I never thought I’d be the type of person who cooked for their dog. Nope, seemed entirely out of the realm of possibility. And then, one of my dogs came down with pancreatitis and was put on a bland, low-fat diet of chicken and rice. Then there was that giant pet food recall. These events began my research into homemade dog food.
Why I Do It
The best thing about cooking for your pet is that you know exactly what goes into their food. It looks like food, and you recognize it as food. My dogs aren’t that picky, they’ve tried to get things that are toxic to pets, and in the past, I’ve certainly made feeding mistakes. But since those days, I’ve learned more about dog nutrition than my own (almost) and am willing to make my pets healthy meals as often as I can.
It won’t hurt your pets to have a special home-cooked meal every once in a while. If you want to switch to permanently home-cooked food, be sure to talk to your vet about their specific nutritional needs.
1. Scooby’s Organic Stew for Dogs
Big batch cooking is the way to go when you want to make dog food on the regular. I’m better about cooking ahead for my pets than I am at mastering my meal prep, but I’m working on that as well. This combination of sweet potatoes, rice, veggies, and chicken has the right nutrition ratio of 50% protein, 25% veggies, and 25% grains for healthy dogs. Portion the stew into Ziploc bags for easy storing and defrosting. Find the recipe here.
2. Easy Homemade Cat Food Recipes
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat. Cats lack the specific enzymes necessary to use plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. Also, plant protein doesn’t contain the amino acids they need for optimum health. Some think this means that making food for cats is more difficult, but these easy homemade cat food recipes are balanced to provide complete cat nutrition. Find the recipe here.
3. All-Natural Pup Meatloaf
Do you know how your mom used to make meatloaf to feed a crowd? Meatloaf is making a comeback for people and dogs. There’s no easier way to make a batch of home-cooked goodness for your pups. You can easily slice and store portions for the week. And I’m not going to lie. My partner gets jealous when I make this pup loaf for the dogs since, as a vegetarian, I don’t cook meat for humans. Find the recipe here.
4. Slow-Cooker Homemade Dog Food
Who doesn’t love a one-pot meal, especially some lucky dogs? Put all the ingredients in the crockpot, and you’re good to go. You can use this recipe to supplement your regular dog food, or for a special treat. It freezes and stores great, because you know I wouldn’t leave you with a recipe that didn’t. Just make sure to label it dog food while cooking, although if an unsuspecting family member took a bite, it wouldn’t do them any harm. Find the recipe here.