You — Yes, You — Can Make Your Dog Homemade Chicken and Vegetables
Behold: the power of a home-cooked meal.
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Instead of opting for a stressful visit to the pet store for dog food, many dog parents have a new take on Ina Garten’s famous advice: If you don’t like store-bought, homemade is (more than) fine.
To take the guesswork out of cooking for your pup, here’s a recipe from experts who have experience with homemade dog food.
This recipe will make approximately 15 pounds of food, enough to feed a 40-pound dog two meals per day for a week. It contains 1,200 kilocalories per kilogram or 34 kilocalories per ounce. This recipe was created with the help of an animal nutritionist, Dr. Susan Lauten and is balanced, according to the National Research Council’s (NRC) guidelines.
The directions say you should use an electric pressure cooker, but a variety of other methods, including slow cookers (a.k.a. crock pots), poaching, roasting, sous vide, or steaming are fine. It is much easier to use an electric pressure cooker, if we’re being honest.
The ingredients are fresh and uncooked, unless otherwise noted. The amounts must be followed closely, but you have flexibility in the choice of fruits and vegetables that you use. You can use thawed-out frozen varieties, too. The supplements are specific brands and provide a unique mix of necessary vitamins and minerals. As a note, in this homemade dog food recipe, we use organ meat including chicken hearts, livers and gizzards, and it’s important to use a kitchen scale to weigh each ingredient.
Because this recipe has a large volume of ingredients, make it into two batches; it will not fit into one pot, even the larger sizes. These cookers should not be filled to more than three-quarters of their capacity. The recipe can also be cut in half to make 7½ pounds of food. Note that an 8-quart model was used in testing this recipe.
Add it to the list of healthy human superfoods pups can eat, too.
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Claudia Kawczynska was co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Bark for 20 years. She also edited the best-selling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot.