Thinking about home cooking for your Tripawd? You’ll find plenty of support from Tripawds members who make nutritious, tasty dog food every week.
For example, Karen, pawrent of canine kids Tripawd Pegz and quadpawd Chaz, is well-acquainted with home cooking for dogs.
“Lots of folks tell me I am crazy,” she says. “But the truth is that once you develop a routine, this process is no big deal. It takes me 1/2 an hour…2 or 3 times a week. I travel frequently for work, so advance prep is a must. But the results are worth it,” she adds.
People switch to home cooked dog food for a variety of different reasons. In Karen’s case, she says “I actually started all this by trying to cure the ‘evil squirts.’ And I slowly realized that when I did the boiled meat and rice routine, the better BM’s (bowel movements) we had! Then I started to read up on commercial food and became convinced that the more “whole” food I could give them the better they would do.”
Today, Pegz and Chaz have superior intestinal health, healthy skin and fur and Karen adds “Pegz is a new dog in terms of energy. When she gets too feisty and rambunctious, I have to tell her, “That’s it!! No more vitamins for you!”
See How they Eat
In the following photos, Karen describes how she approaches home cooking for her pack, and the ingredients she uses on a regular basis.
A few items we need every week to make some yummy meals. Brown rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggs, green beans and apple cider vinegar.
Missing from the pic is plain yogurt and the gently boiled beef and chicken that makes up 2/3 of each plate. Occasionally, we give some whole wheat pasta instead of brown rice. A tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley takes that pasta from bland to boring and also provides green matter and calcium. Other occasional additions include scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and canned salmon.
As you can see, the veggies have been pretty much pulverized in the food processor and comprise about 1/3 of the plate along with the rice. Doggies can’t digest most whole veggies so you need to grind them up. Truthfully there is no art here. After the picture was taken, it all got slopped together for actual dog consumption.
The Expectant Diner
After several months of blending commercial with home cooked food, Miss Pegz has better breath, shinier coat, no dandruff and much more flexibility in her creaky old bones.
Home Cooking Basics for Pegz and Chaz
The pack enjoys a combination of commercial dog food as well as Mom’s cooking. In the morning, the menu consists of a high-quality commerical dog food (a mixture of canned and dry) with a dollop of yogurt (probiotic) and some wild fish oil sprinkled in.
Dinnertime is when they get to enjoy a big bowl of Mom’s home cooking, which often consists of “some combo of brown rice and pulverized veg, plus either partially cooked chicken or ground beef.” A calcium powder is added to the vegetable and rice mixture at feeding time, the both dogs get a multi-vitamin.
Each dog receives different amounts of food based on their weight. Pegz weighs 43 pounds and Chaz weighs 70. “I am very focused on her (Pegz’) calories, so that she does not gain any extra pounds. In addition to missing her front left leg, her back left leg is severely damaged.
As part of the pack’s holistic approach to good health, Karen says she avoids giving both dogs tap water. “The smell of chlorine in our city water would blow your hat off,” she says. “If I can’t stand the smell, I am not going to make them drink it. Spring water only.”
For critics who say home cooking is an expensive endeavor compared to kibble, Karen says her price comparisons proove otherwise. “If I were going to feed 100 percent high quality commercial food, then this method is not that much more expensive.”
The real costs are in the price of supplements that need to be added to the food, which Karen says are mandatory for the most nutritious home cooked dog food.
Do you home cook for your pack? If so, contact us to share your tips and ideas for dog-friendly home cooking.
Recommended Reading for Home Cooking Ideas
NOTE: We are not veterinarians. All information provided here is based only on our own experiences caring for Jerry and Wyatt, and the experiences of other Tripawds members who share their ideas with the community. Please consult your vet or do further research before implementing any new dietary regimen or supplements into your dog’s treatment plan.