Pack of Four

Pack of Four
Nightmare, Gabbi, Arme & Kilo

Jul 11, 2010

Homemade Dog Kibble and RAW food

As the amount of dog food recalls increase, I could no longer justify putting my dogs at risk. Even though I was feeding a good quality kibble, Acana or Orijen. I still keep it on hand for when I am away and my roommates are feeding the dogs.

But to feed homemade, there is a lot to learn! Here is some quick hint and tips:

Making natural dog food recipes at home provides healthy food for your pet, and it's very easy to do. Simply balance proteins, fats and carbohydrates with the occasional mineral or vitamin supplement to add more nutritional value.

The following is a basic guideline of ingredients needed to feed your dog healthy meals. You will have to gear them according to his size and the amount of food he typically eats per day

Cooked ground lamb, poultry and beef are ideal for mixing into natural dog food recipes. Limit PORK OR HAM

Pass on vegetables high in oxalic acid since they will interfere with your dog's ability to absorb calcium; stay away from spinach, rhubarb and swiss chard. 

Grapes & RAISINS
MUSHROOMS (and not just cause I dont like them... ha ha)

Wholesome ingredients to incorporate into your dog's diet
Quick cooking grains:
Rolled oats

Other grains:
Brown rice
Wheat berries 

Frozen vegetables:
Cut green beans
Lima beans

Fresh cooked vegetables:
Finely grated carrots or zucchini
Yams/sweet potatoes
Baking potatoes

Does your dog have arthritis? Tip: Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, and can be sprinkled on your dog's food. Start a medium dog with an eight of a tsp per day. Mix any dose with food because the taste is hot and can be offensive or cause vomiting. This should work immediately.

To determine how much to feed an adult dog, take his body weight and multiply it by 0.4. The resulting number is the total number of ounces your dog should be eating in a day -- either in one big meal or divided into a morning and dinner meal.

As for kibble, here is the recipe I use, I like it because it is easy, and all the ingredients can be bought at the grocery store.

Homemade Kibble

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats (dry oatmeal)
3 cups of cooked brown rice
2 cups of powdered milk (instant milk)
3 cups of water or broth (chicken or beef)
4 eggs
1 cup of lard or shortening

Mix the flour, oats, rice, powdered milk and water or broth. Then beat the 4 eggs with a fork and add the eggs and the shortening or lard into the flour mixture. Mix until well blended using a big spoon or your hands.
If your dog loves a certain ingredient, you can add it to the kibble mix. You can add cuts of lean cooked meat, bits of cooked carrots, thawed frozen peas, or any other ingredient your dog loves.

You want to pour your kibble batter into a shallow pan so it will cook evenly. Just don't make it too thick. You can use several shelves in your oven or you can just make separate batches. Bake at 200 degrees for at least 45 minutes. You want the kibble to be dry. 

After the kibble mix is cooked, let it cool fully then rip it apart into small pieces. Store in a plastic container in the fridge and use as needed. You should use it within two weeks. If you can't use it in time, you can freeze it in plastic bags then thaw as needed.

This is another recipe I use, when I have the ingredients on hand:

Canine Hamburger Helper

1 cup hamburger
2 boiled eggs
½ cup oatmeal
2 Tbsp cottage cheese
1 cup cooked green beans
1 cup grated carrots

Stir fry the hamburger meat in canola oil. Chop the boiled eggs into small pieces. Cook the oatmeal. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve. Leftovers of this meal can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator.


As for raw food, I buy pet burger from my local butcher here in Winfield. The butcher grinds up meat & bones into a burger consistency. Freezes it in huge long cylinder packs. Then when you buy it, they slice it into patties for you the thickness you want! I bought a 120lbs for a $120. That alone will feed my pack of four twice a day for 5 weeks!!  That is the best deal!

That is the other benefit for feeding raw, I could not afford a $300 - $400 dog food bill if I chose to continue feeding kibble.

Above is pictures of the pet burger. It's about 4 inches in diameter and an inch thick.

To the pet burger I add veggies, rice, a bit of kibble, fruit, plain yogurt (8 tbsps/wk), pumpkin, spinach, applesauce, etc. I had some freezer burnt salmon I BBQ and de-boned, I have it in the freezer to add for a special treat! Right now I'm just figuring put what my dogs will eat, so that is why I keep various things on hand to add to their pet burger. I have a garden, so they will get lots of veggies from there too.

I bought some Recovery to add to my oldest dog's food to help her joints!

So I have been feeding them this for about month! I immediately noticed a difference in their coat, shiny & SOFT! I have 3 dogs who are 18 months old and my oldest is seven years old, they all have huge energy & more now being on this food.

Now a yucky topic, but the biggest surprise, poop! Everywhere I read about feeding raw, it talked about reduced pick up in yard. But I couldn't believe how much of a reduction. With four dogs I had to keep on top of the back yard clean up. I was away, so I had two weeks to clean up. I was scared of the mess that awaited me. But when I was done I barely had a third of a five gallon bucket. Before on kibble I would easily fill 80% of the bucket in a week!
I don't measure exact every meal, cause some meals they get 100% protein, other meals might be 50% protein; 50% carbs, and they another meal might be 30 % carbs-30% veggies -40% protein. But overall it works out for them I think to be about 70% protein; 30 % veggies & carbs.

As for yogurt, I read information that said it is bad and other information that said it was good. I only use plain yogurt, no sugar or fruit added. It seems there is no right answer. So I made a decision, and started giving it to them, and it has been amazing. My one dog, who seems to always have yeast infections in his ear, doesn't have any now.

As I try and tailor more recipes or find more information, I will add! Good Luck!


Unknown said...

Wow, Laura, so much good information here. Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing more.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness, someone else has done this. We have 5 large breed dogs, 2-wolf hybrids, 2-std bull dogs and one pit puppy. These guys were going through 50lbs of good quality dog food a week and we had health issues of every sort and expense. So I stopped the madness and just started fixing my own foods. Luckily my son loves to fish, so our guys get lots of fresh salmon, chum, trout and spiny rays. Not to mention our friends who hunt give me all the scraps and organs. I buy rice and potatoe flour in bulk and 25lb bags of oatmeal. Then we pick up veggies and fruits from our local food banks. If they don't give it away they have to throw it out. Such a waste, just because its bruised or ugly doesn't mean its unsuitable.

Gabbi Hockman said...

Wow five dogs? My four are a handful! Have you checked your local butcher to see about a pet burger? You are so lucky you have people who fish and hunt. My family who does that lives too far away. But my family does save freezer burnt meat for me, then i bring it home when I am down on the coast! my local butcher has started slicing it thicker, so i do have to order more. I will probably start ordering 150lbs. Good luck!

robert said...

I tried using the prey style raw diet but my dogs are stinking bad with the detox phase so my wife is thinking its not whorth it and now I'm thinking of trying to make my own kibble using one of your methods described above my two dogs are a 3 yea old daschound and a 5 month old 3/4 English and a 1/4 bull mastiff so I guess my question would be the mastiff any suggestions on feeding amount I have read that it should be based off of her full grown weight but as her mom is 180lbs and dad is 230 it kinda seems like alot any info would be great and thank you for your time

Muriel said...

Robert, there is a dog food calculator online (just google dog food calculator), but it's just for adult dogs. They mentioned that large breeds should not be fed an adult diet until they are 1 or 2 years (depending on breed). My suggestion would be to go to the vet armed with your recipe and approximate calorie count per cup and he can probably help you figure out how much you should be feeding your dogs.

Anonymous said...

How much of the pet burger do you give your dogs daily? Do you feed the raw method only now. Are the good results mentioned for the raw only? Thanks for your information.

Gabbi said...

I feed my dogs RAW about 80% of the time. I feed my dogs 2 patties/day for breakfast and dinner. 2-3 days/ week I will also give them rice and raw veggies.

Most of the veggies I feed them come from my garden that I freeze for use throughout the year. Beet stems & greens, carrots, beans, zucchini, & potatoes.

They are all really slim and in great shape. In the winter I feed them a bit extra.

If I am running low on pet burger, I usually have cooked Salmon on hand. I am lucky enough to get lots of salmon from my family, so if some it gets freezer burnt then I BBQ it and de-bone it.

I also feed them cooked meat from my dinners once a week. For example, if I make a big roast or have lots of leftovers, then I feed it my dogs. As long as it doesn't have any sauce etc.

My dogs rarely get treats, except when I make homemade treats! I usually make a big batch of homemade treats with cheese or peanut butter.

Between the RAW food, rice, & veggies, it costs me about $250 to feed 3 dogs that are 50lbs, 60lbs & 85lbs. That is a great deal for my tight budget!

trishvirginia said...

quick question: I love your idea of the dog burgers! would venison work as well? Also, I have an active/playful but overweight pit/lab mix (4 years old). I think she is taking too many calories from her store-bought kibble. at 79 lbs, what are your suggestions for burger/rice etc? thanks!

Unknown said...

Hi, wondering where you live? I would love to get my hands on those pet burgers. We feed raw (3 GSDs) and get a blend from a meat processing plant close to where I live in OK. The biggest problem is that there is sooooo much fat. These burgers look way healthier than what we feed. I would like to know if I could buy it online somewhere. Thanks, Julie

Unknown said...

Home-made dog treat is good quality alternative, but I always prefer natural dog treats which I usually purchased it online for my boxer dog. These treats are unbelievable for dog, as they are full of in good physical shape ingredients and are often packed full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. - See more at homemade dog treats

Michele F. said...

Just to clarify...spinach or no spinach? You mentioned to stay away and then you said you mix it with burger patties. Just want to double check to be sure.


Gabbi Hockman said...

Michele F: I use spinach in small quantities. thank you for the comment so I can clarify.

Julie I live in Lake Country, BC and I get my pet burger from Sundowner meats in lake Country on Beaver lake Road.