Introduction: Homemade Big Dog Dog Food - for Sensitive Tummies
This recipe makes a HUGE batch of food. Enough for a big dog for 4-8 weeks.
A few years ago I published a simple recipe for my puppy with tummy problems. She's a big girl now, but still needs extra TLC to keep her gastric issues under control. So I'm still cooking for her. I've been researching and experimenting over the years and have come up with the following recipe that she LOVES.
(This is my recipe from scratch, so please ask permission before reposting, thanks!)
First, I should say that any dog will love this recipe. It helps my dog with bad digestive problems to eat and put on weight, but it's awesome food for all dogs.
Second, here's my disclaimer that I did lots of research, but I'm not a vet. My dog's stomach problems were very bad and everything I did, I did with the vet's approval. Also, I mix my homemade food with some commercial high grade puppy (she needs the extra calories) food to make sure I don't miss any nutrients.
You can see more of my pup at: https://www.instagram.com/skinnydog_ca/
You'll need a very large pot or two, a potato masher, containers to freeze the food in, and some big spoons.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 bunch parsley
2 lbs carrots
3 lbs yams or sweet potatoes
1 lb brussel sprouts (I used frozen)
2 x 12oz bags/boxes frozen spinach
28 oz can green beans
15 oz can green peas
5 lbs chopped beef
5 lbs boneless chicken breasts
3 lbs chicken gizzards
3 lbs chicken liver
6 c uncooked brown rice
2 c rolled oats
½ c flax meal
2 lbs solid beef fat trimmings (OR 1 cup other liquid fat)
¼ c salt
Step 2: Buying Ingredients
I get all of my ingredients from a regular supermarket. Whether you buy organic is up to you. Since everything will be slow-cooked, it's fine to buy vegetables that are less perfect and wilty. I buy whatever meats are cheapest in bulk or on sale.
Step 3: Cooking Tools
Very large stock pot. I don't know how many quarts mine is, but it's 10" tall and 11" in diameter. (You might need a second pot if everything doesn't fit in one.)
Containers for freezing finished food
Labels and/or markers
Step 4: Prepare
Wash all the fresh vegetables. Cut off any parts that are not fresh. Don't bother cutting anything else up. Set aside.
Add a few inches of water to your pot.
Step 5: Root Veggies & Fat
Add the yams and carrots to the water.
Add the solid or liquid fats.
Step 6: Add the Rest of the Veggies
Step 7: Add All the Meats
It's okay to add the meat and non-root veggies in layers, if you prefer.
Step 8: Add the Grains
Add the grains and salt and the add water until the grains are submerged. (About 4 cups)
Ultimately, you will need 8 -12 cups of liquid for the grains to cook properly. But remember all the meats and fresh vegetables will produce liquids, so plan to add more water if needed later, but don't overwater at the beginning.
Step 9: Add Eggs
Just crack them open and drop right into the pot. Eggs can go in now or after the cooking is underway.
Step 10: Cook
Using a medium-high heat, bring the liquids to a boil.
Then set to simmer. For hours.
Keep the lids on.
Note: I decided to divide my food into 2 pots so I could manage them easier.
Step 11: Cook Forever
The idea is to slow cook the food until almost everything is absolutely falling apart. You should be able to mash the chicken with a spoon.
Usually, I add everything to the pot in the morning, let it simmer all day, then turn off the heat overnight.
I check for mashability the next morning. If everything is falling apart, I go on to the next step. Otherwise, I turn the heat back on to a simmer and check every hour or two. You can't overcook this.
Note: Some things, like chicken hearts, will stay whole.
Step 12: Mix & Mash
When the food is finished cooking and cooled down to a touchable temperature, begin combining all the ingredients.
Use a big spoon to stir everything, making sure to scrape food from the bottom of the pot.
Smash and mix with the potato masher.
Note: If you're using multiple pots, you can combine the batches at any time - Just try to get an even distribution of ingredients. I sometimes even mix them together in my freezer bowls by taking a portion from each pot.
Step 13: Hulk Smash!
Smash. Smash. Smash. This is pretty good exercise.
You can see the level I mash the food to, but you can make yours chunkier or smoother, if you want.
At this point my dog is pretty well aware it's HER food being made, and likes to monitor my progress.
Step 14: Dish It Up
Ladle food into freezer containers. Remember to leave room for expansion when the food freezes.
Step 16: Interlude - Feed the Dog
Remember to leave some food for the next 4-5 days, not frozen.
Step 17: Food for at Least a Month
This lasts me about 2 months as long as I add some dry puppy food when I serve it. (My dog eats about 4-6 cups total a day.)
Step 18: Defrost
I always put a container in the refrigerator about 2 days before I need it, so that it's defrosted in time to serve. In a pinch I microwave defrost, but it's not ideal.
The food will keep about 5 days in the refrigerator after it's defrosted.
Important Note: This food has no preservatives, so it can't stay out in a dog dish as long as canned food. Treat it like people food.
Step 19: Nom!
I hope you and your dog love this food :-)
Feel free to adjust the recipe to your dog's needs and likes.
Let me know how it goes - And please post pics of your dogs!
More of my pup on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/skinnydog_ca/
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