why on earth would we make our own dog food?

It’s Jeanne.

And I feel a little guilty following up Abby’s incredibly delicious Biscuits with a post about dog food … but then I thought “the dogs have to eat, too.”

Now, I want to explain something.

We are NOT making our own dog food because we’re horrified by the dog food choices on the market.  There are some really good ones out there these days.  Eagle Pak makes some great dog food.  So does Blue Buffalo.  We actually feed them both to the very active lunatic fur-balls who live in our house.

henry & orange ball

And when I have searched for the best brands in the past, the ones that are consistently in the “top 3” for dry dog foods are from Origen, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul and Wellness CORE.

But we do make our own dog food.

Not as a general rule.

But when we buy an untrimmed beef tenderloin from Costco (trimmed, they sell for $19.99/lb …untrimmed it’s $9.99), it makes sense to trim it ourselves as there’s typically only about a pound of fat on a six pound tenderloin.

Or when I make bone broth, there are some great leftovers (veggies and meat … especially if I make it with a whole chicken rather than just a carcass).

The other ingredients in homemade dog food include hardboiled eggs (shells and all), that we buy for $2/dozen or trade for sourdough bread, and rice (which we buy in bulk and 2 cups dry probably costs about 40 cents).

We can’t add the meat scraps to the compost bin.

And we believe the dogs feel pretty special that they get this delicious wet food treat to supplement their dinner … particularly on days when they actually work for their food (i.e., work cattle with the cowboy, or run with the horses).

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So we make supplemental dog food when we’ve got leftovers that are worth the effort.  (I sort of look at this like composting for meat and dairy.)

Here’s what we do:

dog food 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups (+/-) meat and veggie leftovers from making bone broth
  • 4 cups fat and meat scraps from trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 2 cups rice (2 cups dry … cooked it ends up being about 4-6 cups of rice)
  • 8 hardboiled eggs (did you see our post about “baking” hard boiled eggs?)

dog food 2

DIRECTIONS:

Put the meat and veggie leftovers from the bone broth into the food processor and pulverize it.  Do the same with the meat scraps.

Combine the two.

Use a potato masher to mash the hard-boiled eggs (leave the shells on … it’s a great source of calcium for the boys).  Add the eggs to the meat.  Then add the rice.  Stir until well-combined.

Feel good about not adding viable food to the landfill.  And watch your dogs light up with joy at dinner!

– Jeanne

NOTE:  The meat we use in this is raw, so we keep this food in the refrigerator in our garage.

**We’re linked up at This Chick Cooks, Kelly the Kitchen Kop and The Nourishing Gourmet.**

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