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Wanting to try home cooked

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.

  
Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 1:39pm PST 
ok so I really want to give home cooking a try, but I've got 6 dogs to feed, ranging from 10 to 35 pounds. Could I make up a big batch of food maybe once a week for that many dogs? And if so how much would I need to make? How much would my pups need to eat of home cooked food? What is a good cheap alternative to using chicken, two of mine are allergic to it. What are good veggies to use aside from peas and carrots, radley is allergic to those. How do I make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need? My dogs weights are as follows, and none need to lose any. Radley is 11lbs, Shiloh is 10lbs, Sammi is 11lbs, Decker is 28 pounds, Emilee is 18 pounds, and Koda is 35 pounds. I'm horrible with math, but I do have a gram scale that I can use to measure amounts. I really appreciate any help I can get.
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Chance

How You Doin'?
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 12:37am PST 
Bumped Sedona's thread for you.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 1:16pm PST 
Do learn to use ND, it is awesome and you will get all your dogs need if you follow the steps. Glad you have a scale it is a huge help in measuring amounts of this and that.

You are feeding 113 pounds of dog so start out with 2% of that daily, about 2.25 pounds of meat or meat+cooked grain a day, veggies are extras. The small dogs would get about 1/4 pound of meat a day, the bigger one about 10 ounces a day. Perhaps if you had a scoop for the 10 pound dog and the three smallest get one scoop of food, the 18 pounder gets a scant 2 scoops, the 28 pounder gets 3 scoops and the biggest one gets a scant 3 scoops of food? For starters, one never knows which dog needs more food! Max needs 600 calories a day for his 38 pounds and Sassy needed 1000 calories for her 42 pounds for instance.

You can feed up to half veggy/grain with the meat but no more plant material than that. I wouldn't feed more than 1/4 grains - cooked grain, not raw. 1/4 raw grain mixed with 1/4 veggies and 1/2 meats would result in a food that was more than half grainy stuff as it expands so much cooked!

So a daily recipe might be 2.25 pounds of ground beef, 2 cups or 1 pound of cooked rice and 2 cups or 1 pound of chopped carrots, cabbage and broccoli stems. Do serve up any cooking liquid as well. For each pound of meat add in an ounce of liver, beef is probably best. Divide that 12 ways. Figure out what measure you have that is about that volume for next time and use that or weigh the food and divide by 11 which is a bit more accurate. It ought to come to about 4.25 pounds so a portion for the littles would be about 5.5-6 ounces a day total. That is a very small amount of food, about 2/3 cup. It isn't easy to feed that small amount of food, I know. Max got really fat on home cooking.

I was comfortable cooking every four days for Sassy. That meant the whole recipe fit in one pot and I wasn't concerned about spoilage. I would never hold food for a whole week in the refrigerator. You could cook once a week and store daily portions in the freezer or process large amounts of meat and veggies and store in the freezer and cook up daily. I found that was very time and space saving. 4.25 pounds of meat would be 30 pounds for a whole week and that is just the meat, not the grains and veggies. Unless you roast in the oven I doubt you have a pot large enough! I did make up a month's worth of meals for Sassy once. It turned out it didn't save actual time, I just spent the whole day cooking and nothing for the following month but I worked really hard that day and the kitchen was quite the mess.

What about turkey? If you found it on sale it is a good protein. Otherwise I really liked feeding hamburger that is found in the clearance bin for $1.75 a pound most of the time here. Pork is found very cheaply in ethnic markets for less than $1.50 a pound most weeks but will have bone and may have more fat than you like.

Dogs can eat most any veggie. You could use trimmings from your meals that are good enough to put in soup for your family too. Don't feed green parts of the potato family or any members of the onion family. Realize corn kernels, beans and peas will result in interesting poops as the hulls won't digest.

If you want to just jump in try stewing a chicken or cooking up some hamburger and mixing a bit with the food you offer now. Be sure to reduce the current diet a bit so you don't overfeed the dogs. You can mix in about 25% fresh food calories for the current diet without concerning yourself with proper calcium, B12 zinc or whatever. Remember to adjust quantities with the littles getting less than the bigger ones.
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 9:28pm PST 
I think ill try adding some ground hamburger to the food first, and see how that goes. What if I fed boiled hamburger and veggies for one meal then kibble for the next? I don't like to feed grains so would veggies be ok to feed one meal a day instead?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 6:50am PST 
Not feeding grains would be better! Some people need cheap calories and some people need more volume to the food or they overfeed [Raising my hand even though I was feeding grain to Max I still overfed him and he got really fat]. I was surprised to find that Max's little bit of gunk in his eyes went away once I cut grains from his diet. I didn't think he had any food issues before that point. He actually does better with zero carbs, save the bit in his organ meats.

I would prefer to mix the fresh food with the dried stuff rather than serving at alternate meals. Otherwise I would fear a rebellion and the dry stuff wouldn't be eaten. Just remember dogs usually can use more protein and fat than is in kibble so meat/fish/egg is more important than veggies.
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 11:39am PST 
Ok thanks, so maybe topping there food with scrambled eggs and some ground beef then?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 11:52am PST 
Substitute a little and it is best to feed one thing at a time so the gut gets used to the new stuff and you have an easier time figuring out what if anything is causing a problem. After the dogs have eaten up to 25% calories of a new food in the kibble then go for the mix and match fun stuff.
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 9:17am PST 
Ok great thanks for the help.smile
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 26, '12 5:54pm PST 
Have fun cooking!

I was floored at how well the dogs did on homecooking and I didn't even know to use mostly red meat like beef and pork at that time. The extra water and fat and protein was very good for my dogs.
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