How to Make Your Own Dog and Cat Food the Simple Way


Since we obviously can’t trust the so-called “dog food” and “cat food” manufacturers to supply our pets with sustenance that doesn’t contain of ingredients that can kill them, we might just be forced to make our own. But don’t worry – it’s easier than you think!(click here for a list of dogfood recalls , and click here for a list of catfood recalls)

I am holding back the urge to rant on about corporate responsibility and how, to some of us, our pet is like our child. Melamine is a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide. How would they like it if someone put pesticides in their child’s baby food? But instead, I’ll just give you a few recipes for homemade pet food.
First of all, it is a myth that you can’t feed your pet healthy, home-made food on a budget. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this. Cats and dogs in the wild will eat just about anything, including most of what they can find in our garbage cans. We are not saying feed your dog or cat table scraps and garbage. But we ARE saying that you don’t need to cook them some gormet meal every night. Here’s how simple it can be:
(See pet food treats recipe below. These are more than just “treats”. Think of them as dietary supplements for your pet.)
Dogs are happy with something as simple as chicken and rice. They do need a carbohydrate source, so don’t feed them meat-only meals. And you should also avoid certain ingredients, as they can be dangerous (i.e. onions, garlic, grapes, and chocolate).
Home Made Simple Dog Food Recipe #1
Basic Chicken, Rice, and Oats
- One whole boiled cooked chicken (don’t feed the dog the entire chicken. Just the meat.)
- Half Bag wild brown rice cooked in with the chicken
- One Cup of Oats
Notes: The oats are added when chicken is done. This should be enough to feed an average-sized dog for about three days.

Cats require more protein and less carbohydrates than dogs. Here is a simple way to feed your cat home-cooked meals while all of these pet food recalls are going around:
Home Made Cat Food Recipe #1
High Protein Catfood Meal
Switch off the protein sources with each batch or two. Switch between:
- Half Pound of minced boneless chicken breast or thigh
- Six Ounces of dark-mean ground turkey or minced turkey
- Half Pound of lean, minced beef
- Half Pound of minced beef, chicken or turkey heart
Notes: About three times per week, include one chopped hard-boiled or scrambled egg. Occasionally substitute a five-ounce can of salmon or tuna for the meat. Avoid canned salmon or tuna for cats that are prone to urinary tract infections
In addition to making your own dog food or cat food, you can make your own pet treats just as easily, and they provide a great supplement to your pet’s diet:
LIVER COOKIES for Dogs and Cats
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Combine Half Cup dry milk and Half Cup wheat germ; drip one teaspoon of honey on top.
- Add one 3 1/3 oz. jar of strained liver baby food or homemade blended liver and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Form the mixture into balls; place them on an oiled cookie sheet and flatten them with a fork.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Consistency of Liver Cookies should be fudgy.
- Store in a jar in the refridgerator, and these dog or cat treats will stay good for 3-5 days.
How to Make a Few More Home-Made Dog and Cat Food Recipes:
Dog Food Recipe #2 – Slightly More Complicated but Still Simple
What You Need: One Pound Lean Ground Beef, Four large eggs, Eight cups brown rice, Twelve slices of decrusted, crumbled bread (white or wheat)
How to Make It:
- Fully Cook the ground beef
- Drain the Grease from the pan
- Boil the eggs, discard the yellows, and crumble the whites into the beef mix
- Boil rice in unsalted water until tender. Let cool.
- Add rice to beef and egg mixture. Add crumbled white bread to mixture.
- Serve when cool
*Always serve at room temperature

How to Make Dog Food with Veggies Mixed In
What You Need:
One pound of chicken breast, Four cups frozen diced carrots (defrosted), Four cups frozen diced green beans (defrosted), One table spoon of Vegetable oil
How to Make It:
- Saute chicken in vegetable oil until thoroughly cooked. Remove and cool.
- Cook carrots and green beans in a pan until warm.
- Shred cooled chicken into small pieces. Mix with carrots and green beans.
- Serve at room temperature.
Cat Food with Veggies Mixed In
What You Need: Six cups brown rice, Four large eggs, Four cups frozen diced carrots, Four cups frozen diced green beans, Four table spoons of vegetable oil
How to Make it:
- Cook rice in unsalted boiling water until tender.
- Boil EggsLet cool and peel.
- Saute rice, carrots, and green beans.
- Add crumbled egg whites and vegetable oil.
- Mix well and serve at room temperature.

Do you have catfood or dogfood recipe that you would like to share?
Do you know how to make healthy food for your pet? Please comment below so we can share your recipe with the rest of our readers! Click Here for dietary supplements to add to dog food.

About 

Everett Sizemore is the owner and Editor of US Recall News: http://www.usrecallnews.com. He is dedicated to educating people about consumer safety, social activism and corporate responsibility by bringing information to Americans about the products they use every day.

91 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Dog and Cat Food the Simple Way

  1. Gogs should live to be 27 most dont.. The reason being DOG FOOD SUPPLIERS
    Read how they make it if you can.. Do not buy their food..Make your own..yougert little doggie vietiamns No way make the food and they will live for ever.. My little girl is 19 and has never had commercial food…Look it up make a healthy dog!

  2. I have two dogs and I have been making their food since they were puppies.. They love raw carrots and its good for their teeth, Apples, Pears, Brocolli and green beans ,carrots always raw vegies for my babies, brown rice and nothing bought from the stores, feed stores. Their treats they are easiest to make and your pet will live longer.. Use the recipies of forming dog biskets and make you own beleive me you dog will clean their teeth with this. Cook all meat mine are liver, chicken and chicken livers, no red meat unless its a roast or a steak cut up in little pieces, NO HAMBURGER! Egg whites cooked for their coats. stops shedding… Good Luck

  3. My lhasa apso was not a good eater when we adopted her. She would go a day or two without eating before finally nibbling at the kibble we gave her (which was a high quality one). I couldn’t stand the smell and decided to look into making my own food. After much reading and experimentation, I came up with the recipe below, which improved her coat, energy and overall well being. We don’t feed any commercial dog food anymore–it can’t be trusted. She’s been on this diet for two years, and the vet compliments her outstanding health at every appointment. A year ago, we adopted a shih tzu who spent the first five years of his life in a puppy mill and was very food aggressive. We weaned him off of the kibble and onto our food, which he loved. I was so proud of him on the 7th day when he picked out the kibble pieces from his bowl and spit them on the floor. Dogs know for the most part what is good for them and what isn’t; they just usually don’t have a choice. We supplement this recipe with a pet multivitamin every day and let them have little bits of yogurt, eggs and cooked meats through the week. We make it in large batches and freeze it in storage containers, and because our dogs are small, one batch lasts 3-4 weeks.

    10 lbs ground turkey (we buy ours at Sam’s Club)
    2 sweet potatoes
    2 boxes frozen spinach
    2 pounds frozen peas
    2 pounds frozen carrots
    6 cups or more quick cook oats

    Peel and dice sweet potatoes and place in a pot of boiling water. When potatoes are tender, remove from water and add the frozen veggies in the same pot until cooked through. Set veggies and cooking liquid aside to cool. In a large stock pot, cook turkey with oil and a little water if necessary until cooked through. Because dogs have trouble digesting vegetables that aren’t broken down, blend the veggies and sweet potatoes with the cooking liquid in batches until smooth and add it to your cooked turkey, stirring thoroughly. This makes the veggies form a “gravy” that is much easier to digest. Add oats until mixture thickens. Divide into freezer containers to cool and then defrost as necessary. Food will keep in the fridge after being defrosted for 2-3 days.

  4. Please be careful about what you feed your animals! I make the majority of my dogs foods with similar recipes.One of them I use is boiled chicken, carrots, green beans and rice and I use the ground beef, egg and rice also. My house is 100% organic so my animals are too. But I also supplement it with a small amount of halo dry dog food (made in the US and 100% organic) for their teeth and also because it has some supplements they need such as calcium and natural oils. But the point I want to make is I read that some people buy chicken pre-made for their dogs from a store. This is really dangerous. There are MANY foods that are very dangerous to dogs. Two of them being onions and garlic! Even onion powder and garlic powder are extremely dangerous to dogs. Both of those foods have a chemical compound that can not be processed with their liver or kidneys. So if you purchase chicken from a store that is pre-cooked and it has onion or garlic powder on it you could be causing your dog to have a short life. Plus the amount of salt that is on a store bought cooked chicken is horrible for your pet! A dog should NEVER EVER have any foods that were cooked with onion and garlic. They will eventually have a problem with kidneys and/or liver. Dogs can’t have avocados, chocolate, onions, garlic and the list goes on. I have a friend that always bragged how well fed her border collie was. That she always fed it pot roast and whatever they had for dinner. I tried to tell her about the onions but her response always was “Oh, the onions are cooked away by the time she gets it”. This process actually leaves the rawest form of the onion behind and although the flesh of the onion is gone, the most harmful chemical is concentrated and remains. Needless to say her dog had to be put down at 4 due to kidney failure from this diet.

  5. I have to admit I’m a little suspicious of a “raw food” diet. Chicken especially can be contaminated with samonella, and I knew someone who’s dog nearly died from food poisoning.

    I feed my dog “Doggy Casserole” for 1 meal and kibble for his other. My dog is a bit of a fussy eater…if he hasn’t had it before, or if there’s a new spice in it, he’s sure he doesn’t like it and won’t even try it.

    DOGGY CASSEROLE

    lrg package extra-lean ground beef
    garlic
    kale
    brown rice
    beef broth or consomee
    broccoli and/or carrots and/or cauliflower and/or other veggie
    olive (or vegetable) oil

    1. Fry extra-lean ground beef,

    2. When browned add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic and cook until garlic is soft

    (there is some disagreement whether garlic is OK for dogs or not; IMHO I think it’s cuz garlic isn’t good for cats, and onions aren’t good for either; dogs REALLY LIKE garlic though and since there is no consensus about the matter, I feed my dog garlic, but you are free to do as you choose)

    3. Turn off heat and add kale, mix until wilted

    4. MEANWHILE cook brown rice in canned broth (use 1 can rice per can of broth+1 can water)

    5. Boil veggies until almost done (they should still be a little hard or all the nutrition is lost in the water)

    6. Grate veggies and mix with beef; add rice

    7. Add oil and mix well

    I have also used this basic recipie with turkey (or chicken…I don’t use chicken cuz it upsets my dog’s tummy) GREAT way of using up left over turkey!

    I have also used potatoes instead of rice. I’m sure barley, oats or even pasta would work too.

    I use a ratio of 40% meat, 45% carbs and 15% veggies

    I use kale, but any veggie from the cabbage family is also good.

    I make a lot (double this recipie) and store it in my freezer in glad containers.

    I also give my dog glucosamine (due to his age) and a multi-vitamin for dogs daily.

  6. I have a small dog and was wondering can I freeze portions of the dog food… all the recipes are large portions and dont want to waste any?

  7. We feed our dogs Orijen. Can be bought at small pet suppliers. The manufacturer is located in Canada. It’s a well balance food that is free of pesticides.

  8. My Border Collie does better with beef and pork than he does with chicken (better stools). I add some of this to dry INNOVA – Innova has never been on a recall list and I absolutely swear by it. My previous dog – a Golden – lived to be 17 with absolutely no issues until the day she died – and she ate ONLY Innova.

    Unfortunately it is hard to find sometimes, and it is one of the more expensive brands, but I absolutely trust the company and my trust has been borne out.

    The dog receipes are good….but NOT complete.

    Oh by the way, my dog gets no commercial treats and has never had to have his teeth cleaned. Has never been sick a day in his life so far (9 years) – runs like a puppy. Eventually I will add glucosamine to his diet ( 1ml/day ), but that’s it.

    Keep your dogs thin and they will live longer and more arthritis-free (less stress on the hips)

  9. I feed BARF (raw diet) to my dogs and they are so healthy & happy. It is amazing how vets & people in general talk about a balanced diet and most humans eat terribly imbalanced meals. Dog food is relatively new 1930s and dogs have been around for much longer than that! How did they survive without Purina??? They ate a biologically appropriate diet – in nature or on the farm. Give your dog a bone – he will love you. I go to a local chicken farm and they bag chicken backs in 5 lb bags for my 2 great danes. I then make my own raw veggie/fruit mix & freeze. I tailor it to their needs – glucosomine for my old guy, oatmeal if you have skin issues, etc. I also give them pork necks, ground beef, lamb bones so they have variety – would you like to eat the same old food day in and day out?

    The cons – must have freezer space, extra time to puree veggies, tougher to find help when leaving for vacations or bringing with you on a trip
    the pros- smaller poopoos (great benefit with great danes!), cheaper, awesome teeth with no need to have them cleaned, the dogs love the diet & they are very healthy – even my vet agrees although he is not pro BARF diet. Its tough to look a 2 very healthy dogs and say they are not eating right – they look 10X better than other dogs on expensive “vet approved” kibble.

    If interested, there are books on how to feed raw. Dr. Billinghurst book “Give your dog a bone” began a movement from kibble to raw & I would feed nothing else!

  10. Doc’s Choice is an american made dog/puppy/cat food, developed by a veteranarian, that is great. my mother and i worked at a petstore that carried it when it first came out. We had been using Diamond puppy food for the puppies there and were dealing with puppies having a hard time adjusting to the puppy food after weaning, and actually had puppies dieing then we switched to this and our problems stopped. Doc’s Choice is 90% digestable, which is more than i can say for your leading brand dog foods. the only problem is its only sold in 7 states at hyvee stores anymore. Check out the website. we would be using this dog food for our pets if we had a hyvee store nearer than topeka or lawrence.

  11. Glad to find some alternatives to the store bought “stuff”. We had to put our Black Lab to sleep the end of September due to cancer. Neighbor’s dog was put down 1 month earlier for cancer as well. My instinct is telling me that it’s coming from pet food, but I can’t prove that.
    Nothing worse than seeing you pet who would eat ANYTHING, suddenly not even touch steak due to pancreatic cancer. Next pet that I get will likely get homemade dog food.

  12. While I do believe that pet owners can make their own food, I ran into the situation where my dog had food allergies. I could not get the vet to believe that it wasn’t a different skin condition until I finally took it into my own hands and started my dog on a different protein/binder combination from a a company called California Naturals. I love this food as my dog quickly overcame his skin condition and I eventually started giving it to my other two dogs. My little elderly arthritic friend is a ball of energy now and her coat gleams. I went to purchase my next bag and am just furious that California Naturals is now owned by Proctor and Gamble. Wonder how long it will take before they start adding pesticides and changing a proven recipe? It”s like the big companies think that the food needs to contain other binders and agents. Now I start whole process of finding a new food source and hope that in the meantime, Proctor and Gamble don’t end up poisioning the food.

  13. I have a 9 year old peek-a-poo that has colitis. I tried many different dog foods on her. She vomited and bloody feces every time she ate. So my vet said to put her on chicken and white rice and I added canned pumpkin to the mix. She eats organic chicken and brown rice sticks with no wheat as a treat. She finally is doing very well. She does have an occasional relapse and she will not want to eat so I let her go a day without food but then I give her plain yogurt to carry her over til the next day and that works for her.

  14. I’ve worked in a Veterinarians office for about 10 years and I’ve seen LOTS of diets that people feed their pets and seen the impact.The home made dog foods are good just make sure it is FULL of variety and that you brush their teeth. This kind of diet reeks havoc on teeth and it can eventually kill them from bacteria or their teeth fall out and it makes it hard for them to eat at all. That being said, VERY few people can really fullfill a dog’s diet this way. I definately recommend going and sticking with a commercial dog food. If you really want to pick a good dog food, at least, the best choice that you can make. Look at the dog food ingredients. Make sure that a Meat is the very first ingredient. If it’s grain or by product or meal, it’s not good. You’re just feeding your dog or cat bread and candy. The first ingredient should only be a meat, plain and simple. This is a simiple rule and pretty easy to follow for the most part. I know there is fear of a recall but they even recall human food sometimes. There is no 100% “safe” food-for people or animals.

  15. To Anis RE: gravy

    You can make a great delicious “gravy” for your cat this way.

    Boil chicken bones or beef bones in water, add carrots for flavor and a dash of salt. Let simmer for several hours, covered, to make a stock. (The longer the better as you get more flavor and crack the bones so the marrow gets cooked out into the stock).

    You can then either add barley, oats or rice to the stock. Add a little more water as you don’t want it too pasty and you want everything to cook down as much as possible.

    Let cool then run through either a food processor (blender is a little too messy for me) or a potato ricer. You can grind it down as smooth as you want to the right consistancy for your cat.

    When you go to feed the cat, add a little warm water to dilute (I use a whisk to add water) and then feed to your cat.

    I had a JRT who had throat cancer and in her final days had a really hard time eating and swallowing food.

  16. I liked the ground beef receipe until I saw that you are THROWING AWAY ALL THE PROTEIN in the egg by discarding the yolk – why?

    In the above receipe you are boiling up whole chickens, so why wouldn’t you use the yolk in a receipe? That is just silly and wasteful.

    Also, instead of frozen veggies, take the time to cut up and steam some fresh veggies. Steam to a soft crunch – not all dogs like food that tastes like mush plus it slows them down in eating, which is better for the digestion.

  17. I know a cat who’s really senior and most of the time, she only manages to lick the gravy from the cat food due to teeth issues. Does anyone know a way to make a homemade, high-nutrition sauce/gravy, hopefully with a bit of grain mixed in?
    Is flour, constarch, ground rice or oatmeal better as a thickener?
    Are there any brands out there that has a LOT of gravy in their cans that you know of?
    thanks,
    anis

  18. Most store purchased cat or dog foods have a lot of things in that are bad for animals and we would never imagine a person could or would eat. Though some can be actually, suprisingly good. I only use home made cat food on occasions or for when i have left overs that need using.
    I feel the best way to make home made cat food is:
    Make a roast chicken and remove all the meat (be sure that there are NO bones, a double check might be necessary)
    Boil the bones to make a stock, add a vitamin supplement if you wish, and iron and calcium one is ideal, then strain the fuid off (be sure to discard of the bones to a place where no animals can get to them as they can be very dangerous)
    seperate the chicken meat into dishes (for freezing or refrigerating)
    Mix the premade stock with geletin on the hob, stiring until ready, then pour over the chicken flakes.
    If you wish, add pre cooked carrots (cut into small pieces) and peas.
    Leave to set, then after a few hours it is ready to serve.
    I have worked with animals for a very long time and a meal like this can be beneficial, though you should beware as some owners will find that their pet will not eat store purchased food after this. To avoid fussy eating habits and ensure a balanced diet, feed your cat high quality branded food most of the time.
    Also rice is good as it can be delicate on the stomach, this recipe is very rich, so try adding some cooked rice if you want to feed more regularly.

  19. Saying that you cannot feed a pet animal without adding in dry food or comercially produced vitaman supplements is an absolute load of crap, Steve, you especially as a ‘trainee vet’ who by his own admission knows almost nothing about canine nutrition should not be telling people this.

    For those of you who don’t know all vetinary practices in both the US and the UK are sponsored by a variety of drugs and food production companies and it is common pratice for them to suggest a variety of foods, drugs, treatments and etc for the benefit of their or their sponsors wallets, i’m not a wacko conspiracy theorist, I have spent 10 years doing accounts for vet practices in the UK and have seen first hand how the sponsorship works. Dog foods may be conveinient but so far we have not found a single dry food sold in the UK that actually gives a dog a completely balanced diet or freedom from risk of infection, processed ingredients or chemicals, i’m sorry but the idea that these are best for your animal is a complete myth, the recalls just add to the unsatisfactory nature of these foods.

    My dog Toby is a german wired haired pointer and the breeding farm he came from is run by very close family friends and both of them are fully qualified vets with over 40 years experience between them. I have fed Toby the same diet they use for all their dogs which consists of a balance of cooked lean meat (i’ve found goat and lamb are best for my dog as the breed is of mediterranean origin), varieties of wheat (including rice) and veg/fruit, supplemented by dairy products and eggs during their daily feeding and the veg rotated to give the range of vitamens Toby requires. Just to make a point all their dogs which have been fed on this diet have outlived the usual recommended lifespan for this breed their oldest, Reg, being 16 (the avaerage lifespan for a pointer is 12) this year with no major diseases, few infections and only very mild arthritis in his back legs so he has to take his walks a bit easier.

    You really want to look after your pet properley do the right breed research and find a vet or breeding specialiat who knows the breed well and can advise you of the nutrition it requires, once you know what it needs make the effort and find the foods that your pet will get this from.

  20. Please let me know if anyone has a simple recipe for urinary tract cat food, dry or wet. My cat has a urinary tract infection that is metabolic not bacterial and has to be on special food that cost approx. $60 at the vet. I can not afford this. Anything anyone can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  21. I own/work a 3 employee dog biscuit company. I oly sell to friends and family and hope that some how the word will get out. My dog died a while ago from sometype of unkown liver disease and so did our neighbors. they were both on pedigree. so thank you for the usefull info on the melamine and etc. And even though I will not feed my pet dry food i do have a recipe. 4 cups of flour 1 egg 1 pinch of salt oats or flax 1/3 cup honey. mix it all together. roll it out so it’s very thin and chop it up into little cubes. bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes . don’t let them turn black nor let them be soft in the middle.

  22. July 16,2009
    My dog had to be taken to the animal ER for vomiting blood. The Vet asked what kind of dog food to which I replied Beneful. The Vet explained that Beneful is made from soy and that dogs can’t digest soy. He told me to prepare my own 50 25 25 mixture of cooked ground beef or chicken,peas n carrots, brown or white rice. Crushed egg shell. I put all my dogs on this and the sick one is all better plus the fat one lost weight. They used to hover over their bowls and growl. Now they gobble it down with tails wagging the whole time.

  23. Hi, I am so confused and clueless about what to feed my dog. I went to the pet store and was told that science diet (what I have been feeding my dog) was a horrible food to feed my pet because of the ingredients in it and was advised to get nutro natural choice and my dachshund is now throwing up bile which she has never done before. I’m so scared because she is my life and I want the best for her. I’m fed up because no matter what dog food I try to get after being told it is the healthiest one, I find out it is really bad. What do I do?????? PLEASE HELP ME

  24. Unfortunately going to the vet is not the best solution_most vets have very little training in nutrition. They also are being paid by the companies such as Iams and Hills to sell their food. Both of my cats have had problems(one w/ allergies the other w/ urinary tract problems) The vet recommended foods did nothing and my cat would not even eat the Hills ZD. In Milwaukee we have several natural pet food stores run by people who have spent their time researching animal nutrition. There are so many natural, well balanced foods out there (my cats eat Wellness and my dog eats Fromms) I would look for a store in your area which specializes in animal nutrition before asking a vet. In Milwaukee I go to The Natural Pet

  25. I buy a fresh whole chicken and i bake it to feed my cat and dog, then i strip the meat off of the chicken and i put the carcass in a pot and cover it with water and slowly simmer it for a couple of hours, when cold it jells. They love it and it is good protein for my cat and dogs bones.

  26. Thanks everybody! The dry food I primarily use is manufactured at it’s own facility, with their own-grown (supposedly) ingredients. I use Canidae or Felidae (made in Canada). I would still like to make my own, though. My family & I eat very organically & healthy with our diet, so I feel that my pets should too. We have a Sheltie & a tabby cat (who believes he is King of the house). They are our babies (my hubby says I treat them & feed them better than I do him!) I saw the recipes for dogs, but my main ques is can they be modified for cats? If so, how? Also, did anybody ever come up with dry dog/cat food, as we travel a lot & it’s nearly impossble to take homemade food on the road. Thanks again, everybody, for the great tips & info!!

  27. Jordyn, its very easy to make gravy.. All you need to do is boil meat like chicken,lamb or beef soup bones. Remove the meat from the pot and place in separate container. Then, I put the liquid in the fridge overnight. As the liquid cools, the fat will solidify on top of the water. So the next day, i just skim all the yukky waxy fat off of the top and VOILA i have consomme. You can just add that to your pets food! Good luck :)

  28. I was wondering if you guys can post a recipe for cat food gravy because my cat loves it and won’t eat the food. so please post a resipe soon!

  29. Food for thought. I switched my dog to a homemade diet because I am having trouble finding a commercial food that she can tolerate. I have done a lot of reading on line and talked to her vet about it. Her vet suggested speaking to a veterinary nutritionist (DAVCN) to make sure that you are giving a balanced diet. There are supplements out there offered by vets who specialize in this field. One of them is Rebecca Remillard. I suggest some reading up on the necessary supplements and meat vs. veggie ratio that your pet requires.

    Also, to Candy Evans from Feb 1. Rebecca Remillard has reciped for animals with special food requirements due to illness.

  30. I raise hyberd cats and dogs. I had 2 of my best bred cats get sick,but I didn’t lose them.I now am making my own feed,with rice,goat and vegies. Is ther any way of drying (as I have quite a few animals) Please help!

  31. I ahve a maale feline with cancer and he will only eat the gravy from fancy feast grilled foods. Does anyone have a recipe? I would be interested in any homemade gray ewcipes for cats. He has not like what I tried off the shelf – Vita
    Thank You

  32. Victoria with the GR/Chow, i would check to see what probiotics a dog needs or just try some of the ones humans need,maybe try a little buttermilk mixed with food sometimes. I had many of the same problems your dog has and once i built up the proper flora in my intestines and started eating good organic food all went away.
    I raise organic vegetables,fish, free range organic rabbits and poultry i use the brains and liver in my dogs food and they are the healthiest around. I also add some of my free range eggs,sometimes, which test have shone to be much lower in cholesterol. I usually use a combination of rice/beans that i slow cook in a heybox{insulated box, you put hot pot from stove into it and it maintains heat for many hours} only adding the meat in the last hour. I also add some of the raw duckweed{very high protein} that i use for feed and compost,and cook fish remains down.I grind down rabbit, fish and poultry bones and add some of this too when i have it. I do not use all in every batch just use what i have on hand at the time sometimes they just get raw livers on days i slaughter..
    I am not a vet or a Dr but i have very healthy dogs and I am much healthier than I have ever been.My dogs get plenty of exercise,fresh air and attention.

  33. A lot of good reading on this site, but my suggestion for dog food is Beniful by Purina. Comes wet or dry and my Jack Russell just savors the wet balance meal.
    Check it out and you will probably like it as well as your dog.

  34. Even before the recalls became frequent,Iknew there was something wrong…my daughter has 5 cats…yeah 5..she collected strays!! 3 of them would get sick after eating certain brands of cat food…wobbly ,falling down sick!!
    One cat in particular seemed very sensitive.I really thought she would not make it the last time we fed them store bought food.We have been making their food now for about 4 years.It is easy and not very expensive and they have been doing very well.
    We used to use a rice base but two of the cats decided they were bored with that and wouldnt touch it anymore. so now I switch it up between grits and oatmeal,both of which they LOVE!! Sometimes I add barley or alfalfa.
    Then I add the protien. found they prefer some variety here too. I boil the meat in the water that I will later add the oats or grits to. I often use chicken livers and hearts.SOmetimes I use fish or beef or a combination of more than one.Every once in awhile I see a soup bone ,pork or beef, at the grocery store butcher, for real cheap and I will boil that up with the meat,cutting any scraps of meat off the bone to add to the mixture, I like to add a little fish oil to the meat mixture,for the nutrients and vitamins and they like it.
    After the meat comes, the beans and veggies.Just like little kids, I had to sneak veggies in a little at a time because they did not like them at first.Now they love them.THeir favorites are carrots,peas and spinach…especially spinach!! They all love beans too
    .(one of the cats loves fresh strawberries so much she will steal them from our bowls…are they good for cats????)
    I put the veggies and beans through the blender and add it to the meat and carb mixture. Voila!! Spoiled happy cats with thick fur coats and seem to be very healthy…not overweight ,not under weight.
    WHen they ate the store bought food,they were all under weight,no matter how much they ate.I think they threw alot of it up.
    so basicly it goes like this:
    GRAINS: OATMEAL OR GRITS WITH SOME BARLY OR ALFALFA ADDED

    PROTEINS: CHICKEN LIVER AND HEARTS(CHOPPED FINE AND BOILED IN THE WATER BEFORE BOILING THE GRAINS IN IT) WITH WHATEVER OTHER MEATS i WANT TO ADD FOR VARIETY….ALSO BEANS

    VEGGIES: YOUR CATS FAVORITE VEGGIES (if they have such a thing) AND BEANS IN THE BLENDER….MIX UNTIL THE CONSISTENCY OF REFRIED BEANS.mIX IN WITH MEAT AND GRAINS

    ADD A LITTLE FISH OIL IF YOU HAVE IT (MY CATS ALSO LIKE GRAPESEED OIL BUT ITS A BIT PRICEY SO THAT IS A SOMETIME TREAT)

    AlSO ADD FELINE VITAMINS IF YOU GOT THEM.

  35. “I am holding back the urge to rant on about corporate responsibility and how, to some of us, our pet is like our child. Melamine is a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide. How would they like it if someone put pesticides in their child’s baby food?”
    Wow, you nailed it in your second paragraph!
    However, I am not sure of some recipes, since cats are obligate carnivores. I would prefer not to feed my cats vegetables or beef.
    How ironic that you raised the question of melamine (also used to make countertops) in baby food at the beginning of April, little knowing that it was probably already happening, although it apparently took until September for the chilling truth to come out.

  36. I was born and raised in the country , we had a pet when i was born and that dog ate the same thing that we ate and it lived for twenty years . i was born in 1936
    and the vet back in them days tended to mules horse’s and cattle only. so that dog never had to have the service of a vet. and more facts if you have a pet when he is a puppy give him baby asprins until he is grown then give him or her a regular asprin and they will never get heart worms if they are bitten by a grimlin with the heart worm various. i am 72 years old now.

  37. I have a Golden Retriever / Chow mix, that has a beef allergy. Long story short, we have tried all kinds of different meats, duck, venison, rabbit, ( commercial canned / dry versions with rice or potato ) She tolerated those okay, but something still wasn’t quite right with her stomach. ( She also has Irritable Bowel Syndrome & is on Prednisone )

    We also eliminated gelatin ( made from beef ) corn & wheat from her foods, including her biscuits & treats.
    She also has a problem with acid reflux ( on Tagamet ) & has to eat smaller meals. Last but not least, she burps like a truck driver!

    She never enjoyed what we offered her to eat, & meal times were awful just trying to get her to eat. ( We have spared no expense on food ) When she won’t eat, her stomach starts growling so loud, you can hear it across the room, ( starts about 15 min. past her regular feed times ) & her symptoms continue to worsen.
    Did I tell you this was the short version?!

    Due to the severity of her food intolerance, our vet suggested feeding her cooked rice with very well-cooked chicken. He said to make sure she took a vitamin supplement daily, while on this regimen.
    She loved eating this for a while, but due to other issues with her stomach, she even started turning her nose up at this. ( She was one miserable dog )

    Somewhere, somehow I heard about an organic pet food made by Paul Newman ( the actor who donates the profits from his food company, to charity )
    His company also makes dog & cat food. He has a website that lists all the different types of pet foods they offer, where they are sold, the ingredients, etc.

    The brand of pet food is called “Newman’s Own” ( dry and canned )
    The types under that brand that I feed my dog are:
    * Turkey & Brown Rice / canned

    * Premium Dog Food /
    Advanced Formula for puppies & senior dogs

    This pet food has helped my dog immensely!!!!!! She really likes it also!
    It has no artificial/chemical preservatives that is put in other pet foods. ( There is a natural preservative ) It also has lots of other good, healthy foods in it!

    My vet did mention when I told him what I was feeding her, that with an organic canned food, ( even with a natural preservative in it ) that it will not stay as fresh as long, as other canned foods with a chemical preservative. He just wanted to make me aware that it might spoil faster.
    I usually use a regular size can within 2 days, & I keep it well sealed.
    I even put the re-sealed can into a “Lock&Lock plastic container.

    Since her diet is so restrictive, we also add well-cooked chicken over the top of her canned food.

    We used to always consider our dog a ” dainty eater. ” She would always eat at a slow pace, even carefully chewing her moistened, dry dog food.
    Since switching to this dog food ( & even without the real homemade chicken that we add to it ) she now inhales her food! No chewing, it just goes right down!
    Now we have to monitor her when eats, gently pulling the bowl away after a couple of bites of food. ( I have to try one of those new dog food bowls with the upright barriers in the bowl, that keeps the dog from gulping their food. )

    She is a much happier dog!!!

    Sorry this went a bit long, but I know how hard it has been for us ( and her ) & the challenges along the way to find a food that she could tolerate and enjoy and it is also healthy for her. Each animal is unique & maybe this brand of pet food will help yours!

    One time while checking out another natural pet food website, I was reading the comments section on a very unique type of dog food. The pet owner was saying what a hard time she had finding a pet food, that one of her dogs could tolerate.
    She was very complimentary & very thankful that she had found that food for her dog, and finished her comments by saying, ” I hope this company never stops carrying this dog food, because I will just cry like a baby!”
    I can so relate to how she feels,& I LMAO! I am sure that there are many more owners out there that share the same experience!

    The pet food industry on the whole, needs an overhaul!
    Prior to the massive pet food recall in 2007, because of the food allergies my dog has, I was searching the internet re pet food. After the pet food recall, more owners have become more educated about how & what is put in their pet’s food.
    Reading the label on the container is not sufficient. Find out what those terms & ingredients mean! We have all been mislead for decades, thinking that if it was a commercial food product, that it was safe.
    For those of you who need more information, do an internet search for
    ” what is in pet food ” that should be a good place to start. You will not believe what the pet food industry uses for meat in some brands. Euthanized pets, yes you read that right! That is just the tip of the iceberg!!
    Please, the better educated we all are on this issue, the faster we will get the laws changed re the pet food industry!!!

    My heart goes out to all the owners everywhere, who had pets sickened and/or died because of tainted pet food. You were all in our prayers, during that desperate time.

  38. I buy Sience Diet,direct from my Vet Clinic.Both of my Dogs are on Prescription Diet. So far I never had an issue with spoiled Dog Food. Sometimes I make my own,but never bought any Food or Treats from Chain Stores/Mass Merchandise (like Wal Mart) neither I buy my own Families Food from such Mass Market Stores.
    It is bad that Pet Food is sold like that and to many dogs are getting sick of it.
    Greeetings
    barbara

  39. some say do not feed Flax Green, some say it is safe, I am confused.
    Flex plant is good for cat?
    Thanks your reply.

  40. I have a cat with suspected ‘nephrotic syndrome’ a kidney condition, which in my cat’s case is characterised by low blood albumin (a type of protein) but few of the other abnormalities associated with kidney disease. In human beings, this condition would be managed with a low protein diet. I am a dietitian, so have some expertise in this area (with human beings anyway) My vet has advised a high protein diet because of the cat’s low albumin levels, but I’m not so sure…. I note the posting about vets knowing little about animal nutrition!! I have read that the key is to feed a protein that is easily digested, which leaves the lowest possible nitrogen residue.

    Does anyonw know what sort of meat is the most ‘digestible’ to cats(by this criteria)?

    I am feeding my cat raw minced beef/lamb/turkey/chicken with lots of rice mixed in. She is fussy and it is the only thing she will eat. Is this a suitable diet, and is it ok to continue feeding raw mince – she won’t eat it when it is cooked, mixed with rice?

    I would be grateful for any advice about this, particularly from other people who have experienced the same thing (or similar) in their cats.

    Thanks

  41. I have 3 scotties–1 is 5 1/2, the other 2 are 4. I have cooked for them all their lives. They never go to the vet except for checkups, shots (they don’t get these every year and our vet agrees that’s OK) and sometimes ear mites. They are very healthy and don’t have any allergies.

    I feed them chicken, beef, green and yellow vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal. Once a week they get mackerel. The only supplement they get is flax seed meal. Sometimes I mix in textured vegetable protein. Scotties love to eat and (mine at least) tend to put on weight. When one of them starts to get a little pudgy, I just cut down a little on the fat and carbs for a while.

    I don’t take supplements or vitamins because I eat a healthy balanced diet; they don’t get vitamins either because they get a varied and balanced diet.

    I am very thankful that they were not eating any of those commercial foods!

  42. I will NEVER feed my dog “mass produced food” again, but I am the an poster who uses Milk Bone dog biscuits, and feed my dog almost twice what DelMonte suggests. Thses biscuits are great based in my research, and supply things like brewer’s yeast that makes home made dog food cooking a bit simpler.

    I no longer cook all of my meat ingredients. When I do, I don’t cook the meat much, but now add some raw meat at each feeding instead. A raw egg is good too, just rinsed well before cracking the egg open to avoid any bacterial problems. When I was a kid, oh so many years ago, my mother made me egg nog every morning. One raw egg, milk, vanilla, and a bit of sugar. Never hurt me, won’t hurt my dog either.

    I’ve recently read quite a bit about raw meat for dogs, and am convinced it’s better than cooked, at least better than well cooked meats are. The enzymes in their digestive system have evolved to break down raw meat protien, and has it’s own built in defenses for bacterial presence.

    Thanks to the many who have posted here…. I have learned a lot. I still need to look into some seaweed greens, and things like that, but I am much more at ease knowing what my dog eats these days….. buying dog food is now akin to getting that mystery luncheon meat in the school cafeteria…. not ever a good option.

  43. I know I am late in this discussion, but I don’t agree that dog food in the long term has to be made by a “dog-food-company”. I have been making my dog food since February now (it is now September) and my Rot mix is doing great on it. Why wouldn’t it be possilbe to give her a balanced diet this way? That would be like saying humans have to drink “Ensure” or something like that as the only option for full nutrition.
    I vary the ingredients in my dog food (basically meat/grain/veggies) and have done some research, I think this is better nutrition then any factory can produce. Have you ever looked into how commercial dog food got started? It’s really not that old and they brainwashed people into thinking that “real” food is no good for pets. How silly!

  44. I have a choclate lab who has had skin problems,since he was a puppy.We were feeding him Iams because we thougt that that was the best for him. But after that petfood recall it made me relize that all those foods are the same just in a different package.
    I want to know what amy dog is eating becuse he is inportant member of our familyso everything is homemade by me “nothing but the best for my baby”.

  45. Anyone have a good receipe for homemade cat food if they have urinary tract problems or are the standard receipes fine. My dog got sick from a food that was not on the listing. I thought she was going to die. Thank God she threw up all the food and was OK in 12 hours. I am switching to homemade food for all my pets. Any urinary tract problem receipes would be appreciated. Thank you.

  46. If you’re feeding meat without bones, you don’t want to use bone meal. You should only feed calcium, (ie eggshells – 1/4tsp per 100g meat) because the phosphorous will be too high otherwise. The calcium/phosphorous ratio is extremely important in home cooked meals. I also recommend using various supplements, such as sea greens and different multi-vitamins, and then rotating them to fill any nutritional gaps. Fish oil is an important supplement, but do not use cod liver oil if you’re adding a multi-vitamin or still using kibble, as it contains too much vitamin A&D. I think flax seed is patently useless for a dog, as they cannot convert the ALA into the much needed DHA and EPA with much success. I’m not a fan of grains in the diet, and I believe dogs do better without them, but sweet potato is a good alternative. I also think cooking meat is fine but only very lightly, otherwise it will deplete all the important enzymes. That’s my 2 cents!

  47. for calcium source..check out dogaware.com.. the woman who writes for this site..also writes for whole dog journal..in which i recommend every dog owner to subscribe.. alot of articles and info in this magazine about dogs.. anyway, she recommends 1000 mg of calcium for each pound of homecooked meal.. 1 egg shells grind very well equals teaspoon which equals 2000 mg.. so for 1 LB of food.. you will need 1/2 a teaspoon of eggshells powder..

  48. I was very angry with Alpo for first, doing their best to hide the fact that the Menu foods company was producing their canned dog food, but even more angry that they didn’t investigate these products immediately following the recall… they sat on their hands for 2 weeks until Menu told them of a potential problem.

    I’ve been making my own dog food since, and will continue to do so. I did a fair amount of research, but there is little agreement between vets, dieticianary experts and dog owners on what makes for a nutrient and vitamin rich balanced diet. I’ve seen anything from 25 to 60% meat suggested for instance. I eventually designed my own recipe, with slight variations from batch to batch.

    I use 40% meat, usually ground turkey, chicken or beef. Since the top cut of london broil was on sale for $1.39 a pound last week, I used that instead, and carved it up well after cooking. I use ground turkey most often.

    30% vegtables and fruit, and 30% combined fast and slow release carbs are my guidelines. My research indicated that dogs cannot digest chunks of either fruits or vegtables easilly, as wolves in the wild get these things from the partially digested contents in the stomaches of their prey animals, so I either cook and puree the F&V, or use store bought baby food instead, which is easier and makes it simpler to vary the diet but does get a bit expensive. Carrots, peas, squash and sweet potato are staples, and for fruit I use bannana, apricots, peaches and pears.

    For carbs, I use 40-40 brown rice and pasta, along with 20% wheat germ. I also include a hard boiled egg with most meals and grind the eggshells very finely and sprinkle that into the food at each feeding.

    As far as supplements go, I use cod liver oil tablets dissolved in the rice as it finishes cooking, add some bone meal in small amounts, about a finger pinch per meal, brewer’s yeast, an occasional addition of some sardines, tuna or salmon (the latter very rarely) lol… and lastly…. Milk Bone dog biscuits. I have no ties to DelMonte (the parent co.) other than as a consumer, but these biscuits offer some needed nutrients that I feel finish my dog’s nutritional needs nicely. Take a look at the Milk Bone ingredients… some very good stuff in there, and no wheat gluten. This is the only dog food product I still trust.

    I am no nutrition expert, nor can I garantee that my diet plan is perfect, but I have the utmost confidence that my dog’s diet is much healthier than it was when I was niavely buying Alpo. Based on my research, I believe this is a very well balanced diet for my beloved mutt.

    I saw someone mention mushrooms… I’ve read that this is not a good idea. It doesn’t make much nutritional sense to me either. If anyone sees a nutritional defiency in this diet plan, I would very much appretiate your comments.

    My biggest concern with this recipe/diet plan is the correct phosphorous/calcuim balance. More specifically, I know it has enough phosphorous, but I am unsure of just how much calcium (eggshells and bone meal)I should be including in a middle aged gog’s diet… a rather active dog that is obsessed with catching squirrels and other critters, with a fair amount of success! (It’s half Lurcher, try Googling a Lurcher).

    In any case, since I’ve gone to this diet, the dog sheds a bit less, her fur is shinier and healthier, and her muscle tone has improved significantly. She also loves to eat it! I do notice that her stools will soften after a week on beef however…. I think the poultry diet is best, at least for this dog. But since she’s been off the Alpo, her stools look much healthier as well. I have no doubt I’m doing the right thing…. but also would love to have a real dog nutritional expert offer an opinion.

  49. wild animals eat the organs of their prey first due to the high nutritional value campared to the actual muscle. My cat is a great hunter and eats the brains of her prey first, then the internal organs, usually leaving the muscle and carcass till last.

    We feed our dog an oat based natural base, with a rotation of protiens and a fat supplement (fish oil). Because of the nature of the oat base meal and lean protiens, we have had to up his intake to maintain his weight.
    We came up with this combination because of allergies and pet food recalls.

  50. Here’s a great CAT FOOD RECIPE!
    Homemade Cat Food Recipe
    * 2 whole (preferably organic) chickens (boiled, de-skinned, de-boned and chopped – reserve broth)
    * 2 containers organic vegetable baby food (without onion powder, toxic to cats)
    * 3 jars chicken baby food
    * 6-8 teaspoons canola oil
    * 6-8 teaspoons flax oil
    * 6-8 teaspoons fish oil
    * 5-7 rounded tablespoons human-grade bone meal (We use Solgar Bone Meal Powder with Vitamin B-12 from the health food store)
    * One 6 ½ ounce can minced clams with juice (for taurine – a MUST)
    * 1-2 or more cups reserved broth (to make it Lucy-juicy!)

    Mix all ingredients well, and freeze in ½ to 1 cup portions in snack or sandwich bags. Thaw bags in hot water or in microwave before serving. We adult divakitties will eat ½ to 1 cup per day.

    Important: Once a week, add 1/2 cup organic organ meat (kidney or liver) and once or twice a week add one or two hardboiled organic or high-omega eggs

  51. For the past 2 months, I’ve been making my Lab’s meals. She’s happier and loves to eat, which was always a problem before. But, you really need to research what you’re going to put into these meals. Meat and rice won’t do. There’s a balance of meat and carbs (from grains, fruits and veggies) that is essential. Plus, you also need to add calcium and vitamin supplements. I highly recommend a book called Better Food for Dogs by Jennifer Ashton. it explains what dogs at various weights need and provides easy, basic recipies. It’s a great resource. In order for a whole food diet to work, you have to make sure your dog is getting everything he/she needs. It’s very doable, but find a good, vet approved source for recipes.

  52. I lost a dog during the pet food recall to kidney failure, but she was 14 years old. So, I don’t know what caused it – old age or the pet food. So – since then – with my new puppy he gets: hamburger or chicken or turkey (all boiled), oatmeal (he can’t tolerate rice), green peas or broccoli, grated carrot, apple, cottage cheese or plain yogurt, and canned 100% pumpkin. He will continue to eat this way until I find a dog food I can trust. I was feeding Science Diet to my elder dog. After she passed I began looking for another food to feed, I had almost decided on Blue. But, then I discover they include rice protein. So, now I cook for our newest addition and will continue to do so. I feel good about it as long as he gets a good variety of meat, veggies., etc. He is 4 months old now and has no diarrhea, no constipation, no stomach upsets and is growing and very healthy!!!

  53. Since my 2 beagles (age 12 each) both are cancer survivors I did due diligence, took them off of processed foods and now they eat only raw dog food. We purchase a particular brand (frozen and available at our local pet store) but we also made our own from venison. There are lots of great, nutritional recipes out there – just take the time to do it. On another note, my dogs are real fruit & veggie lovers! We have a great garden this year and we will be supplementing their diets with home-grown produce. We make their dog snacks at home too – those are baked of course but include apples/applesauce, mashed bananas, shredded zucchini, carrots, cinnamon…they love ‘em!

  54. My best friends dog passed away after eating canned dog food that was involved in the recall. After that I began cooking homemade meals based on recipes I found in a cookbook for dogs. It is quite similar to the 60-20-20 recipe mentioned earlier. My dog is almost 2, and since she was a puppy she has turned her nose up at every type of commercial dog food we have bought. It will sit in her bowl for days until I have to throw it out. Since I have been feeding her the homemade stuff, she devours it! She watches me make it and knows it’s for her. I do it on my day off and it takes me a half hour at the most for a one week batch which I freeze half of. I have noticed a big difference in her energy level as well. I figure that even if her diet is not 100% nutritionally balanced as some believe, it is still better than feeding her poison.

  55. As owners of two cats that were fed nothnig but hills Rx diet (C/d, W/d and now T/d) it dawned on us that feeding our babies is no different than feeding ourselves.

    True, we require different diets to be healthy, but us humans can do quite nicely on unprocessed foods. Wee have basic nutritional needs which must be met to remaain healthy but this is done without eating prepared kibble like foods.

    Cats are carnivores, they require a different diet than people but thats not rocket science. A good place to start is to look at various felines that are in zoo’s. Keepers and nutritionists have been forumulating heathly diets for years without depending on kibble or canned foods.

    Its true that good food costs more than kibble or canned but isn’t your pet a family member, someone you love and want the best for.

    Thanks

  56. FYI: My vet said that a veterinarian is not the person to ask about animals diets, a nutritionist should be consulted if you want confirmation as to nutritional value of the food you cook your beloved pet at home.
    Cooking my dogs food is the only option, and yes it can be labor-intensive, but it costs almost the same and it’s worth it and I did do research into nutrients needed for my dog, and I’m convinced what I feed my dog meets what she needs.

  57. Hi,
    I have extensive recipes from a holistic veterinarian in Portland, Oregon; I feel pretty confident that they’re nutritionally well-balanced; let me know if i can attach them as a pdf, and i’d be happy to send them along.
    I’ve been cooking for my dog ever since the recall, as i have absolutely no confidence in the pet food industry anymore, no matter whether they tell me their food is “safe” or not. Also, many of the “safe” foods are basically just crap that a human would never THINK of putting in their body. “Safe” means it won’t kill your dog or cat–that’s about it.
    So, i basically do the rice, meat, and veggie thing (plus veggie oil, eggs, cheese, etc), and top it off with a vitamin from Petmeds that i HOPE is safe.
    In lieu of cooking fresh veggies, i sometimes use organic baby food. Otto especially loves peas and carrots.
    It’s EASY to cook for your dog; i just do it on Sunday, and zip lock individual servings to last through the week. With regard to garlic, i did a lot of checking, and apparently it’s toxic in large doses. A tiny sprinkling for flavor is safe, and also has some beneficial effects. So, don’t fear the garlic, just watch the quantity! Since i’ve been feeding Otto and his buddy, Mr. Paris, homemade food, they look healthier, with shinier coats and a noticeable improvement in muscle tone. Also, Mr. Paris used to almost always vomit after eating, and that has stopped. Don’t trust the food manufacturers if you love your pet!
    Thanks!

  58. I would like to set the record straight for the many people who do not have enough information on non-kibble diets. A cooked natural food diet seems the most “natural” to us, because we eat cooked food. I condone this; it is much better than ANY kibble. Aside from the recall problems, kibble has much of the nutritional value within it destroyed in the cooking/baking process.

    The BARF or raw diet for animals is very mysterious and confusing if you have never had any experience with it. I have been using it for years with my three dogs, and other dogs before them. Please don’t dismiss it unless you truly understand it. It is definitely not a method of feeding for most people, because it can be expensive and labour-intensive, but it is NOT unsafe for anyone involved (the animals, the handlers, nor children in the home – my kids can attest to that). It is one of the healthiest diets you can feed your animals.

    A side note about consulting vets about diets: having a career in the pet industry and worked side-by-side with vets, pet food reps, and trainers, I know that most vets are sponsored in part by one pet food company or another, so they are often biased toward that brand or the lines in a certain brand. Most vets do not know enough about nutrition, and most would not condone either a cooked natural or a raw natural diet for your pets.

    Having said all that, the 60-20-20 crockpot recipe for Anonymous’s Dobermanns (above) sounds terrific.

  59. Well before the recalls, I made 2 weeks worth of food at a time (obviously freeze and use as needed) for my 10lb Papillon consisting of boiled chicken, brown rice, carrots and green beans. I’ve also recently starting adding Solid Gold Seameal mineral and vitamin supplement to this at each serving. She gets dry food as well (Nutro dental or Innova), and I plan to do this for her for the rest of her life regardless. Her allergies are gone, her coat is beautiful, her breath is so much better., and her energy level has skyrocketed. When she ate Caesar’s wet food, I had to have her teeth cleaned once a year and tartar built rapidly thereafter, but now I brush them 2 to 3 times a week, and they sparkle.

  60. A little over two years ago, my beautiful, sweet 4 year old Doberman was diagnosed with bone cancer. We had her leg amputated and in order to make sure her health was as good as it possibly could be we began feeding her (and her younger brother) a completely home made diet. We went to a variety of vets, both traditional and “holistic” and came upon our own recipes which was a compilation of all of the home made diets these vets recommended.

    Here is the basic recipe:

    60% Meat. This changes with each batch but is whole Turkey, Beef, Rabbit (farm raised), pork, whole chicken and occasionally fish, when using poultry we include the “giblets” and also add calf liver or chicken liver to the batches every second or third batch.

    20% vegetables. I generally decide which vegetables to use depending on what is available organically at the time. The veggies I often use are asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, beets, leafy vegetables like kale, celery or tomatoes. Apparently mushrooms are good for them too. Just avoid onions, garlic and grapes/raisins.

    20% grains. I rarely use rice, but I’m sure rice is fine. I usually use barley, quinoa, oats, buckwheat or sweet potatoes (technically not a grain, but the vet told me to use them in place of the grain) I use sweet potatoes quite often.
    Then I add a tablespoon or two of bone meal and a handful of seaweed (wonderful source of minerals, you can find it in nice supermarkets. Check the ingredients on sushi Nori before using it, I usually use dulse or kelp). You vet may recommend some vitamin supplements which can be added to the food.

    The whole thing goes into a crockpot with a little water or home made poultry broth and is slow cooked for 8 hours or so. At the end of cooking, if there is too much liquid, I add more grain and cook until it is absorbed. Then I use a potato masher to mush everything together or my babies will pick around the veggies. If the meat had bones in it (especially chicken and turkey), make sure you pick them out This mix goes in the fridge and is fed to the dogs.

    We also give them raw “marrow bones” often as it is good for the teeth and is another good source of calcium.

    Although our beautiful girl succumbed to the cancer when it moved into her lungs, she lived almost a year longer than the vets expected. Her brother is incredibly healthy and happy and is never fed anything other than this food. He has been on this diet for more than two years. He sees a vet regularly and the vet is always complimentary of his health, weight and teeth condition. It is quite possible to not ever feed your dogs “regular dog food” and have them be healthy. I will beg you though to make sure you are not missing any nutrition by doing two things: first, talk to your vet, seriously. And second, think to yourself, if this is all I ate, would all of my nutritional needs be met? Our nutritional needs are different, but similar enough that it’s a good starting point. I assure you, there is no truth in the notion that only dog food manufacturers are capable of feeding your pet correctly.

    Because the cooking is done in a crockpot, it’s actually less work than you think, I’ll never go back to store bought dogfood.

  61. Babs: Commercial dry pet food is made with industrial extruders, not unlike those used to make puffed snacks such as Cheetos. It is not really a method that can be simulated in the home kitchen.

    Re BARF diet: If the BARF diet is followed accurately, it is probably at least a more complete diet than most homemade diets. It is not, however, particularly safe for human handlers. Many dogs and cats on a raw food diet are found to be shedding E. coli or Salmonella in their feces. Given that humans are routinely exposed to their pets’ feces when cleaning it up, it may not be a great idea. Also, a little blood in the urine is not a big problem, as long as your cat can still pee normally. Have your vet check the cat regularly for urinary tract infections.

    Patty’s recipe actually looks pretty decent.

    Kodiak’s Mom: I would recommend novel food diets (ones based on venison, duck, kangaroo, potato, barley, etc.) before going homemade. After that, I would try a hypoallergenic diet that you can purchase from your vet (the two most common ones are Hill’s z/d and Purina HA). If you insist on going homemade, I would recommend using a regular adult multivitamin rather than the B complex. And I would use fish oil rather than flaxseed oil (dogs are unable to convert the inactive omega-3 fatty acid in flaxseed into the active form). I would also add a calcium supplement (just calcium, no vitamin D).

    To the anonymous poster after kodiak: That diet (ground beef, rice, cottage cheese) sounds like a diet that was meant to be an easily digestible meal to be used only while starting your dog eating again after pancreatitis, not to be fed permanently! Any vet that recommends that as a long-term diet should have his license revoked.

  62. I haave a vet approved recipe given to me many years ago for a very sick dog. Very simple! 3 ingred. browned g. beef, minute rice – white or brown- cottage cheese. Make any amount just use equal parts of the g. beef , rice, and cheese. I have put my toy fox terrier on this. Since Iams is on the approved list)dry food)I add alittle of this sometimes.

  63. I have been feeding my dog home cooked meals for the past year due to food intolerances. She is now 13 months old and 75 lbs.
    She gets 4 oz of cooked meat(deboned-skinless chicken or turkey, lamb, or veal), 4 oz of mixed veggies(spinach collards and carrots) and 4 oz of rice or oatmeal. she also gets a vit. B-complex pill,200 IU of vit. E and 1000mg of Flaxseed in her morning meal. Her evening meal is the same just without the vitamins.

  64. Here is a vet approved recipe for dogs, my dog has been eating variations of this for years and is monitored by my vet all the time.

    Maitenance Recipe

    reg ground beef 4 oz (1/4 lb)
    rice (brown or white) 2 cups
    whole wheat bread 2 slices
    fresh carrot 1 large
    sunflower seed oil 1 1/2 teas
    psyllium husks or wheat germ or oat bran 1/2 teas
    calcium 750 mg
    vitamin & mineral premix 1/4 teas

    Method: Cook ground beef, drain all fat, cook rice and combine with meat add cubed bread (or substitute 1 cook sweet potato) cook all meat and rice without salt or seasoning. Add oil and cool. Shred or chop carrot (you can cook it if you like) add other vegetables if desired, (dogs will tolerate cooked brocolli or green beans or small amounts of cooked tomatoes) Chop small or blend in a food processor.
    Add the calcium (I use boiled and ground egg shell 2 teas or calcium tablets from a pharmacy) Add a 1/4 teas of Vitamin & Mineral premix from your Vet. As well I put in one capsule of cod liver oil. You can double and triple this recipe and freeze it without the supplements. You can use poultry (6oz cooked chicken + 1 1/2 cups rice + 1 cooked sweet potato & 2 Tbls corn oil to 1000 mg calcium) You can also add more cooked or raw vegetables and some fruit (small amounts of apples, blueberries & bananas seem to be tolerated) You can switch the meat requirements to lamb or chicken livers or pork regularly. Keep in mind that the supplements are necessary and essential to a balanced diet for your dog.

  65. Steve and Everett:
    A few other web sites I looked at all agreed that a B.A.R.F. diet for cats was best. Their reasoning being that in the wild, cats are purely carnivorous. From your knowledge, is that true? My poor cat suffers from urinary blockages and he even underwent the surgery to widen his urinary tract. Unfortunately, even with the surgery and special PH food, his urine still occasionally becomes bloody.
    I was hoping that using Feline’s Pride’s recipe ( http://www.felinespride.com ) would clear him up once and for all. What do you all think?

  66. The attitude of the pet food industry was succinctly put when they recently claimed after the Senate hearing that their products are “safe.”

    Consumers have ben fed hype about the necessity of commercial pet and dog food since the industry started in postwar America in response to a need to find profit from industrial garbage.

    This is not the first recall of contaminated dog food but has caught the world’s attention due to the scope of the disaster.

    With virtually no regulation, no truth in labeling of any consequence and an unsuspecting consumer feeding supposedly “healthy and balanced” dog food that contains poisons, carcinogenics, fillers, preservatives, euthanized dogs and cats, diseased animal parts and worse….

    The time has come to force an accounting from the pet food industry and for pet owners to insist on quality foods….better yet make your own at home…then you’ll know what your best little pal is eating….

  67. Hi I came on to find out about the royal canine recall-i supliment my homade chicken and rice food with it. I really would make my own dry food if I could get a recipe. I am on my 3rd poodle- both my previous poodles lived to be over 16 years old and were healthy to the end. Our family has always fed our dogs homemade food, mainly because my mom couldn’t stand the smell of canned food. The only difference in what the dogs get and I eat myself is all the stuff is mixed together and once it goes in “the dog tupperware” it becomes dog food. I usually just cook a chicken or a turkey (because thats what she likes)till its falling off the bone in a big pot, with a sprinkling of mrs dash garlic mix. then i go an clean the meat off the bones,,,i leave the tiny kneck bones- catilage and all the skin and gross stuff and throw it back in the juices. towards the end i throw in veggies-usually the peas-carrots-garlic and if i have spinach a bit of that, then i toss in an egg, maybe some cheese,then i toss in 2 cups of cooked rice and stir it all up. then i take a hand blender and break up the big chunks, but not blending it all. then i put it in snack size ziplocks- about 12 bags and throw them in the freezer. I leave a bowl of dry food out just to round it all out (this is the first dog that would eat it tho) and now until this scare is over it’s gonna be all homemade. I don’t know what to do about the cat- she is 16 plus and only eats canned. and angel food cake. Also my dogs have always liked coke and jelly beans. I can drop a whole steak on the floor- no reaction-but if she hears a candy wrapper…but she is trim- healthy- and happy. So if anyone knows how to make dry food- pass it on…thanks BABS
    ps- i have been to china most do not care about animals and are extra extra cruel to dogs and cats, so I don’t think they will be to worried about this problem, so this could last a while.

  68. The following is the recipe given on VIN, with disclaimers. You could probably substitute different sources of protein (beef, pork, turkey, fish, etc.) and carbohydrate (brown rice, pasta, baked potato, sweet potato, etc.), but given the detail-oriented list of other ingredients I would certainly recommend following them exactly.

    *********************************

    PLEASE NOTE: This recipe should be fed for not more than 2 months. Clinicians are advised to set up a consultation with the client at the end of this period to revisit feeding requirements and to consider either re-instituting commercial food products, or a consultation with a clinical nutritionist.

    Standard Pet Formula – adequate for healthy dogs and cats over 6 months of age

    1 pound fresh boneless skinless chicken breast
    2 and 2/3 cup cooked white rice
    1 Tablespoon safflower oil
    1/4 tsp Morton’s lite salt
    1/4 tsp iodinated salt
    3 grams of calcium carbonate without vitamin D (regular Tums – check size)
    1 Centrum adult multivitamin-mineral supplement (no special senior, ocular, women’s or other versions)
    1/4 tsp taurine powder (or 500 mg tablet) (taurine is optional for dogs – essential for cats)

    Sauté chopped chicken breast in oil until thoroughly cooked. Add rice and salt.

    Grind Tums (calcium carbonate), multi vitamin/mineral tab, and taurine supplement together. Add to cooled mixture. Store in refrigerator. Larger batches may be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer.

    Nutritional profile

    40% protein (Dry matter basis (DMB))
    12% fat DMB
    6% calcium DMB
    4.3% phosphorus
    1.4:1.0 calcium:phosphorus

    Calories: 1046 kcal per batch or 1.12 kcal/gram

    Batch size: 932 grams

    To feed, calculate caloric needs and divide into twice daily feeding. One recipe batch should provide adequate intake for a 10-12 pound cat for 3 days or a 40-45 pound dog for 1 day.

    Adjust intake to maintain ideal body weight.

  69. I am actually a veterinary student (graduating in a month), which is probably why lots of warning bells went off in my head when I first read this article. I can tell you that most veterinarians are relatively clueless about nutrition, which is to say very few of them would be capable of giving you a complete and balanced homemade diet recipe upon request (myself included). Every board-certified veterinary nutritionist I know recommends commercial maintenance or prescription diets unless a pet has multiple organ dysfunctions (e.g., kidney disease, heart disease, intestinal disease, etc.) for which none of the prescription diets are appropriate.

    That said, this is a difficult time for owners and vets, because a food which is not recalled one week may be on the recall list next week. The Veterinary Information Network, a subscription service for vets, points to two online nutritional consultation services if anyone is interested in paying for consultation with board-certified veterinary nutritionists. The first is:

    http://www.petdiets.com

    That site has a lot of information, FAQs, etc. as well as consultation services and recipes which can be purchased for $50 or so (ouch!).

    The second is:

    http://www.balanceit.com

    At the bottom of the page you can link to the “Homemade Recipe Creator” which supposedly is free with the promotional code “VIN” while the recall is in effect. You have to give your email address, though BalanceIT claims they won’t flood you with promo emails if you use the code.

    VIN also has a free “generic” recipe for healthy dogs and cats which I will publish in the next comment.

  70. I am the one who posted a comment right as the natural balance food was first recalled and I had a dog with pups on the food. The company told our local petstore that the food was NOT contaminated, that they had simply mixed the batch wrong. apparently not, and I felt it in the pit of my stomach right to begin with that it would end up to be melamine. now they have said that they actually had a bag marked melamine??? I really believe what I have heard now, that the melamine gives a false positive for protein and that would mean the companies are likely buying it on purpose. so now this company that distributed the rice that was contaminated admits that at least 4 other pet food companies recieved and used the rice protein during the same time that natural balance did, but they did not release the names of those companies because so far their tests have come out negative for melamine. talk about irresponsible. and this is from a different company in China that sent it here! NOT the same company as from the Menu wheat gluten recall . I did go ahead and make the homeade dogfood, I did it for close to what the dogfood costs me normally, and the dogs love it, but still… I feel that I can’t give my nursing Mama dog enough nutrition, so i have her on purina puppy chow, which i don’t really like, but it has corn. I am looking for something in a dry food that I feel I can trust, because in a little under 2 weeks, I have to have something for my pups, I am not quite sure what the natural diet will do with their little digestive systems. what to do, what to do… and i live in a very very small town about 35 miles from a bigger store, we have a limited selection here. we thought of getting the natural balance duck and potato, but i just don’t know if we can trust it now, i find myself saying, but where did they get this ingredient, or that one… which is exactly what i thought before the venison and rice food was recalled. I had a feeling about it, I knew it was coming I just knew it.

  71. “What are dog owner’s suppose to feed their dogs?”

    That’s the million-dollar question. The truth is, I don’t know. That’s why I posted these recipes, so there would an alternative for now. But as a permanent solution, would you should do is ASK A VET. Get a home made dogfood recipe from a vet. Chances are it is going to match closely with some of the natural home made recipes on this page, but the difference is you will be getting the inforamtion from a qualified professional rather than the internet. Wouldn’t you feel safer that way?

    As a dog owner, I too am concerned. I have no idea what to feed my dog these days, and am paranoid that I’m poisoning him if I used regular dry dogfood from the store. So I try to make my own using these recipes – but for how long?

  72. Steve and Everett,
    You say these recipes aren’t for long term. Then what recipe//recipes are? After the recalls, I thought I’d be safe and switch to Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice dry dog food only to find out it has been recalled. If the pet food brand names can’t be trusted and homemade recipes are nutritionally imbalanced, what are dog owner’s suppose to feed their dogs?

  73. These recalls are really very disheartening. we thought our dogfood was safe it is a small dog food company called natural balance, and after the other recalls I went to the fda website and signed up for their e-mail notification of recalled products. so now i got an e-mail saying that the venison and brown rice formula i have been feeding my dogs (3 seniors and 1 mama feeding 5 pups) has been recalled as well, but they are not supposed to have any wheat gluten in the food. they claim it was some mistake of how they mixed the batch, but won’t give out the lot number. I don’t know what to trust now, as many area stores still have the recalled foods from the wheat gluten thing and are still selling it as I hear. which I also was notified of by the FDA that many stores are still selling it in FDA spot checks. so for now, just until some of this blows over, I am going to put the dogs on a homeade diet because I can’t risk my nursing pups. I know you can’t really give them a well balanced diet but i don’t know what else to do. How long is this string of recalls going to go on? and on top of that many dog treats have been recalled as well, that isn’t getting as much publicity. purina and delmonte both are some of the ones that recalled treats. this concerned me as far as the fact that even though further recalls have not been announced yet for those two companies, I wonder if more are coming. purina makes friskies cat food and delmote make nine lives according to their websites… scary stuff i am just jumpy now and am not sure what else to do!!

  74. Is there a way to make dry pet food from scratch? What about using a food processor? I’m looking for something with a long shelf life.

  75. hi just to say thankyou,my dogs are loving the rice and chicken meals,also goin to try the liver treats.i was fed up with the increased prices of canned/dry dog food,so decided to try your recipe…………..much cheaper ,and i know exactly whats gone into it……….from a dog lover

  76. Sheri, I wouldn’t advise them as permanent diet simply because – as Steve noted – domesticated animals require a nutritionally balanced diet. This is good for the time being, and it also a good alternative to throw into their diet now and then so your pets don’t have to eat the same boring stuff every night (how would you like meatloaf every night for your whole life?). But you should consult with your vet before thinking about using any recipe you find online as a “permanent” source of food for your pet.

    But these recipes were chosen because they are simple, cheap, and provide carbohydrates, fat and protein – all three macronutrients. It’s the micronutrients that you’ll have to think about for the long term.

    And I hope your pets live LONG happy lives.

    Regards,

    Everett

  77. Thanks for the recipies. I have ground meat and rice in the cooker and the Pit Bull/Doberman just brought me her dish. I guess it smells good. Question: why would this not be a good permanent choice for dog food? I really like it, it is cheap, and it seems to hhave a lot better ingredients that commerial dog food.

  78. I have a sick feline baby. Diagnosed Feb. 17 so I don’t think it was from the recall foods but I cannot say since I would try different foods. He has always been finicky (likes most Fancy Feast, fresh shrimp, crab or tuna) but since he has been ill, it’s almost impossible to get him to eat anything, especially the prescription foods. He does like the gravies in the Fancy Feast foods. Does anyone have cat-tasty gravy recipes that my baby boy can get some nutrition from? Apparently carbs and “good” fats do not put a burden on the kidneys. Thanks for anyone’s help. Joan Diagnosied

  79. Everett, your point is well-taken. I am just afraid that people may read your article and think that they are doing good for their dog by feeding it hamburger and rice on a permanent basis (which is sounds like some of your readers may be doing).

    I am by no means a proponent of the “natural” pet foods, but given a choice between having people feed their dog meat and rice or their cat straight meat versus a bag of Wysong, Innova, or god forbid the B.A.R.F. diet, the latter option is much better for the pet.

    I don’t really see a problem with pets eating wheat gluten, yeast, and corn starch. Those are all perfectly natural ingredients that people eat all the time. For one thing, there are no “wild” dachsunds or Persian cats. For another, I’m sure the “wild” homo sapiens didn’t evolve by eating wheat gluten, yeast, and corn starch. The real problem is the industrialization and centralization of food production, which is as big a problem in human foods as in pet foods. The scares involving E. coli in spinach and Salmonella in peanut butter are simply the two most recent examples of this. There is nothing inherently wrong with spinach or peanut butter — the problem is in the production and distribution of them.

  80. Steve the problem is we don’t know who or what food to trust. Even the “natural” foods are really just marketing ploys. What’s natural about them. Have a look at the ingredients, because they all contain wheat gluten, yeast, corn starch… I don’t know of any wild dog or cat breeds that eat corn starch and yeast. Of course, my cat does eat grass now and then – when it wants to puke!

    But you do have a good point. These are meant to be simple recipes that you can use to feed your cat or dog while waiting for some dust to settle and finding a TRUSTWORTHY pet food brand.

    I’m with Steve though – I would not make this a long-term solution. But at least for now you know you’re not poisoning them. These recalls aren’t over. I’m sure there are plenty more brands on the shelves that contain harmful ingredients.

  81. we usually buy rotissiere chicken from the supermarket for about 4-5 bucks. we’re asian so we always have cooked rice on hand anyways. we just microwave some chicken, mix the rice and chicken in their dry dog food and thats it. no cooking really. except for the rice i guess. we have a rice steamer. takes like 5 min to prepare their dinner.

  82. I just want to point out that these recipes are incredibly nutritionally imbalanced, and that you should by no means feed them as any sort of long term diet for your pets. The argument that “cats and dogs in the wild” will eat anything is misleading, because feral cats and dogs have maybe 1/4 or 1/5 the life expectancy of a well cared for pet. Furthermore, wild animals eat the whole bird, whole mouse, or whatever they catch, not just the breast meat. There is a great deal more nutrition in a whole mouse than in a chicken breast. If you’re going to avoid the big corporate pet foods, at least feed one of the smaller “natural” foods which is at least designed for your pets.

  83. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for those easy recipes for cat and dog food. I’m a rehaber for wildlife and the raccoons that I raise eat dry cat food and occassionally I cook chicken for them. I think I may have lost one due to the tainted cat food. She hadn’t been sick but one morning I went to feed them and I found her dead. This was back on Feb. 16th before the recall. My others don’t appear sick, but I’ve stopped giving them the cat food. These recipes will help me tremendously!!!

  84. i check everyday on recalls i’m glad i give the best i can 2 my animals (2 cats & a basset hound). the cats get only melody fancy feast-they won’t eat anything else. the dog get pediagree lamb & rice. of course being a dog he will eat anything but i’m happy he’s happy with it. they get wet food 4 breakfast & eat dry food the rest of the time they get only the best in that also. the companies should quit making foods for our “kids” if they don’t won’t eat it.more animals are being affected than what’s being said about it.

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