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.**

oh, Henry …

Jeanne here … from my new desk 🙂

Sitting here … looking out my window, dreaming of the sunflowers that I’m going to plant in a few weeks, next to the fence that borders our yard and blocks the view into our neighbor’s yard, and wandering through old pictures wondering what  to write.

Henry lays behind me (blocking my chair from moving and making sure I sit here “writing.”)

He’s a good dog.

Always looking out for me.

I’m convinced he might be my guardian angel.

I found Henry on Craigslist the year I met the Cowboy.

It was 4 am and I was still at work (working on a movie in production gets you in the office at all hours … I think I was working on a 20 hour day).  I was waiting for the writer to to email me a new draft of the script and struggling to stay awake, so I was surfing the web and there was an ad on Craigslist that said “Free Chocolate Lab to Good Home.”  And in the ad, a terrible story about a dog named Austin whose owner had just had a baby and the baby wasn’t well and they were spending so much time in and out of the hospital that they could no longer take care of him.

I cried.

And without too much thought, I emailed her.

And she emailed back (within seconds).

And about 5 hours later (after I was done with work and heading to my sublet for a few hours sleep before the next day began), I found myself on Interstate 40 driving about 40 minutes to meet this “Austin.”  He was in my car 5 minutes later … and his name was Henry.

And in all honesty, he was integral to my romance with the Cowboy.

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He was an excuse for us to meet at the river (the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico) and go for long walks, or bike rides or runs to make sure Henry got enough exercise.

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He was an excuse to stay late at work at the studio to throw a ball for him because I didn’t have a yard at my apartment sublet.

And he was a reason for the Cowboy to “check in” on me and how things were going as the adoptive mother to a previously “abandoned” dog.  (His previous owner had told me that she had left him outside for about 3-4 months, tied up, fed twice a day, but ignored … poor guy.)

Anyway … Henry’s a little crazy.

Neurotic.

6a0120a6b271a7970c013480054293970c-800wi Really doesn’t love being inside.

But outside?

He’s amazing.

6a0120a6b271a7970c0133ecd528e8970b-800wi Joyful.

IMG_0833 Loving and playful (especially if you’re holding an orange ball).

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A beacon of happiness.

I love Henry.

Two more chances to register for our VALENTINE’S DAY REAL FOOD CHALLENGE AND GIVEAWAY!