have 2 12 lb yorkies,both 12 years old, 1 with horrible allergies all her life until I began to make they’re food last year. I still feed 1/4 cup of kibble, by pur vita, tukey, grain free, twice daily, but I add 1/4-1/2 cup of the following and mix in kibble. I use gluten free brown rice, 80/20 ground beef (about $3.99 per lb)and fresh green beans, carrots. I use a pressure cooker for the veggies to keep the nutrients, and getting gluten free rice helps with any grain issues, its the gluten that can bother an animal....I boil the hamburger for just a few seconds to get rid of excess fat, or sometimes I will keep it raw thats how they really prefer it, it costs about $6/wk, I keep about 3 days worth in the fridg and freeze some in vacuum sealer. they have shiny coats and much, much better skin than before, pur vita is a small family owned company, the food is great, the dogs love it, I simply give a small amount at night instead of other treats, they love it!!!!

182. by Virginia Bruce on Jun 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM PDT

We have recently modified the food we give our liver-compromised dog. Instead of mixing the chicken into the grain & veggie mix, we make up tubs of that for freezing, and then cook the chicken a couple of pieces at a time to add in.

The mix in the tub stays fresh longer, and we always know that the chicken is fresh and good for him.

We mix that with half good kibble to make sure he’s getting all the other good stuff.

183. by anonymous on Aug 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM PDT

I have been making chicken and rice and carrot in the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is fast and easy to cook the chicken and rice in around 15 minutes. My puppy loves it. some times I give it to him by itself and sometime with part good quality kibble with no major allergy ingredients. We freeze the mixture in serving size packages.

184. by Chris on Sep 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM PDT

I started cooking for my two puppies about two months ago. I have a 9 month old chihuahua mix and an 8 month old Pomeranian. For my protein I normally use cheap frozen tilapia because it is high in Omega 3 and 6 and is vital to dogs health, along with either chicken, beef, turkey, ham, duck, anything that is on sale (Also note that dogs do need a little animal fat in their diet so don’t trim all of it off). For a grain i use brown rice since it is healthier than white. I add egg for a little more protein, minced carrots, minced apples(without seeds or skin), and most importantly sweet potatoes. I swear by this recipie and your dogs will be yapping in no time! as soon as they hear their bowls and the fridge open, they won’t stop until it’s on the floor! Good luck!

185. by anonymous on Sep 9, 2012 at 1:38 PM PDT

Sounds good but make sure they are getting calcium either from powdered raw egg shells or buy Animal Essentials Calcium which I find it the best. brit

186. by Chris on Sep 9, 2012 at 8:28 PM PDT

I blend the eggs with their shells so It’s super small bits, also have dinovite, lickochps, and fish oil coming in the mail within the next few days. Can’t wait. I also leave canadae bison and lamb in a bowl on the floor in case they get hungry in between meals, I rarely have to fill it though.

187. by anonymous on Sep 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM PDT

i have homecooked for my fur children since the 1960’s and have nothing but good come from this. remeber to use good things on the outside as well as the inside for the fur chid. like all grooming supplies.read lables on shampoo’s i swear by dermagic products they have something for any problem and just to keep healthy fur. love it!!!!

188. by anonymous on Sep 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM PDT

can you share what you cook and what supplements you add (this is in response to post 187). So glad to hear someone else does this. We have all been fooled into thinking that packaged food is best for our furkids when in fact its detrimental to their health and becoming dangerous :( I am a senior myself and when I grew up there was no packaged foods, we went to the butcher shop every day and got some meat plus they got table scraps but in those days no-one ate junk food so it was safe. brit

189. by Teresa Lee on Sep 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM PDT

I cook for my 4 small dogs. They eat turkey burger with steamed vegetables, eggs with a sprinkle of cheese, cottage cheese, sometimes apples, rice or potatoes added to their dish. It is a very healthy diet. They also get “treats’ like s small piece of turkey bacon or some yogurt or peanut butter. Mmm...

190. by anonymous on Sep 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM PDT

when i started cooking for the dog we had i was one of these nuts that was into health foods in the sixties. i use lamb,chicken,white fish and salmon,for veggies i use yellow and green squash,peas,greenbeans,carrots sweet potato or yams,celery,and parsley a pinch always as it does good things but each veggie does such good things as the natural minerals and vitamins each has. i use organ meat but very small amounts as it can be a vitamin a toxciy to the fur kid... about like what they would get in the wild if they had killed the prey and i alway’s buy bags of cranberries in the holiday time wash and freeze to add to their home cooking as well as blueberries. i use a grinder to make the egg shell’s into powder as if you give as bone meal you have to watch the amount or the calcium /phosphorus ratio is off balance w/ bone meal i do not like grains as my own girl doesn’t do well on grains at all for vitamins and mineral’s i use purtain pride and i do use unrefined coconut oil refined isn’t quite the same and i use flax seeds ground and omega 3 fish oil dogs do not need omega 6&9 the coconut oil is good to put on a fur kids skin insect bites as well as yourown skin.but i do not give al supplement daily as too much is not good as well as not enought. some are stored not good to over do as it can harm yes, dog food is like us living on beer and potato chips... not healthy,huh?i use only dermagic on my kid for all grooming by the way you can use cocnut ol as a dogs ear cleaner too killd fungus and ear mites also just to keep ears rid of wax too. i like to use all natural vs made made.barley juice powder is good too a pinch here and there. and plain goats milk yogurt is really good for fur kids too i just like goat milk it is better digested than cows milk you can raise kittens or pups on goat milk but can’t on cows milk or very bad out come of tummy issues if we did,huh.and, you can dehydrated healthy snacks like sweet potato,banana chips fur kids love’em meats, and the list is endless. note:and the easy way to steam fish as that is the only way i have made fish for fur kids is steamed use a veegie steamer easy to clean up.and, eggs great food too!!! hope this helps i will try to send all vitamins and minerals that in each cup of cooked veggie soon. i am pretty busy with a fur child that has IMHA from the yearly shot this is something that happen’s from shots one size doesn’t fit all plus we are over doing so much that harms our fur children even using spot on flea treatment can cause IMHA bug bites snake bite and the list goes on each here needs to read about this and protect your fur child but the law says they have to have that rabie shot and it kills or the damage done for life.now my baby has a medical exemption can’t ever have any kind of shot ever!!!we as pet parents need to stand and voice the shots not every 2-3 years but 5 years.thank you all for reading

191. by anonymous on Sep 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM PDT

thanks for those great tips (190). We only get the 3y rabies shot at our holistic vet and hopefully the study that is being conducted to prove that rabies is good for 7 years will soon be accomplished. We titer for parvo/distemper and get nothing else. No topical poisons for fleas/ticks, I use essential aromatherapy oils for that. Thanks for the fish steaming tip. I also use the unrefined coconut oil occasionally. You are right about the goat milk, I get it for mine and soak oat flakes in it overnight occasionally. Let me know which barley grass you use britral@yahoo.com
brit

192. by anonymous on Sep 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM PDT

i use pure planet just barley.. . i also use alfalfa just a pinch here and there. yes dr.jean dodds and dr.ronald schultz are doing a great job in research on the rabies shots. dr. j.dodds has emailed me only my imha girl... she will help your vet in a treatment plan she is a exspert in this field... and sent a recipe to cleanse the liver. i respect both of those vets.my girl has a medical exemption no shot ever for her of any kind.i too use a holistic vet but my girls regular vet works side by side w/ the holistic and together they both agree on most everything.i believe in natural but with this disease from the shots you have to use serious drugs for a very serious disease and that is where dr.dodds comes in she knows how to treat the blood and is the very best exspert in the field... w/ imha.and i use the dermagic and it is all natural keps the skin healthy too i hope this helps. i will be happy to answer any question i can

193. by anonymous on Sep 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM PDT

hi everyone. i home cook too and i have a IMHA furchild. i want every pet parent to be aware of this awful nasty disease. it would take too long to go into everything. but if you see your fur baby not acting like it’s self look at the gums that is one of the signs after you notice your fur baby didn’t eat a meal are the gums many causes of IMHA what triggered my fur baby was the yearly shots it happens fast and no time to waste in getting your pet to the vet. my baby had to have a transfusion w/ a pcv of only 8% now in normal range of many months in treatment w/ very serious medications for a very serious disease.my fur baby was fine ate breakfast and i brushed her teeth as usual her gums wre nice and pink by : that afternoon she was just laying wouldn’t get up i do not know why i did this but i looked at her gums they were snow white i had my baby in my arms caling the vet as i was running to my car. in less than one hour after getting to the vets office my little one was typed and under going a blood tranfusion and her life was hanging on a string. all from the reaction of her yearly shots.this can be triggered by flea bites ,spider bites ,snake bites flea meds like the pill or topic spot on, heartworm meds interceptor so far is the safest the vet said and many other factors like heavy stress in your pets life some reasons are never know why it happens some breeds are more prone to get it but ant breed can get even the loveable mutt or cats.i hope this will give info on what to look for in your pet if your fur baby isn’t feeling right or if you notice that the gums are white or very pale. before this hit home w/ my fur baby i had never heard of this before and it seems to be happening more than it use to i am not wanting to scare any pet parent i want you to be aware as it can save their very life in treatment it is a 50/50 chance but w/out treatment it is death i ask all pet parents read on this awful disease to get informed.to help in knowing what is safe to use as heartworms meds and flea treatments just type IMHA causes and treatment i knew nothing about this and was so scared and felt so helpless. but found a sight that is a support group and it has been a blessing to stay sane through out this. each person helps to let you know what has worked for their fur child and what isn’t safe top do and a wonderful vet dr. jean dodds she is a exspert in this field.she knows what treatment works and what doesn’t.i also homecook keeps the fur babies safe from bad food and treats but many other things out there can harm too just like the yearly shots. and body fish oil is the very best as liver oil can harm as it can cause vitamin A toxcity. coconut oil is also good for pet skin boo-boo’s helps the skin to heal.. also keeps fleas and flying insects off but makews the fur child very oily the fleas can’t breath.... just a little hint if you have a pet that can’t use flea spot on’s or the pill.the well being is so much more than the food alone we are their voice and pet parent to look out in all things.i know this was long but i just want to inform all pet parents keep up the home cooking so good for the pet children.thank you for your time!

194. by anonymous on Nov 18, 2012 at 5:46 AM PST

reading many idea’s of recipes here is one that i love because it easy and most of all my whole gang loves it and for the ones who pick the veggies out and won’t eat them it works great for me. and you might have to cut my recipe down but i have a gang.
4 pounds ground turkey & 1/4 lb ground lean beef
greenbeans,squash y&g 1 large sweet potato fresh parsley,kale,pea’s and celery3 stalks,carrots
1apple cored and seed removed and 1 pear same
1/4 cup raw wheat germ & 1/2 cup oats
3 eggs
1/2 tsp egg shell per pound of meat
mix meat and add all but remember to grind the veggies and fruit that way the pet will not pick out the veggies and they wil be able to digest the veggies as if not grinding or puree them the pet doesn’t get all the good stuff their bodies need.bake 1 /12 hours in a large pan cut feed or freeze up to 3 months this seems to be good for picky eaters.hope you like

195. by anonymous on Feb 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM PST

We recentlyy adopted an older (12 years) Maltese. She hasn’t been well taken care of at all. I cook chicken for her add lettuce, carrots, peas, to keep her diet to her liking. She loves pretty much all vegies,cooked, doesn’t like rice or bread but will eat spaghetti or other cut noodles. I added some boiled ricesticks to her dinner once, she ate that and loved it. I wonder if that is enough nutrition for her. I am adding a small amount of seaweed to her diet, she had vey bad breath and this is helping her. I just wonder if Kelp will have the same effect?

196. by anonymous on Apr 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM PDT

i have a little chihuahua that has IMHA triggered by the yearly shots. i have always home cooked for my gang now more than ever am i glad that i have. my little one is now in remission and i still home cook ahe is doing very well . when my little one had liver issue’s due to the very serious medications in treating IMHA the vet and specialist put my baby on sam-e that did the trick after weeks of treatment from predisone,azathioprine , doxy al hard on the liver. i make a doggie meatloaf. i always put celery as that too is good for the liver as well as green pea’s i use pumpkin fresh cooked when in season or plain canned ,green beans ,squash yellow and green, yams or sweet potato glutin freen oats from the health food store for meats i use ground turkey breast only breast meat, or chicken ground breast meat only. i use hearts, kidneys, and liver but only 1/16 to size of prey of the organ meats to the other meat. too much live can cause vitamin A toxcity. i use apple and pear and blueberries as great for skin and coat and good natural vitamin c i mix that like i would making a meat loaf for human but with all the wonderful health veggies and i do puree all fruit and veggies and raw eggs into the mix that hold it all together. when home cooking you will have to add the right amount for your fur childs size i add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered egg shell for the calcium to each pound of meat that is about 800-1000 mg of calcium and i also give puritins pride natural pet tabs for all other vitamins and minerals.bake the meat loaf 350 until done about 1 hour- 1 hour and 30 minutes depending the the size of loaf made.i like to add raw wheat germ from time to time but gultin is bad on so fur childrens tummy. and i have found that sardine packed in spring water no salt added is a great treat but the high fat if you have a fur baby with pancreatitis oils are not the best thing or fats but has calcium and iron and other needed minerals in sardine no more than once a week. ground flax seed is a good omega but use right amount to size of pet you can look that up on line in amounths for the size. unrefined coconut oil is also good and helps put on the fur childs skin with boo boo’s heals right up.you can even let them lick it from a spoon 1/8 tsp. is great to start with the add 1/4 tsp. if a larger fur child i wouldn’t give over 1/2 sure helps the coat to glow.glad many are home cooking we never saw a dog find a kbble tree in the wild real food is what is best or added <if no time too cook> to kibble with the cost of everything not everyone can home cook yes garlic can and does cause problems as onions same family and it just takes longer.missing link has kelp for those who can not use kelp for their fur baby.hope you enjoy a easy recipe as the meat loaf add as much or as little of each veggie but keep the meat percentage greater than the veggie but the veggies do so much good for our fur baby adding eggs helps add more protien also.

197. by anonymous on Apr 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM PDT

People don’t know how important healthy food are. I have 12 years old Golden Terrier and I always prepare him

homemade food. Do you know dogs can live 27 years! Please don’t give them commercial food. There are lots of healthy homemade food recipes here http://www.makeusknow.com/categories/animals&pets/what-can-dogs-eat-vs-what-should-dogs-eat.html , please prepare them healthy food.

198. by anonymous on Apr 13, 2013 at 2:34 PM PDT

yes dogs can live 27 and plus. i had a wonderful golden retrieverwho was born on dec 1979 and my macey passed away in her sleep in 2005. she had never had a bite of commercial dog food or treats. i made everything she ate food or treat. i was known as the crazy lady health nut.macey was cared for by the same vet all her lfe from 5 weeks of age due to mama dogs milk dried up. my friend the breeder gave macey to me as a birthday gift.what a wonderful fur child macey was she is missed to this day. my little 2 lb chihuahua has IMHA triggered by the yearly shots. she too has been on home made food from a pup she is now soon to be 9 years old she was 7 1/2 years old when hit by IMHA. she is now in remission.i make many different tyoes of meals but i always put these veggies in every meal sweet potato or yams ,celery,squash yellow and green, green pea’s they are good for the liver,so much more as celery a over loked veggie, green beans,carrots, plain no spices or sugar added pumpkin from time to time,fresh parsley,kale 3 times aweek,but these are the veggies i use daily except where noted. and meats i do use organ meats but 1/16 to size of prey so to speak. i love alfalfa use and barley juice powder. i like adding blueberries and apples to the food for many good reasons. another thing i love is raw wheatgerm a few times aweekpacked full of good things and ground flax seed . and yes i do use sardines good omega’s calcium, and minerals and being so small less risk of murcury so that is usually one time a week i do like the use of coconut unrefined extra virgin coconut oil it is good for boo-boo’s on the fur child too. and makes the coat so beautiful. we are what we eat and the same goes for our fur child. even my parrot gets cert. organic foods, too.i also freeze some garden fods because i grow veggies not gmo seed .. real food.and as i always said to people who made fun of me<back then no one ever thought about making dog food> i just don’t believe our wild dogs ever found a kibble tree growing. they ate real food as i stated in my upper post.dr jean dodds and my IMHA baby talked over the plan for treatment dr. dodds is a wonderful vet and does much research she and dr. robert shults are working on getting the rabie shots to ever 7 years as it is doing really bad things to our fur child along with other shots given to much.i also have a 16 1/7 year old fur child who is still a pup runs and runs up and down stairs chases squirrels.when balanced with the needs you can’t beat homemade for the fur child. even cats can eat homemade meal you just have to remember the taurine they have to have the right amount. i do use eggs also as they are so good for the fur child. i did not say all but as you know homemade is the very best... that is why dogs on a farm lived to be well over 20+ years they had good home grown and meats not just veggies from the farm.no garlic do i use as it is in the family of onion and just takes longer to do its damage.some swear by it but not me.yes, healthy food and balanced food and sardine as a treat once a week is not bad it does good things. i only give 1 as a treat some say no! no! but i have done this for years the bones are soft and in natural spring water no salt very good for our fur baby.i also cook white fish once aweek or salmon not just chicken or turkey breast, lean beef, i use organ meats 1/16 to size of the prey kidney ,heart, liver and too much liver can cause vitamin a toxcity... that is why i keep it balanced to the size of meat.yes... yes.. keep it healthy i agree.

199. by anonymous on Apr 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM PDT

i just read the sight you posted .... i agree with all said. as i had said i do believe dogs can live past 20. i had a golden retriever who did just that.i never thought dog food was good for our pets as i like to say you can never ever find a kibble tree growing anywhere.i wish i had noticed that you had added that info before. i hope many read it and learn. and i had friends who lost young pets in 2007 and evem lately.and the 3 d’s in pet food should scare the life out of any pet parent. thank you again. and i hope many read your post.

200. by Kelly O'Keefe on Apr 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM PDT

Please don’t use olive oil in your food, unless it will not be heated. Olive oil turns rancid when cooked and becomes poisonous. It’s better to stick to coconut oil. Not only is it delicious, but it’s good for friendly intestinal bacteria.

201. by MJ on May 4, 2013 at 7:33 AM PDT

My dog started with a wheat allergy, presented by itching feet and constant ear infections. Then she started showing signs of allergy to other grains as well. So, I switched her to a grain-free kibble ... Orijen, which is an excellent dog food, but very expensive, and Taste of the Wild. Which was a good food choice, but since they’ve had so many recalls, and one last year which nearly killed my dog, I no longer feed her commercial dog foods of any brand. I have been making her food and it’s getting expensive, and time consuming. But, she’s worth it! I spend more on her food than mine.

I cook chicken in a pan, with no butter, or seasonings, just a little water to prevent burning.
I boil sweet potatoes, (boiling makes the skins softer than baking) and mix the two for a regular meal.
She gets fish oil, and MSM/Glucosamine for her joints.
Also, I alternate the sweet potato with various beans/peas. She had kidney beans last night and she really likes them. She also gets fresh fruits in the morning, she likes apples and bananas, and sometimes blueberries, which are her favorite fruit.
I mash a bit of banana with her chicken and sweet potato. Snacks are raw carrots. She loves crunching them!!

202. by Hillari on May 18, 2013 at 8:39 AM PDT

Bringing home an 8 week old Teddy Bear - Maltese, Shihtzu, poodle home on Monday. First time puppy mom. Very anxious. My question is this, can I immediately start him on a diet of homemade foods and is there anything he might need more of now as a puppy. I am going to print out all of these posts with recipes and start using them, just not sure what is best for a puppy to start with. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

203. by Robert Griffin on Jun 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM PDT

I haven’t used commercial dog food in years. My dog loves the stuff I make, which is similar to this.

204. by anonymous on Aug 14, 2013 at 9:44 AM PDT

I have a Maltese, and I have always cooked her food since I brought her home 4 years ago! I buy the family pack of chicken breast wrap each breast separately in aluminum foil and put in the freezer. Then I buy a big bag of rice (any kind) and the frozen vegetables that come pre chopped in the frozen food section. Carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas. And everyday when I get up, I take one breast out of the freezer put it in a pot to boil with some chicken flavoring added to the water. After the chicken is almost done (still a little pink inside) I take it out and shred it into small chunks usually just with my fingers, while I do that I leave the water boiling and add the rice and vegetables. I stir that up real good and put a lid on to cover it. After I’m done shredding the chicken I scrape it into the boiling rice and vegetables and I let that boil for another 5-7 minutes then I turn the burner off and cover the pot after I’m done doing my daily things and it has cooled down I fill her bowl. There’s usually about 2-3 servings good for 2 days. The reason why I started to feed her this is because 1.) she was on a steroid when I brought her home because she was underweight and had seizures multiple times a day and would not eat dry food. 2.) because when I look at the back label of dry dog food or and commercial dog food, the ingredients are the same as what I feed her fresh cooked! Why would I feed my dog processed food when she can eat the real thing! To me it only seems like common sense but I do understand why people may choose not to. Not having the time or having bigger dogs that require alot of food! My dog is only 5 lbs so my situation is different than some others No Judgements here!! ;) how ever you choose to feed your pets it entirely up to you! I also give her some raw fruits and veggies for little treats instead of the “commercial” dog treats. Bottom line is if I wouldn’t eat it why would I force her to?! Because some fancy commercial add told me to because its all natural or preservative free! WRONG! Anything that comes in a compressed process form can’t really be healthy for any mammal! Oh also peanut butter on a carrot stick or apple slice, they will think its their birthday! Enjoy your pets and feeding them shouldn’t be a big delima or issue! Our family dog only ate table scraps of everything wrong for you growing up and he lived over 15 years!

205. by anonymous on Aug 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM PDT

of couse you can make a home made diet for puppies if you have a holistic vet they can help with the amount of calcium your pup needs the best is wash and boil egg shells then use a grinder one just for that never coffee used for make to a powder form and look up the amount for age and size and ask your vet puppy vitamins from prutin pride or natural is ggod also.real food is best as we have never found a kibble tree growing in the wild and deer antlers are great for cleaning the teeth as well as for a toy. they were the very first chews for wild dogs even mice and other animals use them in the wild full of minerals and calcium. i have never ever bought dog food and yes my babies have lived into their 20+ years. but anything from dna can happen . relax and enjoy being a pet mom once you start you will see how simple and healthy your baby will be and teeth on fur kids are better than the ones on kibble as it can be so hard it breaks the teeth and leaves tarter remeber the deer antlers are great way to keep the teeth and they love to play with them also.

206. by Jen on Sep 17, 2013 at 5:49 AM PDT

At last confirmation that what I have been giving my dog works. I stumbled on the combination of rice / grated carrots / and meat through convenience as much as anything AND particularly discovered that the turkey and beef mince was actually cheaper than the dog food (especially if it was bought in offers). I also usually add a tsp of oil in each container. Up to this my dog ALWAYS had to be pursuaded to eat commercial food PS he has no health problems.

207. by Gary Alan on Feb 24, 2014 at 11:36 PM PST

Great home made dog food you have there. I also experienced the same thing with my two French Bulldogs, Douglas and Dennis. They avoided dog food and became weak and ill. A good friend advised me to cook food for them. So I made some research and made my way to the kitchen. After I was done, I was surprised that they cleaned up their bowl and was wanting for more. I suspected the reason for losing their appetite is the ingredients included in their dog food which I buy from the market. It has poor quality and it has great amount of chemicals and preservatives that harm my dogs. Since then, I never give them any thing less than home made dog food (of course, my own cooking) and they certainly love it.

208. by oly on Mar 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM PDT

207 and all the owners of Frenchies please help! We have a 6 years old French bulldog, named Dino and we love him very much. The problem is that he suffers from allergy/itching and the vet suggested us the hypoallergenic food TROVET with lamp or fresh turkey with potatoes. Dino barely eats the dry dog food,and he prefers the homemade. Could u please give me some recipies for him including veggies and fruits.Thanks a lot

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [http://www.example.com "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer


First Person

Contributions from farmers, cooks, and others who are tasting the many meanings of food.

Want more? Comb the archives.

Advertisement
Culinate 8

Kale in the raw

Eight versions of kale salad

Eight ways to spin everyone’s favorite salad.

Subscribe