How to Make Your Own Dog Food
When it comes to choosing the best food for your pets, it can be so very overwhelming. Depending on who you ask, you can get a million different responses on what the best diet is for dogs. Grain free, raw, soy-free, corn-free, Vegan, so, who do you trust? I can not tell you that one, but, what I can tell you is the route we took in hopes that it helps you decide what’s best for you and your pet as well!
For the last few years, I was feeding my dogs Acana dog food thinking it was a more “high end” and clean option, however, after watching the pet food documentary called Pet Fooled I, unfortunately, learned that even nicer brands of kibble, like my fave Acana, can become carcinogenic due to being heated at high levels that in return creates a carcinogenic effect which, for us meant, bye bye to all kibble. I wanted to have a blog on how we make our dog food but please note, this is just our personal routine and you should look for your own holistic vet in your area to get the perfect, well-balanced diet for your pet!
Also, when reading this, keep in mind, this is for our three, large Goldens, all that weigh 65 pounds or so. Each dog eats three meals per day. We make their food every single day because of how big they are, how many we have and how much they eat. If you had smaller dogs or fewer dogs, you could get away with making it less often. We do not always stick to the below combo, we can mix and match different veggies in, especially depending on the season and what’s in stock or on sale.
What Meats Do You Use?
Our dogs are allergy prone so we also follow the Chinese Medicine method which believes in balancing out their inflammatory prone systems with more neutral or cooling meats. If your dog has allergies, itchy skin, rashes, hot ears, pants a lot or sits in the shade, it could be a sign they are a more hot/warm dog and they may do better on cooling or neutral meats like Beef, Turkey or Pork. If you do serve them Beef, it must be Grassfed as conventional Beef is made from cows that were fed corn and grains which means it is no longer a neutral meat. Some other neutral or cooling meats you could explore are Cod, Crab, Duck, Rabbit, Turkey, Catfish, Pork or Tuna. Chicken, Ham, and Salmon should be avoided if your dog is a warm dog as they can be common allergens to many dogs.
We follow the 50% meat, 25% veggies + 25% roots ratio. That means 5-6 cups meat to 2.5 cups veggies and 2.5 cups roots. That means, in one crockpot batch, we follow the above amounts. Each serving we give them about 2 cups, 3 times a day, depending on their activity level each day.
- 6 pounds of Organic, Grassfed Ground Beef
- 1 Organic Small Yellow Squash
- 1 Organic Small Zucchini
- 1 Crown of Organic Broccoli
- 1 Crown of Organic Cauliflower
- 1 Package of Organic, Grassfed Beef Bone Broth
Fruits, Vegetables + Roots We Use-
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Red Leaf Lettuce
- Dino Kale
- Purple and Green Cabbage
- Dandelion Root
We avoid/limit any veggie, fruit or grain that is high in sugars or carbs. Sugar and carbs are items that can cause inflammation, and over time, inflammation is what has links to cancer so the below you want to avoid OR use sparingly. Once in a while is ok but for every day, according to our vet, should be avoided.
Foods We Limit-
- Wheat or any Flours- Avoid.
- Artificial Flavors- Avoid.
- Corn- Avoid.
- Sweet Potato- 12% or less per meal is ok.
- Potato- Avoid
- Brown Rice- 12% or less per meal is ok.
- Fruits- 12% or less per meal is ok of Banana, Watermelon, Kiwi, Apple, Blueberry, Pear…
- Pumpkin- 12% or less per meal is ok but it is a warm food so we avoid.
- Oats- 12% or less per meal is ok but it is a warm food so we avoid.
- Beans- 12% or less per meal is ok.
- Tofu- We never use but if you do, limit.
- Quinoa- 12% or less per meal is ok but it is a warm food so we avoid.
How To Cook-
Not all dogs can do raw diets. Dogs that have trouble digesting foods, older dogs and dogs with any health problems may want to avoid a Raw diet as it can be additional work on their system when the energy is needed in other areas. If the dog is sick or old, you do not want to add additional workloads to their bellies so our vet suggests a gently cooked diet instead. If your dog is young and super healthy, you can choose to feed them a Raw diet if you wish! For us, we use an Organic Clay Crockpot on low heat and cook the above for about 4 – 6 hours until cooked.
Simply add in the above ingredients, half of the bone broth and then layer the meat on the bottom, veggies on top, meat again, then veggies, and then top with the rest of the bone broth, then cook! You do not want to cook on too high of heat as it kills all of the nutritional benefits of the food.
Supplements We Add-In-
Because the food is being cooked, you still want to add in additional supplements from what the food loses while being cooked. We add in a daily vitamin that includes calcium which is really important for pups! Here is a list of each supplement we add into their food after it has cooked and cooled. Follow directions on the container to understand how to use each best.
- Herbal Multi-Vitamins for Pets– This is a multivitamin which is really important to ensure they are getting full balanced and nutritious meals. It is not on Amazon which is a bummer.
- Cell Advanced 880– This is awesome for boosting their immunity, this is important when not over vaccinating your dogs or adopting a dog that may have been on a bad diet prior to you.
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3– Great for shiny coats, joint health, heart health, immune system health, brain, and eye development, and healthy blood circulation.
- Dermal Support– This is amazing for encouraging a super full, healthy and shiny coat!
- Joint + Dental Health– Great for gum health, joint health, muscles, and a healthy coat!
- Seaweed Calcium- Most calcium is sourced from farm animals that were raised on municipal water so their bones are likely full of heavy metals and fluoride so our vet has us use this Seaweed Calcium instead.
- Amazon Dog Store- To see all of my favorite pet care items, click here.
Overall, YES, this is a ton of work and to be honest, very expensive but with the cancer rates on the rise, and knowing what I know about kibble, I couldn’t, in good faith, continue to feed my dogs carcinogenic foods. If you can not make your dogs food daily, try to make it when you can as the less kibble, overall, the better. If you can not cook at all, I am working on some dog meal delivery services that do the work for you, however, most are not Organic.
If you can not buy Organic, even conventional is better than kibble. If you can not buy Organic, Grassfed Beef, Grassfed Beef is better than conventional, grain fed beef. If you can not do any of the above and HAVE to have a kibble, Stella & Chewy is the only brand I have found that bakes under 400 degrees which makes it less of a risk for high-heat chemical reactions to the food. The point is, do what you can because we all know, they’re worth it 😉