Home cooking beginner

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.


Look at my- cuteness..now- pet me!!!
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '12 3:17pm PST 
As the title suggests i'm just beginning on my home cooking journey. I have 2 dogs a 4month pomeranian and a 5 year old collie cross.

At the min they are both on bland diet of rice and chicken after i stupidly change kibble flavour without slow introduction. It was the same brand so figured they would be ok, big mistake, never again red face

Anyhow i have been reading about home cooking and the idea of providing a cooked meal for my furries gets the thumbs up. Only thing is i'm not sure where to start. I want to give 1 home cooked meal in the morning and kibble on the evening.

Does any1 know of a good recipe to get me started, that i could use fo both dogs??

It would be much appreciated by myself and the blue dog

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '12 4:32pm PST 
Here is a whole lot of info. Check the suggested books if you feel better using something on paper. Some may be in your local library and some can be previewed online.

If you just add 1/2 tsp of powdered egg shell to a pound of the raw meat in that yummy goop you are feeding right now it is in a good place although chances are your dogs are getting more than enough calcium from eating a diet that is only half kibble. This is exactly where I started with my dogs but no kibble.

If you feed something like 50-75% by weight of chicken meat to the cooked rice even better. There are about 11 ounces of meat and skin per pound of whole chicken. So if you have a 5 pound chicken that is about 55 ounces of meat and skin, add no more than 20-50 ounces of cooked rice or 8-16 ounces of raw rice.

If you add about 1 ounce of beef or lamb liver to each pound of food better yet. To that 5 pound chicken and 8 ounces of rice add 5 ounces of raw liver.

If you use pork, beef, lamb more often than not even better.

If once a week or so you feed some sort of fatty omega rich fish like sardines, mackerel or salmon, very good.

If you use veggies instead of rice then you may see amazing changes in your dogs.

If you want to make your recipe absolutely spot on according to NRC requirements then see Sedona's excellent thread on how to balance the diet.
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Home_Prepared_Food_Recipes/thre ad/640881
Since you are planning to do half and half it doesn't matter if for example potassium is only 85% in your food as the kibble will take up the slack but you might work at it just because it is interesting if you like.

A general rule in feeding raw is 2-3% of the dog's weight per day and it works as a general rule for cooked food too. That comes to 16-24 ounces for a 50 pound dog, 4-6 ounces for a 12 pound dog. That amount won't starve or stuff the dog in a week's time but it is very important to evaluate the diet and feed more or less depending on the dogs' conditions NOT how hungry they act. You want to easily feel all the ribs and bony bits but not see any but perhaps a shadow of the last couple ribs. Some small dogs need 10% their body weight each day! You must adjust the amount of food for your dogs.

If you are up to it raw is even better than cooked though. No wasting those chicken bones, easier, no messy pots and pans and the dogs enjoy it even more. I could make quite the mess cooking for Sassy. Dogs really enjoyed the mess though.

Look at my- cuteness..now- pet me!!!
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '12 5:02am PST 
Hi thanks for your response, all this ratio business is confussing, i'm shockingly bad at maths! red face

I have actually started to put ground up egg shell in there goopy meals so at least i'm doing something right! Lol

I'm thinking of doind something basic for now and changing it as i read up on homecooking.

Does this look about right for now, bare in mind it will be fed alongside kibble. I will be feeding this to both my pom pup and 61 lbs collie cross...

This is what i have (mainly pinched it from other threads! lol)

6 cups of rice
6 cups of veggies (carrot, peas, cabbage)
9 cups of meat (which ever is cheapest at the time)
1 cup of beef liver
4 eggs (altho i may leave these out the recipe and feed them boiled as a treat?)
a teaspoon or 2 of crushed eggshell ( altho i know they will be getting calcium from their kibble)

And once or twice a week throw in some sort of fish (makerel, salmon or sardines)

So does that look about right? And would it be fair to say that the food should last a week or so? To feed both dogs.

Thanks for your help x x


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '12 7:34am PST 
Beef, ground, 85% lean meat, raw
36 ounce ABOUT 4.5 cups of raw
Beef liver, raw
4 ounce ABOUT 1/2 cup
Chicken, broilers or fryers, meat and skin, cooked, stewed
4.5 cup, chopped or diced
Egg, whole, raw, fresh
4.86 large eggs ABOUT a cup
Rice, white, long-grain, regular, cooked
3.0 x 1 cup (158g)
Vegetables, mixed, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
3 cup
egg shell
2.5 measuring teaspoons

Would feed my 38 pound dog for 8 days on its own. Would feed him for 16 days if he ate half kibble. For your medium sized dog and toy breed pup it is right on target! If your medium sized dog eats about 600 calories a day like my Max then a full feed would be about 1.5 cups of this and your pup needs about .5 cups of this so for a half feed give about .75 cups and .1-.25 for the pup. Where you will run into trouble is the different ingredients may mix up into less than that. I REALLY love my accurate digital kitchen scale!

My dog really really needs lots of fat and protein. Raw has done amazing things for his condition. I know too much fat is very worrying but try to leave as much in the food as you can. Chicken skin is high in fat, I suspect the fat in skin keeps us land animals from dehydrating. Max's coat has changed dramatically on high fat raw from the previous low fat kibble.

Kibbles are very high in grains and other starchy foods like potato so putting it in your cooked food isn't all that great an idea so I cut it in half. Cutting it out entirely is possible. Be sure you cook it until a grain of it is easily squeezed flat between your fingers.

Dogs need meat, lots of it, I put in half chicken and half beef. Beef, pork or lamb is much higher in vitamins and minerals than chicken and I hope you can get at least half of the meat to be red meat. Of course your kibble mineral and vitamin mix should cover any deficits in this recipe if red meat isn't in the budget that week. Fish is low in minerals and vitamins too but fatty fish is rich in omega 3s, add a bit if you can find a can of it for a good enough price some weeks.

Veggies are mostly for fiber and taste so I cut it in half. Unless they are pureed or cooked until very soft you will likely see them in the dog's stool. Mixed veggies here are peas, carrots and corn. The corn won't be digested and its skin will be seen in the stool!

Liver is very very high in vitamin A but the reason I cut down the amount so drastically is that while beef liver is the best source of copper to the point it is difficult to get enough copper unless you feed it just a tiny bit is needed.

More egg shell was needed so there is more calcium than phosphorus in the food. If this was their only feed then food grade bone meal would be a better supplement as this food is low in phosphorus but as is it is fine.

Max got fat on home cooked food. The tiny amount he actually needed didn't look like enough for my best buddy and he ended up gaining 1/3 his body weight before I knew it. Remember there isn't any air in cooked mush so even though the mush may look the same volume as kibble and has lots of good water in it it is likely much higher in calories. Keep your hands on the dogs and cut back if they get chunky!!!!

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 7:27am PST 
I don't think all bones have to be thrown out, you can give some as a RMB after you cut away the meat, as long as it's an appropriate type of bone. (ETA: Separate out the meat to be cooked and reserve the bone to be served raw later)

Also, I'm wondering if pressure cooking softens them up enough to be edible (that slightly gummy, not sharp consistency, you can cut through them with a fork) like Merrick's canned bone-in chicken wings. (?) I haven't tried that yet, but I make broth with the bones, mush up what I can to use the marrow and toss the hard parts.

Edited by author Thu Jun 7, '12 7:29am PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 1:35pm PST 
Yes, some people report they can either slow cook the chicken or pressure cook it until most of the bone is soft. Since chicken is about 1/3 bone and you want about 10% bone then you can add in double the weight of the chicken and veggies and such as you like and no other calcium needed. So add 10 pounds of other meat to a 5 pound chicken.

They also report it smells a bit odd and it is possible it does bad things to stuff like taurine and B vitamins.

Pretty cool if it actually works! And if the bone doesn't soften up I guess you just guessimate how much egg shell to add in.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Jun 8, '12 7:40am PST 
Good to know, Maxwell, thanks. Pressure cooker use is coming back, so I'm going to get a new one and try it. I'll post about the results. Supposedly that's why the canned bone-in wings are OK for dogs to eat...and my dog loves those things.

I'm sure some of the taurine and B is lost, I'll see what I can find out about the amount left that's biologically available so I can get the recipe right.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Jun 8, '12 9:54am PST 
I suspect even if it is lost the meat that is cooked normally will contain plenty of the B vitamins and taurine. Chicken isn't a great source of those nutrients anyway. Just don't do everything together, cook the chicken until bones mush up, mush up the bones, add the rest of your ingredients and cook as lightly as possible.

Good luck and please report back on how it works out. It sounds like a fantastic way to go.