Imagine, if you will, buying a complete meal in a bag. No thawing from the freezer, no chopping or dicing, not even cooking required. Just pop the pieces straight from the bag into your mouth, potato chip style, and you have all your required daily allowances of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Sound great? No, I didn’t think so. Well, how do you think your dog feels about his kibbles?
Why do we strive to buy organic, fresh, and local and yet give our constant companions factory food? Since this is National Pets are Wonderful Month, I’d like to look at what would be involved in making your own dog food.
Raw meat from grass-fed, free-ranged animals is the healthiest choice. Why raw? Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, in his book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats recommends raw meat “on the basis of research, clinical practice and the natural habits of predators since the beginning of time.” If you are concerned about pathogens or parasites in the meat, freeze it before serving.
Since wheat and corn are common allergens, I like to use brown rice. But if your dog has no issues with the wheat and corn, by all means add them to your recipe. Millet is a grain high in protein. Oats are relatively inexpensive if you are feeding a large dog. Remember, a variety will give you a nutritional advantage.
Eggs are a complete protein and a wonderful source of vitamin A. Dogs love them. For added benefit, blend the eggs shell and all in a blender until the shells are finely ground. Serve raw mixed with other ingredients.
My miniature pinscher begs for pieces of carrot, raw green beans, or other vegies when I’m preparing them for supper. Once, while canning peaches, we caught him nibbling on them through the sides of the bushel basket. Don’t hesitate to add raw or steamed vegetables to your dog’s food recipe. They add needed vitamins, minerals, and roughage to the diet.
Garlic, essential fatty acids, greens, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin e are a few of the necessary supplements you will want to add to your raw dog food recipe. Adding these things assures your canine companion is getting all that he needs.
Personally, I feed my miniature pinscher a raw meatball with rice and raw vegies once per day. The rest of the time, I keep an all-natural kibble available. For this article, I asked a friend to share her complete raw food recipe. Since I hesitate to share just one recipe, a few links that follow Dr. Billinghurst’s Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) Diet follow.
Basic Raw Dog Food Recipe
Mix in large bowl:
- 2-3 cups frozen greens
- 2 cups vegetables
- 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit
- 2 cups organ meats
- 10-12 cups ground meat (chicken with bones, beef, lamb, rabbit with bones, or turkey with neck bones)
- 4 cups cooked grains
Blend in blender:
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 8 well-beaten eggs with shells
- 2 cups yogurt, kefir, or whey
- 3 Tbsp cod liver oil
- 1600 IU vitamin E
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 5000 mg vitamin C with bioflavonoid
- ¼ cup kelp
- ¼ cup alfalfa powder or other green powder
- Bonemeal (if bone not included with meat)
- 1/4 cup brewers yeast
- Small amount of Garlic
Combine two mixtures.
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD & Susan Hubble Pitcairn