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Homemade Puppy & Dog Food

I do make the food recipe in bulk so I will give you the information I  use and hopefully you can divide that into what works best for your puppy.   My recipe for the puppy food is as follows:  Initially the amount I was cooking was for 8 puppies and 3 adult dogs.  The amount I am making has lasted about 3-5 days.  

Recipe Instructions:
I use a Between 1.5 - 2 bags of brown rice (10 cups) and two cups of water to every one cup of rice.  I mix the rice and water around and then add one large family pack of mixed veggies (I think about 24 ounces but I don't have one package right now), I use the soup of stew type package of mixed veggies with the green beans, peas, carrot, corn and lima beans, I think. Mix that in and then add a fruit to make it a bit sweeter.   I normally use just one apple with core cut out and sliced, but I have also used peaches before too.  You could also use some peaches.  I have used a peach.  These can be frozen.  Not need to thaw out.  I then add the meat.  I don't even thaw out the meat but I do sometimes run it under the water to take off the packaging and then break it into a couple large chucks.  You may need to thaw it out if you are not using a pressure cooker or if you choose to do so.  I leave it alone and let the pressure cooker cook them as it cooks them sufficiently without pre-thawing the meat.  I only break it up into large chunks of 2-3 thighs because I am afraid that the bones don't get cooked enough to be pliable to eat if I don't break up the chicken thighs at all..  Still, I leave it in large chucks and then add it to the mixture.  I then add some sea salt.  I add about 1 tablespoon although I am not sure exactly how much to add. The Vet said to add it for the minerals but he didn't know now much to add. I also use about 4-5 beef or chicken bouillon cubes sometimes for extra flavoring for the rice and veggies.  The dogs don't want to eat rice that only tastes like rice.  They want to eat rice that tastes like meat.  I then add about another 5 cups of water.  It looks like a lot of water but it won't be after it cooks.  I adjust my pressure cooker to be continuously at 15psi for about 20 mins or so. I put it on high and then adjust it to about medium once it gets to 15psi.  Then I reduce it to medium for about 15-20 mins.  I allow the pressure to escape and then I remove the top.  Be careful if you do use the pressure cooker and haven't used one before.  Read the instructions.  Allow to safely cool according to Health Dept instructions for cooling down food.  I belive this is more important because I am using a pressure cooker where the food gets extremely hot and the batch of food is very large so it doesn't cool down very fast.  It stays hot and can stay in the "danger zone" for an extended period of time which could produce bacteria if it is not cooled safely before refrigerating.  Method I use is included below but I am no expert so I suggest you get the information online and choose the method that works best for you.  Basically, you can try different meats and stuff.  Use Brown Rice because it has more nutrients that white rice.  Other dog recipes are online.  Try different variations with other meats.  I have and they like most although, I think the chicken thighs is the best.  I wait for a sale and then buy some big packs of chicken thighs.  They like Turkey too but I have one dog, the Momma, Serafina who likes Turkey but gets bad tummy aches when she eats it.  She gets gassy and then hurts and acts different.  I think that the ratio of meat to veggies/rice should be about 50/50, but I am not sure exactly.    

Without Pressure Cooker:  (Pictures below)

You may need to cook everything separately and then add together after it is cooked.  The chicken boil or bake and then take meat off bones.  Cook rice (add bouillon cube to water so it can absorb into the rice)  and veggies according to package. Cook apple if necessary and then add to the mixture or use some pumpkin filling which is already soft to the mixture.  Mix everything together.  You might be able to cook some things together but I'm not sure which way is best since I use the pressure cooker.  With the pressure cooker, I can just cook it all together.  It cooks nicely and adds flavor to the other items in pot. 

Cooling Down Safely:

(Pressure Cooker):  Be careful if you are making a large batch of food, to allow it to cool safely down.  The danger zone is 40-140 degrees and it should cool safely.  There is a lot I of controversy about which method to properly cool the food safely down and I can't remark on which method is best for you to use.  I don't want to be responsible if I tell you wrong and I am by now means an expert in this subject.  I only mention it because when you are cooking with a pressure cooker, it is important to make sure the food cools safely so no one or no animal gets sick.  It can cause bacteria if it doesn't cool safely.  I am not as concerned with this when I cook for my family but then I don't make such a big batch that doesn't cool safely and naturally on its own.  The pressure cooker gets so hot, and the batch is very large so I make sure that it cools down safely.  The method to use to make sure it cools safely is widely disputed.  You will need to research which method works best for you on the internet.  I can tell you what works for me but I recommend that you get the information online before deciding what method to use. I normally take off the lid to the pressure cooker and soon as I can scoop out the food into 2 large containers then I do.  I allow them to cool in the very large plastic containers for about 1-2 hours at room temperature.  Then when they have cooled, I put them in the frig.  Something about when you take the food directly out and put it into containers and then refrigerate, it can stay too hot in the sealed container and not cool properly.  It then stays hot at temperatures in the "danger zone" between 40-140 degrees for over 4 hours and then can cause bacteria to grow.  This can be very harmful if it does grow and then eaten.  That's really all I know.  You can look into the information and what works best for your family, if you choose to.

Food Gets Thick after Refrigerating so Water Down before Serving: 

The pressure cooker and rice will absorb a lot of that water.  It will not be that thick when it is finished cooking but it thickens more after it is refrigerated.  After it is refrigerated, I usually need to dilute it a bit and break it up with my fork in a larger bowl, before microwaving it about 20 seconds and then serving some each day.  It will thicken day after day.  I often put it in a bowl, add some extra water, break it up with a fork and then microwave it on a plate for about 20-30 seconds before serving it to the pups/dogs

Other additions: 

When I buy things like peaches or strawberries, I will cut them up and freeze them before they go bad so I can use them in a recipe, ice cream or something.  I used the peaches in a batch one time and that worked well. 
I have also heard that pumpkin or squash is good for the puppies. I have seen some Merrick dog food which is rated the best 5 of 5 stars use pumpkin filing in their recipes.  Apparently, it has a good amount of fiber that is good for the puppies intestinal tract and anal glands.  Squash has some of the same attributes. I guess that they like the taste also.  I don't know yet because I haven't tried it in my recipe yet.  I would suggest only using a couple of tablespoons in your recipe.  Maybe 2-3 tbsp.  I suggest purchasing a natural pumpkin filing without all the spices, if possible. Then add a bit to your recipe and refrigerate the rest.  The squash would need to be cooked so you could scoop out a couple tablespoons into the recipe otherwise, it would be too hard. Look online as there are also other recipes that people have posted.     

Chicken Bones: 

I leave the bones and everything in the mixture when I am pressure cooking it.  I have read information posted which states that these bones are most dangerous when they are not cooked and thus they splinter in the dogs mouth.  They can get caught in their stomach or throat and hurt them internally, etc.  This is when they are raw.  When they are Pressured Cooked (not just cooked) they can become very pliable and basically crumble apart.  They are now safe, in my opinion and the opinion  of many others, for the puppy to eat and digest.  I feel quite comfortable doing this with my own dogs/puppies but I will say that I will not be responsible for someone else doing this.  Please look into the information available online and through other sources and make your own decision, at your own risk.  When I do pressure cook the bones, I ensure that they are soft enough by taking my spoon or fork and breaking them apart with little effort.  The bone will then fairly easily crumble into pieces.  The bones have a lot of nutritional value to them plus, they love the way they taste.  Merrick is a 5 star dog food only sold in the finer Pet Stores.  They have many different varieties of dog foods that have the whole pressured cooked chicken thigh bone inside the can.  The can states that these have been pressured cooked and are completely safe for the pet to eat.  

Benefits of Adding Sea Salt: 

Finally, I add the sea salt into the mixture.  The Vet said to do this. My husband said that the Vet recommended that we use this in our homemade dog food.  The Vet was very impressed with the homemade version of dog food.  He stated, that he felt that it was the best choice in dog food for our puppies.  We know exactly what is going in it and don't have to worry about the tainted dog food and our dog getting sick from some bacteria which got into the dog food.  He did suggest we add one thing to our mixture and that is Sea Salt  (not regular table salt).  The Sea Salt has a lot of minerals/vitamins like calcium,magnesium, calcium, bromides and potassium than refine table salt doesn't have.  The meat and stuff does have much of the nutrients/vitamins necessary for the growth of the puppies but the Sea Salt finishes it off.   That should be sufficient but I have read posts where other people suggest that when making your own dog food, you add a crushed daily mulit vitamin (or portion of one) to the dog food.  It probably wouldn't hurt but I don't know exactly how much to use, etc.  If you are interested, then you probably could get more information online.

Information on Pressure Cooker/Benefits:

I do hope the information helps. I will likely post info online so that other's can use it if they want to.  Most people don't want to go to the trouble to make the homemade food.  Understandably, because things can get so busy, it's hard to find the time.  Still, with the pressure cooker, it works very well.  I love my pressure cooker. I used it tonight to make some Swiss Steak and it was so flavorful and tender.  Only had to cook about 20-25 mins and we have plenty of left overs.  I got a huge Presto, like 22 gallon pressure cooker for like $75.  It is Aluminum.  I thought about getting a more expensive ":All American" brand. It is super heavy looking and pretty nice but probably way too heavy for my preference. The large cookers can get pretty heavy with all the food and stuff and if you put on a glass top stove, it can scratch the top up.  If you go to turn it without picking it up, then it may leave a scratch on top.  I find that the Presto Aluminum cooker I got which also came with the canning shelf, is perfect and works great.  I certainly would recommend getting a smaller one if you plan on cooking the puppies food.  It just makes it so easy and you will find many other cooking uses for it also. The one I have is way too big for the normal person's needs so probably a cooker which is about 1/2 the size would work fine for most people.

I used this receipe for a good amount of time. I used it for the last litter of puppies and my Adult Dogs.  Everyone loved it but after the puppies were gone, I decided to try a smaller and less fuss recipe.  They seem to like this one as much.  Again, there is other receipes online as well.   This recipe is very easy.  The measurements and amounts are only approximate.  

** 2 1/2 lbs Hamburger Meat -

   Depending on your dog's activity level and age, you may want to use the fattier meat rather than the lean meat.  The receipe I read actually called for the fattier meat. It said that most dogs will need that extra fat.  If your dog is overweight then you may want to use the lean.  If you have puppies then you will want to use the fattier meat. 

** 5oz can tuna

** 10 oz can chicken

** 2 eggs 

**1 tsp sea salt

** 2 1/2 cups cooked rice

**Sea Salt Dash

**Vitmain/Supplement - According to Daily Recommended

Mix all the ingredients in an oval shaped ceramic or microwave safe meatloaf dish with lid.  Mold into a loaf with the sides pressed down and the top mounded as in making a meatloaf.  I cut a slit in the middle of the mound so it will cook better in the center.  Place lid on the dish and cook in microwave  for about 15 mins.  Slice in large slices.  Allow to Cool.  Refrigerate.  Scoop out a small amount and break up on the plate.  Heat it up about 10 seconds before serving.  Alter receipe for your needs. 


****Disclosure - Recipes, and Recommendations are provided here as an aide only and not as an expert opinion. I'm not an expert in food or recipes. I simply prepare and use this information for my own personal use.  Verify all Commercial Based Dog Foods & Treats prior to buying and feeding to your dog.  Dog Food Recalls are occuring very often.  Add your email address to a list to ensure your are kept updated.

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