Homemade Dog Food

Homemade Dog FoodOur precious Boxer baby Xena had been getting some lumps here and there. Thankfully when the vet aspirated or biopsied these they have been benign, but they were still alarming. Even though I had been feeding her very expensive dog food made specifically for her breed, I decided to take her off all conventionally produced foods and make her food from scratch. After a great deal of research, the recipe below is what I came up with and the vet was very happy with it so long as Xena gets a doggy multivitamin with her food each day.

Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes
Organic Brown Rice
Wild Salmon and/or Turkey
Organic Pumpkin
Organic Peas
Organic Carrots
Organic Green Beans
Organic Corn
Organic Apples
Organic Tomatoes and/or Tomato Paste
Ground Flaxseed
Flax and/or Coconut Oil
Turmeric
Ground Ginger (just a pinch)
Ground Rosemary (just a pinch)
Organic Ground Chamomile (optional)
Powdered Egg Shells (optional if not using canned wild salmon – for calcium. See weight of meat to powdered egg shell ratio for details.)

This is not a raw doggy diet, everything in this meal is cooked. I typically start out by rinsing and cooking the sweet potatoes, then cooking the rice and adding in the cooked salmon, veggies (usually a package of cooked mixed vegetables) and cooked apples after. Flax, flaxseed oil and the herbs are very important to add into the mix as well. I tend to mix things up from one batch to the next (while still keeping within a limited ingredient list) so she doesn’t get bored. For those of you wondering, I know – this is not a vegetarian dog food recipe. I am a vegetarian, but I do not expect my dog to be. Xena loves this food. So much so that she jumps and whines while I cook it for her, and she is doing great on it as well. The vet told us recently that she looks much younger than she is and is doing much better than most dogs her age. I will never buy premade dog food again!

Tip 1: there are no fillers in this meal, so you need to monitor your dog’s weight when feeding homemade food. This isn’t a 1 cup morning and evening type deal. Know your dog’s optimum weight and increase or decrease their meal amounts based on any weight loss or gain that you observe.

Tip 2: before making homemade dog food, thoroughly research the ingredients that dogs can and cannot have so you are familiar with them. There are many things that humans eat regularly that are poisonous to your pets. If your dog has allergies, consider having your vet run an allergy test on them to rule out any foods that could be a problem. If your dog’s breed is susceptible to bloat, stay away from any ingredients that can make them gassy. Be sure to run your recipe by your vet to make sure they are happy with your plan and see if they have any suggestions.

Tip 3: cook a large amount at once and freeze the extras.  I place her food in gallon size freezer bags and have one thawed bag in the fridge at a time.   When the bag starts getting low, I put the next in the fridge to thaw.

Making Mead

How To Make MeadWhat you will need:
3 parts water
1 part honey
brewers yeast (I only used a pinch)
Glass gallon carboy
Airlock

For after fermentation:
Siphon or funnel and filter
Corked glass bottles

 

I know this is a slight departure from my clean paleo diet, but I started this experiment in October of last year. In all honesty, I didn’t even expect it to work… but it actually did! Be sure to sterilize all of your tools, and glassware first. Add 3 parts water to 1 part honey into a glass gallon carboy and mix until the honey is completely dissolved. Add in your yeast and cork the carboy with your airlock. In the beginning I tried to ferment the honey without yeast, but it didn’t happen. When fermentation didn’t start after the first few days, I added a pinch of yeast into the mix to get it going. Twice a day for at least the first few weeks, mix the ingredients well. You should see the fermentation working, creating bubbles on the top of the liquid. I left this sitting on the counter for a few months and finally got around to bottling it today. The bottles will likely need to settle and be filtered once more, but the mead is quite good! I like the fact that I know the exact ingredients used in this fun drink and it was much, much less expensive to make than if it were bought premade. One gallon carboy yielded approximately 5 bottles of mead.

New Years Paleo Diet Update – Feb

In the first month of my paleo diet, I am down 6 lbs.  Not too shabby considering most of this has been accomplished though diet alone (I started exercising, but haven’t succeeded that much with that part… it’s just still so dark in the morning). I went to the doctor for my physical over the weekend and everything is as it should be.  My blood pressure was even at 110/80 – not too bad considering that I’ve been under a ton of stress lately.  I was honestly expecting that to be much higher.  Now I just need to maintain my clean diet and add more exercise into the mix.  If I keep this up, I will be in optimum health by summer!

New Milk Alternative

Flax MilkOn yesterday’s shopping trip I couldn’t find my usual favorite milk.  I typically buy the So Delicious brand Unsweetened Coconut Milk and their Coconut Milk creamer.  This turned out to be a blessing, because it forced me to try something new, Good Karma’s Unsweetened Flax Milk.

Their flax milk has a wonderfully creamy texture, even the unsweetened version would be perfect in cereal or coffee.  I like the fact that it is full of omega 3′s, has plenty of calcium, and is non-gmo certified.  Although it doesn’t have any protein, a full cup is only 25 calories so this leaves plenty of room for you to enjoy other protein sources in your diet.  I am very pleased with this new find!