Have you seen the price of pet food lately? Yikes!! And if you read the labels on the pet food cans and bags, you might be a bit horrified as to what the ingredients are. Meat byproducts and fillers and unpronounceable ingredients. Big budget marketing campaigns funded by major pet food companies have us believing that dogs and cats should not eat anything but "pet" food, and that "human" food will make your pet sick, or their digestive systems can't handle it. This is not necessarily true. Making your own pet food can be much healthier for your pet and not as difficult as you might think.
Make it fresh
There are major benefits to fresh food. For starters, it can be more palatable. You also have control over what goes into each meal so you can include higher-quality ingredients, like more protein or a greater variety of pet safe fruits and vegetables. Beyond that, no stabilizers are needed, so your pet won’t be consuming synthetic preservatives.
Homeade pet food recipes:
The best part about making homemade pet food is that you know exactly what is going into the food bowl, and none of the ingredients are questionable or meat by products.
Dog food: *recipe courtesy of Damn Delicious*
This recipe has a balance of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains, but the ratios can easily be adjusted to suit your pup’s breed and/or needs. Once you’ve made your batch, you can divide them up into single servings, note the date, and freeze it. When ready to serve, you can defrost it in the fridge overnight and then microwave to heat up (optional) for 15-30 seconds. That’s it!
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds of either ground turkey, beef or chicken
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
DIRECTIONS: Cook the rice and set aside, then cook the meat of and set aside. Then stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas, and rice until spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through. (about 3 - 5 minutes) Let cool completely, then bon appetite for Fido! Freeze single servings for daily feedings.
Homeade Cat Food Recipe: *courtesy of foodalltime*
3 oz of boiled tuna
1/4 cup rice
1/4 cup mashed sweet potato
1 tsp fish oil
1/8 tsp of high quality powdered nutritional vitamin
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender. (you can add some broth if you prefer a thinner consistency) and wa-laa! Dinner is served! This recipe makes three meals for your feline fur baby.
Homeade isn't for everyone
I get it. We all lead busy lives and making your pet's food might be just another thing on the list of 100 things to do. And each pet is different and may have special dietary needs that require a specialty food. But it's always nice to have options, or to try something new. Just being aware and reading ingredients as to what is in your pet's food might be quite the eye opener, and may prompt you to buy a higher quality, less processed food. The healthier your pet is, the happier they will be, and the happier you will be too. :-)
"Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life." — James Cromwell
*Article written by Mary Augustine, owner/operator of Pets & Plants