Since it is National Dog Week or Day (who decides these things?) I thought I would share with you the ways I spoil our dogs. I’ve often said I want to be reincarnated as one of our pets. They have the life of Riley.
It’s a long story as to why I started supplementing their dry store-bought dog food with homemade food, but what a difference this had made in their interest in mealtime and overall health. The fresh homemade food is mixed in with their morning and evening kibble. Their reaction is pure excitement! Quite honestly, with a little salt and pepper I would eat this too.
It is NOT hard to make your own dog food, and it only takes a few hours to do so. I multiply this recipe x 6 and it provides enough dog food for 1 month. This recipe is from The Whole Pet Diet by Andi Brown. I highly recommend this book if your dog (or cat) is having any health issues. Look at the fresh ingredients!
Hearty Burger Stew
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1/2 pound millet or barley
- 1/2 pound spinach chopped
- 1/2 pound carrots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons kelp powder
- 4-6 cups water
- chicken livers optional
- Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover.Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the carrots and barley are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. With an electric hand mixer or a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients. Using ziplock bags or plastic containes, make up meal-sized portions and freeze whatever you don't use in 3 to 4 days.
Here's what I do: I put the carrots and spinach in a food processor prior to cooking. I also put the chicken livers in the food processor too. This way the consistency of the food is more chunky than a puree. Also, I multiple this recipe x 6 and add 1.25 lbs. of chicken livers.
The dog food is then divided into daily portions and put in the freezer.
I also make Beautiful Coat oil, an essential fatty acid blend, rich in vitamins A, D and E that is added to each meal. This oil benefits their skin, heart, eyes and immune system. I typically triple this recipe as we use it daily for both our dogs and cats.
Beautiful Coat Oil
- 5 ounces soybean oil or olive oil
- 1 ounce cod liver oil
- 1 ounce wheat germ oil
- 1 ounce flaxseed oil
- 1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 inch sprig of rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Pour into a dark or opague glass bottle or jar and seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for freshness, where it will keep for about 2 months. Serving sizes are based on body weight; use the dosage recommendation below and thoroughly mix it into your pet's food at every meal.
PawDiet sends out texts regarding pet food recalls. It is astounding how the quality of pet food varies and often, the recall warnings include salmonella or listeria, which often can contaminate humans.
As a result, I make the snacks for our pets, too. It is so easy and simple, and the pets LOVE them. When a large, good quality steak goes on sale (did you know Safeway has to mark down their meat after 24 hours?)), I turn it into dog snacks. Cut the steak into strips, whatever thickness you like ~~I tend to do thin slices. Bake in your oven on a cookie sheet for 1 hour at 250 degrees. I put them in Ziplock bags and freeze.That’s it!
It has been SO hot here and I can only imagine how uncomfortable it gets for big, hairy dogs. Typically I would buy Frosty Paws (dog ice cream sold in the grocery store’s refrigerated section), but I noticed a lot of ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I experimented this morning with a frozen yogurt/berry treat.
This recipe is from Home is Where the Boat Is ~~I ordered the dog themed silicon trays from Amazon. Of course, our beagle, Sox LOVED them, but Cooper wasn’t so sure. Perhaps I will try it with peanut butter next time.
Frozen Berry Dog Treats
- 8 ounces plain Greek or regular yogurt not sweetened
- 1 pint berries blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or combo
- Place yogurt and berries into a blender, blending until pureed. Add water (1/2 cup or less) to thin and make mixture pourable. Pour yogurt/berry mixture into mold or ice cube tray. Place in freezer until solid and pop out as a frozen dog treat.
I would imagine I am re-directing all my mothering instincts to the pets, now that the children are gone. Regarding costs, I do look for fresh items on sale and stock up (like today barley was marked down). The costs and time justify the means because the end result is a good one~~happy, healthy pets with less visits to the vet.