Do you love your dog? Do you want him to live much longer? Great, show it… feed him real food. Food YOU would actually eat. Yes, really.
The health benefits of real food are HUGE. Our pups are happy, healthy, and have the shiniest coats.
People always ask us, “what do you feed them??”. Simple: we cook some basic real food for them. None of that “dog food” stuff.
Google “dog food”. You will be surprised and very disturbed by what’s in those products.
We’ve been cooking for our dogs for years, and once you start, there’s no going back.
Plus, our pups LOVE the food we cook them. And dogs are soooo easy to cook for. They don’t complain if you get something wrong, and they love you like crazy no matter what.
Want to try it yourself? It’s SOOOOO Easy… Here’s the recipe for Yummy Healthy Puppy Food
So Many Options – What’s The Right Way To Start?
There are many ways to go about feeding your pets real food, human grade food. For simplicity, below is our go-to method that we’ve been using for nearly a decade. Start with this, follow the recipe below, then adapt as you wish afterwards.
Why Feed Your Dogs Human Grade Food?
Fair question. Because the stuff in a bag is terrible quality, nutritionally inferior junk that no living creature should eat, certainly not your best friend that loves you more than anything in the damn world, that’s why.
To clarify, “human grade” just means food marketed and sold for human consumption… it’s what we buy for ourselves every day.
A little google searching will enlighten you on what’s in “dog food” or “pet food”. The short answer is you’re buying the leftover byproducts that the food industry cannot legally or practically sell to humans, they’d get sued out of business. This isn’t about politics or complaining, just simple facts, so we know what we are dealing with. Save yourself the searching and just start feeding your pups real food.
I’ve seen so many people with very sick pups start feeding them real food (like cooked chicken and rice) in a desperate attempt to extend their life, to keep them alive in spite of chronic failing health… and it usually helps, more than the vets expect.
But wouldn’t it be great to feed your pup REAL FOOD starting TODAY? So they don’t have to deal with the health issues of the “bag stuff”?
Onward, let’s do this!
What’s The EASIEST Way To Start Today?
OK, I get this questions a lot. I’m not a fan of half-measures… if you’re gonna do it, do it. That said, not everyone is willing to cook up some rice and brown some ground beef. I suppose when I got my first dog many years ago, I wasn’t ready for that either. Today I’d do anything for my pups.
So… the easiest way to start feeding your pups real food ( human grade food) is getting a pack of the cheapest tuna cans you can find, chunk lite tuna ie at Costco and just add a can that on top of their current food.
In time, you’ll replace the other stuff with real food, nobody ever goes back to the stuff in a bag.
That said, I STRONGLY recommend you follow the process below and do it for real, not just this half-measure.
How To Keep Cost Low
Yes, human food costs a little more than that stuff in a bag marketed as dog food. Of course it does, it’s actually nutritious.
Your dog loves you more than anything in the world… he’s worth at the very least real food, that will nourish him and keep him healthy.
But there are things you can do to keep costs low.
1.) Shop in bulk.
I recommend buying all these ingredients at Costco or similar, you’ll get good stuff at significant savings. Yes, you can buy this stuff at Kroger or wherever, and it’s fine. just size the recipe accordingly. And accept that you’ll save some money going forward if you buy in bulk. 🙂
2.) Add rice to the recipe as a cheap filler.
The rice in the recipes below is largely just filler to keep cost down.
If you need to add more rice to make this possible, then do it. you’ll still have something that is FAR, FAR healthier for your pup than the stuff in a bag.
Your Shopping List – Let’s Do This!
Alright, then. Rubber meets the road here. This is the stuff you’ll need.
You’re buying meat, veggies, basmati rice as a filler. Plus a few optional additives.
Costco Shopping List:
- $20 pack of ground beef (6 lbs roughly)
- $20 bag of basmati rice (6 lbs bag)
- $25 jar of organic coconut oil (56 oz – best value around) – we use this for our own cooking too.
- $4 bag of spinach (4 lbs)
- $8 for Canned green beans (Kroger should have if not Costco) – a big 100 oz can is like $4.
Optional But Recommended (also at Costco):
- $10 for for a pack of 2 RAW Whole Chickens. – this is for bone broth – insanely nutritious.
- $12 Chunk lite tuna (cheapest pack of 12 for $14) – this is for variety and easy feeding, get this too.
Enjoying a nice bottle of red wine or brandy on the rocks is also required, it’s a key part of this process in fact.
Cook And Mix
You’re going to cook some rice. Then you’ll brown the meat in a pot. Then you’re going to mix it all together with the green beans in some type of mixing pan. It’s that simple!
Cook The Rice
Boil 6 cups of rice (with 12 cups of water). When it reaches a rolling boil, stir once, and add 1 cup of coconut oil on top – it will become infused, making the rice filler actually good for them. Turn down to low/med, leave for 25 mins.
The rice is MAINLY to make it go farther. If money is no object, ditch most of the rice. Even with lots of rice, it’s still infinitely better than the not-fit-for-human-consumption filler in “dog food”.
Cook the Meat – Mix The Spinach In
Put the whole 6 lbs of ground beef in a pot with lid, and brown on med-high heat. Stir every couple minutes until cooked.
Mix the Spinach in from the beginning. Spinach reduces to not much, so mix in more as it cooks away. Use half the big bag you just bought for this.
Mix it all together in a large bowl
The stuff you cooked above… dump it in a large bowl and mix it up together. Or mix it in the pot if it’s big enough.
– the ground beef
– the rice
– the green beans
– the parsley washed and finely chopped.
Store in Tupperware containers in fridge. Lasts in fridge for over a week, depending on your dogs. 😉
Pro Additions – Add These If You Can – I Do!
1.) BONE BROTH!! Raw Chicken Cooked In Crockpot for 2 Days
** Read the warning below before feeding this to your pups. This requires special steps and responsibility, but it’s so worth it. **
Not sure how to convey just how incredibly nutritious this is for your pups.
Take the raw chicken you bought, put in a crockpot with plenty of water, and cook it on high for 2 full days.
As it cooks down, break the chicken up with a wooden spoon so it cooks better.
You’ll end up with tremendously healthy bone broth. Add that incredibly nutritious juice to your pups’ food. That simple. It’s FAR better than Glucosamine for example.
Add some condiments, chopped carrots, etc, so your house doesn’t just smell like chicken grease lol.
Most folks should stop here, only continue if you are willing to test the final product before feeding to your pups.
ADVANCED STEP: IF you are adventurous, you can actually take the whole chicken goo that results after 2+ days on high in a crockpot, and add this to the dog food you cooked above. It’s what I do, all that good bone material and marrow is too good to not give my pups.
*** DANGER *** Cooked chicken bones can splinter and hurt your pups, you normally never give these to your pup.
DO NOT include the bones in the food until you KNOW they’re fully cooked, meaning mostly gelatinized, which means testing it yourself.
After 2 to 3 crockpot days, the bones are mostly gelatinous and belt in your mouth, under your tongue, barely require your teeth. Eat one or two of the bigger bones to verify. Really, it’s very nutritious and you’ll be fine.
IF they’re not super soft or at all still firm, it needs more crockpot time. Do not rush this.
Also don’t try this with bones you get from purchased foods like hot wings… for some reason this only works reliably with a raw chicken you buy and put in the crockpot yourself.
UPDATE October 2016:
[easyazon_infoblock align=”left” identifier=”B00FLYWNYQ” locale=”US” tag=”helpdoggies-20″]
Replaced the Crockpot with an InstantPot Multi-Function Pressure Cooker.
2 days of cooking is now down to 3 hours. HOURS!
Can’t recommend this device enough… 3 HOURS instead of 2 DAYS to get a whole chicken including bones to be “melt in your mouth” as described above.
The InstantPot isn’t a regular pressure cooker… it’s a type of hybrid multi-function pressure cooker / crockpot combo, with a stainless steel container.
We actually haven’t used our crockpot for anything since getting the InsantPot.
What’s funny is a friend who knows I cook for my pups recommended I check out this gizmo, and I actually had it in my Amazon cart for a few weeks before finally ordering it.
Check out the reviews on the InstantPot on Amazon – 12,000 reviews, 4.7 of 5 stars.
2.) Chopped Parsley
Mix in some raw chopped parsley, say a big bunch of it.
Parsley is a very healthy additive for us AND dogs, it’s a common ingredient in health juices for people too.
Great for their breath too.
3.) Turmeric – Powdered Is Fine
Sprinkle a bunch on and mix it in.
This is about eating real food… ground beef, chicken, turkey, tuna, it’s all good. Whatever’s affordable enough that you actually do it. Ground beef just seems to be the cheapest.
Meat Variation – Tuna
Tuna is awesome, no prep required. Open a can, feed your dog.
I like to switch up the meat of the dish above now and then. So some weeks I’ll just replace the ground beef with tuna.
Beware, tuna will drop fat from your dog fast. Dogs metabolism isn’t like ours, they show losing/adding weight FAST.
If your dog is overweight, a few weeks of the above recipe with tuna instead of ground beef should fix that right up.
Meat Variation – Ground Turkey
Costco has big packs of ground turkey, mix it up and get that sometimes instead of ground beef.
Meat Variation – Chicken
Chicken is great, dogs love chicken. Cost is a factor for a lot of folks, but if in your case it’s not, get chicken. You’ll have to cut it up in small pieces (or grind it up) to cook and mix up easily, but make it work.
Meat Variation – Raw Food
Some folks feed their dogs raw food. Good for them. I tried it, just don’t find it to be viable. I like something I can prepare and keep in the fridge for a week… sushi just doesn’t work that way and has other health/cleanliness concerns. If you can ditch the junk in a bag and feed your dog proper food like we eat, your dog should be just fine.
Green beans are cheap, soft, and nutritious, and a good go-to for us.
But you can replace the green beans with frozen mixed veggies now and then for example. a $6 bag of Costco Kirkland frozen mixed veggies or Kirkland frozen stir fry veggies will do just fine too.
Stay away from potatoes and corn, dogs don’t seem to digest those well, it’s largely wasted.
How To Introduce A New Diet Like This To Your Dog
Introduce new food to your pup gradually. I’d reduce the dog food by 1/3 first day and add some of the good stuff. Same for a couple days. Than replace half for a few days, then 2/3, until you’ve successfully exorcised the junk in a bag from your pup’s diet. In a week or less you’ll be feeding your pup GOOD food.
Parting Thoughts – Read This
Disclaimer: you and only you are responsible for your choices and actions. The above is what we feed our pups, and I would LOVE to see more people make this fairly simple choice.That said, this is your choice, and this post does not in any way guarantee medical, financial, whatever, whatever “professional” opinion, it is just what I do for my pups.
Note that the veterinary profession is largely sponsored by the “dog food” industry, which is why so many otherwise intelligent people who are vets actually believe that stuff is suitable for your loving animal companion. Another case of “what you don’t know, can hurt those close to you”. Like I said, google what’s in it, and ask yourself if you’d want anything to do with that stuff. Dogs are not that biologically different from us, they require good nutrients just like we do.
Lame legalese aside, if I were you, I’d start making my pups some real food and kick that “dog food” crap to the curb.
To make it go farther, add more rice, and more mixed veggies. Yeah, that constitutes “filler”, but it’s way better than anything you’ll find in a bag of “dog food”.
Our philosophy is “better than before”.
My dogs are family, and I love them… And I have this annoying habit of thinking for myself. So my rule is pretty simple… if I wouldn’t eat it, I don’t feed it to my dogs. Super simple.
To the health of your pups!!