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Home cooking on a budget.

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
Misty

Can I chase it?!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 12:26pm PST 
Hello everyone! Let me apologize now for any typos I miss. I'm writing this on my phone and it can be a pain.
I used to feed my dogs home made food for breakfast and high quality kibble for dinner.I stopped a few years ago because I just didn't have the time. I've recently become obsessed with what my dogs are eating again and started feeding canned food for breakfast and kibble for dinner. Between my three dogs I'm spending about $30a week just on canned food.
I would like to see if I can cook a week's with of home made breakfasts for less than what I'm spending on canned food. I'm really not sure if that's a realistic expectation. Vol
So basically, I'm looking for inexpensive, gain free, high protein, low carb recipes and any typos anyone has on saving money in cooking for my dogs.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 12:42pm PST 
I think you can do it easily. A can of food costs how much and is about a pound. If you make food and use the cheaper meats they cost how much a pound? That is weight alone. Check how much protein is in a pound of meat and a can of food, usually the meat has a lot more protein.

Around here I get chicken for >$1 a pound, ground beef for $1.75 from the clearance bin and just bought 4 huge trays of loin pork chops from Valu+ for $1.19 a pound last week.

If you try the really interesting method of cooking bone until it is soft in a pressure cooker or slow cooker then you wouldn't even waste the bones in the cheapest meat, chicken. Here is a method I just found that sounds pretty good to me although I haven't ever tried it. I would just mix the bone with the meat though. Some sites say the soft bones can be ground in a blender! Since it isn't just that cooked bones are hard and poky it is that even ground they can pack up and become a hard mass in the gut I wouldn't want to serve this without a big cushioning of other stuff.
http://pressurecookerrecipes22484.yuku.com/topic/1423/Cookin g-a-chicken-till-it-s-mush#.UA7zMaAyCSo

That is far too much calcium and phosphorus for a balanced diet however. As a raw feeder I know that a whole chicken is about 30% bone and my dog needs 10% bone for its calcium and phosphorus. So add in 2x the weight of that whole chicken in whichever red meat is cheapest that week.

That covers the meat part. If you need more calories then white potatoes have lots, they are cheap enough and dog love them. As long as you avoid any plants from the onion family any veggy is fine for dogs so buy or use edible trimmings from your cooking that are cheap. Carrots and cabbage maybe? Veggies on sale? Never green parts from potato/tomato family or trimmings you wouldn't put into a soup pot for your human family.

So the recipe comes out 1 part chicken, 2 parts meat and 1 part mixed veggies. You can increase the veggies to up to half the food if you like to increase calories or just increase the bulk of the meal. You know how much richer home cooked stuff is compared to kibble, probably would be richer than canned except for the really expensive stuff.

You could add in an ounce of liver per pound of meat if you like.
You could use a can of fish for part of the meat if you like, not tuna often but mackerel, salmon and sardines are great.
You could add/substitute some egg if you like.

I would do the pressure cooked chicken thing and store most in the freezer and make up food every couple days. If you found a great deal on meat and want to stock up cook that up and store as well, can even do that with the veggies. Then you can mix up different combinations of foods and add in more or less of this or that veggie as you determine what works best for your pack. Packing up equal quantities means you can easily choose one part of this and that. Max's raw food doesn't easily fit in cottage cheese, yogurt and deli tubs but they worked great for Sassy's food.
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Misty

Can I chase it?!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 12:24pm PST 
I used to be so obsessed with cooking for my dogs but it's been years and now I feel like I've lost all the knowledge I had.
I used to use a pressure cooker (when I still lived with my parents) and would let it cook until some of the smaller, softer bones were nice and crumbly and would pick out the rest. I also used the liquid left over from cooking veggies and some from the meat to mix in to make some of the food a little softer.
I've got a 2 lb bag of frozen green beans at home and I'm thinking about stopping to look at some of the meat on sale on my way home. How much meat should I use with that many green beans? Anything else I should add?
I'm sorry for so many silly questions. I feel like I'm in the remedial dog food class. BOL
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 5:52pm PST 
I would add in 6 pounds of meat to the 2 pounds of beans but you can go to 50/50 if you like. Add in 1/2 tsp of powdered egg shell per pound of meat and good enough for a half ration of home cooking. If you want to use liver then use about 1 ounce per pound of meat. If you want to use fatty fish for its omega 3 then substitute about 2 ounces per pound of meat and more is fine. Eggs are great too.
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Misty

Can I chase it?!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 6:20pm PST 
Thanks Maxwell! Maybe I'll try that in the slow cooker tonight.
Do you know of any good websites with good recipes? I've got some books too but I'm trying to stick with some simple stuff.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 9:03pm PST 
You could check the B-Natural newsletters and dogaware. I am not a fan of actual recipes, would rather work from what is in my price range at the market when I am there.
http://b-naturals.com/newsletters
http://www.dogaware.com/a rticles/wdjhomemade3.html#sample

Just remember beef, lamb and pork are higher in some vitamins, zinc and iron than chicken and liver is really potent stuff to use in tiny amounts.
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