Making dog food is not a difficult thing to do, but it takes a fair amount of preparation. I do everything from scratch, if you are a long time reader of this blog, search for recipes and you will find that I home roast coffee, churn butter, make scratch biscuits, and many recipes for bread.
The ingredient list is simple however, I will explain at the end how I actually prepare EACH ingredient. If you do things that way, you can shortcut the recipe to under 1/2 hour of cooking.
Ingredients are in "Imperial" and converted to Metric.
All Ingredients are UNSALTED or LOW SALT:
- 2.5 pounds/1.1kg ground beef (I use 77% Lean or better)
- 24 ounces/3 cups/710ml water
- 3 ounces/90g unsalted pre-cooked green peas
- 5 ounces/150g finely shredded partially pre-cooked carrots
- 15-16 ounces/450g pre-cooked Kidney Beans (I have also used Pinto Beans)
- 1 can/15-16 ounces/450g Butternut Squash or Pumpkin - NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING
- 21 ounces/600g pre-cooked white rice (I prefer Jasmine but that's because I can get it)
- Brown and drain the ground beef in a large pot of about a gallon/4 liters
- Return beef to the pot and add water.
- Turn on the heat again and begin to warm the water to simmer.
- Add ingredients in the order listed allowing the water to come back to simmer between each ingredient
- Allow the food to cool before serving. Dogs will eat things that are too hot for them but you don't want to harm your friend. The pre-cooked rice will soak up extra water when stored in the refrigerator.
Preparing the ingredients.
Carrots: I peel carrots and grate them finely in a food processor. A Box Grater will work if you are patient. Portion the carrots in bags and freeze the carrots. Thaw before use. This freeze/thaw cycle will "cook" the carrots and make them more palatable to the dog.
Beans: If you can find a low or no sodium bean in a can you can use this. I buy dry kidney beans in bulk because they are vastly cheaper than in a can. Also, there is very little difference between varieties of beans for nutrition. Buy what is in season or cheapest, I do.
To cook beans using an Instant Pot or a Crock Pot Express, rinse beans, add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of beans. Cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes and Natural Release for 15 minutes. Beans should be portioned as needed and for the dog food, mash them partially to make them more bio-available.
Rice: Rinse rice. 3 parts rice to 4 parts water. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water before sealing the Rice Cooker or Instant Pot.
For the Instant Pot/Crock Pot Express, use the Rice Button but reduce time to 6 minutes. Turn off the Keep Warm button. I tend to allow the rice to sit in the pot for about 5 minutes or so for Natural Release, then carefully vent the pot. Don't burn yourself!
Peas: I use frozen peas that are warmed in the microwave before adding to the mix. Mash the peas in a bowl/cup before adding to make them more bio-available.
Water: Since I have access to filtered water, I always use that.