Introduction: DIY Doggie Diner

Picture of DIY Doggie Diner

Last year, I decided to start making my own dog food. I started my research by picking up a copy of "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats," which includes nutrition advice and several recipes. Then, I read more on the Internet and talked to my vet. I think the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet is probably best, but I don't have the resources to do it at this time. Homemade seems to be the next best thing. I definitely feel better about feeding this than I did about feeding commercial chow.
It's important to vary your dog's diet somewhat, to make sure they're getting everything that they need. Mine also get a daily multivitamin, plain yogurt, and the occasional whole egg. This diet may not be appropriate for all breeds, so you should check it out with your vet.
There have been numerous benefits to feeding my little pack this way. They are shinier, have less "doggy" smell, better breath, smaller stools (because there're more absorbable nutrients and less food filler). They even seem to be a bit more mellow and relaxed.
Making your own dog food is very easy, and it's also pretty cost-effective.

Step 1: Start With Clean Bowls.

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Stainless steel is best. Ceramic is ok too, but these two are way too enthusiastic at mealtime for those.

Step 2: Add a Complex Carbohydrate Source.

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In this recipe, I am using brown rice. I vary this step with oats, potatoes, or yams.

Step 3: Add Veggies.

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Here, I've used carrots and romaine lettuce. Also popular with the doggies are: broccoli, tomatoes, swiss chard, peas, parsley, cauliflower, green beans, etc.

Step 4: Add Flax Oil and Supplements.

Picture of Add Flax Oil and Supplements.

Liberally drizzle your dog dinner plate with oil. I like to use flax oil, but you can also use fish oil. I also like to add chlorella powder when feeding fish meals.

Step 5: Add a Protein Source.

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Here, I've used jack mackerel (juice and all). I also like to use salmon, turkey/chicken, and organ meats. Dogs are carnivores; they need quality meat sources!

Step 6: Stir It Up!

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I like to add the contents of a few powdered beef liver capsules for added taste and nutrition. The big carrot chunks in the bowl on the left are there to slow down one of the dogs who eats too fast (without chewing). It's an idea I had that's based on the "Brake-fast" bowl design, and she likes to crunch down the carrots when she's done.

Step 7: Serve.

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And watch your best friend enjoy a healthy, satisfying meal.


Virus692 (author)2008-10-11

UMMmmm One issue with this... Dogs are Omnivores... Cats are Carnivores... Other than that its all good.

needsnumbers (author)Virus6922009-11-16

Thank you. I had to do a Ctrl-F to find this reply. Thank you so much for being smarter than the rest of the internet :) No sarcasm here.
BTW, I work at a Vet office and do NOT recommend raw foods for a few reasons. First off, it can be dangerous. Name brand dog foods with a reputation have been around long enough and have the science to keep you dog healthy into their teens! Raw diets being the natural diet... want to know how long wolves live on their all natural diets? If I told you it was a FRACTION of the life expectancy of a domesticated dog you might be astonished. Wolves get a lot of nasty paresites in their food. Oh yeah, and about raw being dangerous... for YOU and your children because of the kinds and amount of bacteria. The dogs can usually handle it but children rarely can. Keep that in mind. oh yeah, and the cost of a name brand dog food is considerably cheaper when you price out all of the things you need to add to the food to make it balanced and nutrient rich.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!! Not a fan of this article because it's just bored people getting into trouble and putting animals at risk. Vets have it down to a science and the food quality of NAME brands has rarely if ever shown any reasons to doubt. Don't be stupid, cooking for you pets occasional is fine but understand it's more for your ego than it is your pocket book or their health.

Javin007 (author)needsnumbers2011-06-30

I have a little insight here too, having run a veterinary facility, performed around 6000 spays in my lifetime, etc.

This said, I actually applaud the creator of this 'ible. If anything, for the Vitamin/Protein/Sugar balance, I would personally add more meat, and cut back on the carbs (in nature, the dogs seldom threshed their own rice). Still, dogs have been domesticated for tens of thousands of generations, and their diet should not, in fact, exactly emulate a wolf's. I think this 'ible does a good job of illustrating this.

As for dog foods, it's very, very difficult to find what I would consider a "good" dog food. We are seeing a good amount of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. in dogs these days. True that they're living longer, but these problems *can* be avoided. The answer is to significantly reduce the animal's sugar intake (the same works for humans, too). This means reduction of "bad" carbs, specifically, corn. You'll find that the vast majority of dog foods today use corn as a primary ingredient. This is because it's a cheap filler.

Then there's the preservatives used.  You don't see people having to keep dog food in the fridge, do you?  This is due to the fact that the preservatives are added in significant amounts.  Specifically, we're talking about Sorbic Acid, which is known to generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ie: free radicals).  This means the natural Vitamin E and Vitamin C (antioxidants) that should be in the animal's diet are destroyed in the dog food.  To counter this, chemical "vitamins" such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are then added to the dog food to offset the vitamin deficit.  (Take a note, the same happens with your own food, just not to the same degree.)  Chemical vitamins are very well known to be poorly absorbed by the body.  (I could go into the science of "why" but I think I'm already rambling too much.)

So all of this being said, to say that "all dog foods are not created equal" is both an understatement, and at the same time, false.  While it's true that not all dog foods contain corn as their primary ingredient, it's also true that the vast majority of dog foods use the same preparation/preservative methods.  Simply put, making a fresh, balanced meal for your dog will *always* be superior to store bought food.  I applaud the creator of this 'ible for taking the time to prepare their pet's foods, something I don't even do when I KNOW the science behind it all. (I actually feed mine a store-bought dog food that has a low "filler" content meat base with rice as one of the later ingredients.)

In the case of this instructable, their dogs are getting their vitamins in far higher amounts (due to them being in the natural foods, not some spray-on garbage) and the glycemic load of the rice (while I would recommend less of it) is still far less than the glycemic load of the corn base of regular store-bought dog food.

What's more, if you find something "isn't working" for the dog, it's very easy to tweak the meal to suit that animal, a luxury you don't have with store-bought foods.  If something "isn't working" for the animal (you'd be amazed at how many dogs actually develop an allergy to the corn itself) your options quickly become limited in the dog food isle.

I agree with the idea that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  The problem is, it IS broke.  Some breeds of dogs only live for 6-7 years.  While this is primarily due to the inbreeding it took to make these unnatural breeds, these lifespans CAN be lengthened significantly through an appropriate diet.  

Now, ALLLLL of this being said, if you're going to do this, you also need to educate yourself on what dogs should and shouldn't eat.  For instance, things that you would consider perfectly fine for you are not so much for your dog.  Like onions, avocados, grapes, garlic, anything with caffeine, etc.  (Someone else mentions tomatoes, though I see no reason that a small amount of tomatoes in the diet would hurt.  The vitamin C boost would be a boon, in fact.)  

Another myth is that "fatty foods are bad" for the dog (and for humans).  If anything, we (and our dogs) don't get enough fat.  The irony here is that this is actually what MAKES us fat.  Sounds crazy, but it has to do with how insulin functions, specifically, it forces you to store any fat in your bloodstream, fat that normally would just pass out through the bowels.  If you're not getting your energy from fat, you're getting it from sugar.  It's one or the other, folks.  A bowl of shredded wheat has a higher glycemic load than TWO Snickers bars.  Look it up if you don't believe me.

I've got about 700 clinical studies, and years of study into this, so if there are any questions, feel free to send me a message.

But long ramble summarized:  Instructable good.  Store dog food bad.

lordgarion514 (author)Javin0072012-07-22

Wish I would have found this 'ible when it was new.

Your post sir is spot on about the bad in store bought foods. While what the others say is true, that pets are living longer that's due mainly to the meds and healthcare we give them. I'm just over 40 and when I was a young child my father was a hunter, rabbits mainly, so we always had a good sized "pack" of dogs(beagles), but we also had others for pets and other types of hunting.

Way back then dogs were feed mostly real food, and mostly meat, and vets were far fewer per population than now, and in most cases m(inflation etc etc). And so it was nothing for a dog never injured to never see a vet.

Now given these conditions most people today would guess that most dogs back then to come to the end of their lives in poor health with all sorts o what we now call "chronic diseases", but they would be wrong. A very high majority of dogs would be at the end of their lifespan and be jumping, running, wrestling with their owner and play fighting with other dogs one day and you would wake up the next and they would have passed away that night. Years of old age problems such as arthritis. high blood pressure, cataracts, glaucoma, incontinence, hip problems, diabetes, and OBESITY(!) and the other several others I can't actually put a name to at the moment was almost unheard of, and to have a single dog with several of them was more than extremely rare. If you took an old dog to the vet with 3 of the problems I listed they would ask you a million questions to try and determine what was causing so many problems in a 12YO dog. Most would assume that your dog had some unknown problem that they couldn't find that was causing the other problems(and i know this because we had an old family friend that had been a vet since the 1950's, in the 70's and 80's he used to tell us of the changes in peoples pets, of course back then science didn't really understand that what they had started using in feed was bad, on paper it looked very healthy)

Nothing has changed in a dogs life except the "food"(and I do use that term loosely) same air and same water, only the food is different. So where does everyone think the problem lies? It's the chemicals they add to it, fake vitamins, corn, rice and soy, none of which are natural for a dog to eat(humans either for that matter). Dogs started eating almost an identical diet to humans(look at the ingredients on the dog-food, almost everyone of them is also human food, and wouldn't you just know it, they started developing the same old age diseases and weight problems as humans did.
It was also very rare to have a dog be allergic to a food before the invention of commercial dog-food, Now? Very common, how odd is that?

For people who don't remember a time before commercial, mass produced food was sold/used all the health problems our beloved pets endure in old age seems a normal consequence of old age itself.

But those of us that were there before this garbage was widely used know better, We have seen with our own eyes the worsening health affects this food has had on pets.

So we can use drugs to make them live 5 years longer, what benefit is it to the animal when those extra 5 years, not to mention 2-5 more are spent with their health declining year after year. It is much better for the animal to live a "natural" 10 years and be running around literally like a puppy(BTW almost no old dog acted like an "old" dog by just laying around and being active but rarely. I had many(as did my friends) dogs older than 10 years and they ALL acted like puppies. They ran and played fetch all the time, played tug of war, the whole nine yards. There was none of this old age syndrome you see now where they run every now and then, and even then only for a short time, no sleeping most of the day even when people were around, no huge weight loss from not eating. No, old dogs acted almost exactly like young dogs did.

Until one day you played with them just like you did a puppy and then it was their time, and they died that night while you were asleep or while you were away from the house.

This is how animals(and humans)are supposed to live, healthy and active until their time is up. Not being so miserable for years that death is actually a relief from their misery.

So feed them real food, not highly processed chemical laden garbage that simply looks healthy on paper.

suckrpnch (author)needsnumbers2011-06-21

I would definitely add that all dog food is not created equal, but if you do your research there are great foods on the market. You do have to spend a little money though.

I have found that all of the issues mentioned by the author are not issues with my dog because I feed her good, store-bought food. She has a shiny coat, no "doggy smell", and fine breath.

Brands we like are: Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold, Premium Edge, & Wellness.

mlmayfield (author)needsnumbers2010-02-18

 AMEN!  Now people need this kind of common sense about human health and diets, too!!

Lily Baldwin (author)Virus6922011-11-15

Cats aren't Carnivores, the definition of a carnivore means to have a diet consisting of or exclusively meat and animal tissue. If you look on most ingredient listings on cat food bags there are high percentages of veggies like certain greens, herbs, or roots. Sorry to be a little rude but I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to animal facts and especially cat facts. : )

Virus692 (author)Lily Baldwin2011-11-15

Kindly collect your facts better:
Via Wiki :
Obligate carnivores
This white Bengal tiger's sharp teeth and strong jaws are the classical physical traits expected from carnivorous mammalian predators

Obligate or true carnivores depend solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh for their survival. While they may consume small amounts of plant material, they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter and, in fact, some carnivorous mammals eat vegetation specifically as an emetic. The domestic cat is a prime example of an obligate carnivore, as are all of the other felids. The ability to produce synthetic forms of nutrients such as taurine in the lab has allowed feed manufacturers to formulate foods for carnivores (zoo animals and pets) with varying amounts of plant material.

Lily Baldwin (author)Virus6922011-11-26

Kindly read carefully:
Wiki says: a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue
I actually COPIED AND PASTED that quote from Wiki, thank you very much. And cat food brands, such as Purina, consist of certain types of veggies that give a healthy amount of protein and minerals. So, kindly do more digging before jumping to conclusions, and please read your facts carefully, for the sake of no misunderstandings. Thanks!

P.S. Don't take this reply the wrong way, I do think you are really passionate about your knowledge. : )

profquatermass (author)2008-10-29

I was told by a Dog Trainer that if you feed your dog less meat and more veggies then this type of food is like a low status wolf in a pack getting the left-overs the pack leaders won't eat from a kill. Therefore if fed this type of food the dog will become less aggressive and will accept you as pack-leader more readily. No idea if its true. Certainly sounds plausible.

bgentry (author)profquatermass2012-05-19

Dog trainer never saw a kill then. The alpha gets the stomach and its contents. Any predator will eat the stomach/intestines first (and pull the colon apart and ROLL IN IT).
They may be less aggressive because their blood sugar is steady and they don't have vitamin deficiencies.

mirre (author)profquatermass2009-10-22

The canine "food pyramid" is a little opposite from ours. Ours is more veggies than meat, theirs is more meat than veggies. Wolves eat herbivores which contain small amounts of vegetation in their bellies.
They don't eat trees full of rabbits. They eat rabbits full of grass. Diets are all about balance! :]

profquatermass (author)mirre2009-10-23

I'm fully aware of that dogs are carnivores and that all animals need a balanced diet. Which may include a little vegetables for dogs.

I don't see why you need to repeat what I've already stated. :-)

mirre (author)profquatermass2009-10-23

From my perspective I wasn't repeating what you stated good sir. What I saw was a statement about more veggies possibly being a good way to change the behavior of a dog. I'm sure you understand the woes of an internet crusader.

My 2 dogs eat raw meat every day, get very little veggies, but certainlyknow who's the leader of the pack.
1) Me - @ 73 kg
2) Bill - @ 3.3 kg
3) Ozzi - @ 6.6 kg

Bill holds his place, too!

You should of course feed your pet a variety of food, including different meats, to ensure they get all the vitamins and amino acids that they need to remain healthy. :-)

Wasagi (author)profquatermass2009-04-08

That would make sense, eating vegetables always made me feel less important... Do you think that it applies to humans?

Tamaresque (author)Wasagi2009-10-16

LOL!   :~ )

mz_bear82 (author)profquatermass2009-04-10

It depends on what school of training you think is right. Dogs haven't been wolves for a very long time, just like tug-of-war doesn't mimic power struggles (they actually cooperate to take down prey, not fight over it), eating last or eating worse doesn't translate into a less aggressive dog.

lloydhudson (author)2011-11-02

I make my dogs their meals pretty regularly, especially since Taste of the Wild has increased in price dramatically in the past year or so. However, one day I was preparing dinner for 3 large dogs. a visitor was watching me put the various ingredients in monkey dishes ( according to dog sizes) and assembling. she asked if I was having stir fry for dinner. I explained it was for the dogs and her comment wwas that my dogs eat better than her kids.

dmckenzie (author)2009-04-15

People think we are crazy, but I feed my little Doxies this way also, I add Kelp powder, pumpkin seeds (anti-parasite)...Garlic for fleas(they love it) Organic vegs, Doxies love to chew, so Carrots are best!! I started this, because my Doxie got a fatty tumor on his paw....I dumped the dog food....started real food...tumor fell surgery!! They will have more energy, bright eyes, shiny coats...Thanks for the mackarel ideal, i was using sardines.

ElizabethRVT (author)dmckenzie2009-04-19

I have worked in the Veterinary field for years and have never heard of a lipoma falling off. If it did fall off it was probably a histiocytoma which can disappear with time. As far as homemade diets are concerned I have found (through reading studies and life experience) dogs and cats on such diets (especially the BARF diet) do not live as long a life as those who eat diets made to meet the specific standards of dogs and cats in different life stages. DO you know how many calories you are feeding your pet a day? This is very important. Do you know how much taurine, calcium, and other minerals they are getting from their food (giving a pill containing such things has been shown to not be absorbed as readily as when it comes directly from food). Dogs are not wolves. Dogs are not even obligate carnivors. Dogs are as much a carnivor as a human is. Take any animal nutrition class and you will learn that. If you love your dog feed them a high quality dog food like Science diet, Nutro, etc.

Javin007 (author)ElizabethRVT2011-06-30

1.) Agreed, lipomas don't fall off. Ever. Unless the leg is rotting, I suppose.
2.) I can't agree with you more on the importance of understanding the nutritional requirements of ANY creature before becoming responsible for its diet. For instance, taurine is typically unnecessary as a supplement in dog's foods if they're getting fresh meat in their diet, and even when they're not, most breeds don't need it in significant amounts. (There's some studies showing newfies, dobies, etc. might have a slightly higher requirement.) With a natural diet such as this, which includes fresh meats, the taurine levels would be perfectly good for any dog.
3.) My experience in the veterinary field has been that animals on balanced natural diets live significantly longer lives. For instance, a gentleman who fed his cat a diet he'd developed himself (consisting of a lot of red meats, some veggies, etc.) was 26 years old the last time I saw it at the clinic, and I had "aged" it at no more than 8 years old. My suspicion is that the "studies" you mention did not take into account significant confounding variables, such as *how* did the animal die? What was the "natural diet" they were on? (A lot of people start with the natural diet, but get bored with the chore of making the food, and end up feeding the animal table scraps.) My strong suspicion is that there has never actually been a clinical study on this, only observational studies. Observational studies are simply not "real science."

I am not so sure Nutro ,or even Science Diet, would be considered more nutritious than a home made meal. Over 10 years ago, I adopted my dog and was told to feed him Nutro. I did and every other day, he would throw up.The vet then recommended other high grade commercially made food none of which seemed good enough. I then did lots of research on commercially produced dog food; I was not happy with any of them. I experimented with various ingredients and found mixtures which my dog responded to. People constantly comment on his muscle tone, weight, energy, clear eyes, alertness and he is now 12 1/2 years old. People are shocked when I tell them his age. I am certain had I continued with commercial grade food, he would not be the dog he is today.

suckrpnch (author)DianaChristina2011-06-21

I get all the same comments and I feed my dog high-grade dry dog food. I am glad that worked for your special needs, but your situation sounds special. I do agree that lower-grade dog food is not good when I read up on it. But there are some great foods on the market these days. A lot of companies that are newer than 12 years.

Tamaresque (author)dmckenzie2009-10-16

Be careful with the garlic.  I've read that it can be toxic todogs; in fact that applies to anything in the onion and garlic family.

JalahGeekChic (author)2010-01-01

Not trying to be rude but we were told by our vet to never feed our dog tomato products, beacause in cause stomach upset. Also anything in the onion family including garlic, leeks and shalots, beacause they cause gastrointestional problems.  Rasins, grapes can cause renal failure (kidneys). Avacados can damage the lining of the heart and have been know to kill pouches if they are feed them with regularity. Also allmost all dogs are allergic to dairy products (including yogurt) and it can cause gas, bloating which can kill a dog, intestinal upset, and skin rashes/ itching. Once again not trying to be rude I just wanted you and others to know.

Javin007 (author)JalahGeekChic2011-06-30

AmyLuthien hit the nail on the head here. It's all about dosage, and the dog occasionally snagging an M&M isn't going to hurt it. However, there's also the metabolizing problem. Some of these toxins metabolize slowly, and build up in the system. For instance, the renal failure can happen slowly over time. While your dog is unlikely to eat 7 lbs. of raisins in a sitting, if you give him a small packet (4oz) a day, it will have consumed those 7 lbs in less than a month. (Realistically, over time it would take more than 7 lbs, but you get the gist.) Thus the reason we recommend avoiding the foods all together. Why take the chance when it's so easily avoided? What if your dog already has weakened kidneys and this pushes them over the edge? There's enough what-ifs to just avoid it entirely.

Finally, "bloating which can kill a dog" is a bit of a stretch here.  Yogurt doesn't kill dogs.  The "bloat" you're talking about is a condition where the dog's stomach actually "flips" in their abdominal cavity.  (This is most common in working dogs.)  This causes the stomach to twist at both ends, like twisting a bag of bread shut.  The now sealed stomach begins to fill with the natural gasses from the bacteria, and the dog "bloats up."  Unfortunately, usually by the time you notice the bloat, the damage has already been done to the tissue at the points where it's "twisted".  Only if caught early enough (and even then there may be a very complex surgery involved to remove the rancid tissue) is the dog likely to survive.  This has nothing to do with yogurt.  

AmyLuthien (author)JalahGeekChic2010-02-05

Interesting what all the different vets have to say about what is toxic to one's dogs!  Our vet strongly recommends yogurt for our dogs (as did the one before him that retired) particularly our one dog who has food allergies and gets ear infections.  The yogurt helps prevent those problems in her, and I must say, since we've been feeding her yogurt every morning, she's been much healthier.  Our dog food also has avocados in it, which again, the vet A-OK'd (check out the ingredients in AvoDerm for example.)  And our vet also strongly recommends all sorts of fruits and veggies as a supplement for our dogs.  For the record, all my dogs over the years have gotten tomatoes (I even had one that would raid the garden) and not one of them ever became ill eating them.

The thing with raisins/grapes and renal failure is true, however most people do not realize the problem lies in the dosage.  It's about 7 lbs of raisins for a 25 lbs dog that will cause renal failure.  So unless you're is a raisin manufacturer, it's not likely the average person is going to have 7 lbs or more of raisins around the house! ;)

Chocolate is another one that people get overly worried about.  Chocolate contains theobromine, which is also toxic to dogs, however your dog is going to have to eat a lot of chocolate to harm them.  On average, milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz., semisweet chocolate150mg/oz. and baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.

Where those numbers come into significance is again, in the dosage.  If you use 100 mg per kg (of dog's weight) as a baseline, the toxic dose comes out approximately as:
1 oz per 1 pound of body weight for milk chocolate
1 oz per 3 pounds of body weight for semisweetchocolate
1 oz per 9 pounds of body weight for baker's chocolate

So what that works out to, if you do your math, is 2 oz. of baker's chocolate can cause great risk or death to an 18 lb. dog., yet 2 oz. of milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems at worst. 

Bottom line, it's always about the amounts.  I also do not recommend feeding your dog chocolate, but if they get a piece or two (which most of them manage, and dogs love chocolate!) there is no reason to freak out or even call the vet unless your Chihuahua got into your Christmas baker's chocolate supply!

Hope the information helps! :D

darnocpdx (author)2011-04-15

Don't ever feed a dog fish that hasn't been throughly cooked. Lots of people here in the Pacific Northwest unknowingly kill their dogs by feeding them Salmon when they go fishing.

Supposedly it's ok if the fish is cooked (slightly overcooked would be better than just right), but personally I'd rather not take the chance.

BtheBike (author)2011-03-04

freezer burned fish ,chickens ,meats ..etc are Perfect for Dogs and Cats.
I've seen people post wanted ads for folks freezer burned food on Craigslist .

Clever , Your Dogs eat better than me =D .

idogis1 (author)2011-01-20

How about eggs?

WhyHello (author)2010-11-19


anarbiter9 (author)2010-09-20

Can i use albacore tuna instead??

stephenniall (author)2009-08-30

I SEE black labs ! Best dog in the world Lol . Every once a month or so put a raw egg in their food . it keeps their fur healthy !

mikeread (author)stephenniall2009-10-11

yes they are the best dogsin the world!!! I had one for 15years but had to put it down last year :( I fed her dry dog food mixed with a egg every day

Johnny Rex (author)mikeread2010-07-30

i have a cute black lab named Minnie, look at my guide on dog baths to see her

mirre (author)2009-10-22

Please note that other common oils (such as vegetable oil, olive oil, canola oil) should NOT be drizzled here if you don't have flax or fish oil! 

rheam777 (author)mirre2010-02-18

What is the reason for the other oils being excluded? I have had dogs for years, and my Staffie in particular had terrible skin (a breed issue) that was very dry, flaky and sensitive. My vet had me put a small amount of vegetable oil on his food daily and it dramatically improved his skin. There were never any health issues with the dog so it doesnt seem to have harmed him.

JalahGeekChic (author)2010-01-01

I also forgot to mention that dogs are only suppossed to have green leafy veggies (such as kale and spinich)  every now and then, they contain a lot of vitamen k which thinkens thier blood and causes the heart to work harder and burn out quicker. Once again we were told this by our vet and I would just like to pass this along to you. Our dog is on a homemade diet as well that has been approved by our vet, who says she is in perfect health and wishes all of the dogs he has come in were in as good shape as she is.

mirre (author)2009-10-22

Hi! I use the same varied carbs (rice, yams, oats) but the ratio you're using seems to be way different than what I've read as recommended for dogs. They don't need as much starch or grains as we do, so if you're using rice or oats you should probably half that amount. Yams are okay though because it's a veggie and apparently they digest those better. I'm not 100% on this, but I've read it in various places and I thought I'd pass it along to another dogfood cooker! 

Tamaresque (author)2009-10-16

I have to agree with giving the dogs RAW bones.  I have 2 smalldogs and they get either lamb rib or lamb neck bones every day. Never had a problem with the bones at all.  The Chihuahua crossdoesn't have the jaw strength to completely demolish the bones, but theAustralian Terrier cross makes up for that.  Never a scrap left!

@ Amicus Curiae - you said it in you post, the dogs in the wild eat"predigested" vegetable matter.  From what I've read, youmust blend raw veggies for the dogs - and those pieces should end up nolarger than a flea - before you add it to their dinner.  If you cansee it in their poos, the pieces are too large.

imasiberian (author)2008-09-02

Another good way to slow fast eaters down is to put large river stones in their food bowl. I have to do this for my MinPin who practically inhales his meal in literally seconds. Smooth river stones cl;ean up really easy and don't hold any food particles. Carrots are good for teeth cleaning but they don't really have the enzymes to digest most vegetables unless they are pureed.

? a dogs stomach has enough acid to dissolve bone, in the wild they go for the gut first as it contains whatever the prey has predigested, a source of enzymes and vitamin/minerals in one lovely snack! then they usually eat the larger muscle mass, and save smaller areas with bone for a later date. wild dogs will eat worms, bugs, snails, mice and dried fruits and vegetable matter quite happily, and they will chew stones and eat dirt for needed mineral boost. omnivores indeed. i have 6 Deerhounds if i used stones they would have to be the size of half a brick! :-)

A dogs stomach does not have enough acid to digest bones. That is why they very easily get them impacted in the gut and need to have them removed with major surgery. Our office must perform this on a near daily basis due to such a common misconception.

I agree that cooked bones like lamb shank and chop bones may impact and they do splinter and have sharp edges. COOKED bones should never be given i agree. However when my dogs have overindulged, and they barf back up, i see bones that resemble a lab test in hydrochloric acid, which IS what the stomach acids are. and the edges and bits are well on the way to dissolving in about 2 hours. Nature designed dogs as Carnivores! they ARE all descended from wolves and no way is a wolf going to strip a carcass and leave the bones. Bones are the best way to clean teeth, full stop. Nyla bones etc A) harbour bacteria, B) are Not a good thing PLASTIC? is ok? sorry, no it is not, it is Toxic, new research shows it is NOT as safe as makers tell us! See the RAW diet , that chap is also a VET, and he and many others differ, as do I with your ideas. Giving little dogs teeny bones is silly, give them one they need to work hard to carry and gnaw on, that way nothing goes down in any size that hasnt been chewed. easy solution.

barrycdog (author)2008-12-18

This is a good idea. Most dry food has the same nutrition as shoe leather. Most can food is 78% water. I feed my cats mackerel on occasion but the cost is much more. Often I use mackerel to stretch dry cat food and they manage to eat just the mackerel. The cost of a bag of food is about $10 to $12 dollars for a 16-18lb bag. Its hard to keep these guys happy since they get tire of one brand or the other.

ElizabethRVT (author)barrycdog2009-04-19

Most dry food does not have the same nutrition as shoe leather. That would be rawhide.

barrycdog (author)ElizabethRVT2009-04-19

Elizabeth look at the ingredients. If you look at the side of a can of dog food you will see 78% water. Thats the nutrition your dog gets.
The “dinner” product is defined by the “25% Rule,” which applies when “an ingredient or a combination of ingredients constitutes at least 25% of the weight of the product (excluding water sufficient for processing)”, or at least 10% of the dry matter weight; and a descriptor such as “recipe,” “platter,” “entree,” and “formula.” A combination of ingredients included in the product name is permissible when each ingredient comprises at least 3% of the product weight, excluding water for processing, and the ingredient names appear in descending order by weight.

Dont take anyones word for anything. You can see for yourself.

Shoe Leather Porridge
Leather shoes, water, salt and pepper
Boil leather shoes for one hour, season to taste and serve hot,
garnish with seasonal produce.

nrlucre (author)2008-03-19

I thought BARF stood for Biologically Appropriate Regional Foods. Google says "Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods", so I guess we're both half right. This is great advice! I'll look into breed appropriateness, and give this a try.

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