Deciding to make your own dog food at home brings excitement and challenge at the same time. You get the chance to take a more personalized approach to providing the food that your friend and pet gets to eat every day. However, the typical dog owner has no idea how to even start making dog food at home.
Besides the fun of making homemade dog food, there are additional benefits. First, you can save money on the monthly cost of feeding your dog. This comes in handy if you have two or more dogs, especially big breeds like German Shepherds, whose feeding costs can add up. In addition, you can provide, arguably, a healthier diet for your dogs. Since you have control over the ingredients, you can make sure your dogs are not getting exposed to junk or chemicals in their food.
Ingredients You Will Need
Your dog food will eventually only be as good and as tasty as the ingredients you source for it. To create the best experience for your dogs, make sure to source only the freshest ingredients. These will make your dog food last longer and taste better for the dogs.
Dogs are omnivores, making them eligible for a wide range of food types. These are the general types of ingredients you can choose for dog food:
1. Vegetables - Vegetables like spinach and cabbage are essential for building a healthy dog food diet.
2. Legumes and roots - Dogs can eat beans, peas, potatoes and similar products.
3. Meat - Poultry, beef, and pork provide tasty feed for canines.
4. Grains - Corn, rice, and other grains provide plenty of energy in your dog's diet.
At the start, you can use a variety of standard equipment that you have at home for creating dog food. For example, with a saucepan and hot stove, you can create a vegetable and chicken mix for your dogs. You will typically need access to an oven for baking dog food. A Crock Pot or slow cooker can also be handy for certain dishes.
If you will be making dog food every day for potentially many dogs, you can invest in professional equipment. For example, special purpose dog food baking machines can help you create standard quality dog food such as dog biscuits. You can buy baking molds and trays that have the bone-shaped structures that make it easy for dogs to gnaw at the products.
Your First Dog Food Recipe
Now that you know the materials that are needed, it's time to create your first batch of dog food. For your first dish, it's a great idea to go with an easy recipe such as Crock Pot beef, beans and rice.
For this recipe, this is what you will need:
1. a large can of kidney beans
2. 1 cup brown or white rice
3. 1 cup of peas
4. 2 lbs of ground beef
5. 1 cup of carrots
6. 4 cups water
Mix in all the ingredients into the Crock Pot. Stir the mix, then cook it at low heat for up to 6 hours.
Create Variety with a Second Recipe
You can add to your pet's well-being by varying the diet that you feed it. A good second recipe to try is the following healthy turkey dish. This can help your dog stay at a healthy weight while gaining the protein it needs to be physically strong.
1. The ingredients you need are:
2. quarter cup of water
3. turkey meat, up to 1 lb
4. cup of green beans
5. 2 cups of rice
6. 1 cup of spinach
Cook the rice separately in a rice cooker until it is well done. Now cut the turkey meat and stir fry at high heat until it is well-cooked. Now you can pour in the vegetables and water. Cook this mix for up to 10 minutes. Combine with the rice when all the other ingredients are cooked and let the mix settle.
Common Mistakes to Avoid With Homemade Dog Food
While making dog food at home is quite easy, there are some common mistakes that can ruin your efforts. Big mistakes to avoid include:
1. Improper storage - Letting cooked dog food sit in the sun or around the table can let germs infest and spoil the food. Refrigerate excess dog food as soon as it's cool enough and bring it out at feeding time.
2. Undercooking food - Make sure grains and legumes such as rice or beans are thoroughly cooked before feeding. Undercooked food can cause food poisoning and sickness in your dog.