November 1 is National Cook For Your Pets Day.
There are many advantages to offering a real food diet to our pets including having control over the ingredients and the ability to eliminate additives, preservatives and allergens.
In addition, providing a fresh, biologically appropriate diet can go a long way in keeping our pets healthy and happy!
The two biggest misconceptions about homemade food are cost and time. In fact, home-cooked food is often more cost-effective than feeding premium pet food. As for time, it can take as little as 20 minutes to create four or five days worth of food.
Healthy Pet Coach has provided us with basic homemade food recipes for cats and for dogs.
HOMEMADE DOG FOOD RECIPE
2 tsp. organic coconut oil
1 cup of water, preferably filtered
Small pinch of sea salt
1 lb. (16 oz) ground meat or boneless skinless poultry – Chicken, turkey, rabbit, very lean ground beef, venison, buffalo, pheasant, quail, goat are all good choices.
1 Egg Scrambled or 2 oz. liver
4 oz. (1/2 cup) Pumpkin Puree or Sweet Potato/Yam
- Pureed pumpkin in BPA-free cans
- Sweet Potatoes/yams can be baked or steamed (cut into one-inch rounds, steam for 10 minutes or until soft, let cool, peel skin, dice or mash) – also available canned and frozen
8 oz. (1 cup) Diced Veggies
- Zucchini, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli – all good choices
- Can use frozen or steam fresh veggies or cook the veggies with the meat
4 oz. (1/2 cup) Cooked Oats or Millet
(this is optional – if not using, increase the pumpkin to 8 oz. and veggies to 12 oz.)
- Whole oats, not quick cook or instant
2 oz. (1/4 cup) Blueberries or diced apple (no need to cook fruit)
- Can be frozen – organic is best
Vegetables can be fresh or frozen. Because dogs cannot breakdown the cellulose in vegetables, fresh veggies should be steamed alone or cooked along with the meat.
- If you are steaming veggies and/or cooking grain, this is a good time to do that
- Heat coconut oil in a medium or large pan over medium heat
- Add half the water water
- Add meat and stir. If using liver, it can be cooked together with the meat
- Add Veggies (if not steaming)
- Add the rest of the water
- Ground meat will usually cook in 10 minutes
- If you are using boneless, skinless chicken or turkey, it will take 15 minutes or more to cook. You will need to cut the cooked meat into bite-sized- pieces
- Once the meat is done, transfer contents of entire pan (meat, water, veggies) to a glass bowl/container OR
- If your dog prefers a pate type consistency, transfer the entire contents of the pan to a blender
- Scramble the eggs, if using, and add them along with the pumpkin and minerals to the bowl/container or blender
- If in a container/bowl, add fruit and stir everything together
- If in a blender, transfer to a container/bowl and add the fruit
- Store in fridge or freezer
- Food will stay fresh in the fridge for 4 days
Omega 3 Oil – This is important for the immune system, digestion, skin and coat, joints and so much more including reducing inflammation in the body. Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet
For each serving of food, warm up water and add a few teaspoons to the food to bring it back to room temperature. Never microwave food for your dog.
Feel free to add shredded unsweetened coconut (sprinkled on top before serving) or fresh herbs, like parsley, oregano, basil, etc.
Portion (these are average amounts – your dog may need more or less)
10 lb. dog: ½ – ¾ cup per day
30 lb. dog: 1 ½ – 2 cups per day
70 lb. dog: 3 ¼ cups per day
HOMEMADE CAT FOOD RECIPE
APPROX FOUR DAYS WORTH OF FOOD FOR ONE CAT
1 – 2 tsp organic coconut oil (optional)
6 – 8 oz filtered or bottled water
Small pinch of Sea Salt
1 lb Meat
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breast, cutlets, or a combo of thighs and white meat
- Turkey cutlets or ground turkey work well, as does ground buffalo/bison, ground beef
- If you want to get more adventurous, rabbit, goat and venison are also great.
1 Egg or 2 oz. liver
2 oz. (1/4 cup) Pumpkin Puree
1 – 2 oz Green Veggies (diced or cut into small pieces)
- Zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, kale – all good choices (use one at a time)
- Can use frozen or fresh – just add fresh veggies to meat/water combination while cooking in the pan
1000 mg Taurine
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat
- Add half the water and the meat (and liver, if using) and stir. Add dash of sea salt
- Add the rest of the water
- Ground meat will usually cook in 5 – 8 minutes; if using whole pieces (skinless, boneless), 10 – 15 minutes for poultry
- If using fresh veggies, add them in now. Frozen green veggies can be added now or mixed in when the meat is done.
- Once the meat is done, transfer contents of entire pan (meat, water, veggies) to a blender
- Use the same pan you used for the meat to scramble the egg (if using). This will only take a couple of minutes. Add to the blender
- Add vitamins, calcium, taurine, and pumpkin. Pulse everything together on a low speed – this will keep it chunkier. If your cat prefers a true pate, just blend a bit longer.
- Transfer to a glass container; add the Omega 3 oil and stir.
- Store in airtight glass container in fridge. Food will stay fresh in the fridge for 4 days.
- For each serving of food, warm up water and add a few teaspoons to the food to bring it back to room temperature. Never microwave food for your cat.
- If freezing portions, do not add the Omega 3. Wait until the food is defrosted and then add the oil.
A total of 5 – 6 ounces (volume, not weight) of food per day, depending on individual needs.
Omega 3 Oil – This is important for the immune system, digestion, skin and coat, joints and so much more including reducing inflammation in the body. I recommend Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet.