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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Home Made, DIY Dog, Cat Food Recipes - Grain Free for the Health of Your Dog, Cat




The homemade, DIY dog, cat food recipes below offer your dog and cat the best nutrition for short and long-term health. Commercial dry dog food (kibble) and wet food (canned) products (and cat food products) contain multiple toxins, carcinogens, allergens and ingredients that provide your dog with poor source nutrition. Switching your dog or cat from commercially made, highly processed dog kibble to homemade dog food can be of great benefit to your dog’s and cat's overall health. Below are a few very nutritious, simple to make dog food recipes I created for the health and well-being of my dogs. The ingredients used are selected to support your dog's and cat's overall health, boost his/her immune system, prevent cancer, support oral health, heart health and more. When purchasing the ingredients used in the recipes below, you can decide whether you want to go organic or not...even if you do not go organic you can be sure that the food you make - based on the recipes below, will be packed with good nutrition. You can couple this recipe with a healthy, all-natural snack food for your dog or with a healthy dog-friendly smoothie

The recipe provides options for:
  • One - a fully cooked food recipe;
  • Two - a blend of cooked and fresh food recipe
  • Three - a raw food recipe.
It is up to you which option you choose to make.

The recipe is appropriate for:
  • Puppies;
  • Teenage Dogs;
  • Adult Dogs, and;
  • Senior Dogs, and;
  • By adding additional taurine is also good for kittens and cats.
The only reason the commercial pet food industry has established a sales niche for puppy food, v.s adult dog food, vs senior dog food is because the adult dog food produced by the pet food industry is often deficient in good source nutrition. 

While an adult dog may be able to sustain such deficiencies for longer periods of time - dogs that are more vulnerable - such as puppies, will show the effects of deficiencies more quickly, the same can be said for many senior dogs. 

As well, the pet food industry has created a niche for 'weight control' dog foods for adult and senior dogs. Another invention made necessary by the inadequacies of  pet food industry products. A dog that is on a species appropriate diet is much less likely to become overweight than a dog that is fed a nutrient poor and grain-based diet. Grain gets converted by the body into sugar very quickly - this spikes insulin levels and has a collective effect of creating constant hunger in the dog. In addition a dog that is fed a diet that is primarily comprised of  fillers and poor source carbohydrates must consume a much larger quantity of that 'food' in order to obtain actual nutritive value. The combination of these two facts creates obesity in dogs, just as it does in humans. If a dog is fed a truly good diet - that same diet can retain its value unchanged throughout the life-span of the dog - from puppy, hood to adult to senior. 

If you need your dog to loose weight - the best approach is to feed your dog a truly good diet, cut back on carbohydrates, increase protein and good source fat (i.e. coconut oil  a good source omega-6 fatty acid, a high quality omega-3 fatty acid such as Norwegian cod liver oil, Wild Alaskan salmon oil or Norwegian krill oil), introduce appropriate cooked, frozen-thawed and fresh veggies and fruit prepared properly to maximize absorption of nutrients, and turmeric. 

For puppies up to 6 months of age exclude the garlic from the recipe. Once puppy is 6 months of age add the garlic to the recipe. For kittens and cats leave the garlic out of the recipe. If you are going to include garlic in your dog's diet make sure you read this article for a through look at the many health benefits, daily dosage, cautions and drug interactions for garlic. 
 

How Much Will You Need to Feed to Your Dog?…

Before we get to the recipes - people often ask 'how much of this recipe should I feed to my dog or cat?' My recommendation regarding 'amount to feed' is as follows, first preceded by the following comments...

The amount to feed your dog(s) or cat(s):
Varies per the individual dog or cat - as I explain further just below, and;
Varies depending on how you choose to prepare the ingredients - I discuss this further below under options for preparation.
  • Just as each human has a different life style, different metabolism, so too for each dog. 
    • While two dogs may be the same size;
    • The same breed;
    • Have the same level of physical and mental activity;
    • One of the dogs may require slightly more food or less food than the other. 
  •  I am going to provide you with a guideline, and from that make your own adjustments to suit the individual dog.
Scenario One -  you are currently feeding your dog a commercially prepared dry dog kibble which lists grain, soy, corn, etc. as the first ingredient see the example provided just below...
  • Start by feeding your dog 1/4 cup less of the homemade dog food;
  • See how that goes and make any required adjustments to suit.
Example - GROUND WHOLE CORN, MEAT AND BONE MEAL, CORN GLUTEN MEAL, ANIMAL FAT (PRESERVED WITH BHA/CITRIC ACID), SOYBEAN MEAL, GROUND WHOLE WHEAT, BREWERS RICE, DRIED PLAIN BEET PULP, NATURAL FLAVOR, SALT, VEGETABLE OIL ([SOURCE OF LINOLEIC ACID] PRESERVED WITH BHA/BHT), POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, VITAMINS (CHOLINE CHLORIDE, a-TOCOPHEROL ACETATE [SOURCE OF VITAMIN E], NIACIN, BIOTIN, d-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT [VITAMIN B2], PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT) MINERALS (ZINC SULFATE, ZINC PROTEINATE, COPPER SULFATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, COPPER PROTEINATE, MANGANESE PROTEINATE), ADDED FD&C COLORS (RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 2). 
Scenario Two -  you are currently feeding your dog a commercially prepared dry dog kibble which looks similar to one of the three examples provided just below...
  • Start by feeding your dog 1/8 cup less of the homemade dog food;
  • See how that goes and make any required adjustments to suit.
Example One - Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Pork Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols added to retain freshness, Citric Acid added to retain freshness, L-carnitine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract. Dried Apples, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Peas.

Example Two - Chicken (natural source of glucosamine), brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soy flakes, soybean meal, animal digest, glycerin, calcium phosphate, caramel colour, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulphate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulphate, sulphur, manganese sulphate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulphate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. T-4154-C

Example Three - Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Chicken, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Calcium Carbonate, Flax Meal, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Chicken Cartilage (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Beta-Carotene, L-Carnitine, Marigold, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.


Scenario Three -  you are currently feeding your dog a commercially prepared dry dog kibble which looks similar to the example provided just below...
  • Start by feeding your dog the same amount of the homemade food as you are currently feeding to your dog in the dry dog food;
  • See how that goes and make any required adjustments to suit.

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, green peas, turkey meal, chicken liver oil, field beans, red lentils, whole potato, deboned turkey, whole egg, deboned walleye, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, chicken liver, herring oil, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary.

Just Before we get to the recipe...

1.0 If your dog or cat has a health condition...
I design custom homemade food recipes, and custom designed holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Plans for dogs and cats. If your dog or cat has health issues a custom design holistic diet nutrition wellness plan is recommended. I do not recommend that you use the generic homemade food recipe below.
 
A few examples of health issues that require a custom designed approach include:


2.0 Understanding the Ingredients

Make sure you read all of the links provided in the recipe below. The links are provided to ensure your better understanding of the ingredients as pertains to important information such as health benefits, selection of appropriate type/quality, cautions and interactions, etc.

3.0 What you Use to Cook Food in and Feed Food To Your Dog and Cat Matters...

Do NOT use Teflon coated pans and pots and do not feed your dog his/her food in metal bowls - particularly aluminum bowls and plastic bowls. The same is true for water - no aluminum or plastic bowls. Aluminum and the many carcinogenic substances in plastic gradually make their way into your dog's and cat's system via the food bowl. This increases your dog's and cat's toxic load and can cause damage to overall  physical and mental health - brain health, GI tract health, organ health leading/contributing to behavioral and major health problems.

Grain Free…


Red Meat or Poultry, Squash or Sweet Potato, Cottage Cheese, Spinach, Cruciferous Vegetables, Fruit, Herbs…
There are several ways that you can make this recipe - the choice is up to you. Choose one of the following preparation methods. Ingredients/measurements and further directions are provided just below preparation options...
  • Option One is based on cooking all of the ingredients as you would a stew;
  • Option Two is a combination of cooked and raw food recipe;
  • Option Three is a raw food recipe;
  • Options 2 and 3 have no water added, option one has water added.
    • When you add water to any food you dilute the nutritional density of the food;
    • Therefore, if you make the recipe based on preparation option one you will need to feed your dog or cat a slightly greater volume of the food than if you used preparation Option Two or Three.
  • If you grind the ingredients to a fine meal in a food processor you end up with a dense end product; 
  • If you coarsely chop ingredients (cut ingredients into larger pieces as you would do if making a stew) the resulting end product is less dense;
    • So, if you make the recipe using the cooked stew method with course chopped ingredients you will need to feed your dog or cat a larger amount of the resulting food;
    •  If you have not added any water to the recipe and have finely minced the ingredients you will feed your dog or cat a smaller amount of the resulting food.
1.0 Options - Cooked, Cooked & Fresh or Raw Food
Option One - Fully Cooked Stew
  • Step 1 - Combine all ingredients, place in a pot or slow cooker (crock pot);
  • Step 2 - Add just enough water to cover the ingredients;
  • Step 3 - Simmer on lowest possible heat until fully cooked or slow cook in a crock pot;
  • Step 4 - Store in the refrigerator or freeze as desired;
  • Step 5 - Add toppings at meal time as directed at the end of the recipe below.
  • The photo shown at the top of this page is an example of the food prepared using this method.

Option Two - A Blend of Cooked and Fresh Ingredients, no
                     added water
  • Step 1 - Simmer meat in olive oil,or coconut oil (or another healthy oil such as organic sunflower or avocado oil) on lowest possible heat until fully cooked, once cooked finely mince or puree the meat, or leave in chunks as per your preference, and set aside;
  • Step 2 - Use a food processor to puree the fresh (do not cook) squash, pumpkin, rutabaga, or turnip or sweet potato, or finely  dice, and set aside;
  • Step 3 - Puree, or finely chop or dice, fresh vegetables, and set aside. If using fresh-frozen vegetables just thaw enough to finely chop or puree, and set aside;
  • Step 4 - If including fresh or frozen fruit - mash or puree the fruit, and then set aside;
  • Step 5 - In a large bowl mix all ingredients together (see recipe below for a full list of ingredients);
  • Step 6 - Store in the refrigerator or freeze as desired;
  • Step 7 - Add toppings at meal time as directed at the end of the recipe below. 
Option Three - Raw Food, no added water
  • Step 1 - Don't cook the meat, leave *raw - for this option use fresh, never frozen meat, properly process/handled raw meat;
  • Step 2 - Use a food processor to puree the fresh (do not cook) squash, pumpkin, rutabaga, or turnip or sweet potato, or finely  dice, and set aside;
  • Step 3 - Puree, or finely chop or dice, fresh vegetables, and set aside. If using fresh-frozen vegetables just thaw enough to finely chop or puree, and set aside;
  • Step 4 - If including fresh or frozen fruit - mash or puree the fruit, and then set aside;
  • Step 5 - In a large bowl mix all ingredients together (see recipe below for a full list of ingredients);
  • Step 6 - Store in the refrigerator or freeze as desired;
  • Step 7 - Add toppings at meal time as directed at the end of the recipe below.
  • Step 8 - Freeze into patties;
  • Step 9 - Add toppings at meal time as directed at the end of the recipe below.
  • *Caution regarding raw meat - If your dog or cat has never eaten raw meat before, make sure you introduce raw food into their diet very slowly - failure to do so will cause diarrhea and or vomiting. The stomach acids required to digest raw meat or much stronger than what is required to digest 'dead' (cooked) food. You must give your dog's, cat's system time to slowly adjust. To introduce raw food to the diet start out by offering a tiny piece of the raw food as a treat between meals. Do this for at least a week after which you can very slowly start to replace a tiny portion of the existing food in your dog's or cat's meal bowl with an equally small portion of the raw food. Continue this process of replacement over the span of several weeks until the old food is completely replaced by the raw food. Transition very slowly, if at any point during the transition your dog or cat starts to show signs of an upset stomach you are transitioning to quickly.
I make a very large batch of food - 40 pounds to 50 pounds of food at a time. I use a food grade pail with a capacity of about 70 pounds to mix all the ground ingredients together. A batch of food this size lasts me about ten days as I am feeding eleven (11) dogs (3 German Shepherds, a Boxer x, an Australian Shepherd, a Cocker Spaniel, a Sheltie, a Fox Hound x Beagle, 2 Pomeranian and a Chihuahua. 

My dogs and cats eat 100% raw homemade food (Preparation Option 3), The recipe I use for my own dogs and cats is a customized version of the food recipe. The photo below shows a typical meal of 100% raw, with yogurt or kefir, organic eggs, bone broth gelatin or bone broth, raw honey, and herbs.


You can see some  of my pack enjoying their homemade raw food in the photo below...



The pĥoto below shows a batch of food prepared using Option 2 above. Mixing is finished the food is being packed into containers for freezing. You can see from the photo below that this is a very thick and dense food - with a texture like a meat loaf - except the ingredients in this food are fresh and raw - not cooked.




Here is a look at the food at serving time...you can see how dense and thick the food is, you can see there is no liquid. This batch contains plenty of turmeric that gives the food a gold tinge.


And ready to eat, garnished with cottage cheese and a piece of cheddar cheese on top - top view...



 Side view...






2.0 Ingredients
  • Protein, Fat and essential nutrients - Meat: 
    • minimum 1.5 lb to 4 lbs ground or finely chopped 1meat:
      • Poultry - chicken, turkey, duck, etc., or:
      • Fish - wild fatty fish such as Alaskan salmon, mackerel, sardines
      • Red meat - beef, bison, deer, etc. 
        • If your dog has food sensitivities don’t mix proteins, choose one source of meat protein per batch of food;
        • don't skim the fat off - the fat from the meat is an essential source of nutrition for your dog and cat; 
        • For kittens and cats don't skimp - use the full quantity of protein (not the minimum);
    • Organ meats - .75 lb up 1 lb - i.e. in the canine diet organ meats are liver, kidney, pancreas, brain, spleen, testicles, thymus gland.
      • 50% of the organ meats used should be liver (no more, no less)
      • The other 50% of organ meats used should represent one or a combination of the following - kidney, pancreas, brain, spleen, testicles, thymus gland (thymus gland should never make up the full 50%, and if using should be used occasionally only).
Protein, Fat and essential nutrients
  • Cottage Cheese and Egg (optional)
    • 2 eggs 
  •  Fat:
  • Carbohydrate, essential nutrients, fiber, antioxidants:
    • 1 cup, up to 2 cups fresh or frozen-fresh (not 2canned)
      • Squash;
      • Pumpkin;
      • Turnip;
      • Rutabaga;
      • or a combination of the above
        • You can also choose to use sweet potato if you are not able to use / purchase any of the other choices.
    • 1 cup, up to 2 cups:
      • 2Vegetables and 2fruit, fresh or frozen finely chopped:
        •  Carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower;
        •  Apples, pears, cherries or berries (i.e. cranberries, raspberries, blue berries, black berries, etc.);
    • 10 oz:
      • Fresh or frozen chopped spinach 
      • Note:
  • Herbs
    • 4 cloves 3garlic, chopped or minced (do not use for cats)
      • As the healthful properties of garlic are degraded when the garlic is heated, leave the garlic out of the recipe and instead add fresh minced garlic to the food at meal time;
        • If you choose to use fresh garlic as I do;
          • Mince, slice or chop the garlic 10 to 15 minutes before feeding as this provides  time for the beneficial properties of the garlic to develop;
            • One hour after mincing, slicing etc. the beneficial propertied of the garlic begin to degrade so use within an hour of cutting;
          • Daily dosage is 1 tsp for every 30 lbs of body weight;
          • You can read more about garlic here.
      •  If you are making this recipe for kittens or cats leave the garlic out of the recipe!;
    • For the following herbs -you can choose to use all of the herbs, some of the herbs or leave them out of the recipe - its up to you...
    • If you are using the Cooked/Fresh or Raw preparation method for this recipe...
      • Mix all of the herbs and spices together in a bowl or small pot;
      • Using a kettle boil some water just as you would do to make tea;
      • Add just enough of the boiled water to the herb mixture - just enough water to cover the herb mixture;
        • Stir the mixture - it will absorb the water, add a little more water;
      • Cover the mixture and let it steep for 10 minutes (more steeping time is fine too);
      • Then add the steeped herbs to the other recipe ingredients.
    • 1/8 cup basil - dry or fresh chopped;
    • 1/8 cup rosemary - dry or fresh chopped;
    • 1/8 cup sage; 
    • Optional:
      • 1/8 cup anise;
      • 1/8 cup fennel; 
      • 1/8 cup fenugreek;
      • 1/8 cup dried parsley or fresh chopped;
      • 1/8 cup mint;
  • Use of one of the following if you are not using whole prey meat:
    • 1/2 tsp dry, 4powdered organic eggshell for every 1 lb of boneless meat, or;
    • 1/5 tsp (1000 mg /1 gm) of human food grade bone meal  for every 1 lb of boneless meat
    • If you are using recipe preparation method 2 or 3 with whole prey meat, do not add eggshell or bone meal to the recipe. 
If making the fully cooked version of the recipe - low heat setting (i.e. 3 to 4 just for long enough to start the food cooking and then turn the heat down to 2 and just let the pot simmer for an hour or two. If you are making a single batch of food and have a crock pot  the food can be cooked on low heat setting in the crock pot.

When you are ready to feed your dog the food...

3.0 Toppings to Add at Meal Time


Sprinkle/add/mix the following on top of the food when ready to serve in bowl:
  • Cheese shredded or cubed - optional ingredient
    •  Cheddar cheese, mozzarella or Swiss cheese, or; cottage cheese; 
      • Daily Dosage:
        • Small size dogs and cats - 1 ounce 
        • Medium size dogs - 1 1/2 ounce  
        • Large dogs -2 ounces 
        • Extra large dogs - 2 1/2 ounces
  • Probiotic - to understand the importance of including a probiotic in your dog or cat's daily diet read here
  • You can use sauerkraut  kefir or  or purchase a good quality probiotic supplement;
    • If you want to use Yogurt  or Kefir read here to understand benefits, dosage, how to select a good yogurt or kefir for your dog, cat;
    • If you want to use sauerkraut read here to understand how to select a good product for your dog or cat;
    • If you prefer to make your own sauerkraut you can find a recipe here;
    • If you want to use a probiotic supplement read here to understand how to choose a good supplement - most probiotic supplements are junk, so it is important to know how to select a good product.
  • Optional -  a piece of fatty fish such as wild Atlantic Salmon, mackerel or sardine
    • For information on the many health benefits, options and selecting a good product, etc you can read here. You can use option one, two or three (or a combination of two of the options) as noted just below or read about other options here.
    • Option One - Fish oil (use human food grade);
      •  Sardine and anchovy oil, Norwegian or Arctic krill oil, wild Alaskan salmon oil, Norwegian or Arctic cod liver oil (use only a good brand like Carson's) - use fish oil sourced from wild-caught, cold water fish - do NOT use fish oil derived from farmed fish!
      • Follow the dosage provided below or the product manufacturer's dosage:
          • X-Small Dogs and Cats 1 -14 lbs – 250mg 
          • Small Dogs and Cats 15-29 lbs – 500mg 
          • Medium Dogs 30-49 lbs – 1000mg 
          • Large Dogs 50 -79 lbs – 1500mg  
          • X-Large Dogs 80 lbs and up – 2000mg  
    • Option Two - Cold Pressed Organic Hemp Seed Oil or Flax Seed Oil;
      • Use only human food-grade cold pressed flax seed oil;
        • Only use hemp or flax seed oil that is found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or natural food store;
        • Preferably organic oil, as non-organic can be very high in pesticide residue;
      • Daily Dosage:
        • 1 tsp per every 11lbs body weight (1 ml per every 1 kg body weight);
    • Option Three - Hemp seeds, or 5Ground Flax seeds, whole or ground Chia seeds;
      • Daily Dosage;
        • 1/2 tsp for tea cup dogs 2 to 4 lbs; 
        • 1 tsp for toy dogs 5 to 15 lbs; 
        • 1 tbs for small dogs 16 to 25 lbs; 
        • 1.5 tbs for medium-small dogs 26 to 39 lbs 
        • 2 tbs for medium-large size dogs 40 to 70 lbs 
        • 2.5 tbs for large dogs 71 lbs to 90 lbs  
        • 3 tbs for x-large dogs 91+ pounds  
  • Digestive Enzymes:
    •  To aid digestion and promote full absorption of nutrients;
      • Option One - I use fresh minced papaya;
      • Option Two - use a digestive enzyme supplement in in capsule or powder form;
        • Look for a papain-based (digestive enzyme extract from papaya) or bromelain-based (digestive enzyme extract from pineapple). Choose one that does not have added fillers or other unnecessary ingredients such as sweeteners, food coloring and slipping agents. Follow the manufacturer's recommended daily dosage; 
    • If your dog has an inflammatory bowel disease such as colitis the lycopene in papaya is very beneficial.
        • Small Size Dogs and Cats
          • ½  tsp to 1/8 cup
        • Medium Size dogs;
          •  1 tbs to ¼ cup
        • Large Size Dogs;
          • 2 tbs to ½ cup
  • Pumpkin Seeds;
    • You can buy whole, shelled, unsalted, raw pumpkin seeds at a natural food store - you can read about some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds here.
      • Use a food processor to grind the pumpkin seeds ;
      • Daily Dosage
        • 1/2 tbs small dogs;
        • 1 tbs medium size dogs;
        •  2 tbs large dogs.
  • Organ meats are very good for dogs and cats when provided in small amounts daily;
    • If you are not feeding raw, cook on a low heat cook some chicken liver (or other organ meat) in a little olive oil or coconut oil;
      • Store in a container in the refrigerator and add a piece to the food in your dog's or cat's food once a day;
    •  As many dogs and cats do not take in enough water after eating consider adding some liquid to the food in your dog's and cat's bowl;
    • Add a sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon on top of the food and stock...
  • Ceylon Cinnamon
    • You can also sprinkle a little Ceylon cinnamon powder on top of the food. Cinnamon helps dissolve food particles - good for your dog's dental health and also aids with the digestion of food
If you are making this food for a kitten or cat you must add Taurine...
  • Minimum – 100 mg (one hundred milligrams ) of Taurine for every 1 kg (one kilogram) or 2.2 pounds of cat food;

  • Maximum – 300 mg (three hundred milligrams ) of Taurine for every 1 kg (one kilogram) or 2.2 pounds of cat food.
You can keep this food in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you make more than you will use in a week just freeze the additional food.


4.0 Important Notes


1Cooking Meat - avoid creating carcinogens in the meat...
When cooking meat (poultry, red meat, etc.) always cook it at a low temperature.
  • Cooking meat above 200 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit increases the amount of PhIP (2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazol[4,5-b]pyridine) and other heterocyclic amines in the meat;
  • Heterocyclic amines are carcinogenic chemicals that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
2Home cooked v.s. canned vegetables - avoid carcinogens...
  • Are known to contain BPA (a carcinogen), and;
  • Commercially prepared vegetables are cooked at a very high temperature for a short period of time. 
    • When foods are cooked at very high temps advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) form;
    • AGEs are compounds that stimulate cells to produce specific proteins that cause inflammation and can be toxic;
    • High heat also damages and/or destroys many nutrients.
3 Garlic - my dogs get fresh garlic on a daily basis. Garlic (unlike onion which is toxic for your dog) has many health benefits for your dog. Before cooking the garlic, chop, mince or crush the garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature - this triggers a reaction that boosts the healthy enzymes in garlic to maximum output. If your dog is on blood thinners or cyclosporin, leave the garlic out of the recipe. Garlic is not to be given to cats or kittens. Garlic is not to be given to puppies under 6 months of age. For other cautions read

4 Powdered Eggshell is high in calcium, magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulfur, silicon and zinc, and a few other (actually 27) vital elements for dogs. ½ tsp equals about 400 milligrams of absorbable calcium.

  • To make powdered eggshell:
  • Wash empty eggshells in a little warm water;
  • Place the shells on a dish or paper towel and let them air dry completely (i.e. for 24 hrs);
  • When dry, break the shells into pieces and then grind them using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder;
  • Store the powdered eggshell in an airtight container.
5Flax seed must be ground not whole, Chia seeds can be whole or ground.


5.0 Holistic Support

Additional Assistance – Holistic Health and Wellness
If you require additional support and guidance, contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation, and I will provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.

Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.

Pack walk with some of my dogs - small to large, all ages -
they all eat the food prepared as per the recipe above.

Below I am providing a Grain-Included Recipe...


I am providing this recipe with grain-in for the following reasons:

For those who have little choice but to include grain as their dog is allergic to most meats, root vegetables, squash, etc.


However it is important to understand that grains are not part of a dog's ancestral/natural diet;


So, if your dog does not have any of the issues noted in point 1 above, I strongly recommend that you use the grain-free recipe for the following reasons...
 
Species inappropriate food/diets are the #1 cause of the top ten ailments for which people take their dog to the the Veterinarian's office...
 
1. Periodontal Disease
2. Ear Infections
3. Skin Allergies
4. Skin Infection
5. Non-cancerous skin growth
6. Upset Stomach
7. Intestinal upset/diarrhea
8. Arthritis
9. Bladder Infection
10. Under-active Thyroid – triggered by immune system or lack of iodine in the diet

In addition  - it is of the utmost importance to use human grade grain products - not animal feed grade (most commercially produced dog food contains animal-feed grade grains).  Grain used in the production of animal feed is not screened for aflatoxins - a naturally occurring fungus (on grains). Aflatoxins are carcinogenic. Grains such as corn and soy are GMO in North America unless you are purchasing organic. Soy and alfalfa contain endocrine disruptors. Other grains if not organic, are high in pesticide residue.

For more important notes on health cautions and interactions read all of my notes and comments provided just above and withing the Grain-free recipe preceding this section.

Grain-in Version…
 




Chicken, Oats, Quinoa, Spinach, Cottage Cheese…
  • Protein, Fat and essential nutrients - Meat:
      • 1.5 lb (minimum) to 2 lbs ground or finely chopped 1meat:
        • Poultry - chicken, turkey or duck, bones removed, or:
        • Fish - wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, sardines, or;
        • Red meat - beef, bison, deer, etc. 
          • If your dog has food sensitivities don’t mix proteins, choose one source of meat protein per batch of food;
          • don't skim the fat off - the fat from the meat is an essential source of nutrition for your dog and cat; 
          •  For kittens and cats don't skimp - use the full quantity of protein (not the minimum)
    • Protein, Fat and essential nutrients - Cottage cheese:
    • Carbohydrate, essential nutrients, fiber, antioxidants:
      • 2 cups fresh or frozen-fresh (not 2canned)
        • Sweet potato, or  
        • Squash;
        • Pumpkin;
        • Turnip;
        • Rutabaga;
        • or a combination of the above;
     Protein and Fat - Additional Optional Ingredient:
      • 2 eggs 
    • Fat:
    • Carbohydrate, fiber
      • 2 cups quinoa(Quinoa is not a grain)
      • or if you MUST use grains, use the following instead of quinoa:
        • 1 cup buckwheat (is a seed, not a grain)
        • 1 cup steel cut oats (or pot barley, not pearled barley), if you can't find steel cut oats you can used rolled oats (oats are a whole grain).
    • Carbohydrate, essential nutrients, fiber, antioxidants:

      • 2 cups:

        • Vegetables and Fruit, fresh or frozen finely chopped:
          •  Carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli;

          •  Apples, pears, cherries or berries (i.e. cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, black berries, etc.);
      • 10 oz:
        • Fresh or frozen chopped spinach
    • Herbs
      •  4 cloves 2garlic, chopped or minced (for kittens and cats leave the garlic out of the recipe!)
      • 1/8 cup basil - dry or fresh chopped;
      • 1/8 cup rosemary - dry or fresh chopped;
      • 1/8 cup sage; 
      • Optional:
        • 1/8 cup anise;
        • 1/8 cup fennel; 
        • 1/8 cup dried parsley or fresh chopped;
        • 1/8 cup mint;
        • 1 tbs fresh chopped ginger;
        • 1 tbs Ceylon cinnamon
    • 1 tsp dry, 4powdered eggshell (1/2 tsp/per every 1 lb of meat)
     
    Put all ingredients in a pot and add only enough water to just barely cover ingredients. Put on a low heat setting (i.e. 3 to 4 just for long enough to start the food cooking and then turn the heat down to 2 and just let the pot simmer for an hour or two. If you are making a single batch of food and have a crock pot  the food can be cooked on low heat setting in the crock pot.

    When you are ready to feed your dog the food...

    Sprinkle/add/mix the following on top of the food when ready to serve in bowl:
      •  cheddar cheese, mozzarella or Swiss cheese, or; cottage cheese;
      • Read here to understand benefits, dosage, how to select a good yogurt for your dog;
    •  A small piece of fatty fish such as wild Atlantic Salmon, mackerel or sardine;
    • Fish oil (use human grade) krill oil, wild Alaskan salmon oil, cod liver oil;
    • 5Ground flax seeds or Chia seeds;
    • A pinch of ground vitamin C tablet – if your dogs don’t eat citrus fruit, berries or veggies that are high in vitamin C. My dogs get lots of vitamin C from fresh fruit and from fresh lemon so they do not require ground vitamin C.
      • Ceylon Cinnamon
      • You can also sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top of the food. Cinnamon helps dissolve food particles - good for your dog's dental health and also aids with the digestion of food.
If you are making this food for a kitten or cat you must add Taurine...
  • Minimum – 100 mg (one hundred milligrams ) of Taurine for every 1 kg (one kilogram) or 2.2 pounds of cat food;

  • Maximum – 300 mg (three hundred milligrams ) of Taurine for every 1 kg (one kilogram) or 2.2 pounds of cat food.
 You can keep this food in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you make more than you will use in a week just freeze the additional food.


Notes

1Cooking Meat - avoid creating carcinogens in the meat...
When cooking meat (poultry, red meat, etc.) always cook it at a low temperature.
  • Cooking meat above 200 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit increases the amount of PhIP (2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazol[4,5-b]pyridine) and other heterocyclic amines in the meat;
  • Heterocyclic amines are carcinogenic chemicals that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
2 Garlic - my dogs get fresh garlic on a daily basis. Garlic (unlike onion which is toxic for your dog) has many health benefits for your dog. Before cooking the garlic, chop, mince or crush the garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature - this triggers a reaction that boosts the healthy enzymes in garlic to maximum output. If your dog is on blood thinners or cyclosporin, leave the garlic out of the recipe.

3 Powdered Eggshell is high in calcium, magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon and zinc, and a few other (actually 27) vital elements for dogs. ½ tsp equals about 400 milligrams of absorbable calcium.

  • To make powdered eggshell:
  • Wash empty eggshells in a little warm water;
  • Place the shells on a dish or paper towel and let them air dry completely (i.e. for 24 hrs);
  • When dry, break the shells into pieces and then grind them using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder;
  • Store the powdered eggshell in an airtight container.
4Flax seed must be ground not whole, Chia seeds can be whole or ground.
  • Daily dosage of Flax or Chia:
    • Tiny Dogs (4 lbs to 10 lbs) - ½ tbs  
    • Small Dogs (+10 lbs to 30 lbs) - 1 tbs  
    • Medium Dogs  (+30 lbs to 75 lbs)  - 1.5 tbs
    • Large Dogs (+75 lbs to 100 lbs) - 2 tbs
    • Extra Large Dogs (+100) - 2 to 3 tbs






Additional Assistance – Holistic Health and Wellness
If you require additional support and guidance, contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation, and I will provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.

Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.


282 comments:

  1. Hello there!
    Thank you for the tips, I've really enjoyed reading your experiences and tips!

    Quick question on the dog food: Have you tried making them on a crockpot? If so, how long will it cook?
    Many thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so very welcome :>)

    I don't have a crockpot, so that is one question I can't answer, but I usually cook it for about 2 hours - bringing it to a bowl and then turning it down to simmer.

    Cheers, Karen

    ReplyDelete
  3. I see on the crockpot. Thanks for the response, Karen!
    Cheers,
    June

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy cooking June! Your doggies are going to be very pleased with you, woof!:>)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great recipes! How much o the grains version should I feed my 100 pd Doberman? He gets two feedings a day, one in the morning and the other at about 6:00PM. Also, what do you think about using ground venison or fish? Thank you!
      Gwendolyn

      Delete
    2. Great recipes! How much of the grains version should I feed my 100 pd Doberman? He is given two feedings per day - AM and PM. Also, what do you think about using ground venison and fish? Regarding the fish - what kind? Frozen OK? Thank you!
      Gwendolyn

      Delete
    3. Hi Gwendolyn,

      Ground venison is fine. Fish is also fine as long as it does not represent more than a small portion of your Dobbie's daily diet...

      Fish - in large quantities are dangerous, small quantities are beneficial
      If fed exclusively or in large amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. A small amount of cooked or canned fatty fish such as anchovies, salmon, sardines, shad, smelt, mackerel are very good for your dog (on a daily basis is fine - in small amounts) as these types of fish are nutrient rich and a good source of omega fatty acids.

      I would say that you are better off using the venison and then if you want to you can put a small piece of fish on top of his food. I give all of my dogs a little fish (salmon, mackerel or sardines) every day.

      As to how much of the Grain Version recipe to feed your dog you will need to experiment. My GSDs and Boxer (they are around 70 lbs and very active) get a half cup of the food in the morning and at night with a tablespoon of cottage cheese and 1/8 cup of the 'Nutrient Rich Pebble Treat' as per the recipe http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/07/homemade-diy-natural-healthy-dog-treats.html

      And they also get a large bowl of fruits, veggies, yogurt, fish etc. you can see pictures of their daily fresh food bowls here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      So my 70 lb dogs eat per day:
      - 1 cup of the food;
      - 1/4 cup of the Pebble Treat;
      - 2 to 4 tbs of cottage cheese;
      - 3 tbs of yogurt, about 3 tbs of fish;
      - 1 tsp of coconut oil, 2 tbs of olive oil, 1 heaping tbs of flax seed; 1 healing tsp of brewers nutritional yeast;
      - and several cups of fruits and veggies

      So, how much of the Grain Version you feed your dog will depend on what other food and tidbits you are feeding him. If you are only going to feed him the Cooked Food then you will likely need to do about 2.5 to 3 cups at each meal - or 5 to 6 cups a day. You will need to use your judgement.

      If you want to use fish use salmon, mackerel of sardines...canned, fresh or frozen.

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
    4. My vet says no peas,carrots,sweet potatoes rice or oatmeal or any carbs so the dogs lose weight he said that all these foods(which i always added fresh or steamed before.) and also fruits add either too much sugar and or bulk he said just add more fresh chopped veggies of other types to feed their insistant hunger pangs i found they all did lose weight i excercised them a lot more plus swimming as usual but i did start adding quarter cups of all the above in big batch cooking afterall i do have six pets so once it is divided up they don't get that much any thoughts ???

      Delete
    5. My dogs eat a lot of fresh food on a daily basis - my larger dogs - the German Shepards, Boxer, Aussie, etc. eat much more than 1/4 cup of fresh food a day. My dogs also eat the grain-free homemade dog food (as per the recipe above). They also get cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and other fresh foods every day. Providing your dog with fresh veggies and low calorie fresh fruits (such as berries) not only help them to loose and then maintain a good weight but also deliver first quality antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help boost your dog's immune system,detox their system, help keep teeth healthy, etc. I do not agree with your vet's advice to cut all carbs from your dog's diet as their are many beneficial nutrients derived from a healthy carb such as sweet potatoes - the key is to not feed an inactive dog to much. As for grains - they should not be part of a dog's diet - especially not the grains found in many commercially manufactured dog kibble. Not only are the grains feed grade (rather than human grade) and therefor subject to inclusion of aflitoxins. In addition grains such as corn are also genetically modified, are a poor source of nutrition - grains are also not species appropriate food for a dog.

      I suggest you read these to understand more about your options for feeding your dogs fresh foods...

      Coconut Oil is Good for Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

      Fatty Acids for Dogs - Omega 3, Omega 6, Health Benefits, Best Sources, Dosage
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      Fresh Whole Food for Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Foods Rich in Probiotics - Beneficial for Your Dog
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/foods-rich-in-probiotics-beneficial-for.html

      Garlic For Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation and Use, Safe Dosage
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Vitamins, Minerals & Foods that Support Oral Health in Dogs
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/vitamins-minerals-foods-that-support.html

      Delete
  5. Great information! Thank you so much!

    Gwendolyn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you! Great information and help, much appreciated!

    Gwendolyn

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there,
    I have been so excited to read your blogs!! This has inspired me to start making my own home made food for my beagle who is 5 months old. I was wondering, I am having trouble finding out if beagles are ok with grain. Do you have any suggestions for the beagle breed? I know they are very susceptible to weight gain, could adding certain grains cause her to put on weight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ruby,
      Aversion and reaction to grains is not a breed specific problem - it is common among all breeds. I would suggest you go with the grain-free version of this food. Grains are not part of a dog's natural diet. If you would like some in-depth advice you can take a look at the email consulting service that I offer

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/08/advice-via-email-for-national-and.html

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Hi Karen,
      Many different sources, including the ASPCA and many vets, say that garlic is toxic to dogs. Why do you include it in your recipes?
      Thank you

      Delete
    2. Hi Karen, could you please answer this?

      Delete
    3. Hi Christine,

      Garlic is just one among a long list of beneficial food items that the ASPCA and their veterinarians categorize as bad for dogs :>)

      The ASPCA also lists the following items as either bad or toxic...
      Lemons and citrus;
      Tea;
      Dairy Products;
      Aloe Vera;
      Chamomile and other herbs...
      In the absence of knowledge regarding nutrition many grave errors are made by Allopathic veterinarians.

      So, to begin to answer the question it is important to first gain some insights Conventional Veterinary Medicine and the study of diet and nutrition. This article explains that... http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/conventional-practitioners-of-modern.html Once you have read the article you then need to go to section 10.0 of this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fresh-lemon-good-for-dogs-many-health.html

      Once you have read those two articles, read this one on garlic http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Now look at this one on dairy http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/dairy-products-cheese-kefir-yogurt-are.html

      One on herbal tea http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      Aloe Vera and a few other herbs http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/herbs-and-spices-for-your-dogs-health.html

      The systematic misunderstanding goes far deeper...take a look at this... http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/10/is-your-dog-or-cat-over-inoculated.html

      And one final piece to help you gain access to a solid understanding of the real issue at hand - http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/is-prescription-dog-cat-food-sold-in.html

      The misunderstanding and lack of knowledge is at the core of the condemnation - by the ASPCA, of foods that are actually very good for your dog.

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  9. I've been looking for a grain free recipe-- this sounds great! Very informative! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been looking for a good grain free recipe for my two year old Australian Terrier, Iona, and thanks to you I found one! Very informative yet easy to read site! Thanks, Efrain (Chicago, IL)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Karen, Thank you for the recipes, they sound easy, tasty, and nutritious. My dog, who was a stray that I adopted two months ago, tends to be itchy and smelly (a vinegar rinse helps a lot), so I am going to try making his food in hopes that will help. Why do you advise not mixing types of meat? With the chicken, are you including the bones (it sounds like you are)? Could I use eggs (from a home flock) instead of meat? If so, how many, and can I include the shells instead of adding shells? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Firefly,

      Mixing meat protein is usually not recommended simply to avoid the development of food sensitivity. It is best to use one meat-protein source at a time...i.e. you can make a batch of chicken-based food, use if up and then make a batch of beef-based food.

      I de-bone the chicken after cooking it and do not feed the bones to my dogs.

      Eggs - raw can be a hazard, cooked in small amounts are beneficial Eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella, although the chance of contamination for your dog is low as a dog’s stomach acids are very strong and dog’s also produce a lot of bile. You can cook the eggs to avoid this issue. Due to the avidin it is best not to give eggs every day, but a couple of times a week is fine. For more information on foods that are hazardous to dogs and/or foods that should be used in restricted amounts read this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/foods-that-dogs-should-never-eat.html

      In order to achieve and even distribution of the eggshell throughout the food you would need to crush the shell - otherwise some meals may have an over-abundence of the shell and other meals no shell. The point is to have a balanced quantity of calcium ingested on a regular basis.

      Regarding the scratching and odor - sounds like your dog may have candida (overgrowth of bad bacteria - usually occurs due to food-allergy i.e. to grains. I would suggest you add:
      1) apple cider vinegar to your dog's diet - 1 tsp/day;
      2)add garlic to his diet http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html
      3)Get his omega fatty acids balanced http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html
      4) You can also add additional turmeric to his food (sprinkle it on top) http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html
      5) I would also suggest you add 2 tbs of plain yogurt to his daily diet (or 1 tbs of kefir) to help boost the good bacteria in his GI Tract http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/probiotics-for-dogs-essential-for.html
      6)He would also benefit from a little grated or finely chopped lemon sprinkled on top of his food once a day. Or add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice to his daily water bowl.

      Delete
    2. Im so glad I found this website. My dog has been scratching constantly for months and fights ear infections. I went to the pet store to try a new type of food and it cost over 50 dollars! Im going to make my own food for him through your recipes and try the other things you have suggested. Im sure it will take some time but I cant wait for him to feel better!

      Delete
    3. If your dog still has an ear infection stop using antibiotics and use organic apple cider vinegar to treat the ear - as per this article below http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/herbal-ear-infection-treatments.html :>)

      Delete
  12. Hi Karen!

    I came across your blog:http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

    and am every so grateful that I did!

    My 6 year old miniature schnauzer has been on a commercial food diet ever since I got him as a pup. But he was always prove to skin problems and recently I figured that he has got doggy dandruff.

    So when I came across your blog and saw that I easy it is to make food for him, I cut off all the kibbles and started him on the grain version of the dog food + Nutrient Rich 'Pebble' Treat.

    His fur has never looked better and he's just so much happier! I've never seen him this happy during meal times before.

    My only concern is Karen, ever since we changes his diet, he always seen hungry! He's every ready to eat and to steal food from our hands, something he has NEVER done before!

    Can you please share your thoughts on this?

    Much appreciated,
    Kiran
    Malaysia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kiran,

      If you are feeding him enough and he is not/has not lost weight (assuming he was not overweight :>) then this new behaviour is one that you have inadvertently created. This can happen very easily...i.e. if you were very excited about giving him new food and perhaps even gave him tidbits while you were making the food.

      Please read the following article and then decide if his new behaviour is psychological rather than systematic.

      Is Your Dog Hungry or Looking for Attention
      If your dog is always hanging about you looking for food, whining for food, begging for food you might wonder is my dog really that hungry? Should I be concerned? Well to figure our if your dog is truly hungry or just using food to get attention take a look at your dog…if they look to be a good weight - not to thin (no bones protruding, etc.) and not to heavy (they have a nice waist line) then you know that the demands are just that - demands. Check the chart below to assess your dog’s weight…
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2011/12/is-your-dog-hungry-or-looking-for.html

      After reading the article, if you decide his behaviour is instead triggered by true hunger feed him more and/or
      1) Supplement his diet by providing him with a separate (additional) little meal consisting of some fresh fruit and finally chopped veggies, etc. that you select from the article listed below...

      Fresh Whole Food for Your Dog’s Health
      Fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, healthy oils, herbs and spices offer our dogs digestible, nutrient rich food without the dangerous additives found in many pet store food products…
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  13. We just made the grain free version for our basset hounds. I was drawn to a homemade diet after my 9 year old female basset, Althea, developed lymphoma. She just started chemo, but I was searching for something I could do. I came across your blog and am very happy with everything! The food is easy to make and, being a vegetarian myself, doesn't totally gross me out. :) I do know my doggies need meat, and this is the best of both worlds. They both absolutely love it. I'm also going to try your idea of the apple cider vinegar for the yeast smell. Basset hounds do tend to smell that way, after all.
    Thank you again for all your knowledge! It is truly appreciated.

    Cheers
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon - because she has cancer and is undergoing chemo there are a few more things you need to add to her diet ASAP. The chemo suppresses her immune system and puts her at risk of acquiring other health issues so it is very important that you add some other things to help off-set the side effects of chemo and generally give her body the power to fight. Below I will provide you with what you need to add on a daily basis in addition to the homemade grain-free food. But first a few more things you need to make sure are eliminated from her immediate environment...

      Get her completely off of any grains and ingested toxins - so if you are still giving her store-bought treats that contain any of the bad ingredients you see in this article STOP! http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html

      Don't use any chemical based house-hold cleaners - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/diy-dog-friendly-household-cleaners.html

      Be very careful of the ingredients in tooth paste, dental chews and shampoo that you may use on her...

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/ingredients-in-dog-toothpaste-oral.html

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/07/dog-and-pet-shampoo-unsafe-harmful.html

      Now ADD this to Her Daily Diet

      2 tbsp cottage;

      Omega 3 Fatty Acids - select from the list provided in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      2 tsp fresh rated lemon - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fresh-lemon-good-for-dogs-many-health.html

      2 tsp fresh minced garlic - read here - http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      2 tbs Plain yogurt - no sweeteners!Don't use low fat use 2%, 3% or 4% fat

      And if she will eat it add some fresh finely chopped berries and papaya

      Turmeric - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      If you do this she has a much better chance of fighting side effects and defeating cancer. Keep her on these food stuffs always. Your other dogs would benefit from the same.

      Cheers, K

      Delete
  14. Thank you so much. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this information. I will take your advice immediately. The bassets ate the food for the first time tonight (just had a bite earlier today to try), and Althea was literally jumping up trying to get to her bowl before my husband sat it on the floor! They LOVE it and I love seeing her with so much energy!
    You are a saint for caring so much about dogs that you're willing to share your knowledge. They're my babies, after all.

    Thanks again-
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paw hugs Shannon, my pleasure - I could tell how much your dogs meant to you and I know what it feels like when one is sick - be well and your Basset girl too ♥ ᵔᴥᵔ ♥

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  15. Our 13 1/2 yr. old pitbull recently had a laryngeal tieback surgery that required her to be fed entirely differently than ever before. She had always been on Evo (grain free) and baked skinless chicken. Now, the doctors prescribed that she must eat wet food only and be hand fed in small meatballs. The surgery itself is quite intense but the rehab is even more so. Phoebe has always had a very delicate stomach. I noted that to the doctors. We tried every premium canned food , all with the same awful results...diarrhea. She was sick all of the time and loosing weight rapidly. Every time that her stomach sent acids etc into her throat, she would faint...it was beginning to be a daily occurance...her life was all day sick on the couch, not wanting to eat and needing to relieve herself every two hours. We were a nervous wreck about the fainting, as was she. The doctors finally agreed to allow me to make a gruel out of her kibble and process it together with her chicken and feed her in tiny meatballs, by hand. She remained sick to her stomach still. They then decided to put her on an antibiotic and two stomach meds...much to my dismay...but, I was desperate to make her well and felt completely out of control with the situation. Finally, I woke one morning 5 months had passed and I had had enough...I was reclaiming my dogs health and happiness that day. Period. I scoured the internet for advice and stumbled, by the grace of God, onto your site. The recipes for homemade dog food had the exact same ingredients as the premium kibble only minus the fish that I long suspected had been a source of aggravation to her digestion. Anyway, the food had everything that she has loved all of her life...broccoli, berries...yumm! Well, I made the first batch and she went nuts...now, this is a dog who I was forcing food on...and it would come out just as fast. She has been on your recipe for one month now. She is gaining back the weight that she lost. Her brindle colors are bright again. She is perky...grabbing toys and wrestling with the other dogs and greeting everyone at the door as they come home at night. Her bowel movements are absolutely perfect...I mean PERFECT!! I cannot thank you enough...my family cannot thank you enough because you have brought joy and health back into her life. I add a bit of Vitamineral Green to her mixture because she had gotten into such a poor condition. And, the best news, she is not on any stomach meds at all! Her doctors keep insisting that she would have been fine to stay on the EVO! NOT SO. She is a completely different dog today than she was a month ago and it is all because of the food. PERIOD. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...by the way, the other dogs love it too! We all really appreciate you and your recipe more than you will ever know! Love, Phoebe and family

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    Replies
    1. Hi Debi, I am so glad your Pittie-girl is doing so much better! I have to admit that I have a very soft spot for Pitbulls in my heart :>)

      You have good instinct Debi - unfortunately the same can't be said for many 'professionals' veterinarians, pet food manufactures, pet supply stores and their staff :(

      Most veterinarians know little about nutrition and less about the many seriously bad ingredients put in commercially made dog food. An excellent example is the kibble sold in most veterinary offices...Royal Canine, etc - these products are full of toxins, carcinogens...for example genetically modified corn - which has now been proven to cause the growth of tumors). Corn and grains, soy (most of which is GM in North America and terrible for a dogs reproductive organs) are not species appropriate foods for dogs. You can read more about that here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html

      EVO uses genetically modified vegetable oils...seriously bad and a cheap source of Omega fatty acids. Evo uses a lot of fish meal - fish meal contains a very high level of ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin causes kidney damage and it is a known carcinogen.

      It gets worse, not only do they use carcinogenic fish product but it is important to understand... while fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines etc. are excellent when added in small daily amounts is excellent for a dog - if fed exclusively OR in large amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. You can read more here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/foods-that-dogs-should-never-eat.html

      Thank you for letting me know about your dear Pittie girl. Good health and paw-hugs to your doggies and you! Cheers, Karen ❀ᵔᴥᵔ❀



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  16. Thank you for the links, I look forward to reading them today! Just wanted to share with you my experience yesterday...I have been so excited to share my news of Phoebe's progress with her doctor that I decided to give him a call yesterday...omg...one of his nurses is always very interested in asking about Phoebe so, when she answered the phone, I thought that I would also share my exciting news with her...she actually froze on the phone and, when she was able to recover her wits, she (in a whisper tone) relayed to me that the doctors are going to be "very upset" to hear of me feeding her this way! UPSET????? So, you are telling me that they will be UPSET that Phoebe is feeling GOOD ?( I said to her). Oh Debi, she said, there is NO WAY that you can be giving her all of the vitamins and minerals that she needs by making food for her...then, one of the doctors walked out (over hearing our conversation) and began to lecture me on my deciding to do this!!! I did not even wait for her doctor to come out, I simply looked at the room now bursting with staff and said, " If ANY of the doctors here had been able to make her feel this good, with all of their prescriptions and advice and medical expertise, we would not even be having this discussion"...and I left. Wow...when a caretaker is telling you that your patient is doing great for the fist time in 6 months, I would have thought that they would have a way different response....how terribly disappointing. Thanks again for the links...maybe I will send them to the vets office :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Debi, humans are so stupid - if you will pardon me for saying so. It has been my life experience that one of the most predominate traits among the human race is arrogance, which then leads to lack of perspective, which then leads to a very narrow outlook which disables the ability to evolve, truly learn and understand. The basis of their drive to be a veterinarian, trainer, behaviorist etc. is so imbedded in selfishness rather than balanced between a desire to earn a living, evolve , learn and give back to the very beings that they are supposed to help. Logic, common sense is not the measure by which they make decisions, learn and grow, Instead the focus is self-centered, emotional (greed, arrogance - these are emotions as well as a state-of-being). And it is by embracing this state that so many dogs are harmed in both the 'training' world and the canine health care discipline (or should we say lack of).

      They are in fact not caretakers but simply takers. In order to care one must give something back - something that comes from the soul, heart - a place of selfless caring...it has nothing to do with taking money for services - which we must do to make a living - but instead whether or not you bring added-value to what you do....which the bulk of humanity does not do.

      You need to get yourself another vet - good ones are hard to find...but try to look around and don't place your trust in other peoples opinion of a vet unless you truly have reason to respect the person giving the opinion. Most of my clients come to me after spending many hundreds and thousands of $ on trainers and behaviorists, veterinarians - as those 'professionals' end up causing more damage than good. From now moving forward rely on your instinct and intuition (your instinct and intuition is good)to choose a new vet.

      Very few commercial dog foods (perhaps 5% of what is available on the market) can deliver good nutrition and even then supplementing will still be required.

      Go to this page ( http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/p/index-of-articles.html )scroll down and read all of the articles on nutrition, avoiding cancer, allergies, toxins, probiotics, dental care, treating ear infections, diarehea and you will be in a much better position to understand what your vet does not. Your dogs will live longer lives and you will reduce the need to go to the vet.

      Keep in touch with me and let me know how your Pittie does - you can email me at ottawavalleydogwhisperer@gmail.com

      Paw-hugs, Karen

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  17. I have a G Shepherd/Akita 5 yr old Male dog. He weighs 107 lbs. The vet says he is overweight. That his ribs should show. I feed him 1 cup grain dog food and half an egg or I use chicken with the grain. In evening 1 cup grain and chicken with peas or carrots at evening. Is this too much? I want him to be healthy but he is always hungry.
    I have used your recipes for months now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to understand the psychology of the situation as well as the physical side - read this http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2011/12/is-your-dog-hungry-or-looking-for.html

      Now make the following changes to his diet...

      1. Get him off of all grain-based food.
      2. Make sure that the food you are feeding him does not include any of the other undesirable ingredients listed in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html

      3. Start introducing the following into his diet - read the articles below...

      Omega 3 Fatty Acids - select from the list provided in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      2 tsp fresh rated lemon - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fresh-lemon-good-for-dogs-many-health.html

      2 tsp fresh minced garlic - read here - http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Turmeric - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      You would also benefit greatly from reading my other articles on nutrition.

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    2. And BTW, eggs is beneficial when provided in a safe amount, however when that amount is exceeded eggs become dangerous to a dog's health...http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/foods-that-dogs-should-never-eat.html

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  18. I have just taken my dogs off of Blue Buffalo after going through a mast cell tumor removal on my 20 lb, 5 yr old female Pug. I would like to add in some rolled oats into the grain free version (I think my one Pug might be sensitive to rice). Would you suggest I not use the rolled oats if one of my Pugs just had a mast cell tumor removed? Should I use regular potato instead of sweet potato and limit her intake of apples and sugary fruits? I have heard sugar can feed the cancer. Knowing she does have cancer, do you have any other suggestions for me (lemon zest, cottage cheese, garlic, turmeric)? I tried to give my female turmeric in one of her meals and she wouldn't eat the food (1/2 tsp) - I know it can be bitter to some dogs. Any suggestions for getting her to eat this beneficial supplement?

    Also, how much should I feed my 20 lbs. Pugs of the homemade grain free food per day? I don't want to overfeed them. Thanks so much for your blog and its information!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Merridith,
      I would suggest that you remove all grains from your Pugs' diet - read more on that here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/02/species-appropriate-diet-for-dogs-get.html

      Yes REFINED sugar (i.e. white sugar, brown sugar) is a trigger for cancer however the naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, veggies (i.e. carrots) and in root veggies (i.e. sweet potatoes) are not carcinogenic. In fact these food-stuffs offer much to help stave-off disease. While you could can use potato, sweet potato is a better option as it is considerably more nutrient rich than potato.

      To get them to eat the turmeric - just pour olive oil on top - the girls would need 1 tbs of olive oil per day, you should also give them 1 tbs ground flax seed (or flax oil, or Krill Oil) and coconut oil http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

      Here is what I would add to their diets...

      ADD fruit and vegetables to both of your dogs' diet - read why here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html I would try them with fresh greens such as dandelion, spinach, kale, parsley (finally chopped with a little olive oil), you can also give them lightly steamed/or frozen thawed cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.

      I would suggest that you also add to their daily diet:

      Cottage cheese (1 tbs) 2%, 3% or 4% milk-fat;

      Plain Yogurt (1 tbs)2%, 3% or 4% milk-fat;

      Rooibus Tea http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      Omega 3 Fatty Acids - select from the list provided in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      1 tsp fresh rated lemon - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fresh-lemon-good-for-dogs-many-health.html

      fresh minced garlic - read here - http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Turmeric - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      As for the amount of homemade food to feed each Pug, it really depends on the individual dog - their activity level, metabolism...and what other food-stuffs you are going to add to their diet (i.e. the items noted above. 1/4 to 1/2 cup 2 x daily is more than enough if you are adding cheese, yogurt,coconut oil etc.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for the reply, it is very much appreciated with everything that is going on with my Pugs (I just found a lump on my male Pug so now I am having him checked out at the vet as well). Both Pugs are in love with this new diet. I should have done this a long time ago....awareness is power; I had no idea about the commercial dog food. I thought I was giving them something healthy for the amount of money I was paying. My eyes are now open, and I hope it brings good health to my furry loved ones! Thanks again!!

      Delete
    3. Thank you so much!

      My 9yo lab has just had a mast cell tumour removed and your site has been so helpful - especially the diet information.

      I used Neem oil both before and after his surgery, and I was wondering if you use it or have any comments on neem.

      Thanks again.

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    4. Neem oil is fine as an ingested supplement if:
      a) used within a safe dosage;
      b) excessive use can cause liver and kidney damage;
      c) your dog is not pregnant or being breed, your dog is not on ABX, predisone and other immune system suppressing conventional medicines;
      d) your dog does not have diabetes;
      e) if your dog does not have arthritis
      f) if your dog is not a puppy.

      It can be used topically as a flea and tick deterrent.





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    5. Thank you for the information. The oil worked so well for the swelling, pain and preventing infection that no antibiotics or Carprofen were required after the surgery.

      But, as with many non-prescription treatments, it's hard to find a vet who has heard of it let alone able to give you any help with it.

      I really appreciate your reply and look forward to more reading/learning from your site!

      Delete
    6. You are very welcome :>) Neem oil boosts the immune system - so it was a very good choice, Your Lab recovered faster on that than he/she would have on conventional meds such as Carprofen ❀ᵔᴥᵔ❀ In fact Carprofen is pretty nasty stuff (brand name Rimydal Imadyl, Novox or Imafen)...although under played (of course)by Pfizer and the other pharmaceuticals...

      Carprofen can casue...

      •loss of appetite
      •change in drinking habits (refusal to drink or increased water consumption)
      •unusual pattern of urination, blood in the urine, sweet-smelling urine, an overabundance of urine, urine accidents in the house
      •vomiting
      •diarrhea
      •black, tarry stools or flecks of blood in the vomit
      •lethargy, drowsiness, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness
      •staggering, stumbling, weakness or partial paralysis, full paralysis, seizures, dizziness, loss of balance
      •jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucus membranes and whites of the eyes)

      You did your Lab a huge good :)

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  19. I am glad I came across your site re: homemade dog food. When I was young we bred Minature Schnauzers.My mom had always made the food for them and all the dogs there after. Funny story: so when I was older and had a toddler a friend and I were visiting and stayed a bit longer than planned, my child was hungry and I hadn't brought any extra prepared baby food with me...mom said just heat up a bit of dog food and my friend just about fell over. We still laugh about that. Mom's dog food was made with beef, beef bones (removed after cooking) and vegies. The oldest lived to be 17+ years old! She was in good health and died of natural caused. I've become dependent on commercial food and recently adopted a senior beagle mix female. She is a sweet old girl and just doesn't like any commercial food so I have been looking for a good recipe to make for her. I will try your recipe for grain free. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great story!

      Your mom had it right as does your senior beagle girl - and you have great sense and heart in having the intuition to listen to your girl :>)

      She will enjoy the food ᵔᴥᵔ

      Paw-hugs, Karen

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  20. What would be the serving size for a 10 lb toy poodle and a 20 lb dachshund? I want to do the grain free version with added Kefir and grated lemon so if you have those measurement for my dog's weights that would be excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  21. See the comments on feeding amounts that I have added above, as to fresh food you can look at some of the comments and answers provided above and you can then judge how much fresh food to feed your dogs. If you want an answer tailored to the needs of your own dogs you can engage my consulting services. Cheers, K

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, I have a question for you on the homemade dog food. Instead of cooking all of the veggies and any fruit you decide to add in, would you suggest leaving part of it raw and mixing in with the food after it is cooked? That way they get a mix of cooked and raw fruits and veggies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I strongly recommend that you make the recipe as is and feed them raw fruits and veggies as per 2.0 below

      1.0 Leave the recipe as is
      a) It is designed to provide nutrients/vitamins/minerals etc that work together to ensure maximum absorption value;
      b) fresh fruits and veggies digest at a different rate than cooked food, than protein - if you add fresh fruits and veggies they will push this food through the GI tract faster than it should be and the nutrients in the food will not have an opportunity to be fully absorbed.

      2.0 Feed Fresh Fruit and Veggies...
      The third meal of my packs' day is a nice bowl of fruits and veggies with yogurt, finely chopped pumpkin seeds (natural dewormer and nutrient dense), finaly chopped peanuts (human grade - not feed grade, feed grade can contain aflatoxins, and cinnamon. Read this article to understand how to prepare and feed your dog raw fruits and veggies http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Delete
  23. Could you comment on your grain free dog food in terms of the ratio of protein/carbs/fat compared to a dogs nutritional needs? with 1.5 ibs of meat and 4 cups of sweet potato/lentils plus the rest of the ingredients how closely does this match the goals you set of 56% protein, etc. Thank you, I love your site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ryan - The protein in the recipes above are derived from the following protein rich (and nutrient rich) sources:
      Meat;
      Lentils, chickpeas - while being high in protein they are also nutrient dense, excellent source of fibre and also a carbohydrate;
      Cottage Cheese - high in protein
      Goal is matched

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  24. Hi there Karen I love your site. I was wondering if the diets posted are balanced using the AAFCO or NRC guidelines? I also have a problem I was wondering if you might could help me with. I have been trying to home cook for my dogs for a few months but I think my older dog is allergic to the nutritional yeast is there anything else I can use instead of that and if so what and how much? I know it isn't grains because I don't include them in her home cooked meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First regarding AFFCO
      I strongly recommend that the consumer never judge a dog food product's quality based on AAFCO guidelines and here is why...
      Just because a dryor wet dog food or treats are AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved, does not mean that the food is a good or even safe to consume product.

      Although AAFCO promotes themselves as a 'governing' body of the pet food industry - they are self-proclaimed.
      While AAFCO does include some US state and federal representatives, AAFCO it is NOT a federal or state government organization.
      AAFCO is a partisan organization that includes people directly involved in the pet food manufacturing industry.
      AAFCO's true reason for existing is not to support the health of your dog, it exists to promote the pet food industry in its drive to produce the biggest possible margin of profit.
      AAFCO is directly responsible for the unclear labeling on pet food products including dry and wet dog food and treats;
      AAFCO allows toxins and carcinogens into the food that they 'approve';
      AAFCO is responsible for the confusion around poor vs. good quality.

      Yes the recipe above (the grain-free version) meets NRC guidelines. Species Appropriate Diet for Dogs - Get the Grains Out of Your Dog's Diet – For Your Dog's Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/02/species-appropriate-diet-for-dogs-get.html

      I would not be too concerned about eliminating the brewers yeast from your older dogs diet. Some dogs do have a food sensitivity or an actual allergy to Brewers Nutritional Yeast. You can simply add some other food stuffs that are high in Vitamin B complex in place of the yeast. The following food items are all high in B complex and are safe for dogs...
      Liver (my dogs get a little fresh cooked once a day)
      Beef
      Tuna
      Turkey
      Bananas (my larger dogs (65-75 lbs eat one small banana a day)
      Potatoes
      Legumes (already present in the recipe)
      Kefir (My dogs eat kefir or yogurt once a day)

      Read Fresh Whole Food for Your Dog’s Health
      Fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, healthy oils, herbs and spices offer our dogs digestible, nutrient rich food without the dangerous additives found in many pet store food products…
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html and

      Foods Rich in Probiotics - Beneficial for Your Dog
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/05/foods-rich-in-probiotics-beneficial-for.html

      Cheers, K

      Delete
  25. Hello Karen,

    Thank you for the information i am getting a puppy in may where do you recommend i begin with the recipes listed in your posts?

    Thank you
    Deb Ledbetter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - use the grain free recipe. I would also advise you to also read my other articles on nutrition and health - you can go to the index page on my blog site and select articles from there.

      Cheers, K

      Delete
  26. Hi Karen,

    Have you noticed any actual increase in life length with your dogs in using this diet for their whole life or have you just moreso seen a reduction in disease through their life? Curious if you have seen the actual survival age increase significantly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am assuming you mean in comparison to feeding commercially manufactured dry dog kibble :>) The difference in health and longevity is significant, but it is also important to further support their health...
      1) I don't use chemical based household cleaners;
      2) I don't walk my dogs on the road in the winter where road-salt is used;
      3) I don't put them on chemical-based flea and parasite preventatives;
      4) I don't inoculate them on an annual basis;
      5) They don't drink flourinated water;
      6) They also eat fresh whole foods, fresh herbs, etc.

      So while getting your dog off of commercial dry kibble will definitely support better health and longevity, it is also important to reduce your dogs exposure to toxins, carcinogens etc.

      Always best to address thinks in a comprehensive manner :>)

      Delete
  27. Hi Karen! I just wanted to know if it is ok to use this great recipe to feed puppies, pregnant females, and elderly dogs. Is it ok for dogs of all ages? Thanks :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes this recipe is appropriate for dogs of all ages:>)
      Cheers, K

      Delete
  28. Hello Karen,

    I have a GSD. He is 2 years. One of my friend rescued him from a Butcher with whom he spent the 1st 3 months. The butcher fed him only meat for 3 months.
    At the age of 3.5 months Ricky (GSD) came to me. He underwent a treatment for 6 months for his stomach because it was all ruptured. He is a fighter, he survived.
    Now, the problem is, he cannot digest food like chicken, cow milk, white rice and eggs. He eats vegetables and Royal Canine. Could you please advise what else I can feed him also please provide me if you have any other baked recipes without grains.

    Thank you very much.

    Sneha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sneha,

      Can Ricky digest any type of meat protein?

      If not you could yes the Grain-free recipe above but remove the meat and cottage cheese and replace them with:
      1) non GMO soy if you can find some and if not;
      2) just replace the meat and cottage cheese with chickpeas

      I would advise you to get him off of the Royal Canine ASAP - I think you are probably feeding him Royal Canine Veterinary Therapeutic Formulas – Anallergenic Dry? Please read this to understand why I am advising you to get Ricky off of this http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/is-prescription-dog-cat-food-sold-in.html

      You can also read this article to see a full range of fruits and vegetables that are safe and beneficial for dogs Fresh Whole Food for Your Dog’s Health
      Fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, healthy oils, herbs and spices offer our dogs digestible, nutrient rich food without the dangerous additives found in many pet store food products…
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  29. I feed my dog a grain free diet. But I have a hard time finding recipes for lamb, I find a lot for fish and I have been feeding her that with, beef, turkey, I also feed her a mix of oils, 1 tsp Flaxseed oil, 1tsp cod liver oil, 1 tsp of wheat germ oil, and 5 oz of extra virgin olive oil with a tsp of garlic and rosemary mixed well and stored in refrigerator it stays good for two months. my dog is 25 to 50 lbs. Its says to use one to two tsp one each meal and a tbl for dogs over 50 to 100 lbs. I hope this is okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The oils that you are using are good, but the recipe needs adjustment. The recipe you are using provides an out-of-balance ratio of Omega 6 fatty acids to Omega 3 fatty acids. Read this article and then adjust the mix of oils to suit...http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      Delete
    2. I read the article but I am confused as to what the ratios of the oils I have would need adjusting could you please let me know if what ones need increase or decrease and how much I should give her and the frequency. Thank you for you help it is so nice to be able ask. There are a lot of books but it only makes it all the more confusing. Thank you again

      Delete
    3. Wheat germ oil and Olive oil are Omega 6 fatty acids.

      Flaxseed and cod liver are Omega 3 fatty acids.

      The proper ratio is 2 parts Omega 3 to 1 part Omega 6.

      So change the recipe:
      2 parts oil made up equally of flaxseed and cod liver;
      1 part oil made up of equal parts of wheat germ and olive oil.

      Delete
  30. Thank you for the information. I made your grain free recipe and Ashley my dog could not wait, I have never seen her get so excited SHE LOVES IT. If you have any more recipes for organ meat or lamb please let me know. THANK YOU SO MUCH. She is an older dog with allergies and I appreciate your advice a lot of Vets don't know how to make home cooked meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she has allergies you an add a few more things to her diet to help -
      1 - Rooibos tea http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      2 - Fresh Lemon
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      3- Turmeric
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      4 - Raw, Unpasteurized honey
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/04/diy-natural-herbal-treatments-for-dogs.html

      Cheers, K

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the information I will keep in touch and let you know how she does.

      Delete
  31. Hi Karen,
    Just wanted to share - my boxer pup LOVES the home made food. I'm mixing it with Fromm puppy food to make sure she's really getting all the nutrients she needs.

    A question: have you ever figured out the amount of calories in, say, a cup of homemade food? I want to make sure I'm giving her enough calories (and not too much!!!). According to some research I've done, she needs 1600 calories a day at this stage (she's a European Boxer and will be about 80 lbs at full grown).

    Thanks for all the great advice you have!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you really want to make sure your Boxer Pup is getting all of the nutrients she needs...
      #1 Make sure the Fromm you are feeding her is grain-free;
      #2 You would be far better off just adding some REAL unprocessed food to her diet;
      My Boxer Robbie does very well on the homemade food plus fresh whole foods and is healthier than dogs that are on a dry food diet. Boxer's are prone to kin problems and allergies so my advice to you - add the following to her diet and only use dog kibble if you are short on time or are traveling and have no choice...

      2-tbsp Plain natural yogurt
      1- tbsp cottage cheese;
      and then the following...

      Apple Cider Vinegar is Good for Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/02/apple-cider-is-good-for-your-dog-and.html

      Coconut Oil is Good for Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

      Curcumin and Turmeric is Good For Your Dog's Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html

      Fatty Acids for Dogs - Omega 3, Omega 6, Health Benefits, Best Sources, Dosage
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      Fresh Whole Food for Your Dog’s Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Garlic For Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation and Use, Safe Dosage
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

      Lemons - Good for Dogs, Many Health Benefits and Uses
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fresh-lemon-good-for-dogs-many-health.html

      Rooibos Tea for Dogs - Immune System Health, Cancer Inhibitor, Allergy Mediator Dog's Health
      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html

      And 1/2 to 1tsp of raw un-pasturized honey/day

      Delete
  32. I have a collie that needs a gluten free diet but suffers from IBD. Do I leave the grain free recipe as is? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I would also like to add that while being diagnosed she lost roughly around 30 pounds and we are trying to put weight back on her also. Thanks

      Delete
    2. You will need to remove the lentils from the recipe :>) So use 1 additional cup of sweet potato and one additional cup of turkey to replace the 2 cups of lentils.

      Delete
    3. Thank you so much for your fast response and knowledge. Can't wait to test this!

      Delete
  33. Thank you, Karen! I have been searching, searching, searching for ideas on homemade dog food that isn't raw! My Belgian Groenendael/Springer X is sensitive to grains (although, I say sensitive is a huge understatement - they make him break out in a horrible rash with pustules and hair loss). He's been on a Natural Balance LID bison and sweet potato diet for the first 4 yrs of his life, but not that NB has sold out to Del Monte, I feel like it's my wake-up call to do something better for him. I wanted to steer clear of a strict raw diet, since therapy dog organizations refuse to certify any dogs fed a raw diet. I think your recipe and suggestions will be a very happy alternative. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashlee here is an interesting coincidence that you will like :>) One of the reasons I developed this particular recipe was for my own Belgian Groenendael x GSD 'Abby' who was like your boy - very sensitive to grains! Here is Abby http://www.ottawavalleydogwhisperer.com/My-Pack_Abby.html#.UagUppwsa64

      Pawhugs, Karen

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  34. Hi I have a question. I have 2 1/2 yea pit and she DEFINATELY has allergies.. She sheds like crazy, she itches, and her ears stink if she eats human food or dog treats.. vet suggested cutting out human foods and going grain free diet. I LOVE your recipes, AND SO DOES SHE!! SSOOOO, my question is.. I was looking into Dinovites.. what do you think of that supplement? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Dinovites gets a thumbs down from me...here is why and I think you would be far better off giving your Pittie girl the real stuff, more effective and it will cost you less as well...

      As well, Dinovites includes grain - which will end up causing her more ear infections. The ear infections are caused by an intolerance to grain which becomes a food allergy (grains are not part of a dog;s natural diet, small amounts of grass are part of a dog's natural diet - but not the seed of the grass - which is what grain is).

      Go to the bulk food store and purchase some ground flax seed or flax oil. She will need 1 heaping tbs of ground flax seed mixed into her food twice a day, or one tbs of flax oil mixed into her food twice a day. You could also give her a small piece of canned mackerel or sardines once a day - read about that here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      Buy some plain, natural yogurt and give her 2 heaping tbs of that a day.

      Buy some organic apple cider vinegar - benefits and dosage are provided in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/02/apple-cider-is-good-for-your-dog-and.html

      Forget the pre-made processed supplements most are junk.

      Cheers K

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  35. Hi!

    I have a 1 year old boxer with colitis. He is currently eating:

    1 Cup chopped raw veggies (sweet potato, spinach, green beans/carrots, pears/apples, cranberries)
    1 Cup (1/2lb) raw meat (hamburger, turkey, or lamb)
    1/2 cup Ultramix Natural kibble

    He gets that twice a day. Then when we have it in the house we add either plain yogurt or pumpkin to it. 1-2 times a week we throw in a whole raw egg.

    However, he needs to gain some weight (reason #1 he gets kibble mixed in as meat is expensive and he can't do chicken unless its mixed in as the lesser protien). He is currently between 55-60lbs and needs to gain at least 10lbs.

    If I made the grain free recipe how much would he need to eat each meal? Is there anything else I should add?

    Also what does this mean?
    2 cups (16 oz) (yellow, brown or green);

    And do you put the fruit into the boiling pot as well or just the veggies?

    Thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole,

      I was in adding something to the text yesterday and the word 'Lentils' go accidentally erased :>)The green, brown, orange is lentils :) You would need to replace the lentils as they are not a good food for dogs with colitis.

      You could replace the lentils with a mixture of 1% MF cottage cheese and one or two eggs or some additional grnd beef. You would need to feed him as much cooked food as you are currently feeding him in the other food - matching volume for volume.

      You could add 1/2 of a mashed banana to his food and a heaping tbs of cottage cheese on top of each meal.

      Delete
    2. And please make sure you only use green beans, carrots, spinach in the cooked food recipe - don;t use cruciferous veggies (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) as they can increase inflammation of the intestine/small colon in dogs with colitis.

      Delete
    3. Thanks!

      I have actually been giving him lentils this past week before I saw your post. He seems to be doing ok on them, but I will keep an eye on it.

      I also saw (I believe it was here) that if you see chunks of veggies coming out that you should chop them up better or steam them so this past week he has had:
      cooked lentils with steamed veggies chopped up nice and small (sweet potato, snap peas, carrots, zuccinni, with pear and blueberries mixed in. Then meat.

      Also been adding sourkrout and cottage cheese on top at least once a day.

      What about chickpeas...would it cause the same thing as the lentils? I ask because I have made him some Satin Balls to help get his weight up but trying to go grain free I made it up with hamburger, chickpeas that I cooked and ground up, peanut butter, egg and cheddar cheese.

      If NOT cooking them can he have broccoli and those other veggies?

      Sorry for all the questions!!! Trying to get D back up to health :) And with the colitis (which seems to be non existent when off the kibble) it is hard to find the right diet and know what to do

      Delete
    4. Hi Nicole,

      Yes it is best to chop vegetables up fine - to avoid chocking hazards and to ensure that the dogs digestive system has the maximum opportunity to absorb the nutrients.

      Chickpeas fall into the same category as lentils when it comes to colitis - no chickpeas.

      Cruciferous veggies (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, whether fresh-raw or cooked are also a no. What you could do is what a while, see if his colitis is truly gone and then if you want to add one cruciferous veggie (cooked) back into his diet at a time.
      Cheers, K

      Delete
  36. I've just found your site. I'm wanting to try this diet as my boxer has had chronic ear infections her entire life (she's 4 now). Her breath smells BAD and she is constantly scratching at her head, particularly the left side. My vet has said that we can't just willy nilly start giving her a grain free diet (and I can't afford those $50 bags of grain free food!), because we don't know that grain is what is causing the allergic reaction. Anyway, is there an easy way to find out what is causing her problems?

    Also, in your recipe you called for 2 cups (16 oz)(yellow, brown, or green) but it didn't say what the ingredient is!
    What ingredient is that supposed to be, please?

    Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Thelma,

      The most common cause of chronic ear infections is grain. Contrary to what your veterinarian says I recommend that you get your dog off of grain-included food NOW! Although you may end-up paying more for the food you will not have to feed your dog as much of the food...and you will also save on veterinarian bills. Some good brands (make sure you only buy their grain-free products are Performatrin, Acana, Evo and Orijin.

      I would also strongly recommend that you add some probiotics to her diet - 2 tbs of plain natural yogurt mixed into her food twice a day. She needs the good flora (good bacteria) in her GI tract boosted ASAP.

      Most veterinarians know little to nothing about nutrition as in the span of a 4 year vet course they spend 1 week studying nutrition, food etc. - Read about that here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/conventional-practitioners-of-modern.html

      Read about the problems with grain - particularly corn and soy here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/04/corn-and-soy-are-very-bad-for-your-dogs.html

      Read about the other issues with grain here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/is-prescription-dog-cat-food-sold-in.html

      The ingredient - yellow green brown is lentils - the word lentil was accidentally erased yesterday during a text edit - you will see it back in place now:>)

      To treat her ear infection topically I suggest you use organic apple cider vinegar - read about that here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/herbal-ear-infection-treatments.html Putting her on antibiotics every time her ear infection pops up creates a suppression of her immune system and she will eventually become immune to antibiotics which could in the future put her life a risk.

      Delete
    2. Karen
      I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I started Ashley on this diet three weeks ago and the results are unbelievable, She is now more playful, she had a lot of fatty deposits all over her head and back. they are almost gone. her allergies are under control, she does not chew her feet like she was. but the most important thing is she loves the food and seems very content. Again I want to Thank You, and so does Ashley

      Delete
    3. You are so very welcome D - I am svery glad Ashley is doing better ❀ᵔᴥᵔ❀

      Delete
  37. Is it ok to just feed your dog this daily and not the other fresh fruits and veggies and snacks, or does it have to be all of them to be a complete diet?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Luis, yes you can feed your dog just the cooked food, however the one thing you do have to add is additional omega-3 fatty acids. No dog food, including raw diets offer enough Omega-3 fatty acids - supplementation is always necessary... http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi am i supposed to drain the water from the meal? Do I store it in the fridge with it in water or drain it out once it's done cooking? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you end up with a watery stew, yes drain the excess liquid off by pouring it into a container. You can then store the liquid in the refrigerator and use it to pour over-top of your dog's food. Don't throw the liquid out as it is full of nutrients. Next time you make the recipe only add as much water as you require to just cover the ingredients and simmer it at a low temperature. The consistency that you want to aim for is that of a very thick stew with very little liquid. Cheers, K


      Delete
    2. Thank you!!

      Delete
  40. Hi Karen, I made your grain free dog food and my girls love it. I also feed them Wysong Epigen. It is grain free. Have you heard of this product and is it good. Any info will be much appreciated. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you must be feeding your girls the Wysong Epigen Optimal Performance? (Wysong's other dry dog foods are grain-in). Their product is pretty good. However like all commercially made products they do mess around some...and their product like all others is not nutritionally complete, but it is better than most.

      My main beefs with the product...

      They make quite a show of putting probiotics into the food however it is very important for you to understand that these are not viable as the probiotic micro-organisms cannot survive the processing required to make the kibble. You need to supplement with viable probiotics - you can read my series of articles on probiotics :>) I give my dogs plain natural yogurt and fresh sauerkraut - real source rather than processed supplements :>)

      The ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids to Omegga-6 fatty acids is out-of-balance. You need to add more Omega-3 fatty acids to the girl's diet - you can read my articles on Omega-3 fatty acids. You can supplement with code liver oil, salmon or krill oil. Also give them a small piece of real fatty fish, etc.

      Delete
  41. HI there, I have been feeding my dog the grain free diet for a month now. It has been going great, but he is losing weight fast and is already skinny. I feed him 2x a day and give him the chick pea snack 1x a day. Should I incorporate the rice to help him gain weight? THANK YOU!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No rice! Make sure you are feeding him enough of the food and make sure you:

      - add omega 3 fatty acids to his diet on top of the food i.e. 1-2 tbs of ground flax seed, a piece of salmon, mackerel or sardines every day http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/fatty-acids-for-dogs-omega-3-omega-6.html

      - you can give him cheese for a snack - i.e. cheddar, mozzarella http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      - cook some chicken liver and give him a piece daily

      - if you want to add additional carbs don't use grains - you can boil and mash some potato, sweet potato, squash and put a doll-up of that on top of his food with a tbs or two of cottage cheese or higher fat plain-all natural yogurt 3% or 4% mf

      Delete
    2. Hi Karen,
      I was just recently referred to your website by a good friend. Your information has been a tremendous help thus far. I want to try this recipe but I have a couple of questions. Do the cottage cheese and the fruit all go into the pot to be heated with the meat and veggies? And should the meat be cooked separately before adding it with all the other ingredients? Sorry I don't cook a lot.
      Thanks for all you do!
      Robin

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    3. Hi Robin,

      I usually pre-cook the chicken on a low heat. I then put all other ingredients plus the minced chicken into a pot to cook together.

      If you do not want to do the extra step of precooking the meat or chicken you can just toss the raw meet in the pot with the other ingredients and cook all together.

      Cheers, K

      Delete
  42. Hi - i live in India and where I'm located we do not get sweet potato year round nor do we grow asparagus - any recommendations for nutritionally appropriate substitutes?
    Also cottage cheese is rarely eaten here as well so the only kind you do find are imports and I'd rather not use that as well - is there another calcium source I can use instead?
    Thanks a lot for the info in any case

    Cheers,
    Aditi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aditi,

      You can use squash as a substitute for sweet potato. You can also use potato.

      As for the cottage cheese, you could use another type of similar local type of cheese or use a harder cheese like some of the types noted in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/dairy-products-cheese-kefir-yogurt-are.html

      You also have the option of leaving the cheese out of the recipe and just adding it when you feed your dog a bowl of food - i.e. grate some cheese on top of the food.

      I know you have plenty of yogurt and kefir locally available so you could add yogurt or kefir fresh on top of the food when you serve it as another alternative. Both are good sources of protein and calcium plus so much more!

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  43. Hello Karen, I am learning a lot from your website, Thank you for all the great information on home made food. My question is, the egg shell powder, does it matter if it is from fresh cracked eggs ? Or can you use the shells from boiled eggs as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - yes you can use the eggshell from boiled eggs :>)

      Just air-dry the boiled shells in the same manner that the fresh egg shell should be air dried ❀ᵔᴥᵔ❀

      Delete
  44. So glad I found your site. I want to try making homemade food, but hadn't found a recipe yet that wasn't super complicated, too gross for my own squeamishness(raw), or rice-heavy, or that required additional supplementation.

    But I have a few questions:

    1. How many cups of food does the above recipe make?

    2. Why must it be cooked for so long? Seems like it would be most nutritious with a briefer cooking time,.

    3. I make homemade chicken broth for my dogs and hydrate their kibble with it every day. This is the really yummy kind....leftover chicken bones simmered in a pot for 24 hours. Do you see value in adding it to the fresh food (chicken version)? My dogs adore it.

    4. Regarding the fresh fruits and veggies you feed in addition to the homemade cooked food.....do you find that the dogs digest them well? I've read in many places that a dog's short digestive tract can't efficiently utilize the nutrients in these foods.

    Thanks, looking forward to checking out the rest of your website! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Depends on how thick you make the food, how finely you cut up the ingredients etc.

      2. I recommend cooking the food on a VERY low heat, so it needs to cook for about 1.5 hours - cooking meat and legumes at a high heat increases formation of carcinogens as explained in the article/recipe. Low heat for 1.5 hours allows enough time for lentils to cook properly while retaining nutrients and avoiding carcinogens.

      3. Yes there is great value in adding liquids to your dog's food. Especially if you are feeding dry dog food as it is a major cause of toxic build-up, crystal build-up in urinary tract, dental issues, etc.

      Liquids that I add to my dogs' meals:
      - Chicken stock - recipe is in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/diy-smoothies-frozen-treats-for-dogs.html
      - Rooibos Tea http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/health-benefits-of-red-rooibos-tea-for.html
      - 100% Aloe Vera Juice http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/herbs-and-spices-for-your-dogs-health.html
      - I also add Ceylon cinnamon as, in combination with the added liquid you create a built-in mouthwash.

      4. Fresh Fruit and Veggies - read this article it explains how to prepare fresh fruit and veggies and when to feed fresh fruits and veggies to enable maximum absorption of nutrients http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
  45. Thank you so very much for responding so quickly! I want to get a batch of the food made this weekend. My pups will be so happy. I'll definitely check out the links on the fruit/veggie preparation instructions. More questions:

    1. When you say a very low heat for cooking....would that be a bare simmer, or something even lower than that?

    2. Is it okay to use ground meats versus finely chopped? Would be so much more convenient if so. Or are they the same thing?

    3. If the ground is not acceptable, what cuts of chicken, beef or turkey, etc. do you recommend?

    4. Do you include the skin on poultry or remove it first? Should excess fat be trimmed away?

    Thanks again. From what I've read on your website so far, we seem to have very similar philosophies on dog-rearing and training/handling. I can see that you have a very happy crew there.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you take a closer read of the recipe you will find answers to your questions 1. to 4. already provided

      Delete
  46. Thanks. I made the grain-free with chicken the other evening. The boys seem to love it. I didn't see any mention of whether this food should be gradually transitioned or just switched to immediately, so I've been giving them 50% kibble and 50% cooked food in the morning and their normal kibble/canned food in the evening. It's been 2 days and all poops look good, so will start doing 50-50 for both meals today.

    I'm waiting until they are on 100% homemade food before moving on to the the addition of a fresh food snack of fruits and veggies and yogurt. May I ask if you feel there are a certain number of hours that one should wait after a cooked meal before offering fresh food to ensure proper absorption of both meals? I know you feed your gang the fresh food in the late evening as the last meal of the day, but I was hoping to make it a lunchtime event for my guys, partly just to break up their day. Breakfast is usually served at 7am. Dinner is at 6PM. Would a 12-1PM fresh food meal work okay do you think?

    Thank you, and sorry to keep bothering you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The recipe does talk about transitioning and the process that you are following to transition is perfect :)

      Feeding your guys their fresh food snack at noon (in between their morning and evening meal)is a very good approach :>)

      Cheers, K

      Delete
  47. I came across this site when I was searching for home made dog food recipes. I have made the grain free recipe twice, and switched the veggies around for variety. I have two miniature schnauzers both weighing 14 lbs. and they love the recipe. I use lean ground beef, veggies, lentils, and add fresh chopped parsley and fresh blueberries after it is cooled. When I serve them I add a bit of ground flax seed and plain fat-free yogurt. I also cut back their portion a bit since this food is high in nutrition compared with the commercial food they were eating before. Thanks so much for the recipe. I am thrilled to know they are eating healthy meals now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, I have been feeding my two mini schnauzers the grain free recipe for over a month.. close to two months.. they love it.. The second time I made it I changed up the recipe a bit.. but.. their bowel movements are so much less than before. I realize they are probably absorbing more nutrition, and there is no corn or fillers in the recipe, but is this normal? Also, when they have movements its very dark, but I'm a bit concerned about the amount they are eliminating.. before they would both go 2-3 times a day, now usually once... and a fraction of what they eliminated before. They are also drinking less water than before, is this because I don't put salt in their food? I would appreciate your comments.

      Delete
    2. Hi Bev, yes it is normal for a dog's stool to get smaller in size when the dog is on a truly appropriate diet as opposed to a diet that contains non-nutritive fillers such as corn, and other grain products and by products.

      A dog's stool get's even smaller when the dog is on a raw-food diet :>)

      The homemade food contains moisture which helps with the digestive and elimination process and hydration :>)

      A dog's ancestral diet consisted primarily (i.e 60% protein, 30% fat, 10% carbohydrate) of fresh meat which is high in moisture content. Commercially made dry dog food is in direct contradiction to a dog's ancestral diet.

      Dry dog food is very difficult for a dog's digestive system. As the food is dry it actually steals moisture from the digestive system rather than contributing to hydration levels. Dry dog food is also very hard on a dog's elimination system to process - particularly hard on the kidneys, liver and bladder - making it difficult for the body to eliminate toxins and enabling crystallization leading to bladder and kidney stones. A dog must take-in more liquid in order to enable digestion when on a dry food diet. A dog's natural diet is not dry food :>)

      Cheers, Karen

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much for the reply. I`m still a little concerned about the fact that they eliminate so little... but I do understand the concept of home made food vs. dry food. Their stools are approx. a bit smaller than my baby finger, or less... once a day. Is this is OK ? Do you think I should add some rice or pasta? I`m thrilled that they are getting good nutrition, just a tad concerned. Thanks again.

      Delete
    4. Hi Bev,

      If you want to add somthing to their diet don't add anything grain-based including pasta! You could add a dollop of mashed sweet potato, squash or pumpkin. You can add any of the fruits and veggies from my article Fresh Whole Foods for Dogs'

      I notice you are using fat-free yogurt - I would recomend that you use 2% MF yogurt.

      As long as your little guys are not straining when the eliminate their stool - i.e. they are physically eliminating the same way the always did they should be just fine.

      Pawhugs K

      It

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    5. Thanks so much for your prompt replies. I clearly need to add fat since the percentages should be 60% protein, 30% fat and 10% carbs. Right now they are having 80% protein(80% lean ground beef and 20% chicken liver), and the rest is finely chopped carrots, sweet potatoe, zuccini, plus green peas, chopped fresh parsley and chopped blueberries. When I feed them I add 1 tsp. plain yogurt (I will get 2%), a dash of ground flax seed and a little bit of water. So, should I add olive oil instead of water to include more fat until I make a new batch of food and balance it off properly? My Vet suggested a multi-vitamin, do you think this is necessary? I have the liquid OptiPet Multi. My first batch included cooked lentils but I left it out the second time. Any recommendations of what to add or remove will be appreciated. And no, they are not straining at all.

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    6. Oh, and for snacks I give them each a baby carrot, or a little breath mint I made with chopped fresh mint from our garden, and a tiny bit of saltine cracker and hot water. It becomes a paste, I form little patties and freeze them on wax paper. Any suggestions for treats ?

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    7. Bev, if you are not following the recipe in the article above you will not be provding enough calcium, iron etc. I recommend that you follow the ingredients in the recipe. Most supplements are garbage - full of poor sourced vitamins and minerals, full of fillers and can contain chemical-based preservatives and slipping agents.

      The recipe above also tells you what you need to do in the way of supplementation.

      As to snacks - making ANYTHING out of a grain product (which crackers are) is not good for them. Wheat flour is not an appropriate food for any dog - even human grade flour.

      The best snacks are dog safe fruits and veggies, cheese, real pieces of cooked or dehydrated meat, natural peanut butter.

      You can find a complete list of fresh foods to use as treats in this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html#uds-search-results

      A few simple treat recipes...

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/diy-smoothies-frozen-treats-for-dogs.html

      http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/07/homemade-diy-natural-healthy-dog-treats.html

      Cheers, Karen

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    8. Thanks Karen, I think I got it right this time, and actually copied/pasted the list of appropriate veggies, fruits, proteins, carbs and herbs/spices from your website, and brought it with me today while shopping for the dog food recipe.

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    9. Hi Karen,
      I will be making my third batch of home made grain free dog food as per your recipe. I notice that you mention decaf green tea.. but I didn't notice how much and in what form. Do I add the ground leaves from the teabags or make a tea and how many tea bags per water quanitity? Other than the green tea question, I'm following your recipe, exact quantities and ingredients. Thanks.

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    10. Hi Bev, tea, like the chicken stock is something that you can choose to add to the food at feeding time (you put the food in the bowl and then add some of the tea and/or chicken or beef stock if you want, on top of the food in the bowl). You brew the tea as you would normally do and then store it in a jar/pitcher/container in the fridge - at feeding time you pour out what you need for that meal and then return the jar to the fridge. Providing additional fluids at meal time helps the digestive system and urinary tract stay healthy :>)

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    11. Hi Karen, I have made many batches of the grain free dog food since August. Both mini schnauzers love it and am happy to say that they each lost 3 pounds. I use medium ground meat, lentils, and cottage cheese as protein, then add sweet potatoe, veggies plus chopped apple, chopped spinach, chopped parsley, olive oil and the herbs in the correct quantities. Before serving I add a bit of plain yogurt, ground flax seeds and a bit of broth, tea or water. For the past several days one of the dogs seems to have developed an acid reflux. Shortly after eating she regurgatates a bit of food several times, and this continues for approximately 30-45 mins. Is there something you can recommend I should omit or cut back on that could be causing this? Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks.

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    12. Hi Bev - here you go...

      Acid Reflux in dogs is called Gastroesophageal reflux also called GERD. GERD can result in esophagitis. Mild esophagitis is a mild inflammation of the esophageal lining. More severe esophagitis causes damage to the deeper layers of the esophagus.
      Causes of Acid Reflux (GERD)
      1.0 Consumption of a meal that is very high in fat;
      2.0 Consumption of too much food when the stomach is already full.
      3.0 Foreign matter in the esophagus;
      4.0 Genetic predisposition – brachycephalic breeds (Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Pug, Shih Tzu) are most susceptible, however any breed may end up with GERD;
      5.0 Hiatal hernia in the upper portion of the stomach – dogs with genetic pre-disposition for condition;
      6.0 Megaesphagus – a condition caused by improper functioning of esophagus muscles;
      7.0 Result of surgery:
      7.1 From improper fasting prior to surgery and/or;
      7.2 Improper positioning of the dog or cat during surgery;
      7.3 Placement of the breathing tube (used to provide anesthesia) and oxygen during surgery.

      Other Conditions that may mimic GERD
      1.0 Disease - cancer of the throat or mouth;
      2.0 Tumor in the esophagus.

      Essential Elements for Treating GERD
      1. Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid;
      2. Replace enzymes, nutrients and stomach acid that are essential for digestion and enable health;
      3. Restore beneficial bacteria and healthy mucosal lining in the gut.
      Dietary Detail for Treating GERD
      1.0 With hold (fast) the dog for a day or two – this provides the esophagus with a chance to relax and heal a little;
      2.0 After fasting change the feeding schedule:
      2.1 No more large meals, (i.e. 1 or 2 meals/day) instead do;
      2.2 Frequent small meals throughout the day – i.e. 4 to 6 small meals/day.
      3.0 Add kefir rather than yogurt or you can use fresh sauerkraut (fresh sauerkraut can be found in the refrigerated section of a grocery store or speciality food store or you can make it yourself – don’t use wine sauerkraut or the unrefrigerated type of sauerkraut).
      3.0 Make a bone broth soup - bone broth contains glutamine – a metabolic fuel used by intestinal cells which helps the lining of the gut;
      4.0 Don’t add water to the food in the bowl as this can make acid reflux worse;
      5.0 Add two to three of the following bitter herbs (use either dry herb or tincture form with no alcohol) to each meal. Bitter herbs stimulate stomach acid production which helps with the proper digestion of food. Use 1/8 to ¼ tsp of each herb if using dry herb or powder, if using tincture add 1 to 2 drops of each of the 2 to 3 selected tinctures to food…
      Barberry bark
      Caraway
      Dandelion
      Fennel
      Gentian root
      Ginger
      Goldenseal root
      Milk thistle
      Peppermint
      Wormwood
      Yellow dock
      6.0 Mix the following together and add to each meal…
      - 1/2 tsp of organic unpasteurized apple cide