Homemade dog food will come in many forms. From biscuits and cookies to cooked meat, veggies and carbs, there are a lot of options. This includes the kind of meat you use (if any).
First, it’s important to understand the difference between dry and dehydrated dog food. It’s more difficult for pets, especially cats and dogs, to digest dry food, which is why they require so much water during the day. Dehydrated dog food is rehydrated with warm water, and offers storage benefits.
High quality dog food at home
It’s often surprising how much money you can save by making your dog’s food, yourself. You also have full control over the ingredients you use, which is essential for special requirements and diet dog food.
The following recipe is just an example. You can replace the beef with turkey, chicken, fish, or any kind of meat that you want to feed to your pets. Generally speaking, healthy dog food should supply protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and water.
- 5 lbs. ground beef
- 3 cups each, chopped squash or pumpkin and carrots
- 3 cups brown rice
- 1 cup kidney beans
- ½ cup peas
- ½ gallon water
Your best bet for cooking this recipe is to use a slow cooker. Set the heat to low, combine all of the ingredients and cook for about 6 hours. Bon appetite!
Dehydrated or dry dog food
A meat dehydrator will go a long way in saving you time, effort and money. It’ll increase the shelf life of your homemade dog food by reducing moisture content and protecting it from bacteria growth. By preparing large batches, you’ll be able to make a month’s supply or more.
Start with any kind of dog food recipe. Instead of cooking it directly, dehydrate the ingredients individually, then grind them down in a food processor. Some foods, like rice and other grains, should be boiled before drying.
Lean ground beef, turkey or salmon is a great option. Any fat content will be quick to spoil, and since it’s ground, you won’t have to do any cutting. Simply place it ¼” high in your dehydrator trays and desiccate at 16- degrees F until completely cooked and dry.
Each kind of food will, of course, have different requirements. Search our blog for expert advice on how to dehydrate virtually any kind of ingredient for your holistic dog food!
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As you can see, there is some effort that goes into this process. However, some would say that homemade, dehydrated dog food is more vital and easy to digest than store-bought, dry varieties.
Once your ingredients are dried and ground, it’s time to store them! We use large glass jars and combine the entire recipe together, which makes it easy to scoop out portions for each of our pets. Pour it in a bowl with warm water, stir, and your gorgeous pooch will be happily chowing in about 5 minutes!
You might also consider using some kind of bone broth, instead of water. It’s a great source of calcium, as well as other crucial vitamins and minerals that normally get thrown out. We share recipes and techniques for making bone broth, and drying it into a powder or bouillon in some of our other articles!
A meat dryer is an effective home tool for preparing healthier food that lasts!