Knowing the difference between secreting organs and muscle meat is important when making your homemade dog food recipe. Organs are extremely rich in nutrients while the muscle meats are made of muscle and connective tissues. These two are the natural vitamins you will be adding to your homemade foods. Though organ meat does have the highest vitamin content.
I know when I started it was hard to remember which were considered an organ and which were considered a muscle meat, so I made this handy dandy list for you.
Your recipes should include 5% of each to make it a complete and balanced dog food recipe with ALL the proper nutrients.
Depending on where you live, some of these may be hard to come by. You can always order online from www.rawpawspetfood.com (they have liver, heart, green tripe and signature blend meat rolls, in all proteins). I have a large group of homemade dog food feeders who have ordered from them with enthusiastic reviews. Luckily, I have been able to find a local pet store who will order most of these items for me on a monthly basis.
If you have any questions secreting organs or muscle meats leave me a comment below and I will do my best to assist!
One of the first questions you may be asking yourself when starting a homemade diet is, how much do I feed them?
It is quite simple, use the formula below and your good to go.
You want to feed your dog about 2-3% of their total body weight. However, puppies should be feed a different guideline all together because they require more nutrients.
To calculate, you want to multiply their weight by 16 oz. to get the total body weight in ounces. From there, feed them 2-3% of that weight daily. My dogs get fed twice a day, so the number I get I divide into two.
For example, if you dog weighs 80 pds., for example, follow the calculation below:
- 80 lbs. x 16 oz. = 1280 oz. (body weight in ounces)
- 1280 oz. x .02 = 25.6 oz. (minimum food weight, couch potatoes)
- 1280 oz. x .03 = 38.4 oz. (maximum food weight, active dogs)
If you feed twice a day, divide into two.
It is as simple as that. You do not need to be a mathematician to get the formula correct. If you see your dog is losing weight add some more, if they are gaining weight, knock it down a notch. Just make sure you follow the 70% protein, 5% secreting organ, 5% muscle meat and 20% fruits and veggies.
If you are unclear what consists of an organ and/or muscle meat visit my page A Guide to Feeding Organ and Muscle Meat.
It does not need to be complicated just monitor them. Same applies with all the foods you will feed them. Some dogs may turn out to be sensitive to pork, or apples, or oats. Just keep an eye out. Don’t overcomplicate it, we have enough going on!
These are the vitamins I have chosen to give to my two dogs. They are all-natural and they love them!
Veterinary Naturals Hemp & Hips Soft Chews- $19.00 for 60 chews
I like this product because it is made with Organic Turmeric & Hemp Oil so I know my pups are getting a clean and natural product. It contains Glucosamine HCL, MSM, Fish Oil, Organic Turmeric, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin E and Hemp Oil. As separate supplements this would cost an arm and a leg to replicate. It is simple and quick and they love the bacon flavor and smell! For more information you can visit their site at Vetnaturals.com.
Nuvet Plus K-9 Daily Vitamin – 90 vitamins for $47
Now this is my splurge for my babies. This vitamin was recommended by the breeder I got my first dog from. It contains a ton of vitamins, Blue Algae, Brewer’s Yeast and Alfalfa, just to name a few. I found that I was not overlapping vitamins and minerals with the supplements I was already adding to my homemade.
This may seem like a lot but there are double if not triple, benefits to almost all of these products. These vitamins may seem expensive but not nearly as expensive as other supplements I have come across in my research. For more information visit their website at Nuvetlabs.com.
The rest of the nutritional needs will come from foods, foods both you and I eat,
….clean, simple foods.
Of course we want our beloved pets to live a strong and prosperous life. They become our family. We nurture them just as much as they nurture us. They open our hearts to a whole new kind of love.
Sure they can be a pain when they poop in your house or eat your favorite pair of heels but regardless of how angry you get with them, they will never let you stay mad at them. They don’t run into their room and slam the door or dismiss your invitation for a cuddle or a kiss. They are never too busy or too embarrassed. They just want love and they want nothing more than to return that love to you, entirely.
So when I was on the fence about the cost of going homemade, ultimately I made the decision based on the fact that they would do anything for me, so why not reciprocate that dedication.
It may seem like you are biting off more than you can chew but I can assure you, the benefits will surely outweigh the potential time constraints or the financial burden you may think you would be facing. I would be of disservice to my readers if I said I was immediately sold of the homemade diet when I was researching, based primarily on the financial aspect. Of course we all think about money, everything we can or cannot do is based upon money. How will we pay our bills, how much will we need for gas, or groceries….how making a change in anything financial would be cause for anxiety.
So what exactly is the cost of homemade dog food? It is not what you think….
I am a single mom who lives on one income. So yes, I was completely skeptical on the financial aspect of the homemade cooking. It was not until I actually sat down and figured out the costs involved that I was able to weigh the cost of kibble vs. homemade.
Prior to switching to homemade I was feeding my dogs Zignature. After tons of research I found this brand because it offered the most natural and wholesome ingredients as a price I could afford. This particular brand runs about $60-70 per bag. Excited, I brought home the bag and fed it to my two pups. Moose ate it without hesitation (though Moose would eat a shoe for dinner if he could); however, Lulu turned her nose to it immediately. I was crushed. I had just spend my entire grocery money on this food and she hated it. She smelled it, then smelled it again, and walked away. Did she smell something I couldn’t? The answer is simple, probably.
Disappointed and frustrated I sat down and thought about it. Have you ever looked at kibble? It is brown, it is hard, it smells like….who knows what. When Lulu was a baby I would add water to her kibble to soften it up, have you ever left kibble drowned in water in a bowl and returned hours later? It actually stays completely intact, just bloated. It is designed to lay in their bellies for hours to help them feel satisfied all the while leaving them feeling groggy and tired.
And canned food? Ugh! It is a brown mold of a can similar to that of cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving but with foul remnants of a jelly like fluid on the bottom.
Stop the madness! Please!
To give you a better idea of what you would be up against if you chose to make homemade dog food, lets break down the cost of kibble vs. homemade:
27lb. bag of Zignature @$65.00 (would last me three months)
So there you have it!
You will truly be surprised how many vegetables and proteins your dog can have and absolutely love. They will look better, feel better and have more energy than ever before. You will too, knowing that you are feeding your devoted companions clean, nutritious meals.
So go ahead and scroll through my site for some easy (and cheap) homemade dog food recipes 🙂
I am not a nutritionist or a veterinarian. I am just a mom to two pups who has done quite a bit of research on the homemade dog food diet. These guidelines are ones made by me, used by me, unless otherwise told by my veterinarian. Please consult with your dogs vet before changing your pets diet as each dog is different and has different nutritional needs*
Common food that dogs CANNOT eat.
- Hard Candy
My addition to this list would be commercial dog foods and treats. They contain inexpensive fillers, artificial flavors and ughhhh dyes! So basically those bones and chews that are made to look like a real piece of meat, are a real piece of junk!
Common foods that dogs CAN eat.
*This information was found on American Kennel Club website*
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cottage Cheese
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
There is alot of controversy on the internet about these two butting heads. I feed my dogs brown rice. Why? Because I eat brown rice, simple as that. I use rice as a filler, just as I do most of the vegetables. Some sites will say brown rice is hard for dogs to digest but I have not seen any rice in my dogs stools so to me they are digesting it just fine.
Aren’t vegetables hard for them to digest?
Yes, if they are fed raw and intact. I used to feed my pups raw green beans and carrots and they had no issues other than it came out just as it came in. Now I cook them and pulverize them before adding to their food.
Why the eggs shells?
Egg shells are added to all my recipes as an essential nutrient. They are a highly absorbable form of calcium and the most natural form to use. Sure you can buy calcium supplements, bone meals etc. but those come in powder form and who knows what else could be added in. If you blend the egg shells in a food processor they will grind down to powder anyway. Plus, fresh eggs are a fraction of the cost of buying any calcium powders.
All these supplements are crazy expensive!
Yes, they can be and Ill be honest this chased me away the first few times I started research on homemade foods. However, I perservered and found supplements that worked for me and my budget and my dogs are thriving beautifully. Check out my supplements page to learn more about what I use.
The prep seems like alot, how long does it take?
It does seem like alot, I agree. It appears time consuming but I can assure you once you get your flow you will see it really is not. I cook for an entire month and it takes a few hours and most of that time its either in the crock pot or simmering on the stove. I am a single mom and I have a son who plays travel hockey. We travel almost every weekend and spend two nights a week at the rink for practice. If I can pull it off so can you!
Does it cost alot of money?
It may seem like it would but if you write down all that you need you may find that you have some of these ingredients on your shopping list anyway. I make alot of fresh juices for myself so all the vegetables and fruits I use I incorporate into their meals as well. The most expensive products will be the supplements but I have found some that work for me and my budget. Trust me, if I can swing it on one income, you can too!