Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Homemade dog food

We're on a fairly limited income, so I do everything I can to stretch those Belize dollars.  When we decided to buy our beautiful little Shannon, we knew it would stretch our budget a little, but we really couldn't resist those beautiful brown eyes and her crazy personality.  The unexpected was to have a little boy pup placed in my arms with the request that they really wanted good homes for their precious babes.  How could I resist, but woe to the food budget.  We'd already gone thru the trauma of seizures with dear Bailey and preservatives.  We discovered a local food that stated it uses vegetable preservatives and haven't had a repeat of the seizures, but with puppy food for two added, I could see $200 per month being a stretch.  We have a wonderful friend with four dog who makes her own food, so I decided to do some research of my own.  I came up with something that is working well and the dogs all seem to be thriving.

This may not possible in the States because of food restrictions, but I have an arrangement with a local butcher to get the scraps from their blade when they cut meat.  They grind this and sell to me for $1 a pound.  My friend who also uses this adds things to the meat, makes into balls, bakes and then freezes them.   I take another approach.  I cook this meat product in a large frying pan, breaking it up into bits as it cooks.  When done it looks like hamburger.  (I make fairly small batches of food because it can get heavy and hard handle). 

A batch lasts for two feedings a day for three dogs for two days.  
Two cups of uncooked rice in 4 cups of water.
Add approximately 4 cups of meat mixture
Slice three to four large carrots, cook and then run thru processor.

For the pups I give them one cup of dry puppy chow with 8 to 10 ozs of the rice/meat mixture.  Sometimes I'll add a raw egg to each dish.  They get this twice a day.

For Bailey, who is grossly overweight, I was feeding him just once a day, but he would watch the pups eating and it didn't seem fair, so he gets a small feeding twice a day too.  He get about 1/2 cup of adult chow with 6 to 8 ozs of the rice mixture.  I can't really say he's lost weight since we've switched to this mix, but he does seem more alert and has more energy.   

I'm still working to determine exact amounts, but it looks as tho' we'll use about 15# of the meat mixture and 10# of rice a month.  That would translate to about 25$ BZ.  With dry dog food at $80-$90 for 50#, that is a significant savings for our meager budget.  I add whatever cooked vegetables that I can find, but really like the carrots because they have a sweetness that the dogs all seem to like.  By processing them, they're not faced with hunks of vegetables to spit out. 



Corozal Dave said...

What a great idea, and I'm sure the dogs prefer this food as well. I'd like to thank you for your posts, they have kept me in touch with Belize while I recovered from surgery her in Canada. I'm returning home to Corozal on August 1, I've missed my home there and my friends even more.

Jim Bradley said...

Do you use any vitamin supplements to round out their nutrition? I started my dog on a homemade diet but I had to include a supplement to make sure he was getting all the nutrition he needed. It wasn't too expensive and worth every penny in my opinion.