Make Your Own Dog Food

Sunday, 22 April 2007 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Home made dog food. It’s getting big now considering the pet food recall. My dog had all her food home made for her when she was a baby, but I haven’t done it in years. I wasn’t affected by the pet food recall. My interest in making her food was partially to avoid factories likely to have future contaminations.

But more so, I started looking at how many cans I threw away. And how many labels were on those cans. And I was thinking I could be greener than that while providing my dog with something – made with total joy and love – that she would love.

Here is my shopping list and what I paid (before sales tax) at Wild Oats (most things are organic on my list).

  • $2.15 for 0.75 pounds of 80% lean ground beef
  • $0.32 for 0.25 pounds of corn meal
  • $2.19 for a small packet of frozen peas and carrots
  • $0.50 for 16 ounces of chicken broth
  • $1.10 for 16 ounces of cottage cheese (I bought a 16 oz container for $2.19 but only used half)
  • $0.50 for 6 large brown grade A eggs (I bought 6 eggs for $1.49 but only used 2 eggs)
  • 1 minced clove of garlic (had it laying around)
  • 1 dash of BBQ sauce for flavour (had it laying around)
  • A handful of uncooked oatmeal (had it laying around)

I also bought an 8.5 ounce bottle of flax oil for $6.39 but only used a few tablespoons, and a 16 ounce canister of brewers yeast for $16.49, but only used 4 heaping tablespoons. Both of these look almost full, so for good measure, let’s say I used $1 of stuff from these two.

I ended up with 3 pounds of dog food for a cost of $7.76. I threw away very little packaging, and threw away no cans. That’s 8 six-ounce servings for my dog, and she gets one a day. 8 days is really all I’d expect cooked food like this to last sealed tight in the fridge… for a dog. I’ll throw it away early if the smell changes.

If it lasts, that’ll be 97 cents a serving with:

  • Very little garbage to the environment
  • Less processing of food
  • Less worry about contamination in factories
  • A very happy dog who inhaled the stuff, kept licking an empty bowl, and has been napping for hours, comfortably full.

I fried up the eggs. I cooked the frozen peas and carrots with the garlic, corn meal, and the chicken broth. The corn meal thickened up, and I took it off the heat and put it in my food processor to cut down the peas and carrots. I cooked up the ground beef on medium heat. I put everything in my electric mixer, and had it slowly blend everything together. I added the cottage cheese, flax oil, brewers yeast, and a bit of BBQ sauce. I then added a handful of oatmeal to thicken it a bit since the corn meal hadn’t absorbed all of the chicken broth.

Next time, I would do more meat. It’s a little veg-heavy for a non-veg dog. But it’s a big hit and very cost effective. I would happily feed my dog this or something like this at a cost of around $1 per day, stop wasting all those empty cans, and make sure she’s not getting mystery meat and rat poison. I plan to make alternate recipes with other meats and other veg (that I know she likes) so that she has some variety, but I plan to get it fresh at Wild Oats.

I say make your own baby food and make your own soft pet food. It’s pretty easy! It took me an hour INCLUDING going food shopping 4 miles away. Could I feed my dog for 25 cents a day? Probably. Could you feed your child for $1 a day? Probably with today’s ready-made, microwaveable, preservative-rich "foods." Sure you could. But considering the usual results and frequent scares, why do it?

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2 Responses to “Make Your Own Dog Food”

  1. Valerie says:

    Hi- that sounds pretty efficient! I’ve been very afraid of the canned dog foods lately, which my dog really misses. I’m wondering how you chose to gather the ingredients that you did? Did you have a vet’s input? I have been told before that garlic is dangerous for dogs, so you may want to check that out. Anyway, great job! I think I’ll try it :O)

  2. Debbie says:

    This was loosely based on something we made for my dog when she was a puppy, which was out of a natural Health for Dogs and Cats book, and foods I know she likes. She likes a little garlic! It wasn’t a lot. I just realised that in general, this thing had no flavour.
    When I do it again, I will have WAY more meat in there. It was too much veg, and I think that was a turn-off for her.