An easy way to make dog food

We have had some issues regarding dog food.  First, we were making raw food for Boris, focusing on a very low phosphorus content to ensure his kidney health.  Then when his kidneys seemed to be doing OK, we just focused on feeding him real food. We have tried several dry foods over the past few years, and each one of them has given Helo longstanding diarrhea in addition to being full of not-real stuff.  Even high end dog foods still have a great many things in them.  When trying to track down the cause of Boris obsessively licking his anus (believe me, it’s more gross than it sounds), the vet wasn’t able to find anything wrong with his anal glands, and suggested that due to his breed, it was most likely allergies. He said that many dogs like Boris have really awful allergies, and there’s really not much that can be done to get around them. He suggested that chicken was most likely the culprit, and that a very limited ingredient fish-based diet would be a good option.  He also gave us some prednisone.  The new LID Sweet Potato & Fish food combined with the prednisone seemed to fix things.  But then when we reduced and stopped the prednisone, the anus licking came back, even with a diet consisting of fish, sweet potatoes, and dog food chemicals, in addition to some salmon and pea meal dog treats.  Plus, neither dog really appreciated eating kibble after having gotten used to a varied diet of fresh ingredients.  So when we ran out of the special kibble, I broke down and began cooking for the dogs again, but in a much simpler capacity.  It’s been hot outside and I have no interest in using the stove or oven.  Everything got cooked in the microwave.

homemade dog food

The components are pretty simple, and are enough to keep our 2 80lb dogs fed a hair longer than a week.
32oz bag frozen peas – $1.50
16oz bag frozen spinach – $1
5lbs carrots – $3
18 eggs – $3
32oz full fat yogurt – $2.50
10lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – $15
misc butter/bacon grease – $1

spinach and peas for dog food

pureed spinach and peas for dog food

pureed spinach and peas for dog food

The greens are easy.  I toss half the peas and half the spinach(both nuked til they’re not frozen) in the food processor, and added enough yogurt to encourage them to blend smoothly. I also added a large pinch of salt and some garlic powder. (Careful with the garlic, too much can be bad, but a little helps them fight fleas) Then I followed up with the second half.

carrots for dog food

The 5lb bag of carrots got sliced in the food processor, then into a big glass bowl covered with a plate to steam in the microwave.  My biggest pyrex bowl full of carrots took 14 minutes til the carrots started getting soft enough to blend.

pureed carrots for dog food

Carrots blended with remainder of yogurt, plus I drizzled in some bacon grease (I was frying bacon for part of dinner and figured this was as good a place as any to dump the grease).  A stick of melted butter would work great too.  5lbs of carrots nearly filled my 1 gallon food storage container.
pureed carrots for dog food

The eggs were easy enough.  I have these silicone baking pans that are awful for actual baking, but great for things where you need to plop large blobs of things out without them sticking.  I melted a stick of butter in this HUGE square pan, then dumped the eggs in and microwaved til set.

scrambled eggs for dog food

Then all I needed to do was break them up into hunks and stick in a resealable container.

scrambled eggs for dog food

And the dog food.  Some carrots, greens, eggs, and a chicken thigh.  The dogs ate better than us that night.  Really.  I made popcorn.

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