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Holiday Treat: Homemade Dog Food

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homemade-dog-foodInstead of buying something for your dog this holiday, give him the treat of the century by making a homemade meal!

People didn't always have to worry about buying dog food at the store but over the last few years there have been a few recalls of dog food. Unfortunately even the latest peanut butter problems have translated into problems for our dogs and puppies. The safest and healthiest option may be to make homemade dog food. It may sound hard to do but actually it is not that hard to make food for dogs.

How to Make Homemade Dog Food

Some people may be afraid of feeding their dogs something that could harm them so they prefer to stick to store bought dog food. There are some foods that are definitely not for dogs or puppies. First homemade dog food should not contain any bones because they can get lodged in a dog's digestive tract. Second dog food should not contain any chocolate, avocado, mushrooms, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, garlic, nutmeg, coffee, tea, raw eggs, or onions. Veterinarians have determined that these foods can harm more then help dogs. There may be more foods on this list depending on your dog's health or breed. Dog owners should consult with their veterinary before changing their dog to homemade dog food.

That leaves us with a bunch of foods that can be used to make dog food. How to make homemade dog food is actually quite easy with dog food recipes.

 Dog Hamburger Helper Meal

  • 1 cup hamburger meat, cook in 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs, boiled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain oatmeal, cooked
  • 1 small jar baby food carrots (typically Gerber size)
  • 1 small jar baby food green beans
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese

When the hamburger meat, eggs, and oatmeal have been prepared combine all the ingredients. Serve right away and store unused portions in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Dog Casserole Meal

  • 1 cup chicken or turkey, boiled and chopped (remember to remove bones)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables, boiled
  • 3-4 tbsp unsalted chicken or turkey broth

After all the ingredients have been prepared, combine, and serve immediately. Store unused portions in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Alternate meat: salmon can be used in place of the chicken or turkey, also omit the chicken or turkey broth. 

Homemade Doggy Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk

Combine both flours, oatmeal, and baking powder. In a separate bowl combine honey, peanut butter, and milk and mix well. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Knead the dough and roll-out (to 1/4 inch thickness) on a floured surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown. 

Doggy Tail Wagger Biscuits

  • 1 small jar baby food carrots (typically Gerber size)
  • 2 small jar baby food of any meat
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and press into biscuit shapes or whatever shapes you like. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown on a cookie at 350 degrees.

These recipes should give you some more ideas about homemade dog food recipes for your dog. Some other ingredient ideas to keep in mind when creating your own recipes are brown rice, brewers yeast, corn flour, small amounts of cod liver oil or flaxseed (for their fur), liver, tuna, lamb, or any baby food vegetable.

Baby foods are used a lot in homemade dog foods because dogs have problems digesting some vegetables. Fresh vegetables can be used as long as they are pureed in the food processor first. Dog supplements can also be added to almost any recipe to boost the protein or calcium in their diet.

Making homemade dog meals isn't that different from making meals for the family. Although one big difference is that dogs don't get all the seasonings and salt that people eat because they are bad for their digestive systems. Making dog food is also something that can made in advance. Most recipes only hold for 3 days in the refrigerator but they can be frozen for later in the week. Many families are turning to homemade dog food because they just can't trust the store bought food anymore. Don't give dangerous dog food a dollar of your money.  In fact it has become so popular that there are dog food recipe books.

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